Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 1:15

His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Brass;   Jesus, the Christ;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Christ;   Churches;   Theophanies;   Thompson Chain Reference - Glorified Christ, the;   Silence-Speech;   Voice;   The Topic Concordance - Jesus Christ;   War/weapons;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Brass, or Copper;   Water;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Amber;   Inspiration;   Prophets;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Glory;   Worship;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Humility;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Ascension of Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Amber;   Furnace;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Amber;   Angels;   Brass;   Metals;   Michael;   Serpent, Brazen;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apocalypse;   Arts;   Brass;   Feet;   Feet (2);   Fire;   Glory (2);   Justification;   Transfiguration (2);   Trump Trumpet ;   Water ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Brass;   Shoes;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Brass;   Golden candlesticks;   Laodicea;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Brass (brazen);   Feet;   Voice;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Copper;   Inspiration;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Fine;   Refiner;   Revelation of John:;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Metals;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 30;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

His feet like unto fine brass - An emblem of his stability and permanence, brass being considered the most durable of all metallic substances or compounds.

The original word, χαλκολιβανον, means the famous aurichalcum, or factitious metal, which, according to Suidas, was ειδος ηλεκτρου, τιμιωτερον χρυσου, "a kind of amber, more precious than gold." It seems to have been a composition of gold, silver, and brass, and the same with the Corinthian brass, so highly famed and valued; for when Lucius Mummius took and burnt the city of Corinth, many statues of these three metals, being melted, had run together, and formed the composition already mentioned, and which was held in as high estimation as gold. See Pliny, Hist. Nat., lib. 34, c. 2; Florus, lib. 2, c. 16. It may however mean no more than copper melted with lapis calaminaris, which converts it into brass; and the flame that proceeds from the metal during this operation is one of the most intensely and unsufferably vivid that can be imagined. I have often seen several furnaces employed in this operation, and the flames bursting up through the earth (for these furnaces are under ground) always called to remembrance this description given by St. John: His feet of fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; the propriety and accuracy of which none could doubt, and every one must feel who has viewed this most dazzling operation.

His voice as the sound of many waters - The same description we find in Ezekiel 43:2; : The glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and his voice was like the noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And his feet like unto fine brass - Compare Daniel 10:6, “And his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass.” See also Ezekiel 1:7, “and they” (the feet of the living creatures) “sparkled like the color of burnished brass.” The word used here - χαλκολιβάνω chalkolibanō- occurs in the New Testament only here and in Revelation 2:18. It is not found in the Septuagint. The word properly means “white brass” (probably compounded of χαλκός chalkosbrass, and λίβανος libanoswhiteness, from the Hebrew לבן labanwhite). Others regard it as from χαλκός chalkosbrass, and λιπαρόν liparonclear. The metal referred to was undoubtedly a species of brass distinguished for its clearness or whiteness. Brass is a compound metal, composed of copper and zinc. The color varies much according to the different proportions of the various ingredients. The Vulgate here renders the word “aurichalcum,” a mixture of gold and of brass - perhaps the same as the ἠλεκτρον ēlektron- the electrum of the ancients, composed of gold and of silver, usually in the proportion of four parts gold and one part silver, and distinguished for its brilliancy. See Robinson, Lexicon, and Wetstein, in loco. The kind of metal here referred to, however, would seem to be some compound of brass - of a whitish and brilliant color. The exact proportion of the ingredients in the metal here referred to cannot now be determined.

As if they burned in a furnace - That is, his feet were so bright that they seemed to be like a beautiful metal glowing intensely in the midst of a furnace. Anyone who has looked upon the dazzling and almost insupportable brilliancy of metal in a furnace, can form an idea of the image here presented.

And his voice as the sound of many waters - As the roar of the ocean, or of a cataract. Nothing could be a more sublime description of majesty and authority than to compare the voice of a speaker with the roar of the ocean. This comparison often occurs in the Scriptures. See Ezekiel 43:2, “And behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the east: and his voice was like the sound of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.” So Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6. Compare Ezekiel 1:24; Daniel 10:6.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-1.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And his feet like unto burnished brass, as it had been refined in a furnace; and his voice as the voice of many waters.

