Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 6:11

And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Colors;   Martyrdom;   Persecution;   Robe;   Scofield Reference Index - Remnant;   Thompson Chain Reference - Future, the;   Rest, Future;   The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Seals;   Vengeance;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Martyrdom;   Titles and Names of Saints;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Day of the lord;   Martyr;   Persecution;   Revelation, book of;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Death, Mortality;   Kill, Killing;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Patience of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Dress;   Fuller;   Zacharias;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beast;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Colours;   Eschatology;   Esdras, the Second Book of;   Life and Death;   Wandering Stars;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Psalms, Book of;   Revelation, the;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Angels;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Robe;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ascension;   Color;   Parousia;   Persecution;   Resurrection;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

White robes - The emblems of purity, innocence, and triumph.

They should rest yet for a little season - This is a declaration that, when the cup of the iniquity of the Jews should be full, they should then be punished in a mass. They were determined to proceed farther, and God permits them so to do; reserving the fullness of their punishment till they had filled up the measure of their iniquity. If this book was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, as is most likely, then this destruction is that which was to fall upon the Jews; and the little time or season was that which elapsed between their martyrdom, or the date of this book, and the final destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, under Vespasian and his son Titus, about a.d. 70. What follows may refer to the destruction of the heathen Roman empire.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-6.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And there was given them to each one a white robe; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, who should be killed even as they were, should have fulfilled their course.

The prayers of martyred saints for God's vengeance to be executed upon the wicked could not be answered at once, but in God's own time. In the meanwhile, the bestowal of white robes upon the deceased saints symbolized their absolute assurance of eternal life with God.

That they should rest for a little while ... This is a very interesting clause, for it gives a glimpse of John's use of time references. What is "this little while"? It is all the time between the First and Second Advents of Jesus Christ; but with God this is only a little while. Later, John would call this same expanse of time "a thousand years."

Their fellow servants also ... is an extension of the meaning to include others than those actually martyred.

And their brethren who should be killed ... In the times during which Revelation was written, and throughout history, there were to be many more martyrs who would take their place along with those already slain, and all would be rewarded together "on that day" (2 Timothy 4:8).

Should have fulfilled their course ... The alternative reading of this clause in the ASV is, "should be fulfilled in number," a thought that harmonizes with sentiments expressed a number of times in the New Testament. The historical church has taken note of these, and as Barclay noted, "The Anglican Prayer Book has this in the burial prayer, "That it may please Thee shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect.'"[41] Back of such a conception is the view that God will keep on saving people until the total number of the redeemed, predetermined by the will of God, shall have been accomplished. An exposition of this thought has been attempted by this writer in The Mystery of Redemption. Hendriksen stated the proposition thus:

"For a little time" means until every elect has been brought into the fold ... God knows the exact number. It has been fixed from eternity in his decree. Until that number has been realized on earth the day of final judgment cannot come.[42]

They shall rest ... Russell cautioned that:

Care should be taken not to reason from this passage, that all shall sleep unconsciously in an intermediate world. Sleep is a symbol of rest, but it belongs to life (2 Thessalonians 1:7; Hebrews 4:3; Revelation 14:13).[43]

Hinds also pointed out in this connection that:

This passage shows that the death of the body does not end the soul's existence; consciousness between death and the resurrection must be a fact. Such passages are a deathblow to the soul-sleeping doctrine of materialism.[44]

[42] William Hendriksen, op. cit., p. 129.

[43] James William Russell, Compact Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1964), p. 630.

[44] John T. Hinds, A Commentary on the Book of Revelation (Nashville: The Gospel Advocate Company, 1962), p. 104.

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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 6:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And white robes were given to everyone of them,.... The Alexandrian copy, and some others, read in the singular number, "a white robe", and so does the Syriac version; as a token of their innocence, that they did not suffer, or were slain, for any capital crime or immorality they were guilty of; and of their purity and perfection they now enjoyed; as also of that spiritual delight and pleasure, which was unspeakable and full of glory, they now had in the presence of God and Christ; and in short, of that happiness and glory which souls in a separate state, before the resurrection morn, are partakers of; who besides the righteousness of Christ, comparable to fine linen clean and white, walk with Christ in white, in the shining robes of bliss and glory:

and it was said unto them, that they should rest; or have rest; eternal rest from all their toil and labour, from all their sorrows and sufferings of every kind, which rest remains for the people of God, and into which these were now entered; or that they should cease from expostulating and inquiring after the above manner, and rest satisfied and contented, exercising the graces of faith, hope, and patience, believing, looking, and waiting:

yet for a little season; either until the end of this persecution by Dioclesian, when vengeance would be taken of the Roman empire, and it would be no more as Pagan; or until the day of judgment, when full vengeance will be inflicted on the persecutors of the saints; and which is but a little while with God, with whom a thousand years is as one day, and in comparison of that eternity of blessedness glorified saints are partakers of:

until their fellow servants also, and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled; meaning either the rest of the saints that should suffer martyrdom in the: following part of this persecution; or those who should suffer under the Arian persecution, when the empire would become Christian; or under Rome Papal, and in all the persecutions of the apostasy, unto the end of that state: these are called "fellow servants" and "brethren" of the saints in heaven; for they all worship and serve the same God, and belong to the same family, in heaven and in earth; and the selfsame reason that is made use of to animate the saints below to courage, faith, and patience in suffering, 1 Peter 5:9, is used to keep up the expectation of the saints in heaven, of that vengeance that will be executed on their enemies, and to point out the time when it will be; and it may be observed, that the number of martyrs, or of those that shall suffer and die in the cause of Christ, and for his Gospel, is fixed and determined by God; and that number shall be perfected and completed, and when that is done, he will pour out all his wrath on them that have persecuted them and put them to death: and so the Arabic version renders it, "that the number of their companions and brethren, and of those who are to be killed as they have been killed, is fulfilled"; In the Apocrypha is written:

