Bodies and Souls of Men
Bodies & Souls of Men
Editor's Note: This is an old, archived prophecy studies article from the old A-O Report website. We'd thought this article had been lost when we switched from the old, website software to the new version we now have. I stumbled onto this article accidentally and decided it was worth reposting in our current "Archived Files."
Revelation 18:11-13 "and the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her (Babylon's demise); for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: … … … and the bodies and souls of men."
Can a nation "trade" in the bodies and souls of men? The above-cited verses describe the economic character traits of Mystery Babylon prior to the description of the judgment upon Mystery Babylon. The passage above relates to the effects of the Babylon judgment upon the 'merchants of the earth.' These three verses relate exactly what it is that the merchants were marketing that Babylon was buying. The verses give us a remarkable insight into the exact economic nature of this "Mystery Babylon."
In fact verses 12 and 13 are a virtual laundry list of character traits that become identity markers which should signal to the astute prophecy scholar just what characteristics are the hallmark of such a nation. In the entire list provided in those two verses the only items mentioned in those verses that have triggered some opposition to the notion that America could be Mystery Babylon are the final two aspects… the 'bodies and souls of men.'
The next to last phrase of verse 13 is somewhat mistranslated by the King James Version. The word in the Koine-Greek text is "sohmatohn." It means 'bodies.' However, for some reason, the KJV committee centuries ago chose the word "slave" to use in the verse. The New American Standard Version also includes the word "slave" but notes in the outer margin that the word literally means "bodies." Clearly the translation committee of the NASB chose to concur with the KJV committee in taking an editorial opinion as to what John meant rather than applying a literal understanding of the word.
For those readers not familiar with the Greek language but who might have a Greek-English Interlinear New Testament (the greek text with a literal English rendering underneath it) the well-respected Dr. Alfred E. Marshall's translation for the word is "bodies." This also holds true when we examine the actual Greek-English lexicons. If you’re a novice at Greek-English New Testament analysis but you have and know how to use a Strong's Concordance, then you can go to the back of your Strong's Concordance and look up the word by its numerical equivalent in the Greek-English dictionary.
Sohmatohn = Strong's Code # 4983 = Root word is "sohmah" = means "the body as a sound whole, bodily. Used in a wide application both literally and figuratively.
Moulton's Analytical Greek-English Lexicon: (Page 395--column b and Page 396 column a -- 1978 Edition published by Zondervan)
The Body (as an animal). A living body. A person, individual. See Matt 5:29, 30 etc. 1st Cor. 6:16; Also a dead body, corpse -- Matt 14:12; The human body. A body, a material substance -- see Ist Cor. 15:37, 38, 40. Or an aggregate body of believers, i.e. the body of the Church see Romans 12:5 etc.
Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon: (Page 611 -- 1977 Broadman Press--Baker Book House- softcover edition).
1. the body of both men and animals
2. name is transferred to the bodies of planets and of stars… heavenly bodies
3. a number of men closely united into one society or family as it were. A social, ethical or mystical body, so in the N.T. as of the Church.
That is but a sampling of the lexical renderings in regards to this word. The careful English-speaking student with no Greek background might ask the question: "Why did the translators of the KJV choose the word slave?" This is indeed a puzzle because the everyday Koine-Greek word for slave is the word "doulos" (doo- lahs). You will find it used as the normal, everyday word for a slave.
It is my view that if the Holy Spirit had meant the notion in Revelation 18:13 that Babylon was buying slaves then the perfect and normal word would have been "doulas"= slave. Instead he chose the word "somatohn" which means bodies.
So what exactly is being implied in Verse 13 about the merchants of the earth trading with Babylon in the buying and selling of … bodies and souls of men? This researcher had always held the most likely explanation was that of wage-earners, tradesmen, laborers… and perhaps the notion that they were 'selling their souls' in exchange for money. However, that would be a more symbolic rendering for the terminology. A more literal rendering would be that Babylon and the merchants were actually peddling bodies and souls. Now how could that be done? Could the passage be referring to the concept of Union wage contracts.
Perhaps the intent of the Holy Spirit was to tell us that indeed it was slavery? If so, the critics of the view that America is Babylon can triumphantly state that such a verse negates the notion of America because America abolished slavery. Case closed. That conclusion would indeed be one negation instance for the theory that America is Mystery Babylon.
However, the "slave" aspect is incongruous with the lack of appropriate Greek vocabulary choices. What's more, the notion of the phrase just as easily fits the idea of wage earners under contract or even 'headhunters' placing job applicants.
This was the main conclusion this researcher has held to for years. That is until now.
Something new has emerged that sheds a whole new light on these last two phrases of Revelation 18:13. So what is so new and so dramatic that it would cause a shift in thinking? It is not so much as a shift in thinking as it is the sudden emergence of testimony that the United States is engaged in a most hideous yet quiet practice that involves the medical profession's attempt to play God via organ transplants!
Yes, modern American medicine has advanced to the point that America is a marketplace for the organs of individuals from Red China, other parts of Asia and other third world countries. We have run across claims made that Red China is collecting prisoners (especially imprisoned Christian Chinese believers) who are then killed (as if they were cattle) when an organ bank or organ broker provides a buyer with certain medical criteria that matches that of the tissues of a prisoner.
There is also an emerging new issue and use for bodies and body parts as it relates to the issue of DNA research and cloning which is now moving into high gear. The most recent online reports of this were recently presented to us at the following linked webpage. (Click here).
Some of this activity is operating under the umbrella of excuses that revolve around the notion of saving mankind. Some of the tissue collection business in the U.S. is alleged to occur in circumstances in which the victims are not particularly harmed. Their DNA tissue samples used for other sanctioned tests have leftover samples that are then unbeknownst to the individual are sent off to brokers who sell the samples to various buyers for various forms of testing and data collection.
Still, the point of the matter is this. The activity being described at the above links and the links contained within that webpage article plus the countless other reports from China of prisoner-organ-harvesting merely underscore and provide evidence that America is indeed engaged in the buying and selling in the bodies and souls of men.
Conclusion: We have yet one more character trait that points to America as being the LITERAL fulfillment of the Mystery Babylon prophecies. Instead of the last two phrases being figuratively or symbolically fulfilled, we can instead point to a literal fulfillment without having to resort to mangled translations that substitute errant words that depart from the original meaning of the text. America, truly is Mystery Babylon.