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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Revelation 19

 

 


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Introduction

Revelation 19. The Hallelujah of Victory in Heaven and the Marriage of the Lamb.—We have here another illustration of the contrasts in the Book of Revelation. Ch. 18 gives us a dark and gloomy picture of Rome, 19 paints the scene of triumph in heaven.


Verses 1-10

Revelation 19:1-10. The Marriage of the Lamb.

Revelation 19:1. Hallelujah: this term is found in NT only in this chapter. It means "Praise ye the Lord." It occurs in several psalms, but is always translated in the versions. The term itself is first found in the Apocrypha; cf. Tobit 13:18, "All her streets shall say ‘Hallelujah'!"

Revelation 19:2. the great harlot: Rome (cf. Revelation 17:1 ff.*).

Revelation 19:3. her smoke: i.e. the smoke from the ruins of the city.

Revelation 19:4. elders . . . creatures: Revelation 4:4; Revelation 4:6*.

Revelation 19:7. marriage of the Lamb: the first suggestion of a new theme, worked out in more detail in ch. 20. "It is the manner of the writer to throw out hints of the next great scene some time before he begins to enter upon it" (Swete). The metaphor of marriage is often found in OT to denote the ideal relationship between God and His people (cf. Hosea 2:19, Isaiah 54:1-8, Psalms 45), and it is taken over in NT in the teaching of Jesus (Matthew 25:1) and by Paul (e.g. Ephesians 5:23 ff.).—his wife: i.e. the New Jerusalem, the Church of Christ (cf. Revelation 21:2).

Revelation 19:8. righteous acts: we must compare with this the statement in Revelation 7:14, "They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

Revelation 19:10. see thou do it not: this prohibition, which is repeated in Revelation 22:8 f., seems to be introduced as a protest against the tendency to the worship of angels which undoubtedly existed in Asia Minor, as we know from the Epistle to the Colossians.—hold the testimony of Jesus: the meaning of this phrase is not quite clear. It may mean either "the testimony to Jesus," i.e. the common faith in Jesus, or the witness of Jesus Himself in their hearts.—the spirit of prophecy: one of the difficulties in the early Church was to find some criterion to judge between true and false prophets (1 John 4:1-3*). Here the "testimony of Jesus" is made the standard. The phrase means that the true prophet is to be recognised by the testimony of Jesus, i.e. either by his faithfulness to the common faith of the Church in Jesus (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:3*), or, less probably, by the fact that he has the witness of Jesus in his heart.


Verses 11-21

Revelation 19:11-21. The Vision of the Triumphant Christ.—This paragraph really forms an introduction to the closing section of the book, where at last, after many pauses and delays, we reach the real dénouement. The last act of the drama falls into five scenes, of which this is the first. In this scene Christ is portrayed as a warrior riding on a white horse to the final conflict with Anti-christ.

Revelation 19:11. a white horse: the same imagery is used in Revelation 6:2, but "the white horse" there does not represent Christ but the spirit of militarism.—Faithful and True: cf. Revelation 1:5, Revelation 3:7; Revelation 3:14

Revelation 19:12. flame of fire: cf. Revelation 1:14.—name which no man knoweth: cf. Revelation 2:17, Revelation 3:12. This phrase seems to imply that the names usually bestowed upon Christ do not exhaust the significance of His person. "Only the Son of God can understand the mystery of His own Being" (Swete); cf. Matthew 11:27, "no one knoweth the Son, save the Father."

Revelation 19:13. sprinkled with blood: The readings vary. Probably RV is right, but "dipped in blood" (AV) has very strong MSS support.—The Word of God: this phrase is probably used here with the same meaning as in the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel. "The Word" or Logos is employed in a technical sense (John 1:1*).

Revelation 19:15. sharp sword: cf. Revelation 1:16.—rod of iron: cf. Revelation 2:27, Revelation 12:5.—winepress: cf. Revelation 14:19.

Revelation 19:16. garment . . . thigh: these phrases do not refer to two different inscriptions, but mean "on the cloak and on that most exposed part of it which covers the thigh" (Swete).—King of Kings: the same title is bestowed on the Lamb in Revelation 17:14.

Revelation 19:17. Cf. Ezekiel 39:17-20, where the birds of prey are summoned to feast on the bodies of the slain.

Revelation 19:19. I saw the beast: the last reference to the beast (the Roman power personified in Nero) was in Revelation 17:16 ff., where he was forming a confederation of ten kings for the destruction of Babylon.

Revelation 19:20. the false prophet: cf. Revelation 16:13. In Revelation 13:11 f. he is described as the beast that cometh from the land.—the signs: a reference to the miracles wrought by "the false prophet" (Revelation 13:13)—the mark of the beast: Revelation 13:16*.—the lake of fire: this phrase occurs in Revelation 20:10; Revelation 20:14 f., Revelation 21:8. The expression is parallel to "the Gehenna of fire" of the Gospels (Matthew 5:22, Mark 9:43). Though burning by fire is the usual doom for the wicked (cf. Daniel 7:11, Matthew 13:42), the phrase "lake of fire" is peculiar to Revelation.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Revelation 19:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/revelation-19.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, August 13th, 2020
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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