After the elect were safe (Revelation 18:4), the text concludes that the Lord remembered the iniquities of the great harlot (Revelation 18:5-6). It is not that the Lord had forgotten all that Babylon had done, but later he, suddenly, recalled it all. Rather, the sense is that the Lord is unveiled in the Scriptures as though he were handing down his verdict over what Jerusalem had done. Her deeds were remembered in that the Lord was now ready to judge her!
Next, he KJV says: “Reward her even as she rewarded you…” (Revelation 18:6 – emphasis mine), but the word you (G5213) isn’t in the earliest manuscripts. The point is that the Lord didn’t use the elect to fight or punish Jerusalem. Rather, he chose to use Rome to carry out his judgment against Jerusalem. Daniel prophesied: “…the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary…” (Daniel 9:26). That is, the Romans, the people of the prince, Titus, the Roman general and son of the Emperor, would surround the city (Luke 21:20) and ultimately take and destroy it. His feet would stand upon Mount Olives (Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:30). That is, Jesus’ so-called Second Coming occurred through Titus and his Roman armies. Thus, was Jerusalem rewarded double for all she had done to God’s elect (Jeremiah 17:18). She was destroyed, being left without a king or a prince, without a husband or a child (Isaiah 47:8-9).
According to Revelation 18:7, Jerusalem, the great harlot, “glorified herself, and lived deliciously…” The Greek word for “living deliciously” is streniao (G4763). The same word is used in Revelation 18:9. In both verses the Greek word is in its verb form, but it is in its noun form in Revelation 18:3, but the meanings of both the noun and the verb are tied together, the noun being the act, while the verb is the actual carrying out of the act. The verb is used in its compound form in 1Timothy 5:11. There, Paul advises Timothy to exclude young widows of regular financial support, the idea being that true widows would serve the Lord only. However, according to Paul, young widows would soon look to the flesh for a husband and leave off serving the Lord only. The Greek word in Timothy is katastreniao (G2691), which is made up of two Greek words: kata (G2596), which is a preposition showing intensity in favor of someone or something else, and the other Greek word is (G4763), the same found in Revelation 18:7, 9 – there translated “lived deliciously” but in 1Timothy 5:11 it is translated “wax wanton” (KJV) or “feel sensual desires” (NASB). The point is that the Apocalypse is showing that the great harlot favored her lovers over her Messiah, an evil in the Apocalypse, but a legitimate choice in 1Timothy. Nevertheless, 1Timothy 5:11 does express physically what the Apocalypse expresses spiritually in Revelation 18:3, 7 & 9.
Notice what the great harlot says: “I sit a queen, and am not a widow, and shall in no wise see mourning” (Revelation 18:7)! In other words, she refuses to be understood as a widow. So, is she or isn’t she? If she is a widow, who was her husband? He cannot be one of the kings of the earth, because they were her lovers, who had recently turned against her. Yet, the text claims she is a widow but rejects that reality. Who, then, was the great harlot’s or Jerusalem’s husband, and when did he die? Isaiah 54:5 claims the Lord was Jerusalem’s husband. The Scriptures tell us that the Lord had come to his own (wife) by taking on flesh (John 1:14), but in so doing his wife rejected him (John 1:11), preferring her lovers (John 19:15) and had him slain (Matthew 26:62-66; John 19:16). Therefore, and according to the Gospel, Jerusalem was a widow who rejected the truth of the Gospel about Jesus, the Messiah, the husband of his people (Isaiah 54:5). He had come as he promised (Malachi 3:1) in order to make a new covenant with his people (Jeremiah 31:31-32). Nevertheless, the Jewish authorities rejected both their husband and his covenant, and had him crucified. Therefore, she was rewarded accordingly.