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Bible Commentaries

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books
Revelation 15



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Verse 1

The first sign was the woman with child, the second a great red dragon and now we have the third. (Revelation 12:1; Revelation 12:3) In the seals (Revelation 5-8:5), we saw Christ revealed and his saints persecuted and martyred. The trumpets (Revelation 8:6-13; Revelation 9:1-21; Revelation 10:1-11; Revelation 11:1-19) served as warnings from God since only one-third of earth, sea, etc., are hurt. Men could have followed Christ or repented at the first two, but this third completes the process (Thayer) of God"s wrath and presents his punishment of those who will not repent.

Verse 2

The sea is likely the same one mentioned in the throne scene of Revelation 4:6. The difference here is that it is mingled with fire which may signify coming judgment or the fiery trials Christians go through to at last stand upon this sea. (Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2-4; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 1 Peter 1:7) Though the devil and his allies intended to defeat them, here they stand victorious. In Revelation 5:8; Revelation 14:2, we have seen the harps as representative of joyful music and a sweet sound. Here, God has given the redeemed the ability to make joyful music and a sweet sound.

Verse 3

They use what God has given them to sing a song of victory and praise. The song of Moses was sung to rejoice over Israel"s deliverance from the Egyptians through the Red Sea. Pharaoh"s army had been drowned in the sea and God would bring his people to their promised inheritance. (Exodus 15:1-21) The song of the Lamb would be one of triumph in salvation and over all the evil Satan and his forces had brought against them. Since both songs are sung, it may be these are the redeemed of both covenants. Appropriately, God is given all the praise for the victory. A better rendering at the end of this verse would either make God king of ages or nations, as in the margin.

Verse 4

Everyone will at last have to honor God (Philippians 2:9-11) because he is pure. All nations, even Rome, will worship before God"s throne and acknowledge his justice in judgments both for rewarding the redeemed and in punishment of the wicked.

Verse 5

John now looked and saw the actual dwelling place of God, or temple, opened in heaven. Particularly, John sees the way opened in the tabernacle of the testimony. This would be the Most Holy Place where the ark of the covenant was kept with the ten commandments on stone which were called the testimony. (Exodus 25:16; Exodus 25:21)

Verse 6

The seven angels of vers one now step out of the temple, obviously coming from the presence of God. They are dressed in white, and, like the Lord (Revelation 1:13), have the breasts girt with a golden girdle.

Verse 7

The wicked have been given ample opportunity to repent, so these angels are given bowls full of God"s wrath.

Verse 8

Hailey points out three Old Testament uses of smoke in relation to God"s work. (1.) Smoke was used to represent His glory. (Exodus 19:18; Habakuk 3:3) (2.) It represented God"s anger being poured out in judgment. (Deuteronomy 29:20; Psalms 18:8; Psalms 74:1) (3.) Smoke was used to represent God"s protective care enshrouding the faithful. When the tabernacle was finished and later when Solomon"s temple was finished, God"s glory filled those places so no one could enter. (Exodus 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:10-11) This smoke may, therefore, best be thought of as God"s glory filling his dwelling place so no one could enter while his wrath is being poured out in plagues upon the earth. The time for mercy is over and God is ready to punish those who have not repented.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 15:4". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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