Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 16:2

So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.
New American Standard Version
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Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Animals;   Temple;   Vision;   Wicked (People);   Thompson Chain Reference - Beauty-Disfigurement;   Impress of Sin;   Sin;   The Topic Concordance - Worship;   Wrath;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Day of the lord;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Mark of the Beast;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Sore;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Moses;   Plagues of Egypt;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels;   Image;   Moses ;   Wicked;   Wicked (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Vials;   13 To Worship, Serve;   42 Evil Wicked;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Vial;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Grievous;   Mark;   Noisome;   Revelation of John:;   Sore;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

A noisome and grievous sore - This is a reference to the sixth Egyptian plague, boils and blains, Exodus 9:8, Exodus 9:9, etc.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the first went - Went forth from heaven, where the seat of the vision was laid.

And poured out his vial upon the earth - That is, upon the land, in contradistinction from the sea, the rivers, the air, the seat of the beast, the sun, as represented in the other vials. In Revelation 16:1, the word earth is used in the general sense to denote this world as distinguished from heaven; in this verse it is used in the specific sense, to denote land as distinguished from other things. Compare Mark 4:1; Mark 6:47; John 6:21; Acts 27:29, Acts 27:43-44. In many respects there is a strong resemblance between the pouring out of those seven vials, and the sounding of the seven trumpets, in Revelation 8:7, it was the earth that was particularly affected in contradistinction from the sea, the fountains, and the sun: “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth.” Compare Revelation 8:8, Revelation 8:10, Revelation 8:12. In regard to the symbolical meaning of the term earth, considered with reference to divine judgments, see the notes on Revelation 8:7.

And there fell a noisome and grievous sore - The judgment here is specifically different from that inflicted under the first trumpet, Revelation 8:7. There it is said to have been that “the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” Here it is that there fell upon people a “noisome and grievous sore.” The two, therefore, are designed to refer to different events, and to different forms of punishment. The word rendered “sore” properly denotes a wound (Homer, Iliad xi. 812), and then, in later writers, an ulcer or sore. It is used in the New Testament only in the following places: Luke 16:21, “The dogs came and licked his sores”; and in Revelation 16:2, Revelation 16:11, where it is rendered “sore,” and “sores.” It is used in the Septuagint, in reference to the boils that were brought upon the Egyptians, in Exodus 9:9-12, and probably Deuteronomy 28:27; in reference to the leprosy, Leviticus 13:18-20, Leviticus 13:23; in reference to the boil, ulcer, or elephantiasis brought upon Job Job 2:7; and in reference to any sore or ulcer, in Deuteronomy 28:35.

In all these places it is the translation of the word שׁחין shechiyn- rendered in our English version as “boil,” Exodus 9:9-11; Leviticus 13:18-20, Leviticus 13:23; 2 Kings 20:7; Job 2:7; Isaiah 38:21; and “botch,” Deuteronomy 28:27, Deuteronomy 28:35. The proper meaning, therefore, is that of a sore, ulcer, or boil of a severe and painful character; and the most obvious reference in the passage, to one who was accustomed to the language of Scripture, would be to some fearful plague like what was sent upon the Egyptians. In the case of Hezekiah 2 Kings 20:7; Isaiah 38:21, it was probably used to denote a “plague-boil,” or the black leprosy. See the notes on Isaiah 38:21. The word “noisome” - κακὸν kakon“evil, bad” - is used here to characterize the plague referred to as being especially painful and dangerous. The word “grievous” - πονηρον ponēron- “bad, malignant, hurtful” - is further used to increase the intensity of the expression, and to characterize the plague as particularly severe. There is no reason to suppose that it is meant that this would be literally inflicted, anymore than it is in the next plague, where it is said that the “rivers and fountains became blood.” What is obviously meant is, that there would be some calamity which would be well represented or symbolized by such a fearful plague.

Upon the men - Though the plague was poured upon “the earth,” yet its effects were seen upon “men.” Some grievous calamity would befall them, as if they were suddenly visited with the plague.

Which had the mark of the beast - notes on Revelation 13:16-17. This determines the portion of the earth that was to be afflicted. It was not the whole world; it was only that part of it where the “beast” was honored. According to the interpretation proposed in Revelation 13:14-15. According to the interpretation in Revelation 13:1-2, Revelation 13:11, and on “the image of the beast” in the notes on Revelation 13:14-15. This one mighty power existed in two forms closely united, and mutually sustaining each other - the civil or secular, and the ecclesiastical or spiritual. It is this combined and consolidated power - the papacy as such - that is referred to here, for this has been the grand anti-Christian power in the world.

(2) it refers to some grievous and fearful calamity which would come upon that power, and which would be like a plague-spot on the human body - something which would be of the nature of a divine judgment, resembling what came upon the Egyptians for their treatment of the people of God.

(3) the course of this exposition leads us to suppose, that this would be the beginning in the series of judgments, which would terminate in the complete overthrow of that formidable power. It is the first of the vials of wrath, and the whole description evidently contemplates a series of disasters, which would be properly represented by these successive vials. In the application of this, therefore, we should naturally look for the first of a series of such judgments, and should expect to find some facts in history which would he properly represented by the vial “poured upon the earth.”

(4) in accordance with this representation, we should expect to find such a series of calamities gradually weakening, and finally terminating the papal power in the world, as would be properly represented by the number seven.

(5) in regard now to the application of this series of symbolical representations, it may be remarked, that most recent expositors - as Elliott, Cunninghame, Keith, Faber, Lord, and others - refer them to the events of the French revolution, as important events in the overthrow of the papal power; and this, I confess, although the application is attended with some considerable difficulties, has more plausibility than any other explanation proposed. In support of this application, the following considerations may be suggested:

(a) France, in the time of Charlemagne, was the kingdom to which the papacy owed its civil organization and its strength - a kingdom to which could be traced all the civil or secular power of the papacy, and which was, in fact, a restoration or reconstruction of the old Roman power - the fourth kingdom of Daniel. See the notes on Daniel 7:24-28; and compare the notes on Revelation 13:3, Revelation 13:12-14. The restoration of the old Roman dominion under Charlemagne, and the aid which he rendered to the papacy in its establishment as to a temporal power, would make it probable that this kingdom would be referred to in the series of judgments that were to accomplish the overthrow of the papal dominion.