"39 Which are departed from the shadow of the world, and have received glorious garments of the Lord. 40 Take thy number, O Sion, and shut up those of thine that are clothed in white, which have fulfilled the law of the Lord. 41 The number of thy children, whom thou longedst for, is fulfilled: beseech the power of the Lord, that thy people, which have been called from the beginning, may be hallowed.' (2 Esdras 2)

Now though this seal does not introduce any judgment to be executed on the Roman empire, as the others do; yet since it introduces all the martyrs with one united voice requiring vengeance on their blood, it may very well be considered as a step towards, and as making way for, the utter ruin of that empire: and which the next seal being opened brings on, and is a full answer to the cry of these souls.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And 8 white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be b fulfilled.

(8) As before (Revelation 3:4).

(b) Until their number is completed

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-6.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

white robes — The three oldest manuscripts, A, B, C, read, “A white robe was given.”

every one of — One oldest manuscript, B, omits this. A and C read, “unto them, unto each,” that is, unto them severally. Though their joint cry for the riddance of the earth from the ungodly is not yet granted, it is intimated that it will be so in due time; meanwhile, individually they receive the white robe, indicative of light, joy, and triumphant victory over their foes; even as the Captain of their salvation goes forth on a white horse conquering and to conquer; also of purity and sanctity through Christ. Maimonides says that the Jews used to array priests, when approved of, in white robes; thus the sense is, they are admitted among the blessed ones, who, as spotless priests, minister unto God and the Lamb.

should — So C reads. But A and B, “shall rest.”

a little season — One oldest manuscript, B, omits “little.” A and C support it. Even if it be omitted, is it to be inferred that the “season” is short as compared with eternity? Bengel fancifully made a season (Greek, “{chronus},” the word here used) to be one thousand one hundred and eleven one-ninth years, and a time (Revelation 12:12, Revelation 12:14, Greek, “{kairos}”) to be a fifth of a season, that is, two hundred and twenty-two two-ninths years. The only distinction in the Greek is, a season (Greek, “{chronus}”) is a sort of aggregate of times. Greek, “{kairos},” a specific time, and so of short duration. As to their rest, compare Revelation 14:13 (the same Greek, “{anapauomai}”); Isaiah 57:2; Daniel 12:13.

until their  …  brethren  …  be fulfilled — in number. Until their full number shall have been completed. The number of the elect is definitely fixed: perhaps to fill up that of the fallen angels. But this is mere conjecture. The full blessedness and glory of all the saints shall be simultaneous. The earlier shall not anticipate the later saints. A and C read, “shall have been accomplished”; B and Aleph read, “shall have accomplished (their course).”

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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 6:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-6.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

A white robe (στολη λευκηstolē leukē). Old word from στελλωstellō to equip, an equipment in clothes, a flowing robe (Mark 12:38). For the white robe for martyrs see Revelation 3:4.; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 7:9, Revelation 7:13; Revelation 19:14.

That they should rest (ινα αναπαυσονταιhina anapausontai). Sub-final clause with ιναhina and the future indicative (as in Revelation 3:9; Revelation 6:4) middle rather than the aorist middle subjunctive αναπαυσωνταιanapausōntai of Aleph C.

Yet for a little time (ετι χρονον μικρονeti chronon mikron). Accusative of extension of time as in Revelation 20:3. Perhaps rest from their cry for vengeance and also rest in peace (Revelation 14:13). For the verb αναπαυωanapauō see note on Matthew 11:28.

Until should be fulfilled (εως πληρωτωσινheōs plērōthōsin). Future indefinite temporal clause with εωςheōs and the first aorist passive subjunctive of πληροωplēroō to fill full (Matthew 23:32; Colossians 2:10), “until be filled full” (the number of), regular Greek idiom.

Which should be killed (οι μελλοντες αποκτεννεσταιhoi mellontes apoktennesthai). Regular construction of articular present active participle of μελλωmellō (about to be, going to be) with the present passive infinitive of αποκτεννωapoktennō Aeolic and late form for αποκτεινωapokteinō to kill (also in Mark 12:5). John foresees more persecution coming (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:10).

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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 6:11". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-6.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

White robes were given unto every one of them ( ἐδόθησαν ἑκάστοις στολαὶ λευκαὶ )

The best texts read ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς ἑκάστῳ στολὴ λευκή therewas given them to each one a white robe. So Rev. Στολὴ is properly a long, flowing robe; a festive garment. Compare Mark 16:5; Luke 15:22; Luke 20:46.

Should rest ( ἀναπαύσωνται )

See on Matthew 11:28; see on 1 Peter 5:14; compare Revelation 14:13; Daniel 12:13. Not merely rest from their crying for vengeance, but rest in peace.

Fellow-servants

See Master in Revelation 6:10.

Should be fulfilled ( πληρώσονται )

Completed in number. See Colossians 2:10. Some texts read πληρώσωσιν shallhave fulfilled their course.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-6.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

And there was given to every one a white robe — An emblem of innocence, joy, and victory, in token of honour and favourable acceptance.

And it was said to them — They were told how long. They were not left in that uncertainty.

