Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 21:8

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Adultery;   Backsliders;   Brimstone;   Character;   Death;   Falsehood;   Fire;   Hell;   Homicide;   Idolatry;   Lake;   Liars;   Perseverance;   Readings, Select;   Unbelief;   Whoremonger;   Wicked (People);   Scofield Reference Index - Death;   Summary;   Thompson Chain Reference - Death;   Distrust;   End of the Wicked;   Eternal;   Everlasting;   Faith-Unbelief;   Falsehood;   Fire;   Fortune Telling;   Future State of the Wicked;   Future, the;   Heaven;   Heavenly;   Home;   Infidelity;   Liars;   Life-Death;   Magic;   Punishment;   Righteous-Wicked;   Sorcery;   Spiritual;   Truth-Falsehood;   Unbelievers;   Wicked, the;   The Topic Concordance - Death;   Fear;   Hell;   Idolatry;   Lying/lies;   Paganism;   Unbelief;   Violence;   Whoredom;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Character of the Wicked;   Death, Eternal;   Fear, Unholy;   Idolatry;   Lying;   Punishment of the Wicked, the;   Unbelief;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Brimstone;   Jerusalem;   Lake;   Marriage;   Solomon's Song;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic literature;   Demons;   Fornication;   Idol, idolatry;   Lie;   Magic;   Vision;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Abortion;   Apocalyptic;   Church, the;   Condemnation;   Confidence;   Create, Creation;   Eternal Punishment;   Hell;   Idol, Idolatry;   Jesus Christ;   Lake of Fire;   Magic;   Murder;   Touch;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Destructionists;   Hell;   Lying;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Death;   Fire;   Sorcerer;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Brimstone;   Divination;   Dog;   Idol;   Isaac;   Noah;   Thousand Years;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Brimstone;   Heaven;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Brimstone;   Children (Sons) of God;   Death;   Lie, Lying;   Revelation, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Adultery ;   Alpha and Omega (2);   Brimstone ;   Commandment;   Cowardice;   Day of Judgment;   Fear;   Fear ;   Hell;   Honest;   Lake of Fire;   Life and Death;   Lying ;   Mansion ;   Restitution;   Self- Denial;   Sorcery;   Unbelief;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Brimstone;   Confidence;   Death;   Divination;   Eternal State;   Hell;   Infidel;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Bride;   Gomorrha;   Unbelief;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Fire;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Courage;   Death;   Death, Second;   Faithless;   Fear;   Lake;   Lake of Fire;   Lie;   Revelation of John:;   Unbeliever;   Unquenchable Fire;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

But the fearful - Δειλοις· Those who, for fear of losing life or their property, either refused to receive the Christian religion, though convinced of its truth and importance; or, having received it, in times of persecution fell away, not being willing to risk their lives.

And unbelieving - Those who resist against full evidence. And sinners, και ἁμαρτωλοις, is added here by about thirty excellent MSS., and is found in the Syrian, Arabic, some of the Slavonic, and in Andreas and Arethas. On this evidence Griesbach has admitted it into the text.

The abominable - Εβδελυγμενοις· Those who are polluted with unnatural lust.

And murderers - Φονευσι· Those who take away the life of man for any cause but the murder of another, and those who hate a brother in their heart.

And whoremongers - Πορνοις· Adulterers, fornicators, whores, prostitutes, and rakes of every description.

Sorcerers - Φαρμακοις· Persons who, by drugs, philtres, fumigations, etc., pretend to produce supernatural effects, chiefly by spiritual agency.

Idolaters - Ειδωλολατραις· Those who offer any kind of worship or religious reverence to any thing but God. All image worshippers are idolaters in every sense of the word.

And all liars - Και πασι τοις ψευδεσι· Every one who speaks contrary to the truth when he knows the truth, and even he who speaks the truth with the intention to deceive; i.e., to persuade a person that a thing is different from what it really is, by telling only a part of the truth, or suppressing some circumstance which would have led the hearer to a different end to the true conclusion. All these shall have their portion, το μερος, their share, what belongs to them, their right, in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. This is the second death, from which there is no recovery.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

But the fearful - Having stated, in general terms, who they were who would be admitted into that blessed world, he now states explicitly who would not. The “fearful” denote those who had not firmness boldly to maintain their professed principles, or who were afraid to avow themselves as the friends of God in a wicked world. They stand in contrast with those who “overcome,” Revelation 21:7.

And unbelieving - Those who have not true faith; avowed infidels; infidels at heart; and all who have not the sincere faith of the gospel. See the notes on Mark 16:16.

And the abominable - The verb from which this word is derived means to excite disgust; to feel disgust at; to abominate or abhor; and hence the participle - “the abominable” - refers to all who are detestable, to wit, on account of their sins; all whose conduct is offensive to God. Thus it would include those who live in open sin; who practice detestable vices; whose conduct is suited to excite disgust and abhorrence. These must all, of course, be excluded from a pure and holy world; and this description, alas! would embrace a lamentably large portion of the world as it has hitherto been. See the notes on Romans 1:26 ff.

And murderers - See the Romans 1:29 note; Galatians 5:21 note.

And whoremongers - See the notes on Galatians 5:19.

And sorcerers - See the word used here - φαρμακεῦσι pharmakeusi- explained in the notes on Galatians 5:19, under the word “witchcraft.”

And idolaters - 1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19.

And all liars - All who are false in their statements, their promises, their contracts. The word would embrace all who are false toward God Acts 5:1-3, and false toward human beings. See Romans 1:31.

Shall have their part in the lake which burneth, … - notes on Revelation 20:14. That is, they will be excluded from heaven, and punished for ever. See the 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 notes; Galatians 5:19-21 notes.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But the fearful,.... Not the timorous sheep and lambs of Christ, the dear children of God, who are sometimes of a fearful heart, on account of sin, temptation, and unbelief; but such who are of cowardly spirits, and are not valiant for the truth, but who, through fear of men, either make no profession of Christ and his Gospel, or having made it, drop it, lest they should be exposed to tribulation and persecution; these are they that are afraid of the beast, and live in servile bondage to him.

