Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 18:20

Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Minister, Christian;   The Topic Concordance - Judges;   Vengeance;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Martyrdom;   Murder;   Prophets;   Titles and Names of Ministers;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Prophets;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - City;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Mission;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Apostles;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Manaen;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apocalypse;   Debt, Debtor;   Fire;   Organization (2);   Prophecy Prophet Prophetess;   Trade and Commerce;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Babel;   Babylon;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Avenge;   Babylon in the New Testament:;   Bishop;   Damn;   Fare;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Rejoice over her, thou heaven - This is grand and sublime; the fall of this bad city was cause of grief to bad men. But as this city was a persecutor of the godly, and an enemy to the works of God, angels, apostles, and prophets are called to rejoice over her fall.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Rejoice over her - Over her ruin. There is a strong contrast between this language and what precedes. Kings, merchants, and seamen, who had been countenanced and sustained by her in the indulgence of corrupt passions, or who had been enriched by traffic with her, would have occasion to mourn. But not so they who had been persecuted by her. Not so the church of the redeemed. Not so heaven itself. The great oppressor of the church, and the corrupter of the world, was now destroyed; the grand hindrance to the spread of the gospel was now removed, and all the holy in heaven and on earth would have occasion to rejoice. This is not the language of vengeance, but it is the language of exultation and rejoicing in view of the fact, that the cause of truth might now spread, without hindrance, through the earth.

Thou heaven - The inhabitants of heaven. Compare the notes on Isaiah 1:2. The meaning here is, that the dwellers in heaven - the holy angels and the redeemed - had occasion to rejoice over the downfall of the great enemy of the church.

And ye holy apostles - Prof. Stuart renders this, “Ye saints, and apostles, and prophets.” In the common Greek text, it is, as in our version, “holy apostles and prophets.” In the text of Griesbach, Hahn, and Tittmann, the word καὶ kai(and) is interposed between the word “holy” and “apostle.” This is, doubtless, the true reading. The meaning, then, is that the “saints” in heaven are called on to rejoice over the fall of the mystical Babylon.

Apostles - The twelve who were chosen by the Saviour to be his witnesses on earth. See the notes on 1 Corinthians 9:1. The word is commonly limited to the twelve, but, in a larger sense, it is applied to other distinguished teachers and preachers of the gospel. See the notes on Acts 14:14. There is no impropriety, however, in supposing that the apostles are referred to here as such, since they would have occasion to rejoice that the great obstacle to the reign of the Redeemer was now taken away, and that that cause in which they had suffered and died was now to he triumphant.

And prophets - Prophets of the Old Testament and distinguished teachers of the New. See the notes on Romans 12:6. All these would have occasion to rejoice in the prospect of the final triumph of the true religion.

For God hath avenged you on her - Has taken vengeance on her for her treatment of you. That is, as she had persecuted the church as such, they all might be regarded as interested in it and affected by it. All the redeemed, therefore, in earth and in heaven, are interested in whatever tends to retard or to promote the cause of truth. All have occasion to mourn when the enemies of the truth triumph; to rejoice when they fall.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-18.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Rejoice over her, thou heaven,.... This is said by the voice from heaven, Revelation 18:4 which having called upon the saints to come out of Babylon, and to take vengeance on her, now calls upon all good men to rejoice at her ruin, while others were weeping and wailing; not at that, simply considered, but as the justice of God is displayed therein: heaven may be literally understood, which sometimes is addressed when anything of very considerable note and moment is done or spoken of, whether it be something exceeding bad, as in Isaiah 1:2 or something exceeding great and good, as in Psalm 96:11 or else the inhabitants of heaven, either the angels, who as they rejoice at the good and happiness of the saints, so at the confusion and destruction of their enemies; and the Syriac version reads, "heavens and angels"; or else the souls of men departed, particularly the souls under the altar, that have been long crying for vengeance on account of the shedding of their blood, Revelation 6:9 who may be made acquainted with Rome's destruction; or rather the true church of Christ upon earth, which in this book often goes by the name of heaven, in opposition to the apostate church, called the earth, because its members, doctrines, and ordinances, are from heaven, and its happiness lies there:

and ye holy apostles and prophets; the Alexandrian copy and Complutensian edition read, "and the saints, and the apostles, and prophets"; making three distinct sorts of persons, of which heaven, or the church, consists: by "saints" may be meant private members of churches, who are sanctified by the Spirit of God, and live holy lives and conversations; and by "apostles", not the twelve apostles, or persons in such an office as they were, but ordinary ministers of the word, who are sent forth to preach the Gospel, and will be upon the spot at the destruction of Babylon, and will be such as shall have preached and defended the pure apostolic doctrine; and by "prophets" are intended not the prophets of the Old Testament, nor such under the New who had the gift of foretelling things to come, but such who have a gift of interpreting the Scriptures and preaching the Gospel; the same with the two witnesses, who till this time will have prophesied in sackcloth, but shall now put it off, and put on the garments of praise and joy:

for God hath avenged you on her; or "judged your judgment on her"; that is, has executed righteous judgment on her, for all the evils done by her to the saints in ages past, the predecessors of the persons here mentioned, as well as to themselves: vengeance belongs to the Lord, and he will avenge his elect sooner or later.

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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
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Rejoice over her, 12 [thou] heaven, and [ye] holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

(12) The other consequence on the ruin of Babylon, is the exultation or rejoicing of the godly in heaven and in earth as was noted in this verse.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

holy apostles — So C reads. But A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas read, “Ye saints and ye apostles.”

avenged you on herGreek, “judged your judgment on (literally, exacting it from) her.” “There is more joy in heaven at the harlot‘s downfall than at that of the two beasts. For the most heinous of all sin is the sin of those who know God‘s word of grace, and keep it not. The worldliness of the Church is the most worldly of all worldliness. Hence, Babylon, in Revelation, has not only Israel‘s sins, but also the sins of the heathen; and John dwells longer on the abominations and judgments of the harlot than on those of the beast. The term ‹harlot‘ describes the false Church‘s essential character. She retains her human shape as the woman, does not become a beast: she has the form of godliness, but denies its power. Her rightful lord and husband, Jehovah-Christ, and the joys and goods of His house, are no longer her all in all, but she runs after the visible and vain things of the world, in its manifold forms. The fullest form of her whoredom is, where the Church wishes to be itself a worldly power, uses politics and diplomacy, makes flesh her arm, uses unholy means for holy ends, spreads her dominion by sword or money, fascinates men by sensual ritualism, becomes ‹mistress of ceremonies‘ to the dignitaries of the world, flatters prince or people, and like Israel, seeks the help of one world power against the danger threatening from another” [Auberlen]. Judgment, therefore, begins with the harlot, as in privileges the house 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 18:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-18.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

Rejoice over her, thou heaven. While there are mourners, another company is called upon to rejoice. She had exalted herself against God. All who have been for God, and who have suffered from her, are called to rejoice.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/revelation-18.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Rejoice over her (Ευπραινου επ αυτηιEuphrainou ep' autēi). Present middle imperative of ευπραινωeuphrainō for which verb see Revelation 11:10, used there of the joy of the wicked over the death of the two witnesses, just the opposite picture to this. “The song of doom” (Charles) here seems to be voiced by John himself.

God hath judged your judgment (εκρινεν ο τεος το κριμαekrinen ho theos to krima). First aorist (prophetic) active of κρινωkrinō and cognate accusative κριμαkrima here a case for trial (Exodus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:7), not a sentence as in Revelation 17:1. God has approved the case of heaven.