"The sense is that the feet of Jesus resembled gold-bronze, not as this is when it is cold, but as it appears when it is glowing in the intense heat of a furnace. Where such feet tread, they utterly blast and instantly turn to ashes everything they touch, or even approach.[48]

Here again, we have a figure that is utterly incompatible with the priestly function of our blessed Lord. It is in his character as Judge that he appears in this introductory vision and throughout the book of Revelation.

ENDNOTE:

[48] R. C.H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 66.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace,.... By which is meant, not his human nature in a suffering state; or his people, the meaner and lower parts of his mystical body, in a like state; or his apostles and ministers, who are supporters of his church, and run to and fro with spiritual knowledge, for which, though they suffer much, are permanent and glorious; but either the power of Christ in bearing up and supporting his people, in the care and government and defence of them; or his ways, works, and walks in his churches, and all his providential administrations towards them, which are holy, just, and righteous, and will be manifest; or his wrath and vengeance in treading down and trampling upon his enemies:

and his voice as the sound of many waters; meaning his Gospel, as preached by his apostles and ministers, which was heard far and near; see Romans 10:18; and which made a great noise in the world; or his voice of vengeance on his enemies, which will be very terrible and irresistible.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

fine brassGreek, “{(chalcolibanus},” derived by some from two Greek words, “brass” and “frankincense”; derived by Bochart from Greek, “{(chalcos},” “brass,” and Hebrew, “{(libbeen},” “to whiten”; hence, “brass,” which in the furnace has reached a white heat. Thus it answers to “burnished (flashing, or glowing) brass,” Ezekiel 1:7; Revelation 10:1, “His feet as pillars of fire.” Translate, “Glowing brass, as if they had been made fiery (red-hot) in a furnace.” The feet of the priests were bare in ministering in the sanctuary. So our great High Priest here.

voice as  …  many waters — (Ezekiel 43:2); in Daniel 10:6, it is “like the voice of a multitude.” )As the Bridegroom‘s voice, so the bride‘s, Revelation 14:2; {Rev_19:6}; Ezekiel 1:24, the cherubim, or redeemed creation. His voice, however, is here regarded in its terribleness to His foes. Contrast Song of Solomon 2:8; 5:2, with which compare Revelation 3:20.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-1.html. 1871-8.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

15. His feet were like unto brass.” This clause describes our Savior’s immutability, revealing the fact that He never changes, but is the same unutterable love, omniscient wisdom, and superabounding grace, yesterday, to-day, and forever. “His voice as the sound of many waters.” This reveals His awful denunciation of sin. The artillery on every battlefield, the roaring thunder, the mighty tread of the hurricane, the sweep of the cyclone, the shock of the earthquake, and the bitter wail of the earth’s suffering millions, articulate our Savior’s warning voices against sin, doom, and damnation.

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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/revelation-1.html.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Burnished brass (χαλκολιβανωιchalkolibanōi). Associative-instrumental case after ομοιοιhomoioi This word has so far been found nowhere else save here and Revelation 2:18. Suidas defines it as an ηλεχκτρονēlecktron (amber) or a compound of copper and gold and silver (aurichalcum in the Latin Vulgate). It is in reality an unknown metal.

As if it had been refined (ως πεπυρομενηςhōs pepuromenēs). Perfect passive participle of πυροωpuroō old verb, to set on fire, to glow, as in Ephesians 6:16; Revelation 3:18. The feminine gender shows that η χαλκολιβανοςhē chalkolibanos is referred to with της χαλκολιβανουtēs chalkolibanou understood, for it does not agree in case with the associative-instrumental χαλκολιβανωιchalkolibanōi just before. Some would call it a slip for πεπυρομενωιpepuromenōi as Aleph, and some cursives have it (taking χαλκολιβανωιchalkolibanōi to be neuter, not feminine). But P Q read πεπυρωμενοιpepurōmenoi (masculine plural), a correction, making it agree in number and gender with ποδεςpodes (feet).

