Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 1:7

Behold, He is coming with the clouds , and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
New American Standard Version
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Adam Clarke Commentary

Behold, he cometh with clouds - This relates to his coming to execute judgment on the enemies of his religion; perhaps to his coming to destroy Jerusalem, as he was to be particularly manifested to them that pierced him, which must mean the incredulous and rebellious Jews.

And all kindreds of the earth - Πασαι αἱ φυλαι της γης· All the tribes of the land. By this the Jewish people are most evidently intended, and therefore the whole verse may be understood as predicting the destruction of the Jews; and is a presumptive proof that the Apocalypse was written before the final overthrow of the Jewish state.

Even so, Amen - Ναι, αμην· Yea, Amen. It is true, so be it. Our Lord will come and execute judgment on the Jews and Gentiles. This the Jews and Romans particularly felt.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold he cometh with clouds - That is, the Lord Jesus, when he returns, will come accompanied with clouds. This is in accordance with the uniform representation respecting the return of the Saviour. See the notes on Matthew 24:30. Compare Matthew 26:64; Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62; Acts 1:9, Acts 1:11. Clouds are appropriate symbols of majesty, and God is often represented as appearing in that manner. See Exodus 19:18; Psalm 18:11 ff; Isaiah 19:1. So, among the pagan, it was common to represent their divinities as appearing clothed with a cloud:

“tandem venias, precamur,

Nube candentes humeros amictus.

Augur Apollo”

The design of introducing this representation of the Saviour, and of the manner in which he would appear, seems to be to impress the mind with a sense of the majesty and glory. of that being from whom John received his revelations. His rank, his character, his glory were such as to demand respect; all should reverence him, and all should feel that his communications about the future were important to them, for they must soon appear before him.

And every eye shall see him - He will be made visible in his glory to all that dwell upon the earth; to all the children of men. Everyone, therefore, has an interest in what he says; everyone has this in certain prospect, that he shall see the Son of God coming as a Judge.

And they also which pierced him - When he died; that is, they who pierced his hands, his feet, and his side. There is probably an allusion here to Zechariah 12:10; “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn.” The language here is so general that it may refer to any act of looking upon the pierced Saviour, and might be applied to those who would see him on the cross and to their compunctious visitings then; or to their subsequent reflections, as they might look by faith on him whom they had crucified; or to the feeling of any sinners who should reflect that their sins had been the cause of the death of the Lord Jesus; or it might be applied, as it is here, more specifically to the feelings which his murderers will have when they shall see him coming in his glory. All sinners who have pierced his heart by their crimes will then behold him and will mourn over their treatment of him; they, in a special manner, who imbrued their hands in his blood will then remember their crime and be overwhelmed with alarm. The design of what is here said seems to be, to show that the coming of the Saviour will be an event of great interest to all mankind. None can be indifferent to it, for all will see him. His friends will hail his advent (compare Revelation 22:20), but all who were engaged in putting him to death, and all who in any manner have pierced his heart by sin and ingratitude, unless they shall have repented, will have occasion of bitter lamentation when he shall come. There are none who have a more fearful doom to anticipate than the murderers of the Son of God, including those who actually put him to death, and those who would have engaged in such an act had they been present, and those who, by their conduct, have done all they could to pierce and wound him by their ingratitude.

And all kindreds of the earth - Greek, “All the tribes - φυλαὶ phulaiof the earth.” This language is the same which the Saviour uses in Matthew 24:30. See the notes on that passage. The word “tribes” is what is commonly applied to the twelve tribes of Israel, and thus used, it would describe the inhabitants of the Holy Land; but it may be used to denote nations and people in general, as descended from a common ancestor, and the connection requires that it should be understood in this sense here, since it is said that “every eye shall see him”; that is, all that dwell on the face of the earth.

Shall wail because of him - On account of him; on account of their treatment of him. The word rendered “wail” - κόπτω koptō- means properly to beat, to cut; then to beat or cut oneself in the breast as an expression of sorrow; and then to lament, to cry aloud in intense grief. The coming of the Saviour will be an occasion of this:

(a)because it will be an event which will call the sins of people to remembrance, and

(b)because they will be overwhelmed with the apprehension of the wrath to come.

Nothing would fill the earth with greater consternation than the coming of the Son of God in the clouds of heaven; nothing could produce so deep and universal alarm. This fact, which no one can doubt, is proof that people feel that they are guilty, since, if they were innocent, they would have nothing to dread by his appearing. It is also a proof that they believe in the doctrine of future punishment, since, if they do not, there is no reason why they should be alarmed at his coming. Surely people would not dread his appearing if they really believed that all will be saved. Who dreads the coming of a benefactor to bestow favors on him? Who dreads the appearing of a jailer to deliver him from prison; of a physician to raise him up from a bed of pain; of a deliverer to knock off the fetters of slavery? And how can it be that people should be alarmed at the coming of the Saviour, unless their consciences tell them that they have much to fear in the future? The presence of the Redeemer in the clouds of heaven would destroy all the hopes of those who believe in the doctrine of universal salvation - as the approach of death now often does. People believe that there is much to be dreaded in the future world, or they would not fear the coming of Him who shall wind up the affairs of the human race.

Even so, Amen - ναὶ, ἀμήν naiamēn“A double expression of “so be it, assuredly, certainly,” one in Greek and the other in Hebrew” (Prof. Stuart). Compare Romans 8:16, “Abba, Father” - ἀββᾶ, ὁ πατήρ abbaho patērThe idea which John seems to intend to convey is, that the coming of the Lord Jesus, and the consequences which he says will follow, are events which are altogether certain. This is not the expression of a wish that it may be so, as our common translation would seem to imply, but a strong affirmation that it will be so. In some passages, how. over, the word ( ναὶ nai) expresses assent to what is said, implying approbation of it as true, or as desirable. “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight,” Matthew 11:26; Luke 10:21. So in Revelation 16:7, “Even so ( ναὶ nai), Lord God Almighty.” So in Revelation 22:20, “Even so ( ναὶ nai), come, Lord Jesus.” The word “Amen” here seems to determine the meaning of the phrase, and to make it the affirmation of a “certainty,” rather than the expression of a “wish.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-1.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Revelation 1:7

Behold, He cometh with clouds.

Behold, He cometh

The second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is set before us as the supreme hope of the Church, that great and glorious event towards which all is leading up, or for which all is preparing. This being so, our feelings in regard of it will serve us as a test by which to gauge ourselves with respect to our present condition before God. If things are as they should be with us, we shall be able to say from our heart, “Even so, Amen.” Have any of us failed before this simple test? Have we come to the conclusion that, though we hope we love the Lord, we do not love His appearing? What are the causes that render it possible for any true child of God to shrink from the thought of his Master’s return? Conspicuous amongst these is that secret worldliness of heart, against which the Master so solemnly warned us: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your heart be overcharged with … the cares of this life.” Have we to confess that we have been living and labouring to win wealth, or fame, or social distinction, or to better our position, and to gain the honour that cometh from man? Ah! no wonder then that we love not His appearing, for has not our worldly self become within us a little Antichrist, whom the Lord must needs destroy by the brightness of His coming? Or peradventure we are entangled by worldly associations. Instead of so loving the world as Christ loved it, and going into it to save its perishing children, we have gone there in search of social pleasure, and have found a social snare; and instead of going outside the camp bearing Christ’s reproach, we have become conformed to the world’s image, and accept its maxims and wear its uniform. Ah! how can we desire the Lord’s appearing if we have been false to our colours? Or again, is it not only too obvious that many are prevented from uttering this prayer from the heart because they know that they have been leading an indolent and useless life? Have you an inward conviction that the Lord Jesus Christ must, as a matter of simple truth, say of your service, were He now to appear, “Thou wicked and slothful servant … take the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath ten talents”? Or, once again, how many a Christian is robbed of his Advent hope by some secret sin, known perhaps only to God and himself, extenuated and even defended by a perverted understanding, but already condemned by the inward witness of the Holy Ghost in his hearty It may be some crooked, or at any rate questionable, practice in business; it may be some impurity of thought, or even of action; it may be some habit of levity and frivolousness, or loose and giddy speech; or it may be a custom of exaggeration and untruthfulness which you have familiarised yourself with until you scarcely are aware of it when you fall into the fault. Or perhaps it may not be secret sin which stands between us and our hope, but rather an open and obvious inconsistency apparent to all around as well as to ourselves. Many real Christians, I am persuaded, are unable to love the Lord’s appearing because they are walking rather after the flesh than after the Spirit. Now, if for any of these reasons you feel yourselves unable to love and pray for the Lord’s appearing, consider, I pray you, whence you have fallen, how your highest glory is being turned into your deepest shame. Oh, cast away all that robs thee of thy Advent hope and of the joys of anticipation, and make a fresh and full surrender of thyself. But if the thought of this glorious event prove so very heart-searching to us, who have already come under the influence of God’s grace, how very powerfully should it weigh with those who have not yet taken the very first step in the Christian life! It is surely high time for such to listen to the Advent cry, “Behold, He cometh with clouds.” “Behold, He cometh.” Oh that men would respond to that call for here indeed is something worth looking at. Man may say “Behold!” about many things of small import, but when God says “Behold! “rest assured there is something worth looking at before us. A voice from heaven is pleading for our attention, and it seems to say, “Stop and think, the foredoomed hour draws nigh, return and come!” “And every eye shall see Him.” It will not be a matter of choice or preference then, as it is now; a stern necessity will compel every human being that God has made, whether he will or no, to behold the approaching King. Drawn as by an irresistible force, all shall be brought into His presence, and find themselves arraigned before the bar of the Judge. Who are they to whom this revelation of Jesus Christ will cause such unspeakable despair? They are described here. And let us be honest with ourselves, and face the question candidly: “Do I belong to the classes that are mentioned here as being plunged into such dire distress? First we hear of those who pierced Him. Have any of us pierced Him? True, we were not present at Calvary, we had no part in driving in the iron nails into His quivering palms, or in thrusting the spear into His side. But have we never pierced Him? Yes, not once only, but over and over again, in the long, dark ages of man’s history, Jesus Christ has been pierced, and He is being pierced still. How do men pierce Him? Surely by undisguised hostility and contemptuous scorn. It is wonderful to what length men will still go in their hatred of Christ. Still He has to complain, “They hated Me without a cause.” The bitter things that men of the world say about Christians, what is it but a determined attempt to wound the Master through the servants? Others, again, pierce Jesus by cold indifference and heartless ingratitude. You can be kind and tender in every other relationship of life; you are a generous husband and a considerate and sympathising father; and you are a gentle and devoted wife and a tender-hearted mother and friend; there is only one Person whom you habitually slight and treat with ingratitude and neglect, as though it were a matter of indifference to you whether you pleased or pained Him, and that Person is Divine. Him you have treated with contempt, His love you have rejected, and His mercy you have despised. Ah, how will you face Him when every eye shall see Him, and you shall know at last how your callous indifference, your black ingratitude, has pierced the sensitive heart of the Son of Man, who lived and died for you? How will you endure the wrath of the Lamb? Some of you again have pierced Jesus by deliberately choosing something which He hates in preference to Himself. Ah, how often this is done! It may be that your preference falls on some evil habit that is destroying you, body and soul; it may be some accursed sin that is poisoning your whole being, and yet you prefer it to Christ. But our text speaks of others besides these. It tells us how “all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” To which of the two kindreds do you belong? Are you of the earth, earthy, or are you citizens of Mount Zion? for to one or other of these two classes we all belong. Judge yourselves, lest that day come upon you as a thief in the night, revealing to you your true character and position when the revelation comes too late. Again, we ask, Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? Those surely have nothing to fear from the Lord’s appearing who can say, “Unto Him that has loved us,” etc. Judgment has no terrors and eternity no alarms for those who are living in the conscious enjoyment of the benefits of redeeming love. (W. Hay Aitken, M. A.)

The revelation of the mystery

St. John is speaking in the language of ancient prophecy. Christ is coming. “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.” This is a truth of the faith, and St. John corroborates Daniel, not because he imitates the prophetic spirit by echoing prophetic phrase, but because each prophet stands on a mountain peak of Revelation, and surveys an unalterable fact. For the mind to grow into the force of that fact is one of the most necessary methods of advance in the Spirit and will of God.

I. St. John is speaking in the language of a seer, which is the real language of man’s immortal life. His words are a cry of relieved tension of feeling, of suddenly fulfilled expectation; like the watcher from Athens catching sight of the corn-ships as they doubled Sunium; like the anxious gazer descrying in the distance the British flag which announced approaching relief to the beleaguered sufferers in Lucknow; like the dying man straining the ear through the silent night for the first footfall of one he loves, and longs to see before he dies.

1. Man expresses his sense of relation to objects and persons external to himself by two names--Time and Eternity. These names of course represent real ideas. These ideas are dim and vague enough. Surely he has to learn that Time is “a phantom of succession”; that he himself, not Time, is moving on; that now his life is partially developed; surely he has to realise that Eternity can include no sense of succession, but represents life as fully possessed. We must learn in the things of the soul to weigh and measure by the scales, by the standard of Eternity, for we are immortal. Speaking, then, as we should speak, with a sense of our full, our endless life, the close of the great conflict is not far off.

