Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 6:17

for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Anger;   Despondency;   Escape;   God Continued...;   Jesus Continued;   Judgment;   Judgments;   Wicked (People);   Scofield Reference Index - Remnant;   Thompson Chain Reference - Day;   Great;   Self-Justification;   Self-Justification-Self-Condemnation;   Stand? Who Can;   Who Can Stand?;   The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Earthquakes;   Seals;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anger of God, the;   Fear, Unholy;   Judgment, the;   Riches;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Day of the lord;   Judgment;   Wrath;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Anger;   Apocalyptic;   Darkness;   Judgment, Day of;   Wrath of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beast;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Anger;   Atonement (2);   Day;   Day and Night;   Day of Judgment;   Eschatology;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ascension;   Day of the Lord (Yahweh);   Revelation of John:;   Wrath (Anger);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Anger;  
Devotionals:
Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for December 30;   Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for June 27;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

For the great day of his wrath - The decisive and manifest time in which he will execute judgment on the oppressors of his people.

Who shall be able to stand? - No might can prevail against the might of God. All these things may literally apply to the final destruction of Jerusalem, and to the revolution which took place in the Roman empire under Constantine the Great. Some apply them to the day of judgment; but they do not seem to have that awful event in view. These two events were the greatest that have ever taken place in the world, from the flood to the eighteenth century of the Christian era; and may well justify the strong figurative language used above.

Through I do not pretend to say that my remarks on this chapter point out its true signification, yet I find others have applied it in the same way. Dr. Dodd observes that the fall of Babylon, Idumea, Judah, Egypt, and Jerusalem, has been described by the prophets in language equally pompous, figurative, and strong. See Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 34:4, concerning Babylon and Idumea; Jeremiah 4:23, Jeremiah 4:24, concerning Judah; Ezekiel 32:7, concerning Egypt; Joel 2:10, Joel 2:31, concerning Jerusalem; and our Lord himself, Matthew 24:29, concerning the same city. "Now," says he, "it is certain that the fall of any of these cities or kingdoms was not of greater concern or consequence to the world, nor more deserving to be described in pompous figures, than the fall of the pagan Roman empire, when the great lights of the heathen world, the sun, moon, and stars, the powers civil and ecclesiastical, were all eclipsed and obscured, the heathen emperors and Caesars were slain, the heathen priests and augurs were extirpated, the heathen officers and magistrates were removed, the temples were demolished, and their revenues were devoted to better uses. It is customary with the prophets, after they have described a thing in the most symbolical and figurative manner, to represent the same again in plainer language; and the same method is observed here, Revelation 6:15-17; : And the kings of the earth, etc. That is, Maximin, Galerius, Maxentius, Licinius, etc., with all their adherents and followers, were so routed and dispersed that they hid themselves in dens, etc.; expressions used to denote the utmost terror and confusion. This is, therefore, a triumph of Christ over his heathen enemies, and a triumph after a severe persecution; so that the time and all the circumstances, as well as the series and order of the prophecy, agree perfectly with this interpretation. Galerius, Maximin, and Licinius, made even a public confession of their guilt, recalled their decrees and edicts against the Christians, and acknowledged the just judgments of God and of Christ in their own destruction." See Newton, Lowman, etc., and Dr. Dodd on this chapter, with the works of several more recent authors.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-6.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the great day of his wrath is come,.... The Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions read, "of their wrath"; both of him that sits upon the throne, and of the Lamb, against the Heathen gods and Heathen persecutors, in answer to the cry of the martyrs in Revelation 6:9.

And who shall be able to stand? against either of them, or in their presence, and so as to bear their wrath and displeasure; all which expresses guilt, shame, fear, and despair.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-6.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Literally, “the day, the great (day),” which can only mean the last great day. After the Lord has exhausted all His ordinary judgments, the sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts, and still sinners are impenitent, the great day of the Lord itself‘ shall come. Matthew 24:6-29 plainly forms a perfect parallelism to the six seals, not only in the events, but also in the order of their occurrence: Matthew 24:3, the first seal; Matthew 24:6, the second seal; Matthew 24:7, the third seal; Matthew 24:7, end, the fourth seal; Matthew 24:9, the fifth seal, the persecutions and abounding iniquity under which, as well as consequent judgments accompanied with gospel preaching to all nations as a witness, are particularly detailed, Matthew 24:9-28; Matthew 24:29, the sixth seal.

to stand — to stand justified, and not condemned before the Judge. Thus the sixth seal brings us to the verge of the Lord‘s coming. The ungodly “tribes of the earth” tremble at the signs of His immediate approach. But before He actually inflicts the blow in person, “the elect” must be “gathered” out.