(b) In an important sense France has always been the head of the papal power. The king of France has been usually styled, by the popes themselves, “the oldest son of the church.” In reference to the whole papal dominion in former times, one of the principal reliances has been on France, and, to a very large extent, the state of Europe has been determined by the condition of France. “A revolution in France,” said Napoleon, “is sooner or later followed by a revolution in Europe” (Alison). Its central position; its power; its direct relation to all the purposes and aims of the papacy, would seem to make it probable that, in the account of the final destruction of that power, this kingdom would not be overlooked.

(c) The scenes which occurred in the times of the French revolution were such as would be properly symbolized by the pouring out of the first, the second, the third, and the fourth vials. In the passage before us - the pouring out of the first vial - the symbol employed is that of “a noisome and grievous sore” - boil, ulcer, plague-spot - “on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image.” This representation was undoubtedly derived from the account of the sixth plague on Egypt Exodus 9:9-11; and the sense here is, not that this would be literally inflicted on the power here referred to, but that a calamity would come upon it which would be well represented by that, or of which that would be an appropriate emblem. This interpretation is further confirmed by Revelation 11:8, where Rome is referred to under the name of Egypt, and where it is clear that we are to look for a course of divine dealing, in regard to the one, resembling what occurred to the other.

See the notes on that passage. Now, this “noisome and grievous sore would well represent the moral corruption, the pollution, the infidelity, the atheism, the general dissolution of society, that preceded and accompanied the French revolution; for that was a universal breaking out of loathsome internal disease - of corruption at the center - and in its general features might be represented as a universal plague-spot on society, extending over the countries where the beast and his image were principally worshipped. The symbol would properly denote that “tremendous outbreak of social and moral evil, of democratic fury, atheism, and vice, which was specially seen to characterize the French revolution: that of which the ultimate source was in the long and deep-seated corruption and irreligion of the nation; the outward vent, expression, and organ of its Jacobin clubs, and seditious and atheistic publications; the result, the dissolution of all society, all morals, and all religion; with acts of atrocity and horror accompanying, scarce paralleled in the history of people; and suffering and anguish of correspondent intensity throbbing throughout the social mass and corroding it; what, from France as a center, spread like a plague throughout its affiliated societies to the other countries of papal Christendom, and was, wherever its poison was imbibed, as much the punishment as the symptoms of the corruption within.”

Of this sad chapter in the history of man, it is unnecessary to give any description here. For scenes of horror, pollution, and blood, its parallel has never been found in the history of our race, and, as an event in history, it was worthy of a notice in the symbols which portrayed the future. The full details of these amazing scenes must be sought in the histories which describe them, and to such works as Alison‘s History of Europe, and Burke‘s Letters on a Regicide Peace, the reader must be referred. A few expressions copied from those letters of Mr. Burke, penned with no design of illustrating this passage in the Apocalypse, and no expectation that they would be ever so applied, will show with what propriety the spirit of inspiration suggested the phrase, “a noisome and grievous sore” or plague-spot, on the supposition that the design was to refer to these scenes. In speaking of the revolutionary spirit in France, Mr. Burke calls it “the fever of aggravated Jacobinism,” “the epidemic of atheistical fanaticism,” “an evil lying deep in the corruptions of human nature,” “the malignant French distemper,” “a plague, with its fanatical spirit of proselytism, that needed the strictest quarantine to guard against it,” whereof, though the mischief might be “skimmed over” for a time, yet the result into whatever country it entered, was “the corruption of all morals,” “the decomposition of all society,” etc. But it is unnecessary to describe those scenes further. The “world has them by heart,” and they can never be obliterated from the memory of man. In the whole history of the race there has never been an outbreak of evil that showed so deep pollution and corruption within.

(d) The result of this was to affect the papacy - a blow, in fact, aimed at that power. Of course, all the infidelity and atheism of the French nation, before so strongly papal, went just so far in weakening the power of the papacy; and in the ultimate result it will perhaps yet be found that the horrid outbreaks in the French revolution were the first in the series of providential events that will result in the entire overthrow of that anti-Christian power. At all events, it will be admitted, I think, that, on the supposition that it was intended that this should be descriptive of the scenes that occurred in Europe at the close of the last century, no more expressive symbol could have been chosen than has been employed in the pouring out of this first vial of wrath.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And the first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth; and it became a noisome and grievous sore upon the men that had the mark of the beast, and that worshipped his image.

And the first went and poured out ... The word for "sore" is "the same as that used to describe the boils and sores in the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 9:8-11)."[13] Moffatt translated it as a "noisome and painful ulcer."[14] "Noisome," of course, means "stinking." Before taking up the meaning of this, note that this plague fell only upon those identified with the beast.

Upon the men that had the mark of the beast ... "These evils (the bow]s) do not affect other men (the Christians)."[15] A mandatory deduction here is that no literal destruction of the land is meant.

But what is meant? The earth itself, its populations out of which the land-beast arose, will become one vast propaganda factory advancing the teachings of the devil, with the result that all kinds of "stinking ulcers" shall spring up all over the world. Within a few blocks of where this is written, there are a dozen of them, as proclaimed by their gaudy neon signs: "Totally Nude Girls," "Adult Theater XXX Movies," "Bottoms Up Club," "Sylvia Sin's Lounge," etc. If anyone does not believe such places are "stinking ulcers," let him ask the police of any great city. Tragically, there is no way to stop the pornographic, liquor, prostitution, and perversion palaces which today fill half the world. An angel of the wrath of God has poured out his bowl upon the earth, not upon a third of it, but upon all of it.

