Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 14:20

And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Bridle;   Grape;   Vision;   Wine Press;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bridle;   The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Harvest;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Vine;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Grapes;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Furlong;   Wine-Press;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gethsemane;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the Book of;   Winepress;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Sickle;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Blood;   Enoch Book of;   Fruit;   Horse;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Harvest;   Wine-Press, Wine-Fat;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Lake;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Weights and Measures;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Blood;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Wine Press;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Furlong;   Revelation of John:;   Wine;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Even unto the horse bridles - A hyperbolical expression, to denote a great effusion of blood. The Jews said, "When Hadrian besieged the city called Bitter, he slew so many that the horses waded in blood up to their mouths." The same kind of hyperbole with that above. See Wetstein on this verse.

The space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs - It is said that the state of the Church, or St. Peter's patrimony, extends from Rome to the Po, two hundred Italian miles, which make exactly one thousand six hundred furlongs! If this be really so, the coincidence is certainly surprising, and worthy of deep regard.

On these two last verses pious Quesnel thus speaks: "As the favorable sickle of Jesus Christ reaps his wheat when ripe for heaven, so that of the executioners of his justice cuts off from this life the tares which are only fit for the fire of hell. Then shall the blood of Christ cease to be trampled on by sinners; and that of the wicked shall be eternally trodden down in hell, which is the winepress of the wrath of God.

"And the winepress was trodden without the city, eternally without the city of the heavenly Jerusalem, and far from the presence of God; eternally crushed and trodden down by his justice; eternally tormented in body and soul, without any hope either of living or dying! This is the miserable lot and portion of those who shall have despised the law of God, and died in impenitence. My God, pierce my heart with a salutary dread of thy judgments!"

Whatever these passages may mean, this is a prudent and Christian use of them.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the wine-press was trodden without the city - The representation was made as if it were outside of the city - that is, the city of Jerusalem, for that is represented as the abode of the holy. The word “trodden” refers to the manner in which wine was usually prepared, by being trodden by the feet of people. See the notes on Isaiah 63:2. The wine-press was usually in the vineyard - not in the city - and this is the representation here. As appearing to the eye of John, it was not within the walls of any city, but standing without.

And blood came out of the wine-press - The representation is, that there would be a great destruction which would be well represented by the juice flowing from a wine-press.

Even unto the horse bridles - Deep, as blood would be in a field of slaughter where it would come up to the very bridles of the horses. The idea is, that there would be a great slaughter.

By the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs - That is, two hundred miles; covering a space of two hundred miles square - a lake of blood. This is designed to represent a great slaughter; but why the space here employed to describe it was chosen is unknown. Some have supposed it was in allusion to the length of Palestine. Prof. Stuart supposes that it refers to the breadth of Italy, and that the allusion is to the attack made on the city of the beast. But it is impossible to determine why this space was chosen, and it is unnecessary. The idea is, that there would be a slaughter so great, as it were, as to produce a lake or sea of blood; that the enemies of the church would be completely and finally overthrown, and that the church, therefore, delivered from all its enemies, would be triumphant.

The “design” of this, as of the previous representations in this chapter, is to show that all the enemies of God will be destroyed, and that, therefore, the hearts of the friends of religion should be cheered and consoled in the trials and persecutions which were to come upon it. What could be better suited to sustain the church in the time of trial, than the assurance that every foe will be ultimately cut off? What is better suited to sustain the heart of the individual believer, than the assurance that all his foes will be quelled, and that he will ere long be safe in heaven?

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-14.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And the winepress was trodden without the city, and there came out blood from the winepress, even unto the bridles of the horses, as far as a thousand six hundred furlongs.

"That the symbolism of Revelation 14:17-20 describes the final judgment at the last day we consider beyond successful denial."[83]

Without the city ... We must not think of this as any earthly place such as Jerusalem, Rome, or Babylon. "It is the heavenly city of Hebrews 11:10; 12:2; Revelation 21:10, etc."[84] Plummet also agreed that this means "without the Church of God."[85] The wicked will be punished far from the presence of the saints, and no unclean thing may enter into the place where the saints are.