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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 6:17". "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

The great day (η ημερα η μεγαληhē hēmera hē megalē). The phrase occurs in the O.T. prophets (Joel 2:11, Joel 2:31; Zephaniah 1:14. Cf. Judges 1:6) and is here combined with “of their wrath” (της οργης αυτωνtēs orgēs autōn) as in Zephaniah 1:15, Zephaniah 1:18; Zephaniah 2:3; Romans 2:5. “Their” (αυτωνautōn) means the wrath of God and of the Lamb put here on an equality as in Revelation 1:17., Revelation 22:3, Revelation 22:13; 1 Thessalonians 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:16. Beckwith holds that this language about the great day having come “is the mistaken cry of men in terror caused by the portents which are bursting upon them.” There is something, to be sure, to be said for this view which denies that John commits himself to the position that this is the end of the ages.

And who is able to stand? (και τις δυναται στατηναιkai tis dunatai stathēnai̇). Very much like the words in Nahum 1:6; Malachi 3:2. First aorist passive infinitive of ιστημιhistēmi It is a rhetorical question, apparently by the frightened crowds of Revelation 6:15. Swete observes that the only possible answer to that cry is the command of Jesus in Luke 21:36: “Keep awake on every occasion, praying that ye may get strength to stand (στατηναιstathēnai the very form) before the Son of Man.”

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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 6:17". "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

The great day ( ἡ ἡμέρα ἡ μεγάλη )

Lit., the day, the great (day ). For the construction, see on 1 John 4:9.

Is come ( ἦλθεν )

Lit., came.

Shall be able to stand ( δύναται σταθῆναι )

Rev., rightly, is able. Compare Nahum 1:6; Malachi 3:2.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "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.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The great day of his wrath. This and other expressions indicate strongly that the vision arising under this seal was meant to prefigure the great final retribution, when the enemies of God should be overwhelmed with a most awful destruction, from which his friends, as particularly indicated in the Revelation 7:1-17, should be protected and saved, in the most marked and solemn manner. Many commentators have, however, applied this description to judgments and retributions of a minor character.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-6.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Ver. 17. Who shall be able to stand] They could not stand before their own misgiving hearts and soul condemning consciences; how much less before God that was greater than their hearts! God sent his hornet, which drove out these Canaanites, Exodus 23:28. Facti sunt a corde suo fugitivi, They were made by their heart a fugitive, as Tertullian hath it.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-6.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Ver. 17. τίς, who) They who are freed from wrath to come, having fellowship with the Lamb.—V. g. ABCh Vulg. support ὅλη: Rec. Text omits it.—E.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". 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

For this judgment that is upon us, is the effect of his wrath for our abusing and persecuting his members; and we, with all our courage, might, and power, are not able to abide his wrath. These words import, that in this great change, as the greatest persons should be at a loss what to do, so they should perish under a conviction that the great vengeance of God was come upon them for their opposing the gospel, and provoking Christ by persecuting of his members.

