Revelation of John 15

CHAPTER XV.

The seven angels with the seven last plagues, 1.

The sea of glass, and those who had a victory over the beast, 2.

The song of Moses and the Lamb, 3, 4.

The temple in heaven opened, 5.

Seven angels come out of the temple, who receive from one of

the four living creatures seven golden vials full of the wrath

of God, 6-8.

NOTES ON CHAP. XV.

Verse 1. Seven angels having the seven last plagues] Under the

emblems of harvest and vintage God's judgments on the enemies of

his Church have already been pointed out: but these are farther

signified by the seven vials, which are called the seven last

plagues of God. The seven last plagues appear to fall under the

seventh and last trumpet. As the seventh seal contained the seven

trumpets, so the seventh trumpet contains the seven vials. And as

seven angels sounded the seven trumpets, so seven angels are

appointed to pour out the seven vials, angels being always the

ministers of Providence. This chapter contains the opening vision

which is preparatory to the pouring out of the vials.

The Targum of Jonathan on Isa 51:17,

Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the

hand of the Lord the cup of his fury, uses the same words employed

by the evangelist here: "Jerusalem, thou hast received from the

face of the Lord the cup of his wrath; yath

pailey casa dilvata, "the PHIALS of the cup of malediction " find

again on Isa 51:22:

I will take out of thy hand the cup of malediction;

yath PAILEY casa dechemti, "the PHIALS of the

cup of my indignation."

Verse 2. A sea of glass] A spacious lucid plain around the

throne, from which fiery coruscations were continually emitted:

or, the reflection of the light upon this lucid plain produced the

prismatic colours of the most vivid rainbow.

Over the beast, and over his image] See the notes on

Re 13:1-18.

Verse 3. They sing the song of Moses] That which Moses sang,

Ex 15:1, when he and the Israelites, by the miraculous power of

God, had got safely through the Red Sea, and saw their enemies all

destroyed.

And the song of the Lamb] The same song adapted to the state of

the suffering, but now delivered Christians.

Great and marvellous are thy works] God's works are descriptive

of his infinite power and wisdom.

Lord God Almighty] Nearly the same as Jehovah, God of hosts.

Just and true are thy ways] Every step God takes in grace or

providence is according to justice, and he carefully accomplishes

all his threatenings and all his promises; to this he is bound by

his truth.

Verse 4. Who shall not fear thee] That is, All should fear and

worship this true God, because he is just and true and holy; and

his saints should love and obey him, because he is their King; and

they and all men should acknowledge his judgments, because they

are made manifest.

Verse 5. The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony] The

temple which succeeded the tabernacle, in which was the

testimony, viz., the two tables, Aaron's rod, pot of manna, holy

anointing oil, &c. All bearing testimony to the truth of God and

his miraculous interposition in their behalf.

Verse 6. The seven angels came out of the temple] To show that

they were sent from God himself.

Clothed in pure and white linen] Habited as priests. For these

habits see Ex 28:6, 8; and See Clarke on Re 1:13.

Verse 8. The temple was filled with smoke] So was the tabernacle

when consecrated by Moses, Ex 40:34, 35, and the temple when

consecrated by Solomon, 1Ki 8:10, 11; 2Ch 5:14. See Isa 6:4.

This account seems at least partly copied from those above.

When the high priest entered into the holy of holies, and the

ordinary priest into the holy place, they always carried with them

a great deal of smoking incense, which filled those places with

smoke and darkness, which prevented them from considering too

attentively the parts and ornaments of those holy places, and thus

served to produce an air of majesty in the temple, which none

dared to approach without the deepest reverence. To this Calmet

thinks the allusion may be here.

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