That they should rest — Should cease from crying. They rested from pain before.

A time — This word has a peculiar meaning in this book, to denote which, we may retain the original word chronos. Here are two classes of martyrs specified, the former killed under heathen Rome, the latter, under papal Rome. The former are commanded to rest till the latter are added to them. There were many of the former in the days of John: the first fruits of the latter died in the thirteenth century. Now, a time, or chronos, is1111years. This chronos began A. C98, and continued to the year1209; or from Trajan's persecution, to the first crusade against the Waldenses.

Till — It is not said, Immediately after this time is expired, vengeance shall be executed; but only, that immediately after this time their brethren and fellowservants will come to them. This event will precede the other; and there will be some space between.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-6.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

fulfilled

i.e. their number filled up.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 6:11". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-6.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Ver. 11. And white robes] Their innocence was cleared, and their persecutors convinced. God would speak for them in the hearts of their greatest enemies.

Until their fellowservants also] We doubt not, saith a learned interpreter here (Mr Forbes), but that the crowned saints do in general know the afflicted condition of the Church militant, and do wish them deliverance; but our special necessities and occurrences of particular persons they cannot know. Brother Bradford, said Bishop Ridley, a little before he was offered up, so long as I shall understand that thou art in thy journey, by God’s grace I shall call upon our heavenly Father to set thee safely home; and then, good brother, speak you for the remnant that are to suffer for Christ’s sake, according to that thou then shalt know more clearly. (Acts and Mon.) But this is to be taken with a grain of salt.

That should be killed] Under Licinius, Julian the Apostate, and the Arian emperors.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-6.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Revelation 6:11

The Intermediate State.

I. In this passage we are told that the saints are at rest. "White robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season." The great and anxious question that meets us is, What is to become of us after this life? We fear for ourselves, we are solicitous about our friends, just on this point. Now here Scripture meets our need. It is enough, surely, to be in Abraham's bosom, in our Saviour's presence; it is enough, after the pain and turmoil of this world, to be at rest.

II. Next, in this description it is implied that departed saints, though at rest, have not yet received their actual reward. "Their works do follow them," not yet given in to their Saviour and Judge. They are in an incomplete state in every way, and will be so till the day of judgment, which will introduce them to the joy of their Lord. (1) They are incomplete inasmuch as their bodies are in the dust of the earth, and they wait for the resurrection. (2) They are incomplete as being neither awake nor asleep; they are in a state of rest, not in the full employment of their powers. (3) There is an incompleteness also as regards their place of rest. They are "under the altar," not in the full presence of God, seeing His face and rejoicing in His works, but in a safe and holy treasure-house close by, like Moses "in a cleft of the rock," covered by the hand of God and beholding the skirts of His glory. (4) The intermediate state is incomplete as regards the happiness of the saints. The blessed in their disembodied state admit of an increase of happiness, and receive it. "They cried out in complaint, and white robes were given them; they were soothed and bid wait a while."

III. Nor would it be surprising if, in God's gracious providence, the very purpose of their remaining thus for a season at a distance from heaven were that they may have time for growing in all holy things and perfecting the inward development of the good seed sown in their hearts. As we are expressly told that in one sense the spirits of the just are perfected on their death, it follows that the greater the advance each has made here, the higher will be the line of his subsequent growth between death and the resurrection.

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. iii., p. 367.


