HEAVEN FOR THE
JUDGMENT ON THE
MARRIAGE OF THE
BEAST AND THE
CAST INTO THE
SLAIN BY THE
1. As in the case of the opening of the prophecy,
Re 4:8; 5:9,
&c.; so now, at one of the great closing events seen in vision, the
judgment on the harlot (described in
there is a song of praise in heaven to God: compare
&c., toward the close of the seals, and
at the close of the trumpets:
at the saints' victory over the beast.
And--so ANDREAS. But A, B, C, Vulgate,
Syriac, and Coptic omit.
a great voice--A, B, C, Vulgate, Coptic, and
ANDREAS read, "as it were a great voice."
What a contrast to the lamentations
The great manifestation of God's power in destroying Babylon
calls forth a great voice of praise in heaven.
Alleluia--Hebrew, "Praise ye JAH,"
or JEHOVAH: here first used in Revelation, whence
ELLICOTT infers the Jews bear a prominent
part in this thanksgiving. JAH is not a
contraction of "JEHOVAH," as it sometimes occurs
jointly with the latter. It means "He who Is": whereas Jehovah is "He
who will be, is, and was." It implies God experienced as a
PRESENT help; so that "Hallelujah," says
KIMCHI in BENGEL, is found
first in the Psalms on the destruction of the ungodly.
"Hallelu-Jah" occurs four times in this passage. Compare
which is plainly parallel, and indeed identical in many of the phrases,
as well as the general idea. Israel, especially, will join in the
Hallelujah, when "her warfare is accomplished" and her foe destroyed.
Salvation, &c.--Greek, "The salvation
. . . the glory . . . the power."
and honour--so Coptic. But A, B, C, and Syriac
unto the Lord our God--so ANDREAS. But A,
B, C, and Coptic read, "(Is) of our God," that is, belongs to
2. which did corrupt the earth--Greek, "used to
corrupt" continually. "Instead of opposing and lessening, she promoted
the sinful life and decay of the world by her own earthliness, allowing
the salt to lose its savor" [AUBERLEN].
avenged--Greek, "exacted in retribution." A particular
application of the principle
blood of his servants--literally shed by the Old Testament
adulterous Church, and by the New Testament apostate Church; also
virtually, though not literally, by all who, though called Christians,
hate their brother, or love not the brethren of Christ, but shrink from
the reproach of the cross, and show unkindness towards those who bear
3. again--Greek, "a second time."
rose up--Greek, "goeth up."
for ever and ever--Greek, "to the ages of the ages."
4. beasts--rather, "living creatures."
5. out of--Greek, "out from the throne" in A, B, C.
Praise our God--Compare the solemn act of praise performed by
1Ch 16:36; 23:5,
especially when the house of God was filled with the divine glory
both--omitted in A, B, C, Vulgate, Coptic, and
Syriac. Translate as Greek, "the small and
6. many waters--Contrast the "many waters" on which the whore
This verse is the hearty response to the stirring call, "Alleluia!
Praise our God"
(Re 19:4, 5).
the Lord God omnipotent--Greek, "the Omnipotent."
reigneth--literally, "reigned": hence reigneth once for
all. His reign is a fact already established. Babylon, the harlot,
was one great hindrance to His reign being recognized. Her overthrow
now clears the way for His advent to reign; therefore, not merely Rome,
but the whole of Christendom in so far as it is carnal and compromised
Christ for the world, is comprehended in the term "harlot." The beast
hardly arises when he at once "goeth into perdition": so that Christ is
prophetically considered as already reigning, so soon does His advent
follow the judgment on the harlot.
7. glad . . . rejoice--Greek, "rejoice
. . . exult."
give--so B and ANDREAS. But A reads, "we
glory--Greek, "the glory."
the marriage of the Lamb is come--The full and
final consummation is at
&c. Previously there must be the overthrow of the beast, &c., at the
Lord's coming, the binding of Satan, the millennial reign, the loosing
of Satan and his last overthrow, and the general judgment. The
elect-Church, the heavenly Bride, soon after the destruction of the
harlot, is transfigured at the Lord's coming, and joins with Him in His
triumph over the beast. On the emblem of the heavenly Bridegroom and
Mt 22:2; 25:6, 10;
Perfect union with Him personally, and participation in His holiness;
joy, glory, and kingdom, are included in this symbol of "marriage";
compare Song of Solomon everywhere. Besides the heavenly Bride,
the transfigured, translated, and risen Church, reigning over
the earth with Christ, there is also the earthly bride, Israel,
in the flesh, never yet divorced, though for a time separated,
from her divine husband, who shall then be reunited to the Lord, and be
the mother Church of the millennial earth, Christianized through her.