And unbelieving; meaning not merely atheists, who do not believe there is a God, or deists only, that do not believe in Christ; but such who profess his name, and are called by it, and yet do not truly believe in him, nor embrace his Gospel and the truths of it, but believe a lie; these are condemned already, and on them the wrath of God abides, and they will be damned at last; though it may have a regard to such also who are infidels as to the second coming of Christ to judgment, and who are scoffers and mockers at it:

and the abominable: every sinful man is so in the sight of God; but here it denotes such who are the worst of sinners, given up to sinning; who are abominable, and to every good work reprobate; who are addicted to the worst of crimes, as were the Sodomites and others; the Ethiopic version renders it, "who pollute themselves" with unnatural lusts. The Syriac and Arabic versions express it by two words, "sinners and polluted", filthy sinners; the character well agrees with Babylon, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, and to all that adhere to her, and join with her in her abominable idolatries.

And murderers; of the saints, and prophets, and martyrs of Jesus, with whose blood Babylon, or the whore of Rome, has made herself drunk, and in whom it will be found.

And whoremongers; all unclean persons, that indulge themselves in impure lusts, in fornication, adultery, and all lewdness; as the clergy of the church of Rome, who being forbidden to marry, and being under a vow of celibacy, and making great pretensions to chastity and singular holiness, give up themselves to all lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

And sorcerers; conjurers, dealers with familiar spirits, necromancers, and such as use the magic art, as many of the popes did to get into the chair, and poisoners of kings and princes; whoredoms and witchcrafts go together sometimes, as they did in Jezebel, an emblem of the Romish antichrist.

And idolaters; that worship devils, idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, representing God, and Christ, and the virgin Mary, and saints departed, Revelation 9:20.

And all liars; in common, and particularly such who speak lies in hypocrisy, as the followers of the man of sin, and who are given up to believe a lie, that they might be damned; all lies being of the devil, and abominable to God. All and each of these

shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. The JewsF1Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Lev. fol. 7. 2. speak of several distinct places in hell, for several sorts of sinners, as particularly for sabbath breakers, adulterers, and liars; and say of the wicked, that when he is condemned he shall take חלקו, "his part" in hellF2T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 15. 1. ; See Gill on Revelation 19:20.

which is the second death; See Gill on Revelation 2:11.

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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 21:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their a part in the lake which burneth with fire and

(a) Their lot, and inheritance as it were.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the fearfulGreek, “the cowardly,” who do not quit themselves like men so as to “overcome” in the good fight; who have the spirit of slavish “fear,” not love, towards God; and who through fear of man are not bold for God, or “draw back.” Compare Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15.

unbelievingGreek, “faithless.”

abominable — who have drank of the harlot‘s “cup of abominations.”

sorcerers — one of the characteristics of Antichrist‘s time.

all liarsGreek, “all the liars”: or else “all who are liars”; compare 1 Timothy 4:1, 1 Timothy 4:2, where similarly lying and dealings with spirits and demons, are joined together as features of “the latter times.”

second deathRevelation 20:14: “everlasting destruction,” 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Mark 9:44, Mark 9:46, Mark 9:48, “Where THEIR worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

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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 21:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-21.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Their part shall be (το μερος αυτωνto meros autōn). In contrast to the state of the blessed (Revelation 21:3-7) the state of “those who have disfranchised themselves from the Kingdom of God” (Charles) is given. They are with Satan and the two beasts, and are the same with those not in the book of life (Revelation 20:15) in the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:14.), that is the second death (Revelation 2:11; Revelation 20:6, Revelation 20:14). See also Revelation 14:10. There are eight epithets here used which apply to various sections of this direful list of the doomed and the damned, all in the dative (case of personal interest).

For the fearful (τοις δειλοιςtois deilois). Old word (from δειδωdeidō to fear) for the cowardly, who recanted under persecution, in N.T. only here, Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:40.

Unbelieving (απιστοιςapistois). “Faithless,” “untrustworthy,” in contrast with Christ “ο πιστοςho pistos ” (Revelation 1:5). Cf. Revelation 2:10, Revelation 2:13; Revelation 3:14; Revelation 17:14. Disloyalty is close kin to cowardice.

Abominable (εβδελυγμενοιςebdelugmenois). Perfect passive participle of βδελυσσωbdelussō old verb, in N.T. only here and Romans 2:22, common in lxx, to pollute (Exod 5:21). Those who have become defiled by the impurities of emperor-worship (Revelation 7:4.; Revelation 21:27; Romans 2:22; Titus 1:16).

Murderers (πονευσινphoneusin). As a matter of course and all too common always (Mark 7:21; Romans 1:29; Revelation 9:21).

Fornicators (πορνοιςpornois). Again all too common always, then and now (1 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Timothy 1:9.). These two crimes often go together.

Sorcerers (παρμακοιςpharmakois). Old word, in N.T. only here and Revelation 22:15. Closely connected with idolatry and magic (Revelation 9:21; Revelation 13:13.).

Idolaters (ειδωλολατραιςeidōlolatrais). See 1 Corinthians 5:10.; 1 Corinthians 10:7; Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 22:15. With a powerful grip on men‘s lives then and now.

All liars (πασι τοις πσευδεσινpasi tois pseudesin). Repeated in Revelation 22:15 and stigmatized often (Revelation 2:2; Revelation 3:9; Revelation 14:5; Revelation 21:8, Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15). Not a “light” sin.

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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 21:8". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-21.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The fearful ( δειλοῖς )

The dative case. Hence, as Rev., for the fearful. Only here, Matthew 8:26, and Mark 4:40.

Abominable ( ἐβδελυγμένοις )

See on abomination, Matthew 24:15. Properly, defiled with abominations.

Whoremongers ( πόρνοις )

Much better, as Rev., fornicators.

Sorcerers

See on sorceries, Revelation 9:21.

Shall have their part ( τὸ μέρος αὐτῶν )

Lit., the whole passage reads: to the fearful, etc., their part. Shall be is supplied.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-21.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

But the fearful and unbelieving — Who, through want of courage and faith, do not overcome.

And abominable — That is, sodomites.

And whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters — These three sins generally went together; their part is in the lake.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-21.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The fearful; those who are afraid to encounter the dangers involved in the service of God.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-21.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

second death

Second death, Summary: "The second death" and the "lake of fire" are identical terms Revelation 20:14 and are used of the eternal state of the wicked. It is "second" relative to the preceding physical death of the wicked in unbelief and rejection of God; their eternal state is one of eternal "death" (i.e. separation from God) in sins John 8:21; John 8:24. That the second death is not annihilation is shown by a comparison of; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10. After one thousand years in the lake of fire the Beast and False Prophet are still there, undestroyed. The words "forever and forever" ("to the ages of the ages") are used in Hebrews 1:8 for the duration of the throne of God, eternal in the sense of unending.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 21:8". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-21.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Ver. 8. But the fearful] Cowardly recreants, white livered milk sops, that pull in their horns for every pile of grass that toucheth them, that are afraid of every new step, saying as Caesar at Rubicon, "Yet we may go back;" that follow Christ afar off, as Peter; that tremble after him, as the people did after Saul, 1 Samuel 13:7, and the next news is, "They were scattered from him," 1 Samuel 13:11. These lead the ring dance of this rout of reprobates; and are so hated of Christ, that he will not employ them so far as to break a pitcher, or to bear a torch, 7:3-7.

And unbelieving] Therefore fearful, because unbelieving, for faith fears no fray bugs; {a} but why do ye fear, ye little faiths? saith our Saviour.

{a} An object of fear; a bogy, spectre. ŒD

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-21.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

After a description given of the celestial happiness of the righteous at the day of judgment, here follows the eternally miserable condition of the wicked; and eight several sorts of sinners are here summed up, who shall be excluded out of heaven, and cast into hell, namely,

the fearful, such as dare not own Christ, or for fear of suffering, have disowned him, or apostatized and revolted from him;

unbelievers, such especially as have sat under the dispensation of the gospel, but have rejected our Lord Jesus Christ, and have refused to come unto him that they might have life;

the abominable, such as live in the practice of sins against nature, sodomy, and such uncleanness as renders them abominable in the sight of God and man, Romans 1:26;

murders, such as destroy either the soul, body, or good name, of their neighbours, especially persecutors; the whore and her followers, who are drunk with the blood of the saints;

whoremongers of all sorts, both spiritual and corporal, particularly such as are guilty of uncleanness in a conjugal state;

sorcerers, such as exercise witchcraft, consult with the devil, and trade with familiar spirits;

idolators of all sorts and kinds, such as worship false gods, or the true God after a false manner; covetous persons, who make the world their god; and sensual persons, who make their belly their god; lastly,

all liars, those which lie with the lip, and talk falsely; those that lie in their lives, as all hypocrites do, whose practice gives their profession the lie; those who are the inventors of the doctrine of lies, which is no better than the doctrine of devils;

these, all these, shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, that is, in exquisite torments, and everlasting.

From the whole note, 1. How the timorous and fearful stand in the front of all those vile sinners, whose ways lead down to the chambers of death and hell.

Behold here! God's martial law executed upon cowards and renegadoes, whose fear makes them revolt from Christ in time of danger. Think of this, all you timorous and faint-hearted professors! who cannot bear the thought of lying in a nasty dungeon for owning Christ, how will you endure to lie in a lake of fire and brimstone for disowning of him! Is not the little finger of an angry God heavier than the loins of all the tyrants and persecutors in the world?

Note, 2. That although eight sorts of sinners only are here reckoned up, yet all others who live and die impenitently in any known sin, besides these, of what kind soever, are certainly included, and their damnation implied also, as well as these: for whoever lives in the habitual practice of any known sin, without converting from from it unto God, is certainly in a state of damnation.

Note lastly, That the sins here mentioned must not be understood copulatively, but disjunctively; we must not suppose that such as are guilty of all the before-mentioned sins, are the persons threatened with hell-fire; but such as are with allowance guilty of any one of these, or of any other besides these, and continuing impenitently in them.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-21.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 21:8.(227) τοῖς(228)) The Dative expresses the Hebrew ל: that is, as far as relates to the fearful, etc. So the word αὐτῶν, their, shortly afterwards, coheres with this.—(229) φαρμακοῖς, sorcerers) φάρμακον is a word of middle signification; but it is often used, together with its derivatives, to signify injurious medicine, witchcraft, which often sets itself off as salutary to men and beasts, but it is most pestilential, whether taken by itself, or even when joined with an express compact or secret intercourse with devils. Hence it is joined with idolatry, Galatians 5:20.

τῆς ζωῆς, of life) No death now remains, ver. 8.—V. g.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-21.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

All those who are without the church invisible, whether protime persons, (such are murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, liars), or idolaters, or unbelievers and hypocrites, shall all be cast to hell.

The fearful, who, through fear of losing their reputation, estates, honours, or lives, deny me, or shall not dare to own me.

And unbelieving; such as will not agree to the proposition of my gospel; or will not come to me that they might have life.

The abominable; sodomites, and such as live in beastly lusts.

Murderers; such as, without any warrant from God, take away men’s lives wilfully,

Whoremongers; such as defile their neighbours’ wives.

Sorcerers; such as exercise witchcraft, consult the devil, and trade with familiar spirits.

Idolaters; whether they commit the idolatry of Ahab, giving Divine adoration to the creatures, as the term of their worship; or the idolatry of Jeroboam, worshipping the true God by images.

And all liars; and all such as are liars with their tongues, speaking what they know to be false; or liars in practice, that is, hypocrites, seeming to be what they are not.

Shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death: all these, and all such like, shall be eternally damned.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-21.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Официальное серьезное предупреждение о людях, которые будут изгнаны из нового неба и новой земли в озеро огненное. Часто Новый Завет идет дальше простого упоминания неверия при перечислении особенностей личности и образа жизни отверженных, с тем чтобы верующие могли узнавать таких людей (1Кор. 6:9, 10; Гал. 5:19; ср. Ин. 8:31).

чародеев См. пояснение к 9:21.

озере, горящем огнем См. пояснение к 19:20.

серою См. пояснение к 9:17.

смерть вторая См. пояснение к 20:6.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-21.html.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.