2. To each one of us there shall be a full consciousness of the coming and the presence of the Lord. “Every eye shall see Him.” The eye is the watch-tower of the human spirit, whither it ascends to view God’s universe. The eye is the instrument by which impressions from the objects of an outer world, impressions of colour and harmony and form, are conveyed to the lonely soul. The eye can alone convey the message, the power to use it is in the soul itself. My friends, it would seem that the human soul has a strong likeness to the poor frail human body. Living, though sick with sin, it is conscious, in a dreamlike consciousness, of the presence and claims of God; if life is failing in it, if the disease of sin is settling into spiritual death, it loses that consciousness. But one thing is certain: the hour is coming when each of us--with a consciousness of soul as clear as the sight of the eye of the body--when each of us shall see the fairest, the most awful vision, the coming Christ. Here we see but dimly; there will be the full revelation.

II. We are brought face to face with him whose appearing shall be the interpretation of all dreams, the solution of all perplexing problems, “behold, He is coming with clouds.”

1. St. John’s account of the pageant of Christ’s appearing is an appeal to an instinct of humanity face to face with nature. Of all natural objects that awaken the sense none can rival for power mountains, clouds, and sea. But clouds combine, in a measure, the resources of sea and mountains; smoothed out at dawn or sunset, twisted into strange contortions by the storm, they rival the solemnity of mountains in their vast proportions, and imitate in their changeful movements the beating of the waves. Everywhere they give the sense of thinly veiled depths of mystery yet to be revealed, and of the wrath and power of God against human sin. When Christ comes, then, this is certain, He will come revealing “hidden things of darkness,” ay! and hidden things of light. It will be a time of unveiling. But more: He will come in the fully manifested display of God’s irreconcilable antagonism to human sin. It will be a moment of startling and complete revelation.

2. But there is a further feature, the most striking of all. It is an unexpected touch in the picture which follows--“they also that pierced Him”--a sudden allusion to the Passion. Doubtless there is a warning in such words, that those who deride, reject, or seek to destroy the highest goodness now shall one day see the magnitude of their madness. But this is not all. Face to face with human sin in its closing crisis, the great Representative of the race displays before assembled worlds the extent of its malignity in wounding God. Even those who have hated it most shall then for the first time vividly realise its actual dreadfulness. And in these wounds of the Passion are exhibited the stores of the experience of human life, He is in direct relation to all, for all have pierced Him, and He has learned by experience the sorrow and sin of that humanity which is common to all. And then we are reminded that the judgment to follow takes its force and derives its necessity from the necessities of His nature. With the knowledge of God He comes, and with the feelings and experiences of man.

3. The great wail of the human family recorded in the close of the verse is its outspoken sign of recognition of the truth. In some--His persecuting enemies--the cry of fear and fury at the certainty of the triumph of goodness; to some undeveloped soul the anguish of fuller recognition of that marvellous majesty, which on earth it only recognised by stray sigh of penitence or a passing thought of desire: to some who through no fault of their own, by a specialite of circumstances, or mystery of mental build, or owing to a fog of prejudice, or an involuntarily blinded mind, have never known Him--the purifying sorrow of awakening at last to the unveiled beauty; to some who have known and loved Him, the fuller sense--for love is the real illumination--of how unworthy they have been, how their best has been bad, their self-sacrifices pitiful, face to face with the unshrouded loveliness of that supernatural sorrow.

III. What, then, is the relation of that final vision with the mystery of the passion? This: in that supreme crisis of humanity it is a mystery no more; or rather the souls of those who are passing from the limitations of time are themselves in a sphere of mystery; they see, they understand such visions with the quickened senses of eternity. Life here is in deepest shadow, but nothing since the beginning of creation has been so wrapped in shadow as the fact and the consequences of Calvary; if that be clear, all must be plain. And clear it will be. Christ is the Great Revealer, in Him we shall see all. What shall we see? This. The real meaning of humility. The strange and now interpreted story of the humiliation of the Cross. What shall we see? The perfected sympathy of God in Christ with all that is truly human, all that would permit that sympathy by a surrendered will. What shall we see? The evident and now intelligible splendour of the ideal of humanity. But, oh! the surprise of the souls of the blessed when first they see unveiled in awe and majesty the ideal of Divine, of human beauty--the Fairest of the fair! What shall we see? The meaning of suffering. It seemed awful, almost cruel, when borne in the darkness of probation, but here is the end. In the light of the Crucified now in unshrouded beauty, the full splendour of that suffering once borne with difficulty, but borne in patience, will reveal what, in the “valley of the shadow,” lay concealed within it--some inconceivable secret of the love and the loveliness of God. What shall we see? We shall see in its overwhelming glory the mystery of power. It could only speak on earth in the mystic but eloquent symbol of the Cross. Here it is plain in the clear Revelation. Power elevating, perfecting the uncreated beauty. The power that could deal with the ruin of the creature, the redeemed the work of the Redeemer, the forces of redemption--God in Christ. (Canon Knox Little.)

The Second Advent of Christ

I. The Judge. “Behold, He cometh.” Who? Christ Jesus. Were He only a man, He could not be qualified for this high office, for no man, however acute his discernment, can know “the thoughts and intents of the heart”; but, being God as well as man, He is omniscient. His justice is equal to His knowledge, for “justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne, while a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of His kingdom.” There is no quality more important in a judge than this.

II. The certainty of his approach. “Behold, He cometh,” exclaims the apostle, as if he had actually seen Him on His way.

III. The manner of His coming. “Behold, He cometh with clouds.” This agrees with the exhibition that was given at the promulgation of the law from Sinai, when clouds and thick darkness, from which there proceeded flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, enveloped the mountain. And further, since clouds are always spoken of as the symbols of Divinity, and since few things are more sublime in their appearance and motion, could any representation be more descriptive of the God-like manner of His operations, or better calculated to convince us that the mighty agent in this grand movement is God?

IV. The universal publicity of His appearance. “Every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” Men of all creeds, in short, of all colours, of all grades of talent, and of all conditions of society, will be there.

V. The way in which these two different classes will be affected by the sight of their Judge. Not one of them, we may well conceive, will behold Him with indifference. Still, however, there will be a vast difference between the feelings of the wicked and the feelings of the righteous. (W. Nisbet.)

The final coming of Christ to judgment

I. Christ will come to judgement.

1. The announcement of prophecy: Enoch, Job. Christ and His disciples were frequent in their reference to fits final advent. They made it a motive for diligence, an incentive to watchfulness, and the occasion of other solemn instruction.

2. The statement of Scripture. “Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.” “He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained.”

3. The conviction of reason.

4. The dread expectation of conscience.

II. The coming of Christ to judgment will be associated with majesty and glory. “He cometh with clouds.”

1. The clouds are indicative of mystery. Clouds hide many things from mortal vision. So the coming of Christ will be associated with great mystery. There will be the mystery connected with a judge possessed of a nature at once human and Divine. There will be the mystery associated with the life and attendance of angelic spirits. There will be the mystery consequent upon the resurrection and trial of humanity.

2. The clouds are indicative of beauty. We have all seen and admired them. So the great coming of Christ will be associated with everything that constitutes moral grandeur. The scene will be one of supreme rectitude, of infinite purity, and, therefore, unrivalled glory.

3. The clouds are indicative of power. With what force do the clouds rush along the heavens; who, or what could resist them in their rapid march? So the final coming of Christ to judgment will be irresistible.

III. The coming of Christ to judgment will be witnessed by an assembled universe. “And every eye shall see Him.”

1. He will be seen by the devout Christian. By men who have consecrated their lives to His service. These will be in sympathy with His coming.

2. He will be seen by the impious sceptic. Hobbs and Hume will see Him. These will behold His coming with surprise.

3. He will be seen by the morally impenitent. Herod, Judas, Pilate; sinner, you will see Him. These will see Him with dismay. Hypocrite and backslider, you will see Him. You will see Him with despair.

IV. The coming of Christ to judgment meets with the solemn approbation of the good. “Even so, Amen.”

1. They approve, not because they desire the final overthrow of the wicked. The good man’s desire is, that the whole world should be saved.

2. They approve, because it is the legitimate termination of mortal affairs.

3. They approve, because it will lead them into a bright and more durable vision of the eternal.

Lessons:--

1. The world will one day see Christ.

2. Will you “wail because of Him,” or say, “Even so, Amen”? (J. S. Exell, M. A.)

The second advent

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the great ordinance of Jehovah for bringing all things to that state and bearing which He has assigned them in His eternal mind. The whole of this dispensation of God to man is called the mystery of God, and the whole of this mystery has its accomplishment in three comings of Christ; His coming in the flesh, His coming in the Spirit, and His coming in the clouds. It is to the last of these comings that John refers our attention in the text. “Behold He cometh.” The coming of Christ in the clouds is yet, perhaps, at some distance, but faith anticipates it, realises it.

1. Now, that the coming of our Lord in the clouds is an event worthy of all your attention and wonder, I think will appear, if we consider--

2. The coming of Christ with clouds is worthy of all our attention and wonder because of the place to which He comes. To this earth once more--to this earth where His delights were with the sons of men--to this earth in which He was born--to this earth, again, where He lived, like a common Jewish peasant, three and thirty years--to this earth again, from which He was hissed away by a scandalised death.

3. The coming of Christ in the clouds is worthy of your attention and regard, because of the circumstances of glory in which it will take place. “Behold, He cometh with clouds.” Why, He came with clouds before, but they were clouds of poverty, clouds of obscurity, clouds of shame; but now He comes in clouds of glory, of brightness.

4. This coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds is an event worthy of your attention and wonder also, because of the time of it. He says, “Behold, I come quickly.” He will not delay His coming beyond the time assigned for it.

5. The coming of our Lord in the clouds, is further worthy of all your attention and wonder, because of the solemn preparations which shall usher it in. There will be signs in the air, signs in the sea, signs in the sun, signs in the stars, “men’s hearts failing them for fear, the sea and the waves roaring,” mighty events treading on the heels of one another.

6. The coming of Christ in the clouds is an event worthy of your attention and wonder, because of the solemn work He then comes to perform. He says, “Behold I come; My reward is with Me.” (J. E. Beaumont, M. D.)

Christ coming with clouds

John, who once heard the voice, “Behold the Lamb of God!” now utters the voice, “Behold, He cometh!”

I. Our Lord Jesus Comes.

1. This fact is worthy of a note of admiration--“Behold!”

2. It should be vividly realised till we cry, “Behold, He cometh!”

3. It should be zealously proclaimed. We should use the herald’s cry, “Behold!”

4. It is to be unquestioningly asserted as true. Assuredly He cometh.

5. It is to be viewed with immediate interest.

6. It is to be attended with a peculiar sign--“with clouds.”

II. Our Lord’s coming will be seen of all.

1. It will be a literal appearance. Not merely every mind shall think of Him, but “every eye shall see Him.”

2. It will be beheld by all sorts and kinds of living men.

3. It will be seen by those long dead.

4. It will be seen by His actual murderers, and others like them.

5. It will be manifest to those who desire not to see the Lord.

6. It will be a sight in which you will have a share. Since you must see Him, why not at once look to Him and live?

III. His coming will cause sorrow. “All kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.”

1. The sorrow will be very general. “All kindreds of the earth.”

2. The sorrow will be very bitter. “Wail.”

3. The sorrow proves that men will not be universally converted.

4. The sorrow also shows that men will not expect from Christ’s coming a great deliverance.

5. The sorrow will in a measure arise out of His glory, seeing they rejected and resisted Him. That glory will be against them.

6. The sorrow will be justified by the dread result.

Their fears of punishment will be well grounded. Their horror at the sight of the great Judge will be no idle fright. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The coming of Christ

I. The coming of Christ.

II. The evidence of His coming. This appears from the character of God, from His holiness and righteousness, His faithfulness and truth, from His holy covenant, counsels and promises, His infinite glory, and Divine government. The truth of this appears from the character of Christ--from His human nature, His atoning death, His resurrection from the dead, His ascension to heaven, and Divine administration. The evidence further appears from the work of the Spirit, who convinces the world of judgment to come--from the law of God, which is perfect, pure, and spiritual, holy, just, and good. The truth of this appears from the types of Holy Writ (Numbers 6:24-26; Matthew 25:34). Again, the evidence appears from the prophecy of Enoch (Jude 1:14-15); from the character of God as the Judge of all the earth; from the faith of Job in the living Redeemer (Job 19:25; Job 19:27); from many of the Psalms; from the vision of Daniel (7:10-14); from Christ’s parables, the testimony of the angels when Jesus ascended, and from the doctrines and promises of the prophets and apostles. The truth of this will be rendered obvious from the works of Providence, and the unequal distribution of Divine dispensations. Verily there is a reward for the righteous; verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth. The evidence of this appears from reason, the light of nature, the power of conscience, and the inseparable connection between the Creator and the creature.

III. The manner of His coming.

1. We have in these words the solemnity of His coming. This great event is ushered in with a “Behold!”

2. We have in these words the reality of His coming. He will come personally: “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven.”

3. The certainty of His coming.

4. The nearness of His coming.

5. The suddenness of His coming. His first coming was slow and progressive.

IV. The majesty of his coming. “Behold He cometh with clouds.” Clouds are the symbols of Divine majesty. He shall come in the Father’s glory, invested with all His essential perfections, with all His authority, excellence, and majesty. He shall come in His own glory, the glory of His Deity, His person, and His offices as mediator. He shall come in the glory of the Holy Spirit, resting upon Him as the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel, and of might, of knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. He shall be glorious in His throne--the great white throne. He shall be glorious in His apparel--robes of light; and also in His power--travelling in the greatness of His strength, mighty to save. He shall be glorious in His chariot--the clouds of heaven, the wings of the wind. He shall be glorious in His attendants--the holy angels, the beings of light. He shall be glorious in His Church, who shall bear His blessed image, reflect His moral glory, and exhibit the transcendent excellence of the last, the finishing touch, of His glorious, skilful, wonder-working hand. He will be glorified in His saints, and admired in all them that believe. He shall be glorious in His last great work of judgment and mercy, now finished for ever, and He shall contemplate the whole scene with Divine delight, and pronounce it to be good.