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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/revelation-6.html.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 6:11. αὐτοῖς ἑκάστῳ(75)) You may with reason doubt, says Wolf, whether John wrote αὐτοῖς ἑκάστῳ. But he wrote ὑμῖν ἑκάστῳ, ch. Revelation 2:23; and so Luke, ch. Revelation 2:3, and Acts 2:8, πάντες, ἕκαστος· ἡμεῖς, ἕκαστος: Paul, Ephesians 5:33, ὑμεῖς ἕκαστος. The very expression, αὐτοῖς ἑκάστῳ, occurs, Sirach 17:14. They who have not admitted the joining together of the plural and singular number, have made various changes: some of them have omitted ἑκάστῳ, Mill incorrectly giving his assent, Proleg. § 1003.(76)χρόνον) Others, χρόνον ΄ικρόν; and Wolf defends that reading. He says, John uses the same phrase below, ch. Revelation 20:3. From that place, in fact, some have introduced the adjective into this: for the copyists everywhere delighted to insert adjectives, lest the style should appear too abrupt. Whence also Augustine, in his second book against Gaudentius, c. 19, uses it more than once; and Jerome, in his treatise on the Perfect Man, thus has it. But this χρόνος, which is the subject of ch. Revelation 6:11, ends by a long interval before the beginning of the little season ( μικροῦ χρόνου), which is the subject of ch. Revelation 20:3. Wolf subjoins: It certainly might have done much towards the arousing of those souls, if they understood that the delay of the Divine judgments would only be for a short time. It was this indeed which induced the African writers to add μικρὸν,(77) as a solace to the martyrs (comp. Coll. Antithet. of Antonius, p. 909, on precipitate hope); although in cases where the delay is in reality not short, they who affirm that it is short, cause an arousing which is not lasting. The best consolation is in the truth itself, which, in the meantime, by the form of speech in which it is veiled, softens down the more unfavourable points which are from time to time mingled with those more joyful, as the long-continued delay in this passage. As to criticism, I have nothing here to add to the Apparatus, except the explanation of Apringius, which is as follows: But because the everlasting recompense of the saints and the damnation of the wicked is about to come at the last time, it was said to them that they should wait, and for the comfort of the body, etc. He makes no remark respecting the shortness of the time. χρόνον is used absolutely, as ἐπὶ χρόνον, without an epithet, Luke 18:4; on which passage E. Schmid remarks, that χρόνον is frequently used absolutely also by Homer. But it is used also, Acts 19:22, and Isaiah 27:11 in the Septuagint. χρόνον is the reading which is supported by the most ancient, the most numerous, and best authorities, short, natural, without any adulteration, and, as the interpretation now demonstrates from the structure of the whole book, necessarily true. D. Lange places a short time from the crying of the souls to the time of judgment and vengeance, Comm. Apoc. f. 81, and everywhere. This is one of those passages, in which the labour spent by this illustrious man upon the Apocalypse would have produced greater fruits, if he had more thoroughly weighed the arguments for the true reading. The prophecy refuses shortness as applied to this time. Its subject extends itself from the time of John through the ages of the world which still remain, and which are not much fewer than those which have passed, by a continuous thread to the end of the world: and yet it shuts up many things into periods of times of considerable length, which are definitely expressed in their proper places: all other things are done ἐν τάχει, quickly. Therefore the Lamb immediately, and in rapid succession, opens the seven seals, the fifth of which contains the souls crying out. This cry, this complaint, long afterwards, IN THE SAME WORDS, is transposed into a song, ch. Revelation 19:2; then at length, namely, when the judgment of the saints and apostles shall be passed upon Babylon or Rome, ch. Revelation 18:20. Therefore two classes of martyrs are pointed out: the one under heathen Rome; the other under papal Rome. The former arc ordered to take their rest until the latter are added to them: the age of John already had the former; the thirteenth century bore the first-fruits of the latter. To the former, therefore, while they were expecting the latter, there was not μικρὸς χρόνος, but truly χρόνος. As καιρὸς has a special meaning in this book, ch. Revelation 12:12; Revelation 12:14, so also has χρόνος, which even in Latin we call chronos (derivatives of which word are not unknown to the Latins), that the time καιρὸς may not be confounded with it. Chronus has 11111/9 years, as we show in its proper place; and this Chronus flowed on from the year 98 to 1209, or from the first year of Trajan to the Crusade stirred up against the Waldenses by the zeal of Innocent III. Before this the Pope had never been a bloodthirsty persecutor: afterwards he never ceased to be such. To this Chronus is opposed No longera Chronus, ch. Revelation 10:6, whence there is a beautiful antithesis between the two passages, χρόνον ἔτι, χρόνος οὐκέτι. The expression NonChronus itself includes times of sufficient length, expressed, ch. 11 and 12 and 13, and yet a Chronus exceeds a NonChronus in length. How correctly these things are spoken, however paradoxical they are, the truth will bring to light, but after a time. I will here make a remark, which applies to all passages which have any indication of time. The times are not entirely determined from facts, much less are facts from times: but they afford mutual aid to each other, so that the event may be definitely distinguished.— ἕως, until) A Chronus is placed between this answer and the beginning πληρωσέως, of the fulfilment, as there were four kings of Persia between the prophecy and the destruction of the fourth King: Daniel 11:3. After a Chronus, “brethren” are to be added, by the continual slaughter of whom, accomplished under the fury of the beast, the promise is fulfilled. The Chronus extends to the times of the beast; when these are elapsed, the judgment takes place.— πληρωθῶσι) Comp. Al. Lat. most suitably have this passive form: many, with Andreas of Cæsarea, have the neuter πληρώσωσι.(78) Erasmus alone has the middle form, πληρώσονται (although the construction required the subjunctive); and, in what manner he proceeded in revising the Apocalypse, I have shown in the Apparatus, Fund. Cris. § xvii. But since that discussion is not specially suited to any particular text, I greatly fear, lest many readers should pass it by, and consequently, in particular passages of the text to which it ought to be applied, should be the less prepared to judge. Wherefore I have considered it my duty, in these annotations also, to put forward some of the strong points of my argument. I will here speak what is suitable for the subject.

I.) Erasmus had only one manuscript on the Apocalypse, the Reuchlinian.

II.) The Reuchlinian copy was the commentary of Andreas of Cæsarea upon the Apocalypse, and this had τὸ κείμενον, or the text inserted amidst the commentary.

III.) Erasmus wonderfully extols the antiquity of this manuscript. undoubtedly had a good text, and that in some places of singular gcellence; but that it was likewise mutilated, is understood from his, that Erasmus was both ignorant of the author of the commentry, and supplied a part of chapter 22 from Latin editions. He imself acknowledges the former point in his Annotations upon the New Testament, and the latter in his Epistles.

IV.) The edition of Erasmus is often so different from the Comslutensian edition, and from all the MSS., especially those which have been duly collated, and from all the versions and fathers whose pinions are on record, and from the remaining copies of Andreas himself, that it agrees with the Latin MSS., and those of an inferior character, and which are refuted by the Latin MSS. of a better class, sometimes also with Ticonius, or his faulty edition; and it Introduces into the text Greek words which are at variance with the usage of the Greek language.