The fearful ... Who are the fearful, if not all men? "But it is not of natural fear and timidity that John speaks; it is that cowardice which in the last resort chooses self and safety before Christ."[19] "It is not fear which is condemned. The highest courage is to be desperately afraid and in spite of that to do the right thing and to hold fast to loyalty."[20]

And unbelieving ... Unbelief is a gross, unpardonable sin, unless repented of. Unbelief is never a consequence of knowledge, education, intelligence, or "honesty." It is always a child of wickedness. See John 3:19, also article on "The Marvel of Unbelief," my Commentary on John, pp. 176-177, also in my Commentary on Matthew, pp. 207-209.

And abominable ... This is probably a reference, primarily, to participants in the rites of paganism and the unmentionable perversions and debaucheries that attended them. By extension, it also includes all sensualists of all ages.

Murderers ... fornicators ... sorcerers ... These sins have often been commented upon in this series; the principal significance of their appearance here lies in the fact that "God is the speaker!" These are not merely the preacher-prejudices of current religion, but the eternal laws of God against such things.

Idolaters ... and liars ... Idolatry, whether the worship of pagan gods, as in the days of John, or the worship and adoration of self above the God of heaven, can never be pleasing to God. No lie, however small, is a light thing in the eyes of God; and those whose lives are founded upon deceit and falsehood are indeed proscribed.

Fire and brimstone ... the second death ... This refers to the place of consignment for all those things for which God cannot allow any place in heaven.

[19] Leon Morris, Tyndale Bible Commentaries. New Testament, Vol. 20, Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969), p. 246.

[20] William Barclay, The Revelation of John (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1976), p. 206.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and those who involve themselves in the occult, and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.’

In contrast are unsaved sinners as outlined. These lose the inheritance (Ephesians 5:5). The two verses are in deliberate contrast outlining the choice of men in the face of what is, at the time of writing, to come. The fearful are those who withdraw in the face of persecution. The unbelieving are those who fail to stand in the name of Christ. The abominable are those who follow the abominations of the beast. The murderers are especially those who martyr God’s people, because they do not abide in the truth. They are like the Devil (John 8:44). The fornicators are those who follow Jezebel and the harlot. Those who involve themselves in the occult (‘sorcerers’) are those who respond to Satan and his powers. Idolaters are those who worship the beast and his image. All liars are they who support ‘The Lie’ instead of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11) and who are like the father of lies (John 8:44). For these there can be only one destiny, the fires of destruction, the second death (see Revelation 20:6; Revelation 20:14).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-21.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The sins mentioned here are some that typically characterize unbelievers, the other group in contrast to overcomers. While these sins do mark some believers who follow the dictates of their flesh ( 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21), they more generally identify the lost. That the unsaved are in view seems clear since their part (i.e, their destiny) will be in the lake of fire.

Since the lake of fire still exists after the passing of the present heaven and earth, hell is probably not in the center of the present earth nor is it connected to this earth spacially. It will exist separate from the new heaven and earth and the New Jerusalem. [Note: See Peterson, "Does the . . .," pp25-26.] Even though this passage does not say that sin will be absent in the eternal state, is seems quite clear that there will be none since the consequences of sin will be absent.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-21.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 21:8. The happiness of the saints of God has been described. In contrast with this, the verse before us presents us with the fate of the ungodly, who are classified first in general terms, and then by the particular sins which they commit. The ‘fearful’ are mentioned first as occupying a position the reverse of them that ‘overcome;’ they have shrunk from the struggle; they have

yielded to the foe instead of conquering him. Upon the description of the other classes it is unnecessary to dwell. They are such as have chosen the darkness rather than the light; as have loved the lie rather than the truth (John 8:44); as have deliberately resisted and cast aside the grace that might have been theirs,—their part can be only in the second death.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-21.html. 1879-90.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

In contrast to the rewards of those who overcome is the punishment of the wicked in the lake burning with fire and brimstone. John now gives a list of some who will be included in that group. The fearful are those who run when the battle is joined. (Hebrews 10:38-39) The unbelieving are those who know the Lord"s will but do not do it in preparation for his return. (Luke 12:45-48) Those who are foul and polluted because of association with idolatry and the sins surrounding it would be considered abominable. Murderers willfully take lives of others with no respect for life or law. Whoremongers are fornicators or those who participate in any illicit sexual activity. Sorcerers use drugs and magical arts to control others. Worshippers of anything but the true God would be known as idolaters. Liars can lie by word, through intimation or silence. (Acts 5:1-11)

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-21.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

fearful. Greek. deilos. Only here; Matthew 8:26, and Mark 4:40. In Septuagint Deuteronomy 20:8. Judges 7:3, Judges 7:10.

unbelieving. Greek. apiatoa. First occurance: Matthew 17:17 (faithless).

abominable. Greek. bdelussomai. Only here and Romans 2:22. Frequently in Septuagint. See the noun in Revelation 17:4.

sorcerers. Greek. pharmakos. Only here and Revelation 22:15 (pharmakos). See Revelation 9:21; Revelation 18:23 and Galatians 1:5, Galatians 1:20 (witchcraft). Those who have commerce with evil spirits, as modern "Spiritists". Occurs in Septuagint

all liars = all the false (Greek. pseudes). Here; Revelation 2:2. Acts 6:13 (false).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The fearful, [ deilois (Greek #1169)] - 'the cowardly,' who do not quit themselves like men, so as to "overcome" in the good fight (1 Corinthians 16:13); who have the spirit of slavish 'fear,' not love, toward God; and through fear of man, are not bold for God, or 'draw back' (cf. Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15).

Unbelieving `faithless ' Unbelieving - `faithless.'

Abominable - having drunk the harlot's 'cup of abominations.'

Sorcerers - one characteristic of Antichrist's time. As Bar-jesus withstood Paul, so 'the false prophet,' Antichrist, the minister of the world-power, shall oppose the witnesses in the last days (Acts 13:6-8).

All liars - `all the liars:' cf. 1 Timothy 4:1-2, where lying, and dealings with spirits and demons, are made features of 'the latter times.'