Scholars who think they can get rid of this prophecy by limiting it to ancient pagan Rome, or by dismissing it as, "merely a retelling of the sixth Egyptian plague of boils,"[16] need to read it again. The things mentioned above are merely the tip of the iceberg. The printing and publication industries of the world are glutted with vicious, anti-God, atheistic, subversive, immoral, and destructive propaganda of every evil kind. Every grocery store has its magazine section devoted to the secularization and corruption of humanity. The movies and entertainment business have so far been corrupted that there is hardly any market for decent and helpful material.

Likewise, the art, and even the music of the world, have been lowered to a level of jungle rhythm, guttural screaming, and the mouthing of obscenities. The art forms of our day betray a ruptured, fractured, and broken culture.

All over the world, evil religious cults are springing up. What are these but more "stinking ulcers"? Recently, in Houston, "The Church of Atheism" was unveiled. Satan has so perverted the laws and opinions of mankind that such monstrosities are endowed with all of the rights and privileges that should belong to righteousness and truth.

The bitter delusions of Marxism are being peddled all over the earth by means of every device of propaganda and subversion ever invented by Satan. But why go on? It would take a library to describe what is meant by the bowl of the wrath of God being poured out upon the earth. How about all those learned men who see nothing here except some ancient historical event?

We do not offer this interpretation as meaning that "the end of time is upon us" or that the final judicial hardening of the race of mankind has already occurred. Nor, are the things we have pointed out intended as an affirmation, for it is not true, that all art, music, literature, publications, entertainment, etc., are evil. Thanks to the God of heaven through Christ, there are still many wonderful, beautiful, and uplifting things available in every one of these fields; and it could be that the complete fulfillment of this prophecy lies yet a great distance into the future, or that the things we have understood as pertaining to the whole world could be merely the astounding perversions that mark the decline of our own isolated culture in America. Therefore, we make no claim whatever that this bowl of wrath, or any of the others, is totally fulfilled by the aberrations noted.

However, our interpretation is that the bowls of wrath mean exactly the type of moral and spiritual pollution of the total human environment that we have attempted to point out. It is not merely that lust, vulgarity, pornography, violence, perversion, and obscenity are present in our culture. They have always been present in greater or lesser extent in every culture. What is alarming today is the toleration, acceptance, and justification of such things, even to the extent of their being advocated and encouraged by and political institutions; and that is what signals a frightening new aspect of such wickedness today. It could be later than we think.

The festering, malignant, noisome ulcers which are breaking out over the earth are represented as hurting the worshippers of the beast, the followers of Satan. How is this true? The parasitic and destructive nature of all satanic "sores" causes them to hurt all kinds of legitimate and constructive endeavors. The "stinking ulcer" of the late Jim Jones' Communist Camp in Guyana literally destroyed everyone connected with it. Look what communism has done all over the world.

In the interpretation of this first bowl, we have also, in part, the interpretation of all seven, for they are concurrent, intermingled, mutually supported; and each one is but a part of the total corruption of mankind's moral and spiritual environment.

[13] William Barclay, The Revelation of John (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1976), p. 126.

[14] James Moffatt, op. cit., p. 446.

[15] Leon Morris, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 20, Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969), p. 193.

[16] Martin Rist, The Interpreter's Bible, Vol. XII (New York-Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1957), p. 481.

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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 16:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the first went,.... The Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, "the first angel", and who undoubtedly is meant, who readily and cheerfully obeyed the orders given him, as did the rest; by this angel cannot be meant Pope Adrian, as Lyra, a Popish interpreter, imagines; for a pope would never hurt the worshippers of the beast, as this angel does; rather some Christian Protestant prince or magistrate is designed, and Brightman applies it to Queen Elizabeth; though a set of kings and princes yet to come seem to be intended:

and poured out his vial upon the earth; not upon the whole earth, and the inhabitants of it; not upon the temple or church of God, and the worshippers in it, which are measured, hid, and protected; nor upon the Roman Pagan empire, which was destroyed under the sixth seal, and which never had any worshippers of the beast and his image in it, for then he was not risen; nor upon the whole apostate church, only a part of it: some think the meaner and vulgar sort of Papists are meant, who were reformed by the Waldenses, Wycliff, Huss, and others before Luther; but rather the antichristian powers on the continent are designed, and particularly Germany; for as the first trumpet affected the earth, Revelation 8:7 and brought the Goths into Germany, and other inland countries on the continent; so this first vial affects the earth, and brings distress upon the Popish party in the same place: and this respects not the Reformation by Luther, as some have thought, nor the wars of the Turks here in the last age; though were it not for some things unfulfilled, which are to precede these vials, one would be tempted to think that this vial was now pouring out upon the empire; but I rather think this refers to a time of distress yet to come on those parts, and which will issue in a reformation from Popery again; for it should be observed, and it may be observed once for all, that though these vials are so many plagues upon antichrist, they are each of them so many steps to the advancement of Christ's kingdom and glory:

and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image; that is, who were professors of the Popish religion, and adherents of the pope of Rome in those parts; see Revelation 13:15 who will only feel the effects of this vial, and that by a noisome and grievous sore falling on them, in allusion to the plague of boils in Egypt, Exodus 9:8 by which may be meant, either literally something external, but not the plague in Dioclesian's time, for then the beast was not risen; and there were none that could have his mark or worship his image: some have thought the French disease is intended, which first appeared in the world in 1490, among the Papists, as a just judgment upon them for the horrible and unnatural lusts and uncleanness of the Romish clergy; and others understand it of a very great heat, which will be before the burning of the world, and will raise blisters and boils upon men: or rather this may design something internal, either the remorse of their consciences, reflections on their past practices, and black despair and horror of mind; and their madness, wrath, and fury, their malice and envy at the success of the preachers of the Gospel, and of Protestant states and princes against them; see Deuteronomy 28:27. Moreover, their secret and wicked practices, both in political and ecclesiastical affairs, will be discovered, and they will appear with boils and blotches upon them all over, which will render them odious to the people, and be the means of a general reformation. Mr. Daubuz thinks the curse of wickedness in the ninth and tenth centuries, after the invocation of saints and angels, and the worship of images were settled, is meant.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the 3 mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image.

