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1. A lamb. Read "the lamb." See ch. v. 6.
Stood (esthkov). The participle, standing, as Rev. His Father's name. Add aujtou kai to onoma His and the name, and render as Rev., His name and the name of His Father.
The Adoration of the Lamb is the subject of the great altar piece in the church of St. Bavon at Ghent, by John and Hubert Van Eyck. The scene is laid in a landscape. The background is formed by a Flemish city, probably intended to represent Jerusalem, and by churches and monasteries in the early Netherland style. The middle ground is occupied by trees, meadows, and green slopes. In the very center of the picture a square altar is hung With red damask and covered with a white cloth. Here stands a lamb, from whose breast a stream of blood issues into a crystal glass. Angels kneel round the altar with parti-colored wings and variegated dresses, many of them praying with joined hands, others holding aloft the emblems of the passion, two in front waving censers. From the right, behind the altar, issues a numerous band of female saints, all in rich and varied costumes, fair hair floating over their shoulders, and palms in their hands. Foremost may be noticed Sta. Barbara and Sta. Agnes. From the left advance popes, cardinals, bishops, monks, and minor clergy, with crosiers, crosses, and palms. In the center, near the base, a. small octagonal fountain of stone projects a stream into a clear rill. Two groups are in adoration on each side of the fountain, - on the right, the twelve apostles kneeling barefoot, and an array of popes, cardinals, and bishops, with a miscellaneous crowd of church-people; on the left, kings and princes in various costumes. They are surrounded by a wilderness of flowering shrubs, lilies, and other plants. on the wings of the picture numerous worshippers move toward the place of worship, - crusaders, knights, kings, and princes, including the figures of the two artists on horseback. "Here, approaching from all sides, are seen that 'great multitude of all nations and hundreds and people and tongues' - the holy warriors and the holy pilgrims, coming in solemn processions from afar - with other throngs already arrived in the celestial plain, clothed in white robes, and holding palms in their hands. Their forms are like unto ours; the landscape around them is a mere transcript of the sweet face of our outer nature; the graceful wrought-iron fountain in the midst is such an one as still sends forth its streams in an ancient Flemish city; yet we feel these creatures to be beings from whose eyes God has wiped away all tears - who will hunger and thirst no more; our imagination invests these flowery meads with the peace and radiance of celestial precincts, while the streams of the fountain are converted into living waters, to which the Lamb Himself will 'lead His redeemed. Here, in short, where all is human and natural in form, the spiritual depths of our nature are stirred" (Mrs. Jameson, "History of Our Lord," ii., 339).
2. And I heard the voice of harpers (kai fwnhn hkousa kiqarwdwn). The correct reading is, kai hJ fwnh hn hkousa wJv kiqarwdwn and the voice which I heard (was) as (the voice) of harpers. Kiqarwdov is from kiqara a harp (see on ch. v. 8) and wjdov a singer. Properly, one who sings, accompanying himself on the harp.
3. Beasts (zwwn). Rev., living creatures. See on ch. iv. 6.
Redeemed (hgorasmenoi). Rev., correctly, purchased.
4. Were not defiled (ouk emolunqhsan). The verb means properly to besmear or besmirch, and is never used in a good sense, as miainein (John xviii. 28; Jude 8), which in classical Greek is sometimes applied to staining with color. See on 1 Pet. i. 4.
First-fruits (aparch). See on Jas. i. 18.
5. Guile (dolov). Read yeudov lie.
Before the throne of God. Omit.
6. In the midst of heaven ( en mesouranhmati). Rev., in mid-heaven. See on ch. viii. 13.
The everlasting Gospel (eujaggelion aijwnion). No article. Hence Rev., an eternal Gospel. Milligan thinks this is to be understood in the same sense as prophesying (ch. x. 11). Aijwnion includes more than mere duration in time. It is applied to that of which time is not a measure. As applied to the Gospel it marks its likeness to Him whose being is not bounded by time.
To preach unto ( euaggelisai epi). Rev., proclaim, which is better, because more general and wider in meaning. Epi which is omitted from the Rec. Tex. is over, throughout the extent of. Compare Matt. xxiv. 14. That dwell (katoikountav). Read kaqhmenouv that sit. So Rev., in margin. Compare Matt. iv. 16; Luke i. 79.
8. Another. Add deuterov a second.
10. Poured out without mixture (kekerasmenou akratou). Lit., which is mingled unmixed. From the universal custom of mixing wine with water for drinking, the word mingle came to be used in the general sense of prepare by putting into the cup. Hence, to pour out.
Cup of His anger. Compare Psalm lxxv. 8.
Brimstone (qeiw). Commonly taken as the neuter of qeiov divine; that is, divine incense, since burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify and to avert contagion. By others it is referred to quw to burn, and hence to sacrifice.
Rest (anapausin). See on give rest. Matt. xi. 28, and resteth, 1 Peter iv. 14.
12. Here are they. Omit here are, and read, are, Rev., the patience of the saints, they that keep.
The faith of Jesus. Which has Jesus for its object.
18. Blessed (makarioi). See on Matt. v. 3.
From henceforth (ap arti). See on John xiii. 33. To be joined as in A.V. and Rev., with die in the preceding clause, and not with blessed, nor with the following clause. Not from henceforth saith the Spirit. The meaning is variously explained. Some, from the beginning of the Christian age and onward to the end; others, from the moment of death, connecting henceforth with blessed; others from the time when the harvest of the earth is about to be reaped. Sophocles says: "Show all religious reverence to the gods, for all other things Father Zeus counts secondary; for the reward of piety follows men in death. Whether they live or die it passeth not away" ("Philoctetes," 1441-1444).
Labors (kopwn). From koptw to strike. Hence to beat the breast in grief. Kopov is, therefore, primarily, a smiting as a sign of sorrow, and then sorrow itself. As labor, it is labor which involves weariness and sorrow. Follow them (akolouqei met autwn). Rather, accompany. Rev., follow with them. Compare Matt. iv. 25; Mark iii. 7, etc. See on John i. 43.
15. Thrust in (pemyon). Lit., send. Rev., send forth.
Harvest (qerismov). See on Luke x. 2.
16. Thrust in (ebalen). Lit., cast.
17. Temple (naou). Properly, sanctuary. See on Matt. iv. 5.
18. Altar (qusiasthriou). See on Acts xvii. 23.
Cry (kraugh). See on Luke i. 42.
Thy sharp sickle. Lit., thy sickle, the sharp.
Gather (trughson). From trugh dryness, included in the notion of ripeness, and hence the vintage, harvest. The verb means therefore to gather ripe fruit. It occurs only in this chapter and in Luke vi. 44. Grapes ( stafulai). The noun in the singular means also a bunch of grapes.
Are fully ripe (hkmasan). Only here in the New Testament. From ajkmh, transcribed in acme, the highest point. Hence the verb means to reach the height of growth, to be ripe.
19. The great wine-press (thn lhon ton megan). The Greek student will note the masculine adjective with the feminine noun, possibly because the gender of the noun is doubtful. The Rev., in rendering more literally, is more forcible: the wine-press, the great wine-press. See on Matt. xxi. 33.