Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 7:2

And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Israel;   Symbols and Similitudes;   Vision;   Thompson Chain Reference - Living God;   The Topic Concordance - Seals;   Servants;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Emblems of the Holy Spirit, the;   Seals;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Day of the lord;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Revelation of John, the;   Ring;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Revelation, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Dayspring;   Elements ;   God;   Israel;   Living;   Name ;   Sea ;   Sin (2);   Tribes ;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Cry, Crying;   Dayspring;   Mark;   Revelation of John:;   Seal;   Sunrising;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The seal of the living God - This angel is represented as the chancellor of the supreme King, and as ascending from the east, απο ανατολης ἡλιου, from the rising of the sun. Some understand this of Christ, who is called ανατολη, the east, Luke 1:78.

Four angels, to whom it was given to hurt - Particular agents employed by Divine providence in the management of the affairs of the earth; but whether spiritual or material we know not.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-7.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And I saw another angel - Evidently having no connection with the four, and employed for another purpose. This angel, also, must have been symbolic; and all that is implied is, that something would be done as if an angel had done it.

Ascending from the east - He appeared in the east, and seemed to rise like the sun. It is not easy to determine what is the special significancy, if any, of the east here, or why this quarter of the heavens is designated rather than the north, the south, or the west. It may be that as light begins in the east, this would be properly symbolic of something that could be compared with the light of the morning; or that some influence in “sealing” the servants of God would in fact go out from the east; or perhaps no special significance is to be attached to the quarter from which the angel is seen to come. It is not necessary to suppose that every minute thing in a symbol is to receive a complete fulfillment, or that there will be some particular thing to correspond with it. Perhaps all that is meant here is, that as the sun comes forth with splendor from the east, so the angel came with magnificence to perform a task - that of sealing the servants of God - cheerful and joyous like what the sun performs. It is certain that from no other quarter of the heavens would it be so appropriate to represent an angel as coming forth to perform a purpose of light, and mercy, and salvation. It does not seem to me, therefore, that we are to look, in the fulfillment of this, for any special influence setting in from the east as what is symbolized here.

Having the seal of the living God - Bearing it in his hands. In regard to this seal the following remarks may be made:

(a) The phrase “seal of the living God” doubtless means what God had appointed, or which he would use; that is, if God himself came forth in this manner, he would use this seal for these purposes. People often have a seal of their own, with some name, symbol, or device, which designates it as theirs, and which no other one has a right to use. A seal is sometimes used by the person himself; sometimes entrusted to a high officer of state; sometimes to the secretary of a corporation; and sometimes, as a mark of special favor, to a friend. In this case it was entrusted to an angel, who was authorized to use it, and whose use of it would be sanctioned, of course, wherever he applied it, by the living God, as if he had employed it himself.

(b) As to the form of the seal, we have no information. It would be most natural to suppose that the name “of the living God” would be engraven on it, so that that name would appear on anyone to whom it might be affixed. Compare the notes on 2 Timothy 2:19. It was customary in the East to brand the name of the master on the forehead of a slave (Grotius, in loco); and such an idea would meet all that is implied in the language here, though there is no certain evidence that there is an allusion to that custom. In subsequent times, in the church, it was common for Christians to impress the sign of the cross on their foreheads (Tertullian de Corolla; Cyrill. lib. vi. See Grotius). As nothing is said here, however, about any mark or device on the seal, conjecture is useless as to what it was.

(c) As to what was to be designated by the seal, the main idea is clear, that it was to place some such mark upon his friends that they would be known to be his, and that they would be safe in the impending calamities, There is perhaps allusion here to Ezekiel 9:4-6, where the following direction to the prophet occurs: “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the people that sigh, and that cry, for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark.” The essential ideas in the sealing, in the passage before us, would therefore seem to be:

(1)that there would be some mark, sign, or token, by which they who were the people of God would be known; that is, there would be something which would answer, in this respect, the same purpose as if a seal had been impressed upon their foreheads. Whether this was an outward badge, or a religious rite, or the doctrines which they would hold and by which they would be known, or something in their spirit and manner which would characterize his true disciples, may be a fair subject of inquiry. It is not specifically designated by the use of the word.

(2)it would be something that would be conspicuous or prominent, as if it were impressed on the forehead. It would not be merely some internal sealing, or some designation by which they would be known to themselves and to God, but it would be something apparent, as if engraved on the forehead. What this would be, whether a profession, or a form of religion, or the holding of some doctrine, or the manifestation of a particular spirit, is not here designated.

