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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Revelation 15



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Verse 1

Another sign in heaven (αλλο σημειον εν τωι ουρανωιallo sēmeion en tōi ouranōi). Looking back to Revelation 12:1, Revelation 12:3, after the series intervening. The Seven Bowls are parallel with the Seven Seals (ch. Rev 6) and the Seven Trumpets (chapters Rev 8-11), but there is an even closer connection with chapters Rev 12-14, “the drama of the long conflict between the church and the world” (Swete).

Great and marvellous (μεγα και ταυμαστονmega kai thaumaston). ΤαυμαστοςThaumastos is an old verbal adjective (from ταυμαζωthaumazō to wonder) and is already in Matthew 21:42. The wonder extends to the end of this vision or sign (Revelation 16:21).

Seven angels (αγγελους επταaggelous hepta). Accusative case in apposition with σημειονsēmeion after ειδονeidon Cf. Revelation 8:2.

Which are the last (τας εσχαταςtas eschatas). “Seven plagues the last.” As in Revelation 21:9, “the final cycle of such visitations” (Swete).

Is finished (ετελεστηetelesthē). Proleptic prophetic first aorist passive indicative of τελεωteleō as in Revelation 10:7. The number seven seems particularly appropriate here for finality and completeness.

Verse 2

As it were a glassy sea (ως ταλασσαν υαλινηνhōs thalassan hualinēn). Accusative case after ειδονeidon and ωςhōs here, not in Revelation 4:6, which see for the symbol.

Mingled with fire (μεμιγμενην πυριmemigmenēn puri). Perfect passive participle of μιγνυμιmignumi to mix, and the associative instrumental case πυριpuri This item not in Revelation 4:6 (a vision of peace), but here it adds to the splendour of the vision. This parenthesis (Revelation 15:2-4) gives a picture of the martyrs in their state of bliss.

Them that come off victorious (τους νικωνταςtous nikōntas). Present active articular participle of νικαωnikaō accusative after ειδονeidon “those that come off victorious” (Revelation 14:4).

From the beast and from his image (εκ του τηριου και εκ της εικονος αυτουek tou thēriou kai ek tēs eikonos autou). This use of εκek after νικαωnikaō is unusual, also with εκ του αριτμουek tou arithmou For these items see Revelation 13:1, Revelation 13:14, Revelation 13:17; Revelation 14:9, Revelation 14:11; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:4.

By the glassy sea (επι την ταλασσαν την υαλινηνepi tēn thalassan tēn hualinēn). Or “upon” more likely (Revelation 4:6) with the accusative as in Matthew 14:25.

Harps of God (κιταρας του τεουkitharas tou theou). Objective genitive, for the worship of God (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 14:2; 1 Chronicles 16:42).

Verse 3

The song of Moses (την ωιδην του Μωυσεωςtēn ōidēn tou Mōuseōs). Exodus 14:31; 15:1-19. A song of victory like that of Moses after crossing the Red Sea.

And the song of the Lamb (την ωιδην του αρνιουtēn ōidēn tou arniou). A separate note of victory like that of Moses, though one song, not two. Charles finds it impossible to reconcile the two expressions, if genuine, but it is a needless objection. The words come from the O.T.: “great” (μεγαλαmegala) from Psalm 111:2, “wonderful” (ταυμασταthaumasta) from Psalm 139:14, “O Lord God the Almighty” (Κυριε ο τεος ο παντοκρατωρKurie ho theos ho pantokratōr) from Amos 4:13 (Revelation 4:8), “righteous and true” (δικαιαι και αλητιναιdikaiai kai alēthinai) from Deuteronomy 32:4, “Thou King of the ages” (ο βασιλευς των αιωνωνho basileus tōn aiōnōn) like Jeremiah 10:10; 1 Timothy 1:17. Some MSS. have “the king of the saints” and some “the king of the nations,” like Jeremiah 10:7. John thus combines in Hebraic tone the expressions of the old and the new in the song to the Glorified Messiah.