V. The effects of His coming. The first effect is the misery of the wicked: “All the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” There is here an allusion to the book of Zechariah (Zechariah 10:12). The second effect is the triumph of the righteous: “Even so, Amen.” The first word is Greek, the last word is Hebrew. The expression is doubled, to strengthen the assertion. It expresses the apostle’s acquiescence in the promise: even so, thus let it be; it is just and right that it should be so. It expresses the soul’s approbation of the promise; of all the counsels and arrangements of heaven. It expresses faith in the promise: “Lord, I believe that Thou wilt come.” It implies hope in the promise: “Looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God our Saviour.”

VI. The uses of his coming. Hence see the glorious consummation of the whole plan of mercy. All the perfections of God shall be displayed, His character shall be glorified, His law shall be honoured, and His government vindicated; all His counsels shall be fully unfolded, and all the predictions of His Word shall be verified; and God shall then be all in all, in His ineffable resplendent glory. Hence see the necessity of constant preparation for the coming of Christ. We cannot die in safety unless we enjoy peace with God. (James Young.)

Wail.

Despair of sinners in judgment

I cannot put into English the full meaning of that most expressive word. Sound it at length, and it conveys its own meaning. It is as when men wring their hands and burst out into a loud cry; or as when eastern women, in their anguish, rend their garments, and lift up their voices with the most mournful notes. All the kindreds of the earth shall wail: wail as a mother laments over her dead child; wail as a man might wail who found himself hopelessly imprisoned and doomed to die. Such will be the hopeless grief of all the kindreds of the earth at the sight of Christ in the clouds: if they remain impenitent, they shall not be able to be silent; they shall not be able to repress or conceal their anguish, but they shall wail, or openly give vent to their horror. What a sound that will be which wilt go up before high heaven when Jesus sits upon the cloud, and in the fulness of His power summons them to judgment! Then “they shall wail because of Him.” Will your voice be heard in that wailing? Will your heart be breaking in that general dismay? How will you escape? If you are one of the kindreds of the earth, and remain impenitent, you will wail with the rest of them. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Revelation 1:7". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/revelation-1.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Behold he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him. Even so. Amen.

This is the topic-sentence of Revelation, a great deal of which relates to the final judgment, an event mentioned at least seven times in the prophecy; and these are not seven different kinds or occasions of judgment, there being only one judgment day, the final and awesome event that shall conclude the dispensation of grace, see the resurrection of the dead and the assignment of every man's destiny, and bring the redeemed into their eternal habitations. It will occur at the Second Advent of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Behold he cometh with the clouds ... These words apply to the Second Advent, as in Matthew 24:30; Mark 14:62; Acts 1:9-11; and Mark 13:24.

Every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him ... There is no connection between this and the passage in Zechariah, except that the terminology is similar, the great difference being that in the Old Testament their looking upon the one who was pierced, and mourning, was grief for the pierced one, not grief for themselves, as is clearly indicated here and in Matthew 24:30, which words John evidently had in mind when this was written. To understand exactly the object of the mourning here, one should read Revelation 6:15-17. See Zechariah 12:10-13:1.

All the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him ... This clause, along with the preceding "'every eye shall see him" indicates the final judgment, that being the only occasion when all the tribes of earth and every eye (that is, every man) shall behold the Christ.

And they that pierced him ... Even the generation that crucified Christ will not be exempt from confronting him in the final judgment. The mourning here mentioned will be due to the startling realization on the part of the wicked that the whole course of their lives has been wrong. The atheist will suddenly know that God is a reality. The proud, the arrogant, the thoughtless, the sensualist, the materialist, and all who have lived as if there were no God shall be summoned to a judgment which they have never allowed as even possible. The mourning of people in that circumstance will surpass any possible description of it. And the mourning will not be "over Christ" in the sense of their grieving for what was done nearly two thousand years ago TO HIM (how could people even imagine such an interpretation?). No, their grief will be for themselves. The Second Advent will be bad news indeed to the vast majority of mankind.

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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 1:7". "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

Behold he cometh with clouds,.... John carries on the account of Christ in his kingly office, one branch of which is to execute judgment; and describes him by a future coming of his, which cannot be understood of his coming to take vengeance on the Jews, at the time of Jerusalem's destruction, though that is sometimes expressed in such language, and with such circumstances, as here; see Matthew 24:30; because if this revelation was made to John, in the latter end of Domitian's reign, as is commonly reported by the ancients, and in the year 95 or 96, as chronologers generally place it, it must be upwards of twenty years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and therefore cannot relate to that; nor to his coming in a spiritual sense to convert the Jews in the latter day; for this coming is personal, and with clouds, when he will be seen by every eye; all which circumstances do not so well agree with that; besides, all the kindreds of the earth will not lament on that account: the wicked will take little notice of it, the tribes of the Jews will rejoice at it, and so will all the converted Gentiles: it is better therefore to understand this of Christ's second coming to judge the quick and dead, which is represented as just at hand, to denote the certainty of it; and a "behold" is prefixed to it, to excite attention, and to denote the importance of it: things of great moment, and very surprising, will then be done; Christ will appear in great glory and majesty, the dead in Christ will be raised, Christ's personal kingdom will take place, and the general judgment come on. The manner of his coming will be "with clouds"; either figuratively, with angels, who will attend him both for grandeur and service, or literally, in the clouds of heaven; he shall descend in like manner as he ascended, and as Daniel prophesied he should, Daniel 7:13. Hence, one of the names of the Messiah, with the Jews, is, ענני, "Anani"F18Targum in 1 Chron. iii. 24. vid. Beckii Not. in ib. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 85. 2. , which signifies "clouds"; and his coming is so described, both to denote the grand and magnificent manner, in which he will come, making the clouds his chariots; and to strike terror into his enemies, clouds and darkness being about him, thunder and lightning breaking out of them, as tokens of that vengeance he comes to take upon them; as also the visibility of his coming, he shall descend from the third heaven, where he now is, into the airy heaven, and sit upon the clouds, as on his throne, and be visible to all: hence it follows,

and every eye shall see him; that is, everyone that has eyes shall see him, or all men shall see him; the righteous shall see him, and be glad; they shall see him in his glory, as he is, and for themselves, and be satisfied; they shall rejoice at the sight of him; they will be filled with joy unspeakable, and full of glory: but the wicked will see him and tremble; they will be filled with the utmost consternation and astonishment; they will not be able to bear the sight of him; they will flee from him, and call to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from his face,

And they also which pierced him; his hands, feet, and side, when they crucified him; both the Roman soldiers, who actually did it, and the body of the Jewish nation, the rulers and common people, who consented to it, and at whose instigation it was done; these, being raised from the dead, shall see him with their bodily eyes, whom they so used,

And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him; all the wicked, in the several parts of the world, will lament, and wring their hands, and express the inward terror and horror of their minds, at his appearing; they will fear his resentment of all their wicked words and actions; will dread his wrath, and tremble at his righteous judgment:

even so, Amen, says John, and so say all true believers; what the wicked lament, they rejoice at; they desire the coming of Christ, they love it, look and long for it; they believe it shall be, and wish it may be quickly, as in Revelation 22:20; This expression of faith in, and desire after the coming of Christ, is signified by two words, the one Greek and the other Hebrew; suggesting, that this is an article of faith among all the saints of all nations, Jews and Gentiles, and is what they are wishing and waiting for,

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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
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every e eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

(e) All men.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

with cloudsGreek,the clouds,” namely, of heaven. “A cloud received Him out of their sight” at His ascension (Acts 1:9). His ascension corresponds to the manner of His coming again (Acts 1:11). Clouds are the symbols of wrath to sinners.

every eye — His coming shall therefore be a personal, visible appearing.

shall see — It is because they do not now see Him, they will not believe. Contrast John 20:29.

they also - they in particular; “whosoever.” Primarily, at His pre-millennial advent the Jews, who shall “look upon Him whom they have pierced,” and mourn in repentance, and say, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Secondarily, and here chiefly, at the general judgment all the ungodly, not only those who actually pierced Him, but those who did so by their sins, shall look with trembling upon Him. John is the only one of the Evangelists who records the piercing of Christ‘s side. This allusion identifies him as the author of the Apocalypse. The reality of Christ‘s humanity and His death is proved by His having been pierced; and the water and blood from His side were the antitype to the Levitical waters of cleansing and blood offerings.

all kindreds  …  shall wail — all the unconverted at the general judgment; and especially at His pre-millennial advent, the Antichristian confederacy (Zechariah 12:3-6, Zechariah 12:9; Zechariah 14:1-4; Matthew 24:30). Greek, “all the tribes of the land,” or “the earth.” See the limitation to “all,” Revelation 13:8. Even the godly while rejoicing in His love shall feel penitential sorrow at their sins, which shall all be manifested at the general judgment.

because ofGreek,at,” or “in regard to Him.”

Even so, Amen — Gods seal of His own word; to which corresponds the believer‘s prayer, Revelation 22:20. The “even so” is Greek; “Amen” is Hebrew. To both Gentiles and Jews His promises and threats are unchangeable.

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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 1:7". "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

HE COMES WITH CLOUDS — Revelation 1:7

While the Laodicean Church of the present day is busy in her ice-cream suppers and strawberry festivals, the Lord is coming in a cloud, to take up His sanctified bride, and spew these lukewarm professors out of His mouth. Jesus says, in his sermon on the judgments, that the last days of the Antediluvian world symbolize the winding up of the present dispensation. Wickedness increased so fearfully, and the Antediluvian Church apostatized so awfully, that only one preacher’s family survived the spiritual wreck. So here we see the whole Church, along with the wicked world, swept away by the devouring Deluge. To a superficial observer, that looks hard. But don’t you know it was full of mercy? The world had become so wicked, and the Church had fallen and literally united with the world, as at the present day, that there was no hope but for each succeeding generation to get worse and worse, and drop into hell as they come and go. Hence it was signal mercy on the part of the Almighty to put an end to that awful trend into hopeless damnation, and start a new order of things, in which the rainbow of heavenly hope would again span the world. The whole Book of Genesis teaches one great lesson; i.e., that man is a failure. He failed in Eden. He failed in the Antediluvian Ages. He failed in post-diluvian times. He is fast proving an utter failure in the Gospel Dispensation. The Church is a human organization. Therefore, it has proved a failure in every age and dispensation. While Genesis shows up man’s failure, beginning in Paradise and winding up in Egyptian slavery, Exodus reveals that God is a success under all circumstances. So rest assured you will never do any good till you find out that you are a total failure, and fly to the bosom of God, who alone is a perfect success. Just as the Antediluvian world deteriorated morally and religiously to the end, so with the post-diluvian world. At present there is only one Christian in the world for every one hundred and fifty inhabitants. What an awful harvest hell is constantly reaping! What a signal mercy on the part of the Almighty to interpose and arrest this cataract of damnation There is but one way to do it, and that is to destroy them, as in case of the Flood, as only one now and then will repent, and the perpetuity of the present state of things would only conduce to augment the appalling tide of wholesale damnation.

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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "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

Behold, he cometh with the clouds (ιδου ερχεται μετα των νεπελωνidou erchetai meta tōn nephelōn). Futuristic present middle indicative of ερχομαιerchomai a reminiscence of Daniel 7:13 (Theodotion). “It becomes a common eschatological refrain” (Beckwith) as in Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64; Luke 21:27. Compare the manifestation of God in the clouds at Sinai, in the cloudy pillar, the Shekinah, at the transfiguration” (Vincent).

Shall see (οπσεταιopsetai). Future middle of οραωhoraō a reminiscence of Zechariah 12:10 according to the text of Theodotion (Aquila and Symmachus) rather than the lxx and like that of Matthew 24:30 (similar combination of Daniel and Zechariah) and Matthew 26:64. This picture of the victorious Christ in his return occurs also in Revelation 14:14, Revelation 14:18-20; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 20:7-10.

And they which (και οιτινεςkai hoitines). “And the very ones who,” Romans and Jews, all who shared in this act.

Pierced (εχεκεντησανexekentēsan). First aorist active indicative of εκκεντεωekkenteō late compound (Aristotle, Polybius, lxx), from εκek and κεντεωkenteō (to stab, to pierce), in N.T., only here and John 19:37, in both cases from Zechariah 12:10, but not the lxx text (apparently proof that John used the original Hebrew or the translation of Theodotion and Aquila).

Shall mourn (κοπσονταιkopsontai). Future middle (direct) of κοπτωkoptō old verb, to cut, “they shall cut themselves,” as was common for mourners (Matthew 11:17; Luke 8:52; Luke 23:27). From Zechariah 12:12. See also Revelation 18:9.

Tribes (πυλαιphulai). Not just the Jewish tribes, but the spiritual Israel of Jews and Gentiles as in Revelation 7:4-8. No nation had then accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour, nor has any yet done so.

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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 1:7". "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

He cometh with clouds ( ἔρχεται μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν )

The clouds are frequently used in the descriptions of the Lord's second coming. See Daniel 7:13; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62. Compare the manifestation of God in the clouds at Sinai, in the cloudy pillar, the Shekinah, at the transfiguration, and see Psalm 97:2; Psalm 18:11; Nahum 1:3; Isaiah 19:1.

Shall see ( ὄψεται )

The verb denotes the physical act, but emphasizes the mental discernment accompanying it, and points to the result rather than to the act of vision. See on John 1:18. Appropriate here as indicating the quickened spiritual discernment engendered by the Lord's appearing, in those who have rejected Him, and who now mourn for their folly and sin.

