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Tuesday, May 28th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 14

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Verse 1

Revelation 14:1

Rev. 13 is full of gloom and despair - But Revelation doesn’t end with ch. 13. Sometimes our lives may have some gloom and despair, but it doesn’t end that way.

Message: Everything that could harm Christians and their faith - is in the end destroyed itself!

Ch. 14 is the counterpart to ch. 13. A message of Hope and Comfort - the Lamb and His Host!

- - - -

Chapter 14 - God’s Righteous Judgments (144,000)

The Beginning of Christianity, Revelation 14:1-5

The Gospel is Preached, Revelation 14:6-7

Babylon’s Fall Proclaimed, Revelation 14:8

Empire and Emperor Worshippers Warned, Revelation 14:9-11

The Patience of Saints, Revelation 14:12-13

The Reaping of the Good Harvest, Revelation 14:14-16

The Reaping of the Vine of the Earth, Revelation 14:17-20

- - - - - -

14:1–5 In vv. 1–5, the Lamb is pictured standing with His 144,000 troops (see 7:4 and note) on Mount Zion. This passage answers the question of what happens to those who refuse the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16): They are marked with the name of the Lamb and His Father, and they are victorious. -FSB

Revelation 14:1

And I looked . . (Greek kai eidon) introduces three scenes in chapter 14 (vv. 1, 6, 14), as this phrase did twice in chapter 13 (vv. 1, 11). “Behold” (Gr. idou, cf. v. 14) calls special attention to the greatness of the sight that John saw here. - Constable

a lamb -- see note on Revelation 5:6. A lamb (lit. “a little, pet lamb”). God required the Jews to bring the Passover lamb into their houses for 4 days, essentially making it a pet, before it was to be violently slain (Ex. 12:3, 6). This is the true Passover Lamb, God’s Son (cf. Is. 53:7; Jer. 11:19; John 1:29). - MSB

Mount Zion . . Zion originally referred to the Jebusite stronghold captured by David (2 Samuel 5:6-7). It later came to symbolize the city of God, from which He exercises His reign (Isaiah 24:23; Hebrews 12:22). - FSB

on the mount Sion . . Probably the earthly one—the heavenly Jerusalem of chap. 21 has not yet appeared. And in Revelation 11:7-8 we had an intimation that the seer’s gaze was now directed to Jerusalem: Babylon, though mentioned in Revelation 14:8 - CBSC

144,000 . . see Revelation 7:4 The picture is from Ezekiel 9:1-8

with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand . . This is the same group of the redeemed as in Revelation 5:9; of the sealed in Revelation 7:4-8; of those washed in the Lamb’s blood in Revelation 7:14-17. Therefore, in my opinion, this stands for the people of God, the saints, the church. For the full note on the identity of the 144,000, see Revelation 7:4. - Utley

his Father’s name . . Read, His Name and His Father’s Name. Notice that it is assumed as understood, that the Lamb is the Son of God. See notes on Revelation 3:12; Revelation 7:3. - CBSC

written on their foreheads . . Deliberately contrasts the beast’s mark in Revelation 13:16-18 (compare Revelation 7:3; Revelation 9:4; Revelation 22:4). - FSB

Verse 2

Revelation 14:2

heard a voice . . (a sound) The Greek word used here can mean “sound” or “voice.” It refers to the song of the 144,000 (Revelation 14:3). - FSB

I heard a voice from heaven, like . . These descriptive phrases were used of God’s voice in Ezekiel 43:2, of Jesus’ voice in Revelation 1:15, and of the heavenly multitudes’ voices in Revelation 19:6. Often it is used to denote that the speaker is in heaven (cf. Revelation 4:5; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 16:8). - Utley

a voice . . cf. Revelation 1:15. It is not clear if this "voice" (singular) is the same as the "they" in verse 3. There, the "they" is the singing of the harpers who are redeemed and are playing and singing apparently a joyous song of victory, Revelation 14:8.

many waters . . NIV rushing waters … thunder . . Deafening, joyful praise by the heavenly multitude (Revelation 19:6). harpists. See note on Revelation 5:8; cf. Revelation 15:2. - NIVZSB

like the sound of loud thunder . . The other thunderous voice in Revelation followed the Lamb’s first initiation of judgment (see 6:1). - FSB

voice of harpers . . NASB "like Harpers"

The singers with their harps will reappear beside the sea of glass (Revelation 15:2-4; see Revelation 4:6); their song indicates that they are redeemed. - ESVSB

These people had died and were already with the Lord, which might explain why John did not include the content of their refrain for readers still in the battle of life (cp. 2 Corinthians 12:4). - NLTSB

as the voice … great thunder . . It was as loud and as multitudinous as these, but was harmonious, and apparently articulate. - CBSC

harpists playing on their harps . . Harps in Revelation often connote victory. It is later prophesied that [in Jerusalem] ... will no longer hear the sound of harps (Revelation 18:22). - FSB

Verse 3

Revelation 14:3

sang . . = or "were singing" present tense.