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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 18:20". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-18.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Hath avenged you on her ( ἔκρινεν τὸ κρίμα ὑμῶν ἐξ αὐτῆς )

Rev., more literally, hath judged your judgment on her or from her. The idea is that of exacting judgment from ( ἐξ ). Compare the compound verb ἐκδικεῖς avengeor exact vengeance from (Revelation 6:10). The meaning is either, that judgment which is your due, or what she hath judged concerning you.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-18.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Rejoice over her, thou heaven — That is, all the inhabitants of it; and more especially, ye saints; and among the saints still more eminently, ye apostles and prophets.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-18.html. 1765.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

20.] The angel concludes with calling on the heavens and God’s holy ones to rejoice at her fall. Rejoice over her thou heaven, and ye saints and ye apostles and ye prophets, for God hath judged your judgment upon her (hath exacted from her that judgment of vengeance which is due to you: see reff.).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-18.html. 1863-1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Ver. 20. Thou heaven] i.e. The Church on earth.

And ye holy apostles, &c.] i.e. Ye pastors and teachers, who as ye have been most shot at by her, so now you are especially called to triumph over her, Psalms 58:11.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-18.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Note here, 1. That as Babylon's ruin was matter of great grief and sorrow to the fore-mentioned mourners who merchandised and traded with her; so it is matter of great joy and rejoicing to all spiritual and heavenly-minded persons, which are the true church, who are commanded to rejoice at it. Rejoice over her, O heaven; that is, ye angels in heaven, or ye saints, that are of an heavenly disposition. And all ye holy apostles and prophets; that is, all faithful ministers who succeed them, who are endued with the same spirit, and teach the same pure and holy doctrine with them.

Note, 2. The cause of this rejoicing declared: For God hath avenged them upon her. The church does not, the saints of God dare not, rejoice at Babylon's calamity as such, but as an act of divine vengeance God will be avenged on Babylon for the doctrine of the gospel corrupted by her, and for the rules of worship violated by her, and for all the barbarities and indignities which his church and people have suffered from her: God will revenge the wrongs of his people, when through want of power they cannot, and through his prohibition they may not, avenge themselves.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-18.html. 1700-1703.

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

Revelation 18:20. The heavenly voice—not John,(3994) to whom this demand is not well adapted(3995)—exhorts not only heaven (together with all who dwell therein, Revelation 12:12), but also all who on earth belong to the Lord, to joy over the city thus perishing. Earthly believers—who are exhaustively enumerated by the three categories οἱ ἅγιοι, οἱ ἀπόστολοι, and οἱ προφῆται,(3996) in which the most general conception precedes, and then two particular classes are mentioned, because they, being first attacked by the hatred of the secular power,(3997) have an especial reason to rejoice over the vengeance inflicted by God’s judgment—are mentioned besides “heaven,” because it is intended to express that to the entire number of those who belong to the Lord,(3998) the destruction of the city is a joyful proof of the righteousness and glory of their God.

ὅτι ἔκρινεν, κ. τ. λ. This fact, upon which the lamentation of the inhabitants of the earth is based,(3999) is the foundation of the joy of all the saints. But also in the phraseology, this diversity of relation is marked; the judgment of God, which the city has incurred,(4000) has brought about a κρί΄α, i.e., an act fulfilled by the κρίνειν, which(4001) is called a judgment of believers ( κρ. ὑ΄ῶν), since this judgment executed in the city, taken upon her ( ἐξ αὐτῆς),(4002) is the justification and satisfaction of those believers persecuted by the worldly city, but now avenged on it.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-18.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 18:20. οἱ ἅγιοι, the holy) These are put before the apostles and prophets, either as it were a genus before the species, or as those, some of whom were slain before the apostles and prophets.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-18.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Rejoice over her, thou heaven; that is, over her ruin, which is not a more proper object for the sorrow and mourning of all her adherents and dependants, than of the joy of all spiritual, heavenly persons, which are the true church, who oppose this antichristian synagogue.

And ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her: you also that were apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, and such as have been exercised as prophets in revealing to men God’s mind and will, do you rejoice, for God hath revenged you upon her, for your doctrine corrupted by her, your rules of worship violated, and some of your blood that hath been spilt, and for all the indignities you have suffered from her.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-18.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

совершил Бог суд ваш над ним Этот Ангел призывает мучеников годины искушения (6:9-11) веселиться не из-за смерти тех, кто обречен на вечный ад, но из-за того, что Божья праведность и справедливость победили.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-18.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Rejoice; all the good on earth and in heaven will exult when her power to injure ceases. Events which bring consternation to the wicked fill the righteous with joy; not because they delight in the misery of the wicked, but because God is holy, just, and good in all his judgments.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-18.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

I admire this verse. It comes in with a delightful tide of joy, in the midst of the troubled waters. Here there are several sorts of persons called upon to rejoice in her destruction. First, the inhabitants of heaven, meaning the Church now in glory, who, when upon earth, felt and groaned under the oppression of the whore. They, who in another Chapter are described as under the altar in heaven crying out for her destruction, Revelation 6:10.

Secondly. The holy Apostles and Prophets, whose sacred writings the whore hath perverted, to her nefarious trade, in slaying the souls of men.

And, Thirdly. All the faithful of the Lord may be considered as included, because, all the living upon earth, cannot but rejoice that her power is gone.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/revelation-18.html. 1828.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye saints, and ye apostles, and ye prophets; for God hath judged your judgment on her.

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye saints ... Of course, the saints and apostles are not yet in heaven, but they will be; and the vision is to encourage all who may yet die in the fires of persecution. The reason for the rejoicing is that, after all, God's word has been proved true; the righteous shall be saved and the wicked punished, and the universe itself will finally be demonstrated as just. No greater cause of rejoicing could be imagined.

"This is not a song of gleeful rejoicing, but an announcement of the vindication of God's justice and righteousness."[59] "How can there be anything but rejoicing when wrong is righted and truth justified?"[60] There comes a time to rejoice over the defeat of evil. When the heartless, bloody Robespierre was finally overthrown in Paris, and he lay wounded, bleeding, and dirty with his jaw shattered by a bullet and hanging down upon his chest, someone approached and after gazing a long time said, "Yes, Robespierre, there is a God."[61]

"The analogy of this passage shows that this verse is not directed to saints in heaven - nothing is implied as to where these are, or whether they are living or dead."[62]

And ye apostles and ye prophets ... The thought of the martyrdoms of Paul and Peter which had probably already occurred when this was written seems to be in the background here. All of the apostles recognized what their fate at the hands of Rome would be.

For God hath judged your judgment upon her ... Rome had burned the saints for the false reason that they had burned Rome; but now God would execute the judgment upon her which she had falsely imposed upon them. The Greek reads literally, "God has judged (upon Rome) your judgment from her."[63] Of course, this is the primary and immediate application; but it also applies equally well to the end of the age situation when the wicked humanist kings shall burn all religion in their vain destruction of the harlot, only to find their own kingdoms burned as a consequence.

[59] George Eldon Ladd, op. cit., p. 241.

[60] Vernard Eller, op. cit, p. 171.

[61] Stanley Loomis, Paris in the Terror (Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1964), p. 400.

[62] Isbon T. Beckwith, op. cit., p. 718.

[63] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 229.

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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

The Verdict of Heaven (Revelation 18:20-24).

‘Rejoice over her, you Heaven, and you people of God (saints) and you Apostles and you prophets, for God has judged your judgment on her.’

