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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 15

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-8

Temple Section-Harvest-Vintage


20 A stadium was 600 Greek feet, 625 Roman feet, or 125 paces, or one-eighth of a Roman mile. This is about 606 3/4 English feet. The race course at Olympia was this length. From this standard length, it became the usual name for a race course ( 1Co_9:24 ). From Harmageddon down through the valley of Jehoshaphat ( Joe_3:1-2 ; Joe_3:9-16 ) to Bozrah ( Isa_34:6-8 ; Isa_63:1-6 ) is a line about this length. It is likened to an enormous trough for treading grapes such as was found in almost every vineyard in Palestine. The grapes were cast in and trodden with the feet, the juice running into the vat below. The Vintage is referred to again in the next division, when the Rider on the white horse treads the wine trough of the furious indignation of God the Almighty ( Rev_19:15 ). Joel seems to fill in many details of this scene ( Joe_3:9 ; Joe_3:16 ). After a proclamation inviting the nations to battle in the valley of Jehoshaphat, the account proceeds:

"Send forth the sickle, for the harvest is ripe :

Come, descend, for the wine trough Is full,

The vats run over.

For their evil is much.

Throngs, throngs In the vale of decision!

For the day of Jehovah Is near in the vale of decision !"

It is called The Vale of Decision for here the controversy between Jehovah and the nations is finally decided.

Compare also Zep_3:8 ; Isa_34:1 ; Isa_34:8 .


Before the seven bowls are poured out we are given a vision which is the counterpart of the souls under the altar ( Rev_6:9 ). They are bidden to rest until their number is completed. Here we have all those who suffer on account of their loyalty to God standing on a glassy sea. This is the laver. Only the altar and the laver stood in the temple court. Instead of cleansing, the glassy sea speaks of their permanent purity for resisting the worship of the wild beast and its image, and refusing to wear its emblem.

Temple Section-The Bowls

3 That these are saints out of Israel is evident, for they sing the song of Moses ( Deu_32:1-43 ), which rehearses God's dealings with Israel throughout their history, and forms the ground upon which the judgment of the bowls is based. The song testifies against them. It vindicates God in pouring out the judgments upon them. To this they add the song of the Lambkin, which anticipates the results of His just awards.

5 The temple of the tent of the testimony must be carefully distinguished from the temple of God with the covenant in view. The covenant calls upon God to fulfill His obligations, which He does in the judgments of the Harvest and the Vintage. These are directed against the confederation of the nations who oppose the worship of Jehovah and the priesthood of His people. In this section the testimony or law is in view. These judgments are specially directed against the apostates of the nation, especially the city of Babylon.

7 The bowls were shallow basins used in the service of the temple. Before they are poured out those who are faithful in Israel have been killed or are in refuge. While they follow the same general course as the trumpets, being poured out upon the land, the sea, the water and the sun, they differ from them in intensity and character, corresponding to the different objects to be attained. The trumpets are usually limited in their effects to a third; the bowls seem to have no such limitation. The trumpets are a political measure and close with the sovereignty of the earth in the hands of Christ. The bowls are distinctly religions . They are poured out on the worshipers of the wild beast and on those who shed the blood of the saints and His prophets . The seven messengers who trumpet "stand before God" ( Rev_8:2 ). Another messenger is at the altar ( Rev_8:3 ). The seven messengers who have the bowls come out of the temple . A voice out of the temple bids them perform their duty. No worship is possible while these judgments continue. There is no reason why these infliction’s should not be as literal as the plagues of Egypt, which they resemble ( Isa_11:16 ) .

2 Compare Exo_9:8-11 ; Job_2:7 ; Deu_28:27 .

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Revelation 15". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/revelation-15.html. 1968.
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