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While those who had profitted because of Babylon's extravagant wickedness mourned their loss, God's servants rejoiced in the Lord's conquest. (Compare 18:20) The word translated "Alleluia" is found only in this chapter in the New Testament and means, "Praise the Lord." It is shouted by a great multitude, which we assume to be the victorious saints. The harlot's two greatest sins were the leading of others into evil and shedding the blood of God's people. It is, therefore, right and just for her to be judged. The multitude repeats its praise for the Lord as the smoke of Babylon rises forever. The continually rising smoke shows the finality of God's judgment. The harlot will never rise to disturb God's people again.
The four creatures around the throne and 24 elders join in the praises of God.
The speaker is not identified, but his voice comes out of the throne and commands all God's servants, which would include righteous men and angels, to praise God. Coffman says the words "small and great" are used to clearly set forth that it is a command for all of God's servants.
The servants speak and their voices are like the shout of a great crowd, water crashing over a fall onto the rocks below and great thunderings. They praise the Lord because he reigns as an all-powerful Lord. When Jesus pronounced a blessing upon those who would be persecuted for serving in his name, he instructed them to "rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven." ( Mat_5:11-12 ) Now, we see that rejoicing and gladness brought to fruition. Jewish custom required the bridegroom to go away and prepare a place for his bride during the betrothal. She must maintain her purity, or he will divorce her. When the betrothal is over, the bridegroom went with his friends to the house of the bride to receive her and take her home. Under this figure, the church is shown being eternally united to her husband. She wears the white robes of her righteous deeds. (Compare Eph_5:25-27 ; 2Co_11:1-3 .) We should note the bride had to make herself ready. If she failed to be pure, she would not be received by her husband. She has simple, pure clothing in contrast to the harlot's gaudy display.
Those "called" would be those who accepted the call since the gospel is for all. ( Rom_1:16 ; Mat_11:28-30 )
Why did John fall down to worship this angel? Some have said he was momentarily confused and thought it was Christ. Others say he was so awed by the scenes of victory and praise that he fell down to worship without thinking. We do not know why John did it, but God uses it to show us angel worship is wrong. Only God is to be worshipped, which is one reason we know Jesus is God. ( Mat_4:10 ; Heb_1:6 ) The angel told John not to worship him as they were both servants of the Father. Hailey says, "The testimony of Jesus is that truth to which He bore witness ( Joh_18:37 ), which was the word given to Him from God ( Joh_8:28 ; Joh_12:47 ; Joh_14:24 ; Rev_1:1 , et. al.)" Of course, all disciples of Christ hold his testimony in trust, but there may be special reference to the fact that John was one of those intrusted with the charge to deliver that word so others might believe. ( Joh_17:17-20 ) The very heart of prophecy, or all the Bible, is the testimony of Jesus.
A white horse and rider were first introduced in Rev_6:2 . Now, heaven is opened wide to show that horse and rider leading an army against the forces of evil. The "Faithful and True" can be none other than Christ. ( Rev_3:14 ; Rev_3:7 ) Such is confirmed by the fact that his eyes are "as a flame of fire." ( Rev_1:14 ; Rev_2:18 ) On his head are many royal bands which show his greatness as a king. The blood on his garment may be from battles already won, but this writer prefers to think it is Christ's own blood shed at Calvary for the sins of the world. "The Word of God" is one of Christ's titles and is only used by John. ( Joh_1:1 ; Joh_1:14 ; 1Jn_1:1 ; 1Jn_5:7 )
White garments are for those who overcome. ( Rev_3:5 ) The martyrs underneath the altar were given white robes ( Rev_6:9-11 ) and those standing before the throne who had come out of great tribulation were wearing them. ( Rev_7:9 ; Rev_7:14 ) So, these armies could be composed of the Lord's saints.
The sword coming out of Christ's mouth ( Rev_1:16 ; Rev_2:12 ; Rev_2:16 ) must be the word of God ( Heb_4:12-13 ; Eph_6:17 ), however, it will no longer be used to convert sinners but to judge the wicked. ( Joh_12:48-50 ) Hinds says, "Ruling with a rod of iron means in strict justice whether in imparting favors or in inflicting punishment." ( Psa_2:7-9 ; Isa_11:4 ; Isa_12:5 ; Rev_2:27 ; Rev_12:5 ) The winepress of God's wrath is used in the judgment of the wicked. ( Rev_14:19-20 ) Jesus is now reigning as King of kings and Lord of lords. ( 1Ti_6:15 ) All the world will recognize him as such when he comes in judgment. (Compare 17:14; Php_2:9-11 )
An angel standing in the sun would be seen by all. Even before the battle is joined, he calls the flesh eating birds, such as vultures, to come to a great feast, which would seem to be in contrast to the wedding feast. ( Rev_19:9 ) The calling of such birds is reminiscent of Ezekiel's vision of the judgment of Gog. ( Eze_39:17-20 ) Those who had denied the existence of God had lived like animals, so they die a death like animals and are eaten by the birds. The same people are listed here as in Rev_6:15-17 .
Some go into great detail on the events of the battle of Armageddon, but it is over in two verses. The great worldly beast's forces line up to fight God's forces and they are taken. With him are the kings who had destroyed the harlot ( Rev_17:16-17 ) and the false prophet, which stands for false religion. The beast and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. They have joined the harlot in a burning punishment. ( Rev_18:8-9 ; Rev_18:18 )
All of their allied forces are slain.
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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 19". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/
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