The judgment is not that of the people of God but by the Judge Himself (v. 11). Here the heavenly beings and the Old Testament prophets and the apostles and all the people of God join together in rejoicing. They accept His judgment as righteous for she has been guilty of wholesale murder, especially of God’s people (v. 24). There comes a time when mercy rejected is superseded by judgment, something that He alone can decide, and recognising that this is the case here they are told to rejoice that the murderers of the people of God are no more, and that justice has been done. It would have been wrong for Christians to seek to exact vengeance themselves, but Satan did the work for them, and it is always right that Christians rejoice in what God allows (Revelation 17:17), whatever it may be, for they know that what He does is right.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-18.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Heavenly rejoicing over Babylon"s fall18:20

In contrast to the earth-dwellers, God"s people will rejoice when Babylon falls (cf. Revelation 11:10). The songs in Revelation 19:1-5 may be their response to this invitation. Heaven rejoiced over the fall of ancient Babylon too ( Jeremiah 51:48-49). [Note: Hughes, p194.] What causes bitter mourning on earth brings great exultation to heaven.

The speaker is evidently the angel ( Revelation 18:4; cf. Revelation 12:12). Saints are all believers. Apostles, who died as martyrs, and prophets are special groups of saints (cf. Revelation 11:18). The similar exhortation in Revelation 12:12 suggests that all these believers are now in heaven. The reason for this merry-making is that God has pronounced a verdict in their favor. He has vindicated them by punishing their oppressors (cf. Revelation 19:2-3). This seems more likely than the interpretation that they should rejoice because God was punishing their enemies in kind.

Believers characteristically have greater interest in glorifying God and helping other people than they do in hoarding earthly treasures for themselves ( Matthew 6:19-34; Matthew 22:34-40). The desire of unbelievers to accumulate wealth for themselves has resulted in untold opposition to the gospel and God"s servants throughout history (cf. Revelation 6:9-11).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-18.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 18:20. The judgment of God upon the guilty city is supposed to have taken place. While it is a source of lamentation to the wicked, it is a joy to the righteous, and they are now summoned to experience that joy.

For God hath judged your judgment upon her. The meaning is that that judgment on the wicked which the righteous have passed is regarded as executed for them by God Himself.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-18.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Rejoice....heaven, the holy apostles and prophets, and all the holy ministers of the gospel: and holy men are invited here to rejoice, because the divine justice is accomplished in the ruin of that guilty city. (Pastorini) --- By the words prophets, &c. are not meant those of the old law, as pagan Rome had not been the cause of their deaths, but here only includes all the prophets, saints, and martyrs, who had been put to death for Christ throughout the whole Roman empire. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-18.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

God"s people, in contrast to the worldly minded, are told to rejoice over the punishment of sin. Just so, the readers of the book could rejoice because the ultimate victory of good and righteousness had been assured. Remember, the wicked had earlier celebrated the death of the two witnesses. (Revelation 11:10)

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-18.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

over. App-104., with texts.

holy = saints (see Acts 9:13) and.

apostles, prophets. App-189.

hath avenged. Literally judged your judgment (App-122 and App-177); i.e. hath folly avenged you. Figure of speech polyptoton. App-6.

on. Greek. ek. App-104. Now has come the time of the avenging Luke 18:7, Luke 18:8.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Holy apostles. So C but 'Aleph (') A B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, Andreas, 'ye saints and ye apostles.'

Avenged you on her - `judged your judgment on (exacting it from) her.' 'Heaven more rejoices at the harlot's downfall than at that of the two beasts. For the most heinous of sins is that of those who know God's word of grace and keep it not. The worldliness of the Church is the most worldly of all worldliness. Hence, Babylon has not only Israel's sins, but also those of the pagans. John dwells longer on the abominations and judgments of the harlot than of the beast. "Harlot" describes the false church's essential character. She retains human shape, as woman-does not become a beast-has the form of godliness, but denies its power. Her rightful Husband, Yahweh-Christ, and the goods of His house, are no longer her all, but she runs after the visible and vain things of the world. The fullest form of whoredom is where the Church wishes to be a worldly power, makes flesh her arm, uses unholy means for holy ends, spreads her dominion by sword or money, fascinates men by sensuous ritualism, becomes "mistress of ceremonies" to the dignitaries of the world, flatters prince or people, and, like Israel, seeks help of one world-power against danger threatening from another' (Auberlen). Judgment, therefore, begins with the harlot, as in privileges the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-18.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

THE CALL TO THE HOLY TO REJOICE.

