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Monday, May 27th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 19

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-10

Temple Section-Babylon's Destruction

16 "Gilded" seems to be a figure for all mere outward show, for it is with gold, and precious stones and pearls.

21 In the East the millstone is used to grind the meal for the daily bread.

22 The ancient harp was in the form of a lyre. It was used to accompany solo singing. "Entertainers" denoted those devoted to the arts of the muses, history, poetry, tragedy, astronomy, dancing and song. A flageolet is a flute blown from the end, as anciently.

23 Enchantment comes from the word drug , but is used in this sense in the LXX as the equivalent of k’sg’ph, usually rendered sorceries or witchcraft ( Exo_7:11-17 ; Deu_18:10 ; 2Ki_9:22 ; Isa_47:9 ; Jer_27:9 ; Dan_2:2 ; Mic_5:12 ; Nah_3:4 .

23 The rapid rise of the power and influence of wealth has made it possible for riches to rule. Not only locally does the man of means control the government, but the policies of nations are determined by their financial obligations. In this way will the merchants of Babylon become the great men of the earth. Holding its weal in their hands, being the creditors of many nations, they will be able to dictate to them in any matters which affect their interests. By means of their capital they will conquer all nations. Kings will cringe before them, for they alone will be able to buy their bonds. Nations will slave for them, for they must pay the interest. The world will be theirs in spite of Jehovah's frown. He purposes to bless His people by making them a blessing to the nations. They obtain the desire of their souls by becoming a curse. They are the head of the new despotism-the autocracy of capital. Money rules the world far more really than emperors or kings or the public. The great confederacy which seems certain to arise out of the present world crisis, will have all political power, but will preside over a bankrupt world. Above them will be this woman-faithless, apostate Israel-and she will have dominion over the kings of the earth. No wonder they conspire to slay her rather than pay her the enormous tribute which her bonds demand!

24 Just as the Jews of our Lord's generation were held guilty of crimes committed long before

( Mat_23:35 ), so Babylon is charged with all previous bloodshed.

Temple Section-Marriage of the Lambkin

1 Hallelujah, Greek alleluia , is the Hebrew Hallelu Jah, "praise ye Jah". This exclamation is used only in the "Hallelujah Psalms" ( Psa_104:35 ; Psa_105:45 ; Psa_106:1 ; Psa_106:48 ; Psa_111:1 ; Psa_112:1 ; Psa_113:1 ; Psa_113:9 ; Psa_115:18 ; Psa_116:19 ; Psa_117:2 ; Psa_135:1 ; Psa_135:3 ; Psa_135:21 ; Psa_146:1 ; Psa_146:10 ; Psa_147:1 ; Psa_147:20 ; Psa_148:1 ; Psa_148:14 ; Psa_149:1 ; Psa_149:9 ; Psa_150:1 ; Psa_150:6 ) and always in response to the execution of judment . It occurs only in this passage ( Rev_19:1 ; Rev_19:3-6 ) in celebrating the destruction of Babylon. It should never be used in rejoicing or worship in the present dispensation of God's grace.

7 We are first introduced to the bride of the Lamb by John the baptist ( Joh_3:28-30 ). She was composed of those in Israel who acknowledged Him to be Jehovah's Lamb for their sins. Just as the water blushed into wine at Cana of Galilee ( Joh_2:1-11 ), so He will transform the law into brimming cheer when this marriage comes. It was the custom for the festivities to last for seven days or a fortnight. The wedding of the Lambkin will last for a whole millennium. Israel is often presented under the figure of the wife of Jehovah. At Sinai He became her Husband ( Jer_31:32 ). He puts His comeliness upon her ( Eze_16:8-14 ). But she forsook Him to go after other lovers ( Hos_2:6-13 ). So He gave Israel a bill of divorce ( Deu_24:1-4 ). They were sent into captivity. According to the law they can never be His again. Nevertheless He invites her to return ( Jer_3:1 ). He promises to wait for her and to keep her for Himself until the latter days. "You shall not have a husband, moreover I also am for you" ( Hos_3:3 ). He will call them back. " 'Return, sons of returnings,' avers Jehovah, 'for I own you,' " says ( Jer_3:14 ). When our Lord came He called them a wicked and adulterous generation, for they had forsaken Jehovah. But those who received Him became a part, not of the wife of Jehovah or the Lamb, but the bride of the Lambkin . Not a sad reunion in old age, but with youth renewed. The eastern bride was arrayed in the most gorgeous manner possible. Hence the prophet's question: "Shall a virgin forget her ornaments? A bride her ribbons?" ( Jer_2:32 )