They which ( οἵτινες )

The compound relative describes a class. See on Matthew 13:52; see on Matthew 21:41; see on Mark 12:18.

Pierced ( ἐξεκέντησαν )

See on John 19:34, and compare Zechariah 12:10; John 19:36. The expression here refers not to the Jews only, but to all who reject the Son of Man; those who “in any age have identified themselves with the Spirit of the Savior's murderers” (Milligan). The passage is justly cited as a strong evidence that the author of the Gospel is also the author of Revelation.

Kindreds ( φυλαὶ )

More correctly, tribes. The word used of the true Israel in Revelation 5:5; Revelation 7:4-8; Revelation 21:12. As the tribes of Israel are the figure by which the people of God, Jew or Gentile, are represented, so unbelievers are here represented as tribes, “the mocking counterpart of the true Israel of God.” Compare Matthew 24:30, Matthew 24:31.

Shall wail because of Him ( κόψονται ἐπ ' αὐτὸν )

Rev., better, shall mourn over Him. Lit., shall beat their breasts. See on Matthew 11:17.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "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

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Behold — In this and the next verse is the proposition, and the summary of the whole book.

He cometh — Jesus Christ. Throughout this book, whenever it is said, He cometh, it means his glorious coming. The preparation for this began at the destruction of Jerusalem, and more particularly at the time of writing this book; and goes on, without any interruption, till that grand event is accomplished. Therefore it is never said in this book, He will come; but, He cometh. And yet it is not said, He cometh again: for when he came before, it was not like himself, but in "the form of a servant." But his appearing in glory is properly his coming; namely, in a manner worthy of the Son of God.

And every eye — Of the Jews in particular.

Shall see him — But with what different emotions, according as they had received or rejected him.

And they who have pierced him — They, above all, who pierced his hands, or feet, or side. Thomas saw the print of these wounds even after his resurrection; and the same, undoubtedly, will be seen by all, when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.

And all the tribes of the earth — The word tribes, in the Revelation, always means the Israelites: but where another word, such as nations or people, is joined with it, it implies likewise (as here) all the rest of mankind.

Shall wail because of him — For terror and pain, if they did not wail before by true repentance.

Yea, Amen — This refers to, every eye shall see him. He that cometh saith, Yea; he that testifies it, Amen. The word translated yea is Greek; Amen is Hebrew: for what is here spoken respects both Jew and gentile.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-1.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

With clouds; that is, in majesty and power. The dark cloud bringing thunder, lightning, and tempest, in its train, is an appropriate symbol of terrible majesty.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-1.html. 1878.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

BACK TO CHRIST

‘Behold, He cometh.’

Revelation 1:7

These words give us an Advent message. ‘Back to Christ,’ that is the motto of to-day. We commemorate in the Advent season that the Lord has come, that the Lord will come, that the Lord is here. Many have been His comings since He came a child to Nazareth, many they will be before He comes in that last wonderful way of which we know not how to speak, except in such parables as He Himself has given.

I. Imparting gifts.—The message of Advent links itself with the message of St. Andrew’s Day, ‘We have found the Messiah.’ So spoke St. Andrew to his brother Peter; and that, again, is linked with that other saying that follows it so closely of Philip, ‘Come and see’ (the Christ). For why do we wish that Christian missions should go out? Is it not because we have something so precious that it must be given away? It is the nature of all the precious things upon earth that they must not be kept, but given away. Nothing is too precious to give away. That which you want to have for yourself, that which you cannot enjoy with another, is not precious. Think what are the most valuable things. Take two only:—

(a) The gift of knowledge. What do you want to do when you know? To impart. And why? Because in teaching you know that you know much better than you thought, and because you have the sympathy of another who knows; but best of all because knowledge is too good a thing to keep to yourself.

(b) The gift of love. What does love consist of but giving love? And love grows by being given away. These two things, knowledge and love, they are what we have of Jesus Christ, and so the Divine call ‘Back to Christ’ is linked with the call of St. Andrew’s Day, ‘Come and see.’ So it is that we want to teach, or to cause other people to teach, because we have something so precious that we must give it away.

II. Back to Christ.—Are there any hearts here which are not stirred, are there any hearts here which do not know that Christ is so precious, that the knowledge and love of Christ are such precious things that they must needs publish them, that they must needs give them to others? Let me be a missionary to these hearts for one or two moments. Let me ask them humbly to go back to Christ.

(a) Back to Christ as He was, as you may read of Him, as you may almost follow His steps up and down the country of Galilee, as you may hear Him speak, as you may see Him die. Go back to him and see what kind of friend He was. Understand, again, what it was in Him that saved men and women, how He would never despair of any one who had despaired of themselves, of any one who would come and not place the confidence of their heart where they had so often placed it and misplaced it before, upon their own hopeless frailty, but upon His strength. ‘Believe in Me,’ He said throughout His life, ‘and thou shalt be saved.’ What is the message for men and women who despair, what is the message for men and women who are tired of their perpetual shortcomings? Not in yourself, but in the power which is outside you and yet which is so near, so near that from the outside it can come into the inside and there reanimate you. That is the message which He brought when He came to give life, namely, His own life, that men might live by it as He lived.

(b) And then again, as you come back to Christ, you see how, partly in condescension to our frailty, partly because of our Lord’s prevision of the dulness of human nature to understand mere words, partly because He knew that no language could convey what was meant as a simple symbol might, He enshrined that very truth, that very promise, that very essence of His healing power, in the simplest of symbols, the symbol, namely, of our eating and drinking, by which our bodily life is sustained. He handed down, for all those who followed Him to hand on, this great truth enshrined in the Sacrament, so much more expressive than any words, that by Him we live.

(c) Go back to Christ and learn at the altar that by Him you may live and live His life. And why? Because last of all He claimed—and He has substantiated His claim in all these thousands of years and millions of believers—He claimed that in Him dwelt the Godhead, and He was one with the Father.

Bishop E. J. Palmer.

(SECOND OUTLINE)

LOOKING FOR THE LORD’S RETURN

Who are they that are looking for their Lord? Who are they that are really watching for Him and that are expecting Him?

I. They are those who are so impressed with the persuasion of their Lord’s being at hand as to keep on the look-out.—They are as faithful servants listening for their Master’s knock. Soon, they exclaim, will He be here, either to require my soul in death, or to call me with the millions of my fellow-men before His judgment throne. Their hearts, therefore, are wakeful. They are observant of the times and seasons. They are attentive to events and providences. They seem to hear His voice in almost everything which happens to them. ‘Prepare to meet thy God,’ and they hearken to that voice, spoken to them as it is both by Providence and Scripture. Christ is their Way, their Truth, and their Life, and they seek no other way of access to the Father but by Him.

II. How earnest are they for the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit; and for that new heart which He creates! Anxious are they to be filled with all the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God, and through the grace bestowed on them, their desire is not in vain. They do exercise themselves in these blessed fruits of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Their expectation of their coming Lord has an influence on their earthly dealings and transactions.

III. They who look for Christ are those who love His appearing.—We may expect things and prepare for things which we earnestly desire may never happen. It is not so with the man who looks for Christ. It is altogether otherwise; he looks for his Lord as longing for his Lord’s arrival. He is like one who is expecting the approach of him whom he dearly loves. That man, you know, will count the hours. He will think that time runs slowly till his friend is at his doors. So they who look for Christ anticipate the joyful moment of His coming, and are glad of everything which seems to promise it.

—Rev. Dr. E. J. Brewster.

Illustration

‘Said the brave old Rabbi, “Bury me with my sandals on and my staff beside me, that I may be ready when Messiah comes.”’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/revelation-1.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Ver. 7. Behold, he cometh] He is already upon the way, and will be with us shortly. Let us hasten his coming, and say, as Sisera’s mother, Why are his chariots (his clouds) so long in coming? Why tarry the wheels of his chariots? 5:28.

Shall wail] Gr. κοψονται, shall smite their breasts or thighs; the elect as repenting, the reprobate as despairing. Iisdem quibus videmus, oculis, flemus; so here, οψονται και κοψονται, they shall look and lament.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 1:7. Behold, he cometh with clouds, &c.— This verse contains the great moral which the whole book is designed to illustrate; namely, that, though there should be great opposition made against the cause and kingdom of Christ, yet it should be utterlyin vain, and his kingdom should triumph in the most illustrious manner; so that all who had opposed him, should have the greatest reason to mourn; to lament that fatal opposition, by which, instead of prevailing in the least against him, they have only effected their own destruction: and as this series of divine prophecy begins, so it ends with this sentiment, and with the joyful consent of his faithful servants to this glorious truth, which should fill the enemies of Christ with such terror and dismay. Comp. ch. Revelation 22:20. The last clause, Even so, Amen, may be thus interpreted, "Yea, Lord, we repeat our joyful assent; be it so; Come, Lord Jesus, in the clouds of heaven; take to thyself thy great power, and reign: thy faithful people shall lift up their heads with joy and triumph, being assured that their complete redemption is approaching."

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-1.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

These words are a majestic description of our Saviour's coming to judgment; they are ushered in with a note of attention and admiration, Behold! which denotes also the truth and certainty of his appearance, and upbraids us likewise for our natural backwardness to believe, mind, and meditate upon, the coming of Christ; we are too much guided and governed by sense: what we see nothing of, we believe little of; therefore St. John here begins with a note of incitement in the word, Behold! It follows, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they which pierced him.

This was fulfilled, 1. When Christ came by the Roman armies to destroy Jerusalem, by taking vengeance on his murderers, when his crucifiers might discern that those heavy and direful judgments were inflicted on them for their crucifying Christ, and persecuting Christians.

But, 2. It will be more eminently and universally fulfilled at the general day of Judgment, when Christ will come riding upon the clouds, as in a triumphant chariot, and all human eyes shall then see him; his persecutors and despisers, particularly, beholding him, but not all alike: such as pierced him, but repented, whose hearts were afterwards pierced for their piercing of him, these at that day shall see Christ with astonishing joy, though they put him to bitter sorrow; the death of Chirst has procured mercy for those whose cruelty did procure his death: but as for such as pierced him, but never repented, but such as pierced him in his person, or in his members, they shall also see him to their sorrow, and shall wail, or take on heavily, because of him; that is, because they must be judged by him.

Lord! how will the sight of a pierced Saviour then pierce their souls with sorrow, with vexation of heart, and anguish of spirit! To behold Christ with an eye of sense then will be very grievous to them that do not behold him with an eye of faith now; see him they shall, they must; but alas, they had rather be covered with mountains and hills falling upon them, than thus behold him!

Observe farther, How St. John closes this description of Christ's second coming, with a pathetic option on his own and the church's behalf, in the last words of the verse--Even so, Amen; intimating, that the saints, or church of God, do expect and believe that assuredly it will be so, and do also earnestly desire and pray that it may be so.

Learn hence, That Christ will undoubtedly come to put an end to the sufferings of his afflicted church, and to punish his and their persecutors; with whose coming the saints are well pleased, and do earnestly desire and long for it; behold, he cometh, Even so, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-1.html. 1700-1703.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2477

CHRIST COMING TO JUDGMENT

Revelation 1:7. Behold, he Cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

THE great subject of the book of Revelation seems to be, to predict the trials and deliverances of God’s Church to the end of time. To a superficial observer, it would appear strange that God should permit his enemies to triumph for so long a period, and in so awful a degree. But there is a time coming when all these inequalities in the Divine government will be rectified, and a righteous retribution be given to those who suffered, and to those also who inflicted the sufferings upon them. To this period our attention is directed in the very commencement of this prophecy; that persecutors may know what tribulation awaits them, and the persecuted may be comforted in the prospect of their eternal rest.

Let us then contemplate,

I. The future judgment of our Lord—

Behold, he is surely coming to judge the world—

[Our blessed Lord is “ordained of the Father to be the Judge both of quick and dead” — — — The time for his future advent, though not known either to men or angels, is fixed in the counsels of the Father: and at the appointed instant it shall arrive. The world will be sleeping in security and carelessness, as much as ever they were in the days of Noah: but it will not on that account be delayed: “it will come as a thief in the night, and as travail upon a woman with child” — — — With inconceivable glory will the Lord Jesus then appear, surrounded with myriads of the heavenly host, and “coming in the clouds of heaven” — — — His judgment-seat will be erected, the books wherein all the actions, words, and thoughts of men are recorded, will be opened, and all the universe be summoned to give an account of themselves to him — — —]

Then “shall every eye see him”—

[All who have ever lived, from the very commencement to the end of time, shall be raised from the dead, each in his own proper body. The sea as well as the land will give up the dead that are in it, and not an individual, however great or however obscure, be wanting — — — All will surround his throne, and behold him in full view: not as unconcerned spectators, but as criminals, whose cause he is about to try, and whose state he will fix in happiness or misery for ever and ever — — —]

Thus certain, and thus awful, will be “our gathering unto Jesus at the last day.” But let us more distinctly consider,

II. Its aspect on the different classes of mankind—

The text more especially refers to the ungodly: but, as all will be equally interested in that event, we shall extend our views to the world at large; and consider the aspect of our Lord’s advent,

1. On the ungodly—

[“Those who pierced our Lord” in the days of his flesh, thought not that they should ever behold his face again: but every one of them shall be summoned to his presence in that day. Pilate with the chief priests, and Herod with his men of war, and all the populace who demanded his crucifixion, and the soldiers who mocked him in gorgeous apparel, and drove the crown of thorns into his temples, and those who ploughed long furrows on his back by scourging, and those who nailed him to the cross, and the soldier that pierced his sacred body after he was dead, and all who approved of those proceedings, shall in that day see him yet once more, with all the marks of their cruelty yet upon him: yes, they shall all recognize in his glorious person the Man whom once they treated with such indignity. But how widely changed the condition both of themselves and him! Themselves, no longer in a capacity to oppress; and him, no longer capable of suffering from oppression: themselves, as malefactors and murderers; and him, as the Judge about to take cognizance of their offences: themselves, as children of the devil; and him, as “the Lord of glory!”O, with what horror will they be struck! with what dread will they be overwhelmed!