a new song . . - "as it were" A song that could not have been sung under the Mosaical dispensation. A song apparently about "redemption" by the Lamb of God, the Christ. John 1:29.

new song . . The song of redemption, which is being sung by all the redeemed saints in one gigantic choir. They are rejoicing over the accomplishment of God’s entire redemptive work before Christ’s return (cf. Psalms 33:1-3; Psalms 40:3; Psalms 96:1; Psalms 144:9-10; Psalms 149:1; Luke 15:10; see note on Revelation 5:9). - MSB

they sang a new song before the throne . . This is an allusion to Revelation 5:9. The “they” could refer to (1) the angelic creatures who sing the song in Revelation 5:9 or (2) the song of the one hundred and forty-four thousand in the concluding part of v. 3 and Revelation 15:2. This new song is an allusion to Isaiah 42:10 and Psalms 33:3; Psalms 40:3; Psalms 96:1; Psalms 98:1; Psalms 144:9; Psalms 149:1. - Utley

144,000 . . This is another indication that 144,000 should not be taken as a literal number; they represent those who have been redeemed (see notes on Revelation 7:1-17; Revelation 7:4-8). - ESVSB

Verse 4

Revelation 14:4

these . . Three occurrences of “these” (Greek. houtoi) in this verse identify the 144,000 - Constable

They have kept themselves as pure as virgins . . (literally They are virgins who have not defiled themselves with women): Referring to men as virgins is a metaphor for the faithfulness of God’s people. The image might refer to the church as the virgin bride of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-27); it also suggests that the church constitutes soldiers in a holy war that are required to keep themselves chaste (see Deuteronomy 23:9-10; 1 Samuel 21:5). - NLTSB

not defiled . . . These had not committed spiritual fornication with the Harlot of Revelation 14:8.

for they are virgins . . Indicates that they have remained loyal to Christ and have not defiled themselves by compromising with the world (compare Revelation 19:7-9; 2 Corinthians 11:2). - FSB

follow the Lamb. Recalls Jesus’ teaching that disciples must adhere to his teaching and example, which entails endurance of suffering and hostility (Mark 8:34-36; John 10:3-4; 1 Peter 2:21). - NIVZSB

who follow the Lamb . . This indicates partisanship [discipleship and service] for Jesus Christ. The victorious 144,000 are unwaveringly loyal to Him, whatever the cost (cf. Matt. 16:24; Mark 10:21; Luke 9:23; John 10:27; 12:26; 14:15). - MSB

redeemed . . who have been purchased for God. NLTSB

firstfruits . . The first fruits belonged to the Lord: Numbers 18:11-12 ff; The offering of the firstfruits served as an acknowledgment to God for His gracious provision at harvest time (see Exodus 23:16, Exodus 23:19).

The Jewish Christians (from the 12 tribes), not literal in number, but figurative, symbolic. The Jewish Christians were the first-fruits, but there were other sheep also ... John 10:16. Seen earlier in Revelation 7:4

Some see firstfruits as the first large group of redeemed Israel. - MSB

. Firstfruits language is applied metaphorically to initial converts in a region (the Greek word for “firstfruits” is translated “first convert” in Romans 16:5 and “first converts” in 1 Corinthians 16:15), to Jesus’ resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20, 1 Corinthians 15:23) - NIVZSB

In what sense was Jesus "the begotten one" or the "firstborn" one? Because he had all preeminence and authority. Psalms 2:7-12 ; Acts 4:22 ff.]

Verse 5

Revelation 14:5

no guile . . no deceit, hypocrisy. Perhaps an allusion to Zephaniah 3:13; cf. Isaiah 53:9. 1 John 2:22

they have told no lies . . (NLT) : John teaches that liars will never enter heaven (Revelation 21:8, Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15; see also John 8:44). The followers of Jesus speak and live the truth (see also John 8:32; John 14:6). - NLTSB

The “lie” that brings “blame” refers to the blasphemy of the beast worshipers who deny the Father and the Son and ascribe vitality to the beast by believing his heresies and worshiping his image (Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15; see also John 8:44-45; Romans 1:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; 1 John 2:4, 1 John 2:21-22, 1 John 2:27). - Lenski

without fault . . (blameless), Like their Lord; they reflect His character and fidelity. - FSB

Verse 6

Revelation 14:6

I saw . . Common language throughout the book indicating a new vision or a new scene in an existing vision. - FSB

another angel . . = angel (messenger) cf.

