19 And [kai] the great [megas] city [polis] was divided [ginomai] into [eis] three [treis] parts, [meros] and [kai] the cities [polis] of the
nations [ethnos] fell: [pipto] and [kai] great [megas] Babylon [Babulon] came in
remembrance [mnaomai] before [enopion] God, [theos] to give [didomi] unto her [autos] the cup [poterion] of the wine [oinos] of the
fierceness [thumos] of his [autos] wrath. [orge] KJV-Interlinear
19 And the
great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And
Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of
His fierce wrath. NASB
Three separate references are made of cities in this verse. The first reference is called the great city. The second reference includes the cities of the nations. The third reference is of Babylon.
John previously defined the great city as Jerusalem, Rev. 11:8. The last city is identified as Babylon in our current verse, and then there are all the other cities of the world grouped into a single category as a large but unidentified group.
The former city, Jerusalem, is going to be split into three parts by the earthquake. The other cities as well as Babylon are going to be completely destroyed. Note, this 'great city' reference is not that of Babylon, since it is destroyed, but this first city is divided into three parts and not destroyed.
There is a detailed account of this splitting up of Jerusalem, in Zech. 14:4-10.
When Jesus returns at the Second Advent, He will touch down on the earth on the Mount of Olives. This is a north-south running hill which is just to the east of Jerusalem. When His foot touches the ground, this hill is going to be split in half from east to west, with the north half being moved north, and the south half being moved south.
Note, that other earthquakes are already occurring or have already occurred around the world. This particular earthquake will not occur until His feet touch the ground.
By the way, those believers who are still in Jerusalem and defending the city, will use this newly created valley as their means of escape, traveling out of Jerusalem moving eastward through that valley toward Christ.
Eventually the valley will extend from the Mediterranean Sea on the west, running eastward, through Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. The whole land region of Jerusalem will be elevated and the region surrounding Jerusalem will be lowered.
In Zech 13:8-9, we are told that two-thirds of Jerusalem will die, and one-third of those surviving occupants will survive.
So, the area of North Jerusalem and west of the Mount of Olives will be one of the three sections.
The area of South Jerusalem, divided from the north by the newly created valley when the Mount of Olives splits in half, will be the second section, and the area to the east of the Mount of Olives, to where those being rescued will run, will be the third part.
After they have escaped, then a new massive spring will erupt up out of the center of the city and fill the new valley with water like a deep river. This new river will run both to the east into the Mediterranean Sea and to the west into the Dead Sea. Anyone pursuing those who are trying to escape will be caught in the massive flood, reminiscent of the Egyptians caught in the divided Red Sea at the time of the Exodus.
Again, Zech. 14 has the details of these events.
And though Babylon was an ancient city, but today no longer exists, then this reference is to the symbolism of what Babylon means, namely evil. Therefore, God will remember the evil, regardless of its location, and destroy it. After all, this chapter is spelling out the judgments against evil, in the final weeks and days and hours of history, prior to the Millennium.
Note one more thing. We have not yet finished this chapter, so we still have several events yet to be studied. These things are not necessarily chronological as listed, but will all come to pass during the course of the seventh bowl, concluding with Christ's Second Advent.
So the battles, the last war, the earthquakes, the storms and so forth will all be happening more or less simultaneously, and they will be worldwide for some of them.
The picture is total chaos on planet earth.
Armies will be maneuvering, attacking, fighting, killing, people will be running every which way in total panic, caught up in the chaos of disasters of all kinds. If this were made into a movie, then the special effects would have to be awesome to catch all the action. But of course these future events are going to someday, be very real.
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