V.) Not a few of such passages occur to us while we make these remarks; and in such passages, there is no doubt that the Renchnian MS. was worn out by its antiquity, and that Erasmus patched up its deficiency from Latin copies. In this passage, therefore, Erasmus has given πληρώσονται from the Latin compleantur, and he as easily laid hold of the middle voice, answering to the nearest verb ναπαύσωνται. As often as anything of this kind occurs to Erasmus, his revision has not even the weight of a single MS.; nor do any renturies of subsequent editions make his conjecture better, in opposition to all the MSS. I sometimes speak τολμηρότερον, more holdly and confidently, not indeed through want of modesty, but that they may be excited to perceive the truth, who too superstiously defend the particular edition, whatever it is, to which they have once been accustomed. πληρωθῶσι is used in this passage with reference to the completing of the number of the martyrs.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-6.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And white robes were given unto every one of them; white robes of glory; for the white robes of Christ’s righteousness, and of a holy life, were by them put on before they were slain.

That they should rest yet for a little season; that they should be satisfied, and acquiesce in God’s dispensations.

Until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were; for God had yet more faithful witnesses to be martyred, (though not in such flocks as before), who should die for the same faith and profession.

Should be fulfilled; when the number of those his martyrs should be completed, he would avenge their blood upon their enemies.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-6.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

одежды белые См. пояснение к 3:5.

успокоилисьна малое время Бог ответит на их молитвы об отмщении, но в свое время.

покадополнят число Бог предопределил число праведников, которым по Его воле суждено погибнуть прежде, чем Он двинется истреблять беззаконников.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-6.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

White robes; expressive of victory and blessedness.

Should rest yet for a little season; an intimation that the full time for avenging their blood has not yet come, but that more must first be added to their numbers. Persecutors, by putting Christians to death, do not annihilate them or their influence.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-6.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Each martyr received a long white robe (Gr. stole). These martyrs had been faithful and had suffered martyrdom for their fidelity to Christ (cf. Revelation 3:5; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 7:14). God told them to be patient. More people would experience martyrdom before it would be God"s time for Jesus Christ to return to the earth and judge their living adversaries.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-6.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 6:11. To the cry of these martyred souls an answer is given both by deed and word. By deed; for a white robe, denoting the purity of saints perfected in Christ, was bestowed on each of them (comp. chaps, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 4:4, Revelation 7:9). This robe is the garment of all who overcome,—another indication that all such, and not martyrs only, are included in the souls underneath the altar. To this act of grace words are added, telling them that they must rest a little space until their fellow-servants of the New Testament Dispensation shall be completed, and all the children of God shall be gathered together, ‘no wanderer lost, a family in heaven.’

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-6.html. 1879-90.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 6:11. And white robes were given unto every one of them — As a token of their justification, and favourable acceptance with God; of their victory and triumph over death, their joy and glory. And it was said unto them, that they should rest — That is, wait; yet for a little season — Though, in the mean time, their blood remained unrevenged; until their fellow-servants also, and their brethren, that should be killed for the defence of the gospel, as they had been, should be fulfilled — That is, should have finished their testimony; or till the number of the martyrs should be completed, according to the intention of Divine Providence, in letting persecutors go on a while, until they should have filled up the measure of their iniquities, when the martyrs should receive their full reward, as we shall see hereafter. Lowman observes here, very well, that “this representation seems much to favour the immediate happiness of departed saints, and hardly to consist with that uncomfortable opinion, the insensible state of departed souls, till after the resurrection.” There were other persecutions before, but this was by far the most considerable, the tenth and last general persecution, which was begun by Dioclesian, and continued by others, and lasted longer, and extended farther, and was sharper and more bloody, than any or all preceding; and therefore this was particularly predicted. Eusebius and Lactantius, who were two eye- witnesses, have written large accounts of it. Orosius asserts that this persecution was longer and more cruel than all the past; for it raged incessantly for ten years, by burning the churches, proscribing the innocent, and slaying the martyrs. Sulpicius Severus, too, describes it as the most bitter persecution, which for ten years together depopulated the people of God; at which time all the world almost was stained with the sacred blood of the martyrs, and was never more exhausted by any wars. So that this became a memorable era to the Christians, under the name of the era of Dioclesian, or, as it is otherwise called, the era of martyrs.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/revelation-6.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

white robes = a white robe. See Revelation 7:9 and Mark 12:88.

were = was.

every one = each one.

yet for, &c. = yet a little time (Greek. chronos. App-195).

fellowservants. Greek. sundoulos. Occurs only in Matt., Col., and Rev. See App-190.

that should be = that are about to be.

as they were = even as they also (had been).

fulfilled. App-125.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

White robes. So Vulgate; but A B C 'Aleph (') read, 'a white robe was given.'

Every one of them. B omits; A C 'Aleph (') read, 'unto them, unto each;' i:e., unto them severally. Though their joint cry for the riddance of the earth from the ungodly is not yet granted, it will be so in due time; meanwhile, individually they receive the white robe, indicative of light, joy, and triumph over their foes; even as the Captain of their salvation goes forth on a white horse, conquering and to conquer: also of sanctity through Christ. Maimonides says that the Jews arrayed priests, when approved of, in white robes. They are admitted among the blessed, who, as spotless priests, minister unto God and the Lamb.

Should. So 'Aleph (') C but A B, 'shall rest.'

A little season. So 'Aleph (') A C but B omits "little." Even if omitted, the "season" is short compared with eternity. Bengel fancifully made a season [ chronos (Greek #5550)] to be 1,111 1/9 years, and a time (Revelation 12:12; Revelation 12:14) [ kairos (Greek #2540)], a fifth of a season - i:e., 222 2/9 years. The only distinction is, a season [ chronos (Greek #5550)] is an aggregate of times. [ Kairos (Greek #2540), a specific time, so of short duration.] As to their rest, cf. Revelation 14:13 [the same anapauomai]; Isaiah 57:2; Daniel 12:13; Septuagint.