(3)this would be something appointed by God himself. It would not be of human origin, but would be as if an angel sent from heaven should impress it on the forehead. If it refers to the doctrines which they would hold, they could not be doctrines of human origin; if to the spirit which they would manifest, it would be a spirit of heavenly origin; if to some outward protection, it would be manifest that it was from God.

(4)this would be a pledge of safety. The design of sealing the persons referred to seems to have been to secure their safety in the impending calamities. Thus, the winds were held back until those who were to be sealed could be designated, and then they were to be allowed to sweep over the earth. These things, therefore, we are to look for in the fulfillment of the symbol.

And he cried with a loud voice - As if he had authority to command, and as if the four winds were about to be let forth upon the world.

To whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea - Who had power committed to them to do this by means of the four winds.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-7.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I saw another angel ascend from the sunrising, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a great voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea.

Another angel ... from the sunrising ... The east is often mentioned in Revelation, and "from the sunrising" seems to mean "from that direction," the source of earth's light. Certainly, for one of God's messengers, it is more appropriate that he should come from the sunrising, than from the sunset. Who this mighty angel was we have no certain way of knowing. Beeson thought, "This refers to Christ's coming in the Holy Spirit to his apostles on Pentecost";[27] and despite Beeson's being correct in seeing the connection between the sealing and the giving of the Holy Spirit, it is not necessary to impose any specific identity upon this mighty angel. He stands in the vision as an executor of the will of God, the big thought of the passage relating not to his identity but to his great authority to control nature itself in order to prevent any frustration of God's plans to seal his servants.

Having the seal of the living God ... "Here we have an instance of words used both figuratively and literally in one passage."[28] Seal is figurative, and living God is literal. For what the seal is, see under (2) in the chapter heading, above. Of course, the angel did not carry the Holy Spirit, but the imagery is aided by the picture of his carrying God's seal.

Cried with a loud voice to the four angels ... This mighty angel clearly had more authority than the four; nevertheless, the four were angels and were already restraining the destructive forces when the mighty angel delivered his order. There is no New Testament criteria for identifying this mighty angel, unless he is understood as Michael the archangel; but there is no certainty of this. See in my Commentary on Jude, p. 534, for more on the archangel.

[27] Ulrich R. Beeson, The Revelation (Little Rock, Arkansas: Ulrich R. Beeson, 1956), p. 69.

[28] John T. Hinds, op. cit., p. 111.

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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 7:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-7.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I saw another angel,.... Not Constantine, who came from the eastern parts to the empire, with the true knowledge of God, and the authority of God to propagate it; and who repressed the four angels, or evil spirits, contention, ambition, heresy, and war, from doing the mischief they otherwise would; and sealed the saints, by giving them a platform of doctrine at the council of Nice, as Brightman and others think. But the uncreated angel, the angel of the covenant, the Lord Jesus Christ; for who but he should have the privy seal of heaven, who is the angel of the great council, as the Septuagint render Isaiah 9:6 and who could speak in such an authoritative manner to the four angels, "saying, hurt not the earth", &c. but he who is the head of all principality and power? and who should seal the servants of the Lord, but he who has them in his hands, and keeps them by his power, so that none of them shall perish? And to him agrees all that follows:

ascending from the east; from Judea, from Zion, from whence Christ, as the salvation, or Saviour of Israel, came, Psalm 14:7; and whose name is the east, as some render Zechariah 3:8; he is the dayspring from on high, the sun of righteousness, who rose from the east, the place of the rising sun, and brought light, life, and joy to his people, when he came to seal them. Compare with this Ezekiel 43:1.

Having the seal of the living God; having the impress of deity upon him, being the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image or character of his person; having a testimony, an authentic proof and demonstration of his being the Son of God, of his being the true and living God; as also a commission from God, as Mediator, being sealed by him; and having all power and authority from him, to seal and secure the people which were given unto him, and for which purpose he now came: to which may be added, that Christ has the Spirit, with his gifts and graces, without measure, by which the saints are sealed unto the day of redemption; and moreover has likewise the seal of the book of life, or of eternal election, in his hands; the elect are chosen in him, and the book of life, in which their names are written to eternal life, is in his keeping, and is therefore called the Lamb's book of life. The Jews speakF1Zohar in Exod. fol. 100. 1. of the east gate of one of the palaces they suppose above, which they say is shut all the six days, and on the sabbath day is opened, and the governor of this palace has two ministers, one on his right hand, and one on his left, and two seals in their hands, חו־תאם חיים, "the seal of life", and the seal of death, and all the books of the world, before them; an, some are sealed to life, and some to death, with which this passage may be compared. They speak also of an angel that presides at the eastern part of the heavens, who receives the prayers of the Israelites, whose name they call "Gazardia"F2Zohar in Exod. fol. 79. 2. , as this same angel is said to offer up the prayers of the saints, Revelation 8:3.

