Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 16:7

And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - God Continued...;   Temple;   Truth;   Wicked (People);   The Topic Concordance - Judges;   Righteousness;   Truth;   Wrath;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anger of God, the;   Righteousness of God, the;   Truth of God, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Truth;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Altar;   Justice;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Heaven;   Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Judgments of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Revelation of John, the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Plagues of Egypt;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Altar;   Angels;   God;   Justice (2);   Righteous, Righteousness;   Righteousness;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - The Brazen Altar;   God;   Vials;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Judging;   Omnipotence;   Revelation of John:;   Sore;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And I heard another - Evidently another angel, though this is not specified.

Out of the altar - Either the angel of the altar - that is, who presided over the altar (Prof. Stuart), or an angel whose voice seemed to come from the altar. The sense is essentially the same. The writer seemed to hear a voice coming from the altar responding to what had just been said in regard to the judgment of God, or to his righteousness in bringing the judgment upon people, Revelation 16:5. This was evidently the voice of someone who was interested in what was occurring, or to whom these things particularly pertained; that is, one who was particularly connected with the martyrs referred to, whose blood was now, as it were, to be avenged. We are naturally reminded by this of the martyr-scene in Revelation 6:9-11, in the opening of the fifth seal, though it cannot be supposed that the same events are referred to. There “the souls of those that had been slain for the word of God” are represented as being “under the altar,” and as crying to God to “avenge their blood on them who dwelt on the earth.” Here a voice is heard with reference to martyrs, as of one interested in them, ascribing praise to God for having brought a righteous judgment on those who had shed the blood of the saints. They are both, for similar reasons, connected with the “altar,” and the voice is heard proceeding from the same source. In regard to the meaning of the word “altar” here, and the reason why the martyrs are represented in connection with it, see the notes on Revelation 6:9.

True and righteous are thy judgments - Responding to what is said in Revelation 16:5. That is, God is “true” or faithful to his promises made to his people, and “righteous” in the judgments which he has now inflicted. These judgments had come upon those who had shed the blood of the martyrs, and they were just.

In regard to the application of this there are several things to be said. The following points are clear:

(a)That this judgment would “succeed” the first-mentioned, and apparently at a period not remote.

(b)It would occur in a region where there had been much persecution.

(c)It would be in a country of streams, and rivers, and fountains.

(d)It would be a just retribution for the bloody persecutions which had occurred there.

The question now is, where we shall find the fulfillment of this, assuming that the explanation of the pouring out of the first vial is correct. And here, I think, there can be no mistake in applying it to the events bearing on the papacy, and the papal powers, which followed the French revolution. The next material event, after that revolution, was the invasion of Italy, where Napoleon began his career of victories, and where he first acquired his fame. At this stage of my examination of this passage, I looked into Alison‘s History of Europe to see what events, in fact, followed the scenes of confusion, crime, blood, atheism, and pollution in the French revolution, and I found that the next chapters in these eventful scenes, were such as would be well represented by the vial poured upon the rivers and fountains, and by their being turned into blood.

The detail would be too long for my limits, and I can state merely a summary of a few of the chapters in that history. Chapter xix contains the “History of the French Republic from the fall of Robespierre to the establishment of the Directory” - comprising properly the closing scenes of “the Reign of Terror.” Chapter xx contains an account of the campaign in Italy in 1796, embracing, as stated in the summing up of contents in this chapter, the “Battles of Montenotte, Millesimo, Dego; the passage of the bridge of Lodi, and fall of Milan; the siege of Mantua, and the battle of Castiglione; the battles of Caldero and Arcola; and the battles of Rivoli and Mantua.” This is followed (chapter xxiii) with an account of the campaign of 1797, which closed with the fall of Venice; and this is followed (chapter xxvi.) with an account of the invasion of Switzerland, etc. It is unnecessary to dwell on the details of the wars which followed the French revolution on the Rhine, the Po, and the Alpine streams of Piedmont and Lombardy. The slightest acquaintance with that history will show the propriety of the following remarks:

(a) These wars occurred in regions under the influence of the papacy, for these were all papal states and territories.

(b) These scenes followed closely on the French revolution, and grew out of it as a natural consequence, and would be properly represented as a second “vial” poured out immediately after the first.

(c) The country is such as here supposed - “of rivers and fountains” - for, being mostly a mountainous region, it abounds with springs, and fountains, and streams. Indeed, on the supposition that this is the land referred to, a more appropriate description could not have been given of it than is found in this passage. One has only to look upon a map of Northern Italy to see that there is no other portion of the world which would more naturally be suggested when speaking of a country abounding in “rivers and fountains of water.” The admirable map of this region prefixed to the volume, for which I am indebted to the work of Dr. Alexander Keith, on the Signs of the Times, will clearly illustrate this passage, and the corresponding passage in chapter viii., x., xi.,. Let anyone look at the Po and its tributaries on the map, and then read with attention the twentieth chapter of Alison‘s History of Europe (vol. i. pp. 391-424), and he will be struck with the appropriateness of the description, on the supposition that this portion of the book of Revelation was designed to refer to these scenes; for he cannot but see that the battles there described were fought in a country in every way corresponding with the statement here.