There are other more particular explications of the sun, moon, stars, heavens, & c., but they all centre in this general, that here is prophesied a great and universal change of the religion of the world, which should strike a great terror into the pagan rulers, and issue in the overturning of all their altars and temples, and the ruin of the great men, relating either to their civil or ecclesiastical state; and that they at last should know that, God was God, and that these judgments came upon them for their opposition to Christ. And (which addeth strength to this interpretation) Mr. Durham hath observed, that no so short period of time hath produced so many remarkable judgments, and extorted so many ingenuous confessions from enemies, that what came upon them was for their persecutions; and a catalogue of which may be found in Mr. Mede, and in Mr. Durham. Mr. Mede reckoneth Galerius, Maximinus, and Licinius. Galerius was eaten up of worms, being before he died sensible of his guilt, ceasing from his persecution, and begging the Christians’ prayers. Maximinus, another Roman emperor, (or partner in the empire with the former), being beaten by Licinius, fled to Tarsus, and there fell upon his pagan priests, who had deceived him by their lying oracles, and made a decree for the Christians’ liberty; but God would not suffer so bloodly a wretch to die after the ordinary death of man; he died miserably through intolerable pain, his eyes dropping out of his head. Licinius was a Christian, and joined a while with Constantine, but apostatized, was overcome in two battles, taken, and by him put to death. All these three were within the space of eighteen years. Mr. Durham to these adds the instances of Dioclesian and Maximinian, little above twenty years before, in the heat of their persecution making a stop, and through a horror of conscience laying down their imperial dignity; and Maxentius, drowned in the river Tiber; and he says Licinius, before mentioned, before he died, revenged himself upon his idolatrous priests that had persuaded him to forsake Constantine’s God. The change was so great in the empire, upon Constantine the Great’s coming to the throne, by the death of some great persons, turning others out of place, destroying the whole frame and practice of the pagans’ religion, that it might well be expressed by earthquakes, the sun turning black, the moon as blood, the stars falling from heaven to earth, the heavens departing like a scroll, and the removal of islands and mountains, and by the consternation it would bring all the pagan great men into, &c. And this time, which was a period of about twenty-five or twenty-seven years, is thought to be understood to be the time predicted upon the opening of the sixth seal. Thus we see the dragon’s reign at an end in about three hundred and eleven or three hundred and twenty-five years after Christ; the empire, as pagan, persecuting the church of Christ, and following it with ten successive persecutions, quite overturned, and a Christian emperor, Constantine the Great, ruling it. But we must understand these great things were not perfected in a few months; some relics of paganism remained; for though Constantine shut up the pagan temples, yet all the idols in them were not destroyed until the time of Theodosius, who began to rule in the empire Anno 379, and reigned sixteen years. Between Constantine and him were Constantius and Constans, Julian the Apostate, and Jovianus, Valentinianus, Valens, and Gratian; during some of whose reigns (Julian’s especially) the Christians suffered much both from pagans and Arians, so that the Christians had not a full and perfect quiet till after the year 390.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". 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

великий день Шестая печать откроет то, что пророки называют «день Господень». См. во Введении к книге пророка Иоиля Исторические и теологические темы.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-6.html.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

Methinks I would wait in silent humble adoration, while my God and Savior opens the seals one by one, to make known to his Church the mysteries of his kingdom. And while I hear the voice of invitation, come and see! oh! for the Lord that calls to give grace also to hear, that I may understand those prophecies of our God.

Precious Lord Jesus! IS it not thou that I behold, going forth on the white horse crowned with victory, conquering, and to conquer? And do I not hear thee say, and my soul makes her cheerful responses to the same; As for those that will not I should reign over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me! Yes, Lord, the red horse of blood, and the black horse of famine, and the pale horse or death, with hell in the rear, are suitable to follow in the execution of thy judgments.

I bless my God for unfolding to his Church, the precious view of the souls under the Altar, beseeching the Lord, to avenge their blood on their enemies. May I learn many a sweet lesson here from! And when at any time, I am impatient under exercises, waiting for answers to prayer, here may I look up and learn, how to explain all seeming difficulties. If Jesus deferred the answer to them, how shall I complain? I here discover, that delay is not denial. There is a set time to favor Zion. And learn, O my soul, a sweeter lesson still. Abel's blood called for vengeance. The martyrs of my God plead to be avenged. But Jesus's blood for mercy. Oh what a thought to comfort a poor sinner!

Lord! what an awful account this Chapter closeth with, of those apostates under the sixth seal, and every other who deny Christ's Godhead, and cause even sun, moon, and stars to blush at their foul ingratitude. Surely their judgment is just. For to whom can they look for salvation, while they deny his power who alone can save. Think then my soul of thy safety and happiness, in having Christ for thy portion! Precious Lord Jesus, say to my soul, fear not, I am thy salvation!

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/revelation-6.html. 1828.

