In the book of Revelation at chapter 18 (NIV) we read a very detailed account about the 'fall of Babylon' which happens in one hour. [Revelation 18 ] Common sense helps me understand that 'the hour' and 'the day' are not literal but figurative.

My understanding is, that the attack on Babylon takes place at the sounding of the sixth trumpet when there is a mass gathering of mounted troops-two hundred million to be exact ! (Rev 9:16) and this attack is referred to as the second woe.

The seventh trumpet is the signal for the pouring of the bowls of Gods' wrath which is the third woe, and the pouring of the sixth bowl signals the gathering of armies for the 'Day of the Lord,' but there has already been a gathering of armies at the second woe when Babylon is attacked (the second woe) This would suggest that the 'Fall of Babylon' and the sixth bowl (the third woe) are two separate events.

Also we read about A Double portion of wrath for Babylon at the 'second woe' and this appears to run parallel with Revelation 16:19 (which happens after the seventh trumpet- the third woe) where it is written,

God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.

Why was this cup of wrath not passed at the second woe when Babylon was attacked ?

What i am trying to emphasize is the 'cup of wrath' does not get passed to Babylon at the sixth trumpet (when Babylon is attacked) but does so at the seventh trumpet- 'the third woe' (when God gathers the armies for the battle of Armageddon) and because of the time-scale between the sixth and seventh trumpet (second and third woe) this suggests that Babylon does get attacked twice, or in other words, receives 'A double portion' of wrath.'

My question, does Babylon get attacked twice ?

  • 1
    I somehow missed this question when you posted it-you are keenly observant at the flow of events. The 6th Trumpet "announces" the judgment to the nations as 1/3 of mankind is slain; the 6th Bowl is the final 'summons' of the nations to the Valley of Decision, which will be destroyed at His Return. Judgment is progressive, and Babylon DOES receive progressive judgment; culminating with her destruction. I hesitated answering this question before, I will try to answer it as time permits me.
    – Tau
    Nov 5, 2014 at 1:00
  • @Tau, Just found your comment.I would appreciate your answer when you have time.
    – Bagpipes
    Dec 3, 2014 at 10:24

2 Answers 2


Short Answer: No.

You are equating Rev. 9:14 "... Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates," as being literal Babylon.

Literal Babylon was destroyed as a dynasty by the Medes/Persians under Darius the Mede(Dan. 5:31). They went through a gradual decline to the point where they were a mere village during Roman times.

If you examine the Context of Rev. 9, it is figurative; a point which you conceded. Therefore, the River Euphrates is also figurative(representitive of another reality). Being 'figurative' does not lessen the intensity or the importance of the judgment being unleashed, it just means that it must be understood in context of the language used to convey it's meaning.

To understand the importance of the symbology of the Euphrates River, we must look at scripture that defines the Euphrates River as more than a waterway. Gen. 15:18,

In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Here we see the river as more than a natural channel for water, we see the "River" as a boundary, which God established in His Covenant Promise to Abraham. Therefore, the 4 angels 'loosed' at the River Euphrates to rally the nations to battle, are sent to specifically battle Israel, because the Euphrates River represents a boundary, which crossed, indicates a hostile intent towards Israel. The Assyrians and Babylonian Dynasties which came agains Israel, crossed this boundary, signaling their hostile intentions.

The " Great River" and "beyond the River" is a euphemism for the Euphrates(see Josh. 1:4, Deut. 1:7, Deut. 11:24, Ezra 6:6, Rev. 16:12). Those 'nations' that would cross it would indicate their hostile intention. This is how we must undertand Rev. 9:6.

It would be beyond the scope of this question to address "Babylon the Great", another figurative expression in this chapter. But for the same reason, we must address Babylon the Great figuratively and not literally, which means we are not talking about a "Literal Babylon", conquered in 539BC by Darius the Mede, annd gradually disappearing by the time of Rome. Since the reference in Rev. 18 is just prior to the Lord's Return, we can say with certainty it doesn't refer to Literal Babylon.

  • Good point you make at the end of your last paragraph:"Since the reference in Rev. 18 is just prior to the Lord's Return, we can say with certainty it doesn't refer to Literal Babylon." The land of "Edom," (Isaiah 63),would appear to receive a "double portion," of wrath.Just a thought!
    – Bagpipes
    Mar 8, 2015 at 10:58

The understanding of this may differ with how you structure Revelation. You say "The seventh trumpet is the signal for the pouring of the bowls of Gods' wrath which is the third woe." Not everybody sees this the same way. Some people see that the trumpets and the bowls are very similar.

  1. upon the earth
  2. the sea
  3. the rivers and waters
  4. celestial bodies
  5. darkness and pain (attack of locusts)
  6. Euphrates, attack from abyss
  7. Final judgment

Of course their are differences in details, but most people will agree that Revelation is a highly symbolic book.

Note that Revelation is a prophecy for the churches (1:4) and concerns those things in the churches (22:16). If Babylon is understood as an apostate church, then the double judgment is for those who didn't repent after the first chance(18:4).


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