But are there not many who “pierce the Lord” at this time also, and “crucify him afresh,” by continuing in their sins? Yes verily, there are many amongst us not a whit less criminal than his very murderers; I should rather say, far more criminal; inasmuch as they who reject him now, sin against incomparably greater light than was enjoyed by any previous to his crucifixion. It is this that makes the sin against the Holy Ghost so heinous, in comparison of the sins committed against the Son of man. The Holy Ghost has borne such testimony to the truth, as nothing but wilful infidelity can resist. And they who at this day hear the Gospel preached to them, and make no account of all the wonders of love and mercy that are set before them, have a measure of guilt which will make their last state worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrha. Think then, ye, who, having heard the truth, reject it, and, more especially, ye, who, having embraced the truth, dishonour it, or depart from it, think, I say, what will be your views and feelings, when you shall behold that Saviour face to face! Will ye not be ready to call upon the rocks and mountains to fall upon you, and to cover you from his wrath? Yes, indeed will ye; and if even the whole earth will wail because of him, much more will ye, who have received all his grace in vain.

The Apostle adds, “Even so; Amen:” by which I understand him, not merely as confirming the truths which he has before asserted, but as acquiescing in them as every way worthy of their Divine Author. It is right that those who once pierced him when on earth should wail because of him; and it is right that they also who reject him now should feel the full weight of his displeasure. St. Paul himself puts that matter beyond all doubt, when he says, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha.”]

2. On the godly—

[Blessed be God, though all the unregenerate shall wail, there are some to whom the Saviour’s advent will be a ground of joy! We are told, that the saints “wait for his appearing,” and “love it,” and “look forward and haste unto it,” and in the spirit of their minds are saying, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” However terrible his advent will be to others, it will not be so to them; for the prospect of being called to “meet the Lord in the air,” is that which St. Paul teaches us to regard as a source of the richest consolation, under whatever trials or losses we may be called to sustain. “Comfort ye one another,” says he, “with these words.”

But here you will naturally ask, Whence arises this difference between the two? Why do the one behold him with such anguish of heart, and the others with such unutterable joy? I answer, The godly have beheld him here, and “mourned before him as for an only Son [Note: Zechariah 12:10.].” They have seen how grievously they have themselves pierced him by their iniquities; and they have bewailed their guilt and folly with the deepest contrition. They have even looked to his wounds as endured for their transgressions; and have sought for “healing to their souls by the stripes inflicted on him:” and having done this by faith, they are accepted before God, and shall “be presented before him faultless with exceeding joy.”

Seek ye then, beloved, “the Spirit of grace and of supplications,” whom God has promised to pour out upon you. Then shall you have such views of the Saviour as shall bring peace to your souls, and such views as will give you confidence before him at his future coming.]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 1:7. (14) ἔρχεται) namely, ἐρχό΄ενος. He who is to come, cometh. His glorious advent at the last day is meant.— ἐξεκέντκσαν, pierced) The Saviour and Judge both exhibited Himself, and will exhibit Himself, with most evident marks of the nails and spear in His raised and glorified body. Then the disdain and reproaches of His enemies, especially of the Jews, which He for so long has borne and still bears with wonderful long-suffering, will be for ever refuted.— κόψονται, shall wail) without doubt through fear, as of an enemy, or even through a feeling of penitence in the case of some.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". 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

St. John being to speak of the various afflictions of the church of God, which should immediately begin, and hold on during the whole time that Rome should continue heathen, and one thousand two hundred and sixty years after, during the whole reign of the beasts, prepareth Christians for it, by calling them by the eye of faith to see (though at a great distance) Christ coming to judgment, whom he speaks of as already coming, according to the usual style of prophets, who use to speak of those things that shall shortly be done, or certainly, as if they were already done. He describes the manner of Christ’s coming to judgment, and saith,

he cometh with clouds, that is, in a glorious manner; in the clouds with power and great glory, Matthew 24:30; in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, Matthew 25:31; with ten thousand of his saints, Jude 1:14; with a shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God, 1 Thessalonians 4:16; here, with clouds, bright and glorious clouds, not obscuring him, but making his appearance more glorious and terrible.

And every eye shall see him; he shall come visibly, for, Acts 1:11, he shall so come, as he was seen going up to heaven: see Isaiah 40:5.

And they also which pierced him; they also which pierced him shall look on him, Zechariah 12:10; yea, not those only which pierced him with their spears, but every sinner who hath pierced him with his sins, Hebrews 6:6. From whence we may observe, that the resurrection will be general; and those in the Great Mogul’s country are like to awake out of their sleep in the grave, as well as others.

And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him; all the nations of the earth, (Greek, the tribes of the earth), shall wail, not with a mourning of repentance, the time for that will be past, but with a wailing of despair and horror.

Even so, Amen: these words are either a prophetical assertion, confirming the truth of what he had said, or a pious prayer or desire, or rather both together.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". 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

грядет с облаками Это напоминает обещание Даниила. Сын Человеческий придет с облаками небесными (Дан. 7:13) – не обычными облаками, но облаками славы. В Ветхом Завете Бог часто появляется в ярком, пробуждающем свете, который назывался облако славы («шехина»). Никто не мог видеть всю славу Бога и остаться живым (Исх. 33:20), поэтому ее необходимо было скрывать. Но когда Христос вернется, слава будет полностью видимой, ср. Мф. 24:29, 30; 25:31; см. пояснение к 6:12-17.

те, которые пронзили Его Это не о четырех римских воинах, которые обычно участвовали в распятии, а об Иудеях, которые в действительности были ответственны за смерть Христа (Деян. 2:22, 23; 3:14, 15). Захария называл тех, что пронзили Его, «дом Давидов» и «жители Иерусалима» и пророчествовал, что они будут плакать слезами искреннего раскаяния из-за того, что они сделали Мессии (Зах. 12:10).

возрыдают пред Ним все племена земные Скорбь остального населения земли – это не та скорбь, которая сопровождает истинное раскаяние (ср. 9:21). Это результат вины греха и страх перед наказанием (6:16; ср. Быт. 3:8-10).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-1.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

He cometh; for the deliverance of his friends and the ruin of his enemies.

They also which pierced him-all kindreds of the earth shall wail; there is here an allusion to Zechariah 12:10-14, but with a different application of the words. In Zechariah it is a penitential mourning; but here, as in Matthew 24:30, where the same words are used, it is a mourning of terror in view of Christ’s coming to take vengeance on the wicked. Compare 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

(7) Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

How beautifully the Apostle breaks off at this verse, from what he had been saying before, to honor, and glorify the Son of God. He is indeed still on the same subject; for his whole heart seemed to be on fire, at what he had been meditating, concerning Christ's love, in the redemption of his people. But at this verse, he breaks out in a devout rapture of holy joy, as though he beheld Christ as immediately appearing to his view. He connects the blessed subject of washing his people with his blood, as now coming in the clouds, to receive them to himself; and, overpowered with the contemplation, he cries out: Behold he cometh! Reader! ponder well the several weighty things in this blessed verse. First, The certainty of Christ's coming. So the Angels, which attended the ascension of Christ assured the Church of the certainty of his descension, Acts 1:11. Secondly, The object of his coming. To judge the world in righteousness, and minister judgment to the people, Psalms 9:8. Thirdly. The different effects produced by his coming; every eye shall see him, they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him; that is, everlasting horror will come upon all his enemies, all the Christ-despisers; all of this description, in all kindreds where they are; shall be tremblingly alive, in the anguish of their souls, at his appearing. But his people shall shout aloud with holy joy at his approach, and put their hearty even so, Amen, in Confirmation of it. Reader what saith your heart to these things? If you can welcome Jesus, approach now in ordinances; if his Person, blood, and righteousness, be dear to you now, surely His coming will be so then! If Jesus saith I come quickly! Can you answer, even so, come Lord Jesus? Surely our knowledge and love of Jesus here, are sweet testimonies of our delight in him, both here and hereafter.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/revelation-1.html. 1828.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Behold He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, including those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so, Amen.’

John now gives us the theme of the book. The book is centred on the Second Coming of Christ, for that is its focal point. In the end all, both believers and persecutors, will see Him in one way or another, for in His coming in glory He will be unavoidable.

But sadly for the great majority, ‘the tribes of the earth’, it will be a time of mourning. The words are based on Zechariah 12:9-10. ‘They will look to him whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son’.

Both these verses end in ‘Amen’, the guarantee of their fulfilment. Later the Son of Man will be declared to be ‘the Amen’ (Revelation 3:14), and thus the guarantor of their fulfilment.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

"Behold" (Gr. idou) indicates special divine intervention. This verse summarizes the main features of the revelation to follow. It is in this sense the key verse in the book.

"The theme of the book is the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ over all enemies and the establishment of His earthly kingdom." [Note: Harris, p175. See also Ladd, p14; and Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 2:568.]

Jesus Christ will return physically to earth as He ascended into heaven ( Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 2:5; Revelation 2:16; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 16:15; Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:12; Revelation 22:20 [twice]); Acts 1:9-11). "Every eye" of those alive at His second coming will see Him ( Matthew 24:30; cf. Numbers 11:25; Psalm 104:3; Isaiah 19:1; Daniel 7:13; Zechariah 12:10-14). "Those who pierced Him" evidently refers to Jews particularly ( Zechariah 12:10; Zechariah 12:12; Zechariah 12:14; cf. John 19:37). [Note: See Kenneth G. C. Newport, "Semitic Influence in Revelation: Some Further Evidence," Andrews University Seminary Studies25:3 (Autumn1987):249-56.] Another possibility is that these people stand for Jesus" enemies. [Note: Ladd, p28.] Representatives from all tribes on earth then will mourn (wail) because then the earth will be in rebellion against Him (cf. Matthew 24:30). These tribes represent all human beings, not just Jews. [Note: See Smith, p44; and Thomas, Revelation 1-7, pp78-79.]

This great text announces the climactic event in Revelation, namely, the return of Jesus Christ to the earth at His second coming ( Revelation 19:11-16). [Note: See Mark L. Hitchcock, "A Critique of the Preterist View of Revelation and the Jewish War," Bibliotheca Sacra164:653 (January-March2007):89-100, for a rebuttal of the preterist interpretation of this verse.] All that intervenes between this verse and Revelation 19:11-16 leads up to that event. This verse does not refer to the Rapture as is clear from what John said will happen when it takes place. The Second Coming is a public gradual manifestation, but the Rapture will be a secret instantaneous calling ( 1 Corinthians 15:52).

"The promise combines Daniel 7:13 with Zechariah 12:10 ... Daniel 7 provides a key focus for John throughout the whole book (there are no fewer than thirty-one allusions to it)." [Note: Johnson, p422.]

"Even Song of Solomon, amen," provides firm assurance that the coming of Christ will happen as prophesied in this verse.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-1.html. 2012.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

(4) The ominous announcement.

1. "Behold he cometh with the clouds"--1:7.

The reference here is not to the second advent, or return of Christ, but to the coming events about to be delineated, as in the Lord's reply to Caiaphas, the high priest in Matthew 26:64 : "Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." This high priest would live to see the event here foretold, the fulfillment of which occurred in the figurative coming of Christ in the destruction of Jerusalem, as previously foretold in Matthew 24:1-51, and centuries before by the prophet Zechariah in chapter 14. The prophet referred to the destruction of Jerusalem as "the day of the Lord," and in Matthew 24:1-51 Jesus designated it as his coming. And Jesus told Caiaphas that he would live to witness it. The words behold he cometh are an announcement of warning, a call to expectancy, an alert to the impending developments.

The added expression "with the clouds" is not to be literally taken for a material display of his bodily presence. In the description of God's judgment on Egypt, in Isaiah 19:6, the prophet said: "Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt." Also, in Ezekiel 38:16, the prophet said that the latter days God would come up against Israel "as a cloud to cover the land." And in Matthew 24:30, Jesus describes the events in the destruction of Jerusalem as "the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." This is precisely what Jesus told Pilate that he should see, and it is the meaning of Revelation 1:7, pointing to the destruction of Jerusalem.

2. "And every eye shall see him"--1:7.

Both the impact and the import of the occurring events would be of universal knowledge. The siege and fall of Jerusalem would be known to the entire population of the Roman empire both Jewish and pagan.

3. "And they that pierced him"--1:7.

The act and the fact here declared refer not merely to the Romans who wielded and thrust the sword into the Lord's body on the cross, but also to the Jews who, through the officials of their nation, had performed the deed. The truth of this statement is affirmed by the officials of the Jews themselves in Matthew 27:25, and it is confirmed by the apostle Peter in Acts 2:23.

4. "And all the kindreds (tribes) of the earth shall wail because of him"--1:7.

The families of the Jews all over the Roman world are here mentioned. The Gentiles were never referred to as tribes; the tribes belonged to the Jews, who were dispersed into every part of the earth. Yet the events foretold of what would happen to their city and their nation, in Jerusalem and Judea, would become known wherever they were scattered, and all the Jews in every part of the earth would wail over this calamity. They would all mourn over the ruin of their city Jerusalem, and for the destruction of their system of Judaism, and for the overthrow of their theocracy in the demolition of their temple, and for the termination of their Jewish state-their national distinction and existence.

