Chapter seventeen witnessed the fall of the worldwide political system. It was marked by destruction befitting the descriptive, end times.
As we began looking at it last week, chapter eighteen witnessed God's judgment on the worldwide economic system. It, too, was marked by destruction befitting the descriptive, end times.
As we'll see, much of the commerce then is familiar to us now. In many ways, what was valuable two thousand years ago is just as valuable today. Technology has changed, but not much else.
Here's a little perspective, economically speaking.
The Book of Revelation was written during the height of Roman world dominance. Its extravagance was well known. At one emperor's banquet, the roses alone cost nearly $100,000. All of these amounts are in today's dollars. Another emperor had a penchant for peacock's brains and nightingales' tongues. In his reign, of less than one year, he spent $20,000,000 on food. That's a lot of brains. One Roman aristocrat, after squandering an immense fortune, committed suicide because he could not live on the stipend that remained - about $300,000 per year. There was an old Jewish saying, "Ten measures of wealth came down into the world: Rome received nine, and all the world one."