(20) Rejoice over her. . . .—Better, Rejoice over her, O heaven, and the saints, and the apostles, and the prophets, because God has judged your judgment on (or, out of) her. The second portion of the chapter closes with this invitation to the saints to rejoice: they are summoned to rejoice because the law of retribution has worked on her. Your judgment (it is said to the saints) is judged on her. This does not mean a judgment which the saints have decreed, but the judgment which Babylon wrought on the holy is now exacted from her (comp. Revelation 18:6, and Revelation 6:10; Revelation 13:10). Heaven, and every class of those whose citizenship has been in heaven, are bidden by the heavenly voice to rejoice The covetous and the worldly mourn; their minds were set upon a material glory, which has slipped away from their grasp. All saintly souls, whose affections have been towards righteousness and the righteous King, can rejoice; for the wealth of holiness is imperishable. and the fall of Babylon is the removal of one vast hindrance to holiness. It has been argued that the verse represents the Apostles to be in heaven, and from this it has been inferred that the twelve must have all died before the Apocalypse was written, and, if so, St. John was not the writer. The verse, however, has no reference whatever to the question: it is not meant to state who have passed into heaven and who have not: it is simply a summons to all who have fought on the side of their Lord to rejoice at the removal of one of the great obstacles to the manifestation of Christ’s kingdom. Thus do all holy men, whether on earth or heaven, joy when any giant evil is swept away.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
Rejoice
19:1-3; Judges 5:31; Psalms 48:11; 58:10; 96:11-13; 107:42; 109:28; Proverbs 11:10; Isaiah 44:23; 49:13; Jeremiah 51:47,48
and ye
Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; 4:11; 2 Peter 3:2; Jude 1:17
God
6:10; 19:2; Deuteronomy 32:42; Psalms 18:47; 94:1; Isaiah 26:21; Luke 11:49,50; 18:7,8
Reciprocal: Numbers 31:2 - Avenge;  Deuteronomy 32:43 - avenge;  Judges 5:2 - for the avenging;  1 Samuel 2:1 - my mouth;  1 Samuel 28:16 - Wherefore;  2 Samuel 4:8 - the Lord;  2 Kings 9:7 - I may avenge;  2 Chronicles 20:27 - the Lord;  2 Chronicles 23:21 - General2 Chronicles 24:22 - The Lord;  Job 22:19 - righteous;  Job 27:23 - clap;  Job 34:26 - in;  Psalm 5:11 - But;  Psalm 7:7 - So;  Psalm 21:13 - so will;  Psalm 52:6 - righteous;  Psalm 68:3 - But;  Psalm 72:4 - the oppressor;  Psalm 72:14 - precious;  Psalm 79:10 - by the;  Psalm 92:4 - GeneralPsalm 97:8 - because;  Psalm 118:15 - voice;  Psalm 137:8 - happy;  Proverbs 24:16 - but;  Proverbs 29:16 - but;  Isaiah 13:3 - them that;  Isaiah 14:2 - whose captives they were;  Isaiah 14:3 - GeneralIsaiah 14:4 - How;  Isaiah 14:7 - they;  Isaiah 34:8 - GeneralIsaiah 34:13 - an habitation;  Isaiah 35:10 - and come;  Isaiah 43:14 - For;  Isaiah 47:3 - I will take;  Isaiah 48:20 - with a voice;  Isaiah 49:25 - I will contend;  Isaiah 52:8 - with;  Isaiah 63:4 - GeneralJeremiah 11:20 - let;  Jeremiah 15:15 - remember;  Jeremiah 20:12 - let me;  Jeremiah 25:14 - I;  Jeremiah 26:19 - Thus;  Jeremiah 51:24 - GeneralJeremiah 51:26 - desolate for ever;  Jeremiah 51:35 - The violence;  Jeremiah 51:56 - the Lord;  Jeremiah 51:62 - to cut;  Joel 3:2 - will plead;  Micah 7:9 - until;  Micah 7:10 - mine;  Nahum 3:19 - shall;  Habakkuk 2:8 - the violence;  Habakkuk 2:17 - because;  Matthew 10:2 - apostles;  Luke 6:13 - apostles;  Acts 3:21 - holy;  Romans 3:5 - Is God;  2 Thessalonians 1:6 - General2 Timothy 4:14 - reward;  Hebrews 3:1 - holy;  Revelation 1:7 - Even So;  Revelation 12:12 - rejoice;  Revelation 12:17 - to make;  Revelation 13:6 - and them;  Revelation 13:15 - cause;  Revelation 16:6 - for they are;  Revelation 17:6 - drunken;  Revelation 18:9 - shall bewail;  Revelation 18:11 - the merchants;  Revelation 21:14 - and in;  Revelation 22:6 - the holy

