Tuesday, January 18, 2011
"Fell, fell is Babylon."
The Word for today:
The first time we hear about Babylon in the book of Revelation is in 14:8--
And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great."
"Babylon" stands for many things in scripture, and we will have more to say about it as Revelation proceeds. But today we are going to look closely at the language which is used to pronounce the fall of Babylon.
1. The first thing we see is that the verb, fallen, precedes the subject, Babylon. This is not normal word order! We are told that something has "fallen" before we find out what that something is!
Babylon's fall is announced before its rise has even been hinted. Babylon meant such horrible things to his readers that John thought it best to assure them that Babylon would have only a temporary existence.
2. The English language actually lacks the verb tenses with which to accurately translate Revelation 14:8. The closest English can come to a literal rendering of this verse would be “Fell, fell is Babylon.”
The angel announces that which is yet to come as though it had already happened. In the original Greek, “fallen” is in the prophetic aorist tense. In other words, God’s prophetic word is so sure that He speaks as though the event had already taken place. It is just as sure as if it were history already. Our language is incapable of so emphatically pronouncing the angel's prophetic certainty.
3. Finally, we see "fallen" not once but twice. Does that mean the city will fall two times?
In order to understand the double "fallen," we need a complete understanding of what "Babylon" is going to represent as Revelation unfolds. So we must reveal, in essence, what the angel already knew:
"Fallen, fallen" does not mean that one Babylon will fall twice. "Fallen, fallen" means that two different Babylons will each fall once!
As we shall see, shall see.