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

8. For the great day of his wrath is come and who shall be able to stand--6:17.

As the previous verse is a direct quotation from Hosea, this last verse of the sixth seal is an allusion, if not a quotation, of Nahum 1:5-6 : "The mountains quake at him, the earth burned at his presence . . . who can stand before his indignation? Who can abide his fierce anger? His fury is poured out . . . the rocks are thrown down by him."

The Revelation passages are connected by quotation and the meaning is evident. The appeal of the great and mighty was for covert from the face of Him that sat on the throne and from the Lamb who was in the midst of the throne, which means that both God and Christ joined in the events of visitation in this pageant of retributive judgment on the nations. It places the passage where it belongs, not to the final judgment nor to a future procession of events, but to the period of the struggle and triumph of the early church with and over the Jewish and Roman persecutors of the apostolic and post-apostolic period.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-6.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This "great day of their wrath" is the Tribulation, Daniel"s seventieth week (cf. Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1; Joel 2:2; Matthew 24:21). These people will not turn to God in repentance but from Him in terror (cf. Isaiah 2:19; Isaiah 2:21; Hosea 10:8; Luke 23:30). By the end of the sixth seal judgment, they will know that what they are experiencing is the outpouring of His wrath. This is the first part of the judgment phase of the day of the Lord (cf. Joel 2:11; Joel 2:30-31; Isaiah 2:10-11; Isaiah 2:19-21; Isaiah 13:8-13; Isaiah 26:17-19; Isaiah 34:4; Isaiah 34:8; Isaiah 66:7-9; Jeremiah 30:6-8; Ezekiel 32:7-8; Hosea 10:8; Micah 4:9-10; Matthew 24:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:3). The day of the Lord includes Daniel"s seventieth week (seven years) of judgment, Christ"s return to the earth, and His1,000 year reign on the earth. Some have sought to limit the day of the Lord to Armageddon only. [Note: E.g, Gundry, pp91-92.] But this view fails to take all the day of the Lord data in Scripture into account.

The Tribulation will be a distinct judgment of God unique from other times of distress that the earth has ever experienced ( Jeremiah 30:7). It will be worldwide and severe. Furthermore everyone will not only know that it is a divine judgment, but they will act like it by seeking death to hide from God, not just from these calamities. The judgments of the sixth seal appear to be a foreshadowing of the similar but even greater judgments that will come at the end of the Tribulation, just before Jesus Christ returns to the earth (cf. Revelation 16:17-21; Matthew 24:21).

"The cosmic disturbances immediately before the beginning of the Joel 3Day of the Lord and the Second Coming of Christ immediately after the Great Tribulation are not the same as those of the sixth seal. The cosmic disturbances immediately before the beginning of the Joel 3Day of the Lord and the Second Coming of Christ will occur at the end of the70th week, but those of the sixth seal will occur and end considerably before then." [Note: Showers, p70.]

Other cosmic disturbances appear in the Great Tribulation before the one described in Joel 3occurs, namely, those associated with the fourth and fifth trumpets and the sixth bowl ( Revelation 8:12; Revelation 9:1-11; Revelation 16:12-16). Joel 3does not refer to a cosmic disturbance before the Tribulation begins.

Postmillennialists and amillennialists interpret the revelation of tribulation in chapters6-18 as a symbolic description of various troubles that have come and will come on believers before Jesus Christ"s second coming. [Note: See David Chilton, Paradise Restored: A Biblical Theology of Dominion; idem,The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation; and David S. Clark, The Message from Patmos: A Postmillennial Commentary on the Book of Revelation, for postmillennial views. William Hendriksen, More Than Conquerors, is one of the most carefully argued amillennial commentaries, as is Beale"s. Hailey is also clear, while Herman Hoeksema"s Behold, He Cometh! is comprehensive.] They do not believe the Tribulation will be a specific seven-year period of the unique outpouring of God"s wrath yet future.

Posttribulationists believe the church will be on earth during the Tribulation. Among premillennialists there are pretribulationists (those who believe that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation) and posttribulationists (those who believe that the Rapture will occur at the end of the Tribulation, immediately before or concurrent with the Second Coming). Gundry, a posttribulationist, held that sufferings Christians experience during the Tribulation will not come as a result of God"s penal judgments but will be persecutions that arise "from other quarters." [Note: Gundry, p51.] He viewed the martyrs of this period as Christians (believers living between the day of Pentecost and the Rapture) rather than as tribulation saints.

