771. Verse 11. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, because no one buyeth their merchandise anymore, signifies the lower ones in the order, who minister, and make gain by holy things; here their grief that after the destruction of Babylon their religious things are not acknowledged as holy, but as the goods and truths of the Word and thence of the church adulterated and profaned; and thus that they can no longer make profit by them as before. By "the merchants" are meant the lesser in the order of their ecclesiastical hierarchy, because by "the kings of the earth," spoken of before, are meant the higher ones in that order, see above (n. 767); thus by "the merchants of the earth" are meant those that minister, and make gain by holy things. By "their weeping and mourning" are signified their griefs, as also above (n. 767). By "their merchandise" are signified the holy or religious things by which they make gain or profit. By "not buying them anymore" is signified not to wish to have them, because they are not holy, but are the goods and truths of the Word and thence of the church adulterated and profaned. That "to buy" is to procure for oneself (n. 606). Concerning this it is written in Jeremiah:
O Babel, that dwellest upon many waters, great in treasures, thy end is come, the measure of thy gain (Jer. 51:13).