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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 19

Verse 1

Revelation 19:1 . Φωνὴν , a voice ) Widely different from the complaints described in ch. 18 ἀλληλούϊα , Hallelujah ) This is a most weighty cry, respecting which we deem it necessary to make some remarks.

§ 1. It is a Hebrew word הללו יה , compounded of הללו and יה .

§ 2. The name יָהּ occurs in hymns of the Old Testament; Exodus 15:2 , Isaiah 38:11 , Psalms 118:5 ; Psalms 118:14 ; Psalms 118:17-19 , and elsewhere repeatedly, especially in this very Hallelujah, which the Apocalypse alone contains in the New Testament, and that in this one chapter, but repeatedly.

§ 3. Some derive יָהּ from יָאָה , and refer it to the Divine comeliness; but, as many acknowledge, under this name is rather denoted, He who is.

§ 4. Hiller, in his Onom. p. 262, supports the threefold repetition of the letter of breathing ההה , from which, by a change of the second radical into י or ו , the theme היה and הוה , and moreover the name אהיה and יהוה , are derived.

§ 5. In the same manner is formed ייָהּ by י for ה (as in עֹטְיָה for עֹטְהָה and אֶהֱמָיָה for אֶהֱמָהָה ) and by הּ marked with the mappik: [207] for as from the final הּ is formed the middle ה , in like manner from the middle ה is formed the final הּ , as in נֹהַּ from נהה , and in other words, which Cocceius has well remarked upon in his Lexicon, col. 284.

[207] The tittle in ח final, making the letter emphatic, which otherwise would be quiescent. E.

§ 6. I obtrude this analysis upon the attention of no one: no one, however, will readily deny, that He, Who is , is called יָהּ ; and that remains firm, even though you should derive it with Hiller from יהי , the future; for the phrase, καὶἐρχόμενος , has already before been given for the pause (close of the formula): see above on ch. Revelation 11:17 . In the three clauses, ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ὢ καὶἐρχόμενος , the times had to be accurately distinguished; but when the יָהּ is found separately, the derivation from יהי does not remove the force of present time, as is seen in so many proper names of men. The LXX. use the name, ὁ ὢν , Exodus 3:14 , and (where there was less occasion for it) Jeremiah 1:5 (6), Jeremiah 14:13 , Jeremiah 32:17 : and יָהּ itself has the same meaning as ὁ ὢν , Euthymius explaining it in Fuller, Miscell. pp. 486, 487. Add Drusius on this passage.

§ 7. That the name יָהּ is not curtailed from the name יְהֹוָה , is evident from this, that יְהֹוָה is used much more frequently than יָהּ , and that it is quoted sometimes jointly יָהּ יְהֹוָה .

§ 8. As God commanded by Moses that He should be called יְהֹוָהּ , immediately upon the very coming out of Egypt, the name יָהּ was also introduced in the Song of Moses, Exodus 15:2 , in these words: עזי וזמרת יה ויהי לי לישועה , where, from a most present feeling of that most saving Divine work, the Lord is called יָהּ , ὁ ὤν . Hence this name is quoted only in Songs. Isaiah is in harmony with the Song of Moses, introducing the people thus speaking: כי עזי וזמרת יה יהוה ויהי לי לישועה , ch. Isaiah 12:2 . The same has בטחו ביהוה עדי עד כי ביה יהוה צור עולמים , ch. Isaiah 26:4 . But in both passages Isaiah at the same time exhorts to trust in God for the future, and on this account he calls the Lord יהוה and יה יהוה , and by this very circumstance he teaches us the difference between the two names.

§ 9. God is called יה , because He is; He is called יהוה , because He will be, and Is and Was: He is called יה יהוה , because, for instance, in the Song of Isaiah He is celebrated, as He has shown Himself a present God in the very act itself, and at the same time He is with all confidence declared as about to show Himself (similarly) for the future. The name, יהוה , was frequently used in the times of promises drawing towards their accomplishment: יה is adapted to all times which are gladdened with present aid, and therefore especially to the last times. Thus the consideration of time future, and also of former time ( Jer 23:7 ), coalesces with the present: and He who was before called ὁ ὢν καὶἦν καὶἐρχόμενος , is at length called ὁ ὢν καὶἦν , and ὁ ὤν .

§ 10. Hallelujah therefore is again and again suitable to this song, Revelation 19:0 , and in it the name יָהּ , ὁ ὢν , Being.

§ 11. The observation which is found in Kimchi is everywhere quoted, that Hallelujah resounds, in the place where it first occurs in the Psalms, upon the destruction of sinners and the ungodly: Psalms 104:35 . More instances from the Rabbis to the same purport, comp. Proverbs 11:10 , have been collected by Cartwright, l. iii. Melif. Hebr. c. 8.

Verse 5

Revelation 19:5 . [208] ΑἸΝΕῖΤΕ Τῷ ΘΕῷ ἩΜῶΝ ) The LXX., ΚΑῚ ᾜΝΕΣΑΝ Τῷ ΚΥΡΊῼ , 1 Chronicles 16:36 ; ΑἸΝΕῖΝ Τῷ ΚΥΡΊῼ , ch. 1 Chronicles 23:5 ; also 2 Chronicles 5:13 ; 2 Chronicles 20:19 , Hebr. הלל ליהוה . That solemn act of praise which was accustomed to be offered to the Lord by the Levites is described in these places. Add the passage of Ezra 3:11 , respecting all the people, in the same phrase in Hebrew and Greek. How much greater solemnity is there in the Apocalypse! All His servants, and they that fear Him, small and great, are stirred up to a solemn proclaiming of His praise. They perform this in Revelation 19:6 . [Comp. Psalms 115:13 .]

