Verse 18. And the heathen nations were wroth - At the breaking out of the power and kingdom of God. This wrath of the heathens now rises to the highest pitch; but it meets the wrath of the Almighty, and melts away. In this verse is described both the going forth and the end of God's wrath, which together take up several ages. And the time of the dead is come - Both of the quick and dead, of whom those already dead are far the more numerous part. That they be judged - This, being infallibly certain, they speak of as already present. And to give a reward - At the coming of Christ, chap. xxii, 12; but of free grace, not of debt,
1. To his servants the prophets:
2. To his saints: to them who were eminently holy:
3. To them that fear his name: these are the lowest class. Those who do not even fear God will have no reward from him. Small and great - All universally, young and old, high and low, rich and poor. And to destroy them that destroyed the earth - The earth was destroyed by the "great whore" in particular, chap. xix, 2; xvii, 2, 5; but likewise in general, by the open rage and hate of wicked men against all that is good; by wars, and the various destruction and desolation naturally flowing therefrom; by such laws and constitutions as hinder much good, and occasion many offenses and calamities; by public scandals, whereby a door is opened for all dissoluteness and unrighteousness; by abuse of secular and spiritual powers; by evil doctrines, maxims, and counsels; by open violence and persecution; and by sins crying to God to send plagues upon the earth. This great work of God, destroying the destroyers, under the trumpet of the seventh angel, is not the third woe, but matter of joy, for which the elders solemnly give thanks. All the woes, and particularly the third, go forth over those "who dwell upon the earth;" but this destruction, over those "who destroy the earth," and were also instruments of that woe.
Verse 19. And the temple of God - The inmost part of it. Was opened in heaven - And hereby is opened a new scene of the most momentous things, that we may see how the contents of the seventh trumpet are executed; and, notwithstanding the greatest opposition, (particularly by the third woe,) brought to a glorious conclusion. And the ark of the covenant was seen in his temple - The ark of the covenant which was made by Moses was not in the second temple, being probably burnt with the first temple by the Chaldeans. But here is the heavenly ark of the everlasting covenant, the shadow of which was under the Old Testament, Heb. ix, 4. The inhabitants of heaven saw the ark before: St. John also saw it now; for a testimony, that what God had promised, should be fulfilled to the uttermost. And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail - The very same there are, and in the same order, when the seventh angel has poured out his phial; chap. xvi, 17-xxi, one place answers the other. What the trumpet here denounces in heaven, is there executed by the phial upon earth. First it is shown what will be done; and afterwards it is done.