(2) The history of the first angel, whose plague on the earth is described almost in the same words with that sixth plague of the Egyptians in (Exodus 9:9). But it does signify a spiritual vicar, and that torture or butchery of conscience seared with a hot iron, which accuses the ungodly within, and both by truth of the word (the light of which God has now so long shown forth) and by bitterness stirs up and forces out the sword of God's wrath. {(3)} See (Revelation 13:16)
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-16.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

wentGreek, “went away.”

poured out — So the angel cast fire into the earth previous to the series of trumpets (Revelation 8:5).

upon — so Coptic. But A, B, C, Vulgate, and Syriac read, “into.”

noisome — literally, “evil” (compare Deuteronomy 28:27, Deuteronomy 28:35). The very same Greek word is used in the Septuagint as here, Greek, “{(helkos}.” The reason why the sixth Egyptian plague is the first here is because it was directed against the Egyptian magicians, Jannes and Jambres, so that they could not stand before Moses; and so) here the plague is sent upon those who in the beast worship had practiced sorcery. As they submitted to the mark of the beast, so they must bear the mark of the avenging God. Contrast Revelation 7:3; Ezekiel 9:4, Ezekiel 9:6.

grievous — distressing to the sufferers.

sore upon the men — antitype to the sixth Egyptian plague.

which had the mark of the beast — Therefore this first vial is subsequent to the period of the beast‘s rule.

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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 16:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Went and poured out (απηλτεν και εχεχεενapēlthen kai execheen). Second aorist active indicative of απερχομαιaperchomai (redundant use like υπαγετεhupagete with εκχεετεekcheete “go and pour out,” in Revelation 16:1) and of εκχεωekcheō Each angel “went off” to perform his task. For εχεχεενexecheen see it repeated in Revelation 16:3, Revelation 16:4, Revelation 16:8, Revelation 16:10, Revelation 16:12, Revelation 16:17.

Into the earth (εις την γηνeis tēn gēn). This same use of ειςeis after εχεχεενexecheen in Revelation 16:3, Revelation 16:4.

It became (εγενετοegeneto). “There came” (second aorist middle indicative of γινομαιginomai).

A noisome and grievous sore (ελκος κακον και πονηρονhelkos kakon kai ponēron). “Bad and malignant sore.” ελκοςHelkos is old word for a suppurated wound (Latin ulcus), here, Revelation 16:11; Luke 16:21. See the sixth Egyptian plague (Exodus 9:10; Deuteronomy 28:27, Deuteronomy 28:35) and Job 2:7. The magicians were attacked in Egypt and the worshippers of Caesar here (Revelation 13:17; Revelation 14:9, Revelation 14:11; Revelation 19:20).

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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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-16.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

And the first went

Each angel, as his turn comes, with draws ( ὑπάγετε , see on John 6:21; see on John 8:21) from the heavenly scene.

There fell ( ἐγένετο )

Lit., there came to pass. Rev., it became. Elliott, very aptly, there broke out.

Noisome and grievous ( κακὸν καὶ πονηρὸν )

Similarly the two cognate nouns κακία and πονρία maliceand wickedness occur together in 1 Corinthians 5:8. Πονηρός emphasizes the activity of evil. See on Luke 3:19.

Sore ( ἕλκος )

See on Luke 16:20. Compare the sixth Egyptian plague, Exodus 9:8-12, where the Septuagint uses this word ἕλκος boilAlso of the boil or scab of leprosy, Leviticus 13:18; king Hezekiah's boil, 2 Kings 20:7; the botch of Egypt, Deuteronomy 28:27, Deuteronomy 28:35. In Job 2:7(Sept.) the boils are described as here by πονηρός sorei0.

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The text of this work is public domain.
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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-16.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

And the first went — So the second, third, etc., without adding angel, to denote the utmost swiftness; of which this also is a token, that there is no period of time mentioned in the pouring out of each phial. They have a great resemblance to the plagues of Egypt, which the Hebrews generally suppose to have been a month distant from each other. Perhaps so may the phials; but they are all yet to come.

And poured out his phial upon the earth — Literally taken.

And there came a grievous ulcer — As in Egypt, Exodus 9:10,11.

On the men who had the mark of the wild beast — All of them, and them only. All those plagues seem to be described in proper, not figurative, words.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-16.html. 1765.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

2.] And the first departed (each angel, as his turn comes, leaves the heavenly scene, and from the space between heaven and earth, empties his vial on the appointed object) and poured out his vial into the earth (the γῆ, which before in Revelation 16:1 was general, is now particular, and correlative with the objects of the other vials, cf. Revelation 16:2-3, εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, εἰς τοὺς ποταμούς): and there came (took place: fell, as E. V.) an evil ( κακόν, in itself) and painful ( πονηρόν, to the sufferers, ἐπίπονον, Suidas. See reff.) sore upon the men that had the mark of the beast and that worshipped his image (see above ch. Revelation 13:15-17, Revelation 14:9-10. The allegorical and historical interpretations have been very various: see them in Elliott, vol. iv. Notice the parallel with the sixth Egyptian plague, Exodus 9:8 ff. Cf. Deuteronomy 28:27; Deuteronomy 28:35).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-16.html. 1863-1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

Ver. 2. And the first went] They went not all at once. Note the patience of God, waiting men’s return unto him.

Upon the earth] Antichrist’s footstool, his branded slaves.

A noisome and grievous sore] The French disease, say some; the devil’s disease, say others, viz. spite and envy at the Reformation wrought in Bohemia, Germany, England, &c., upon the discovery of the Papists’ hypocrisy and filthiness.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-16.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 16:2. The first went, and poured his vial, &c.— The first vial is poured out upon the earth; and so the hail and fire of the first trumpet, ch. Revelation 8:7 were cast upon the earth. it produces a noisome and grievous sore, and in this respect resembles the sixth plague of Egypt; Exodus 9:10. This is inflicted upon the men who had the mark of the beast; which is to be understood of the others also, where it is not expressed. Whether these sores and ulcers are natural or moral, the event will shew.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-16.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. What allusion this plague inflicted upon Babylon has to that plague which God of old inflicted upon Egypt, Exodus 9:9. Egypt had her boil, breaking forth with blains, upon men and upon beast; in like manner the worshippers of the beast have noisome and grievous sores upon them; that is, great trouble and uneasiness of mind, upon the first prospect of the shaking of their kingdom, by discovering the vanity, blasphemy, hypocrisy, and tyranny, of their devised religion; even as sores and blains do vex and torture those that are troubled with them.

