On Revelation 18: 23, "By Thy Sorceries Were All Nations Deceived."
The Babylon of prophecy deals not only in goods but also in the souls of men (Revelation 18: 9-13), and the false religion of Babylon especially deals with the souls of men. The Babylon of prophecy is also found in Jeremiah 50 and 51. For example Jeremiah 51: 6 says "Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence." And Revelation 18: 4 says "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not her plagues," Come out of the false religion of Babylon, after the falling away of II Thessalonians 2: 3-4 and the leavening of Luke 13: 21 leavens the whole.
Babylon as a metaphor for false religion within the world system, which is also Babylon, comes from the real historical Babylon. In Daniel 4: Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had a dream, which Daniel interpreted. The King dreamed about a tree that grew to a great size and height, so big it could be seen from all the earth (Daniel 4: 11). The fowls, or birds, lived in the brances of this huge tree. Then, in Revelation 18: 2, it says "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."
This huge tree in the King's dream, which could be seen from all parts of the world, is like the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13: 31-32, which produced a large tree in which birds came and lodged in its branches. Mustard seed does not produce a big tree, so something is strange about this parable. The tree in the King's dream and the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13: 31-32 represent something that is not of God, but allowed to grow big by God.
That something is Babylon, and the most important part of Babylon is mystery Babylon of Revelation 17: 1-5. Its called "Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth." It is not literally the physical mother of prostitutes. Mystery Babylon is the metaphorical mother of Old Testament religion and Christianity in false doctrines and false practices. And the metaphor of Mystery Babylon takes off from the Babylonian Captivity of physical Israel in literal Babylon, where the Talmud developed.
God is going to judge false religion as metaphoric Babylon.
Also, Daniel 4:16 says of the stump of the huge tree of the King's dream, or Babylon, that "let seven times pass over him." The King himself was judged in Daniel 4: 23, where it says "...till seven times pass over him." So, the tree which grew so huge it could be seen all over the world, which is metaphoric Babylon, a system, and the King are seen as one and the same in this prophecy. Seven times refers to a period of time during which Babylon does not exist as a nation. Often in scripture a day is seen to be a thousand years, and if we take the 360 day year as the sun cycle in the time of ancient Babylon, each year would represent 360 years. So "let seven times pass over him" or "till seven times pass over him" can be taken to be seven periods of 360 years each. At the end of this period of 2,520 years, starting from the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, the deadly wound Babylon received when defeated by the Persians, would be healed (Revelation 13: 3, 12). Physical Babylon would then exist again. Remember that there is no year zero, and I think the solution is to add one year to the count from 539 BC.
The year 539 BC for the fall of historical Babylon is based on a stone document known as the Nabonidus (Nabunaid) Chronicle. This stone was discovered in ruins near the city of Baghdad in 1879. A translation of the writing on the stone by Sidney Smith is in Babylonian Historical Texts Relating to the Capture and Downfall of Babylon, London, 1924, and reads in part: “In the month of Tashritu [Tishri, Hebrew 7th month], when Cyrus attacked the army of Akkad in Opis on the Tigris, the inhabitants of Akkad revolted, but he (Nabonidus) massacred the confused inhabitants. The 14th day, Sippar was seized without battle. Nabonidus fled. The 16th day [October 11-12, 539 B.C.E., Julian, or October 5-6, Gregorian] Gobryas (Ugbaru), the governor of Gutium and the army of Cyrus entered Babylon without battle. "
"The Nabunaid Chronicle . . . states that Sippar fell to Persian forces VII/14/17 (Oct. 10, 539), that Babylon fell VII/16/17 (Oct. 12), and that Cyrus entered Babylon VIII/3/17 (Oct. 29)." It is interesting that a stone tablet was found in 1879 giving us, not only the year but also the month in which Babylon fell to Cyrus.
Revelation 18: 23 says "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived."
"For thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived." Merchants is from εμποροι, emporoi, which Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, number 1713, says means "a wholesale tradesman." A Linguistic Key To the Greek New Testament, Vol 2, by Fritz Riennecker, 1980, page 508, says emporoi means "...merchants who deal in foreign imports and exports." They include the world traders. So, the emporoi are not just local small businessmen, but are international merchants, now the giant international corporations..
Sorceries is from the Greek φαρμακεια, or pharmakeia, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance number 5331, is said to mean "medication, “pharmacy,” magic, literally or figuratively - sorcery, witchcraft.”