Marvin Rosenthal argued, correctly I believe, that the first four seals describe what Jesus called "the beginning of sorrows" ( Matthew 24:8). [Note: Marvin Rosenthal, The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church. See Robert Van Kampen, The Sign, for a similar view.] He equated this period with the first half of Daniel"s seventieth week (i.e, three and one-half years, or42months). However, he wrote, incorrectly I believe, that the fifth and sixth seals picture "the Great Tribulation" ( Matthew 24:21), which he limited to the following21months, not the whole second half of Daniel"s seventieth week. He further argued, also incorrectly, that the seventh seal begins "the day of the Lord" ( Joel 2:1-2), which will only be the final quarter of Daniel"s seventieth week, namely, the remaining21months. He placed the Rapture at the beginning of the day of the Lord, which he believed would be the only period of wrath poured out. Thus since the Rapture will occur before it, according to his scheme, we can expect a "Pre-wrath Rapture." [Note: For refutations of Rosenthal"s view, see Paul S. Karleen, The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church-Is it Biblical?; Gerald B. Stanton, "A Review of The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church," Bibliotheca Sacra148:589 (January-March1991):90-111; John A. McLean, "Another Look at Rosenthal"s "Pre-Wrath Rapture"," Bibliotheca Sacra148:592 (October-December1991):387-98; and Renald E. Showers, The Pre-Wrath Rapture View: An Examination and Critique.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-6.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

great day All preceding judgments lead up to this. See Joel 2:11, Joel 2:31. Zephaniah 1:14. Compare Jude 1:6.

who, &c. This solemn question now to be answered by the sealing of 144,000 specially protected and blessed ones.

shall be = is.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "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

For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? 'The day, the great (day).' After the Lord has exhausted all His ordinary judgments-the sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts, and still sinners are impenitent-the last great day of the Lord itself shall come. Matthew 24:1-51 (note, Revelation 6:12, above) forms a perfect parallelism to the six seals, not only in the events, but the order: Revelation 6:3, the first seal; Revelation 6:6, the second; Revelation 6:7, the third; Revelation 6:8, end, the fourth; Revelation 6:9, the fifth; the persecutions, abounding iniquity, and consequent judgments, accompanied with Gospel-preaching to all nations as a "testimony," are detailed Revelation 6:9-17; Rev. 6:29, the sixth.

To stand - justified, not condemned, before the Judge. Thus the sixth seal brings us close to the Lord's coming. The ungodly 'tribes of the earth' tremble at the signs of His immediate approach. Before He actually inflicts the blow, "the elect" must be 'gathered' out.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "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

(17) Who shall be (or, is) able to stand?—The thought is derived from Malachi 3:2, which spoke of a coming of the Lord. Every advent of Christ is the advent of One whose fan is in His hand, and who will thoroughly purge His floor. Whether it be His advent in the flesh, He tested men; or whether one of His advents in Providence—such as the fall of Jerusalem, the overthrow of Pagan Rome, the convulsions of the Reformation and Revolution epochs of history—He still tests men whether they are able to abide in faith and love the day of His coming; and much more, then, in the closing personal advent, when these visions will receive their fullest illustration, will He try men. “Who is able to stand?” It is the question of questions. Christ’s answer is: “Apart from Me ye can do nothing.” “Let your loins be girt about and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like to men that wait for their Lord’s coming.” And parallel is St. Paul’s advice: “Wherefore take unto you, (not the weapons on which men rely, but) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.” This anxiety that his converts should be ready for the day of testing is continually appearing in his Epistles. Comp, the recurrence of “the day of Christ” in Philippians 1:6; Philippians 1:10, and the Apostle’s wish that the Philippians might be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; and St. John’s desire that Christians should not “be ashamed before Him at His coming,” and “may have boldness in the day of judgment” (1 John 2:28; 1 John 4:17). “Who is able to stand?” The question is answered in the next chapter. They shall stand who are sealed with the seal of the living God.