Blood ... unto the bridles of the horses ... a thousand and six hundred furlongs ... What does this mean? "This stands for the complete judgment of the whole earth and the destruction of all the wicked."[86] "The thought is clear. It is a radical judgment that crushes every vestige of evil and hostility to the reign of God."[87] Evaluations such as these appear to be correct.

Roberson commented that, "This constitutes the most terrible picture of the fate of the ungodly to be found in Scripture."[88]

Regarding the dimensions of this pool (or river) of blood, just which is uncertain, the 1,600 furlongs equals 200 miles!

We are not told whether the said distance is the circumference, the diameter or the radius of the bloody sea; and the reason for this is that it makes not a particle of difference.[89]

The imagery here is not to be taken literally at all. We are merely expected to recoil in horror at the very thought of such a thing. It would be interesting if some of the fundamentalist modernists would step forward and give us an "honest" explanation of this like they did in the case of the "virgins" earlier in the chapter!

The number 1,600 is of interest, despite the opinions of some that, "There is no obvious prototype of this in the Old Testament."[90] Beasley-Murray seems to have come up with a plausible reason for the use of this number:

The figure is the square of forty, the traditional number of punishment. Israel was punished by forty years of wanderings in the wilderness (Numbers 24:23); and certain offenders were given forty lashes (Deuteronomy 25:3)[91]

Thus this chapter, along with Revelation 12 and Revelation 13, has now completed another comprehensive view of the entire history of God's redemptive program, from the first to the final judgment at the Second Advent of Christ.

All of the blood in these last verses must be understood in connection with that angel who came out from the altar, having power over fire. One may say, How strange! No fire appears here; but the fire is here under another figure, that of blood. The great outpouring of blood is another symbol used to describe the final overthrow of the wicked. Of course, the fire and brimstone are also figures; and one may only wonder how terrible must be that reality which requires such symbolism to represent it.

[83] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 452.

[84] Ibid.

[85] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 351.

[86] Leon Morris, op. cit., p. 186.

[87] George Eldon Ladd, op. cit., p. 202.

[88] Charles H. Roberson, op. cit., p. 108.

[89] Albertus Pieters, Studies in the Revelation of St. John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1954), p. 240.

[90] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 195.

[91] G. R. Beasley-Murray, op. cit., p. 230.

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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 14:20". "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 the winepress was trodden without the city,.... The beloved city, the new Jerusalem, into which none of the wicked will enter, and without which are dogs, &c. Revelation 20:9. The allusion may be, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks, to the olive presses, which were without the city of Jerusalem, from whence Gethsemane had its name, whither our Lord went, and where his sorrows began the night he was betrayed: hell is sometimes expressed by outer darkness, and said to be far off from heaven, and between the one and the other a great gulf is fixed, the distance is considerable; hence men are said to go forth to behold the miseries of the wicked; see Matthew 22:13.

and blood came out of the winepress; alluding to the juice squeezed out of grapes, called the blood of grapes, Genesis 49:11.

Even unto the horses' bridles, for the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs; which is only an hyperbolical expression, setting forth the largeness and universality of the destruction of the wicked, and the impossibility of their escaping it. In like manner the Jews express a great slaughter of men; so of the slaughter at Bither, by Adrian, they sayF5T. Hieros. Taanioth, fol. 69. 1. , they went on slaying בדם עד־חוטמו עד ששקע הסוס, "until a horse plunged in blood up to his nostrils", and the blood ran four miles into the sea; which is not to be understood literally, but as expressing a prodigious effusion of blood: and as to

the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs, perhaps there may be an allusion to the measure of the land of Israel, and the common notion of it among the Jews, who make it to be the square of four hundred parsoeF6T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 28. 1. Gloss. in ib. : hence they often speak of the land of Israel shaking and moving four hundred "parsoe", upon some extraordinary occasionsF7T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 3. 1. & Bava Kama, fol. 82. 2. & Menachot, fol. 64. 2. ; and a "parsa" contained four milesF8T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 92. 2. Gloss. in ib. , so that four hundred "parsoe" made a thousand and six hundred miles; and if miles and furlongs are the same, in which sense only the land of Israel could be so large, here is the exact space; for JeromF9Ad Dardanum, fol. 22. 1. Tom. 3. , who was an inhabitant of it, says, it was scarce 160 miles in length, to which agrees R. MenachemF11In Gen. fol. 60. ; and it may be observed, that the Arabic version renders the words, "by the space of a thousand and six hundred miles". The Ethiopic version, very wrongly, reads, "sixteen furlongs".