Learn hence, That it is no small vexation and trouble to the wicked, when they have their sins detected and discovered; it is as great a torture to their minds as an ulcer or boil is to their bodies.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-16.html. 1700-1703.

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

Revelation 16:2. The first vial poured forth upon the earth ( εἰς τὴν γῆν, in relation to Revelation 16:1, as Revelation 8:7 to Revelation 8:5) produces a severe ulcer.

ἔλκος κακὸν καὶ πονηρόν. Cf. Exodus 9:10 sqq.; Deuteronomy 28:35.(3670) The πονηρόν(3671) designates, besides the κακὸν, which expresses only the evil nature, the virulence, malignity, and affliction of the ulcer.(3672)

ἐπὶ τοὺς ανθρ., κ. τ. λ., The accus. after ἐπί results(3673) from the idea that the plague extends to the men.(3674)

τ. ἔχ. τὸ χάραγ΄α, κ. τ. λ. Cf. Revelation 13:15 sqq., Revelation 14:9 sqq. Of such a pestilence as there was at Rome(3675) in Nero’s time, nothing is said.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-16.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 16:2. πρῶτος, the first) Thus, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh, without the noun angel.(177) The style expresses a very quick outpouring of the vials, of which quickness this also is a proof, that the vials have no periods of times expressed. These bear a great resemblance to the plagues of Egypt, which the Hebrews generally suppose to have been inflicted at intervals of months. See Meyer ad Seder Olam, p. 287. What if the same thing should be about to happen in the case of the vials? Their whole outpouring indeed is as yet among the things to come.— ἕλκος πονηρὸν, a grievous sore) Deuteronomy 28:35, בשחין רע, in the LXX. ἐν ἕλκει πονηρῷ. [This, I believe, will be a new and hitherto unheard of plague.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-16.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Here is a plain allusion to the plagues which God brought upon Pharaoh king of Egypt for his oppression of his ancient Israel; God hereby showing us, that he would deal by this Romish beast for his persecutions of his gospel churches, as he dealt by Pharaoh: as he turned the Egyptian rivers into blood, so as the fish died, and the waters stunk, Exodus 7:20,21, and as he plagued the Egyptians with boils and blains, Exodus 9:9; so he would plague the papacy by proportionable judgments, until, as Pharaoh with his whole party was at last drowned in the Red Sea, so all the antichristian party shall be rooted out. Here are two of the Egyptian plagues mentioned, but this vision begins with the sixth of the Egyptian plagues, viz. that of boils breaking out in blains. What is meant by this

grievous sore I must profess myself not to understand, but think Dr. More speaks very probably, interpreting it of trouble and vexation, which the popish party should have upon the first prospect of their kingdom’s going down; it being of the nature of sores to vex and disturb those that are affected with them, so as they are very uneasy so long as they are affected with them. And, indeed, I find many interpreters agree in this notion.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-16.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

первыйчашужестокие и отвратительные гнойные раны Такое же греческое слово в Септуагинте используется для описания волдырей, которые покрывали египтян (Исх. 9:9-11) и поразили Иова (Иов. 2:7). Новый Завет употребляет это слово для названия открытых ран, которые покрыли нищего Лазаря (Лк. 16:21). Все люди на земле будут поражены неизлечимыми открытыми мокнущими ранами.

начертание зверя Будут поражены только поклонившиеся антихристу (см. пояснение к 13:16; ср. 14:9-11).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Upon the earth; signifying that some distressing judgment falls on the worshippers of the beast. Men are so entirely in the hands of God, he can in so many ways and with such perfect ease destroy them, that it is the height of folly as well as wickedness to oppose his cause, or to refuse his grace.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

There can be no doubt, but that it was the Lord Jesus Christ, whose voice John heard, as mentioned in the former verse, thus sending forth his servants on their employment; or God the Holy Ghost, whose office it is to ordain to the ministry. In either sense, it is blessed. For in either point of view, it must be attended with success. And most blessed was the success of it. For the effects of the pouring out of the first vial was, that a noisome, and grievous sore, fell upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

The Reader will remember that I do not speak decidedly upon any point of doubtful meaning, but I venture to believe that it was the pouring out of this first Vial, which is said to have been poured upon the earth, that is, the empire of the Pope, which produced a change upon the minds of numbers, concerning him and his heresy. For what is a noisome and grievous sore, in a spiritual sense, but a sense of dissatisfaction. And when the eyes of the common people, here called the earth, through grace, were opened to see the folly of bulls, and grants, and licences, and pardons, all for money, what could sour the mind more, than the having been long hoodwinked by such iniquity.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/revelation-16.html. 1828.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And the first went and poured out his bowl into the earth, and there came a distressing and grievous sore on the men who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his image.’

Those who have received the mark of the beast now receive another mark, the mark of judgment in the form of a grievous sore. Compare Deuteronomy 28:35 where it is to be one of a number of judgments on faithless Israel. See also Revelation 16:10-11 of this chapter where it is more generalised. Such sores were the mark of someone in a desperate state, like Lazarus at the gate of the rich man (Luke 16:21). This particular sore is directly related to the mark of the beast. It thus typifies the resulting sickness in heart and spirit that destroys men, a sore from which Christ’s own are protected. Reference to the mark of the Beast (see chapter 13)demonstrates that this commenced early on.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-16.html. 2013.

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

2. The subjects of the plagues were the adherents of the Roman empire in Palestine; and the judgments which commenced with verse two were commensurate with the Roman beasts and the worshipers of his image who were the recipients of his mark.

