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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - REVELATION 14
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    CHAPTER 14

    Re 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.

    In contrast to the beast, false prophet, and apostate Church (Re 13:1-18) and introductory to the announcement of judgments about to descend on them and the world (Re 14:8-11, anticipatory of Re 18:2-6), stand here the redeemed, "the divine kernel of humanity, the positive fruits of the history of the world and the Church" [AUBERLEN]. The fourteenth through sixteenth chapters describe the preparations for the Messianic judgment. As the fourteenth chapter begins with the 144,000 of Israel (compare Re 7:4-8, no longer exposed to trial as then, but now triumphant), so the fifteenth chapter begins with those who have overcome from among the Gentiles (compare Re 15:1-5 with Re 7:9-17); the two classes of elect forming together the whole company of transfigured saints who shall reign with Christ.

    1. a--A, B, C, Coptic, and ORIGEN read, "the."
    - Lamb . . . on . . . Sion--having left His position "in the midst of the throne," and now taking His stand on Sion.
    - his Father's name--A, B, and C read, "His name and His Father's name."
    - in--Greek, "upon." God's and Christ's name here answers to the seal "upon their foreheads" in Re 7:3. As the 144,000 of Israel are "the first-fruits" (Re 14:4), so "the harvest" (Re 14:15) is the general assembly of Gentile saints to be translated by Christ as His first act in assuming His kingdom, prior to His judgment (Re 16:17-21, the last seven vials) on the Antichristian world, in executing which His saints shall share. As Noah and Lot were taken seasonably out of the judgment, but exposed to the trial to the last moment [DE BURGH], so those who shall reign with Christ shall first suffer with Him, being delivered out of the judgments, but not out of the trials. The Jews are meant by "the saints of the Most High": against them Antichrist makes war, changing their times and laws; for true Israelites cannot join in the idolatry of the beast, any more than true Christians. The common affliction will draw closely together, in opposing the beast's worship, the Old Testament and New Testament people of God. Thus the way is paved for Israel's conversion. This last utter scattering of the holy people's power leads them, under the Spirit, to seek Messiah, and to cry at His approach, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."

    2. from--Greek, "out of."
    - voice of many waters--as is the voice of Himself, such also is the voice of His people.
    - I heard the voice of harpers--A, B, C, and ORIGEN read, "the voice which I heard (was) as of harpers."

    3. sung--Greek, "sing."
    - as it were--So A, C, and Vulgate read. It is "as it were" a new song; for it is, in truth, as old as God's eternal purpose. But B, Syriac, Coptic, ORIGEN, and ANDREAS omit these words.
    - new song-- (Re 5:9, 10). The song is that of victory after conflict with the dragon, beast, and false prophet: never sung before, for such a conflict had never been fought before; therefore new: till now the kingdom of Christ on earth had been usurped; they sing the new song in anticipation of His blood-bought kingdom with His saints.
    - four beasts--rather, as Greek, "four living creatures." The harpers and singers evidently include the 144,000: so the parallel proves (Re 15:2, 3), where the same act is attributed to the general company of the saints, the harvest (Re 14:15) from all nations. Not as ALFORD, "the harpers and song are in heaven, but the 144,000 are on earth."
    - redeemed--literally, "purchased." Not even the angels can learn that song, for they know not experimentally what it is to have "come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb" (Re 7:14).

    4. virgins--spiritually (Mt 25:1); in contrast to the apostate Church, Babylon (Re 14:8), spiritually "a harlot" (Re 17:1-5; Isa 1:21; contrast 2Co 11:2; Eph 5:25-27). Their not being defiled with women means they were not led astray from Christian faithfulness by the tempters who jointly constitute the spiritual "harlot."
    - follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth--in glory, being especially near His person; the fitting reward of their following Him so fully on earth.
    - redeemed--"purchased."
    - being the--rather, "as a first-fruit." Not merely a "first-fruit" in the sense in which all believers are so, but Israel's 144,000 elect are the first-fruit, the Jewish and Gentile elect Church is the harvest; in a further sense, the whole of the transfigured and translated Church which reigns with Christ at His coming, is the first-fruit, and the consequent general ingathering of Israel and the nations, ending in the last judgment, is the full and final harvest.