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-18.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

HEAVEN REJOICES.

Revelation 18:20. — We have had the voice from Heaven heard first in verse 4, and last in verse 20. In this latter reference Heaven is called upon to rejoice. If there is lamentation on earth there is rejoicing in Heaven. The place and inhabitants unite in the song of triumph. There are three classes: saints, apostles, and prophets (R.V. of v. 20). The first term is a general one, and includes believers both of Old and New Testament times; the second refers to those of Christian times (Ephesians 4:11), and "the twelve" as well; the third is, of course, the prophets of old. All the three classes mentioned are in Heaven, and there rejoice. "God has judged your judgment upon her," that is, the righteous judgment passed upon Babylon by saints, apostles, and prophets — for all had suffered at her hands — is now executed by God Himself.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-18.html.

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

The speaker is still the voice from heaven (verse4) which is bidding the apostles and prophets to rejoice over the downfall of Babylon (union of church and state). It was especially-appropriate to congratulate these great servants of God, because they had been foremost in defending the lawful church of the Lord against the encroachments of the apostate church. Now that the conspiracy formed by the union of church and state was thrust down, they had great and just reason to rejoice.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-18.html. 1952.

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

Revelation 18:20. Rejoice over her, Heaven, and ye saints, and ye apostles, and ye prophets, for God has judged your judgment on her. This verse forms the close of what is said by the voice from heaven, to which all between this and Revelation 18:4 belongs, without any interruption. That John himself in part appears as the speaker, is the less to be supposed, as in vision—understood in the closer sense—according to the rule, all is merely seen and heard; the Seer himself does not come forth as a speaker, no otherwise than in converse with his heavenly guide, and generally within the sphere of the vision—comp. at ch. Revelation 20:7.

The joy forms the contrast to the mourning of the earthly-minded over the downfal of Rome.

Upon heaven as the dwelling-place of the militant and triumphant church, see on ch. Revelation 12:12, Revelation 13:6. Heaven was first named, in contrast to the earth, Revelation 18:9; Revelation 18:11, and the sea, Revelation 18:17; and now those inhabitants of heaven are specified, to whom the joy more especially belongs.

The saints are the genus, the apostles and prophets the most eminent species included in it—comp. on ch. Revelation 11:18. The apostles and prophets are personally identical, or in the possessors of the apostleship prophecy also culminates—comp. on ch. Revelation 1:1. If the apostles were diverse from the prophets, the order would have stood thus: saints, prophets, apostles. For, that the order corresponds to the rank, appears by the transition from saints to apostles. But it is contrary to the essential nature of the apostleship, that other persons should stand higher in the kingdom of God than the apostles. Besides, this passage shews, that the prophetical dignity is highest in the apostles.

