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1: I heard a loud voice of a great multitude - Whose blood
the great whore had shed. Saying, Hallelujah - This Hebrew word
signifies, Praise ye Jah, or Him that is. God named himself to
Moses, EHEIEH, that is, I will be,(Ex 3:14); and at the same time, "Jehovah," that is, "He that
is, and was, and is to come:" during the trumpet of the seventh
angel, he is styled, "He that is and was,"(Re 16:5); and not "He that is to come;" because his
long - expected coming is under this trumpet actually present.
At length he is styled, "Jah," "He that is;" the past together
with the future being swallowed up in the present, the former
things being no more mentioned, for the greatness of those that
now are. This title is of all others the most peculiar to the
everlasting God. The salvation - Is opposed to the destruction
which the great whore had brought upon the earth. His power and
glory - Appear from the judgment executed on her, and from the
setting up his kingdom to endure through all ages.
2: For true and righteous are his judgments - Thus is the
cry of the souls under the altar changed into a song of praise.
4: And the four and twenty elders, and the four living
creatures felt down - The living creatures are nearer the throne
than the elders. Accordingly they are mentioned before them,
with the praise they render to God, (Re 4:9,10,5:8,14);
inasmuch as there the praise moves from the centre to the
circumference. But here, when God's judgments are fulfilled,
it moves back from the circumference to the centre. Here,
therefore, the four and twenty elders are named before
the living creatures.
5: And a voice came forth from the throne - Probably from
the four living creatures, saying, Praise our God - The occasion
and matter of this song of praise follow immediately after,
verses 6, (Re 19:6 )&c.; God was praised before, for his
judgment of the great whore, (Re 19:1-4). Now
for that which follows it: for that the Lord God, the Almighty,
takes the kingdom to himself, and avenges himself on the rest of
his enemies. Were all these inhabitants of heaven mistaken? If
not, there is real, yea, and terrible anger in God.
6: And I heard the voice of a great multitude. So all his
servants did praise him. The Almighty reigneth - More eminently
and gloriously than ever before.
7: The marriage of the Lamb is come - Is near at hand, to be
solemnized speedily. What this implies, none of "the spirits of
just men," even in paradise, yet know. O what things are those
which are yet behind! And what purity of heart should there be,
to meditate upon them! And his wife hath made herself ready - Even
upon earth; but in a far higher sense, in that world. After a
time allowed for this, the new Jerusalem comes down, both made
ready and adorned, (Re 21:2).
8: And it is given to her - By God. The bride is all holy
men, the whole invisible church. To be arrayed in fine linen,
white and clean - This is an emblem of the righteousness of the
saints - Both of their justification and sanctification.
9: And he - The angel, saith to me, Write - St. John seems to
have been so amazed at these glorious sights, that he needeth
to be reminded of this. Happy are they who are invited to the
marriage supper of the Lamb - Called to glory. And he saith - After
a little pause.
10: And I fell before his feet to worship him - It seems,
mistaking him for the angel of the covenant. But he saith,
See thou do it not - In the original, it is only, See not, with
a beautiful abruptness. To pray to or worship the highest
creature is flat idolatry. I am thy fellowservant and of thy
brethren that have the testimony of Jesus - I am now employed
as your fellowservant, to testify of the Lord Jesus, by the
same Spirit which inspired the prophets of old.
11: And I saw the heaven opened - This is a new and peculiar
opening of it, in order to show the magnificent expedition of
Christ and his attendants, against his great adversary. And
behold a white horse - Many little regarded Christ, when he came
meek, "riding upon an ass;" but what will they say, when he goes
forth upon his white horse, with the sword of his mouth? White
- Such as generals use in solemn triumph. And he that sitteth on
him, called Faithful - In performing all his promises. And True
- In executing all his threatenings. And in righteousness - With
the utmost justice. He judgeth and maketh war - Often the sentence
and execution go together.
12: And his eyes are a flame of fire - They were said to be
as or like a flame of fire, before, (Re 1:14); an emblem of his
omniscience. And upon his head are many diadems - For he is king
of all nations. And he hath a name written, which none knoweth
but himself - As God he is incomprehensible to every creature.
13: And he is clothed in a vesture dipped in blood - The
blood of the enemies he hath already conquered. (Isa 63:1), &c
15: And he shall rule them - Who are not slain by his
sword. With a rod of iron - That is, if they will not submit to
his golden sceptre. And he treadeth the wine press of the wrath
of God - That is, he executes his judgments on the ungodly.
This ruler of the nations was born (or appeared as such)
immediately after the seventh angel began to sound. He now
appears, not as a child, but as a victorious warrior. The
nations have long ago felt his "iron rod," partly while the
heathen Romans, after their savage persecution of the Christians,
themselves groaned under numberless plagues and calamities, by
his righteous vengeance; partly, while other heathens have been
broken in pieces by those who bore the Christian name. For
although the cruelty, for example, of the Spaniards in America,
was unrighteous and detestable, yet did God therein execute his
righteous judgment on the unbelieving nations; but they shall
experience his iron rod as they never did yet, and then will
they all return to their rightful Lord.
16: And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh - That is,
on the part of his vesture which is upon his thigh. A name
written - It was usual of old, for great personages in the eastern
countries, to have magnificent titles affixed to their garments.
17: Gather yourselves together to the great supper of
God - As to a great feast, which the vengeance of God will
soon provide; a strongly figurative expression, (taken from(Ezekiel 39:17),) denoting the vastness of the ensuing
19: And I saw the kings of the earth - The ten kings
mentioned (Re 17:12); who had now drawn the other kings of the
earth to them, whether Popish, Mahometan, or pagan. Gathered
together to make war with him that sat upon the horse - All beings,
good and evil, visible and invisible, will be concerned in this
grand contest. See (Zec 14:1), &c.
20: The false prophet, who had wrought the miracles before
him - And therefore shared in his punishment; these two ungodly
men were cast alive - Without undergoing bodily death. Into the
lake of fire - And that before the devil himself,(Re 20:10).
Here is the last of the beast. After several repeated strokes
of omnipotence, he is gone alive into hell. There were two that
went alive into heaven; perhaps there are two that go alive into
hell. It may be, Enoch and Elijah entered at once into glory,
without first waiting in paradise; the beast and the false
prophet plunge at once into the extremest degree of torment,
without being reserved in chains of darkness till the judgment
of the great day. Surely, none but the beast of Rome would
have hardened himself thus against the God he pretended to
adore, or refused to have repented under such dreadful, repeated
visitations! Well is he styled a beast, from his carnal and
vile affections; a wild beast, from his savage and cruel spirit!
The rest were slain - A like difference is afterwards made between
the devil, and Gog and Magog, (Re 20:9,10).
21: Here is a most magnificent description of the overthrow
of the beast and his adherents. It has, in particular, one
exquisite beauty; that, after exhibiting the two opposite armies,
and all the apparatus for a battle, (Re 19:11-19) then follows immediately, (Re 19:20)
the account of the victory, without one word of an engagement
or fighting. Here is the most exact propriety; for what
struggle can there be between omnipotence, and the power of
all the creation united against it! Every description must
have fallen short of this admirable silence.