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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 14:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the winepress was trodden without the city, 15 and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.

(15) That is, overflowed very deep, and very far and wide: the speech is exaggeration to signify the greatness of the slaughter. These are those pleasant fruits truly, of the contempt of Christ, and desiring of Antichrist rather than him, which the miserable, mad and blind world reaps at this time.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-14.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

without the city — Jerusalem. The scene of the blood-shedding of Christ and His people shall be also the scene of God‘s vengeance on the Antichristian foe. Compare the “horsemen,” Revelation 9:16, Revelation 9:17.

blood — answering to the red wine. The slaughter of the apostates is what is here spoken of, not their eternal punishment.

even unto the horse bridles — of the avenging “armies of heaven.”

by the space of a thousand  …  six hundred furlongs — literally, “a thousand six hundred furlongs off” [W. Kelly]. Sixteen hundred is a square number; four by four by one hundred. The four quarters, north, south, east, and west, of the Holy Land, or else of the world (the completeness and universality of the world-wide destruction being hereby indicated). It does not exactly answer to the length of Palestine as given by Jerome, one hundred sixty Roman miles. Bengel thinks the valley of Kedron, between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, is meant, the torrent in that valley being about to be discolored with blood to the extent of sixteen hundred furlongs. This view accords with Joel‘s prophecy that the valley of Jehoshaphat is to be the scene of the overthrow of the Antichristian foes.

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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 14:20". "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

Was trodden (επατητηepatēthē). First aorist passive indicative of πατεωpateō to tread. The image of treading out the grapes is a familiar one in the East. Perhaps Isaiah 63:3 is in mind.

Without the city (εχωτεν της πολεωςexōthen tēs poleōs). Ablative case with εχωτενexōthen (like εχωexō). This was the usual place (Hebrews 13:12). See εχωτενexōthen in Revelation 11:2. Joel (Joel 3:12) pictures the valley of Jehoshaphat as the place of the slaughter of God‘s enemies. Cf. Zechariah 14:4.

Blood from the winepress (αιμα εκ της ληνουhaima ek tēs lēnou). Bold imagery suggested by the colour of the grapes.

Unto the bridles (αχρι των χαλινωνachri tōn chalinōn). Old word (from χαλαωchalaō to slacken), in N.T. only here and James 3:3. Bold picture.

As far as a thousand and six hundred furlongs (απο σταδιων χιλιων εχακοσιωνapo stadiōn chiliōn hexakosiōn). A peculiar use of αποapo for “distance from (of)” as also in John 11:18; John 21:8, somewhat like the use of προpro in John 12:1. The distance itself covers the length of Palestine, but it is more likely that “the metaphor is worked out with the exuberance of apocalyptic symbolism” (Swete) for the whole earth.

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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 14:20". "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

Furlong ( σταδίων )

The furlong or stadium was 606 3/4English feet.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "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 the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

And the winepress was trodden — By the Son of God, Revelation 19:15.

Without the city — Jerusalem. They to whom St. John writes, when a man said, "The city," immediately understood this.

And blood came out of the winepress, even to the horses' bridles — So deep at its first flowing from the winepress! One thousand six hundred furlongs - So far! at least two hundred miles, through the whole land of Palestine.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-14.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Unto the horse-bridles; that is, in depth. The bridle of the horse dipping into the surface of water through which the rider is passing, indicates to him the depth of the flood.--A thousand and six hundred furlongs; over a vast extent of ground. These expressions are designed to indicate the greatness and the extent of the destruction with which the enemies of God will finally be overwhelmed.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-14.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Ver. 20. And the winepress was trodden] viz. By Christ the King, with his heavenly horsemen, Revelation 19:13-14.