Three angels proclaim the hour of (1) divine judgment, [there was still hope - Lenski]; (2) Babylon’s fall Revelation 14:8 and the (3) Revelation 14:9 wrath of God upon the beast’s worshipers,

[Judgment] How is it good news? The intent of the gospel message is that people should fear God and worship him. John is perhaps showing the final fulfillment of Mark 13:10. Moreover, we must never forget that the announcement of divine judgment can never be separated from the proclamation of God’s mercy. The gospel is “eternal” because it announces eternal life (John 3:16). - Lenski

another angel . . Different from the many mentioned before, perhaps especially distinguished from the one who appears in ch. 10, but see Revelation 14:17; Revelation 18:1, where such a reference is hardly possible. - CBSC

midst of heaven . . From a Greek term (“mid-heaven”) denoting the point in the noonday sky where the sun reaches its zenith. This is the highest and brightest point, where all can see and hear. - MSB

fly in midst of heaven . . (flying directly overhead) The last time this phrase was used (Revelation 8:13), a threefold woe was announced—similar to what occurs here. - FSB

everlasting gospel . . = Matthew 24:14 The gospel was to first be preached to the world - See Revelation 14:7 for his message.

the everlasting gospel . . The angel is preaching the good news concerning everlasting life and entrance into the kingdom of God (cf. Matthew 24:14; 1 Corinthians 15:1-10).

He is urging the people of the world to change their allegiance from the beast to the Lamb. It is also called in the NT the gospel of God, the gospel of grace, the gospel of Christ, the gospel of peace, the glorious gospel, and the gospel of the kingdom. It is good news that God saves by the forgiveness of sin and opens His kingdom to all who will repent and believe. The whole world will hear this preaching by the angel as God graciously calls all to salvation. - MSB

gospel . . No doubt “gospel” is used in its constant N. T. sense; and the gospel is called “everlasting,” as declaring the eternal truth of God. The preaching of the Gospel here stands in the same relation to God’s Judgement as in St Matt. 24:14. But notice, that the name is applied to the whole truth of God - CBSC

to those who live on the earth . . It is significant that the “gospel” here is for those who live (dwell) on earth and this is used often in Revelation of unbelievers.

Some see this as a fulfillment of Matthew 28:18-20 or more specifically, Matthew 24:14 and Mark 13:10. The content of this gospel is much like the message of John the Baptist (cf. Luke 3:3-14), or Jesus’ statement to the evil one in Matthew 4:10. The message of judgment is a significant element in this gospel. Verses 6–7 are significant, for they show us that all of these God-sent judgments on lost mankind are for the purpose of redemption (cf. Revelation 9:20-21; Revelation 16:9, Revelation 16:11). - Utley

every nation, tribe. tongue, and people . . cf note at Revelation 10:11 .

Verse 7

Revelation 14:7

loud voice . . The voice of the angel of Revelation 14:6.

The angel spoke loudly revealing his urgency and concern. - Constable

fear God and give glory to Him . . This is the theme of Scripture, calling people to give honor, glory, worship, and reverence to God (cf. Proverbs 23:17; 1 Peter 2:17). See notes on Romans 1:18-21. - MSB

Mankind is commanded to respond to God in decisive acts of faith: (1) to come to him in faith, believing Hebrews 11:6; (2) to come in repentance, Luke 13:3; (3) to confess one’s allegiance to the Lord, Romans 10:9-10; (4) to show one’s allegiance in baptism, Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16; (5) to live a life that give honor and glory to Him, 1 Timothy 4:12.

hour of judgment has come . . Not the final judgment of every individual, but the judgment of "Babylon", Jerusalem, see the next verse Revelation 14:8. God judges nations in the life; it is as individuals we will stand before God at the last day 2 Corinthians 5:10.

because the hour of His judgment has come . . The term “hour” is significant in the Gospel of John (cf. John 2:4; John 4:21, John 4:23; John 5:25, John 5:28; John 7:30; John 8:20; John 12:23, John 12:27; John 13:1; John 16:21, John 16:32; John 17:1). It speaks of the divine timing of a preset event (the Day of the Lord, cf. Revelation 14:15 and Revelation 9:15). - Utley

worship Him who made . . The angel calls his audience to worship the true God as opposed to the beast. - FSB

Creation is the great proof of God, which preachers will appeal to as the ground for all people to believe in Him and worship Him (cf. Revelation 4:11; Revelation 10:6; John 1:9; Acts 14:15-17; Acts 17:23-28). - MSB

the sea, and the fountains of waters . . Distinguished as (so to speak) different elements, as in Revelation 8:8, Revelation 8:10, Revelation 16:3-4. - CBSC

The positive response to this invitation appears in Revelation 15:4 and the negative response in Revelation 16:9, Revelation 16:11 and Revelation 16:21. The reason for fearing God is that the hour of His judgment has come. This is the very last chance that these unbelievers will have to change their allegiance from Satan to God ... - Constable

The judgment upon Jerusalem is announced in the next verse and the continuing chapter shows how sever it will be.

Verse 8

Revelation 14:8

another angel . . see Revelation 14:6. The second of three angels who make proclamation in this vision.

Lack of response to the first angel’s message causes a second angel to pronounce this judgment. - MSB

Babylon -- that great city . . Isaiah 21:9; Used figurative for Jerusalem (cf. Revelation 11:8 "where also our Lord was crucified") probably for several reasons: 1) because of it’s treatment of the prophets of God, Matthew 23:29-31; Matthew 23:34-36; Luke 11:20; ; 2) it’s rejection of God’s Son; Luke 20:13; Matthew 23:37; (3) it’s persecution of apostles and Christians - Rev 18.20.