And they would wail (or mourn) because of him, for it was in fulfillment of the fearful woes that he had pronounced against Jerusalem and which were figuratively ascribed to his coming.

This piercing and mourning were the subjects of the prophecy of Zechariah 12:9-11; Zechariah 14:1, described as "the day of the Lord." The quotation of the first reference is made in John 19:37. These scriptural applications show that the fulfillment of the coming with the clouds in Revelation 1:7 was accomplished in the events of the fall of Jerusalem. These fulfilling events, at and after the destruction of Jerusalem, have unmistakable bearing on the contents of Revelation, and the period to which it belongs.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-1.html. 1966.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 1:7. The third part of the Salutation follows, closely associated with that Redeemer to whom the doxology of the second part had been addressed. The thought of Jesus is not exhausted by the mention of what He had done. Another great truth is connected with Him,—that He will come again, to complete His victory, and to be acknowledged by all in His glory and His majesty.

Behold, he cometh with the clouds. May it not be that these clouds are not the mere clouds of the sky, but those clouds of Sinai, of the Shechinah, of the Transfiguration, of the Ascension, which are the recognised signs of Deity? This is the coming prophesied of in Daniel 7:13 and Mark 14:62 (also of Matthew 26:64, though a different preposition is there used); and in both cases, it ought to be strictly observed, it is a coming to judgment.

And every eye shall see him, not the eyes only of those who shall then be alive upon the earth, as it would thus be impossible to explain the mention of those who pierced Him, but the eyes of all who, in any age and of any nation, have rejected His redemption (cp. what is said below on the meaning of the word ‘see’).

Even they that pierced him. The reference is undoubtedly to John 19:34; John 19:37, and to Zechariah 12:10 (cp. note on John 19:37); and this, combined with the facts, that in the passage of the prophet the Jews are the representatives of the whole human race; that it was a Roman soldier, not a Jew, though at the instigation of the Jews, who pierced the side of Jesus as He hung upon the cross; and that the relative employed is not the simple but the compound relative—whosoever—is sufficient to show that the persons referred to are not the Jews only, but they who in any age have identified themselves with the spirit of the Saviour’s murderers. The reader ought not to pass these words without remembering that the piercing of the Saviour’s side is spoken of by St. John alone of all the Evangelists, nay, not only spoken of, but that too with an emphasis which shows how deep was the importance he attached to it (John 19:34-37). A clear trace of the importance of the fact in the writer’s mind is likewise presented to us here.

And all the tribes of the earth shall wail over him. It is important to notice the word ‘tribes,’ the same word as that applied to the true Israel in chaps, Revelation 5:5, Revelation 7:4-8, Revelation 21:12. The ‘tribes’ of Israel are the figure by which God’s believing people, whether Jew or Gentile, are represented. In like manner all unbelievers are now set before us as ‘tribes,’ the mocking counterpart of the true Israel of God. They are the tribes of the ‘earth,’ i.e not the earth in its merely neutral sense, but as opposed to heaven, as the scene of worldliness and evil. Thus in Matthew 24:30-31, ‘all the tribes of the earth’ are distinguished from the ‘elect.’ In neither of the two clauses, then, now under consideration have we any distinction between Jew and Gentile. The same persons are thought of, numerically and personally, in both. The distinction lies in this, that, according to a method of conception common in the Apocalypse, the same persons are looked at first under a Jewish, and next under a Gentile, point of view. The Yea which follows seems to be the testimony of the Lord Himself to what had just been told of Him (comp. chap. Revelation 22:20). The Amen is the answer of believers to the statement made.

We have still to ask, In what sense shall all ‘see’ and ‘wail’? The latter word must determine the interpretation of the former. Is this a wailing of penitence or of dismay? or is it both, so that the wailers embrace alike the sinful world and the triumphant Church? We cannot suppose the same word used to denote wailings of a kind so entirely distinct from and opposite to one another; and the following additional reasons appear to limit the wailing spoken of to that of the impenitent and godless:—(1) This is the proper meaning of the word, and it is so used in chap. Revelation 18:9. (2) Such is also its meaning in that prophecy of our Lord upon which the Apocalypse is moulded (Matthew 24). (3) It corresponds with the idea of the tribes of the earth, which do not include the godly. (4) Throughout this book the godly and ungodly are separated from each other. There is a gulf between them which cannot be passed. If this be the meaning of the second clause, that of the first must correspond to it, and the ‘seeing’ must be that of shame and confusion of face. The whole sentence thus corresponds with the object of the book, and the coming of Jesus is described as that of One who comes to overthrow His adversaries and to complete His triumph.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-1.html. 1879-90.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 1:7. Behold — In this and the next verse are the proposition and the summary of the whole book. He cometh — Jesus Christ. Throughout this book, whenever it is said He cometh, it means his glorious coming. The preparation for this began at the destruction of Jerusalem, and more particularly at the time of writing this book, and goes on without any interruption, till that grand event is accomplished. Therefore it is never said in this book, He will come, but, He cometh. And yet it is not said, He cometh again. For when he came before, it was not like himself, but in the form of a servant. But his appearing in glory is, properly, his coming; namely, in a manner worthy of the Son of God. And every eye — Of the Jews in particular; shall see him — But with what different emotions, according as they had received or rejected him! And they who have pierced him — They, above all, who pierced his hands, or feet, or side. Thomas saw the prints of these wounds, even after his resurrection. And the same, undoubtedly, will be seen by all, when he cometh in the clouds of heaven; and they that condemned him shall be arraigned at his tribunal. And all the tribes of the earth — The word tribes, in the Revelation, generally means the Israelites; but where another word, such as nations, or people, is joined with it, it implies likewise, (as here,) all the rest of mankind. Shall wail because of him — For terror and pain, if they did not wail before by true repentance; even all who have rejected his government and opposed his interest, shall lament the fatal opposition, by which, instead of prevailing in the least against him, they have only effected their own destruction. In this verse is prefixed the great moral, which the whole book is designed to illustrate; namely, that though there should be great opposition made against the cause and kingdom of Christ, yet it should be utterly in vain, and his kingdom should triumph in the most illustrious manner, so that all who opposed it should have the greatest reason to mourn. And as this series of divine prophecy begins, so it ends with this sentiment, and with the joyful consent of his faithful servants to this glorious truth, which should fill the enemies of Christ with both terror and dismay. Yea, amen — This refers to, every eye shall see him. He that cometh saith, Yea; he that testifies it, Amen. The word translated yea is Greek, amen is Hebrew; for what is here spoken respects both Jew and Gentile.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/revelation-1.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Behold, he cometh, or is to come at the day of judgment. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Behold. App-133.

with. App-104.

clouds = the clouds.

eye. Figure of speech Synecdoche (App-6), for person.

see. App-133.

they, &c. Allusion to Zechariah 12:10.

pierced. Compare John 19:34.

kindreds = tribes, as Matthew 19:28; Matthew 24:30; &c. Greek. phule.

because of. Greek. epi. App-104. See Zechariah 12:10.

Even so = Yea.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "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

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

With clouds - `the clouds,' namely, of heaven. "A cloud received Him out of their sight" at His ascension (Acts 1:9): which resembles the manner of His coming again (Acts 1:11). Clouds are symbols of wrath to sinners.

Every eye - His coming shall be a visible appearing.

Shall see. Because they do not now see, they will not believe. Contrast John 20:29.

They also - in particular [ hoitines (Greek #3748)]: 'whosoever.' At His premillennial advent the Jews shall "look upon Him whom they pierced," and mourn in repentance, saying, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." Secondarily, and chiefly, at the general judgment all the ungodly who actually, or virtually by their sins, pierced Him, shall tremblingly see [ opsetai (Greek #3700) implies a vision realized inwardly] Him. John is the only evangelist who records Christ's piercing. This allusion identifies the author of the Apocalypse. The reality of Christ's humanity and death is proved by His piercing: the water and blood from His side were the antitype to the Levitical waters of cleansing and blood-offerings.

All kindreds ... shall wail - the unconverted at the general judgment: at His pre-millennial advent, the anti-Christian confederacy (Zechariah 12:3-6; Zechariah 12:9; Zechariah 14:1-4; Matthew 24:30) [ hai (Greek #3588) fulai (Greek #5443) tees (Greek #3588) gees (Greek #1093)]: 'all the tribes of the land,' or 'the earth.' See the limitation to "all," Revelation 13:8. Even the godly, while rejoicing in His love, shall feel penitential sorrow at their sins, which shall all be manifested.

Because of, [ epi (Greek #1909)] - 'at,' or 'in regard to Him.' Even so, Amen - God's seal of His word: to which corresponds the believer's prayer, Revelation 22:20. The [ nai (Greek #3483)] "even so" is Greek; "Amen," Hebrew. To both Gentiles and Jews His promises and threats are unchangeable.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "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

(7) Behold, he cometh with clouds.—Better, with the clouds. The reference to Christ’s words (Mark 14:62) is undoubted. In the “clouds” St. Augustine sees the emblem of the saints of the Church, which is His body, who spread as a vast fertilising cloud over the whole world.

Every eye shall see him, and they also which (they were who = “whosoever”) pierced him.—Here again is a reference to the incident of the piercing of Christ’s side (John 19:34), recorded only by St. John.

Shall wail because of him.—Or, shall wail over Him. The prophecy in Zechariah 12:10, is the suggesting one of this. But the passage in Zechariah describes the mourning of grief over the dead; the passage here is the mourning towards one who was dead, and is alive. He towards whom they now direct their sorrow is the One over whom they should have wailed when He was laid in His tomb.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
he cometh
14:14-16; Psalms 97:2; Isaiah 19:1; Daniel 7:13; Nahum 1:3; Matthew 24:30; 26:64; Mark 13:26; 14:62; Luke 21:27; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:17
and every
22:4; Numbers 24:17; Job 19:26,27; 33:26; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 John 3:2; Jude 1:14
and they
Psalms 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34,37; Hebrews 6:6; 10:29
and all
6:15-17; 18:15-19; Matthew 24:30; Luke 23:28-30
Even So
18:20; 19:1-3; 22:20; Judges 5:31; Psalms 68:1
Reciprocal: Genesis 45:3 - for they;  Exodus 19:9 - Lo;  Psalm 98:9 - for he cometh;  Psalm 104:3 - maketh;  Song of Solomon 3:11 - behold;  Isaiah 25:9 - it shall;  Isaiah 35:4 - behold;  Jeremiah 4:13 - Behold;  Zechariah 12:12 - the land;  Malachi 3:2 - who may abide;  Matthew 17:5 - behold;  Matthew 25:10 - the bridegroom;  Matthew 25:31 - the Son;  Mark 9:7 - a cloud;  Luke 9:26 - when;  Luke 17:30 - GeneralLuke 19:12 - and;  John 16:11 - judgment;  John 21:22 - If;  Acts 1:11 - shall;  Acts 3:20 - GeneralActs 10:42 - that it;  1 Corinthians 4:5 - until;  1 Corinthians 11:26 - till;  Philippians 3:20 - from;  1 Thessalonians 2:19 - at;  1 Thessalonians 4:16 - the Lord;  2 Thessalonians 1:7 - when;  1 Timothy 6:14 - until;  2 Timothy 4:1 - at;  2 Timothy 4:8 - that love;  Titus 2:13 - the glorious;  Hebrews 9:28 - he appear;  1 Peter 1:7 - at;  1 Peter 4:13 - when;  1 Peter 5:4 - appear;  2 Peter 1:16 - coming;  1 John 2:28 - when;  Revelation 2:25 - till;  Revelation 10:1 - clothed

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-1.html.

Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation

The Great Advent.

Revelation 1:7.

The Lord shall come! This is the theme of this last book of Scripture. It was the theme of the Old Testament; for Enoch"s prophecy runs through all its books—"Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousand of His saints." It is the theme of the New Testament; for both the Master and His apostles give out the same solemn utterance—"Behold, He comes;" and the Church in the early ages took up the subject as of profoundest and most pressing interest, "looking for that blessed hope."

It was no minor hope to the primitive saints. It cheered them at parting with their Lord, and it comforted them at parting with one another. It upheld them in evil days; it nerved them for warfare; it gave them patience under persecution; it animated them in their work; it kept alive their zeal; it enabled them to look calmly round upon an evil world, and to face its mustering storms; it showed them resurrection and glory, fixing their eye upon scenes beyond the deathbed and the tomb; it ever reminded them of the day of meeting, when Jesus will gather all His own together, and those who have slept in Him shall awake to glory, honor, and immortality.

The aspect in which the advent is here presented to us bears more upon the world than upon the Church. When Paul writes to the Thessalonians, he brings before us the advent as it bears upon the Church and her resurrection hope (1 Thessalonians 4:16). "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven" is the word of consolation and gladness. But here it is a warning to the world, and to the apostate Church, that John proclaims the coming One. He comes as Avenger, and Judge, and King! He comes with the iron rod, to break the nations in pieces. He comes arrayed in righteous majesty, to take vengeance upon those who know not God. He comes to shake terribly the earth. And who shall abide the day of His appearing?

The world scoffs at the message, and believes in no advent except the advent of gold and silver, of commerce and science, of luxury and pleasure. The Church has lost sight of it, and says—My Lord delays His coming; or perhaps, "I sit as a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow." Multitudes of professing Christians cannot bear to hear it preached or spoken of, as if it were an evil doctrine fraught with gloom, and paralyzing all effort.