The significance of the seven plagues may now be summarized as follows:

(1) The noisome sore upon the adherents of the imperial beast: "And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image"--16:2.

The object of this plague was the people in Judea and other provinces of Palestine who had submitted to the imperial decree of the emperor of idolatry in the form of his image-worship, which was the mark of the beast. The effect of this plague was signified by a noxious malodorous sore, a stench in the nostrils, the symbol of the civic posion of idolatry; and it was grievous as a spiritual contagion, being inimical to the ultimate degree to Christianity. In this role the emperor was the veritable embodiment of the antichrist of 1 John 2:18 and 1 John 4:3 and 2 John 1:7. The mention of "the last time" by John in this connection was comparable to Paul's "present distress" 1 Corinthians 7:1-40, and similar allusions in other epistles in the same sort of reference to the grievous times connected with the end of Jerusalem and of the Jewish state.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-16.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

2. The first bowl16:2

The first four trumpet judgments fall on man"s environment rather than on man himself, but the first bowl judgment falls directly on man himself. This plague resulted in some loathsome (bad) and malignant (evil) sores breaking out on the beast-worshippers (cf. Exodus 9:9-11; Leviticus 13:18-27; Deuteronomy 28:27; Deuteronomy 28:35; Job 2:7). The same Greek word, helkos, occurs in the Septuagint translation of these Old Testament passages. Beale argued that since the bowls are figurative, so are these sores. [Note: Beale, p814.] For him the sores represent afflictions. However the plague of boils in the Exodus was literal, so it seems this plague will be literal too. This appears to be some type of skin ulcer that breaks out on the surface of the body. Might this be the result of germ warfare (cf. Revelation 16:17)? Believers who apostatize and worship the beast may suffer from this plague (cf. Revelation 14:9-12), but the faithful will be in a safe refuge (cf. Revelation 12:13-17) or God may protect them in other ways.

"It is an awesome thought to consider almost the entire population of the world suffering from a painful malady that nothing can cure. Constant pain affects a person"s disposition so that he finds it difficult to get along with other people. Human relations during that period will certainly be at their worst." [Note: Wiersbe, 2:609-10.]

Compare the present spread of the AIDS epidemic.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-16.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 16:2. The first angel poured out his bowl into the earth. The whole earth is thought of, and no more only a third part of it as at chap. Revelation 8:7.

And there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast and which worshipped his image. The idea of the plague is taken from that of Egypt in Exodus 9:8-12, but it cannot be literally understood, for literal interpretation is wholly inapplicable to the sixth bowl, and all the bowls must be interpreted on the same principles.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-16.html. 1879-90.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 16:2. And the first poured out his vial upon the earth — This, according to Mr. Fleming, denotes God’s judgments upon the foundation of the Papal kingdom; the earth being that on which we walk, and by the fruits of which we are supported. By this, therefore, he understands the Popish clergy, and the Papal dominions and revenues, by which they were upheld. This vial, he thinks, began with the Reformation, and continued until the time when these agents of Popery were thrown out of as many countries of Europe as embraced the Reformation. And we may easily conceive what a mortification it was to that party, when the pretended sanctity of their bishops, priests, monks, and nuns was discovered to be a mere cheat, and their miracles nothing but lies or tricks; and when their tales of purgatory were exposed to public contempt, and their pardons and indulgences would sell no longer; and consequently, when the pope and his mitred officers saw themselves driven out from so great a part of their dominions, their seminaries for training up their advocates and defenders, of all denominations and orders, pulled down, and so much of their yearly revenues lost. Whence they are said to fall under a noisome and grievous ελκος, ulcer, or sore — Being by this means pained and vexed inwardly, and rendered contemptible to the whole world, which looked upon them as no better than the plagues of mankind. So that this vial began with the rise of Zuinglius and Luther, and the other reformers, in the years 1516 and 1517, and continued to the year 1566; that is, about forty or fifty years; for by that time all the reformed churches were settled, and had published their creeds and confessions of faith against Rome, in opposition to the determinations of the Popish council of Trent, published A.D. 1563, and the creed of Pope Pius IV., which added twelve antichristian articles to the twelve primitive Christian ones, A.D. 1564.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/revelation-16.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And the first. From hence it appears that the first vial was poured out indiscriminately upon the good equally with the wicked. But behold the different consequences that follow: those that have the mark of the beast are afflicted with a sore and grievous wound, which is said in allusion to the madness, fury, and despair with which the wicked were afflicted, whilst St. John's omitting to say any thing of the just, shews that they bore it with resignation and joy. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-16.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

The first warning trumpet brought hail and fire mingled with blood upon earth and a third part of vegetation was killed as a warning. (Revelation 8:7) An evil, perhaps stinking, and painful open sore or ulcer fell upon the followers and worshipers of the beast. (Compare Exodus 9:9-11) Sinful practices and the worship of false gods, such as pornography, humanism, materialism, atheism, etc., do fester as open sores upon all those who practice them. The highest crime areas in any city surround places peddling pornography and nudity, bars, and particularly I am told, gay bars. Notice, the warnings had been given previously, so this plague is not restricted, except in that it will not come upon the righteous.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-16.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

went = went forth. Greek. aperchomai.

upon. Greek. epi, but the texts read eis as Revelation 16:1.

fell. Literally came or became.

noisome. App-128.

grievous. App-128.

sore = ulcer. Greek. helkos. Only here, Revelation 16:11. Luke 16:21.

upon. Greek. eis, but the texts read epi (App-104.)

men. App-123.

mark. See Revelation 13:16.

beast. See Revelation 12:1.

upon them. Omit.

which worshipped = those worshipping (App-137.)

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

Went - `away.'

Poured out. So the angel cast fire into the earth previous to the series of trumpets (Revelation 8:5).

Upon. So Coptic; but A B C, Vulgate, Syriac, read, 'into.'

