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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Revelation 19

 

 


Other Authors
Verses 1-21


Christ and His Armies conquer the Beast and his Prophet

The harlot city having been destroyed, the marriage of the Lamb with the glorified Church is announced. But before this can take place, the other enemies of the Lamb must be overcome, and St. John sees in a vision the overthrow of the beast and of the false prophet.

1-4. The great multitude of the saints in heaven (see on Revelation 1:10) praises God (Revelation 19:1) because the wicked city, which corrupted the earth, and shed the blood of God's servants, is judged (Revelation 19:2.). The living creatures and the elders join in the worship and praise (Revelation 19:4).

1. Alleluia] RV 'Hallelujah,' lit. 'praise ye the Lord.' The word, which occurs only here in the NT., is common in the Psalms.

5-10. A voice calls on all God's servants to praise Him (Revelation 19:5). In response, a vast hymn of praise from Christ, the living creatures, and the saints (see on Revelation 1:10) is heard, announcing the marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6.). In this way, as so often, the writer brings forward a new thought, which is to be developed later (see on Revelation 21:1.). The bride, the New Jerusalem, is to be arrayed in the pure linen of righteous acts, in contrast to the harlot's red garment of sin: cp. Revelation 18:5; (Revelation 19:8). The herald angel declares the blessedness of those who are called (RV 'bidden') to the marriage supper: cp. Revelation 3:20; Revelation 17:14; Matthew 22:3. Luke 14:15; (Revelation 19:9). Of course, except in idea, 'the bride' and those 'called,' i.e. the Church and its members, are identical. Filled with wonder and joy, St. John falls down to worship the angel: cp. Revelation 22:8. But the angel checks him, saying that worship is for God alone (cp. Colossians 2:18), and that the fact that the testimony of Jesus, i.e. probably the Revelation made by Jesus, is ministered both by the angel and by Christian prophets and saints, is a sign that they are fellow-servants (Revelation 19:10).

5. Out of] RV 'forth from.' The voice does not seem to be God's. Perhaps it is the throne which speaks: see on Revelation 16:7.; Servants, and ye] RV 'servants, ye.'

8. Be arrayed] RV 'array herself.' Clean and white] RV 'bright and pure.' Righteousness] RV 'righteous acts.' These 'righteous acts' are not the cause of salvation, but its consequence.

10. For the testimony, etc.] probably a comment made by St. John. Spirit of prophecy] i.e. the inspiring force of all prophecy.

11-16. Before the fulfilment of the marriage, the Lamb's enemies must be overcome. Christ comes forth as a warrior (cp. Psalms 45:3.), riding the white horse of victory. His crowns show Him to be King of kings: cp. Revelation 19:16. He alone knows His name, i.e. He is greater than any one can say or understand: cp. Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:12; Matthew 11:27. Yet, as coming forth from the Father, He is called the Word of God (cp. John 1, 1 John 1); and when He conquers and rules the nations He is called King of kings and Lord of lords: cp. Revelation 17:14. His garments are sprinkled with blood, i.e. His enemies perish before Him: cp. Isaiah 63:1. (Revelation 19:11-13). The heavenly hosts of angels (cp. 1 Kings 22:19) follow Him, but no blood is on their garments, for He alone overcomes the enemies, cp. Revelation 19:21 (Revelation 19:14), which He does by the word of His mouth: cp. Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12; Isaiah 11:4; John 12:48; Hebrews 4:12, He treads God's enemies in the winepress of God's anger (a change of figure): cp. Revelation 14:19.; Isaiah 63:3; (Revelation 19:15).

11. Heaven] RV 'the heaven,' i.e. the sky.

White horse] cp. Revelation 6:2.

12. Crowns] RV 'diadems.'

13. Dipped in] RV 'sprinkled with.'

14. Clean] RV 'pure.'

15. Rule] cp. Revelation 2:27; Revelation 12:5; Psalms 2:9. Fierceness and wrath] RV 'fierceness of the wrath.'

17f. The greatness of the coming victory is foretold by a cry to birds of prey to eat the flesh of the slain: cp. Ezekiel 39:17.

17. In the sun] i.e. in mid heaven; a central station to call to the vultures. Fowls] RV 'birds.' The supper, etc.] RV 'the great supper of God,' i.e. the supper which God has prepared.

19-21. The persecuting empire gathers all its forces to overcome Christ, cp. Revelation 16:14, Revelation 16:16 note, Revelation 17:12. (Revelation 19:19), but is itself overcome, together with the Asian Emperor-worship, figured by the beast and the false prophet or second beast: cp. Revelation 13:11. note, Revelation 16:13. Both empire and Emperor-worship are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). The 'lake of fire' (cp. Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:14-15; Revelation 21:8) is Gehenna, cp. Matthew 18:9; (RM) Mark 9:43; (RM), etc., i.e. 'the valley of Hinnom.' This is a valley outside Jerusalem, and was the place of idolatrous sacrifices to Molech: cp. 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 21:6; Jeremiah 7:31.; Jeremiah 19:11. It came to be regarded as a figure of the place of punishment of the wicked: cp. Isaiah 66:24; Isaiah 2; Es 7:36. Matthew 5:29; (RM) Matthew 10:28; (RM): see HDB. Evidently the casting of empire and idolatry into such a place can only be a figure for the complete destruction of the persecuting and wicked systems. The 'rest' (RV), i.e. the kings of the earth and their armies, were killed with the sword of Christ's mouth (Revelation 19:21). The distinction between their fate and that of the two beasts appears to have been made, partly because destruction by the lake of fire could not be the end of any human being before the Judgment, partly because the slaughter is symbolical. Christ overcomes men who are His enemies, in one way by strengthening His people to endure their assaults, in another way by converting them. But it is not so much individuals who are spoken of here, as the systems and principles of evil which succeeding generations of individuals nourish and carry out. It is those systems and principles which are conquered by Christ. The weapons which they turn against Him and His people are persecution, 'the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life,' the spirit of materialism, etc. This spirit of the world is conquered by the preaching of the gospel of Christ, and by the Spirit of Christ in the hearts of men. This is the battle of Har-Magedon.

20. Miracles] RV 'the signs,' i.e. those spoken of in Revelation 13:14., where see notes.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Revelation 19:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/revelation-19.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, August 13th, 2020
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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