And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels; to show his power and authority over them, they being his creatures and ministers; and to express his great concern for his people, his care of them, and affection for them; and to signify the danger they were in through the calamities that were coming on, should they not be sealed:

to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea: they had a commission from God to let loose the winds, or to bring on wars, devastations, calamities, and plagues, of various sorts, upon the Roman empire, now Christian; and on the seat of the beast, not only on the continent, but upon the islands also, even upon all the nations, tongues, and people subject to the see of Rome.

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-7.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

3 And I saw 4 another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

(3) Now God provides against the danger of his elect, by his commandment (Revelation 7:2,3), and by sign or figure, both for those of the nation of the Jews and also for the Gentiles (Revelation 7:9). {(4)} Not only another, or differing number from the common angels of God, but also in essence, office and operation exceeding all angels: that is, Christ Jesus the eternal angel or Word of God, and mediator of the covenant, see (Revelation 8:3), (Revelation 10:1), (Revelation 10:5).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-7.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

from the eastGreek, “the rising of the sun.” The quarter from which God‘s glory oftenest manifests itself.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-7.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Ascend (αναβαινονταanabainonta). Present active participle of αναβαινωanabainō “ascending,” “going up,” picturing the process.

From the sun-rising (απο ανατολης ηλιουapo anatolēs hēliou). Same phrase in Revelation 16:12. From the east, though why is not told. Swete suggests it is because Palestine is east of Patmos. The plural απο ανατολωνapo anatolōn occurs in Matthew 2:1 without ηλιουhēliou (sun).

The seal of the living God (σπραγιδα τεου ζωντοςsphragida theou zōntos). Here the signet ring, like that used by an Oriental monarch, to give validity to the official documents. The use of ζωντοςzōntos with τεουtheou accents the eternal life of God (Revelation 1:18; Revelation 10:6; Revelation 15:7) as opposed to the ephemeral pagan gods.

To whom it was given (οις εδοτη αυτοιςhois edothē autois). For εδοτηedothē see Revelation 6:2, Revelation 6:4, etc. The repetition of αυτοιςautois in addition to οιςhois (both dative) is a redundant Hebraism (in vernacular Koiné to some extent) often in the Apocalypse (Revelation 3:8). The angels are here identified with the winds as the angels of the churches with the churches (Revelation 1:20).

To hurt (αδικησαιadikēsai). First aorist active infinitive of αδικεωadikeō subject of εδοτηedothē common use of αδικεωadikeō in this sense of to hurt in the Apocalypse (Revelation 2:11; Revelation 6:6 already), in Luke 10:19 also. The injury is to come by letting loose the winds, not by withholding them.

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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 7:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-7.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

East ( ἀνατολῆς ἡλίου )

Rev., more literally, the sunrising. See on Matthew 2:2; see on Luke 1:78. Compare Ezekiel 43:2.

The four angels

Compare Matthew 24:31.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-7.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

And I saw another (a good) angel ascending from the east - The plagues begin in the east; so does the sealing. Having the seal of the only living and true God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels - Who were hasting to execute their charge.

To whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea — First, and afterwards "the trees."

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-7.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

angel

(See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4")

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 7:2". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-7.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

Ver. 2. Another angel] Whether Christ, or Constantine acted by Christ, it much matters not.

Having the seal] Whereof Christ is the great Lord keeper.

With a loud voice] Out of his great care of his elect. As Croesus’ dumb son burst out into loud speech to save his father, ανθρωπε, μη κτεινε τον κροισον. (Herod.)

To the four angels] Who are at Christ’s beck and check.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-7.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. The special and distinguishing care which God took of his church and faithful people before he suffered the approaching storm to come upon the world: he did by another angel cry to the four angels that were ready, as God's executioners, to hurt the earth, that they should hurt nothing until the servants of God were sealed in their foreheads; and his crying with a loud voice intimates his great care to preserve his faithful ones.

Quest. What was this sealing?

Ans. Some understand it of an external visible sealing, by setting a mark upon their foreheads for preservation, according to Ezekiel 9:4 the letter Tau; doubtless there was some notification made by Almighty God to the destroying angels, of every one whom he would have preserved.

Others do understand this seal to be internal, by sanctification; and from whence we may gather, that inward holiness is the best guard against temporal or spiritual judgments.

