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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Revelation 7

Verse 1

These things [ταυτα] . Read touto this.

Holding [κρατουντας] . Holding fast or firmly. See on Mark 7:3; Acts 3:11.

Verse 2

East [ανατολης ηλιου] . Rev., more literally, the sunrising. See on Matthew 2:2; Luke 1:78. Compare Ezekiel 43:2.

The four angels. Compare Matthew 24:31.

Verse 3

In their foreheads. Compare Exodus 28:3; 6 - 38; Ezekiel 9:4.

Verse 4

An hundred and forty and four thousand. Not literally, but the number symbolical of fixedness and full completion (12 x 12). The interpretations, as usual, vary greatly, dividing generally into two great classes : one holding that only Jews are meant, the other including the whole number of the elect both Jew and Gentile. Of the former class some regard the sealed as representing Jewish believers chosen out of the literal Israel. Others add to this the idea of these as forming the nucleus of glorified humanity to which the Gentiles are joined. Others again regard them as Jews reserved by God until Antichrist comes, to maintain in the bosom of their nation a true belief in Jehovah and His law, like the seven thousand in the days of Elijah.

The interpretation of the latter class seems entitled to the greater weight. According to the Apocalyptic usage, Jewish terms are "christianized and heightened in their meaning, and the word" Israel "is to be understood of all Christians, the blessed company of all faithful people, the true Israel of God." See Romans 2:28, Romans 2:29; Romans 9:6, Romans 9:7; Galatians 6:16; Philippians 3:3. The city of God, which includes all believers, is designated by the Jewish name, New Jerusalem. In verse 3, the sealed are designated generally as the servants of God. In chapter 14 the one hundred and forty - four thousand sealed are mentioned after the description of the enemies of Christ, who have reference to the whole Church of Christ; and the mention of the sealed is followed by the world - wide harvest and vintage of the earth. The one hundred and forty - four thousand in chapter 14., have the Father 's name written in their foreheads; and in chapter Revelation 22:4, all the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem are so marked. In chapter Revelation 21:12, the twelve tribes include all believers. The mark of Satan which is in the forehead, is set upon all his servants without distinction of race. See chapter Revelation 13:16, Revelation 13:17; Revelation 14:9; Revelation 16:2; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:4. The plagues threaten both Jews and Gentiles, as the sealing protects all.

Verse 9

I saw. This vision belongs to heaven, while the sealing took place on earth.

Arrayed [περιβεβλημενοι] . See on chapter Revelation 3:5.

Robes. See on chapter Revelation 6:11.

"The ancient scriptures and the new The mark establish, and this shows it me, Of all the souls whom God hath made His friends. Isaiah saith that each one garmented In His own land shall be with twofold garments, 81 And his own land is this delightful life. Thy brother, too, 82 far more explicitly, There where he treateth of the robes of white, This revelation manifests to us." Dante, "Paradiso," 25, 88 - 96.

Palms [φοινικες] . Properly, palm - trees, but used here of palm - branches. Not a heathen but a Jewish image drawn probably from the Feast of Tabernacles. See on John 7:2.

Verse 10

Cried. The correct reading is krazousin they cry. So Rev.

Salvation. The praise of salvation, ascribing salvation to God.

Verse 11

Stood [εστηκεσαν] . Rev., more correctly, were standing. The tense is the pluperfect, used in this verb as an imperfect.

Verse 12

Blessing, etc. On the doxologies, see on chapter Revelation 1:6.

Verse 13

Answered. In the sense of taking up speech in connection with some given occasion, as Matthew 11:25. See also on John 2:18.

What are these, etc. The Rev., properly, follows the Greek order, which places first "These which are arrayed in the white robes, who are they?" emphatic and indicating the natural order of the thought as it presents itself to the inquirer. For what, render who, as Rev.

Verse 14

I said [ειρηκα] . Lit., I have said. Rev., renders by the present, I say. See on cried. John 1:15.

Sir [κυριε] . Add mou my, and render, as Rev., my Lord. An address of reverence as to a heavenly being. See on Matthew 21:3.

Which came [οι ερχομενοι] . The present participle. Hence, as Rev., which come.

Out of great tribulation [εκ της θλιψεως της μεγαλης] . Lit., out of the tribulation, the great (tribulation). Rev., properly, gives the force of the article, "the great." See on Matthew 13:21.

Have washed [επλυναν] . The aorist tense. Rev., correctly, they washed. Only here and Luke 5:2, on which see note. For the New Testament words for washing, see on Acts 16:33.

Made them white. Compare Isaiah 1:18; Psalms 51:7; Mark 9:3. Milligan remarks that robes are the expression of character, and compares the word habit used of dress.

Verse 15

Therefore. Because of this washing.

Before the throne. Compare Ephesians 5:27.

Serve [λατρευουσιν] . See on Luke 1:74. In scripture the verb never expresses any other service but that of the true God, or of the gods of heathenism.

Temple [ναω] . Or sanctuary. See on Matthew 4:5.

Dwell [σκηνωσει] . From skhnh a tent or tabernacle. Hence better, as Rev., shall spread His tabernacle. See on John 1:14, and compare Leviticus 26:11; Isaiah 4:5, Isaiah 4:6; Ezekiel 37:27.

Verse 16

They shall hunger no more, etc. Compare Isaiah 49:10.

Heat [καυμα] . In Isaiah 49:10, the word kauswn the scorching wind or sirocco is used. See on Matthew 20:12; James 1:11.

Verse 17

In the midst [ανα μεσον] . See on chapter Revelation 5:6.

Shall feed [ποιμανει] . See on shall be shepherd of, Matthew 2:6; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2. Compare Psalms 23:1.

Shall lead [οδηγησει] . See on Luke 6:39.

Living fountains of waters [ζωσας πηγας υδατων] . For the participle living, read zwhv of life, and render as Rev., fountains of waters of life. Compare Psalms 23:2. In the Greek order, of life stands first as emphatic. All tears [παν δακρυον] . Rev., correctly, every tear. (Compare Isaiah 25:8.

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Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 7". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/revelation-7.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.