And the seven angels came out of the temple
By which it appears, that they are such who are of, or belong to the church of Christ; and are either ministers, or members of churches, who will be the executioners of God's wrath upon the beast, and his followers; some copies, and the Complutensian edition, read, "out of heaven":
having the seven plagues;
that is, they were appointed to inflict them, and were preparing and furnishing for it, and quickly had orders to do it:
clothed in pure and white linen;
in which habit angels have been used to appear, as at our Lord's resurrection and ascension, and is by some thought to be expressive of the purity and holiness of angels; but rather saints are meant, who appear in the habit of priests, being all made kings and priests; and denotes their being clothed with the pure and spotless robe of Christ's righteousness, which is fine linen, clean and white, and the righteousness of the saints, ( Revelation 19:8 ) and also their spiritual joy in their present situation, and in the view of the destruction of antichrist, their sackcloth being put off, in which they, the witnesses, before appeared. So the linen garment of the high priest was, as Philo the Jew says F14, made of "fine linen", (kayarwtatov) , "most pure". The Alexandrian copy, and some copies of the Vulgate Latin version, and some exemplars mentioned by Andreas Caesariensis, an ancient commentator on this book, read, "clothed with a stone, pure and white"; as if they were arrayed in garments of stone, which is not likely; unless reference is had to the stone asbestos, of an iron colour, found, as Pliny says F15, in the mountains of Arcadia, of which linen was made, called "asbestinum", and of that garments; which were so far from being consumed by fire, that they became clean and brighter by it; or to the Carystian stone, which the inhabitants of Carystus used to comb, spin, and weave, and make carpets of F16.
And having their breasts girded with golden girdles;
such an one as Christ himself was girded with, ( Revelation 1:13 ) and this some understand of the love, which the breasts of angels are filled with towards the saints, and their readiness to perform all good offices to them, and to execute the judgments of God upon their enemies, whenever they have orders: but since these angels come out of the temple, and members of Gospel churches seem designed, rather this is to be understood either of the grace of faith, which is much more precious than of gold that perisheth, which receives the righteousness of Christ, puts it on, and girds it about the believer; or of love, the love of God and Christ, which encompass the saints about, and constrain them, and engage them in fervent love to them, and one another: or of the girdle of truth, ( Ephesians 6:14 ) which is near and close to them, and which keeps them close to Christ; nor can they depart totally and finally from him, or that; or in general, this may denote their strength and readiness for what service they shall be called to; see ( Luke 12:35 Luke 12:36 ) ( 1 Peter 1:13 ) .
F14 De Somniis, p. 597.
F15 Nat. Hist. l. 37. c. 10.
F16 Pancirol, rer. memorab. par. 1. tit. 4. & Salmuth in ib. Plin. l. 19. c. 1. Turueb. Adversar. l. 23. c. 1. Schotti Thaumaturg, l. 2. sect. 10. p. 118.