Without the city] i.e. Without the Church, haply in Judea, whither the pope being driven from Rome, shall fly and sit, till Christ shall unroost him with the brightness of his coming, 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

Even unto the horse bridles] To confute the pride and cruelty of those bloody Papists that threatened to ride their horses up to the saddleskirts in the blood of the Lutherans. (Flac. Illyr.) So Famesius, Minerius, Felix of Wurtemburg, Sir Charles Ellerker, Charles IX of France, that cruel Queen, who when she saw some of her Protestant subjects lying dead, and stripped upon the earth, cried out, The goodliest tapestry that ever she beheld. These and the like shall be one day glutted with blood, which they have so barbarously thirsted after. Satia te sanguine, quem sitiisti, &c., Satisty with your blood which you were so thirsty for, as she said of Cyrus. (Justin, lib. i.)

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-14.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 14:20. αἷμα, blood) the blood of clusters of grapes, red wine, that is, the blood of the wicked. The Figure Metalepsis. The slaughter of the wicked is intimated, not their eternal torture. Other enemies also afterwards fall into the wine-press: ch. Revelation 19:15.— ἄχρι τῶν χαλινῶν τῶν ἵτπων, ἀπὸ σταδίων χιλίων ἑξακοσίων, unto the bridles of the horses, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs) Each phrase denotes a deep and long torrent of blood. Comp. ch. 11 ἀπὸ σταδίων, κ. τ. λ., is also used of an interval of space, John 11:18. Some followers of the Rabbinical school refer this to the circuit or to the length of Palestine. But its length, even if you include the districts which are lofty and secure from inundation, is much less: its circuit is much greater. What if the valley Kidron, which lies between the city Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12), be meant? For the torrent in that valley, together with its windings, and in the sea itself, as far as it shall be stained with blood, may have a length of 1600 furlongs. Let us take the expression literally. [Comp. Ezekiel 32:6.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-14.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And the winepress was trodden without the city: by the city, Dr. More thinks Babylon is here meant, and that the meaning is, that the powerful convictions of the word before mentioned, shall not reach Babylon, the Romish hierarchy and polity, as being hardened against any such thing. But Mr. Mede and others think, that the city of Jerusalem is here meant, or the Holy Land, which comprehends exactly one thousand six hundred furlong, that is, two hundred Italian miles, or one hundred and sixty Grecian miles. But what that place shall be, where this slaughter shall be, is a great secret.

And blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs: it is plain it shall be a great slaughter, by the depth of the blood mentioned, and the length of the ground which it should to that depth overflow. It is very probable, that great battle is meant, mentioned Revelation 19:20,21, in the place called Armageddon, upon the pouring out of the sixth vial, Revelation 16:16. In so difficult a business nothing can be positively determined.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-14.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

за городом Бог определяет, что эта кровавая бойня будет иметь место вне стен Иерусалима (как будто Бог хочет защитить город от кровавой резни!). Захария в 14:1-5 объясняет, что Иерусалим будет атакован, но не разрушен в результате, а спасен для славы Царства. Оставшиеся верующие будут спасены, так как Господь спасет их и город в отличие от враждебных народов. Они уйдут через вновь созданную долину, когда Господь закончит суд и установит Свое Царство.

даже до узд конских Жестокость кровопролития образно подчеркивается обилием крови убитых при Армагеддоне: брызги крови летят в высоту около 4 футов (1,22 м) и достают до узд конских. Подобным образом, если битва происходит около центра Изреельской долины, то огромный поток крови в некоторых местах легко может сделать русла до 4 футов (1,22 м) в глубину. Это событие хорошо описано в 19:11-21. Возможно, Иезекииль (см. 39:8-16) описывает именно это очищение земли.

на тысячу шестьсот стадий См. заметки на полях. Приблизительное расстояние от Армагеддона в северной Палестине до Едема на юге. Великая битва развернется на всей этой территории и за ее пределами.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-14.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Without the city; apparently the holy city Jerusalem, which represents the people of God; signifying that they will be exempted from this awful judgment.

Blood-even unto the horse-bridles; showing the greatness of the slaughter, and of the multitudes who perished.

A thousand and six hundred furlongs; two hundred Roman miles. Some have supposed an allusion to the length of Palestine; others, to the extent of the pope’s dominions in Italy. But all such conjectures are uncertain.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-14.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

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

And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came from the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six furlongs--14:20.