Until their ... brethren ... be fulfilled - until their full number shall have been completed. The number of the elect is definite; perhaps to fill up that of the fallen angels. The full blessedness of all the saints shall be simultaneous (1 Thessalonians 4:15; Hebrews 11:40; Hebrews 12:23). The earlier shall not anticipate the later. A C read, 'shall have been accomplished;' B 'Aleph ('), 'shall have accomplished (their course).'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-6.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) And white robes were given . . .—The victims, however, are not forgotten. There was given to them (each) a white robe. The white robes, the glistening apparel of the saints (comp. Revelation 3:4-5), shall be theirs; each shall receive it. They are robes of righteousness (Revelation 19:8); they are robes of honour (Revelation 4:4), for those who wear them are like God, seeing Him as He is, reflecting His image; they are acknowledged to be His, as they have acknowledged Him to be their God. Persecuted on earth, they are honoured in heaven. There is also a sense in which a white robe is given to them in the eyes of men: those whose names have been cast out as evil have been honoured by a repentant posterity with the robe of tardy praise; after-generations garnish the sepulchres of the righteous whom their fathers slew. The excommunicated in one age are often the canonised of the next, for the dull world learns slowly, and its purest honours are posthumous. But however this may be, for the suffering saints there is the heavenly robe and the heavenly rest.

It was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow- servants also and their brethren, that should be killed (better, who are to be slain) as they were, should be fulfilled (or, shall have fulfilled their course).—They are to “rest.” This does not mean that they are to cease their cry for vengeance, for the saints have never cried for this; but they are to rest, as the souls of the faithful after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, in joy and felicity. But this rest is yet a waiting for a little while till fellow-servants and fellow-sufferers have achieved their work also. To every disciple a work is given in service and suffering, and till these have borne their witness and fulfilled their course (comp. 2 Timothy 4:7-8, and Acts 13:25) the departed must wait for their perfect consummation and bliss both in body and soul.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
white
3:4,5; 7:9,14
that they
14:13; Isaiah 26:20,21; Daniel 12:13
until
7:14; 13:15; 17:6; Matthew 10:21; 23:34,35; John 16:2; Hebrews 11:40
Reciprocal: Genesis 45:22 - each;  Psalm 37:10 - yet;  Psalm 55:19 - hear;  Psalm 94:13 - until the pit;  Psalm 119:84 - when;  Isaiah 34:8 - GeneralIsaiah 40:2 - warfare;  Daniel 11:32 - shall be;  Micah 7:9 - until;  Luke 15:22 - the best;  1 Peter 5:9 - the same;  Revelation 4:4 - clothed;  Revelation 11:18 - and the time;  Revelation 16:6 - they have;  Revelation 17:17 - until

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-6.html.

Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation

The Recompense of Martyrdom.

Revelation 6:10-11.

The chief symbols in this chapter are horses—expressing the external, visible human (or earthly) agencies employed in the scenes and events predicted. Here it is not angelic forces that are at work, but human. In like manner, it is not angels who open the seals, but he Lamb. Angels blow the trumpets, and pour out the vials; but everything relating to the seals belongs directly to the Lamb—the Lion of the tribe of Judah. This chapter, then, is peculiarly connected with Him; it begins with His opening of the seals, and it ends with His infliction of wrath. The Son of God has much to do with earth and its nations, even though seated at the Father"s right hand. "His eyes behold the nations—let not the rebellious exalt themselves" (Psalms 66:7). He is Judge and King of earth; the holder of the golden scepter, and the wielder of the iron rod.

We speak of "Providence" when we should speak of Christ. As He walks among the seven golden candlesticks, so does He go to and fro among the thrones of earth; for the kings of the earth are as responsible to Him for service in their appointed spheres as are the ministers of the churches. Because this is the day of the fourth Gentile empire, the dispensation of election and of the Church"s pilgrim state, therefore some strangely conclude that the responsibility of kings and nations to serve the Son of God does not exist! As if, because Scripture foretells the persecution of the Church, therefore kings do not sin in persecuting her, but rather fulfill God"s will! As if, because the church"s state in this dispensation is that of being trodden down, therefore it is the duty and vocation of earthly rulers to tread her down! "We will not have this man to reign over us" is the wild shout of earth"s nations and kings; for they know that He claims supremacy, and that supremacy they hate. Christ"s supremacy in the State is as true and real a thing as His supremacy in the Church. The full development of that supremacy over kingdoms man resents and resists; and many Christians seem to think it a carnal doctrine, unworthy of men who believe in the church"s heavenly calling. Yet is the full development of that supremacy that is to make earth a holy, peaceful, glorious kingdom; and it is for that development that we pray, "Your kingdom come."

This, no doubt, is the day of the Church"s tribulation and persecution. Hence we find in our text reference to the martyrs—their death and testimony. But in their death they testify to Christ as Prince of the kings of the earth, the avenger of their blood upon those rulers that had slain them. Their "souls"—even when separate from the body—are seen under the altar, as if all gathered there, as one by one they passed from the fire, or the sword, or the torture. The place of "martyr gathering", is the altar of God. The place of ashes and of blood, is the place where they lay.