Initial announcement of Babylon’s divine judgment (cf. Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2); alludes to Isaiah 21:9. Babylon was the arch-oppressor of God’s people, destroying Solomon’s temple and taking Israel into exile (2 Kings 25:1-28; Daniel 1:1-2). - NIVZSB

is fallen, is fallen . . Repeated for emphasis and to communicate the complete devastation ... The full discussion of Babylon’s fall is in Rev 16.19 and chapters 17 and 18.

The fall of Jerusalem was God’s vengeance upon them for all their persecution of God’s apostles and prophets; Luke 18:7; Luke 18:8; Luke 21:22; Romans 12:19; Romans 13:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:6; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 10:30; Revelation 6:10; Revelation 18:20; Revelation 19:2;

made all nations drink . .

the wine of the wrath of her fornication . . There is a blending of the two views: she makes them drink of the cup of her fornication, Revelation 17:2, and she is made, and they are made with her, to drink of the cup of God’s wrath: . Revelation 14:10, Revelation 16:19. In Revelation 18:6, as in Jeremiah 51:7, from which the image is taken, there is, as here, a combination of the two. - CBSC

wrath of her fornication . .

has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality . . . NASB The allusion is to Jeremiah 51:7-8 (cf. Revelation 17:2, Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:3). The term “passion” is the Greek term “thumos,” which relates to an outburst of emotion (cf. 17:2, 3; 18:3). Those who drink Babylon’s wine will drink YHWH’s wine (cf. Revelation 14:10)! - Utley

The angel personified Babylon as a temptress who gives wine to a man to seduce him to commit fornication (cf. Revelation 17:2, Revelation 17:4). The man would not choose to drink this wine without her influence. However what this man drinks comes ultimately from the cup of God’s wrath that He gives, indirectly through Babylon, to those whom He will punish (cf. Revelation 14:10; Psalms 60:3; Psalms 75:8; Isaiah 51:17, Isaiah 51:22). This wine not only leads all who drink it to commit sexual licentiousness but every kind of excess that expresses unfaithfulness to God (cf. Revelation 17:1-2; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 17:15-16; Revelation 18:3, Revelation 18:9; Revelation 19:2). - Hughes, p. 162.

Verse 9

Revelation 14:9

a third angel . . Read, another angel, a third; first angel = Revelation 14:6; second angel = Revelation 14:8

A third angel announces that the beast’s worshipers (like the prostitute Babylon, 16:19) will drink the wine of God’s wrath and endure constant torment in eternal restlessness. - ESVSB

followed them . . Followed the two previous angels.

a loud voice . . Apparently wanting everyone to hear and know and stressing urgency.

if . . This is a FIRST CLASS CONDITIONAL SENTENCE with two verbs, “worships” and “receives.” Some humans, many humans, will commit these idolatrous acts. This is the exact opposite of receiving God’s Messiah in Revelation 14:7 and Revelation 14:12. Those who do will experience the wrath of God (cf. v. 10). - Utley

worships the beast ... receives mark . . Revelation 13:14-15; Revelation 13:8

Verse 10

Revelation 14:10

he himself . . the one worshipping the beast.

also drink . . They will be forced to drink; they will receive the wrath of God.

cup of His indignation . .

poured out without mixture . . Lit. mixed unmixed: there is prob. nothing meant but the sense of the A. V., the “pouring out” of wine being usually a process of “mixing.” But the paradoxical form of expression comes from the LXX. of Psalms 75:8, where the word “red” (or perhaps “foaming,” “fiery”) is translated by “unmixed,” proving that St John knows and uses the LXX. version, though he corrects it when necessary. - CBSC

poured out full strength . . It was unmixed—not weakened by diluting with water. For the cup of wrath imagery, see Jeremiah 25:15-29. - FSB

He shall be tormented . . [Such] will suffer the outpouring of God’s collected wrath, done with the full force of His divine anger and unmitigated vengeance (cf. Psalms 75:8; Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15-16).

Divine wrath is not an impulsive outburst of anger aimed capriciously at people God does not like. It is the settled, steady, merciless, graceless, and compassionless response of a righteous God against sin. - MSB

fire and burning sulfur … smoke . . This description of judgment (see also Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:14-15) echoes God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 18:16–19:28). • Those condemned to a fiery end will suffer in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb (cp. Luke 16:22-24). - NLT

fire and brimstone . . This is an allusion to God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (cf. Genesis 19:24, Genesis 19:28; Isaiah 34:8-10; Luke 17:29; Judges 1:7). Torment is the ultimate fate of the two beasts (cf. Revelation 19:20), of the evil one (cf. Revelation 20:10), and of unrepentant mankind (cf. Revelation 20:15; Revelation 21:8). - Utley