This was a description of the Roman armies gathered outside the city as God's agents of retribution against Judah and Jerusalem for their apostasies. The context presents a dual vision. First, the two beasts of the sea and of the land were symbolic of the combined effort of Roman and minion persecutors to destroy the church. These two persecutors were the objects of divine indignation in this vision of the great winepress of the wrath of God. Second, the fallen Babylon of verse 8 was Jerusalem--the faithful city turned harlot.

The symbolic description of these scenes envisioned the terrible war against Jerusalem, when the Roman armies gathered outside the city to tread Jerusalem as the winepress. The blood that came out of the winepress even unto the horse bridles signified the horrible slaughter, as though the battle horses waded in blood to their bridles. This was the vivid apocalyptic hyperbole of wrath so great and terrible that was administered to Judah and Jerusalem by the Romans in the Jewish war.

4. In the closing scene of this chapter the great winepress of the wrath of God would envelop the entire land of the Jews--the whole of Palestine. The last phrase of 14:20 declares that the winepress was trodden without the city . . . by the space of a thousand and six furlongs. Mathematically computed that distance was the approximate length of the land of Palestine, and it was symbolic of the deluge of blood over the whole land during the siege of Jerusalem, and the war against the Jews, which ended with destruction of the city, the demolition of the temple, the downfall of Judaism and the final end of the Jewish state. It was the fearful vision of the inevitable and inexorable judgment of God against an incorrigible nation.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-14.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Since the city in view escapes this judgment, Babylon is evidently not the city in view. It is instead Jerusalem. The Old Testament predicted that a final battle would take place near Jerusalem, in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (i.e, the Kidron Valley just to the east of Jerusalem; Joel 3:12-14; Zechariah 14:4; cf. Revelation 11:2). It seems probable that blood will literally flow up to the height of horses" bridles (about four and one-half feet) in some places in that valley. Obviously many people will have to die for this amount of blood to flow.

Blood came out from the wine press of God"s wrath for a distance of200 miles (lit1,600 stadia). Evidently this figure describes the judgment that will take place all over Palestine, not just in the Valley of Jehoshaphat near Jerusalem, at this time. Much of this action will take place in the Valley of Jezreel in northern Israel (i.e, the battle of Armageddon; Revelation 19:17-19). There God will put vast numbers of people to death (cf. Isaiah 63:1-6). The blood will evidently drain out of the Jezreel Valley for a distance of200 miles, probably eastward down the Harod Valley to the Jordan Valley and south into the Dead Sea.

Many interpreters, even some dispensationalists, believe that what we read in this verse is simply a symbolic way of picturing a terrible judgment. [Note: E.g, Wiersbe, 2:608.] Amillennial interpreters often take this description as picturing a worldwide judgment. [Note: E.g, Beale, p782.]

This chapter contains a prophetic preview of the major events yet future from John"s perspective in his vision. That Isaiah, they deal with events leading up to the end of the Great Tribulation.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-14.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 14:20. And the winepress was trodden without the city. In the words ‘without the city’ we can hardly fail to see another instance of the lex talionis: our Lord had suffered ‘without the gate.’

And blood came out of the winepress even unto the bridles of the horses, as far as a thousand and six hundred furlongs. The juice of the grape here passes into the reality, blood, which it was intended to represent (comp. Isaiah 63:1-3). It is difficult to say what may be the exact meaning of the first part of the description of the great sea of blood—that its depth was ‘to the bridles of the horses.’ There is nothing to suggest the idea that the horses represent the ‘chiefs of the people.’ Commentators generally abandon such an interpretation, but substitute none of their own, occupying themselves rather with the inquiry, whether these horses are those of the angels of chap. Revelation 9:15 or those of the host that come up to the destruction of Jerusalem. May the words of Zechariah 14:20 supply the needed explanation, ‘In that day shall there be upon the bells (bridles) of the horses, HOLINESS unto the Lord’? The thought of the Seer may be that the blood could not be so deep as to touch these holy words. The extent of the sea of blood is less difficult to determine. We may at once dismiss the idea that it is taken from the superficial area of the Holy Land or of the old territories of the Pope, or that the expression denotes simply ‘great extent.’ We must start from the fact that we have to deal with a judgment by which the whole ungodly world is overtaken, and that four is the number of the world. This number is first squared for completeness, and then multiplied by 100, a number, as we have seen, belonging to the wicked, while 1000 belongs rather to the good. Thus we have 4 x 4 x 100, representing the whole surface of the earth, wherever the ungodly are to be found.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-14.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

by the space of = as far as. Greek. apo. App-104.