So sorceries in Revelation 18: 23 can mean both that the merchants as world traders of Babylon drug the nations with their medications, but also in a broader sense, Babylon and her merchants, the giant international corporations, deceive the world by their more figurative “magic” or witchcraft, the allure and bait of these merchants to appeal to the flesh of men. Remember I John 2: 16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
The giant international pharmceutical corporations, many of whom are headquarted in America, and the medical profession, are also the world traders, the εμποροι, or emporoi.
Babylon, including the giant pharmaceutical corporations as the merchants of the earth, and their well paid salesmen the doctors, becomes so corrupt that God will judge it by bringing it down. Babylon will become a waste place spiritually inhabited by devils.
On an Internet site (link deleted for this forum):
the authors of an article, Has Drug-Driven Medicine
Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?, tell us:
"Given this unseemly state of affairs, some believe we are on
the precipice of a medical end-of-times or “Pharmageddon," if you will,
where medicine is no longer directly associated in any way with
healing, but rather is a form of mass control and a highly organized
means of simultaneously defrauding the public of its wealth and
"After all, is there any greater absurdity than a medical model that
treats the symptoms of disease with sub-lethal dosages of toxic
chemicals and in which there is no attempt to uncover, understand or
remove the causes of those imbalances?"
Here they cite part of Revelation 18: 23, "...for thy merchants were
the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations
They are interpreting this part of Revelation 18: 23 to mean that the
drug companies and doctors as the merchants (emporoi, the world
traders, or international merchants) are deceiving the nations (the
peoples the world) by their pharmakeia, or drug sorcery. As a part
of the Babylon of prophecy the drug
companies and the medical establishment are deceiving the nations by using drugs.
The medicine men and drug companies claim their drugs heal people, but in
reality many of the toxic chemicals they sell at enormous prices are harmful
to the human body.
And this site goes on to say that "The sole reliance on
Pharmaceuticals reveals quite a lot about the agenda underpinning
modern medical practice. The Greek word Pharmakon has the following
meanings: poison, potion, charm, spell, enchantment." But the origin
of the word goes back much farther:
A Pharmakas in Ancient Greek religion was a kind of human
scapegoat (a slave, a cripple or a criminal) who was chosen and
expelled from the community at times of disaster (famine, invasion or
plague) or at times of calendrical crisis, when purification was
needed. [Source: Wikipedia]”
“The term "pharmakos" later became the term "pharmakeus" which
refers to "a drug, spell-giving potion, druggist, poisoner, by
extension a magician or a sorcerer." A variation of this term is
"pharmakon" a complex term meaning sacrament, remedy, poison,
talisman, cosmetic, perfume or intoxicant. From this, the modern term
"One no longer has to look to religion for the absolutist claim to
truth. Medical science has laid claim to the body in the same way that
religions once laid claim to the soul. The physician today -- albeit a
glorified "applied pharmacologist" -- has become the "priest of the
body," capable of influencing the course of life or death by the
quality, or combinations, of nostrums (s)he is able to apply to the
problem (i.e. patient) at hand."
And - there is a connection of the giant pharmaceutical corporations back to the Nazis.
Revelation 6: 5 says "And when he had opened the third seal, I heard
the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse;
and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand."
The Black Horse is the same beast as the leopard in Daniel 7: 6,
"After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon
the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads;
and dominion was given to it."
This beast is Nazi Germany, plus the post-World War II influences that
came from the Nazi movement, especially in the U.S. as we assimilated
many Nazi intelligence operatives and scientists after 1945.
In the Nazi regime there was a large conglomerate of corporations -
the Internationale Geshellshaft Farbenindustrie, or I.G. Farben, run by
the Swiss banker Herman Schmitz. Drug, or pharmaceutical corporations,
were an important part of I.G. Farben, including the Bayer Company, Merck, and Hoechst.
A branch of the German parent company of Merck was established in the
United States. In 1891, George Merck, grandson of the German Emanuel
Merck, took over the Merck New York office and established
Merck & Company. In about 1902 the American Merck Company made and
sold chemicals including bismuths, iodides, and narcotics such as
morphine and cocaine. Then, later George W. Merck was in the
Roosevelt administration as Director of the War Research Service
during World War II. This was the George W. Merck
who was head of Merck and Company, a large American pharmaceutical
outfit. Merck remains one of the giant U.S. pharmaceutical
corporations, with its origins in Germany, where the parent company
was part of the Nazi business empire, a Black Horse manifestation. The
U.S. and international pharmaceutical industry has roots in the Black Horse Nazi movement.