(d) This country corresponds with the description here given in another respect. In Revelation 16:5-6 there is a tribute of praise rendered to God, in view of these judgments, because he was righteous in bringing them upon a land where the blood of saints and prophets had been shed - a land of martyrs. Now this is applicable to the circumstances supposed, not only in the sense that Italy in general had been the land where the blood of martyrs had been shed - the land of Roman persecution, alike under paganism and the papacy - but true in a more definite sense, from the fact that this was the very region where the persecutions against the Waldenses and the Albigenses had been carried on - the valleys of Piedmont. In the times of papal persecution these valleys had been made to flow with the blood of the saints; and it seemed, at least, to be a righteous retribution that these desolations of war, these conflagrations, and these scenes of carnage, should occur in that very land, and that the very fountains and streams which had before been turned into blood, by the slaughter of the friends of the Saviour, should now be reddened with the blood of men slain in battle. This is, perhaps, what John saw in vision: a land where persecution had raged, and the blood of the holy had flowed freely, and then the same land brought under the awful judgments of God, and the fountains and streams reddened with the blood of the slain. There was a propriety, therefore, that a voice should be heard ascribing righteousness to God for avenging the blood of the saints Revelation 16:5-6, and that another voice should be heard from the “altar” of the martyrs Revelation 16:7 responding and saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.”

(e) It may be added, to show the propriety of this, that this was one of the series of events which will be found in the end to have contributed to the overthrow of the papal power; for a blow was struck, in the French invasion of Italy, from which Rome has never recovered, and sentiments were diffused as the result in favor of liberty which it has been difficult ever since to suppress, and which are destined yet to burst out in favor of freedom, and to be one of the means of the final destruction of the power. Compare Alison‘s History of Europe, vol. 1, p. 403.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I heard the altar saying, Yea, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

A voice from the altar ... In connection with that altar, we remember the prayers of the martyrs for the execution of God's judgment upon the wicked, and these bowls of wrath are the answer of those prayers.

True and righteous are thy judgments ... It is startling to find some commentators of the opinion that the profound condemnations and punishments of this chapter are "unworthy of the kind of God revealed in the New Testament." Our own view is that such sentiments are unworthy of Christian commentators. People are not wiser than God, a delusion which these visions were designed to correct! Note, also, that these awful punishments of a world gone berserk in its rebellion against God are not capricious reactions of a peevish God who is annoyed with human "mistakes." Ah no! These are the just retributions which the wicked bring upon themselves. The only way in which such wicked men can be contained and corrected by God is in removing the restraints, giving them up (Romans 1:24,26,28), and throwing the derail switch at the head of the canyon.

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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 16:7". "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 I heard another out of the altar say,.... That is, another angel that came out of the altar; see Revelation 14:18 and who represents the souls under the altar, whose blood had been shed by the above persons; compare with this Revelation 6:9 though, there, such whose blood had been shed by Rome Pagan are described; the Ethiopic version calls this angel as before, "the angel of the fountains of water"; and the Alexandrian copy, and Syriac and Arabic versions, read, "I heard the altar saying": as follows,

even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments; the same as in Revelation 15:3. This angel joins the other, and approves and confirms what he says; applauding the judgements of Christ upon the worshippers of the beast, from the verity of them, being what were threatened, and from the justice of them, being what they deserved.

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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 16:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

6 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous [are] thy judgments.

(6) A confirmation of the praise before going out of the sanctuary of God, whether immediately by Christ, or by some one of his angels, for Christ also is called another angel; (Revelation 3:8), (Revelation 7:2), (Revelation 12:1)
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-16.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

another out of — omitted in A, C, Syriac, and Coptic. Translate then, “I heard the altar [personified] saying.” On it the prayers of saints are presented before God: beneath it are the souls of the martyrs crying for vengeance on the foes of God.

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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.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "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

O Lord God, the Almighty (Κυριε ο τεος ο παντοκρατωρKurie ho theos ho pantokratōr). Just as in Revelation 15:3 in the Song of Moses and of the Lamb, vocative with the article οho “Judgments” (κρισειςkriseis) here instead of “ways” (οδοιhodoi) there, and with the order of the adjectives reversed (αλητιναι και δικαιαιalēthinai kai dikaiai true and righteous).

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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 16:7". "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

Another out of the altar

Omit another out of, and read, as Rev., I heard the altar. The altar personified. Compare Revelation 6:9, where the souls of the martyrs are seen under the altar and cry how long.

Almighty

Add the article: the Almighty.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "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 I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

Yea — Answering the angel of the waters, and affirming of God's judgments in general, what he had said of one particular judgment.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-16.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

Ver. 7. And I heard another] That in the mouth of two witnesses this truth might be established. Let God be justified, and every mouth stopped.