The apostles can only mean the twelve—comp. ch. Revelation 21:14. It has been urged, that since the apostles appear here as already in heaven, the author seems to have thought of himself as different from the apostles, and hence could not be the apostle John (Lücke, p. 389). But in this the proper import of heaven is misapprehended. By ch. Revelation 4:1, John was even in heaven when he saw the Revelation. Nay, if heaven were to be regarded only as the abode of the just made perfect, the conclusion would be an overhasty one. For by the time that the revenge should be executed, the still living saints, apostles, and prophets, must long since have gone to their rest.

Your judgment (comp. ch. Revelation 17:1, Revelation 20:4), the doom which she pronounced upon you, the judgment which she held over you, your condemnation. To the judgment here corresponds in ch. Revelation 6:10, "How long dost thou not judge our blood?"—the blood which the unrighteous persecutor had shed. Ch. Revelation 13:10 is parallel, "He that leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity; he that killeth with the sword, must be killed with the sword." The doom or judgment of Rome was spoken of in ch. Revelation 13:7, where it is said of the beast in its Roman phase, "And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them." According to Revelation 18:10 there, it has carried the saints away into captivity, as also, from ch. Revelation 1:9, John himself, the saints, apostles, prophets, and killed them with the sword.

The saints respond to the call which is here addressed to them, and express their joy in ch. Revelation 19:1-4. Those also rejoice among the saints, etc., who were not personally affected by the judgment of Babylon. For, when one member suffers, the other members suffer with it. There is besides an allusion to Jeremiah 51:48, "and heaven and earth rejoice over Babylon."

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-18.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

20.Rejoice—The divine voice closes its mercantile catalogue with a lofty jubilate. The downfall of Satan’s capital is a just penalty for her sins, and a salvation to the world.

Thou heaven—From which this voice chanted its celestial interlude. The ungraceful thou is not in the Greek, which should be rendered, O heaven. The heaven addressed consists of the classes next named in the verse, whose chorister the voice is.

Holy—Not an adjective, belonging to apostles, but a noun, saints. The three classes, saints, (or the body of Christians,) apostles, and prophets, are those in and constituting the heaven first named. When John wrote, in the time of Domitian, all the apostles but himself had probably deceased.

Prophets—Of whose ancient predictions this voice is a grand reverberation.

Avenged—For this Babylon takes in the whole line of antichristic empires, including those under whom the ancient prophets predicted and suffered. Thus this mournful interlude closes in a climax of triumph.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-18.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 18:20. This verse interrupts the sequence of 19 and 21 in which the ruin of Rome is illustrated by the dramatic action of the angel. The awkward shift from description to an apostrophe, and the evidently Christian tone of the cry, betray an editor’s hand. His object is to render explicit the moral reasons why Christians should delight in the downfall of the city. He writes in the same triple rhythm as the source, and his hand is to be seen in the whole verse not simply in . The voice from heaven is thus made to pass into a closing apostrophe to heaven and its inhabitants (cf.Revelation 11:18), imitated from Jeremiah 51:48 (Heb.). John seems to assume that all had a case against Rome as victims of her cruelty, probably in the main as martyrs and confessors. “Apostles,” omitted in Revelation 18:24, has here (as in Revelation 2:2) its wider sense (otherwise Revelation 21:14), but it must include Peter and Paul (Zahn, Einleit. § 39, n. 4).— . . . = “for God has judged her with your judgment,” i.e., vindicated you (done you justice, given you your due) by lexacting vengeance upon her. She who once doomed you is now doomed herself (cf.Revelation 16:6).— . Cf. En. lxii., where the kings and rulers condemned by messiah to eternal torment are to be “a spectacle for the righteous and his elect; they will rejoice over them because the wrath of the Lord of spirits resteth upon them, and his sword is drunk with their blood”; also Isaiah 30:29, for the call to exult over a fallen oppressor. A Parisian workman, who was looking down at the corpse of Robespierre, was overheard to mutter, with relief, “Oui, il y a un Dieu”.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-18.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

20. Be glad! The world makes God’s people suffer (see note on Revelation 2:20). God will judge the world in vengeance! He does this again and again by making Babylon fall.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 18:20". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-18.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.