thousand. Greek. chilioi. As Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6, and in Rev 20.

six hundred. See Revelation 13:18.

furlongs. See App-51.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "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 the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Without the city - Jerusalem. The scene of blood-shedding of Christ and His people shall be also the scene of God's vengeance on the anti-Christian foe (Revelation 19:14).

Blood - the red wine. The slaughter of apostates is here meant, not their eternal punishment.

Even unto the horse-bridles - of the avenging "armies of heaven" (Revelation 9:16; Revelation 19:14).

By the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs - `1,600 furlongs off' (W. Kelly). 1,600-a square number: 4 by 4 by 100. The four quarters-north, south, east, and west-of the Holy Land, or else of the world (the universality of the worldwide destruction being indicated). It does not exactly answer to the length of Palestine, as given by Jerome-160 Roman miles. Bengel thinks the valley of Kedron, between Jerusalem and the mount of Olives, is meant, its torrent being about to be discoloured with blood for 1,600 furlongs. This accords with Joel's prophecy, that the valley of Jehoshaphat is to be the scene of overthrow of the anti-Christian foes.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "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 the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
the winepress
Isaiah 63:1-3; Lamentations 1:15
without
11:8; Hebrews 13:11,12
and blood
19:14-21; Isaiah 34:5-7; 66:24; Ezekiel 39:17-21 Reciprocal: Psalm 58:10 - wash;  Psalm 110:6 - fill;  Psalm 119:118 - trodden;  Isaiah 34:3 - and the mountains;  Isaiah 49:26 - drunken;  Isaiah 63:3 - trodden;  Jeremiah 25:33 - the slain;  Ezekiel 16:6 - polluted;  Ezekiel 24:9 - Woe;  Ezekiel 30:11 - and fill;  Ezekiel 32:6 - water;  Malachi 4:3 - tread down;  John 6:19 - furlongs;  John 11:18 - fifteen furlongs;  Acts 10:15 - What;  Revelation 19:13 - clothed

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-14.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 14:20. — "The winepress was trodden without the city." Jerusalem is the city here referred to. The valley of Jehoshaphat was outside Jerusalem, and it is there that the fullest vengeance of God shall be poured out, "the press is full" (Joel 3:13). In fact, both the harvest and the vintage are directly grounded on the prophecy of Joel (chap. 3), with, of course, a wider application. Outside the city, or "without," signifies Palestine as a whole.

20. — "Blood went out of the winepress to the bits of the horses for a thousand six hundred stadia." Blood, not wine or the juice of the grape, but that which it signified, poured out of the winepress to the depth of the horses' bits; the length of the stream of blood nearly two hundred miles. There may be certain measurements of the Holy Land {*As from Dan to Beersheba.} to which these would apply, but nothing certain can be affirmed. What is signified is a vast destruction of human life over a circumscribed area.Certainly what is stated of the vast slaughter is beyond anything ever known. We gather that the scene of the vintage in its worst form is that referred to by Joel (Joel 3:9-14), as also where the battle of Armageddon is to befought (Revelation 16:14-16): the scene, too, of Revelation 19:19. All these have their centre in Palestine. It isthere that the wickedness of earth will be concentrated. The Beast and the Antichrist both fall there, and their followers as well. Gog, too, and his subordinate, the king of the north — the political oppressors of Israel — meet their doom in Palestine (Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29, for Gog and his allies;Isaiah 14:25; Daniel 11:45, for the Assyrian or king of the north). The final dealings of God at the end of the age as expressed in the harvest and vintage are centred in Palestine, but are not confined in their effects to Israel, then the most guilty of all peoples, but extend to the utmost bounds of Christendom. We do not, of course, hold that the actual valley of Jehoshaphat and Armageddon are literally meant, as both are utterly inadequate to serve as a gathering place or centre for the nations who will assemble in close proximity to Jerusalem, and thus Judea becomes the battlefield of the nations. May God graciously preserve His beloved people from the unholy principles and spirit so characteristic of the day in which our lot is cast!