8 The white apparel is symbolic of the rewards of their just acts.

Verses 11-21

Temple Section-The Great Dinner

11 Contrast this scene with His entry into Jerusalem ( Mat_21:1-9 etc.). There He presented Himself as their King , lowly, and mounted as any poor peasant would ride. Now He comes seated on a white horse. In the East it is a mark of dignity to ride on a white animal, especially a horse. This is allowed only to those of high rank. There is another contrast between this Rider and the false messiah under the first seal ( Rev_6:2 ), whose conquests were followed by war, famine and pestilence. This battle is followed by a thousand years of peace and plenty and prosperity. The pseudo-messiah will be unfaithful and false, this Rider is Faithful and True.

11 This opening is in contrast with the open door ( Rev_4:1 ) with which the Throne Section begins. Today there is no communication between heaven and earth. When the judgment begins it is still restricted, as is suggested by the figure of a door, but when this Rider comes forth, heaven itself is opened, showing that, at last, the barriers between heaven and earth are removed. This is the glorious coming for which all His earthly people have longed, and concerning which the prophets have often spoken. Compare the passage in ( Isa_63:1-6 ), which reminds us of the Vintage ( Rev_14:17-20 ), which seems to be another aspect of this same scene, for they are combined in the question: "Wherefore is Thy clothing red And Thy garments as the treader in the wine trough ?"

14 The armies in heaven have already expelled the dragon out of heaven ( Rev_12:7-9 ). Now they are about to finish the judgment of the earth. This was foretold as early as the days of Enoch: "Behold, the Lord is coming with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all" ( Jud_1:14-15 ). This is the full end of all man's misrule and the prelude to the reign of Christ and His saints. The so-called second psalm finds its fulfillment in this battle. He meets the vast international army which worships the beast and the dragon, and, by vanquishing it, establishes His own rule and the worship of Jehovah. Then He takes His true place at the head of all earthly sovereignty.

Temple Section-The Thousand Years

17 God's great dinner after the battle shows how terrible will be the slaughter. The battle referred to in ( Eze_39:11-22 ) is probably after the thousand years ( Rev_20:9 ).

19 The name "wild beast" is given both to the world empire and to its last head. This head and the false prophet are evidently superhuman-the "supermen" for whom the world is already looking. Their fate is in accord with their deeds. The fact that the wild beast was once slain but was recalled to life by the dragon, and the fact that the false prophet imparted life to the image, seem to indicate that they cannot be killed as the rest, hence suffer in the lake of fire during the thousand years. Their fate is unique, and must not be taken as the lot of all who die out of Christ.

21 This is like the destruction of Sennacherib's army on a grander scale ( 2Ki_19:35 ).

2 Satan, the Hebrew for Adversary , is, as his name implies, the great adversary of Christ. Here he is given all his various appellations. In Eden he was seen under the guise of the serpent ( Gen_3:1-5 ). In this scroll he is seen under the figure of a dragon Rev_12:3 ). As the Adversary (usually translated "devil" cf . 1Ti_3:11 ; 2Ti_3:3 ; Tit_2:3 ) he misrepresents God, as witness his attempts to seduce our Lord in the wilderness ( Mat_4:1-11 ; Luk_4:2-13 ) .

4 Judgment here, as often, refers to awards rather than punishment. This "judgment" of the saints consists in granting to each one the place in the kingdom which he deserves. It is to be deplored that there is no good English word for judgment, which calls for the setting of matters right , whether the action be favorable or the reverse. God judges His saints as well as sinners-all get their due, whether their title to it is based on their own acts or on His promises. From the usage of this word it is clear that even the condemnation of the unbeliever is no mere exhibition of aimless rage, but is carefully calculated to right the wrongs of all concerned. The claims of God and Christ, and of the sinner himself are all as conscientiously considered as in the first judgment in Eden ( Gen_3:14-19 ), where the very curse put upon the ground was for man's sake.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Revelation 19". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/revelation-19.html. 1968.
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