In a furnace (εν καμινωιen kaminōi). Old word, in N.T. also Revelation 9:2; Matthew 13:42, Matthew 13:50.

As the voice of many waters (ως πωνη υδατων πολλωνhōs phōnē hudatōn pollōn). So the voice of God in the Hebrew (not the lxx) of Ezekiel 43:2. Repeated in Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Fine brass ( χαλκολιβάνῳ )

Rev., burnished brass. Only here and Revelation 2:18. Compare Ezekiel href="/desk/?q=eze+1:7&sr=1">Ezekiel 1:7. The meaning of the word is uncertain. Some explain electrum, an alloy of gold and silver: others, brass of Lebanon ( Αίβανος ) others, brass of the color of frankincense ( λίβανος ): others again, that it is an hybrid compound of the Greek χαλκός brass, and the Hebrew laban to make white. Dean Plumptre observes: “Such technical words were likely enough to be current in a population like that of Ephesus, consisting largely of workers in metal, some of whom were no doubt Jews” (“Epistles to the Seven Churches of Asia”).

Many waters

Compare Ezekiel 1:24; Ezekiel 43:2; Isaiah 17:12. See also Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

And his feet like fine brass — Denoting his stability and strength.

As if they burned in a furnace — As if having been melted and refined, they were still red hot.

And his voice — To the comfort of his friends, and the terror of his enemies.

As the voice of many waters — Roaring aloud, and bearing down all before them.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-1.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

As the sound of many waters; that is, as the roaring or thundering of the waves of the sea.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-1.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

Ver. 15. And his feet] He stood firm then when he was cast into the fire of his Father’s wrath. He trod the winepress alone, and set his feet on the necks of all his and our enemies. He lost no ground, when he grappled with the devil on his own dunghill, Matthew 4:1-11 "He will also bruise Satan under our feet shortly," Romans 16:20.

As the sound of many waters] Audible, terrible, forcible. Some Catadupes are deafened by the fall of this Nile. (Som. Scip.) But the spouse cries out, "O thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice; cause me to hear it," Song of Solomon 8:13.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 1:15. Unto fine brass, The original word χαλκολιβανον, signifies some kind of fine copper or brass; the inferior kind of auri chalcum, in use among the Romans. See Daniel 10:6 and Parkhurst on the word.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-1.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