Second death - Revelation 20:14 : "everlasting destruction," 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Mark 9:44; Mark 9:46; Mark 9:48.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable . . .—Better, But for the cowardly and unfaithful (or, unbelieving) and defiled with abominations, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and for all the false, their part (is) in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which thing is the second death. The list here given points to those classes of character which cannot find a place in the Holy City. Nothing that defileth shall enter in. The less glaring faults stand first, the cowardly and unbelieving. There is a high and holy fear in which the Christian passes the time of his sojourn here (1 Peter 1:17); but there is a base and selfish fear, a fear of man, which brings a snare; those who have faith enter boldly the strife, following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, and conquering by faith. The cowardly sink into companionship with the faithless and unbelieving, with the workers of iniquity. The abominations spoken of here have reference to those mentioned in Revelation 17:4. The characters, it has been thought, form four pairs. Fear and unbelief go hand in hand (Deuteronomy 20:1-8; Matthew 8:26); the workers of abomination and the murderers, the fornicators and the sorcerers are united as those who sin in secret; the idolaters and the false, as those who change God’s truth into a lie. (Comp. Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5; Philippians 3:19.) These who are thus shut out from the heavenly city stand in contrast to those who are admitted; yet among those admitted arc such who have sinned through fear, faithlessness, and fleshliness. Sin indeed excludes from the city, but it is sin loved sin unrepented of, which alone can close the gate of the city whose gates lie open day and night.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-21.html. 1905.

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

(2) The characters cast into the brimstone lake-- 21:8.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and the whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death--verse 8.

Here was the pronouncement of doom on all classes of the persecutors and all parties and accomplices to the persecutions, implying also a warning to any among the overcomers against falling into any of this catalog of things condemned.

1. The fearful were those who shrank from the conflict who were put here in contrast with the overcomers.

2. The unbelievers were not those who were apostates from Christ, but the dwellers of the earth (Palestine) in the heathen world hostile to Christ; and who in their perverse refusal to accept Christianity remained under condemnation.

3. The abominable were the characters who practiced the defilements of the heathen world and the harlot woman (17:4).

4. The murderers were the ones who had killed the prophets and had slain the saints (Matthew 23:31-36; Acts 7:52); and who were guilty of the blood of the martyrs who were in this vision avenged.

5. The fornicators (whoremongers) were figurative of all who were affiliated with the practices of the harlot woman which had been described.

6. The sorcerers and idolaters were terms figurative of heathen practices and worship.

7. The phrase all liars included all of the deceivers and means of deception which influenced the people of the earth (Palestine) to worship the Caesar-image, or to yield to any form of heathen philosophy that would prevent the acceptance of Christ.

It is said that all of these classes of promoters of evil practices would be cast into the brimstone lake. This lake which burneth with fire and brimstone signified the complete destruction of the heathen powers that had persecuted Christ and his church. (See comments on chapter 19:20; 20:10)

This would be the part, or the portion, of all the unbelievers. The explanations here and in chapter 19:20 and chapter 20: 10 do not deny, destroy or modify the resurrection and judgment of the wicked at the second coming of Christ, nor of the eternal punishment of the wicked, which doctrines are clearly taught in numerous portions of the scriptures of both the old and the new testaments. The purpose of the comments here is merely to place these apocalyptic passages in proper contextual perspective and relation to the symbolism of the Book Of Revelation and its message. In this context the second death was a figurative description of the punishment of the persecutors in contrast with the deaths of the martyrs of the first resurrection. All these would have part in this second death in suffering the same destruction. The ones who had part in it came to the same end as the persecuting beast--a figurative description of complete destruction and annihilation of all persecuting powers opposed to the church whose opposition was crushed.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-21.html. 1966.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
the fearful
Deuteronomy 20:8; Judges 7:3; Isaiah 51:12; 57:11; Matthew 8:26; 10:28; Luke 12:4-9; John 12:42,43; 1 Peter 3:14,15; 1 John 5:4,5,10
and the
22:15; Malachi 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5,6; 1 Timothy 1:9,10; Hebrews 12:24; 13:4; 1 John 3:15
and idolaters
1 Corinthians 10:20,21
and all
2:2; Proverbs 19:5,9; Isaiah 9:15; John 8:44; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Timothy 4:2; 1 John 2:22
the lake
19:20; 20:14,15
which is
20:14
Reciprocal: Genesis 2:17 - surely;  Genesis 19:28 - GeneralGenesis 39:9 - how then;  Exodus 20:14 - GeneralExodus 34:7 - that will by no means clear the guilty;  Leviticus 11:10 - they shall be;  Leviticus 13:57 - shalt burn;  Leviticus 19:11 - lie one;  Leviticus 19:31 - GeneralNumbers 19:13 - purifieth;  Deuteronomy 31:6 - fear not;  Joshua 23:6 - very;  1 Samuel 15:23 - stubbornness;  1 Samuel 15:24 - I feared;  1 Kings 21:26 - very abominably;  2 Kings 5:22 - My master;  Nehemiah 6:13 - that I should;  Job 18:15 - brimstone;  Psalm 5:6 - destroy;  Psalm 9:17 - The wicked;  Psalm 14:1 - abominable;  Psalm 15:2 - speaketh;  Psalm 31:18 - the lying;  Psalm 50:19 - tongue;  Psalm 52:5 - God;  Psalm 120:4 - arrows;  Psalm 140:10 - into deep;  Proverbs 2:18 - GeneralProverbs 5:11 - thou;  Proverbs 12:22 - Lying;  Proverbs 13:5 - and;  Proverbs 20:10 - abomination;  Proverbs 24:28 - deceive;  Isaiah 1:28 - the destruction;  Isaiah 30:9 - lying;  Isaiah 34:9 - GeneralIsaiah 47:9 - for the multitude;  Jeremiah 7:9 - steal;  Jeremiah 23:14 - walk;  Jeremiah 27:9 - hearken;  Jeremiah 50:36 - upon the liars;  Ezekiel 24:9 - I will;  Ezekiel 33:26 - work;  Ezekiel 47:11 - shall be;  Zephaniah 3:13 - nor;  Zechariah 5:3 - the curse;  Zechariah 8:16 - Speak;  Malachi 1:14 - cursed;  Malachi 2:11 - and an;  Matthew 13:42 - cast;  Matthew 15:20 - which;  Matthew 18:8 - everlasting;  Matthew 25:25 - GeneralMatthew 25:30 - outer;  Matthew 25:46 - everlasting;  Matthew 26:70 - GeneralMark 9:44 - the fire;  Mark 16:16 - but;  Luke 9:26 - of him;  Luke 13:28 - you;  John 3:36 - see;  John 9:22 - because;  John 14:27 - afraid;  John 15:6 - he;  Acts 28:4 - a murderer;  Romans 3:10 - none;  Romans 6:23 - For the wages;  1 Corinthians 5:1 - fornication;  1 Corinthians 5:11 - fornicator;  1 Corinthians 10:14 - flee;  2 Corinthians 12:21 - uncleanness;  Ephesians 4:25 - putting;  Ephesians 5:3 - fornication;  Philippians 3:2 - evil;  Philippians 3:19 - end;  Colossians 3:5 - fornication;  Colossians 3:9 - Lie;  1 Thessalonians 4:3 - that;  2 Thessalonians 1:8 - flaming;  2 Thessalonians 1:9 - be;  Titus 1:16 - being;  Hebrews 11:6 - without;  Hebrews 12:16 - any fornicator;  James 5:3 - and shall;  Revelation 2:11 - the second;  Revelation 2:14 - to commit;  Revelation 9:17 - brimstone;  Revelation 9:21 - their sorceries;  Revelation 14:10 - be;  Revelation 18:23 - for;  Revelation 20:6 - the second;  Revelation 21:27 - or maketh

