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1. Hallelujah (allhlouia). Hebrew. Praise ye the Lord. Only in Revelation and in this chapter. Fifteen of the Psalms either begin or end with this word. The Jewish anthem of praise (Psalm 104-109), sung chiefly at the feasts of the Passover and of Tabernacles, derived its title of the Great Hallel from the frequent use of that phrase.
Honor. Omit. On the doxologies in Revelation, see on ch. i. 6.
Did corrupt (efqeiren). The imperfect tense denoting habit. Avenged (exedikhsen). Exacted vengeance from (ex).
3. Her smoke, etc. Compare Isa. xxxiv. 10.
5. All ye His servants - small and great. Compare Psalm cxiv. 13; cxxxiv. 1.
8. Fine linen (bussinon). See on Luke xvi. 19. The four vestments of the ordinary Jewish priest were made of linen or byssus. Their symbolic meaning depended in part on the whiteness and luster of their substance (kaqaron kai lampron pure and bright).
Righteousness (dikaiwmata). More strictly, as Rev. righteous acts.
10. See thou do it not (ora mh). See not (to do it).
The testimony of Jesus (h marturia tou Ihsou). Some explain as the testimony which proceeds from Jesus. Jesus, by imparting this testimony to believers imparts to them the spirit of prophecy. Others, the witness which is born to Jesus. The way of bearing this witness, the substance and essence of this testimony is the Spirit of prophecy.
11. A white horse. Compare ch. vi. 2.
The Word of God (o Logov tou Qeou). This name for our Lord is found in the New Testament only in the writings of John. It is one of the links which connects Revelation with John's other writings. Compare John i. 1-14; 1 John i. 1. Some object to this on the ground that, in the Gospel of John, the term is used absolutely, the Word, whereas here it is qualified, the Word of God, which the Evangelist nowhere employs, and in 1 John i. 1, the Word of life. But, as Alford observes: "It may be left to any fair-judging reader to decide whether it be not a far greater argument for identity that the remarkable designation oJ Logov the Word is used, than for diversity, that, on the solemn occasion described in the Apocalypse, the hitherto unheard adjunct of God is added." The idea of God which is represented here, underlies the absolute term the Word in John i. 1. It is further urged that in the Gospel oJ Logov is applied to the prehistoric Christ, while in this passage it is applied to the historic Christ. But the Dame of the historic Christ is that referred to in ver. 12, not in ver. 13. It is the name "which no one knoweth but He Himself," expressing the character of His whole redeeming work. The name in ver. 13 is that which belongs originally and essentially to Him.
14. Followed (hkolouqei). Note the imperfect tense denoting progression, and thus describing the advancing movement of the host.
15. Sword. See on ch. i. 16.
Smite (patassh). See on ch. xi. 6.
Shall rule (poimanei). See on ch. ii. 27.
Wine-press. See on ch. xiv. 19.
Of the fierceness and wrath ( tou qumou kai thv orghv). Omit and, and render, as Rev., the fierceness of the wrath. See on John iii. 36. Of Almighty God ( tou qeou tou pantokratorov). Lit., of God the all-ruler. See on ch. i. 8.
16. On His thigh. Some explain, on the garment where it covers the thigh to which the sword is bound. Compare Psalm xlv. 3. Others, partly on the vesture, partly on the thigh itself, where, in an equestrian figure, the robe drops from the thigh. According to the former explanation kai and is to be taken as explanatory or definitive of the words on His vesture. Others again suppose a sword on the hilt of which the name is inscribed. Expositors refer to the custom of engraving the artist's name on the thigh of a statue. Thus Cicero says: "A most beautiful statue of Apollo, on the thigh of which the name of Myron had been graven in tiny letters of silver" ("Against Verres," iv., 43). Herodotus describes a figure of Sesostris, bearing across the breast from shoulder to shoulder the inscription written in the sacred character of Egypt: "With my own shoulders I conquered this land" (ii., 106). Rawlinson says that Assyrian figures are found with arrow-headed inscriptions engraved across them, and over the drapery as well as the body.
17. An angel (ena aggelon). Lit., "one angel." Fowls (orneoiv). See on ch. xviii. 2. Rev., birds.
Midst of heaven. See on ch. viii. 13.
Gather yourselves together (sunagesqe). The best texts read sunacqhte be gathered together, as Rev. Compare Ezek. xxxix. 17 sqq. The supper of the great God (to deipnon tou megalou Qeou). Read to mega tou for tou megalou, and render the great supper of God.
20. Was taken (epiasqh). See on Acts iii. 7.
Mark. See on ch. xiii. 16.
Lake (limnhn). See on Luke v. 1.
Brimstone. See on ch. xiv. 10.
21. Were filled (ecortasqhsan). See on Matt. v. 6.