15.] and his feet were like to chalcolibanus (this word has defeated all the ingenuity of Commentators hitherto. The Vulg. has aurichalcum (or ori- see Cic de Off. iii. 23. 12, Hor. de Art. poet. 202), the Syriac and Arethas, “brass from Lebanon” (1st altern. in catena,— εἴτε τὸν ἐν τῷ λιβάνῳ τῷ ὄρει μεταλλευόμενον), the Arabic “Greek brass,”—Andreas, and most of the German editions of the Bible, a kind of incense so called (2nd altern. in catena,— εἴτε καὶ τὸν χαλκοειδῆ λιβάνωτον νοητέον, ὃν ἰατρῶν παῖδες ἄῤῥενα καλοῦσιν, εὐώδεις καὶ αὐτὸν πυρὶ ὁμιλοῦντα ἀτμοὺς ἀποπέμποντα: Germ., Erzmeihrauch), on the authority of Antonius of Nebrissa (in Salmasius (Wetst.), ὁ λίβανος ἔχει τρία εἴδη δένδρων, καὶ ὁ μὲν ἄῤῥην ὀνομάζεται χαλκολίβανος, ἡλιοείδης καὶ πυῤῥός, ἤγουν ξανθός), who understands by the word some superior species of frankincense, the so-called ‘thus masculum:’ for in Greek frankincense is called λίβανος, after the Heb. לְבָנָה or לְבוֹנָה, from the root לָבַן, albus fuit. This writer refers to hymns of Orpheus in honour of Apollo and of Artemis, in which χαλκολίβ. occurs in the sense of a costly kind of incense (but all we find in the titles of hymns 7, 19, 21, 65, is λιβανόμαννα, possibly a mixture of frankincense and manna), and to Virg. Ecl. viii. 65,—‘Verbenasque adole pingues et mascula thura.’ Still it appears somewhat strained to refer χαλκολίβανος or - ον to ‘thus masculum:’ for, granted that ‘masculum’ may betoken its purity and clearness, how is χάλκος accounted for, which looks more like a hint at hardness? Besides, incense is not burnt ἐν καμίνῳ, in a smelting furnace, but in a censer or shallow vessel, and its colour while burning is no way observable. The interpretation, “brass from Lebanon,” does not appear to be tenable, as there is no notice of Lebanon ever having produced brass of superior quality, such as this from the context must be. Suidas interprets it thus: χαλκολίβανον, εἶδος, ἠλέκτρου τιμιώτερον χρυσοῦ. ἔστι δὲ τὸ ἤλεκτρον ἀλλότυπον χρυσίον μεμιγμένον ὑελῷ καὶ λιθείᾳ. And this, considering that in the similar and model passage, Daniel 10:6 LXX, we have χάλκος ἐξαστράπτων (as also in Ezekiel 1:7), ib. Theod. χάλκος στίλβων (as also in Ezekiel 40:3), and in Ezekiel 1:4; Ezekiel 1:27; Ezekiel 8:2, ἤλεκτρον,—seems the most likely direction in which to find the meaning. Still, as almost all Commentators confess, it must remain enigmatical, of what the word is compounded, and to what it precisely applies. According to usual analogy, not χάλκος but λίβανος is the central idea, and χάλκος the qualifying one, as in χαλκάνθη, χαλκόλιθος, χαλκοθήκη, &c. But this makes the difficulty greater; for we can assign no meaning to λίβανος which would fit this requirement. If conjecture were admissible (which it is not), I should, in despair of any way out of the difficulty, suggest whether the word might not have been χαλκολιβαδίῳ, a stream of melted brass: δι having been read λι or ν. At all events this may rank with Hitzig’s conjecture, χαλχοκλιβάνῳ), as if they had been burnt in a furnace (and so red-hot and glowing): and his voice as the voice of many waters (Ebrard sees an allusion to the quiet and majestic sound of the sea, appealing to ch. Revelation 17:1 and Revelation 13:1; but, as Düsterdieck remarks, there seems to be no such allusion here, but only to the power of the voice as resembling the rushing of many waters. So Daniel 10:6 Theod., ἡ φωνὴ αὐτοῦ ὡς φωνὴ ὄχλου: Ezekiel 43:2, where the same expression is found (in the Heb., with which agree Vulg., Syr., &c., but not LXX), ezee 1:24, where the sound of the wings of the creatures is ὡς φωνὴ ὕδατος πολλοῦ).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-1.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 1:15. To such eyes of flame,(776) belong feet ὅμοιοι χαλκολιβάνῳ ὡς ἐν καμίνῳ πεπυρωμένῃ, which tread down unholy enemies.(777) De Wette is wrong in finding in this feature no other meaning than that of the splendor.

The word χαλκολίβανος,(778) which the Vulg. renders by orichalcum,(779) and Luther by Messing, is of doubtful derivation and meaning. Ewald follows an ancient testimony(780) which says that one of the three kinds of incense is so called.(781) As the entire picture has to do with more than color,(782) and as the type of Daniel 10:6(783) leads to the idea of brass,(784) incense can in no way be thought of. This is also, within the comparison itself, highly unnatural. The feet appear like brass, but at the same time, as the second member,(785) ὢς ἐν κα΄. πεπυρω΄ένῃ, says, “as in a furnace glowing with fire,” and therefore like the feet of the angel, Revelation 10:2, which are ὡς στύλοι πυρός. But whether the word(786) be a hybrid term composed of χαλκός and לָכָן, and therefore mean glowing white;(787) or “brass from Lebanon;”(788) or be taken as an intentionally mysterious designation of the ambiguous ἤλεκτρον, which denotes an alloy,(789) and also amber,(790) and therefore corresponds in some degree to the former as well as to the second part of χαλκολίβανος,(791)—cannot be certainly decided. The intentional mysteriousness is improbable; even though the idea were possible, that—of course, only in the provincialism of Asia Minor—the word were popularly formed and used in the sense received by Züllig. Wetzel,(792) by recurring to the root λὶβ, i.e., running, flowing, reaches the explanation of molten metal (Erzfluss); perfectly adapted to the meaning, but without sufficient justification in the language.