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-21.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

EIGHT CLASSES OF SINNERS

Revelation 21:8. — "But the fearful (or cowardly), and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." God here, as in the previous utterances, is the Speaker. As another has said, "We ought to notice how much of these eight verses is made up of direct utterances of our God." In the previous declarations God as love speaks, but in the final statement of eternity He speaks as light. God never foregoes His character as Judge of evil. The lake of fire is an actual and eternal place of punishment. In what part of the universe it is situated we know not. The current denial of eternal punishment finds no support, but absolute condemnation in the solemn passage before us. The eighth verse is as distinctly eternal as the first or second. We can introduce no measurements nor limitations within these eight verses. In them is embraced God's eternity and man's eternity, whether in Heaven, earth, or the lake of fire. There are eight classes specified:

(1) The fearful, or cowardly, refers to those who were afraid to confess Christ or identify themselves with the Gospel.

(2) Unbelievers, the most numerous class of any, and found amongst all classes and ranks of men.

(3) The abominable should be understood here in its widest sense as denoting all that is morally, religiously, and physically filthy (Revelation 17:4-5; Revelation 21:27; Titus 1:16).

(4) Murderers as a class are greatly on the increase. It is a solemn thing to meddle with that which peculiarly belongs to God — human life.

(5) Fornicators point to a sin which is awfully prevalent. The ruin of female virtue is regarded lightly, and fornicators are received into society in the knowledge of the fact, while the poor victims are outcasts from respectability. But God here reverses the judgment of man, and fornicators shall be consigned by the God of righteousness to the lake of fire.

(6) Sorcerers are those who profess intercourse with spirits. Death was the appointed penalty under the law for those who practised spiritualism in those days (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). The lake of fire is God's appointed doom for all who practise witchcraft, spiritualism, devil worship, and other forms of sorcery.

(7) Idolaters. All worshippers of other gods. The countless millions of heathen in the past, in the present, and notably in the future are, where God has been given up and idols turned to, given over to eternal judgment.

(8) All liars of every degree, kind, and character have their avenging answer in that eternal abode of misery to which everything and every one contrary to the character of God is consigned.

The "lake" burneth. Its fire is never exhausted. "Fire and brimstone" symbolise torment and agony of a fearful character (Isaiah 30:33). The expression "the lake of fire" occurs five times in the Apocalypse. It is remarkable that when the devil and the awful sinners mentioned in our text are in question "fire and brimstone" are added. "Which is the second death." The first death is the separation of soul and body, but not cessation of existence, nor unconsciousness, as many dream. Luke 16:19-31, which is not said to be a parable, and Revelation 6:9-11 shows consciousness and activity of spirit in the separate state. The lake of fire in its never-ending agony is the second death. There are three lists of sinners which it would be profitable to compare: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15. In the third list the last five named answer to the last five in the passage we have been considering.

The last notice of eternity is the never-ceasing wail of anguish in the lake of fire.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-21.html.

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

The wretched state of the ungodly - Revelation 21:8 : In sharp contrast to the state of the righteous John wrote of the state of the ungodly. "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8) This is the final description of those that do not overcome.

Observe these sins: (1) the fearful are those that in cowardice chooses self and safety before Christ. God"s faithful people must do the right thing and to hold fast to the faith. (2) Unbelief is the result of spiritual wickedness. (3) The abominable likely were participants in the rites of paganism and the unmentionable perversions of that day. (4) Murderers do not respect God and therefore have no respect for human life. (5) Fornicators violate the eternal law of God by their sexual behavior. (6) Sorcerers practice an especially despicable sin because they try to substitute some other power for that of God. (7) Idolaters give the glory that should belong to the Creator to the creation. (8) Liars can never be pleasing to God. God cannot allow any place in heaven for those that practice these things. They "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

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Box, Charles. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/revelation-21.html. 2014.

