Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 14:16

Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Sickle;   Vision;   The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Harvest;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Reaping;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Clouds;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Cloud, Cloud of the Lord;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Clouds;   Reap;   Revelation, the Book of;   Son of Man;   Tools;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Cloud ;   Fruit;   Harvest ;   Sickle ;   Tares ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Cloud;   Harvest;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Cloud;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Reaping;   Retribution;   Revelation of John:;   Sickle;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The earth was reaped - The judgments were executed. But where, or on whom, who can tell?

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And he that sat on the cloud - The Saviour, Revelation 14:14.

Thrust in his sickle on the earth - To cut down the harvest - that is, to gather his people to himself.

And the earth was reaped - So far as the righteous were concerned. The end had come; the church was redeemed; the work contemplated was accomplished; and the results of the work of the Saviour were like a glorious harvest.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-14.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he that sat upon the cloud cast his sickle upon the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Cast his sickle ... the earth was reaped ... There was no laborious effort on the part of Christ; he merely threw the whole judgment into gear, and it was executed. The widespread association of the angels with Christ in the final judgment (Matthew 13:41,49; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, etc.) naturally suggests that innumerable angels will be operative under Christ's authority in the execution of the final judgment. The presence of a number of angels in the judgment scene here is in full harmony with this. They gather the golden grain of the harvest into the garner of eternal security. "All the faithful, without the loss of even one, shall be saved."[76]

The harvest of the earth is ripe ... "Contrary to human appearances, history is moving under the sovereignty of God."[77] If it is God's purpose to redeem "a certain number" from the earth, which many have supposed, the "ripeness" here could refer to the full achievement of God's purpose.

[76] Frank L. Cox, op. cit., p. 92.

[77] George Eldon Ladd, op. cit., p. 200.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth,.... He put forth, and made use of that power which he had in his hand, in answer to the entreaty of the angel, the time being fully come which was fixed for this great event:

and the earth was reaped; and the harvest of it was got in; reaping and harvest sometimes are used in an ill sense, and design the wrath of God, and his judgments inflicted upon men; see Isaiah 17:5. Hence some think, that both this and the vintage following intend the judgments of God upon antichrist, and that they are contemporary with the pouring out of the fifth and sixth vials upon the beast and his followers; and the rather, since the destruction of Babylon, literally taken, is expressed in such language, Jeremiah 51:33 though these seem to have respect to times after the fall of the Romish Babylon, before declared in Revelation 14:8 and most interpreters refer the harvest to the last judgment at the end of the world; and which sense is greatly countenanced, and to be illustrated by the parable of the tares and wheat, in Matthew 13:30 sometimes these phrases are used in a good sense, and intend the gathering in of souls by the preaching of the Gospel; as there are the appointed weeks of the harvest, so there is a time fixed for the calling and conversion of God's elect; and when this time is come, and especially to any number of them in any particular place, it is an harvest, as in Galilee and Samaria in the times of Christ, Matthew 9:37 the reapers are the ministers of the Gospel; such were the apostles of Christ, John 4:36 and the sickle is the Gospel, by which not only men are cut to the heart, and cut down, and removed from their old bottom, and principles and practices, but are gathered to Christ, and into his churches; and when large numbers are brought in, it is an harvest time, as in the times of Christ and his apostles; see Isaiah 9:1 hence some interpreters think that the harvest here has respect to the Reformation, which followed upon the preaching of Luther, Calvin, and others, when a large harvest of souls were gathered in, in Germany, France, England, and elsewhere; but rather it may be thought to refer to the conversion of the Jews, and the bringing in the fulness of the Gentiles in the latter day, in the spiritual reign of Christ, to which the preceding visions belong, as we have seen; the earth will be reaped indeed, and a great harvest it will be, when a nation shall be born at once, and the vast multitudes of the Gentiles shall be brought in, as in Isaiah 66:8 and the rather this may be judged to be the meaning of it, since the passage from whence these phrases are borrowed respects the bringing again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, Joel 3:1 though it seems best to understand it of the Lord's wheat harvest at the end of the world, when the wheat of the earth shall be reaped, and gathered into Christ's barn, or garner, or into his and his Father's kingdom; this reaping of the earth is the removing of the saints out of it, not by death, but by the resurrection of them from the dead; for when Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven, and sit on the white cloud, or throne, the dead in him will rise first, and the living saints will be changed, and both will be caught up together, to meet the Lord in the air; so that the earth will be reaped, and be clear of them, and there will be none left in it but the wicked of the world; and what will become of them is declared in the following verses, under the representation of a vintage.

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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 14:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-14.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

thrust inGreek, “cast.”

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-14.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Cast (εβαλενebalen). Second aorist active indicative of βαλλωballō No violence by the use of εβαλενebalen as is seen in Matthew 10:34 (βαλειν ειρηνηνbalein eirēnēn to bring peace).

Was reaped (ετεριστηetheristhē). First aorist passive indicative of τεριζωtherizō Both prophetic aorists again. Christ puts in the sickle as he wills with his own agents (Matthew 9:37.; Matthew 13:39, Matthew 13:41).

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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 14:16". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-14.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Thrust in ( ἔβαλεν )

Lit., cast.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-14.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Crying — By the command of God.