καὶ φωνὴ αὐτ., κ. τ. λ. Cf. Daniel 10:6; Ezekiel 43:2; Ezekiel 1:24. The force of the voice is represented (cf. Revelation 1:10), but the majesty peculiar to the peaceful murmur of the sea(793) is not to be thought of.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 1:15. πεπυρωμένῳ) So Uffenb. and one or two others, and the ancient versions. Others read πεπυρωμένοι.(20) It is an epithet not of the feet, but of the word χαλκολιβάνου;(21) and therefore it is not repeated, ch. Revelation 2:18. χαλκός brass; λίβανος, incense: χαλκολίβανος, a species of brass, like incense. See Bochart’s Hierozoicon, at the end, where, in a full discussion, he explains it as white brass. Comp. Daniel 10:6, on shining brass. Hesychius, ἅπασα χαλκῆ, λαμπρὰ ὅλη, κρῆτες, “The Cretans express by it what is wholly of brass, shining all over.”

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And his feet like unto fine brass: there are nice disquisitions what this chalcolibanum (which we translate, fine brass) was: vid. Poli Synopsin. I understand not of what profit the determination will be to us. By the feet of Christ (probably) are signified his ways, counsels, and methods, in ordering and governing his church, which are compared to fine brass, for the beauty and glory of them, and for their firmness, strength, and steadiness.

As if they burned in a furnace; they appeared like brass filled with fire, as if it were burning, and red-hot in furnace.

And his voice as the sound of many waters; loud and terrible, like the noise of the sea dashing upon a rock, or the shore.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-1.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

ноги Его подобны халколивану В некоторых вариантах переводится «подобны меди расплавленной». (Возможно, халколиван напоминал ее по цвету.) Алтарь для сжигания жертвы был покрыт медью, и вся утварь была сделана из меди (ср. Исх. 38:2-6). Ноги как раскаленные в печи – недвусмысленная ссылка на высший суд. Иисус Христос ступает в Своей церкви ногами правосудия, чтобы употребить карающую власть над грехом.

голосшум вод многих Недолго был Его голос кристально-чистым, как звук трубы (ст. 10). Иоанн сравнивает его с грохотом волн, бьющихся о каменистый берег острова (ср. Иез. 43:2). Это голос власти.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-1.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Fine brass; the word used in the original is generally thought to denote a mixed metal composed of gold and silver, and distinguished for its brilliancy.

As if they burned in a furnace; shining with intense brightness.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And his voice as the voice of many waters.’

In Ezekiel 43:2 we are told that God’s voice was ‘like the sound of many waters’ as the glory of God came and the earth shone with His glory. This is clearly reflected here. Later the sound of heavenly voices is also described in these terms (Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6). So the voice of the ‘son of man’ is as the voice of God and as the voice of a heavenly multitude, demonstrating His supreme power (compare and contrast ‘as of a trumpet’ Revelation 1:10).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

His feet looked like bronze glowing in the reflection of a fire. This is probably an allusion to His purity as He moves among the churches (cf. Luke 1:79; Acts 5:9; Romans 3:15; Romans 10:15; Hebrews 12:13). [Note: Thomas, Revelation 1-7, pp101-2.] Perhaps it also implies His purity as proved during His earthly walk that made Him a sympathetic high priest ( Hebrews 4:15; cf. Hebrews 2:18). The figure also connotes strength and stability (cf. Daniel 2:33; Daniel 2:41).

His voice sounded like a rushing river such as the Niagara at its Falls, namely, authoritative, powerful, and irresistible (cf. Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6; Psalm 93:4; Isaiah 17:13; Ezekiel 43:2).