Yet, though the world may mock and the Church forget, the Lord shall come! He has tarried long. Eighteen centuries have gone by since He said, "Behold, I come quickly!" He must be night, even at the doors.

Verse 7. Behold, He comes with clouds.How often has that word "behold" been used in Scripture, to call the attention of a careless Church or world to something great—generally something visible—connected with Messiah and His glory! It is the finger of the Holy Spirit pointing to the open heavens, and His voice saying, "Look! He comes!" For that event absorbs all others in earth"s future. It is the center of the prophetic word. It is the Church"s hope. It is the world"s dread. Long deferred, it comes at last. The Morning Star rises on a night of storm and gloom. Jesus comes—"the same Jesus" who left us on Olivet, returns as He went. He comes with clouds! The reference is here first to Matthew (Matthew 26:64), and then to Daniel (Daniel 8:13), for both are here; also to first Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Sometimes it is "clouds" (Revelation 1:7); sometimes "the clouds" (Matthew 13:26); sometimes "the cloud" (Luke 9:34); sometimes "a cloud" (Acts 1:9); sometimes a "bright cloud" (Matthew 17:5); sometimes a "white cloud" (Revelation 14:14). All these passages point us not merely to the natural clouds of the sky, but to the pillar-cloud—the cloud of the glory which dwelt over and in Israel"s tabernacle and temple. "With" and "in" such clouds of GLORY—as His clothing, His chariot, His pavilion, He is to come.

And every eye shall see Him.This takes in the whole human race then upon the earth; whether simultaneously, all in one moment is of no consequence. Every eye shall see Him, as every man sees the sun each day. The whole human race beholds the sun, though not all exactly at the same moment. The glory may be universally visible at the same time; but to some parts of the world He Himself shall appear first. Every eye shall see Him! Then let us prepare, by looking to Him now. The seeing Him now will cure and bless us; the seeing Him hereafter will be woe to those who have not looked to Him now as the crucified Jesus.

And those who pierced Him.They are specially singled out. Israel pierced Him; Israel shall then specially behold Him, as Saul on his way to Damascus, whose conversion seems a type of that of his countrymen at last, when He whom they pierced shall appear. Like him, they have for eighteen hundred years been kicking against the goads, and like him they shall be amazed and overwhelmed when they see in the returning Jesus of Nazareth Him who their fathers slew. No doubt we pierce Him and crucify Him afresh by our unbelief; each day is He pierced and crucified by the sons of men; for the piercing is the common act of all who, by reason of unbelief, are in sympathy with the original piercers.

Still it would seem, from Zechariah (Zechariah 12:10), that to Israel the special guilt of piercing belongs, though the actual spear which did it, was in the hand of a Gentile soldier. The "piercing" was the greatest proof of human hatred—man"s determination that the Christ of God should die the death—and in that visible exhibition of the whole world"s hatred we have our part; though Israel, as those who should have known and owned and loved their Messiah when He came, may be the guiltiest of all.

And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.Not Israel only, but all the tribes of earth, shall beat upon their breasts because of Him. All the inanimate creation rejoices (seas, woods, hills, and floods, Psalm 96); man mourns. For He comes to deliver creation from the bondage of the corruption, but to take vengeance upon His enemies. The joy of creation and the wailing of man are striking contrasts. They "wail," or beat their breasts, because—

(1) He comes—Rather would they have Him remain away forever, and themselves left unhindered in their plans; undisturbed in their lusts, and sins, and enjoyment of the creature. His presence extorts the weeping.

(2.) He comes to judge—There shall be no mistake as to that. The trumpet has told them that. He summons to judgment. He will right all the wrong.

(3.) He comes with the iron rod—For His enemies is the rod of iron. The great day of breaking shall overwhelm them; and who shall be able to stand?

A remnant in Israel shall mourn with godly sorrow. The sight of Him whom their fathers pierced shall first strike them to the ground, as it did Saul, and then melt them. So a remnant from the spared Gentiles shall wail and turn. But the vengeance shall be widespread. The nations rejecting Christ shall perish. Christendom shall sink like Babylon in the mighty waters. Destruction from the Lord shall consume them utterly. This is the world"s day of rejoicing; that shall be the day of its weeping. Rejecter of the cross, repent and turn! Refuser of the love of God and of the grace of Christ, reconsider your ways, before the Judge descends! This is the acceptable year of the Lord. Avail yourself of the free pardon, and the open door, and the paternal welcome, before it is too late.

Even so, Amen.The first of these words is Greek, Yes, the second is Hebrew—"So be it", both together forming the fullest expression that could be of the certainty and truth of what is stated, and the deep longing of heart for the fulfillment of the prediction. Here all of John"s innermost desires are summed up and spoken out. What earnestness, what vehemence, what longing, are expressed in this double Amen! It is the amen of faith, and hope, and joy. It is the amen of a weary, heart-broken exile. It is the amen of a saint left on earth long behind his fellow-saints, and sighing for the promised rest when the great Rest-giver comes. It is the Church"s amen; her vehement desire for the day of meeting. It is the sigh of the bride for the dawning of the marriage-day.

The WORLD is not ready for that advent; how shall it meet the Judge? It has neglected the "accepted time;" and how shall it stand before the neglected One? What excuse shall it give for slighting the love, despising the blood, and turning its back upon the cross? How terribly, to an unready world, will the last trumpet sound! Poor world! Your day of grace is drawing to a close. Your pleasures are nearly done. Your laughter will soon be quenched. Your vanities will soon disappear. Your dreams will before long be scattered by the dreadful awaking—when the "shout," and the "voice of the archangel," and the "trumpet of God" shall sound. Be wise in time! Awake, you who sleep!

Is the CHURCH ready for this glorious day? Has she put on her apparel? Has she trimmed and lighted her lamp? Has she filled her lamp with oil? Is she sitting loose from the world? Is she remembering her coming Lord, and seeking to be faithful to Him in His absence? He has entrusted to her His cause, His truth, His honor. Is she alive to her responsibility, and acting accordingly? Is she realizing His nearness and His glory? Is she daily influenced by His sure world of promise, "Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me?" Is she laboring and suffering for Him? Or is she self-indulgent, worldly, indolent? As if the Lord were not coming, and as if He were bringing no reward with Him?

Look forwards! Look upwards! Stand apart from a present evil world. Remember that in the last days perilous times shall come. It remains for us, that we let our light shine and keep our garments undefiled. Labor on, O man of faith! Labor on; the toil and the battle will soon be done, and you shall rest from your labors, and your works shall follow you.

Beware of the leaven of the last days; the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees; the leaven of mingled infidelity and superstition; the leaven of atheism and pantheism. "Liberality" is the watchword; but is it the liberality of the Bible of God? Is it the liberality of Him who says in reference to false teaching, "which thing I hate?" (Revelation 2:15).

Beware of letting go the truth of God; of either denying, or disgracing, or depreciating it. "Hold fast that which you have." The Master is absent; and responsibility in the Master"s absence is double responsibility. He trusts us to maintain His truth and to honor His name, until He returns. Let His Churches be faithful to their trust, honoring Him as Prophet, Priest, and King. He may be returning soon. If, on His return, He finds us unfaithful to Himself and to His truth, what shall be our recompense? Behold, He comes! Like a trumpet-voice, let that cry go through the Churches; let it echo through earth. His long absence will soon be ended. Let us be ready—let us watch and be sober.

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Bonar, Horatius. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bch/revelation-1.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

OUR PROPHETIC TESTIMONY (Revelation 1:7).

7. — "Behold He cometh with the clouds." The Second Advent of our Lord is a vital part of Christian testimony, and never more needed to be insisted upon than now, especially in light of the solemn reflection that both the Church and the world are about to enter on their final phases of accumulated guilt before being dealt with in sharp judgment. But it is essential to distinguish the two distinctive parts into which the Coming divides. There is a class of passages, confined to the New Testament, which directly refer to the Coming of the Lord for His saints, as John 14:3; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; and 1 Corinthians 15:23. But there is another set of texts, common to both Testaments, which as distinctly teach the Coming with the saints, as Jude 1:14; Zechariah 14:5; Colossians 3:4; and Revelation 19:11-14. Now, while both these aspects of the one Coming of our Lord should be increasingly pressed on the earnest attention of Christians as a part, and by no means the least important of the faith of God's elect, yet the second part or stage of the Coming is the one referred to here. The former, i.e., the Translation of all saints at the epoch of the Lord's descent into the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) necessarily precedes the latter, i.e., His Coming with His saints (Jude 1:14) and angels (Matthew 25:31).

The apocalyptic testimony, "Behold He cometh with the clouds," coalesces with that of the Hebrew prophet, "I saw in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of Heaven" (Daniel 7:13); and also with the prophetic utterance of our Lord on Olivet, "They shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30). All refer to the same time and event. The epiphany of the Son of Man in such majesty as has never been seen by mortal eye will strike terror to the hearts of all on earth save those of His own people.

The prophets of old, each in his own way, and according to his personal characteristics, but all under the direct guidance of the Spirit, descant on the two great prophetic themes: JUDGMENT and GLORY.

Immediately before the dawn of blessing the Gentiles, no less than the Jews, will be enveloped in gross moral darkness (Isaiah 60:2); whilst, instead of according a loyal welcome to the Coming One, the nations will be found gathered in open and armed rebellion, either in the west against the Lamb (Revelation 19:19), or in the east against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2). Hence the earth must be cleared of evil and evil men ere the consecrating footsteps of its Lord and ours cause it to throb with a joy beyond that experienced in the brief and sinless moment of Genesis 2:1-25. It is the judgment aspect of the Coming to which the Seer of Patmos refers in verse 7.

Christ is nowhere said to come with the clouds to gather His own. On the contrary, they go up in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:17). These are the royal carriages provided to convey us from earth to meet the Lord. The cloud of old was the well-known symbol of Jehovah's presence with His people (Exodus 13:21; Exodus 40:34-38; Luke 9:35). But observe, Christ is not only said to come in the clouds (Mark 13:26), but with them (Revelation 1:7), and on them (Matthew 24:30). The clouds which attend His Coming are symbols of His majesty (Psalms 18:9-12). He sits on them as on His throne (Matthew 24:30). We are caught up in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:17). He ascended in a cloud (Acts 1:9), and shall come in a cloud (Luke 21:27). Such minute distinctions are interesting.

Here, then, we are directed to the culminating point of all prophecy — the pivot of blessing for Israel, the Church, and the world. The first and last testimonies in the book are to the Coming of the Lord (Revelation 1:7; Revelation 22:20), and we may further remark that the word "quickly" applied to the Coming is alone found in this sublime prophecy.

The Coming of the Lord to break the manifested power of evil on earth, to scatter the combined forces marshalled under the leadership of Satan, to grind to atoms every hostile power, will be an event of so public and overwhelming a character that it is added, "Every eye shall see Him." What a sight in the heavens! The descending Lord with many diadems on His head, clad in the insignia of royalty, saints and angels swelling His triumph, clouds around and beneath, will then appear in a manner befitting His majesty.

7. — But while the statement, "Every eye shall see Him," must be accepted in its literality — need one add, not at the same moment — yet one class is singled out from the mass of mankind then in open revolt against God and His Anointed (Psalms 2:1-12), namely, "they which pierced Him." The Gentile spear which pierced the Saviour's side is a fact alone recorded by "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 19:33-37). The weak and vacillating representative of Rome in her imperial greatness, sullied her vaunted reputation for inflexible justice by basely ordering his august Prisoner whom he thrice declared innocent to be scourged and crucified. But the Jews behaved even worse by clamouring aloud for His death, the death of their Messiah, and provoking the unhappy governor to pronounce the fatal sentence. Their children, who have inherited their guilt, and who refuse the shed blood of Christ as God's answer to their sin, shall see Him Whom they pierced, while Zechariah 12:10 shows how grace will use it. The special class referred to as those "who pierced Him" are the Jews.

7. — "All the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him," more especially in the land and amongst the people where His grace has been so conspicuously displayed. The wailing, however, is not confined to the two tribes then in the land, Judah and Benjamin; nor to the ten tribes on the confines of Palestine ere entering it (Ezekiel 20:1-49), but embrace the Gentiles also. "All the tribes of the earth." The substitution of "land" for "earth" is simply a question of interpretation, and not of translation. "Kindreds" or "tribes" in Revelation 7:9 undoubtedly designates Gentiles. Compare with Matthew 24:30, which fixes the moment of the general wail of anguish, viz., the Coming of the Son of Man.

7. — The double affirmation, "Even so, Amen," is the Spirit's seal to this striking prophetic testimony. The "Even so" is Greek, the "Amen" is Hebrew. To both Gentiles and Jews His Word is unchangeable.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-1.html.

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

Behold is a call to attention because something of great importance is about to be said. He cometh in the clouds. The two men in white apparel ( Acts 1:9-11) announced the same thing, and Jesus also made the announcement before leaving the earth ( Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64). Every eye shall see him. The fact that the writer next specifies the executioners of Christ as among those who shall see him proves that it will not be restricted to His faithful followers. That explodes the arrogant heresy taught by a group of materialists that Jesus came but that only they have seen Him, and that is because they are Jehovah's Witnesses. All kindreds shall wail because they will realize that Christ has come to judge the world. But John and all other faithful servants will not wail because they will "love His appearing" ( 2 Timothy 4:8). That is why he exclaims even Song of Solomon, Amen; both terms mean virtually the same in effect.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". 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 1:7

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even Song of Solomon, Amen.

John doth not say, Christ is come, the primitive saints did know that, 1 John 5:20 nor doth he say Christ will come, Hebrews 10:37 though that is certain. Hebrews 9:28 But he saith

"Behold, he cometh"

Christ is preparing to come a second time, he is making way for his kingdom and coming.