Note, we ought, as Scripture does, restrict the language drawn from
marriage-love to the Bride, the Church as a whole; not
use it as individuals in our relation to Christ, which Rome does in the
case of her nuns. Individually, believers are effectually-called
guests; collectively, they constitute the bride. The harlot
divides her affections among many lovers: the bride gives hers
exclusively to Christ.
8. granted--Though in one sense she "made herself ready,"
having by the Spirit's work in her put on "the wedding garment," yet in
the fullest sense it is not she, but her Lord, who makes her ready by
"granting to her that she be arrayed in fine linen." It is He
who, by giving Himself for her, presents her to Himself a
glorious Church, not having spot, but holy and without blemish. It
is He also who sanctifies her, naturally vile and without beauty,
with the washing of water by the word, and puts His own comeliness
on her, which thus becomes hers.
clean and white--so ANDREAS. But A and B
transpose. Translate, "bright and pure"; at once brilliantly
splendid and spotless as in the bride herself.
righteousness--Greek, "righteousnesses"; distributively
used. Each saint must have this righteousness: not merely be
justified, as if the righteousness belonged to the Church in the
aggregate; the saints together have righteousnesses; namely,
He is accounted as "the Lord our righteousness" to each saint on
his believing, their robes being made white in the blood of the
Lamb. The righteousness of the saint is not, as
ALFORD erroneously states, inherent, but is
imputed: if it were otherwise, Christ would be merely enabling
the sinner to justify himself.
is decisive on this. Compare Article XI, Church of England. The
justification already given to the saints in title and unseen
possession, is now GIVEN them in manifestation:
they openly walk with Christ in white. To this, rather than
to their primary justification on earth, the reference is here. Their
justification before the apostate world, which had persecuted them,
contrasts with the judgment and condemnation of the harlot. "Now that
the harlot has fallen, the woman triumphs" [AUBERLEN]. Contrast with the pure fine linen
(indicating the simplicity and purity) of the bride, the tawdry
ornamentation of the harlot. Babylon, the apostate Church, is the
antithesis to new Jerusalem, the transfigured Church of God. The woman
are the three leading aspects of the Church.
9. He--God by His angel saith unto me.
called--effectually, not merely externally. The "unto," or
into," seems to express this: not merely invited to
(Greek, "epi"), but called INTO, so
as to be partakers of (Greek, "eis"); compare
marriage supper--Greek, "the supper of the marriage."
Typified by the Lord's Supper.
true--Greek, "genuine"; veritable sayings which shall
surely be fulfilled, namely, all the previous revelations.
10. at--Greek, "before." John's intending to worship the
angel here, as in
on having revealed to him the glory of the new Jerusalem, is the
involuntary impulse of adoring joy at so blessed a prospect. It forms a
marked contrast to the sorrowful wonder with which he had looked
on the Church in her apostasy as the harlot
It exemplifies the corrupt tendencies of our fallen nature that even
John, an apostle, should have all but fallen into "voluntary humility
and worshipping of angels," which Paul warns us against.
and of thy brethren--that is, a fellow servant of thy
have the testimony of Jesus--(See on
the testimony of--that is, respecting Jesus.
is the spirit of prophecy--is the result of the same spirit of
prophecy in you as in myself. We angels, and you apostles, all alike
have the testimony of (bear testimony concerning) Jesus by the
operation of one and the same Spirit, who enables me to show you these
revelations and enables you to record them: wherefore we are fellow
servants, not I your lord to be worshipped by you. Compare
"I am fellow servant of thee and of thy brethren the prophets";
whence the "FOR the testimony," &c., here, may be
explained as giving the reason for his adding "and (fellow servant) of
thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus." I mean, of the
prophets; "for it is of Jesus that thy brethren, the
prophets, testify by the Spirit in them." A clear condemnation of
Romish invocation of saints as if they were our superiors to be
11. behold a white horse%%%%%