[208] 2. ἀληθιναὶ , true ) The words which, ch. Revelation 6:10 , are related in the form of prayer, the same are now expressly repeated, and transposed into a doxology. V. g.

Verse 7

Revelation 19:7 . [210] Ἡτοίμασεν ἑαυτὴν , hath prepared herself ) that is, hath begun to prepare herself; as τεπίστευκα , ἠγάπηκα , ἤλπικα , I have obtained faith , etc. Respecting the marriage itself, see ch. Revelation 21:2 ; Revelation 21:9 , etc.

[210] 6. καὶ , and ) The stirring call brought forward in ver. 5, Hallelujah! is now fully responded to. V. g.

Verse 8

Revelation 19:8 . Γὰρ , for ) A particle of explanation, as Revelation 19:10 .

Verse 9

Revelation 19:9 . Γράψον ) The Apparatus makes mention of the MSS. which omit this word. Among them are the first editions of Erasmus, which Luther followed: whence the suspicion of a typographical error in the German Bibles is removed. The more recent editors of the German Bibles have inserted that word. ἀληθινοὶ , true ) A remarkable epithet. It is used by itself in this one passage only of the Apocalypse, as πιστὸς , faithful , of the Witness, ch. Revelation 1:5 . In other places both are joined. The faithful and true witness , ch. Rev 3:14 Faithful and true , put absolutely, ch. Revelation 19:11 . Then, Faithful and true words , ch. Revelation 21:5 , Revelation 22:6 . In other places another epithet is added. Jesus, Holy and true , ch. Revelation 3:7 . God, the Lord Holy and true , ch. Revelation 6:10 . Just and true are the ways of God: true and just are His judgments , ch. Revelation 15:3 , Revelation 16:7 , Revelation 19:2 . Where these epithets are used conjointly, God is called Holy , with reference to Himself: faithful and just , with reference to His people, and in the word given to His people: He is called true , in His work, the issue of which, especially in this place, answers to the word which has preceded. Where one epithet only is used, as Faithful , at the beginning of the book, and True , here, about the end, the force of the other is to be understood. And as He Himself is, so are His words, and ways, and judgments.

Verse 11

Revelation 19:11 . [211] ἽΠΠΟς ΛΕΥΚῸς , a white horse ) Antithetical to ὄνον , Matthew 21 ΚΡΊΝΕΙ , judges ) Lange joins with this chapter many passages, even of the New Testament, concerning the coming of Christ in glory, concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the judgment. Comm. Apoc. f. 107, 108, 256 259. But there is in truth but one coming of Christ in glory, at the last day: of which, however, there is an illustrious and remarkable prelude in the destruction of the beast . See above on 2 Thessalonians 2:0 T. ii. pp. 333, 334, and Ord. Temp . p. 412 [ Ed. II . p. 354]. And the sum of the testimony respecting the resurrection and the judgment has reference to the same last day.

[211] Ver. 10. καὶ ἔπεσα , and I fell ) John appears to have regarded the things which occur ver. 9 as the conclusion of the vision: but there still remained things more excellent than those which had preceded. V. g.

Verse 14

Revelation 19:14 . Τὰ στρατεύματα , the armies ) called and chosen, and faithful , ch. Revelation 17:14 . βύσσινον λευκὸν ) Λευκὸν is not a superfluous epithet, [212] for there is some linen which is even yellow.

[212] Hence its omission, though plainly approved of in Ed. Maj., is by the margin of Ed. II. banished to the less supported readings; the Vers. Germ. following this, which has mit reiner weisser Seiden. E. B.

A Orig. 4.58 e Iren. Cypr. h Vulg. support λευκόν . The only good authority for the omission is Orig. 4,55 b , which is contradicted by 4,58 e . E.

Verse 15

Revelation 19:15 . Ῥομφαία , romphæa [ a javelin or sword ]) for slaughter. ῥάβδῳ , with a rod ) for subduing.

Verse 20

Revelation 19:20 . [213] Ἐπιάσθη ) The beast was taken: but the angel ἐκράτησε , laid hold of the dragon, ch. Revelation 20:2 . The beast and the false prophet even then shall be reduced to extremities; the dragon shall have strength, but shall be restrained. ζῶντες , alive ) This destruction is much more dreadful than the death itself of the body. Comp. respecting the Son of Perdition, 2 Thessalonians 2:8 ; also Daniel 7:11 ; Daniel 7:26 , and Isaiah 11:4 , where רשע , LXX., ἀσεβὴς , the Chaldee paraphrast has ארמילום רשיעא , the impious Roman . ΤῊΝ ΛΊΜΝΗΝ ΤΟῦ ΠΥΡῸς , the lake of fire ) The word gehennah [ hell ] does not occur in the Apocalypse.

[213] 17. δεῦτε , Come hither ) The victory cannot but follow. Beforehand the flesh of the enemy is already given to be torn in pieces by birds. V. g.

19. μετὰ , with ) The enemies will undoubtedly attempt to attack the saints on the earth. But Christ the Lord, with His heavenly band, will engage with them. V. g.

Verse 21

Revelation 19:21 . Οἱ λοιποὶ , the remnant ) even the kings, Revelation 19:18-19 . They are mingled with the crowd, as Pharaoh, Zaerach, Gog . See Ord. Temp . pp. 161, 162, 182, 183 [ Ed. II. pp . 142, 143, 160].

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 19". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.