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "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 symbol continues with the same significance but with some added specifications. Being done without the city denotes that the punishment of the wicked will be outside the holy city in the eternal world. In computing the amount of blood (of the grape) that came out we must not forget that the whole performance is symbolic, and the volume is given in order to furnish us some idea of the terrible fate of those whose unrighteous lives have brought upon them the wrath of God. To be conservative I suppose unto the horse bridles would be about four feet. The amount was enough to flood the ground for a distance of a thousand and six hundred furlongs or two hundred miles. Nothing is said about any kind of retainer on the sides, hence to be wide enough to flow freely that far and that deep (if only in the center) would require a considerable width. It all should give us a profound impression of the fate of those who die out of Christ.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". 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 14:20

Revelation 14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

And the wine press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine press.

They that trod the wine press was our Lord Jesus Christ, and his saints. { Revelation 18:3-8} The wine press is that place which is called Armageddon. See the exposition of Revelation 16:15-16 -See KNOLLYS: Revelation 16:15 & See KNOLLYS: Revelation 16:16 and Revelation 19:17; Revelation 19:21. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 19:17 & See KNOLLYS: Revelation 19:21

Even unto the horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furloughs;

that Isaiah, two hundred miles, (eight furloughs to a mile) which sheweth that this judgment of God is very great; therefore called the battle of the great day of God almighty. { Revelation 16:14-16} And also called the supper of the great God. { Revelation 19:17-19} And therefore shall her plagues come in one day-for strong is the Lord God that judgeth her. { Revelation 18:7-10}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-14.html.

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

Revelation 14:20. And the wine-press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine-press, even unto the bridles of the horses, a tract of a thousand six hundred stadia broad. The city, without any accompanying epithet, can only be the city, which was the city by way of eminence in the strictly bible territory, "the holy city" (ch. Revelation 11:1), Jerusalem. But this in the Revelation is always a designation of the church (see vol. i. p. 425.) That the wine-press was trodden out of the city, indicates that the members of the church are not the object of the judicial agency of God, that this has respect to the execution of judgment on the world as opposed to the church. Parallel is ch. Revelation 7:1-8, which represents the preservation of believers amid the judgments that threaten the world. The despised and hated "city" is now the only place of security and deliverance; but its gates are shut against its despisers and enemies. What is said of the triumphant church in ch. Revelation 21:27, "and there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie," and in ch. Revelation 22:15, holds true also of the church militant. Bengel: "We here learn that the wicked are to be altogether excluded from the city of God as castaways; that they themselves shall be made to feel to their cost how great a salvation they have despised, and that they shall be made to serve as a salutary and refreshing spectacle to the inhabitants of the city of God." Comp. Isaiah 66:24. According to ch. Revelation 20:9 we have probably to conceive of the "city" as being besieged by those who are here thrown into the wine-press. In the last chapter of Joel, also, the enemies on whom the judgments of God alight are gathered against Jerusalem; by which is expressed in a sensuous form the idea, that hostility to the church is the occasion of the judgment.

Blood comes forth from the wine-press. Wine is called in the Old Testament (Genesis 49:11; Deuteronomy 32:14) the blood of grapes, not on account of its red colour, but because it is prepared from the juice and strength of grapes; comp. Isaiah 63:3-6. But these grapes yield real blood.

The blood reaches, so deep is the sea of blood which comes from the destruction of all the wicked on the earth, even to the bridles of the horses. "Oh! how vast a supply of fruit must there have been to afford so great a stream of blood!" The mention of the horses' bridles seems at first sight to shew that in the execution of the judgments, which are here gathered into a great and appalling image, God may serve himself, to some extent at least, of men; comp. ch. Revelation 9:7; Revelation 9:13-21, where the four angels invade the earth with an incredible warlike force. But the warlike forces may also be those of the heavenly hosts (comp. ch. Revelation 19:14-15), by which the treader of the wine-press is accompanied in his vengeful enterprise. And this is the natural supposition, according to the passage just referred to, as there the warlike hosts come forth on white horses in connection with the work of treading the wine-press; and as elsewhere no mention is made of human instruments of judgment, either in the harvest or in the treading of the wine-press. What is written there stands related to the representation here, as a part to the whole. The mention of the horses would be too isolated if they did not belong to the train, by which the angel with the sharp sickle is immediately attended. In the fundamental passage of Joel also, the heroes or mighty ones are those of God, the angels.

