Rev. 18:11 – The merchants of the earth will also weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their merchandise any longer – 12 merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine fabrics of linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of fragrant wood products; objects of ivory; objects of expensive wood, brass, iron, and marble; 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine wheat flour, and grain; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and slaves and human lives. 14 The fruit you craved has left you. All your splendid and glamorous things are gone; they will never find them again.
15 The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand far off in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying, Woe, woe, the great city, dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls, 17 for in a single hour such fabulous wealth was destroyed! (HCSB)
The merchants’ lament
The merchants’ lament echoes that of the kings but focuses on the prostitute’s costly apparel and accessories. They mourn the fact that such wealth is laid waste in so short a time.
The Greek word translated “weep” in verses 9 and 11 means a loud lamentation as opposed to private grief. Those who built their empires with merchandise cannot buy a storehouse large enough to contain their anguish. Take note that the merchants do not sorrow over the fate of the prostitute but over the loss of their business with her. It is a most excruciating grief because it is completely self-absorbed.