Revelation 19:1

In Revelation Rev. 16:1+, John was shown the pouring forth of the final seven bowls which contained God’s wrath. At the pouring of the seventh bowl, God’s voice was heard from the Temple saying, “It is done!” (Rev. Rev. 16:17+). Even though judgment is said to be complete at the pouring of the final bowl, we saw that several more chapters were still ahead before the kingdom of God finally arrives on earth and Satan is bound in preparation for the Millennial Kingdom to follow (Rev. Rev. 20:1-3+). Revelation Rev. 17:1+, Rev. 18:1+, and Rev. 19:1+ provide additional background concerning the judgment of Babylon and the overthrow of the kingdoms of man in favor of the kingdom of God and His Christ (Rev. Rev. 11:15+).

In Revelation Rev. 17:1+ and Rev. 18:1+ John is shown the Harlot, Babylon the Great (Rev. Rev. 17:5+, Rev. 17:18+)—both her background and ultimate destruction. In this chapter, John sees the exultation in heaven at the destruction of the Harlot on the earth below. Then he sees the marriage of the Lamb which is followed by the return of Jesus Christ to earth at His victorious Second Coming. Revelation Rev. 19:1+ can be considered the apex of the book of Revelation because it describes the most important event remaining in history.

The kingdom of the Beast has wasted the earth (Isa. Isa. 14:16-17) and great darkness prevails. Those who follow God have been more intensely exterminated than at any time in history past. The saints that remain on earth lack the mark of the Beast needed for commercial activity (Rev. Rev. 13:17+) and place their lives in danger by refusing to worship the Beast (Rev. Rev. 13:15+). They are either in hiding, living off the black market, or they are in the special place of protection provided by God (see Sheep in Bozrah). All appears to be lost.

Then, at the darkest hour—which is always just before the dawn—heaven is opened and the long-awaited Saviour is seen riding forth with the armies of heaven in glorious array! Millennia of expectant waiting finally comes to fruition in the arrival of the “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” to slaughter the rebellious at the Campaign of Armageddon and to institute the glorious age of righteous rule that is the Millennial Kingdom. (See The Arrival of God’s Kingdom.)

Not only is the Second Coming of Christ perhaps the most dramatic event in Scripture, it ends the continually downward trend of history. Although sin and death remain for another one thousand years (Isa. Isa. 65:20-25), the coming of the Righteous King to earth starts history on an upward path. The age of the Millennium on earth demonstrates what all of earth’s history should have been —with truly righteous rule by a righteous Man. Even this, in all its fullness, is to be surpassed in the final state when both sin and death are vanquished and the new heavens and new earth become the final abode for the righteous of all ages with full communion with God (Rev. Rev. 21:4+).

This is the sweep of history before us and explains why this chapter is the Alleluia chorus—the word alleluia appearing four times in this chapter and nowhere else in the NT.1

After these things
After these things is Μετὰ ταῦτα [Meta tauta] , the common phrase which separates portions of John’s vision. The phrase indicates a sequential relationship between portions of John’s vision as they are given, but the various portions are not necessarily chronological in their historical sequence. For example, John is shown the destruction of Babylon under the seventh bowl judgment (Rev. Rev. 16:19+) before he is shown additional details concerning Babylon (Rev. Rev. 17:1+).

I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven
John heard a similar voice (or noise) from heaven when the 144,000 redeemed of Israel learned the new song (Rev. Rev. 14:2-3+). There, the voice (or noise) was not explicitly identified as a multitude, but mention was made of numerous harps so it is probably a similar heavenly multitude in both scenes. The voices are of all those in heaven including: (1) the voices of the Church, having been raptured before the Tribulation, (2) the voices of the Tribulation saints, many of whom were martyred (Rev. Rev. 6:9+; Rev. 7:14+; Rev. 12:11+; Rev. 13:7+, Rev. 13:15+; Rev. 15:2+; Rev. 16:6+; Rev. 20:4+), and (3) the voices of various ranks of angels. They sing in unison as one mighty, thunderous voice (Rev. Rev. 19:6+).

Alleluia!
A transliteration of the Hebrew, הַלְלוּ־יָהּ [hallû–yāh] , a command: You all praise Jah! (e.g., Ps. Ps. 106:48).2 The first occurrence of the word Hallelujah in the OT corresponds with the context of its usage here: “Sinners shall be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked shall be no more. Bless Jehovah, O my soul. Hallelujah!” (Ps. Ps. 104:35, Darby’s Translation).3

Salvation and glory and honor and power
The great multitude, who came out of the Great Tribulation, attributed salvation to both God and the Lamb (Rev. Rev. 7:9-10+). Salvation from God is said to have come at the casting out of Satan, the accuser of the brethren, from heaven (Rev. Rev. 12:10+). Glory and honor and power are attributed to God by the twenty-four elders because of His act of creation (Rev. Rev. 4:11+). Every creature in heaven and on earth gives glory and honor and power to both God the Father and the Lamb (Rev. Rev. 5:13+). Their praise recognizes the salvation found in the redemption provided by the Lamb: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood” (Rev. Rev. 5:9+) and “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. Rev. 5:12+). Here, salvation is probably broader than personal redemption, but includes the rescue of all of creation, and especially the earth, from the corrupting influence of the Harlot (Rev. Rev. 19:2+). See Worship of God.


Notes

1 The equivalent phrase, הַלְלוּ־יָהּ [hallû–yāh] , is found in the OT.

2 Piel imperative, masculine plural. An intensive command. יָהּ [yāh] is short for יָהוְה [yāhweh] (cf. Ps. Ps. 68:4).

3 “In the Hebrew text, it appears at the ends of Psalms Ps. 104:1, Ps. 105:1, Ps. 115:1, Ps. 116:1, Ps. 117:1, at the beginning of Psalms Ps. 111:1 and Ps. 112:1, and at the beginning and end of Psalms Ps. 106:1, Ps. 113:1, Ps. 135:1, and Ps. 146:1.”—Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1995), Rev. 19:1.

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