Sore upon the men - antitype to the sixth Egyptian plague. "Noisome" - `evil' (cf. Deuteronomy 28:27; Deuteronomy 28:35). [ Helkos (Greek #1668) is used in Septuagint, as here.] The reason why the sixth Egyptian plague is first here, is because it was directed against the Egyptian magicians, Jannes and Jambres, so that they could not stand before Moses; so here the plague is upon those who, in the beastworship, practiced sorcery. As they submitted to the mark of the beast, so they must bear the mark of the avenging God. Contrast Ezekiel 9:4; Ezekiel 9:6; Revelation 7:3. "Grievous" - distressing.

Which had the mark of the beast. Therefore this first vial is subsequent to the beast's rule.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) And the first . . .—Translate, And the first went forth, &c. The angel which receives the command departs and pours forth his vial upon the earth. All the vials are poured forth “into the earth” (Revelation 16:1) generally; the first angel pours his vial forth upon the earth, that is, the dry land. And there came an evil and painful sore upon the men (i.e., upon that part of the human race) who, &c. The plague falls on those who carry the mark of the beast, and who worship it. Like the plagues of Egypt, they are directed against those who aid the oppressor. The plague here described resembles the sixth of the Egyptian plagues, the plague of boils (comp. Exodus 9:8-12; Deuteronomy 28:27). Egypt is one type of the world-power; and the plagues are used as types also, and are not to be understood literally. The plague of the “evil sore” denotes some throbbing and hateful sore, perhaps spiritual or mental, which distracts attention and disturbs the personal serenity and self-complacency of the worshippers of the world-power.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
upon the earth
8:7; 14:16
a noisome
Exodus 9:8-11; Deuteronomy 7:15; 28:27; 1 Samuel 5:6,9; 2 Chronicles 21:15,18; Job 2:7,8; Psalms 78:26; Isaiah 1:5,6; 3:17,24; Luke 16:20-22; Acts 12:23
had
13:15-18
Reciprocal: Exodus 9:9 - a boil;  Exodus 9:11 - GeneralExodus 20:4 - GeneralLeviticus 19:28 - print;  2 Chronicles 12:7 - and my wrath;  Jeremiah 42:18 - As mine;  Ezekiel 7:8 - pour;  Ezekiel 9:11 - I have;  Revelation 13:14 - they;  Revelation 15:7 - seven;  Revelation 16:1 - and pour;  Revelation 16:11 - because

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-16.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

FIRST BOWL OF WRATH.

Revelation 16:2. — "And the first went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and there came an evil and grievous sore upon the men that had the mark of the beast, and those who worshipped his image." In the enumeration of the respective Trumpets each of the seven angels is referred to as "second angel," "third angel," "fourth angel," and so on (Revelation 8:1-13), but not so here. The introduction is more brief, the ordinals as first, second, etc., being simply employed, and the word angel omitted.{* Bengel, remarking on the omission of the word angel in the Vials, tersely adds, "The Vials make short work."}

The plague here referred to as "an evil and grievous sore" reminds us of the sixth Egyptian plague (Exodus 9:10-11). This was the first of the plagues which attacked the persons of the Egyptians, and one under which the magicians, or wise men, specially smarted. It was a disgusting and loathsome disease (see Deuteronomy 28:27; Deuteronomy 28:35). There are two other New Testament references to this painful character of boil. Under the fifth Bowl it is mentioned in conjunction with other judgments (v. 11), and in Luke 16:20-21 we learn that Lazarus, dying amongst the dogs on the street, was covered with these painful and generally incurable boils or sores, but the soul of the pauper was waited upon by the angels of God, and carried up and into the bosom of Abraham — the reserved place of Jewish blessing.

The literality of the apocalyptic plagues (Revelation 16:1-21) is a moot question with some. It has been argued that because the Egyptian plagues were literal, so must these be, because of their general resemblance. Now, while strongly protesting against any limitation of divine power, or intruding on the region of sovereignty which God alone can and must necessarily occupy, yet we judge that the plagues of our chapter must be understood symbolically in keeping with the general character and design of the book. What is signified is a moral sore which will cause intense mental suffering. Physical suffering, no doubt, will also add to the anguish endured by men, but the chief and predominating feature will be judicial dealing with the soul and conscience — a suffering far exceeding any bodily infliction. It is called an "evil and grievous sore." The word literally means a bad ulcer, that which produces and draws to it unhealthy humours, discharging these in a highly offensive form. Persons bearing the mark of the Beast and his worshippers — the active supporters of the apostate civil power then under the direct authority of Satan — are the sufferers under the first Bowl. It is God's wrath on the adherents and devotees of the Beast throughout the prophetic earth. This truly awful judgment precedes the fall of Babylon (v. 19), whereas the everlasting torment of the Beast worshippers succeeds that great event (Revelation 14:9-10). We gather therefore that the pouring out of the first Vial is a precursor of the doom announced as the fourth subject in that interesting chapter 14 of grave and notable events.

THE TRUMPETS AND VIALS COMPARED.

Besides a general resemblance to the plagues of Egypt, the Vials and Trumpets strikingly correspond. In the first four of each series the sphere of operation is the same, namely, the earth, the sea, the rivers, the fountains, and the sun. But in the Trumpets the area affected is restricted to a third part, i.e., the Roman world. The effects produced under the Vials are different, and of a severer character, than those under the Trumpet judgments. Then the fifth, sixth. and even seventh Trumpets correspond in some general respects to the last three Vials. But in the Vials the range of the various plagues is in no wise limited to a fourth (Revelation 6:8) or third part (Revelation 8:1-13) of the prophetic earth. Wherever the evil is it is searched out and none escape.

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Bibliographical Information
Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-16.html.