But take this sealing in either sense, either for an outward or inward sealing, the notion doth imply,

1. That the persons sealed are of precious and excellent esteem with God.

2. It imports preservation and security from danger: God sealeth his people, that the destruction coming upon others may escape them: thus here God's servants were sealed, that they might be preserved: that they are kept either from sin and error, or from judgment and danger,is not from themselves, but from God's care and love towards them in the sealing of them, the angel said, Hurt not the earth,&c.till we have sealed the servants of our God, &c.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-7.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 7:2. ἄλλον, another) This other angel is distinguished either from the angel who makes proclamation, ch. Revelation 5:2; or from the four angels who hurt, in this passage.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-7.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

By this other angel, some understand an angel by nature; some, a man, Elijah, or Constantine; others, Christ himself, called an Angel, Exodus 23:20. It is not much material whether we by this angel understand Christ, or some angel which he made his instrument. He gives a command to those four angels, whom God had made the ministers or executioners of his wrath and justice in the world.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-7.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

печать Бога живого Печать обычно подразумевает кольцо с печаткой, изображение которой прикладывалось к мягкому воску на документе. Полученный оттиск подтверждал подлинность, право собственности и охранял содержимое (ср. 9:4; Иез. 9:3, 4). В этом случае отпечатком является имя Бога (14:1).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-7.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Ascending from the east; perhaps as the seat of the rising sun.

Having the seal; to mark the servants of God, that they might be distinguished from others.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-7.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

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

And I saw another angel--7:2.

Here is the symbol of the heavenly messenger who suspended the restraining order of the four angels--Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God in the foreheads. This angel was seen ascending from the east, from the eastern horizon, from the direction of the rising sun, a symbol consistent with his mission of suspending, or preventing, the mandate of the four angels to put out the light of God's word over all the world. By the authority of God the angel of the east said to the four angels hurt not the earth. It had been "given" to the four angels to "hurt" the earth, by the war on Jerusalem, and to enforce the mandate that "the wind should not blow," that is, to restrain the word of God.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-7.html. 1966.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Having the seal. This sign is generally supposed to be the sign of the cross. In the East, it was the custom to impress some indelible mark upon the soldiers. This sign [the sign of the cross] amongst the ancient Christians was used on every occasion. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-7.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

another. App-124.

east. Literally sunrising.

the = a.

living. App-170.

God. App-98.

loud = great.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-7.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

From the east - `the rising of the sun:' the quarter from which God's glory manifests itself.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-7.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) And I saw another angel . . .—Translate, And I saw another angel going up from the rising of the sun, having a seal of the living God, and he was crying with a great voice to the four angels to whom it was given to injure the earth and the sea, saying, Injure ye not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads. The angels appear as carrying out the purposes of God. This angel rises into view from the door of the dawn. In the midst of the dark symptoms of coming storm and judgment there springs up a light for the righteous and joyful gladness for such as are true-hearted: they need not be afraid of evil tidings whose hearts stand fast believing in the Lord. This angel carries a seal of the living God. The seal is the emblem of security. The seal was placed on our Lord’s sepulchre to keep the tomb safe from invasion; the king’s seal was, in the same way, placed on the stone which was laid at the mouth of the den in which Daniel was imprisoned: “the king sealed it with his own signet” (Daniel 6:17). The intrusting of the seal into the hands of others was the token that royal authority had been for the time delegated to man. So Jezebel “wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal” (1 Kings 21:8). Esther obtained the use of the king’s seal to protect her countrymen from the mischief devised by Haman: “for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse” (Esther 8:8). There is also a seal of the living God. St. Paul tells us that this seal bears two legends. “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, ‘The Lord knoweth them that are his,’ and, ‘ Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity’” (2 Timothy 2:19). On the one side, it is dependence on and communion with God; on the other side, it is holiness of life. The sealed are found in Christ, not having their own righteousness, but the righteousness which is of God by faith (Philippians 3:9). For this is the righteousness which will endure to the end, and which is found in them who are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13-14). God’s image and superscription is impressed on such; just as afterwards we are told of all the servants of God, “His name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4). This token is a true safe-guard and talisman; as the sprinkled blood on the lintel protected the house from the destroying angel at the first Passover. It is a token also of those who have not conformed to the evil world; they are like those whom Ezekiel saw in Jerusalem, when the Lord sent the man with the inkhorn “to set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” (Ezekiel 9:4). There has been much misapprehension respecting this act of sealing. It has been said that it implies security, and assures God’s servants of protection in the coming judgments: this is, in a sense, true; but the sealing, as will have been seen by the passages quoted above, is that sealing of the Spirit, that root of heavenly life in the soul, which is the pledge of the soul’s union with God; and the terms of the charter of their protection are, Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? In the Bible idea, sin, or moral defilement, is the only real evil: all other things work together for good. The breastplate which turns aside the fiery darts is the breastplate of righteousness: those who, escaping the corruptions which are in the world through lust, become partakers of the divine nature are in consequence victorious over all the evil. They are not exempt from the vicissitudes and tribulation of life: the winds are let loose to blow, but they are sealed, and they cannot be shaken; for what and who can separate them from the love of Christ? They are sealed by the Holy Spirit; they have an earnest of that Spirit in their hearts (Ephesians 4:30, and 2 Corinthians 1:22), and the pledge of His power in their lives. St. John gives the same two-fold test as St. Paul (2 Timothy 2:9): (1) “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13); and (2) “Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3). The sealing is on the forehead: it is God’s mark, but it is where all may see it. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The cry of the angel is, Injure not the sea nor the trees. Doubtless the sea and trees are mentioned as these are the objects which would be most disturbed and injured by a storm of wind. Trees are used as emblems of real and of pretended religionism. The true-hearted in faith are described as trees planted by the waterside, whose fruit does not wither; and it is singular that St. Jude, who pictures the Antinomian teachers of his day under the image of autumn trees (not trees whose fruit withereth, as in English version) without fruit, immediately adds an expression which almost suggests the sudden uprising of a testing storm: the fruitless trees are “plucked up by the roots” (Jude 1:12).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-7.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
And I
8:3; 10:1; Malachi 3:1; 4:2; Acts 7:30-32
having
3-8; 5:2; 10:4; Song of Solomon 8:6; John 6:27; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; 2 Timothy 2:19
living
Deuteronomy 5:26; 1 Samuel 17:26,36; 2 Kings 19:4; Matthew 26:63; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 12:22
to whom
1:3; 8:7-12
Reciprocal: Exodus 28:11 - engravings of a signet;  Psalm 71:3 - thou hast;  Jeremiah 32:10 - and sealed;  Ezekiel 9:4 - set a mark;  1 Timothy 3:15 - the living