"Perhaps two ideas are suggested here: (1) Christ gathers together all the "streams of revelation" and is the Father"s "last Word" to man ( Hebrews 1:1-3); (2) He speaks with power and authority and must be heard." [Note: Wiersbe, 2:569.]

John would have hardly ever been away from the sound of waves beating on the shore while he lived on Patmos.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-1.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

His feet like unto fine brass, to signify the purity and steadfastness of his steps and actions. --- His voice as the sound of many waters, the sound of his preaching by himself, and by his apostles, has been heard throughout all nations of the world. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

fine brass. Only here and Revelation 2:18.

as . . . burned = as glowing.

furnace. Only here; Revelation 9:2. Matthew 13:42, Matthew 13:50.

voice . . . waters. See Revelation 1:10; Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6. Ezekiel 1:24; Ezekiel 43:2.

voice. Same word as "sound". Greek. phone.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

Fine brass, [ chalkolibanoo (Greek #5474), derived by some from the Greek, brass and frankincense: by Bochart, from brass, and Hebrew, libben, to whiten brass] - having in the furnace reached a white heat: so "burnished (glowing) brass" (Ezekiel 1:7; Revelation 10:1). Translate, 'glowing brass, as if they had been made redhot in a furnace.' The feet of the priests were bare in ministering in the sanctuary. So our great High Priest.

Voice as ... many waters - (Ezekiel 43:2; in Daniel 10:6, "like the voice of a multitude"). As the bridegroom's voice, so the bride's, Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6; Ezekiel 1:24, the cherubim, or redeemed creation. His voice here refers to its terribleness to His foes. Contrast Song of Solomon 2:8; Song of Solomon 5:2 : cf. Revelation 3:20.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(15) His feet like unto fine brass.—The feet, like the feet of the ministering priests of Israel, were bare, and appeared like chalcolibanus (fine brass). The exact meaning of this word (used only here) is not certain. The most trustworthy authors incline to take it as a hybrid word, half Greek, half Hebrew—chalcos, brass, and labân, white, to whiten—and understand it to signify brass which has attained in the furnace a white heat. “Such technical words were likely enough to be current in a population like that of Ephesus, consisting largely of workers in metal, some of whom—if we may judge from the case of Alexander the coppersmith (Acts 19:34; 2 Timothy 4:14)—were, without doubt, Jews. I believe the word in question to have belonged to this technical vocabulary. It is at any rate used by St. John as familiar and intelligible to those for whom he wrote” (Prof. Plumptre in the Epistles to Seven Churches, in loco).

His voice as the sound (better, voice, as the same word—phoné—is used twice, and translated first “voice” and then “sound” in our English version) of many waters.—Daniel described the voice of the Ancient of Days as the voice of a multitude (Daniel 10:6); but the voice of the multitude was in earlier Hebrew writings compared to the sound of the waves of the sea, which the voice of the Lord alone could subdue (Psalms 65:7; Psalms 93:4). This image the Evangelist adopts to describe the voice of Christ—strong and majestic, amid the Babel-sounds of earth. That voice, whose word stilled the sea, sounds as the waves of the sea, which St. John heard Him rebuke.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
his feet
2:18; Ezekiel 1:7; 40:3; Daniel 10:6
his voice
14:2; 19:6; Psalms 93:4; Isaiah 17:13; Ezekiel 43:2
Reciprocal: Song of Solomon 5:15 - legs;  Isaiah 30:30 - his glorious voice;  Ezekiel 1:4 - colour;  Ezekiel 1:24 - like;  Ezekiel 3:12 - a voice;  Ezekiel 8:2 - I beheld;  John 3:23 - much;  Revelation 10:1 - pillars;  Revelation 18:2 - cried

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-1.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

The original for brass is defined by Thayer as follows: "Some metal, like gold if not more precious." As if they burned in a furnace is said to indicate the brightness of the appearance. When used figuratively many waters means great numbers of people. The significance of this and the preceding verse is to show the dignity and authority of Christ as represented by this person.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-1.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 1:15

Revelation 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

"And his feet like unto fine brass, as having been refined in a furnace," etc.