Such is the depth of the sea of blood, but its breadth measures 1600 stadia. We are here to take for our starting-post the holy city, before whose gates the sea of blood (a sea, not a river, as also in Ezekiel 32:6 and Isaiah 34:3) begins, and completes a circle of 1600 stadia.[Note: The ἀ πὸ of distance from. This peculiar usage is found in the whole of the New Testament only in the Apocalypse and in the Gospel of John, ch 11:18, 21:8.] The number denotes a judgment encircling the whole earth. Four, the signature of the earth (comp. on ch. Revelation 4:6, Revelation 7:1, Revelation 9:14, Revelation 13:7, Revelation 14:6) is first multiplied by itself, and then again by 100. Quite similar is the formation of the 144,000; the fundamental number is twelve, first multiplied by itself, and then by 1000. Similar also is the formation of the number 666. According to several expositors the number here must be the length of Palestine. But this proceeds on the false supposition that it is a stream of blood which is here spoken of, instead of a sea of blood. Besides, the length of Palestine cannot be made properly to square with such a measurement; so that we are thrown on mere conjecture, to which no licence is given in the Apocalypse. Finally, one does not see what Palestine could have to do here, since throughout the Apocalypse it has no signification attached to it.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-14.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

20.Without the city—As grapes and vintage are usually rural matters, so this symbolic picture, 14-20, reaches not to the complete downfall of the city, but to the adjacent slaughters. But what city? The bewildered Alford, with many others, replies Jerusalem! But throughout this whole chapter Jerusalem is the place of the menace, and Babylon is its object.

Even unto the horses’ bridles—The visional sky-horses waded in blood so deep that their bridles were visionally bathed in its crimson.

A thousand and six hundred—The root of this number is the creational four, intimating that this battle is no local event, but world-wide. This view is intensified by the squaring of the four and the multiplying of that square, sixteen, by the square of ten, one hundred. This brief menacing cloud-picture of the coming contest predicts that the destruction from the city will spread over the earth; or rather, perhaps, indicates that the real city is itself earthwide in locality.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-14.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 14:20. The heathen are stamped and crushed till their blood gushes out of the wine-press to the height of a horse’s bridle and to the extent of about two hundred miles. This ghastly hyperbole, borrowed partly from Egyptian (wine = the blood of those who fought against the gods) and partly from Jewish eschatology (En. c. 3: “and the horses will walk up to the breast in the blood of sinners, and the chariot will be submerged to its height”), happens to be used later by the Talmud in connexion with the carnage at Bether (cf. Schlatter’s Die Tage Trajans, p. 37; also Sib. iii. 633 f.; 4 Esd. 15:35; Sil. Ital. iii. 704). The place is to be a veritable Senlac (sang lac).— . . ., probably a round number (see crit. note) compounded out 4 and its multiples (like 144,000 out of 12), to denote completeness (Vict. = per omnes mundi quattuor partes). After the fall of Rome (Revelation 14:8 f.), the rest of the world (ex hypothesi impenitent, Revelation 14:6-8) is ripe for the traditional (Daniel 9:26) judgment. The same sequence is reproduced roughly and on a larger scale in 17–18. (fall of Rome) and 19–20. (doom of other nations). This parallelism and the sense of the Joel passage militate against the attractive idea that Revelation 14:14-16 is the ingathering of the saints (so Alford, Milligan, Bruston, Briggs, Titius, Gilbert, and Swete).— . . . This fearful vengeance is located by Jewish tradition in some valley (of Jehoshaphat = Yah judges?) near Jerusalem (Joel), on the mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4), or in Palestine generally (Daniel 11:45; cf. below on Revelation 16:16), i.e., as a rule in close proximity to the sacred capital, where the messiah was to set up his kingdom.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 14:20". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-14.html. 1897-1910.