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-7.html.

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

As the four angels were "standing at attention" ready to turn the winds loose upon the curth (referring to the domains of the Roman Empire), another angel was seen coming with a special message to the four. From the east is figurative and means it was from the throne of God, because he is the source of all spiritual light, even as the sun which brings material light to the world, first appears in the east. Hurt the earth is referring back to the conditions of consternation and destruction described in the closing verses of chapter6.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-7.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 7:2

Revelation 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

This other angel is Christ, called the Angel of God. { Exodus 14:19; Exodus 14:24} And the Angel of the Covenant. { Malachi 3:1} He is said to ascend from the east, because he is the day-spring from on high, who will give light to them that sit in darkness. {Luke 1:78-79} And he is also called the Sun of Righteousness, { Malachi 4:2} who will rise unto and shine on the latter-day saints. { Isaiah 60:1-3}

Having the seal of the living God;

that Isaiah, the certain knowledge who are his, { 2 Timothy 2:19} for all God's elect are chosen in him, { Ephesians 1:4} and given Him of the Father, { John 17:6; John 17:10} and Christ must loose none of them. { John 6:37-39} HE hath redeemed them with his precious blood, { Revelation 5:9-10} and hath sealed them with his Holy Spirit. { Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30}

And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it is given to hurt the earth and the sea.

Given, that Isaiah, permissive God did suffer them to do, but the time of their power was retained by Christ, who is the head of all principalities and powers. { Ephesians 1:21-22} HE is their sovereign Lord, and they are his creatures. { Colossians 1:16}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-7.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2.Another angel—Not, as Hengstenberg, the Lord Jesus Christ in person, but the impersonation of his redeeming and authenticating power.

Ascending from the east—Literal Greek, from the rising of the sun. This quarter is designated as the source of redeeming light and glory. Notes on chap. 16 and Luke 1:78. So Malachi 4:2: “To you that fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing [salvation] in his wings.”

Ascending—As if coming from a fountain of divine splendour at or beneath the horizon.

Seal—The purpose of a seal is first to secure a thing, as the closure of the door of Christ’s sepulchre; and second, to authenticate a thing as truly belonging to the sealer. So, a seal is affixed to a signature to indicate that it is the signer’s own signature, deliberately made. The justified soul is sealed at his justification; his name being written then in the book of life, and the adoption into the sonship of God being bestowed. This seal may be forfeited by apostasy, as said in Ephesians 4:30, where see note.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 7:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-7.html. 1874-1909.