This association with judgment was expanded to describe a place of judgment. Jesus used the garbage dump south of Jerusalem in the valley of the sons of Hinnom (Gehenna) as a symbol of eternal punishment (cf. Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:14-15). - Utley

with fire and brimstone . .These are two elements that are often associated in Scripture with the torment of divine punishment (Genesis 19:24-25; Isaiah 34:8-10). Here the reference is to hell, the lake of fire (cf. Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10; Revelation 21:8). Brimstone is a fiery sulfur.- MSB

Sulfur is a foul-smelling element that burns extremely hot. - FSB

in the presence of . . They may be able to observe the joyous fates of those who chose to worship the Lamb rather than the beast. - FSB

in the presence, &c . . It is impossible to translate these words otherwise: they prove that the holy angels, and the Lamb Himself, acquiesce or something more in the justice and necessity of God’s awful judgements. - CBSC

Verse 11

Revelation 14:11

HELL

Revelation 20:14-15, lake of fire, (Matthew 18:9)

Matthew 25:30, outer darkness (Matthew 22:13)

Revelation 14:11, torment, (Luke 16:23)

Matthew 25:46, eternal punishment

Mark 9:47-48, Matthew 10:28

Who will be there?

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, Revelation 21:8, 2 Peter 2:20-21, 1 Peter 4:18, Revelation 20:15, Matthew 5:22, 2 Peter 2:4

smoke of their torment . . Alludes to Isaiah 34:10 (of Edom); cf. Revelation 19:3 (of Babylon). - NIVZSB

The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever . . shows that hell is eternal, and that the wicked are not annihilated and put out of existence at death. - ESVSB

torment ascends forever and ever . . A reference to the eternality of hell (cf. Matthew 3:12; Matthew 13:41-42; Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:48). Torment is the ceaseless infliction of unbearable pain (cf. Luke 16:23-24), here prescribed for all who are loyal to Satan’s leader. - MSB

the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever” I wish that I could believe in universalism or at least in a second opportunity to respond to the gospel, but according to the Scriptures humans must respond to God’s offer in faith (cf. Mark 1:15; Acts 3:16, Acts 3:19; Acts 20:21) while they live (cf. Hebrews 9:27); if they refuse to respond, the consequences are ultimate and eternal (cf. Mark 9:47-48; Matthew 25:46; John 5:29; Acts 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9). The permanent punishment of the wicked is compared to the transitory suffering of the saints. This is supported in the phrase “they will have no rest day and night,” while in Revelation 14:13 the saints do have rest. - Utley

no rest day or night . . Idolaters’ unending anguish contrasts with the ceaseless praise in heaven (Revelation 4:8). - NIVZSB

Verse 12

Revelation 14:12

patient endurance of the saints . . Refers to their perseverance in the pursuit of righteousness and faith. Luke 13:10, this is an encouragement for believers but with a view toward eternal destiny: Those who persist in faith and do not take part in the worship of the beast will avoid the second death and receive divine blessing (see Revelation 14:13; Revelation 20:12-15). - FS

The threat of persecution and death was very real to the Christians first reading this letter, so John calls God’s people to obedience and faithfulness (see Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 12:17; Revelation 13:10). - NLTSB

The worshipers of the beast will be unable to rest day and night, in contrast with the saints who will “rest” from their labor (v.13). While the beast worshipers had their time of rest, and while the saints were persecuted and martyred, in the final time of judgment God will reverse their roles (Revelation 7:15 ff.; cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7). - Lenski

Verse 13

Revelation 14:13

Spoken three times for EMPHASIS -- We should really believe it!

1) Voice from heaven

2) A holy apostle to write it

3) Yea, by the Holy Spirit

heard a voice . . This “voice” was probably the Lamb’s (Revelation 1:10-11, Revelation 1:19; cf. Revelation 10:4, Revelation 10:8; Revelation 11:12; Revelation 14:2; Revelation 18:4; Revelation 21:3). - Constable

A dramatic voice from heaven once again instructs John to write (see Revelation 1:11, Revelation 1:19; Revelation 21:5; cp. Revelation 10:4). • Blessed are those who die in the Lord: God desires that those who endure persecution be with him and enjoy his blessings and rest. - NLTSB

Write . . See Revelation 1:11, Revelation 1:19; Revelation 2:1, Revelation 2:8, Revelation 2:12, Revelation 2:18; Revelation 3:1, Revelation 3:7, Revelation 3:14; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:5. This has been John’s command from the beginning of the book. - FSB

Blessed are . . A second of seven beatitudes in Revelation (Revelation 14:13; Revelation 16:15; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:14), reminiscent of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-11).