Out of the altar] Under which lie the souls of those that were slain for the testimony of Jesus, Revelation 6:9. {See Trapp on "Revelation 16:6"}

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-16.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 16:7. ἤκουσα τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου λέγοντος, I heard the altar saying) John heard the altar, where the cry arises and vengeance descends, or those who served at it, here not seen by John, so that the altar itself appeared to speak. Compare the phraseology, ch. Revelation 1:12, Revelation 9:13, Revelation 11:1. Such is the expression, χρόνος ἐστὶν λαλῶν, Job 32:7.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". 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

Others also, either members of the church triumphant or militant, or both, shall in that day give glory to God, as a God of power, able to do such things; of righteousness, thus giving these bloody men their due; and of truth, thus fulfilling both his promises to his people and his threatenings against his enemies. But it is easier to determine who shall thus rejoice, than the time when this joy shall be. This certainly is God’s work, but in fieri, now doing, but not yet done.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". 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

жертвенника Другой от жертвенника вторит словам Ангела, усиливая истину Божьей справедливости во всех судах (19:1, 2; ср. Быт. 18:25; Пс. 50:6; Рим. 3:4). В большинстве текстов слова другой от пропущены, и сам жертвенник одушевляется, чтобы вторить Ангелу.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Out of the altar; under which are the souls of the martyrs whose blood has been shed by these persecutors. Chap Revelation 6:9.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

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

5. The angel of the altar in verse seven reverted to the altar of martyrs in chapter 6:9-10 and was in the role of sending the judgment which the martyrs petitioned, and of satisfying their avenging cry.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "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

The Tribulation martyrs offer their "amen" from under the altar ( Revelation 6:9; Revelation 15:3-4). The altar was the personification of those associated with it earlier in John"s vision (cf. Revelation 9:13; Genesis 4:10; Luke 19:40; Hebrews 12:24). God always judges consistently with His character, which these martyrs describe as being almighty, true, and righteous.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "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 16:7. Not only is an acknowledgment of the righteousness of God’s judgment given by the ‘waters;’ the martyred saints also respond. The altar (not as in the Authorised Version ‘another out of the altar’) speaks. It is the altar of chap. Revelation 6:9 beneath which is the blood, that is the lives, of the saints. They who have suffered own that the judgments of the Almighty upon those who persecuted them even unto death are true and righteous, conformable to the realities of things and to the demands of perfect righteousness.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-16.html. 1879-90.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Hendriksen writes, "Underneath the altar the souls of the martyrs had cried for vengeance (cf. Revelation 6:9; Revelation 8:3-5) So when this vengeance is rendered, it is the altar that replies: "Yea, Lord God, the Almighty, genuine and righteous are thy judgments.""

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-16.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

another out of. The texts omit. Supply the ellipsis with "the angel of"; compare angel of the waters, Revelation 16:5.

LORD = O LORD.

Almighty. App-98.

true. App-175. See p. 1511.

judgments. App-177.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "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 I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

Another out of. Omitted in 'Aleph (') A C, Syriac, Coptic. 'I heard the altar (personified) saying.' On it the prayers of saints are presented before God: beneath it are the martyrs' souls crying for vengeance on the foes of God.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "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

(7) And I heard . . .—Translate, And I heard (not “another out of the altar,” but) the altar saying, Even so, Lord God the Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments. The altar beneath which the souls of the martyrs cried, and on which the prayers of saints were offered, is represented as confirming the testimony to the just dealings of God.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
out
6:9; 8:3-5; 14:18; Isaiah 6:6; Ezekiel 10:2,7
Even
15:3,4
true
13:10; 14:10; 19:2
Reciprocal: Exodus 7:4 - by great;  2 Kings 10:25 - let;  1 Chronicles 16:12 - the judgments;  Job 8:3 - Almighty;  Psalm 19:9 - judgments;  Psalm 105:5 - the judgments;  Psalm 119:137 - GeneralDaniel 4:31 - fell;  Daniel 4:37 - all;  Mark 9:42 - it;  Romans 9:14 - Is there unrighteousness;  2 Thessalonians 1:5 - righteous;  Revelation 3:7 - he that is true;  Revelation 4:8 - Lord God Almighty;  Revelation 11:17 - Lord God Almighty;  Revelation 16:5 - Thou art;  Revelation 16:14 - God Almighty;  Revelation 21:22 - the Lord

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-16.html.

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

This angel repeated the same commendation of God"s judgments that was expressed by the one in verses5,6.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-16.html. 1952.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7.To the angel of the waters now there comes a response from the altar. Really, the words another out of are not in the Greek; and Alford truly says, that the “simplest understanding is,” that it is the altar itself that speaks and is heard. The altar is cognizant of blood. The “souls” of the martyrs who were as sacrificed victims are under the altar.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 16:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-16.html. 1874-1909.