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

Noisome and grievous indicates something extremely objectionable and damaging. It should be remarked that the judgments against the wicked leaders in the corrupt institution were suffered immediately. They felt it through the humiliation of seeing their places of evil rulership brought down through the effects of the Reformation. But this was destined to be only a foretaste of the final judgment that will be pronounced upon them at the last day. The mark and image of the beasthave been explained at Revelation 13:14}

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-16.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 16:2

Revelation 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

The earth in this verse, doth metonymically signify the inhabiters of the Popish earth, the earthly state of the Roman papal kingdom; that Isaiah, those inhabiters of the earth against whom the third woe is pronounced, { Revelation 8:13} especially those that rejoiced at the killing of Christ's two prophetical witnesses. { Revelation 11:10} By the

noisome and grievous sore that fell upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image,

we may understand (by some allusion which this plague fore beareth to that upon the Egyptians, Exodus 9:10-11) such a plague as causeth very great pain, and is so noisome and pestilentious, that it maketh those men that are lovers and friends to Babylon, to stand a far off for fear of the torment, Revelation 18:10-17 which are the proper effects of such noisome and grievous sores. Psalm 38:11; Psalm 77:2

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-16.html.

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

First Vial

Revelation 16:2. And the first went away and poured out his vial on the earth. And there came an evil and grievous sore on the men, who have the mark of the beast, and worship his image. Bengel: "In the trumpets the word angel is repeated (‘And the seven angels prepared themselves to sound; and the first angel sounded,ʼ and so on). Here, on the other hand, the style is briefer: the first, the second, &c., and the seventh poured out his vial. The vials make short work." In the text followed by Luther, this peculiarity in the group of the seven vials vanishes at Revelation 16:3, and the word angel is shoved in.

In Revelation 16:1 the earth is used locally. That the word must be used in another sense here is manifest alone from the circumstance that the sea is distinguished from the earth, and so also are the rivers. There must be an earth upon the earth, which was set off as a special region for the first vial. It indicates the earthly minded, the men who shut themselves up in alienation from heaven. So also in ch. Revelation 13:12 "the earth and those who dwell on it" mean not at all, those, who locally and corporeally have their abode on earth (for those also sojourn on it who dwell in heaven, ch. Revelation 13:6), but the earthly minded upon earth. The commentary on the "earth" is formed by "the men, who have the mark of thebeast." The worshippers of the beast have themselves become beast-like. In ch. Revelation 13:11 it is said, "And I saw another beast ascend from the earth. The designation there of a beast corresponds to the origin out of the earth.[Note: It is from overlooking the distinction between the earth here and the earth in Revelation 16:1, that the reading εἰ ς for ἐ πί has arisen, as also the exchanging of εἰ ς with ἐ πί in what follows, which goes hand in band with the other. In the former the εἰ ς τὴ ν γῆ ν is quite suitable, since the earth is only the locality, not the proper object of the pouring out. Here, on the other hand, ἐ πί is the more suitable.] The evil and grievous sore refers to the sixth Egyptian plague, that of the sore or boil in Exodus 9:8-12 (see my Egypt and the Books of Moses, p. 117). In Deuteronomy 28:27 the same disease appears under the name of the "sore (botch) of Egypt," as one common in Egypt. In Deuteronomy 28:35 it is described as an evil one, hard to be healed, "with a sore (botch) that cannot be healed." It was a chronic disease, a bad eruption. In Deuteronomy 27 it is mentioned in connection with other diseases that were loathsome, painful, lingering, difficult of cure, but not absolutely fatal. The chief seat of the disease appears from Deuteronomy 28:27 to have been in the knees, and the legs. It is certainly not without meaning, that men and cattle were alike smitten by this distemper. The vile and disgraceful character of it appeared also in this, that those, who were affected by it, after that they had presumptuously entered into a conflict with the Almighty, could not stand before Moses. That we are not to abide by the letter here, is clear alone from the reference to the Egyptian plagues. Bengel's remark, "as we understand the Egyptian plagues in a literal way, so should we also understand the plagues under the vials, which are so like to the other," is precisely the opposite of the right view. There is nothing new under the sun; but in regard to the form of judgments the divine righteousness is extremely inventive; and there rarely happens in this respect a simple repetition. The Egyptian plagues, besides, stood in a very close connection with the natural state and circumstances of Egypt. If, therefore, a similarity does exist in respect to those plagues, the conclusion obviously is, that we must distinguish between the matter itself and its historico-symbolical veil. Nor ought we to suppose, that the sore here represents the whole genus of diseases, with reference to that historical type, in which they became manifest after this kind. That it is rather an image of a distressed condition, is clear from Revelation 16:11, where sores are again mentioned in connection with pains, and where they appear as a consequence of the darkness suspended over the kingdom of the beast. The repetition there is an intentional one: it is intended to serve as a finger-post for the right exposition. Disease has also had no independent position assigned it in the seals and trumpets. The correct view has been made particularly easy for us. For, it is such an evil and grievous sore, such a vile, painful, inveterate eruptive distemper, that our people are affected with at the present time. The remark of Bengel, "Because in the vials, and even in the vial of the first angel the image and mark of the beast is pre-supposed, this is also an indication, that they belong to a later period," gives a wrong explanation of a right fact. The right explanation is, that the introductory groups have to do in general with the judgments of God on the wickedness of the world, while here the representation advances to the judgments on the ungodly power of the world, first in the general, then (in ch. 17, sq)., in regard to its particular phases.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-16.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2.Went—As commissioned, from the temple, (Revelation 15:5,) the Christic citadel.

Upon the earth—The Babylonic land or soil; the ground element. Earth was first cursed for man’s sake. Sin has created a discord between man and nature. When man comes right, all will for him be right. But, at any rate, at this crisis of judgment the creation must reflect that retribution upon Babylon.

Sore—Like Egypt’s plague of “boils.”

Exodus 9:10. The broad land is plague-smitten, as in Egypt, for the crime of the capital. The earth is, perhaps, made to give forth miasms that corrupt and disease the systems of the Babylonic peoples.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-16.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 16:2. The sixth Egyptian plague, “a noisome and painful ulcer” (the punishment of the impious and rebellious, according to Philo, de Execr.Revelation 16:6) breaks out on the adherents of the Cæssar-cult.

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-16.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

2. Poured out his bowl on the earth. Disease (such as Acts 12:21-23); land disasters in general (see note on Revelation 8:7). Note that the Trumpets affect only a third of the earth; but the Bowls affect the whole earth!

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 16:2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-16.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.