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1. These things (tauta). Read touto this.
The four angels. Compare Matt. xxiv. 31.
4. An hundred and forty and four thousand. Not literally, but the number symbolical of fixedness and full completion (12 x 12). The interpretations, as usual, vary greatly, dividing generally into two great classes: one holding that only Jews are meant, the other including the whole number of the elect both Jew and Gentile. Of the former class some regard the sealed as representing Jewish believers chosen out of the literal Israel. Others add to this the idea of these as forming the nucleus of glorified humanity to which the Gentiles are joined. Others again regard them as Jews reserved by God until Antichrist comes, to maintain in the bosom of their nation a true belief in Jehovah and His law, like the seven thousand in the days of Elijah.
The interpretation of the latter class seems entitled to the greater weight. According to the Apocalyptic usage, Jewish terms are "christianized and heightened in their meaning, and the word "Israel" is to be understood of all Christians, the blessed company of all faithful people, the true Israel of God." See Rom. ii. 28, 29; ix. 6, 7; Gal. vi. 16; Philip. iii. 3. The city of God, which includes all believers, is designated by the Jewish name, New Jerusalem. In verse 3, the sealed are designated generally as the servants of God. In chapter 14 the one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed are mentioned after the description of the enemies of Christ, who have reference to the whole Church of Christ; and the mention of the sealed is followed by the world-wide harvest and vintage of the earth. The one hundred and forty-four thousand in chapter 14., have the Father's name written in their foreheads; and in chapter xxii. 4, all the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem are so marked. In chapter xxi. 12, the twelve tribes include all believers. The mark of Satan which is in the forehead, is set upon all his servants without distinction of race. See chapter xiii. 16, 17; xiv. 9; xvi. 2; xix. 20; xx. 4. The plagues threaten both Jews and Gentiles, as the sealing protects all.
Arrayed (peribeblhmenoi). See on chapter iii. 5.
Robes. See on chapter vi. 11.
"The ancient scriptures and the new The mark establish, and this shows it me, Of all the souls whom God hath made His friends. Isaiah saith that each one garmented In His own land shall be with twofold garments, 81 And his own land is this delightful life. Thy brother, too, 82 far more explicitly, There where he treateth of the robes of white, This revelation manifests to us." Dante, "Paradiso," xxv., 88-96.
11. Stood (esthkesan). Rev., more correctly, were standing. The tense is the pluperfect, used in this verb as an imperfect.
12. Blessing, etc. On the doxologies, see on chapter i. 6.
What are these, etc. The Rev., properly, follows the Greek order, which places first "These which are arrayed in the white robes, who are they?" emphatic and indicating the natural order of the thought as it presents itself to the inquirer. For what, render who, as Rev. 14. I said (eirhka). Lit., I have said. Rev., renders by the present, I say. See on cried. John i. 15.
Which came (oi ercomenoi). The present participle. Hence, as Rev., which come.
Out of great tribulation (ek thv qliyewv thv megalhv). Lit., out of the tribulation, the great (tribulation). Rev., properly, gives the force of the article, "the great." See on Matt. xiii. 21.
15. Therefore. Because of this washing.
Before the throne. Compare Eph. v. 27.
Temple (naw). Or sanctuary. See on Matt. iv. 5.
16. They shall hunger no more, etc. Compare Isa. xlix. 10.
17. In the midst (ana meson). See on chapter v. 6.
Shall lead (odhghsei). See on Luke vi. 39.
Living fountains of waters (zwsav phgav udatwn). For the participle living, read zwhv of life, and render as Rev., fountains of waters of life. Compare Ps. xxiii. 2. In the Greek order, of life stands first as emphatic. All tears (pan dakruon). Rev., correctly, every tear. (Compare Isaiah xxv. 8.