"And every eye shall see him"

Job testified his faith in this matter. Job 19:25-27 Also the Prophet Zechariah. Zechariah 12:10 Christ's second coming, and of the faith and hope of the saints therein, Revelation 22:20 Even so come Lord Jesus.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-1.html.

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

Revelation 1:7. Behold he comes with clouds, and all eyes shall see him, and they that pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth shall wail over him. Yea, Amen. John here looks back especially to Matthew 24:30, "And then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth wail, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory." And this declaration of our Lord again rests upon the two passages, Daniel 7:13, "Behold one like the Son of Man came in the clouds of heaven," and Zechariah 12:10, "And I pour out upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication, and they look upon me whom they have pierced, and they wail over him, as the wailing over an only one, and mourn over him, as the mourning over a first born." From the latter passage in particular is taken the expression, "They shall wail," and also" They shall see." That John had the declaration of our Lord more immediately in view, is clear from this, that here, as there, the two passages of Zechariah and of Daniel are united together. Still, John also reverts to the fundamental passages, and more literally adheres to them. Instead of: in the clouds of heaven, we have here, with a more exact reference to Daniel: with the clouds; and the clause derived here from Zechariah, "and they who pierced him" is omitted by Matthew. While in the declaration of our Lord both the fundamental passages are woven together, here the territory of both is still preserved distinct. The clause, "Behold he comes with the clouds," points to Daniel, the rest to Zechariah, the clouds with which, or accompanied by which, the Lord comes, are not" the symbol of glory, of elevation above all nature" (Hvernick), but they are the shadow of the judgment. This even in the Old Testament is the regular signification of the clouds, when employed in such a connection. Isaiah says in Isaiah 19:1, "behold the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and cometh to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt are moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt melts in the midst of it." On which Michaelis remarks: "This is to be understood of a dark stormy cloud, which is charged with thunder and lightning. Swift clouds must be particularly stormy." On Psalms 97:2, "clouds and darkness are round about him," I remarked in my commentary, "The Lord appears surrounded by dark clouds, which announce his anger, and beget the expectation of a tempest of thunder and lightning breaking forth." Again on Psalms 18:10, when the Lord is represented as coming down from heaven, and having darkness under his feet, "The Lord approaches marching on the dark thunder clouds. These are to his enemies a sign of his anger, and a proclamation of his judgment." From these thick tempest-clouds break forth lightning, thunder, and hail, Psalms 18:11, ss. In Nahum 1:3, it is said, "Behold the Lord, in storm and tempest is his way, and clouds are the dust of his feet."

The Lord does not come once merely with clouds at the end of the world, but through all periods of the world's history. Where the carcase is, there the eagles are gathered together. The truth, that the Lord comes with clouds, renews itself with every oppression of the church by the world. The opinion, which would confine the expression to an externally visible appearance of the Lord, is already excluded by the fundamental passages of the Old Testament. But of special importance for the right understanding of it is Matthew 26:64, where Jesus says to the high priest, "But I say unto you, from henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." There the Lord comes upon the clouds to the judgment of Jerusalem, as a manifest proof that we are not to think merely of his coming at the last day, and that the words do not point to a visible appearing. There also the Lord does not come merely to the proper catastrophe on the clouds; he comes from henceforth; so that his whole secret and concealed agency towards the destruction of Jerusalem is comprehended under his coming. But if there the coming on the clouds refers to the judgment on Jerusalem, and here primarily to the judgment on persecuting Rome, then we obtain the result, that thereby the judicial activity of the Lord in its whole compass, according to its different objects and manifestations, is indicated.[Note: The right view was long since given by Vitringa: "Nor is it necessary that the words of John should be restricted to the lust advent of Christ. For, Christ is said in Scripture style to come in the clouds of heaven, as often as he displays his glory, and shews himself us present to the church. And there are various gradations of that advent of Christ, in which he is seen by his hardened enemies, themselves with the greatest anguish and lamentation."]The coming of the Lord with clouds is at once terrible to the world, and joyful to the church; it is the latter which here comes into view." And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh;" it is written in Luke 21:28, after it had been said, "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."

The fundamental passage of Zechariah treats properly of the penitential mourning of Jerusalem over the Messiah, who had been slain by its guilt. In respect to the relation of the passage before us, and of Matthew 24:30, to that in Zechariah, it was remarked in my Christology: "These passages are a kind of sacred parody on that of Zechariah. They shew that, beside the salutary repentance of which Zechariah speaks, there is another Judas-like repentance of despair; that besides the free looking to him who was pierced, there is another not free, which it is impossible for unbelief to escape." The awful sublimity of this allusion must be felt by every one. Quite similar is Habakkuk 2:14 in relation to Isaiah 11:9, "For full is the earth of the knowledge of the Lord, as the water that covers the sea." In Isaiah the knowledge of the Lord is a free, loving, joyful one; in Habakkuk it is one of constraint, terror, and howling. Bengel: "They shall wonder and be terrified, that this Jesus, formerly so despised, and even in his glory not known, should appear in such a manner. There are two kinds of looking to Christ, and wailing over him and his pierced condition. The one is penitential and tender, the other constrained and painful. They who in the day of grace exercise the former, as the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, give themselves to sincere and heartfelt lamentations for sin, which caused the death of Christ; and such shall be the case, when all the tribes of the earth mourn. So that there is no one, who shall not have mourned over the sufferings of Christ, either before the last day for his good, or at the last day (more correctly, when the time of judgment has come; with terror"

In place of "all the tribes of Israel" in the original passage, we have here, as in the declaration of the Lord, "all the tribes of the earth"—a clear proof that here, it is not, as De Wette thinks, the punishment of the Jews that is spoken of, with which also the church had little to do, when sighing under the heathen persecutions.

The expression, "who have pierced him," refers, according to the parallel passage. John 19:37,[Note: It is an important ground for the identity of the author of Revelation and of the Gospe1, that the latter also renders the original passage by ὄψονται εἰς ὃν ἐξεκέντησαν, while the LXX. put it quite differently, πιβλέψονται πρός με, ἀνθ̓ ὧν κατωρχήσαντο. It was pointed out in the Christology, that they followed the common reading, but attributed to the verb דקר a figurative meaning (to pierce—to despise), because they regarded the common one as unsuitable. Inadmissible are the suppositions, by which some have tried to get rid of the consequences, that arise from the troublesome facts. Ewald's allegation, that the LXX. had originally translated as the others, but that the text had been corrupted, can only be regarded as the result of extreme necessity. The allegation, also, that the agreement might easily have been accidental, since Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion coincide with John here and with each other, is likewise quite untenable. For the coincidence is limited there simply and alone to the ἐ κκαντέ ω, while here the ὄ ψομαι also is common; the LXX. and Theodotion have ἐ πιβλέ πομαι. Theodotion, too, not uncommonly leans on Aquila, Symmachus on Aquila and Theodotion—comp. Montfuncon Praelim. in Origenis Hex. p. 57. Aquila, however, knew the sacred books of the Christians, and was guided by polemical considerations in respect to them—as, for example, at Isaiah 7:14 he intentionally shunned the word παρθέ νος out of respect to Matthew 1:23, &c. But polemical considerations never stand alone. They always draw in their train also certain agreements. According to Epiphanius Aquila was for a long time a Christian; and an agreement with John in the rare ἐ κ κεντεῖ ν could scarcely be accidental.]to the piercing with the spear. "The piercing of the side," says Bengel, "was the last and most noted injury, which the enemies of the Saviour inflicted on his sacred body." But this piercing is considered here, not simply as the work of those, from whom in the first instance it proceeded. It appears rather as the common deed of those who are united with the proper doers of it by the common bond of a similar state of feeling, and who manifest it by what they perpetrate against Christ in his members. The immediate actors present themselves to the view of the prophet only as representatives of the multitude, who have feelings of enmity towards Christ. Over him, on account of what they have perpetrated against him, and what they have now in consequence to expect from him. The expression of affirmation in two words, Yea, Amen, serves, according to 2 Corinthians 1:20, to give it additional strength. The double Amen in the Hebrew and in John 1:52, is analogous. Such a liveliness of asseveration was here perfectly in its place. For the visible presented a strong objection against what was affirmed. Bengel: "This is just the state of the Christian, that, when he hears of the coming of the Lord Jesus, he can look for him with joy, and in delight call out yea, with all who love his appearing and wait for his manifestation."

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-1.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7.Behold—Even while he speaks the advent is for a moment visible to his raptured eye.

He cometh—The immediate present; he comes this moment. In prophetic conception our seer brings the coming before his own eyes, and depicts its circumstantials. For a moment the far-distant event, so often spoken of as nigh at hand, is visibly present. Compare Matthew 24:30.

With clouds—In clouds would simply describe his high locality; with clouds implies that the clouds are part of his attendant pomp.

Every eye— Carries the visible fact to every single individual of the human race.

Shall see—Declares the visibility of his real living person.

And—Rather, even. Even the very men whose thorns, nails, and spear, pierced him on the cross, shall now behold him on the throne. The nature of this striking climax, that objectively the worst sinners of the race—his crucifiers—must now face him, requires a literal interpretation. His physical crucifiers, and not only those who spiritually crucify him by their sins, (which would include all sinners,) must be meant. John watched the piercing of the Saviour’s side by the soldier, and recognised the piercing of Jehovah in Zechariah 12:10 as finding a fulfilment in this piercing of Jehovah-Jesus. It would be such a fulfilment as could be used as illustration for a believer, but not as evidence to convince a sceptic. See our notes of John 19:34-37. Zechariah makes the Jews look in penitence upon him they have pierced; John gives the severe weeping, equally true, of the impenitent meeting the Judge when penitence is too late. The passage is a clear proof that the Gospel and Apocalypse are by the same John. In confirmation of this, Alford notes, that the Greek word for pierced is the same in both Gospel and here, though not in the Septuagint. Dusterdieck replies that other translations into the Greek than the Septuagint, as those of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, use John’s word. But neither of these was, like the Septuagint, in common use; and the plain fact that this passage amplifies the passage in the Gospel with marked peculiarities, still remains. Kindreds (tribes) of the earthOf the earth, is usually an adverse phrase in this book, and doubtless here means the tribes of the earthy. Dusterdieck refers they which pierced him to the Jews, and these kindreds to the Gentiles.

Even so, Amen—Yes, so be it. The even so translates the Greek, and Amen transfers the Hebrew form of the same word. Solemn assent is given by both even to the tears and terrors of the guilty.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-1.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 1:7. A reminiscence and adaptation of Daniel 7:13 (Theod.) and Zechariah 12:10-14. The substitution of (so John 19:37, Justin’s Apol. i. 52, Dial, xxxii., cf. 61., 118., adding ) for (70 mistranslation in this passage, though not elsewhere, of )—shows that the original text was used (though Lücke and Ewald hold that . was the LXX reading till Origen), and that it was interpreted in some (Johannine? Abbott, Diatessarica, 1259–1262, 2317) circles as a prophecy of the crucifixion. Only, the reference is no longer to repentance (Zech.), but, by a turn of characteristic severity, to remorse and judgment. There is a remarkable parallel in Matthew 24:30, where patristic tradition (cf.A. C. 233–36) early recognised in . . . the cross itself, made visible on the day of judgment. The first of the three signs preceding Christ’s advent in the clouds, acc. to Did. xvi. 6 (cf.Zechariah 2:13 LXX), is (Christ with outstretched arms, as crucified?); and, acce. to Barn, vii. 9, “they shall see him on that day wearing about his flesh ”. Note (a) that the agreement with John 19:37 is mainly verbal; the latter alludes to the crucifixion, this passage to an eschatological crisis, (b) No such visible or victorious return of Christ is fulfilled in the Apocalypse, for visions like Revelation 14:14 f., Revelation 19:12 f., do not adequately correspond to Revelation 1:7, Revelation 22:12, etc. (c) No punishment of the Jews occurs at Christ’s return, for the vengeance of Revelation 19:13 f. falls on pagans, while Revelation 11:13 lies on another plane. , . . .: the monotonous collocation of clauses (Vit. i. 9–16) throughout the Apocalypse with , is not necessarily a Hebraism; the syntax of Aristotle (e.g., cf. Thumb, 129), betrays a similar usage. . . . ., selected as a special class ( , , Justin). The responsibility of the Jews, as opposed to the Romans, for the judicial murder of Jesus is prominent in the Christian literature of the period (Luke–Acts, cf. von Dobschütz in Texte u. Unters. xi. 1, pp. 61, 62), though the Apoc. is superior to passages like 2 Clem. xvii. . . .= the unbelieving pagans, who are still impenitent when surprised by the Lord’s descent ( = “because of,” cf.Revelation 18:9 in diff. sense); a realistic statement of what is spiritually put in John 16:8-9.—This forms an original element in the early Christian apologetic. To the Jewish taunt, “Jesus is not messiah but a false claimant: he died,” the reply was, “He will return in visible messianic authority” (Mark 14:62 = Matthew 26:64, significant change in Luke 22:69). In several circles this future was conceived not as a return of Jesus, nor in connexion with his historical appearance, but as the first real manifestation of the true messianic character which he had gained at the resurrection (cf. Titius, 31, 32). See on Revelation 12:4 f. , : a double (Gk. Heb.) ratification of the previous oracle.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-1.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

7. Look, he is coming. (Matthew 26:64; Acts 1:9-11.)Everyone. All the dead will awake. Those who pierced him. National Israel (Zechariah 12:10). All peoples of earth. Because he is coming to judge the world (Acts 17:31).

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:7". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.