1. Revelation 21:8 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What is meant with the word “detestable”?

Revelation 21:8 (ESV)

8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The word translated as “detestable” (or “vile” or “abominable” in other translations) recalls the description attached to the great prostitute in Revelation 17:4, a creature God found repulsive because of her behaviour. Those who act cowardly and faithlessly in the face of pressure end up siding with the prostitute and so God sees them as defiled with her abominations. (Consider again God’s response to faithlessness in Jeremiah 3:8–10.)