Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 8 (Revelation 14:8)

Babylon is fallen, is fallen - This is generally understood to be a prediction concerning Rome; and it is certain that Rome, in the rabbinical writings, is termed Babylon.

That great city - Among the same writers this city is styled רבתא קרתא karta rabbetha , the great city; and רבתא רומי Romi rabbetha , the great Rome. But which Rome is meant? Pagan or Papal Rome? Some parts of the description apply best to the former.

The wine of the wrath of her fornication - There is an allusion here to a custom of impure women, who give philtres or love potions to those whom they wish to seduce and bind to their will; and these potions are generally of an intoxicating nature, greatly inflaming the blood, and disturbing the intellect.

Fornication and adultery are frequently used in Scripture as emblems of idolatry and false worship.

The wine of the wrath is another expression for the envenomed or poisoned cup given by such women.

No nation of the earth spread their idolatries so far as the ancient Romans; they were as extensive as their conquests. And papal Rome has been not less active in disseminating her superstitions. She has given her rituals, but not the everlasting Gospel, to most nations of the earth.

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible