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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Revelation 14

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-20


The Lamb and His Followers. Judgment on His Enemies

In the last two chapters were seen the enemies of the Church, and their fierce power. Now, by way of contrast, and to encourage the Church to resist her enemies with complete certainty of victory, pictures are shown of the blessedness of those who witness a true confession for Christ, and of God's judgment on the ungodly.

1-5. The Lamb (cp. Revelation 5:6, etc.) is seen on Mount Zion, i.e. the true and heavenly home of the Church: cp. Hebrews 12:22. With Him are the perfect number (cp. Revelation 7:4) of those who had been marked with His name and the name of His Father, instead of with the mark of the beast: see on Revelation 3:12, and cp. Revelation 7:3; Revelation 13:16. Both here, and in Revelation 7:4, '144,000' is a figurative expression for the whole number of the Redeemed (Revelation 14:1). A heavenly chorus is heard, in which the voice of Christ is followed by the voices of the living creatures and of the elders (Revelation 14:2). The Redeemed join in the strain (Revelation 14:3). They are described as undefiled by idolatry, which is often described in Scripture as adultery against God, and which was itself commonly allied with impurity; as following the Lamb through suffering to glory; as a choice offering to God (Revelation 14:4); as having confessed the true God and not the lying idol (guile, RV 'lie'); and as an undefiled (fault, RV 'blemish') sacrifice, perhaps with an allusion to the death of the martyrs: cp. Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19; (Revelation 14:5).

1. Looked] RV 'saw.' A Lamb] RV 'the Lamb.' His Father's name] RV 'his name, and the name of his Father.'

2. A voice] see on Revelation 1:10. I heard the voice of] RV 'the voice which I heard was as the voice of.'

3. They] i.e. the 144,000. Beasts] RV 'living creatures.'.

4. Being] RV 'to be.'

6f. An angel announces the glad tidings for those who fear God, that He is about to be manifested for the salvation of His oppressed people.

6. Heaven] i.e. the sky.

8. The Fall of Babylon, i.e. Rome (see on Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18), is spoken of as if it had already taken place. RV 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, which hath made,' etc.: cp. Isaiah 21:9; Daniel 4:30. The wrath of her fornication] i.e. the wrath of God incurred by her unfaithfulness to God in which they had shared: cp. Revelation 17:2; Jeremiah 51:7.

9-13. God's wrath is denounced on any who fall away from the Lamb to the beast (Revelation 14:9). Their woe is described in language drawn from Isaiah 34:8., and from the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Revelation 14:10.). The wrath of God is more terrible than that of the beast, hence the endurance of the 'saints' is justified (Revelation 14:12). Therefore, also, it is well with those who have died in persecution in the faith of Christ; for while death brings no rest to those who worship the beast (cp. Revelation 14:11), the death of the saints brings rest from their labours and sorrows (Revelation 14:13).

9. See on Revelation 13:16.

10. Poured out without mixture into] RV 'prepared unmixed in,' i.e. it is of full strength: cp. Psalms 75:8; Isaiah 51:17.

13. A voice] see on Revelation 1:10.

14-20. St. John sees one 'like unto a son of man' (RV). The expression is derived from Daniel 7:13, where it meant one in human form, as contrasted with the beasts. The title was interpreted of the Messiah, and the Jewish 'Book of Enoch' shows that under it the Messiah was regarded as a supernatural person. This was the significance of the term when our Lord applied it to Himself, and He joined to it the conception of the 'man of sorrows' of Isaiah 53. Now, after His sorrows, He is throned on a 'white cloud' (representing the glory of God, cp. Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:10; Matthew 17:5; Mark 14:62), and crowned as king: cp. Revelation 19:12; (Revelation 14:14). He casts His sickle down to the earth, and the harvest of the saints is gathered (Revelation 14:15.).

Then the angel of the fire on God's altar (cp. Revelation 9:14; Revelation 16:5), the fire of God's judgments (cp. Revelation 8:5), calls for the gathering of the wicked for the winepress of God's wrath: cp. Revelation 19:15; Isaiah 63:1. Joel 3:13. (Revelation 14:17.). Those who are judged (Revelation 14:19) are separated from the heavenly state of the redeemed ('without the city,' cp. Zechariah 14:4, Zechariah 14:10; Hebrews 13:11.). The awfulness of the judgment is described in language similar to that of a description of judgment in the 'Book of Enoch'; and its universality, by the extent of land covered by blood. 'Four' is the number symbolical of the earth, and 1600 is a thousand times the square of 4: cp. '144,000,' the number expressing the people of God (Revelation 14:20).

15. Temple] cp. Revelation 11:19. Crying.. to him] i.e. the will of the Father is communicated to Christ. Thrust in] RV 'send forth' (and Revelation 14:18). For thee] RV omits. Ripe] RV 'overripe.'

16, 19. Thrust in] RV 'cast.'

18. Vine] RV 'vintage.'

20. By the space of] RV 'as far as.'

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Revelation 14:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/revelation-14.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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