By the "Feet" of Christ here, we may understand the paths or ways of his feet, called his footsteps, which the saints ought to follow, { 1 Peter 2:21} both in suffering and in doing the Father's will. Christ's active and passive obedience hath been tried, as "refined brass," and all Christ's proceedings in the world, against his, and his churches and peoples enemies and adversaries, are righteous, firm, and stable. {Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 Corinthians 15:24-25}

"And his Voice as the sound of many Waters"

Christ's "Voice" is either the voice of his word, or the voice of his rod. First, the WORD is his voice. { Jeremiah 26:1-2} either commanding, { Psalm 33:9-10} effecting { John 5:25} or forbidding, { Exodus 20:13-17} and hindering. { Genesis 20:6} Secondly, the rod is his voice, { Micah 6:9} The Lord's voice crieth unto the city-Hear ye the rod; and who hath appointed it; viz. The rod of correction wherewith he chasteneth his own children in love and measure, { Revelation 3:19; Psalm 89:30-32} or his iron rod, the rod of his wrath, wherewith HE breaketh in pieces all his enemies. { Psalm 2:9-10; Luke 19:14-27; Revelation 2:27} Christ's "Voice" is compared to "the sound of many Waters," with respect unto the majesty and power thereof. { Psalm 29:3-5} The Voice of the LORD is powerful, the Voice of the Lord is full of Majesty. { Revelation 1:10} The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. Christ is King of saints, { Revelation 15:3} King of Zion, { Psalm 149:2} and King of nations, { Jeremiah 10:7-10; Revelation 11:15} and Everlasting King. { 1 Timothy 6:15} Now where the word of a king Isaiah, there is power. { Ecclesiastes 8:4}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-1.html.

D.S. Clark's Commentary on Revelation

V:15. "Feet like molten brass." Strength and majesty are in his going forth. Feet swift to girdle the earth; tireless to stride down the centuries; strong to trample down all his enemies.

"His voice as the sound of many waters," Sweet and low as the brook that sings its way through the meadow, or filled with majesty and grandeur as it speaks the language of judgment and fear, as the roar of the angry surf as it thunders upon the shore. For those who hear not the one, Christ reserves the other. There are such contrasts in Christ because there are such contrasts in men.

