Revelation 14:1-20 . THE LAMB SEEN ON ZION WITH THE 144,000. THEIR SONG. THE GOSPEL PROCLAIMED BEFORE THE END BY ONE ANGEL: THE FALL OF BABYLON, BY ANOTHER: THE DOOM OF THE BEAST WORSHIPPERS, BY A THIRD. THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE DEAD IN THE LORD. THE HARVEST. THE VINTAGE.
10. The same--Greek, "he also," as the just and inevitable retribution.
wine of . . . wrath of God--( Psalms 75:8 ).
without mixture--whereas wine was so commonly mixed with water that to mix wine is used in Greek for to pour out wine; this wine of God's wrath is undiluted; there is no drop of water to cool its heat. Naught of grace or hope is blended with it. This terrible threat may well raise us above the fear of man's threats. This unmixed cup is already mingled and prepared for Satan and the beast's followers.
indignation--Greek, "orges," "abiding wrath," But the Greek for "wrath" above (Greek, "thumou") is boiling indignation, from (Greek, "thuo") a root meaning "to boil"; this is temporary ebullition of anger; that is lasting [AMMONIUS], and accompanied with a purpose of vengeance [ORIGEN on Psalm 2:5].
tormented . . . in the presence of . . . angels--( Psalms 49:14 , 58:10 , 139:21 , Isaiah 66:24 ). God's enemies are regarded by the saints as their enemies, and when the day of probation is past, their mind shall be so entirely one with God's, that they shall rejoice in witnessing visibly the judicial vindication of God's righteousness in sinners' punishment.
11. for ever and ever--Greek, "unto ages of ages."
no rest day nor night--Contrast the very different sense in which the same is said of the four living creatures in heaven, "They rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy"; yet they do "rest" in another sense; they rest from sin and sorrow, weariness and weakness, trial and temptation ( Revelation 14:13 ); the lost have no rest from sin and Satan, terror, torment, and remorse.
12. Here, &c.--resumed from Revelation 13:10 ; all who will not worship the beast, the faith and patience of the followers of God and Jesus shall be put to the test, and proved.
patience--Greek, "hupomene," "patient, persevering endurance." The second "here" is omitted in A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and PRIMASIUS. Translate, "Here is the endurance of the saints, who keep," &c.
the faith of Jesus--the faith which has Jesus for its object.
13. Encouragement to cheer those persecuted under the beast.
Write--to put it on record for ever.
Blessed--in resting from their toils, and, in the case of the saints just before alluded to as persecuted by the beast, in resting from persecutions. Their full blessedness is now "from henceforth," that is, FROM THIS TIME, when the judgment on the beast and the harvest gatherings of the elect are imminent. The time so earnestly longed for by former martyrs is now all but come; the full number of their fellow servants is on the verge of completion; they have no longer to "rest (the same Greek as here, anapausis) yet for a little season," their eternal rest, or cessation from toils ( 2 Thessalonians 1:7 ; Greek, "anesis," relaxation after hardships. Hebrews 4:9 Hebrews 4:10 , sabbatism of rest; and Greek, "catapausis," akin to the Greek here) is close at hand now. They are blessed in being about to sit down to the marriage supper of the Lamb ( Revelation 19:9 ), and in having part in the first resurrection ( Revelation 20:6 ), and in having right to the tree of life ( Revelation 22:14 ). In Revelation 14:14-16 follows the explanation of why they are pronounced "blessed" now in particular, namely, the Son of man on the cloud is just coming to gather them in as the harvest ripe for garner.
Yea, saith the Spirit--The words of God the Father (the "voice from heaven") are echoed back and confirmed by the Spirit (speaking in the Word, Revelation 2:7 , 22:17 ; and in the saints, 2 Corinthians 5:5 , 1 Peter 4:14 ). All "God's promises in Christ are yea" ( 2 Corinthians 1:20 ).
unto me--omitted in A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic.
that they may--The Greek includes also the idea, They are blessed, in that they SHALL rest from their toils (so the Greek).
and--So B and ANDREAS read. But A, C, Vulgate, and Syriac read "for." They rest from their toils because their time for toil is past; they enter on the blessed rest because of their faith evinced by their works which, therefore, "follow WITH (so the Greek) them." Their works are specified because respect is had to the coming judgment, wherein every man shall be "judged according to his works." His works do not go before the believer, nor even go by his side, but follow him at the same time that they go with him as a proof that he is Christ's.
14. crown--Greek, "stephanon," "garland" of victory; not His diadem as a king. The victory is described in detail, Revelation 19:11-21 .
one sat--"one sitting," Greek, "cathemenon homoion," is the reading of A, B, C, Vulgate, and Coptic.
15. Thrust in--Greek, "Send." The angel does not command the "Son of man" ( Revelation 14:14 ), but is the mere messenger announcing to the Son the will of God the Father, in whose hands are kept the times and the seasons.
thy sickle--alluding to Mark 4:29 , where also it is "sendeth the sickle." The Son sends His sickle-bearing angel to reap the righteous when fully ripe.
harvest--the harvest crop. By the harvest-reaping the elect righteous are gathered out; by the vintage the Antichristian offenders are removed out of the earth, the scene of Christ's coming kingdom. The Son of man Himself, with a golden crown, is introduced in the harvest-gathering of the elect, a mere angel in the vintage ( Revelation 14:18-20 ).
is ripe--literally, "is dried." Ripe for glory.
16. thrust in--Greek, "cast."
17. out of the temple . . . in heaven--( Revelation 11:19 ).
18. from the altar--upon which were offered the incense-accompanied prayers of all saints, which bring down in answer God's fiery judgment on the Church's foes, the fire being taken from the altar and cast upon the earth.
fully ripe--Greek, "come to their acme"; ripe for punishment.
19. "The vine" is what is the subject of judgment because its grapes are not what God looked for considering its careful culture, but "wild grapes" ( Isaiah 5:1-30 ). The apostate world of Christendom, not the world of heathendom who have not heard of Christ, is the object of judgment. Compare the emblem, Revelation 19:15 , Isaiah 63:2 Isaiah 63:3 , Joel 3:13 .
20. without the city--Jerusalem. The scene of the blood-shedding of Christ and His people shall be also the scene of God's vengeance on the Antichristian foe. Compare the "horsemen," Revelation 9:16 Revelation 9:17 .
blood--answering to the red wine. The slaughter of the apostates is what is here spoken of, not their eternal punishment.
even unto the horse bridles--of the avenging "armies of heaven."
by the space of a thousand . . . six hundred furlongs--literally, "a thousand six hundred furlongs off" [W. KELLY]. Sixteen hundred is a square number; four by four by one hundred. The four quarters, north, south, east, and west, of the Holy Land, or else of the world (the completeness and universality of the world-wide destruction being hereby indicated). It does not exactly answer to the length of Palestine as given by JEROME, one hundred sixty Roman miles. BENGEL thinks the valley of Kedron, between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, is meant, the torrent in that valley being about to be discolored with blood to the extent of sixteen hundred furlongs. This view accords with Joel's prophecy that the valley of Jehoshaphat is to be the scene of the overthrow of the Antichristian foes.