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1. When (ote). Read otan, the indefinite particle with the indicative mood. For a similar construction, see Mark xi. 19 (correct reading). Alford observes that it occurs in the opening of this seal only, giving it an indefiniteness which does not belong to any of the rest.
2. Stood (esthkasin). Rev., correctly, stand.
Trumpets (salpiggev). See on chapter i. 10.
3. At the altar (epi to qusiasthrion). The best texts read qusiasthriou, which justifies the Rev., "over the altar." For altar, see on chapter vi. 9. Interpreters differ as to whether the altar meant is the brazen altar, as in chapter vi. 9, or the altar of incense, as in chapter ix. 13. There seems to be no reason for changing the reference from the brazen altar (see on chapter vi. 9), especially as both altars are mentioned in this verse. The officiating priest in the tabernacle or temple took the fire for his censer from the brazen altar, and then offered the incense upon the golden altar.
Censer. See on chapter v. 8.
Incense. See on chapter v. 8.
Offer it with the prayers (dwsh taiv proseucaiv). Lit., should give it unto the prayers. Rev., add it unto the prayers. So that the prayers and the incense might ascend together. Proseuch is always used of prayer to God.
4. Which came with the prayers. An awkward rendering, followed by Rev., though with the omission of the italicized which came. The construction is ajnebh went up, with the dative case, to the prayers. "The ascending smoke had reference to the prayers, was designed to accompany them and render them more acceptable" (Winer).
Of the saints (twn agiwn). See on Acts xxvi. 10.
5. Took (eilhfen). Lit., hath taken. So Rev., in margin.
7. The first angel. Omit angel.
Hail and fire mingled with blood (calaza kai pur memigmena aimati). Insert ejn in before aimati blood. Instead of "with blood" as A.V., and Rev., we should render "in blood." The hailstones and fire-balls fell in a shower of blood. Compare the account of the plague of fire and hail in Egypt (Exod. ix. 24) to which the reference is here, where the Septuagint reads and there was hail and the fire flaming in the hail. Compare Joel ii. 30.
And the third part of the earth was burnt up. This is added by the best texts.
Green (clwrov). See on pale, chapter vi. 8.
Blood. Reminding of the first plague in Egypt (Exod. vii. 20, 21).
9. Life (yucav). See on 3 John 2.
Ships (ploiwn). See on Luke v. 2.
10. Lamp (lampav). Rev., torch. See on chapter iv. 5.
11. Wormwood (ayinqov). Used metaphorically in the Old Testament of the idolatry of Israel (Deut. xxix. 18); of calamity and sorrow (Jer. ix. 15; xxiii. 15; Lam. iii. 15, 19); of false judgment (Amos v. 7).
Mid heaven (mesouranhmati). Only in Revelation, here, xiv. 6; xix. 17. It means, properly, the meridian, the highest point in the heavens which the sun occupies at noon; not the space between heaven and earth.