    5. guile--So ANDREAS in one copy. But A, B, C, ORIGEN, and ANDREAS in other copies read, "falsehood." Compare with English Version reading Ps 32:2; Isa 53:9; Joh 1:47.
    - for--So B, Syriac, Coptic, ORIGEN, and ANDREAS read. But A and C omit.
    - without fault--Greek, "blameless": in respect to the sincerity of their fidelity to Him. Not absolutely, and in themselves blameless; but regarded as such on the ground of His righteousness in whom alone they trusted, and whom they faithfully served by His Spirit in them. The allusion seems to be to Ps 15:1, 2. Compare Re 14:1, "stood on Mount Sion."
    - before the throne of God--A, B, C, Syriac, Coptic, ORIGEN, and ANDREAS omit these words. The oldest Vulgate manuscript supports them.

    6. Here begins the portion relating to the Gentile world, as the former portion related to Israel. Before the end the Gospel is to be preached for a WITNESS unto all nations: not that all nations shall be converted, but all nations shall have had the opportunity given them of deciding whether they will be for, or against, Christ. Those thus preached to are "they that dwell (so A, Coptic, and Syriac read. But B, C, ORIGEN, Vulgate, CYPRIAN, 312, read, 'SIT,' compare Mt 4:16; Lu 1:79, having their settled home) on the earth," being of earth earthy: this last season of grace is given them, if yet they may repent, before "judgment" (Re 14:7) descends: if not, they will be left without excuse, as the world which resisted the preaching of Noah in the the hundred twenty years "while the long-suffering of God waited." "So also the prophets gave the people a last opportunity of repentance before the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, and our Lord and His apostles before the Roman destruction of the holy city" [AUBERLEN]. The Greek for "unto" (epi, in A and C) means literally, "upon," or "over," or "in respect to" (Mr 9:12; Heb 7:13). So also "TO every nation" (Greek, "epi," in A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, ORIGEN, ANDREAS, CYPRIAN, and PRIMASIUS). This, perhaps, implies that the Gospel, though diffused over the globe, shall not come savingly unto any save the elect. The world is not to be evangelized till Christ shall come: meanwhile, God's purpose is "to take out of the Gentiles a people for His name," to be witnesses of the effectual working of His Spirit during the counter-working of "the mystery of iniquity."
    - everlasting gospel--the Gospel which announces the glad tidings of the everlasting kingdom of Christ, about to ensue immediately after the "judgment" on Antichrist, announced as imminent in Re 14:7. As the former angel "flying through the midst of heaven" (Re 8:13) announced "woe," so this angel "flying in the midst of heaven" announced joy. The three angels making this last proclamation of the Gospel, the fall of Babylon (Re 14:8), the harlot, and the judgment on the beast worshippers (Re 14:9-11), the voice from heaven respecting the blessed dead (Re 14:13), the vision of the Son of man on the cloud (Re 14:11), the harvest (Re 14:15), and the vintage (Re 14:18), form the compendious summary, amplified in detail in the rest of the book.

    7. Fear God--the forerunner to embracing the love of God manifested in the Gospel. Repentance accompanies faith.
    - give glory to him--and not to the beast (compare Re 13:4; Jer 13:16).
    - the hour of his judgment--"The hour" implies the definite time. "Judgment," not the general judgment, but that up on Babylon, the beast, and his worshippers (Re 14:8-12).
    - worship him that made heaven--not Antichrist (compare Ac 14:15).
    - sea . . . fountains--distinguished also in Re 8:8, 10.

    8. another--So Vulgate. But A, B, Syriac, and ANDREAS add, "a second"; "another, a second angel."
    - Babylon--here first mentioned; identical with the harlot, the apostate Church; distinct from the beast, and judged separately.
    - is fallen--anticipation of Re 18:2. A, Vulgate, Syriac, and ANDREAS support the second "is fallen." But B, C, and Coptic omit it.
    - that great city--A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic omit "city." Then translate, "Babylon the great." The ulterior and exhaustive fulfilment of Isa 21:9.
    - because--So ANDREAS. But A, C, Vulgate, and Syriac read, "which." B and Coptic omit it. Even reading "which," we must understand it as giving the reason of her fall.
    - all nations--A, B and C read, "all the nations."
    - the wine of the wrath of her fornication--the wine of the wrath of God, the consequence of her fornication. As she made the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication, so she herself shall be made drunk with the wine of God's wrath.

    9. A, B, C, and ANDREAS read, "another, a third angel." Compare with this verse Re 13:15, 16.

    10. The same--Greek, "he also," as the just and inevitable retribution.
    - wine of . . . wrath of God-- (Ps 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

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