It is important for the saints to know that they are precious in God’s site, cf Psalms 116:15.

die in the Lord . . Cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:16. In union or in a right relationship with the Lord.

from now on . . John anticipates several martyrdoms in the near future. - FSB

Yes,, says the Spirit . . The Holy Spirit added (cf. Revelation 22:17) that they would also experience blessing because they would be at rest beyond the grave and because God would then reward their faithful deeds (cf. 1 Timothy 5:24-25; Hebrews 6:10). In contrast, the beast-worshippers have no rest (Revelation 14:11) and receive punishment for their unfaithfulness to God (Revelation 14:10). - Constable

says the Spirit . . The one who addresses the churches (Revelation 2:7) and inspires prophecy ( Revelation 19:10) here speaks directly (Revelation 22:17), confirming the exhortation and promise in Revelation 14:12-13. - NIVZSB

they will rest . . The martyrs “wait a little longer” (Revelation 6:11) before entering the eternal “Sabbath-rest” for God’s people (Hebrews 4:9-10). - NIVZSB

that they may rest . . The construction probably is, “who die that they may rest”—the sense is, “Yea, they are indeed blessed, for the result, and the providential end, of their dying is, to bring them to rest.” - CBSC

and their works . . Read, for their works. - CBSC

do follow them . . More accurately, follow with them: there is therefore hardly any resemblance to 1 Timothy 5:24-25. The meaning of the passage is much the same as 1 Thessalonians 4:15 —we are not to think of the holy dead as if they missed (and as if the dead of the last days only just missed) the glories of the Lord’s coming: for they and their good works are kept by Him safe against that day, ready to share in its glories. - CBSC

Verse 14

Revelation 14:14

Then I looked . . (Greek kai idou) again marks a new scene and an advance to another important subject. The whole description is very similar to Daniel’s ... (Daniel 7:13-14). - Constable

a white cloud . . The cloud probably represents the glory of God, the shekinah. Exodus 13:21; Exodus 40:38.

sat one like the Son of Man . . See Revelation 1:13 John draws on the vision of the Ancient of Days in Dan 7 and the vision of the angelic figure in Dan 10 in the following verses (see Daniel 7:9; Daniel 10:5). During His ministry, Jesus used Daniel’s son of man terminology in reference to Himself (e.g., Matthew 10:23; Matthew 11:19). - FSB [John 5:27]

The person John saw was evidently Jesus Christ, though some commentators [Utley] think he was an angel in view of Revelation 14:15. - Constable

The doubt that this one sitting on the cloud is that in Revelation 14:15 another angel calls to him saying the time had come to reap, and other angels with him do the reaping. - WG

sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, . . The same identity problems in chapters 6 and 10 apply to these two verses. Is this a description of the divine Messiah or just another angel serving on His behalf? I think it is another powerful angel, because (1) this is in a series of angels (cf. Revelation 14:15, Revelation 14:17, Revelation 14:18); (2) Matthew 13:39, Matthew 13:41-42, Matthew 13:49-50 says that angels will gather and separate people at the end-time (some for blessing and some for judgment); and (3) an angel commands him. - Utley

Son of Man . . is a title Jesus used for himself (see Matthew 8:20; Matthew 9:6; Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:10; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:22; Luke 22:69; John 3:13-14). - NLTSB

Son of Man . . See note on Revelation 1:13. The imagery of the Lord on a cloud is from Daniel 7:13-14 and emphasizes magnificent majesty (cf. Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64; Acts 1:9-11). - MSB

on His head a golden crown . . John saw Him wearing a victor’s crown (Gr. stephanon). But being "golden" indicates royalty.

A gold crown . . is a symbol of status or power, clearly distinguishing Jesus from the angels (see Revelation 4:4; Revelation 6:2; Revelation 9:7; Revelation 12:3; Revelation 13:1). - NLTSB

golden crown . . The victor’s crown, a laurel wreath, worn by those who celebrated victory in war or athletic competition. Christ now wears this particular crown, in this case made of gold, as a triumphant conqueror coming out of heaven to prevail over His enemies. - MSB

crown . . the Figure on the Cloud is crowned with a victor’s wreath wrought in gold, στέφανος χρυσοῦς, contrasting sharply with the στ. ἀκάνθινος of the Passion (Mark 15:17), but not an imperial διάδημα; the crowned Christ is here the Conqueror rather than the King. He comes however not to conquer—this He has already done (Revelation 3:21)—but to reap, and His hand carries not a sword but a sickle, sharp and ready for its work. - Swete

a sharp sickle . . a tool with a handle and a sharp curved blade used for reaping. A larger one was used for reaping grain, and a smaller size used for reaping grapes. Here it appears to be one used for reaping grapes. Joel 3:11-13. Revelation 14:18

In Revelation 14:1-20 we have the picture of a judgment. Taken in context it is the judgment upon the "Babylon ... that great city" which is introduced in Revelation 14:8 and those with the mark of the beast Revelation 14:9-10.

Verse 15

Revelation 14:15

A call for reaping came from God (Is it a peaceful reaping? )

1) A reaping by the Lord of the saved [?]

The Gospel into all the world.

2) Or a reaping of judgment. [ Revelation 14:19]

another angel . . There is a series of angels involved in the reaping. Revelation 14:15, Revelation 14:17, Revelation 14:18); The "another" is one of this series, and in Greek this implies that the previously name person (Revelation 14:14) is an angel also. - WG

But comparing Revelation 14:6, it appears that the angel may be called “another” simply to distinguish him from those of vv. 6, 8, 9: and then no inference whatever can be drawn as to the figure of v. 14. - CBSC

came out of the temple . . The temple in heaven (Revelation 11:19) on the one on Mount Zion, Revelation 14:1, which again points to this as a judgment upon Israel. See note on vs. 1 (Revelation 14:1), that this is earthly Mt. Zion (CBSC).

