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Ver. 1. And after these things; &c.]
&c.] In the 20th verse of the last chapter, Heaven, as described in ch. iv, and the Saints, who are stationed in grand chorus before the throne*, are exhorted to rejoice over the fall of Babylon. The representation of this fall being now completed, we hear the choral song.
Ib. Allelujah!] Heb. Praise ye Jehovah! a word of holy exultation, which hath passed into many languages even of the heathens, both ancient and modern t. This song of praise breaks forth on the fall of the harlot,-of Babylon; and as she falls by the last Vial, it has retrospect to that Vial, and to the rest, which are preparatory to her fall.
Ver. 4. And the twenty-four elders ; &c.] The song of praise is begun by the redeemed Saints, in conjunction probably with the innumerable company of angels 1. The elders, and the cherubim, who are near the throne, sing the antiphonal “ Allelujah, Amen.” Thus the song beginning, from the lowest, advances to the highest orders of heavenly beings $; from “ the
* Ch. xv. 2.
+ See Schleusner or Parkhurst, in voc. See notes, ch. iv. 9, 10.
And therefore the elders are mentioned here before the cherubim, as observed in note, ch. iv. 6. 9.
“redeemed from amongst men,” to the cherubim, who are “in the midst of the throne and around the throne,” (ch. iv.6); till at length a voice proceeds from the throne itself*, joining in the same harmony, and exhorting all the servants of God, of every rank and degree, to praise Him. The exhortation is immediately obeyed.-And magnificent is the effect, when all unite their accordant voices, to sing praise to the Almighty King; who, by destroying the impure harlot, (which had usurped the name of his Church upon earth,) had prepared the way for the Virgin-Bride, the true Church, who is now to be owned and espoused publicly by her Redeemer.
Ver. 7. The marriage of the Lamb is come.] The holy and mystical union of Christ with his Church, is frequently mentioned in Scripture t. The harlot, pretending to be that spouse I, having been now convicted of fornication with the worldly powers; having been judged, and eternally discarded; the attention in Heaven and earth is naturally turned to that chaste and pure Virgin §, who is now to be presented to her Lord. The choral song brings her to view; arrayed, not “in purple and scarlet, and gold and precious “stones ;” not in worldly splendour, like the harlot; but in the pure, simple, but resplendent garments, which are the clothing of the heavenly inhabitants). She had “washed her garments, and made them white, in “the blood of the Lamb." By faith in her Redeemer, she is become righteous :--for, this is “the fine linen, “the righteousness of the saints.”
* Ver. 5.
+ Isaiah, liv. 5. Jer. lli. 14. Hos. ii. 19, 20. Matt. xxii. xxv, 2 Cor. xi. 2. Eph. v. 22-32. 1 Ch. xviii. 16.
§ 2 Cor. xi. 2. !! Matt. xxviii. 3. Rev. iv. 4 ; iii. 5, wbere see the note; xv. 6. Ch. vii. 13.
Ver. 9. And he saith unto me, Write.] From the first opening of the vision, which exhibits “ the judy“ment of the great harlot,” an angel, one of the seven, had graciously accompanied the prophet, explaining to him the mystery ; (xvii. 7). This vision now closes with the triumphal chorus in heaven. The angel then orders him to write what he had seen; which was to be delivered to the seven Churches, and not to be sealed or suppressed with the prophecy of the seven thunders *. He then fixes the attention of the prophet, and of those who are to read what he thus writes, on the due application of what is now represented.
“ Blessed are they “ who are called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb !” Blessed are they who by the grace of God, co-operating with their own endeavours, “ make their calling and “ election sure t;" who, having on the “ wedding-gar“ment” of righteousness I, becomie entitled to “sit “ down to meat” in the Kingdom of Heaven g. The angel then concludes with this solemn assurance: “ These are the true words of God.” All that thou hast now heard and seen, will assuredly come to pass.
Ver. 10. And I fell down before his feet; &c.] The prophet, affected with astonishment at what he had beholden and heard, and with veneration and gratitude towards his heavenly conductor, follows the natural bent of his feelings; and falls down before the angel, to express them, after the custom of the eastern nations. But the angel renounces this kind of adoration, ranking himself only, where other intimations of Scripture have placed him and his fellow-angels,
ministering spirit, sent forth to minister for them who - shall be heirs of Salvation ;” (Heb. i. 14). The pro
* Ch. x. 4.
Matt. xxii. 11,
+ 2 Pet. i. 10.
s Luke xii. 37.
hibition to worship angels, or any other being than God, is repeated in chapter xxii. 9, and, thus repeated, seems to contain a very strong injunction against that angel-worship in which a great part of the Christian world has been involved.
Ib. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.] My office (says the angel) for which
honour me, is of the same kind with yours: I support the testimony of Jesus, by bringing prophecy from heaven; you and your fellow-servants perform the same duty on earth, supporting the same testimony, by preaching, confession, martyrdom, &c.; even in the present instance, we are fellow-servants of the same Lord. I shew to thee the vision from Heaven; thou writest it for the use of those who inhabit the Earth. Let us both worship God, and God only.
The Lord descends to Battle and Victory.
CHAP. xix. VER. 11-18.
UKA dor ròn 11 And I saw heaven
έρανόν ανεωγμένον, , opened, and lo! a είδε ίππ© λευκός, , white horse! and he και ο καθήμενς επ' who sate upon him, αυτόν, καλέμενς. called Faithful and wisòs rý á Ambevos, True; and in righte
και εν δικαιοσύνη κρί- ousness doth he judge 12 νει και πολεμεί. Οι 12 and make war; his δε οφθαλμοί αυτά
eyes (as) a flame of [ώς] φλόξ συρος, fire, and on his head και επί την κεφαλήν many diadems, having αυτά διαδήματα a name written, which πολλά ίχων όνομα no one knoweth but γετραμμένον, και έδεις 13 himself: And clothed
οίδεν, ει μη αυτός. with a garment dipped 13 Και σεριβεβλη
in blood: and his μένο ιμάτιον βε- name is called THE Gaquévov aüjaloo ry
OF GOD. καλείται το όνομα 14 And the armies which
αυτά ο Λόγο το were in heaven, follow14 Θεϊ• Και τα τρα
upon white τεύματα εν τω ε- š- horses, clothed in fine εανώ ήκολέθει αυτό white linen (and pure);
11 And I saw heaven
opened; and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True; and in righte
ousness he doth judge 12 and make war, His
eyes were as a flame of fire; and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man
knew but he himself: 13 And he was clothed
with a vesture dipt in blood: and his name
is called, The Word of 14 God. And the armies
which were in heaven, followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and