I. The martyr cry.It is the widow"s cry, "Avenge me of my adversary." It is the cry which we so often find in the Old Testament (especially the Psalms), and because of which some Christians have harshly concluded that the old saints were much more imperfect than we, and had a lower standard of morality and spirituality; forgetful that the Psalms objected to, are the words of the Son of God Himself; forgetful also of such a passage as that of our text, containing the feeling, not only of New Testament saints, but of the "spirits of the just made perfect." The arguments used by some in arguing against "the revengefulness of the Old Testament saints," are such as would, if true, condemn the verdict of the Judge, "Depart, you cursed ones," and make the doctrine of future punishments inconsistent with Christianity—a relic of patriarchal barbarism or Jewish bloodthirstiness.

They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" This has been that long and bitter cry of the ages—not loud, indeed, but deep; the cry of the injured; the cry, not of mere personal feeling, but of righteousness trampled on, and all holy government subverted by the slaughter of the saints. It may seem "narrow," or worse than "narrow"—it may be called "bigotry," or worse than bigotry—to sympathize with such sentiments; but there the words stand. Let modern sentimentalists tell us what they mean, or else boldly proclaim them false and cruel. The day is at hand when such sentimentalism shall be valued at what it is worth, and the great truths of a righteous law, and a righteous scepter, and a righteous Judge,and a righteous recompense,shall be acknowledged as at once the basis and the cornerstone of a happy universe.

II. The martyr HONOR."White robes were given them." Each of these martyrs, as they passed from the persecution of earth, entered the holy presence with the cry, "How long?" and as the immediate answer to this, and the pledge of yet brighter things, white robes were given. White robes—the pledge of triumph and splendor—the pledge of eternal joy and song—the pledge of the festal and bridal day. What a contrast to the poverty of their clothing here, as they came out of prison—to the bloodstains and filth upon their earthly apparel! White robes! This is God"s immediate response to the beloved and honored band. They cry, "How long?" and He speaks to His angels, saying, "Bring forth the best robe and put it on them." Such is the martyr honor and blessedness even now!

III. The martyr REST.They get immediate rest as well as honor. The apostle Paul says, "And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted." (2 Thessalonians 1:7). The fullnessof the rest, (Hebrews 4:9) is in reserve for the Lord"s revelation from heaven; but rest, meanwhile, is theirs. Rest, how sweet after the torture and toil of earth! It may be that there is peculiar rest for the martyr band; and yet there is rest for all who are the Lord"s, even though they may not have passed to it through the flames. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth—Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them" (Revelation 14:13). They sleep in Jesus; not the sleep of unconsciousness or death, but the sleep of blessedness—the "sleep of the beloved"—the "rest" of paradise—with Him who has "rested" from His toils and sufferings, and who bids them come and share His rest.

IV. The martyr HOPE.It is not expressly mentioned here. It is something which shall be given when the whole band is gathered—the whole martyr-band from the beginning. The seven epistles reveal that hope; and the three closing chapters of this book unfold it more fully. It is the hope of the first resurrection; of reigning with Christ; of entry into the celestial city; of the crown of life; of the inheritance of all things!

Prospects like these sustain, and comfort, and purify. We are to look into the future, that we may realize the details of this hope, as God has made them known. We may not be called to martyrdom; but we are all called to labor and suffering, to self-denial and self-sacrifice. The bright future of the Church, both between death and resurrection and after resurrection, throughout the everlasting ages, is meant to impact upon us here. With such a future, can we be worldly, or pleasure loving, or self-pleasing? Shall we live here—unworthy of our hope, unworthy of our place hereafter in the kingdom? Shall we turn aside from the path which the Master trod? Or shall we shrink from the crown of thorns—even if there were to be no crown of glory? Shall not the love of Christ constrain us to serve, at whatever cost, Him who bought us with His blood, and who has bought for us such a glory as that which shall so soon be ours?

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Bonar, Horatius. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bch/revelation-6.html.

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

Before replying to their cry with the explanation of the stituation, they were given present consolation in the form of white robes. That indicated their standing of favor with God for Revelation 3:4 shows white as a symbol of worthiness in His sight. It was then told them that they would be avenged after a while, namely, when some of their brethren should be killed. As they were means they would be killed "for" (because of) the word of God. This was fulfilled as reported in Revelation 20:4 which will be commented upon when we come to that passage.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-6.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 6:11

Revelation 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

By

white robes,

we may understand, first, those garments of salvation, and robe of Christ's righteousness. { Isaiah 61:10} Secondly, the bride's attire, white clean (without spot, Song of Solomon 4:7), which is the righteousness of the saints. { Revelation 19:8} Thirdly the martyrs integrity and innocency in all their sufferings: having washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. { Revelation 7:14}

And it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season;

that Isaiah, their bodies shall rest from all their labors, troubles, sorrows, and sufferings (as before said). { Revelation 14:13} There remains a rest unto the people of God, { Hebrews 4:11} and a spiritual rest in heaven to eternity.

For a little season;

the martyrs of Jesus cry, How long Lord? the answer Isaiah,

For a little season,

but a short time;

until their follow-servant's also, and their brethren,

that Isaiah, other ministers and members of Christ, His mystical body, their companions; { Revelation 1:9} SEE KNOLLYS: Revelation 1:9 and { Hebrews 10:33}

That should be killed, as they were, should be fulfilled;

to be killed, as they were; that is martyred and murdered; should be fulfilled; that is accomplished and finished. This set time was appointed of God, first, because of the work of persecution was not yet over. Secondly, because the sin of the persecutors was not yet full. Thirdly, because the time proposed and decreed of God was not yet come.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-6.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.White robes—Best reading, A white robe was given to them each. “The white robe in this book,” says Alford, “is the vestment of acknowledged and glorified righteousness in which the saints reign with Christ. Compare Revelation 3:4; Revelation 17:13.” Note Revelation 3:4. Neither this condition of the saints beneath the altar, nor this now first given robe, is so literal that we may suppose such humiliation and re-dressing to be actually undergone by glorified saints. Both the humiliation and re-dressing are symbol in action; the robes being really not bestowed until the disembodied saint first enters paradise.

