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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Revelation 8

Verse 1

When [οτε] . Read otan, the indefinite particle with the indicative mood. For a similar construction, see Mark 11:19 (correct reading). Alford observes that it occurs in the opening of this seal only, giving it an indefiniteness which does not belong to any of the rest.

There was [εγενετο] . More literally, come to pass. Rev., there followed. About [ως] . A usual form of expression with John. See John 1:39; John 6:19; John 11:18.

Verse 2

Stood [εστηκασιν] . Rev., correctly, stand.

Trumpets [σαλπιγγες] . See on chapter Revelation 1:10.

Verse 3

At the altar [επι το θυσιαστηριον] . The best texts read qusiasthriou, which justifies the Rev., "over the altar." For altar, see on chapter Revelation 6:9. Interpreters differ as to whether the altar meant is the brazen altar, as in chapter Revelation 6:9, or the altar of incense, as in chapter Revelation 9:13. There seems to be no reason for changing the reference from the brazen altar (see on chapter Revelation 6:9), especially as both altars are mentioned in this verse. The officiating priest in the tabernacle or temple took the fire for his censer from the brazen altar, and then offered the incense upon the golden altar.

Censer. See on chapter Revelation 5:8.

Incense. See on chapter Revelation 5:8.

Offer it with the prayers [δωση ταις προσευχαις] . Lit., should give it unto the prayers. Rev., add it unto the prayers. So that the prayers and the incense might ascend together. Proseuch is always used of prayer to God.

Golden altar. The altar of incense. Exodus 30:1-6; Exodus 39:38.

Verse 4

Which came with the prayers. An awkward rendering, followed by Rev., though with the omission of the italicized which came. The construction is ajnebh went up, with the dative case, to the prayers. "The ascending smoke had reference to the prayers, was designed to accompany them and render them more acceptable" (Winer).

Of the saints [των αγιων] . See on Acts 26:10.

Verse 5

Took [ειληφεν] . Lit., hath taken. So Rev., in margin.

With the fire [εκ του πυρος] . Lit., "from or out off the fire," i e., the coals or hot ashes. For ejk out off see on chapter Revelation 2:7.

Cast it into the earth. See Ezekiel 10:2; Luke 12:49.

Verse 6

To sound [ινα σαλπισωσιν] . Lit., that they should blow the trumpets. Raised their trumpets to their mouths in act to blow.

Verse 7

The first angel. Omit angel.

Hail and fire mingled with blood [χαλαζα και πυρ μεμιγμενα αιματι] . Insert ejn in before aimati blood. Instead of "with blood" as A. V., and Rev., we should render "in blood." The hailstones and fire - balls fell in a shower of blood. Compare the account of the plague of fire and hail in Egypt (Exodus 9:24) to which the reference is here, where the Septuagint reads and there was hail and the fire flaming in the hail. Compare Joel 2:30.

And the third part of the earth was burnt up. This is added by the best texts.

Green [χλωρος] . See on pale, chapter Revelation 6:8.

Verse 8

As it were [ως] . Not a mountain, but a fiery mass so large as to resemble one.

Blood. Reminding of the first plague in Egypt (Exodus 7:20, Exodus 7:21).

Verse 9

Life [ψυχας] . See on 3 John 1:2.

Ships [πλοιων] . See on Luke 5:2.

Verse 10

Lamp [λαμπας] . Rev., torch. See on chapter Revelation 4:5.

Verse 11

Wormwood [αψινθος] . Used metaphorically in the Old Testament of the idolatry of Israel (Deuteronomy 29:18); of calamity and sorrow (Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15; Lamentations 3:15, Lamentations 3:19); of false judgment (Amos 5:7).

Verse 13

An angel [ενος αγγελου] . For angel read ajetou eagle. Lit., one eagle. The eagle is a symbol of vengeance in Deuteronomy 28:49; Hosea 8:1; Habakkuk 1:8.

Mid heaven [μεσουρανηματι] . Only in Revelation, here, Revelation 14:6; Revelation 19:17. It means, properly, the meridian, the highest point in the heavens which the sun occupies at noon; not the space between heaven and earth.

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The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 8". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/revelation-8.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.