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

Fearful is from DEILOS, which Thayer defines, "timid, fearful," and he then explains it to denote "Christians who through cowardice give way under persecutions and apostatize [deny their Lord]. This definition or explanation is justified by the next word in the text, namely, the unbeiieving. Abominable is from BDELIISSO, and Thayer's definition is "to render foul, to cause to be abhorred." It is a word that would have a general meaning, hence the apostle follows up with a number of specifications. Whorernongers are men who do not merely commit adultery on some specific occasion( which of itself would be wrong), but who are regular patrons of women whose business is to receive men either for lust or money. Sorcerers is from PHARMAKENS, and Thayer's lexicon defines it, "one who prepares or uses magical remedies; a sorcerer." It could well be classed with the "dope" trade of our day. Idolaters is defined, "A worshipper of false gods." That is its literal meaning and makes it apply to any conduct where a man shows a perference for something over the true God. Hence Paul declares in Ephesians 5:5 that a covetous man is an idolater. All liars is rendered "liars of all kinds" by Moffatt. That rendering is evidently correct for it would be unnecessary to state that every liar is meant in the sense of not allowing some of them to escape; that would be taken for granted. But it means to include not only those who in the direct sense make positive statements that are false, but also everyone who says or does anything for the purpose of making a false impression. When Ananias and his wife deposited some money before Peter there is no evidence that they actually said anything about it until Peter forced them to speak. But yet he accused them of lying because they intended to make a false impression upon the apostle. Therefore we should understand that all deliberate attempts to deceive another will be regarded as lies. It can be done even by stating a part of the truth in such a way as to make a false impression. Paul doubtless was thinking of this when he declared he was not "hand1ing the word of God deceitfully" ( 2 Corinthians 4:2). Have their part. They will not receive any part of the good things that have just been promised to the faithful. Their fate will be to be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the place designated by the Greek word GEHENNA. Which is the second death. It is called this because all mankind are bound to die physically ( Hebrews 9:27) on account of the sin of Adam. But the wicked will die (be separated) from God for ever and have to remain in this lake of fire away from God.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-21.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 21:8

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

But the fearful { Revelation 21:8} and unbelieving, etc, -shall have their part in the lake, -which is the second death

that Isaiah, hell, or Gehenna; everlasting burnings, into which the beast and false prophet were cast alive, { Revelation 19:20} also the devil himself. { Revelation 20:10; Revelation 20:14-15}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-21.html.

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

Revelation 21:8. But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake, that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is to be compared. The characters named form four pairs—the four, the signature of the earth, to which belong these different tendencies of those, who live in the world (Colossians 2:20).

The series commences with the fearful, the faint-hearted, who shrank from the danger and the cross, which is sure to meet those, who abide in the truth and remain stedfast to Christ. We are thus given to understand, that we have nothing to be so much afraid of as fear—comp. the Old Testament warning given respecting it in Deuteronomy 20:1-8, "When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, he not afraid of them; for the Lord thy God is with thee, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt," &c. Allusion, it would seem, is made to Matthew 8:26, where our Lord said to the disciples, who called upon him to save them, as the ship was covered with the waves, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" comp. Mark 4:40, "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have not faith?" The word δειλό ς occurs only in these three passages. We may the more readily suppose an allusion, as there also the fearful stands connected with a little faith or none; and also because that earlier occurrence has manifestly a symbolical meaning. The word of our Lord on the occasion itself points back to Deuteronomy 20, comp. John 14:27.

With fearfulness unbelief is united into a pair, as its inseparable companion. Where there is no faith there is no courage, for the foundation of courage is confidence in God's help; and where no courage is, there is no faith; for faith must necessarily manifest itself in a spirit of invincible strength. Bengel: "Unbelievers are not precisely (rather, not alone) those, who have heard or understood nothing whatever of the Gospel; but also such as have not proved faithful unto death, and in their hearts have apostatised from the living God. Commonly it is not considered, that timidity has so much evil in it, if there be but a good inclination, as they say; yet here the fearful, who allow their courage to sink, and the unbelieving, are declared to be characters that the Lord has no pleasure in." The transition from the first class to the second is not so abrupt, as might at first sight appear. When the light of faith is extinguished, a frightful darkness arises, in which all sins have their being. Berleb. Bible, "People, who withdraw from the conflict, are capable of becoming abominable characters, murderers, whoremongers," etc. The abominable are those, who give themselves to actions of an abominable kind, comp. at ch. Revelation 17:4-5. Murder is a particular species of abominable conduct. Murderers stand related to the abominable much as idolaters do to liars. Several understand by the abominable those who abuse themselves with mankind, referring to Leviticus 18:22, where the practices of such persons are expressly called abominations. But the notion of what is abominable is of a much more comprehensive nature in the law, (comp. Leviticus 18:26-27), and if this crime were meant, it would certainly have been more specifically described. Besides, according to 1 John 3:15, brotherly hatred even is of the same nature with murder, as being this in its germ and root.

Whoremongers and sorcerers have this in common, that their attempts on the well-being of a neighbour, unlike those of the murderer, are made covertly. Sorcery appears also in ch. Revelation 9:21, as the means of hurting one's neighbour thus, and especially in regard to his life (comp. also ch. Revelation 18:23). Fornication is in the law presented under the aspect of injury done to a neighbour, and so also here in ch. Revelation 9:21.

In the last pair the idolaters are the species, liars the genus: and generally all liars. Idolaters are liars, since they change God's truth into a lie, and have given glory and worship to the creature along with the Creator, who is blessed for ever (Romans 1:25; and on the idea of a lie, see on ch. Revelation 14:5). In respect to the idolaters it is indifferent, whether they worship what are more commonly called idols, or mammon and their belly (Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5; Philippians 3:19).

Revelation 21:9 to Revelation 22:5. After the introduction we have now the main theme of the group, the lengthened description of the new Jerusalem. The consolation for weary pilgrims will be the more complete, the more vividly it is portrayed before their eyes. After St John had, in Revelation 21:9-10, been transferred to the immediate neighbourhood of the new Jerusalem, he begins his description, in Revelation 21:11, with its highest ornament, the glory of God, which illuminates it. On this follows its greatness and lofty walls, its twelve gates, and the twelve foundations of the gates, in Revelation 21:12-14. In Revelation 21:15-17, he gives us the measurement of the city and of the walls. In Revelation 21:18-21 the grandeur and glory of the city, as appearing in its material, in the walls, in the buildings, in the foundations of the walls, in the gates, and finally in the streets. In Revelation 21:22-27 we have an account of the glory of the city in regard to its inhabitants; first of all, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, Revelation 21:22-23; then, coming down to the human inhabitants, the elect portion of the heathen world with its kings, Revelation 21:24-26; finally, in Revelation 21:27, the negative element, the exclusion of all those, whose presence would darken its bright splendour. In ch. Revelation 22:1-5, the Seer unfolds the blessedness of the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem, and the glorious privileges they enjoy—the water of life, and the tree of life, their glorious and never interrupted fellowship with the Lord, their reigning for ever and ever.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-21.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.The fearful—The moral coward who overcometh not, because he shrinks from fight. Thousands are lost for want of exercising moral courage against the persecutions and contempt of the world.