Thrust in thy sickle, for the harvest is ripe — This implies an high degree of holiness in those good men, and an earnest desire to be with God.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-14.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

And the earth was reaped. This reaping by the Lamb represents, perhaps, the gathering of the good, as the second reaping (Revelation 14:17-19) plainly denotes the general summoning of the wicked to judgment and retribution.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-14.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Ver. 16. And he that sat on the cloud] That is, Christ, who soon condescendeth to the suits of his servants. Iste vir potuit quod voluit, said one concerning Luther. The death of Arius was precationis opus, non morbi, the fruit of prayer, rather than the effect of his disease, saith another. He was brought to confusion by the prayers of Alexander, the good bishop of Constantinople.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-14.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

In the sixteenth verse we have observable,

1. Christ's ready answering of, and complying with, the desire of his people, to thrust in the sickle of his judgment, and reap the earth: he that sat on the cloud did thrust in his sickle. How ready is Christ to fulfill the desires of them that fear him, to hear their cry and help them in his own time, in the best and fittest season!

Observe, 2. The great and infinite power of our Lord Jesus Christ, that upon the thrusting in of his sickle, the whole earth was presently reaped. Behold the ability of Christ for judgment, as well as his impartiality in judging: such a Judge is he, as the power of the mightiest cannot daunt; such a Judge, as the riches of the wealthiest cannot bribe; such a Judge, as the subtilty of the wisest cannot deceive; in a word, such a Judge, as there is no appealing from, no repealing of, his sentence.

O great day; when the stiffest knee shall bow at the tribunal of Christ, and the strongest back shall bend under the insupportable burden of the wrath of the Lamb; when the Alexanders and Caesars, which once shook the earth, and caused the world to tremble, shall revere and lie prostrate at the foot of Christ! Behold then, and admire the wonderful power and dexterity of Christ in judging, that upon the thrusting in of his sickle the whole earth was presently reaped!

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-14.html. 1700-1703.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

According to the before mentioned different notion of the harvest, there is amongst them a different interpretation of this verse; some interpreting it of God’s calling in the Jews, or his elect, by the preaching of the gospel; others, of his vengeance upon antichrist and his adherents, more fully expressed, Revelation 15:1-16:21.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-14.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he who sat on the cloud cast his sickle on the earth and the earth was reaped.’

His action is the signal for the angels to gather out of His kingdom ‘all that offends and they who do iniquity’ (Matthew 13:41).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-14.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Judge ( John 5:27) then judged those on the earth. This judgment will occur at the end of the Tribulation ( Revelation 19:17-21). This is a proleptic description of what Revelation will describe further in its sequential unfolding of events. [Note: Robertson, 6:415.]

"The brevity of the statement dramatizes the suddenness of the judgment." [Note: Thomas, Revelation 8-22, p221.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-14.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

thrust in = cast. Greek. ballo. Not the word in Revelation 14:15.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Thrust in - `cast.'

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-14.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
he
14; Matthew 16:27; John 5:22,23
thrust
19; 16:1-21
Reciprocal: Isaiah 30:30 - the flame;  Joel 3:13 - the sickle;  Titus 1:3 - manifested;  Revelation 14:18 - and cried;  Revelation 16:2 - upon the earth

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-14.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 14:16. — "He that sat on the cloud put His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped." The result is instantaneous, but that is in vision only. We must not regard these actions as signifying a momentary exercise of divine power. Events are regarded in the various visions — which may extend over a considerable time and employ many agencies — as completed in a single act. In the visions the completed results are briefly and tersely summed up. But in other portions of Scripture the details, equally important to know, are unfolded. But how gracious in God to afford us the certainty that His purposes shall be fulfilled; that these apocalyptic visions affirm.

We have already observed that the harvest discriminates and separates the wheat from the tares. "Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into My barn" (Matthew 13:30).This, then, is harvest work. It is the same character of separating work in which the good fish are gathered into vessels and the bad cast away (v. 48). This severing process is at the end of the age. There is no actual execution of judgment in the harvest. That is accomplished in the vintage; nor is the harvest here the completion of the firstfruits of the company of virgins of verse 4. That harvest is one of blessing, and is reaped when the millennial kingdom is set up. The harvest here is one of discriminating judgment prior to the kingdom being established.Reaping is in view of judgment.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-14.html.

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

The One on the white cloud did as requested and gathered the grain. The reader will understand this represents the good among mankind.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-14.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 14:16

Revelation 14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

And the earth was reaped;

that Isaiah, mystery Babylon was destroyed, as. { Revelation 18:8-19}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-14.html.

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

Revelation 14:16. And he, who sat upon the cloud, thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

The harvest of the earth is ripe, the harvest of the earth is reaped. Whence we plainly perceive the comprehensive character of this judgment. The harvest of Babylon is only a part of this harvest, the beginning of it. The last great harvest day is described in ch. Revelation 20:9. The word in ch. Revelation 14:7, "the hour of his judgment is come," entirely agrees as to the meaning, only with this difference, that the judgment is there spoken of as at hand, and here of having already entered. He, who may be brought before an earthly judge, should above all have his eye intently fixed on the heavenly judge. "God judges on the earth"—this is the best preservative against the denial of the truth out of fear for human judges, not excepting the court of judgment which is formed by public opinion.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-14.html.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 14:16. The (only here, Revelation 14:14-19, in Apocalypse; cf. C. B. P. ii. 652 f. for a Phrygian inscription ) is represented as a living thing, probably like the of Zechariah 5:1 (Wellhausen). The classical use of reaping to symbolise death and destruction is too common to need illustration. “The harvest of the earth is ripe and dry,” but this ripeness of paganism for judgment (Jeremiah 51:33) is re-stated dramatically (Revelation 14:17-20) in a parallel O.T. symbol from the wine-press. The angelic mise-en-scène recalls that of Revelation 8:3-5. Unlike the harvest-symbol, the vintage-symbol is worked out vividly (cf.Genesis 49:11; Isaiah 63:1 f.).

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 14:16". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-14.html. 1897-1910.