Some [Swete] would say that this angel comes from the temple, the very sanctuary and presence of God, with a instructions from God informing the One like the Son of Man that it is time to reap. - WG

λλος here looks back to Revelation 14:9, not to the human form on the cloud just described. Another angel—the fourth in this context—comes forth from the Sanctuary (cf. Revelation 11:19, Revelation 14:17, Revelation 15:5 ff., Revelation 16:1, Revelation 16:17), i.e. from the Presence of God, carrying to the Reaper the command of the Lord of the Harvest (; Matthew 9:38) to begin His work. Even the Son does not fix or even know the time, which it belongs to the Father to determine (Mark 13:32, note; Acts 1:7). - Swete

crying with a loud voice . . This has the ring of urgency!

to Him who sat on the cloud . . This seems to be instructions from the angel to the one on the cloud, which seems like an angel commanding Christ if He is the one on the cloud!

This seems to make the one on the cloud who is "like the Son of Man" an angel who is acting on behalf of the Christ. - WG

thrust and reap . . In view of Revelation 14:19 this appears to be a reaping of wicked who do not " the keep the commandments of God" (Revelation 14:12). - WG

It may be implied, that the Son of Man does not reap Himself—cf. St Matt. 24:31. See on the next verse. - CBSC

Time is come . . = NOW! The reaping in 1st century, during the time of the readers of the seven churches, not our day, or Second Coming, but a judgment upon Babylon which has just been introduced, Revelation 14:7-8.

Ripe . . Lit. is dried; hence R. V. “is over-ripe”; possibly a more literal translation than St Mark’s, l.c. [Mark 4:29], of our Lord’s words in the parable, to which there is probably a reference. - CBSC

The harvest is an OT figure used for divine judgment (Hosea 6:11; Joel 3:13), especially on Babylon (Jeremiah 51:33). Johnson, p. 543.

the harvest of the earth is ripe. Many scholars interpret this harvest as divine judgment on the wicked as in Revelation 14:18-19 and Joel 3:13, though this harvest may refer to the gathering of God’s people, called “firstfruits” in Revelation 14:4 (see note there) and “the wheat” in Matthew 13:30. - NIVZSB

Verse 16

Revelation 14:16

thrusts in . . Lit. cast: but the word is used in much milder senses, e.g. of the Lord “putting” His fingers in the deaf man’s ears, St Mark 7:33. The A. V. can therefore be defended: but it is perhaps likelier, that He Who sat on the cloud threw down the sickle, for others (unnamed angels) to reap with. - CBSC

the earth was reaped . . . In Jeremiah 51:33, ... the image of harvest is used of the time of God’s vengeance, and so Joel 3:13, where, as here, it is combined with that of the vintage. - CBSC

Utley believes there are two harvest pictures here. One, the harvest of grain (the Elect), and the other of grapes (the wicked.) The question here is, are there two different sickles picture here, or just one? - WG

14:14–16 There are two different harvests described in Revelation 14:14-16 and Revelation 14:17-19. The first is a grain harvest and the second a grape harvest. If this distinction can be maintained (in Joel 3:13 the two crops are viewed as one judgment), the first refers to the harvest of the righteous (cf. Matthew 9:37-38; Matthew 13:30, Matthew 13:38; Mark 4:26-29; Luke 10:2; John 4:35-38), while the second grape harvest mentioned in Isaiah 63:2-6; Jeremiah 51:33; Lamentations 1:15; Joel 3:13 and Revelation 19:15 refers to the wicked. - Utley

If the Lord’s harvest of grain in Revelation 14:16 is of His Elect that is pictured by the angels (cf. Matthew 9:37-38; Matthew 13:30, Matthew 13:38; Mark 4:26-29; Luke 10:2; John 4:35-38), this would be the Lord rescuing his Elect out of Jerusalem before His judgment upon that city that rejected Him, (Luke 21:18-24; Matthew 24:16-22; and the second harvest of the grapes for the winepress is his judgment upon the city of Jerusalem itself, Luke 21:24-28; Matthew 24:23-36 . - WG

Verse 17

Revelation 14:17

another angel . . In this series of angels, Greek, λλοςγγελος "another angel of the same kind".

The fifth angel in this group came out of the heavenly temple ready to execute judgment (cf. Matthew 13:30, 39–42, 49–50). - Constable

came out of the temple . . As coming from God’s sanctuary also. Question: if he is coming directly from God, why is an "angel from the altar" giving him the instructions to reap the fully ripe grapes? See Revelation 14:18 for the answer.

the temple which is in heaven , , This refers to the spiritual tabernacle in heaven (cf. Hebrews 8:2; Hebrews 9:11, Hebrews 9:23-24). - Utley

also having a sharp sickle . . Is his sickle the same kind? are there multiple angles with multiple sickles performing the harvest, (Matthew 13:39, Matthew 13:41-42, Matthew 13:49-50; Matthew 24:31), ; or is this one the picture of a grape-harvesting sickle as this angel is instructed by the one in Revelation 14:18 to gather the grapes for the winepress of God’s wrath. - WG

he also had a sharp sickle . . Christ performed the first harvest; the grape harvest will be performed by angels (compare Matthew 13:41-42). - FSB

Verse 18

Revelation 14:18

another angel . . Another angel—the sixth—brings to the Angel of vengeance a message of Divine authority to begin the vintage.