Verse 4

Who shall not fear? (τις ου μη ποβητηιtis ou mē phobēthēi̱). Rhetorical question with ου μηou mē (double negative) and first aorist passive subjunctive of ποβεομαιphobeomai future passive in Jeremiah 10:7).

And glorify (και δοχασειkai doxasei). Change here to the future indicative instead of the aorist subjunctive, as often. Cf. Psalm 86:9.

Thou only art holy (μονος οσιοςmonos hosios). Both predicate adjectives, “Thou art alone holy.” God alone is perfectly holy (Revelation 16:5).

Shall come (ηχουσινhēxousin). Future active of ηκωhēkō worship (και προσκυνησουσινkai proskunēsousin). Future active of προσκυνεωproskuneō Both from Psalm 86:9.

Have been made manifest (επανερωτησανephanerōthēsan). Prophetic first aorist passive indicative of πανεροωphaneroō This martyr‘s song has the ring of great poetry.

Verse 5

The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony (ο ναος της σκηνης του μαρτυριουho naos tēs skēnēs tou marturiou). Charles calls this “strange” language. Probably the tabernacle or tent of witness (Numbers 9:15; Numbers 17:7) is in mind and the tent of meeting (Exodus 27:21 rather than the temple in Jerusalem.

Was opened (ηνοιγηēnoigē). Second aorist passive indicative of ανοιγωanoigō as in Revelation 11:19. For ναοςnaos see Revelation 3:12; Revelation 7:15; Revelation 14:15, Revelation 14:17; Revelation 16:1, Revelation 16:17.

Verse 6

There came out (εχηλτανexēlthan). Second aorist active indicative of εχερχομαιexerchomai with αν̇an rather than ον̇on Proleptic and prophetic aorist.

The seven angels (οι επτα αγγελοιhoi hepta aggeloi). Those in Revelation 15:1.

The seven plagues (τας επτα πληγαςtas hepta plēgas). The bowls are not given them till Revelation 15:7.

Arrayed (ενδεδυμενοιendedumenoi). Perfect passive participle of ενδυωenduō precious stone pure and bright (λιτον καταρον λαμπρονlithon katharon lampron). Accusative case retained with verb of clothing as so often, literally “with a stone pure bright.” For both adjectives together see Revelation 19:8, Revelation 19:14. Some MSS. read λινονlinon (linen). For λιτονlithon see Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:16; Ezekiel 28:13.

Girt (περιεζωσμενοιperiezōsmenoi). Perfect passive participle of περιζωννυωperizōnnuō See Revelation 1:13 for both participles. For στητοςstēthos (breast) see Luke 18:13.

With golden girdles (ζωνας χρυσαςzōnas chrusās). Accusative case after the perfect passive participle περιεζωσμενοιperiezōsmenoi as in Revelation 1:13.

Verse 7

Seven golden bowls (επτα πιαλας χρυσαςhepta phialas chrusās). Golden saucers, but not full of incense as in Revelation 5:8, but “full (γεμουσαςgemousas for which see Revelation 5:8) of the wrath of God who liveth for ever and ever” (του τυμου του τεου του ζωντος εις τους αιωνας των αιωνωνtou thumou tou theou tou zōntos eis tous aiōnas tōn aiōnōn). Portents of dreadful events.

Verse 8

Was filled with smoke (εγεμιστη καπνουegemisthē kapnou). First aorist passive indicative of γεμιζωgemizō (from γεμωgemō), to fill full, and with the genitive καπνουkapnou (smoke). Smoke is here the symbol of God‘s presence (Exodus 19:18; Isaiah 6:5).

Till should be finished (αχρι τελεστωσινachri telesthōsin). Temporal clause for future time with αχριachri (equal to εωςheōs in import) and the first aorist passive subjunctive of τελεωteleō a metaphorical and symbolic “smoke screen” to keep all out of the sanctuary for the time being.



Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 15:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 31st, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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