Unbelieving—Who deny the reality of the battle and reward, and so never overcome.

Abominable—Guilty of unnameable vices.

Sorcerers— Seducers, who win to crime by guilty fascinations.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-21.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

The reverse side of the picture (cf.Revelation 20:12-15 and below on Revelation 21:27): a black list of those who have not conquered. = “cowards” or apostates, who deny Christ in the persecution and worship Caesar (Introd. § 6) through fear of suffering; “ does not of course itself allow that it is timorous, but would shelter its timidity under the more honourable title of ” (Trench, Synonyms, § x.). It embraces further all those who draw back under the general strain of ridicule and social pressure (Hebrews 6:4-8; 2 Timothy 4:16, etc.), like Bunyan’s Pliable, but unlike his Mr. Fearing (cf.1 Maccabees 3:16).— not = incredulous (so e.g., Dittenberger’s Sylloge, 80232, 3 cent. B.C.) but, as in Luke 12:46 (cf. Sir. ii. 12 f.), = “faithless,” untrustworthy, those who are not (Revelation 1:5, Revelation 2:10; Revelation 2:13, 2 Timothy 2:13). All are (cf. Introd. § 6), but not all are . There are more reasons for disloyalty to Christ than cowardice, and some of these are hinted at in the following words, which suggest that includes the further idea of immorality (as in Titus 1:15-16, where it is grouped with ). Lack of faith is denounced also in Apoc. Bar. liv. 21, 4 Ezra 9:7, etc. for (as for , etc., cf. Field on Galatians 2:11; Simcox, Lang. N.T. 128, 129), “detestable” because “defiled and fouled” by the impurities of the pagan cults (Revelation 17:4, Revelation 18:3, etc.; cf.Hosea 9:10; Slav. En. x. 4) including unnatural vice. Murder (and fornication, James 2:11) in the popular religions of the ancient world caused ritual impurity and disqualified for access to God, unless atoned for.— = “poisoners” or “sorcerers” (Revelation 22:15), cf.Daniel 2:27 LXX, and above on Revelation 9:21, where (as here and in Galatians 5:21) witchcraft or magic is bracketed with idolatry. Idolaters, in Apoc. Pet. 18, have a special place . = “liars,” primarily recreant Christians who deny their faith and Lord, or worship false gods (Romans 1:25); but also untruthful Christians who cheat (Acts 5:3) and lie to one another (Colossians 3:9, cf.Revelation 14:5); further perhaps to be taken in its general ethical sense (Slav. En. xlii. 13; cf. Did. Revelation 5:2) = Oriental duplicity.— : as in LXX, the subject of the principal clause is thrown forward into the dative (Viteau, ii. 41, 42). The special standpoint of the Apoc. renders the terms of exclusion rather narrower than elsewhere (cf. Volz, 313). Thus there is no allusion to sins of omission, especially as regards justice and kindness between man and man (as Slav. En. x., xlii. 8–9, Matthew 25:41 f.—the former apocalypse finely excluding from heaven all guilty of “evil thoughts” and magic, all harsh or callous men, and finally all idolaters). The parallels with the rest of the Apocalypse, as well as the general style, indicate that Revelation 21:1-8 comes from the pen of the prophet himself; there is no evidence sufficient to support the conjecture that Revelation 21:5-8 is a Christian editor’s gloss in a Jewish original (Vischer, von Soden, S. Davidson, Rauch = Revelation 21:6-8, Spitta). The catalogue of vices, not unparalleled in ethnic literature (cf. Dieterich, pp. 163 f., 174 f., Heinrici on 2 Corinthians 6:4 f.), diverges from those of Revelation 9:20-21 and Revelation 22:15. The second agrees with Sap. 14:22–28 in making idolatry the fontal vice, and with Did. v in putting theft after (cf.Hebrews 13:4-5, Ephesians 5:5, etc.). Paul, again, invariably starts with the blighting touch of or (cf. Seeberg’s Catechismus d. Urc. 9–29, and von Dobschütz, pp. 406 f.) as in Revelation 22:15. No special significance attaches to the lists of the Apocalypse beyond the obviously appropriate selection of idolatry (Revelation 9:20) as the outstanding vice of paganism, with cowardice (Revelation 21:8) as the foil to victorious confession (Revelation 21:7, Revelation 2:13; Revelation 2:17, Revelation 15:2); note the division of Revelation 22:15 into the repulsive or filthy (first three) and the wicked (second three), corresponding to Revelation 22:11. The of Revelation 22:15 roughly answer to the “abominable” of Revelation 21:8. Revelation 21:1-8 are a summary of what follows: Revelation 21:1-2 = Revelation 21:9-21, Revelation 21:3-4 = Revelation 21:22 to Revelation 22:5, Revelation 21:5-8 = Revelation 22:16-21.

Revelation 21:9 to Revelation 22:5: the new Jerusalem (resuming the thought of Revelation 21:2, cf.Revelation 19:7), corresponding to the new universe (Revelation 21:1). The fall of Jerusalem accentuated the tendency to rise from the expectation of a new or renovated city on earth to the hope of a heavenly, transcendent city (cf. Apoc. Bar. iv. 2–6, etc.), though the passionate desire for a restoration of city and temple in the messianic age was still strong (cf.R. J. 226 f., Volz, 334 f.). John introduces the definitely Christian identification of the heavenly Jerusalem with the bride of the messiah, and combines the various features of a renovated, a heavenly, and a pre-existent city—features which occasionally reflect the mythological background of such earlier ideas in Judaism. The whole conception, if not the passage itself, is satirised by Lucian (Vera Hist. ii.) in his account of the golden city with its emerald wall, its river, and the absence of night, to say nothing of vines . Revelation 21:11-21 describe the exterior, Revelation 21:22-27 the interior.

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-21.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

8. But the cowards. Notice that the COWARDS head the list of those who are to be punished for their sin. Read what Jesus said in Matthew 10:32-39. Those who have done these things must meet God’s Wrath! See Revelation 20:15.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 21:8". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-21.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.