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Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 1:15. And his feet like clear brass, as if they glowed in an oven, and his voice as the sound of great waters. On the first half Bengel says: "This has respect to his great power, with which he brings all under him, as with a bar of metal, which at the same time is burning hot, one can give a very powerful thrust. Oh, how will he tread down all his enemies!" Clear brass, in the sense of heated brass, Chalkolibanos, is an enigmatical term, formed by John himself in a peculiar manner. For which reason the words, "as if they glowed in an oven," are added by way of explanation. And hence these words, being merely of an explanatory character, are wanting in the second passage, where the Chalkolibanos occurs, Revelation 2:18.[Note: There can be no doubt that the Chalkolibanos corresponds to the Nechoshet Kalal of Ezekiel 1:7, where it is said of the Cherubim: "And they sparkle (in the feet) as the aspect of Nechoshet Kalal;'' and in Daniel it is said of Michael: "And his arms and his feet like the aspect of Nechoshet Kalul." In this expositors agree, only several suppose that Chalkolibanos at the same time corresponds to the Chasmal, חשמל, in Ezekiel 1:27, while they quite improperly identify this with the Nechoshet Kulal; see the proof given of the complete difference at ch. 4:3. If, therefore, we would determine the signification of Chalkolibanos, we must in the first instance settle that of Neehosbet Kalnl. This properly signifies clear or light brass. But in the two passages this is used not in the sense of shining brass, but of brass in a glow-heat, as was perceived by the old translators, the LXX. ἐ ξαστρά πτων, Vulg. aes candens, Chal. ses flammans, Peschito fulgurans. That we must think not of glittering brass, but of brass in a glow-heat, appears, 1. from what precedes in Daniel, "and his face was as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as flames of fire." 2. By comparing the passages in Ezekiel, Ezekiel 1:27; Ezekiel 8:2. "From the loins and under there was seen as the appearance of fire." 3. By the נֹצְצִים in Ezekiel 1:7, which signifies not glittering, but emitting sparks, scintillantes. With this result, which we have obtained by a comparison if Nechoshet Kalal, agrees the explanatory clause, "as if they glowed in an oven;" and also that other, "his feet are as pillars of fire," in ch. 10:1. Having thus ascertained the sense, we shall not need to be in doubt as to the derivation. The only legitimate derivation is that from χαλκό ς brass, and לבנה, whiteness, here used of the whitish glitter of mnch heated brass. לבן, according to Buitorf, means albare, album, candens, igninim reddere, candefacere; לבין metallorum in igne candefuctio. Examples of similar bastard-words are given by Bochart Hieroz. III. p. 900, Lips. The supposition of such a peculiar composition is here attended with the less difficulty, as the fact of the words nowhere occurring except here and in ch. 2:18, places it beyond a doubt that John had formed it, and as the appended explanation also shows, that it was of an enigmatical description. Accordingly a quite ordinary derivation, such as that of Hitzig, who has revived the old exploded opinion that χαλκολί βανος stands for χαλκοκλί βανος, has the presumption not for, but against it. In the formation of χαλκολί βανος we are presented with a small image of the innermost nature of the Apocalypse. The singular manner in which the Hebrew and the Hellenic are fused together in it, proved anciently a stone of stumbling to the existing theology of the Greek church, on which many actually fell. Those whose calling it is to reveal the secrets of God, delight sometimes to stamp on their productions, even in the individual and the external, something of a mysterious, enigmatical character. In Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, not a little of this is to be found. Even the Gospel of John, and it alone among the Gospels, presents something similar to this; for example, Sychar for Sychem in ch. 4:5: see my Beitr. II. p. 25.]After the descriptionof the more important features, there follows now what else seemed worthy of notice in the appearance—the voice, what he had in his right hand, and what proceeded out of his mouth, last of all his countenance like the sun, far transcending the splendour of the stars in his right hand. The voice, from the connection is that with which he chides his enemies whether within or without the church, and which for them utters the thundering and destructive cry, Thus far, but no farther. "The voice as the voice of many waters," is from Daniel 10:6, "and the voice of his words like a great clamour," coupled with Ezekiel 42:2, "And his voice was the voice of many waters." Comp. also Psalms 92:3-4. The world-power breaks forth like a tempestuous sea; but more glorious than the sea with its swelling waves is the Lord in the height, and he loudly utters his voice.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-1.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

15.Passing down his priestly-royal robe from his head to his feet, we are again dazzled with the splendour. They are like unto fine brass melted into a white heat in a furnace. How uncouth is Hengstenberg’s quotation from Bengel! “This has respect to his great power, with which he brings all under him, as with a bar of metal burning hot,” etc. But his feet are not said to be brass, but only like brass; and that not in solidity, being melted, but in their intensity of colouring and splendour. The apparent fusion of the brass negatives the “bar;” and may represent that molecular mobility by which the resurrection body is in every element at once indestructible and yet flexible and transformable at will. See note, 1 Corinthians 15:44. They once were flesh; they are now transfigured into an immortal nature, of which the blazing furnace can alone suggest the radiance. The Greek compound word for fine brass, used here and at Revelation 2:18, , is thought to be a term originated by John. Of what term affixed to brass the compound consists, scholars are doubtful. Salmasius and Ewald find the compound to be furnace brass; Bochart, white brass, alluding to the white heat; but most probable of all seems Lebanon brass or fine brass, first brought from Mount Lebanon, and thence generalized in meaning to mountain brass; an explanation furnished by the old Greek commentator Arethas, and sustained by the Syriac and Ethiopic Versions.

Voice’ many waters—Symbol of majesty and power, referring, rather, to the flow of torrents than to the waves of the ocean. The entire imagery suggests superhuman grandeur of size, and requires a correspondent power of voice.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-1.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

15. His feet... his voice. Along with the eyes that blaze like fire, these are symbolic of great power and authority (see Daniel 10:6; Ezekiel 43:2).

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:15". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.