It was said unto them—By divine authority, but by unknown speakers. Note on Revelation 1:10.

Should rest— Should wait in repose and full assurance of ultimate justice.

For a little season—As reckoned by God’s chronology. Note 2 Peter 3:10.

Fellow servants—The entire body of the elect.

Brethren’ killed—The glorious army of martyrs.

Be fulfilled—Rather, should fulfil, that is, their career; and all gather in at the final glorious resurrection.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-6.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 6:11. The white robe assigned each (Blass, § 32, 4) of these martyr-spirits as a pledge of future and final glory (Revelation 7:9) and a consoling proof that no judgment awaited them (Revelation 20:4-6), is a favourite gift in the Jewish heaven (cf. Enoch lxii. 15 f., and Asc. Isa. ix. 24 f.). The intermediate state was a much debated question in apocalyptic literature, and early Christian thought fluctuates between the idea of a provisional degree of bliss (as here and, e.g., Clem. Rom. i. 3, “those who by God’s grace have been perfected in love possess the place of the pious, and they shall be manifested at the visitation of God’s kingdom”) and a direct, full entrance into heavenly privileges—especially, though neither uniformly nor exclusively, reserved for martyrs (Clem. Rom. v, Polyk. ad Phil. ix. 2, Hebrews 12:23, etc.); cf. Titius, 44–46. A cognate idea is reproduced in Asc. Isaiah 9:6 f., where in the seventh heaven Abel, Enoch and the Jewish saints appear all clothed “in the garments of the upper world” (i.e., in their resurrection-bodies) but not yet in full possession of their privileges, not yet seated on their thrones or wearing their crowns of glory. These are not theirs, till Christ descends to earth and ascends to heaven again.—“And they were told to rest (or wait quietly) for a little while yet,” as they had been doing till the successive shocks of providence stirred them to an outburst of eager and reproachful anticipation. To rest implies to cease crying for vengeance (cf.Revelation 4:8). Gfrörer (2:50) cites a rabbinic tradition that the messiah would not come until all souls in (an intermediate resting-place of the departed?) were clothed with bodies. . . ., this is closely and curiously reproduced, not so much from ideas preserved in the contemporary Apoc. Bar. xxiii. 4, 5 (where the end of the world comes when the predestined number of human beings is completed) as from the religious tradition also used in Clem. Rom. ii, lix, Justin (Apol. 1:45), and the contemporary 4th Esdras (4:36 f., quoniam in statera ponderauit saecula et mensura mensurauit tempora et non commouit nec excitauit, usquedum impleatur praedicta mensura ’ quando impletus fuerit numerus similium uobis) which thinks not of mankind but of the righteous (cf. Apoc. Bar. xxx. 2, and Hebrews 11:40). The atmosphere of this belief goes back to the first century B.C., as in Enoch (xlvii, cf. 9:22.) “and the hearts of the holy were filled with joy that the number of righteousness had drawn nigh, and the prayer of the righteous was heard, and the blood of the righteous required, before the Lord of Spirits” (cf. below, ch. Revelation 11:15 f.). The thought is repeated in Ep. Lugd. from this passage (“day by day those who were worthy were seized, filling up their number, so that all the zealous people and those through whom our affairs here had been especially established, were collected out of both churches”). It had been already developed otherwise in 4th Esdras 4:35 f., where the seer’s impatience for the end is rebuked and God’s greater eagerness asserted. “Did not the souls of the righteous question thus in their chambers, saying, ‘How long are we still to stay here? et quando ueniet fructus areae mercedis nostrae?’ And the archangel Jeremiel answered them and said, ‘When the number of your fellows is complete’.” Substituting martyrs for the righteous, the author of our Apocalypse has exploited the idea thus familiar to him as a devout Jew; his first four visions come mainly through Zechariah; for the next he adapts this later post-exilic notion. The Neronic victims and their fellows occupied in his mind the place filled by the early Jewish saints in the reverent regard of contemporary Jews. As Renan notices (317 f.), this thirst for vengeance was in the air after Nero’s death, shared even by Romans; one legend (Suet. Nero, xlviii., Dio Cass. lxiii. 28) told how, as Nero fled to his last retreat, during a thunderpeal the souls of his victims burst from the earth and flung themselves upon him.—As the safety of the physical universe rested on the safety of the righteous, according to the Jewish notion, so any massacres of the latter at once affected the stability of the world. Hence the sequence of Revelation 6:11-12 f. There is no hint that these physical aberrations were temporary. Yet the following catastrophes (7 f.) plainly presuppose a universe in its original and normal condition. It depends upon the theory adopted of the book whether this points merely to such discrepancies as are not unfamiliar in literature (especially imaginative literature), or to recapitulation, or to the presence of different sources.

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-6.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

11. They were told to rest. A white, flowing robe is given to each of them (symbolic of being free from guilt, of being holy, and of great happiness). God hears their prayers, but his purpose is not yet fulfilled. God knows the exact number of martyrs to his cause, and not until this many are sacrificed to him, will our world come to an end.

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 6:11". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-6.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.