Revelation of John 19
After these things ( μετα ταυτα ). Often when a turn comes in this book. But Beckwith is probably correct in seeing in 19:1-5 the climax of chapter Re 18. This first voice (verses 1,2) ως φωνην μεγαλην ουχλου πολλου (as it were great voice of much multitude) is probably the response of the angelic host (Re 5:11; Heb 12:22). There is responsive singing (grand chorus) as in chapters Re 4; 5.
Saying ( λεγοντων ). Present active participle of λεγω, genitive plural, though οχλου is genitive singular (collective substantive, agreement in sense).
Hallelujah ( Αλληλουια ). Transliteration of the Hebrew seen often in the Psalms (LXX) and in III. Macc. 7:13, in N.T. only in Re 19:1,3,4,6. It means, "Praise ye the Lord." Fifteen of the Psalms begin or end with this word. The Great Hallel (a title for Ps 104-109) is sung chiefly at the feasts of the passover and tabernacles. This psalm of praise uses language already in 12:10.
For ( οτ ). Because. The reason for God's judgments is given in 15:3; 16:7. The doom of Babylon seen in 14:7 is now realized.
For ( οτ ). Second use of οτ, explaining the first.
He hath judged ( εκρινεν ). First aorist (prophetic and climacteric, effective) active indicative of κρινω.
Which ( ητις ). The very one which.
Did corrupt ( εφθειρεν ). This is the terrible fact. First aorist active indicative of φθειρω. Cf. 11:18; 14:8; 17:2; 18:3.
And he hath avenged ( κα εξεδικησεν ). God has exacted vengeance for the blood of his servants from ( εκ ) her. Prophetic aorist again of εκδικεω with accusative and εκ with ablative as in 6:10.
A second time ( δευτερον ). Adverbial accusative, a heavenly encore.
They say ( ειρηκαν ). Perfect active indicative of ειπον. "They have said," not an "aoristic" perfect for "they say," but vivid dramatic perfect as in 5:7 and the form in -αν instead of -ασιν as in 18:3; 21:6.
Goeth up ( αναβαινε ). Linear present active indicative of αναβαινω, "keeps on going up," "a last touch to the description already given (18:21ff.) of Babylon's utter collapse" (Swete). The smoke of the city's ruin (14:11; 18:8f.,18) instead of incense (8:4). Cf. Isa 34:9f.
Fell down and worshipped God ( επεσαν κα προσεκυνησαν τω θεω ). Precisely as in 7:11, which see. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures take up the antiphonal chorus of the angels.
A voice from the throne ( φωνη απο του θρονου ). Not the voice of God, nor of the Lamb, nor εκ του ναου (16:17), but from an angel of the Presence. This angel summons all the servants of God to join in the antiphonal praise to God.
Give praise to our God ( αινειτε τω θεω ημων ). Present active imperative of αινεω, old verb, with the accusative elsewhere in N.T., but here with the dative as occasionally in the LXX (1Ch 16:36, etc.).
As it were the voice ( ως φωνην ). Used here three times, as once in verse 1: once of a second great multitude ( οχλου πολλου ), not of angels as in verse 1, but the innumerable multitude of the redeemed of 7:9; then "of many waters" ( υδατων πολλων ) as in 1:15; 14:2 like "the roar of a cataract" (Swete); and once more "the voice of mighty thunders" ( βροντων ισχυρων ) as in 6:1; 10:3ff.
Saying ( λεγοντων ). The best attested reading, genitive plural of λεγω, agreeing with οχλου (genitive singular), for roll of the waters and the roar of the thunders were not articulate. Some MSS. have λεγοντες (nominative plural) referring also to οχλου, though nominative instead of genitive. The fourth "Hallelujah" comes from this vast multitude.
The Lord our God, the Almighty ( Κυριοσ, ο θεοσ, ο παντοκρατωρ ). For this designation of God see also 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7,14; 19:15; 21:22. Cf. deus et dominus noster used of the Roman emperor.
Reigneth ( εβασιλευσεν ). First aorist active of βασιλευω. Probably ingressive prophetic aorist, "God became king" in fulness of power on earth with the fall of the world power.
Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad ( χαιρωμεν κα αγαλλιωμεν ). Present active subjunctive (volitive) of χαιρω and αγαλλιαω (elsewhere in N.T. in the middle except Lu 1:47; 1Pe 1:8). For both verbs together see Mt 5:12.
Let us give ( δωμεν ). Second aorist active subjunctive of διδωμ, but A reads δωσομεν (future active) and P δωσωμεν. If the future indicative is read, the tone is changed from exhortation to declaration (we shall give glory unto him).