The sixth seal does not give us a completed picture. We see the great and awe-inspiring movements which are heralds of the day of wrath. The whole world is stirred and startled at the tread of the approaching Christ, and then the vision melts away; we see no more, but we have seen enough to be sure that the close of the age is at hand. Yet we are anxious to know something of those who have been faithful, pure, and chivalrous witnesses for truth and right, for Christ and God. In that day, that awful day, the whole population of the world seems to be smitten with dismay; the trees, shaken with that terrible tempest, seem to be shedding all their fruit; the trembling of all created things seems to be about to shake down every building. Are all to go? Are none strong enough to survive? We heard that there were seven seals attached to the mystic book which the Lion of the tribe of Judah was opening; but this sixth seal presents us with the picture of universal desolation; what is there left for the seventh seal to tell us? The answer to these questions is given in the seventh chapter, which introduces scenes which may either be taken as dissolving views, presented in the course of the sixth seal, or as complementary visions. And those scenes show us in pictorial form that the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation: that in the midst of the time of the shaking of all things, when all might, majesty, strength, and genius of men is laid low, and every mere earth-born kingdom is overthrown, there is a kingdom which cannot be shaken. The germ of life was indestructible, and ready to break forth in fruit again: an ark, which sheltered all that was good, moved ever secure over the desolating floods:—

“I looked: aside the dust-cloud rolled,

The waster seemed the builder too;

Upspringing from the ruined old

I saw the new.


“’Twas but the ruin of the bad—

The wasting of the wrong and ill;

Whate’er of good the old time had

Was living still.”

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
the great
11:18; 16:14; Isaiah 13:6-22; Jeremiah 30:7; Joel 2:31; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Romans 2:5; Jude 1:6
who
Psalms 76:7; 130:3,4; Joel 2:11; Malachi 3:2 Reciprocal: Exodus 11:6 - GeneralJoshua 2:24 - all the inhabitants;  2 Kings 22:13 - great;  Esther 1:12 - was the king;  Job 21:30 - day;  Job 24:17 - in the terrors;  Psalm 2:12 - when;  Psalm 21:9 - in his;  Psalm 45:4 - right;  Psalm 47:2 - is terrible;  Psalm 50:22 - I tear;  Psalm 68:2 - as wax;  Psalm 68:35 - terrible;  Psalm 88:7 - Thy wrath;  Psalm 88:16 - fierce;  Psalm 90:11 - GeneralIsaiah 22:5 - crying;  Jeremiah 11:11 - which;  Jeremiah 49:19 - that shepherd;  Ezekiel 13:5 - the day;  Ezekiel 25:14 - and they shall know;  Ezekiel 30:3 - the day is;  Joel 1:15 - the day of;  Nahum 1:6 - can stand;  Zephaniah 1:15 - is;  Zechariah 14:5 - the Lord;  Malachi 4:5 - great;  Matthew 3:7 - flee;  John 3:36 - but;  Romans 4:15 - Because;  Romans 9:22 - willing;  Ephesians 6:13 - to stand;  2 Thessalonians 1:8 - taking;  Hebrews 2:3 - How;  Revelation 7:1 - after

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-6.html.

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

Great day of his wrath does not refer to the last great day of judgment, for the book is not that far along in the world drama. It is the day in which these overbearing men in high places in the pagan government of Rome, came to realize the effects that the religion of Christ was bringing as a punishment upon them.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". 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 6:17

Revelation 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

This great day of God, and the Lamb's wrath, was at last acknowledged and confessed by those persecutors. This dreadful dispensation of God's wrath happened in the days of the10th and last bloody persecution of the Christians, when Diocelsian was Emperior; as all historians testify.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-6.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17.The great day of his wrath—Can be no other than God’s day of judgment doom.

Who—Of the trembling profane world.

To stand—To meet the decision of the judge, without falling into the pit of the second death.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-6.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

17. The great day of their wrath is here. Chapter 6 closes with Judgment Day, but the seventh seal is not yet opened! God sends punishment on the world in our day [or at least allows it to come] because the wicked persecute his people. But God will not execute his complete vengeance, nor close the door of grace, until his Plan is fulfilled and Jesus returns to begin his work of Judgment (see Acts 17:31).

Judgment halted for the sealing of God’s people. 144,000 is symbolic of God’s people in both the Old and New Testaments.

 

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 6:17". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-6.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.