Another angel, the sixth in this chapter, came out from the golden altar of incense in heaven (Revelation 8:3). This is probably an allusion to his responding to the Tribulation saints’ prayers for vengeance from under the altar (Revelation 6:9-10).

His “power over fire” may indicate his authority to execute punishment. It seems clear from verse 19 that this angel was addressing the angel with the sickle, not Jesus Christ. - Constable

from the altar . . where the saints cried for vengeance from under the altar, Revelation 6:9.

The Angel-reaper of the Vintage proceeds from the Altar, where he is in charge of the fire; cf. Revelation 16:6, note. Earlier passages in the Book refer to the Altar of Burnt Offering (Revelation 6:9, Revelation 11:1), and the Altar of Incense (Revelation 8:3, Revelation 8:5, Revelation 9:13); here and in Revelation 16:7 there is nothing to shew which of the two is intended. If the former, we are reminded of the blood of the martyrs which cries for vengeance; if the latter, of the prayers of the saints by which the end is hastened. - Swete

who had power over fire . . Angels have power over the wind (cf. Revelation 7:1), over fire (cf. Revelation 14:18), and over the water (cf. Revelation 16:5). This reflects rabbinical Judaism’s concept of angelic involvement in the natural world. Although the NT does not emphasize this, that does not mean that it is inaccurate (cf. Hebrews 1:7, Hebrews 1:14). - Utley

who had power over fire . . This angel is associated with fire on the altar, which represents the prayers of the saints (Revelation 6:9-11; Revelation 8:3-5). Fire refers to the constantly burning fire on the brass altar of the Jerusalem temple. Twice daily the priest would burn incense with that fire and offer the burning incense in the Holy Place as a symbol of the people’s prayers (see notes on Revelation 5:8; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 8:3). This angel is coming from the heavenly altar to ensure that all the prayers of all the saints for judgment ... are answered. He calls for judgment to start. - MSB

grapes are fully ripe . . NOW! - The vine = Israel-- the reaping of vengeance that those under the altar had been calling for.

Verse 19

Revelation 14:19

gathered the vine . . The vine = Israel-- the reaping of vengeance that those under the altar had been calling for in Revelation 6:9-10. (see note on Revelation 6:10)

winepress . . a reaping of judgment. Isaiah 63:2-3; Lamentations 1:15; Joel 3:13;

winepress . . In the ancient world, grapes were placed in troughs and trampled before collecting juice for fermentation, a vivid OT image for God’s crushing the wicked nations in furious “wrath” (cf. Revelation 19:15; Isaiah 63:1-6). - NIVZSB

the great winepress of the wrath of God . . This reaping involves not just harvesting, but crushing in a winepress (compare Isaiah 63:3; Revelation 19:15). - FSB

Verse 20

Revelation 14:20

winepress . .

A winepress extracts juice from grapes. It was a large, enclosed stone structure into which baskets of grapes were poured. Workers stood inside the winepress and trampled the grapes as they were added. The juice from the clusters flowed out of the winepress through a channel cut into the wall and into a vat or bucket placed beneath the structure. John uses this image to vividly portray the fate of unbelievers: They will be trampled underfoot like grapes in a winepress, and their blood will flow profusely. - FSB

trampled . . The ripe grapes (see Amos 8:2) that are trampled in the winepress emphasize God’s power to judge (see Revelation 19:15; Joel 3:13). - NLTSB

outside the city . . Their blood is shed outside the city (probably Jerusalem), where all defiled things belong (cf. Revelation 21:27). - ESVSB

outside the city . . Winepresses were built outside cities and towns; here, the city is Jerusalem. - NLTSB

the city . . They were trampled there outside the city, probably Jerusalem (cf. “the great city” in Revelation 11:8). - BKC

blood up to horses brides . . = (about 5 ft deep); figurative of much much bloodshed!

up to horses’ bridles . . Since no horses are mentioned in the context this appears to be an idiom or a metaphor for a large amount of something, here of the red bloodshed of the saints’ enemies.

for 1600 furlongs . .or about 182 miles. From North to South of Israel was about 200 miles.

The exact distance is uncertain. Some say (1) 165 miles; (2) 184 miles; or (3) 200 miles. The exact words are 6,600 [sic] furlongs. This is an unusual symbolic number. Some say that it refers to the distance from Dan to Beersheba, which means judgment symbolically covering the entire Holy Land. - Utley

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Revelation 14". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/revelation-14.html. 2021.
 
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