The marriage of the Lamb ( ο γαμος του αρνιου ). In the O.T. God is the Bridegroom of Israel (Hos 2:16; Isa 54:6; Eze 16:7ff.). In the N.T. Christ is the Bridegroom of the Kingdom (the universal spiritual church as seen by Paul, 2Co 11:2; Eph 5:25ff., and by John in Re 3:20; 19:7,9; 21:2,9; 22:17. In the Gospels Christ appears as the Bridegroom (Mr 2:19f.; Mt 9:15; Lu 5:34f.; Joh 3:29). The figure of γαμος occurs in Mt 22:2-14. Three metaphors of women appear in the Apocalypse (the Mother in chapter Re 12, the Harlot in Re 17-19, and the Bride of Christ here to the end). "The first and third present the Church under two different aspects of her life, while the second answers to her great rival and enemy" (Swete).
Is come ( ηλθεν ). Prophetic aorist, come at last.
Made herself ready ( ητοιμασεν εαυτην ). First aorist active indicative of ετοιμαζω and the reflexive pronoun. See 22:2 for ητοιμασμενην ως νυμφην (prepared as a bride). There is something for her to do (1Jo 3:3; Jude 1:21; 2Co 7:1), but the chief preparation is the act of Christ (Eph 5:25ff.).
That she should array herself ( ινα περιβαλητα ). Sub-final object clause subject of εδοθη (was given to her) with ινα and the second aorist middle (direct) of περιβαλλω to fling around. This bridal dress is a gift from Christ. This form, εδοθη (it was given), occurs some 20 times in this book.
In fine linen, bright and pure ( βυσσινον λαμπρον καθαρον ). See 19:14 for the same raiment on those accompanying "The Word of God" and for the seven angels in 15:6. See by contrast the garments of the harlot (17:4; 18:16). For βυσσινον see 18:16.
The righteous acts of the saints ( τα δικαιωματα των αγιων ). This is the explanation ( γαρ ) of the bridal dress and explains why there is work for the Bride as well as for Christ (Php 2:12f.). See 15:4 for δικαιωμα (also Ro 5:18).
Write ( Γραψον ). First aorist active imperative of γραφω as in 1:11; 14:13. The speaker may be the angel guide of 17:1.
It is another beatitude ( μακαριο, Blessed) like that in 14:13 (fourth of the seven in the book).
They which are bidden ( ο κεκλημενο ). Articular perfect passive participle of καλεω, like Mt 22:3; Lu 14:17. Cf. Re 17:14. This beatitude reminds us of that in Lu 14:15. (Cf. Mt 8:11; 26:29.)
These are true words of God ( Hουτο ο λογο αληθινο του θεου εισιν ). Undoubtedly, but one should bear in mind that apocalyptic symbolism "has its own methods and laws of interpretation, and by these the student must be guided" (Swete).
To worship him ( προσκυνησα αυτω ). First aorist active infinitive of purpose. John either felt that the angel represented God or he was beside himself with excitement over the glorious consummation. He was tempted to worship an angel (Col 2:18).
See thou do it not ( ορα μη ). Repeated in 22:9. Here there is no verb after μη (ellipse of ποιησηις τουτο ) as in Mr 1:44; 1Th 5:15), the aorist subjunctive of negative purpose with μη after ορα (present active imperative of οραω ), a common enough idiom.
Fellow-servant ( συνδουλος ). The angel refuses worship from John on this ground. All Christians are συνδουλο (fellow-servants) as Christ taught (Mt 18:28ff.; 24:49) and as Paul (Col 1:7; 4:7) and John (Re 6:11) taught. Angels are God's servants also (Heb 1:4-14). For "the testimony of Jesus see 1:2,9; 6:9; 12:17; 22:4.
Worship God ( τω θεω προσκυνησον ). And Christ, who is the Son of God (5:13f.).
The spirit of prophecy ( το πνευμα της προφητειας ). Explanatory use of γαρ (for) here as in 8. The possession of the prophetic spirit shows itself in witness to Jesus. In illustration see Mr 1:10; Mt 3:16; Lu 3:21; Joh 1:51; Re 4:1; 10:1; 11:19; 14:17; 15:5; 18:1; 19:1,7-9.
The heaven opened ( τον ουρανον ηνεωιγμενον ). Perfect passive participle (triple reduplication) of ανοιγω. Accusative case after ειδον. So Ezekiel (1:1) begins his prophecy. See also the baptism of Jesus (Mt 3:16; Lu 3:21, but σχιζομενους in Mr 1:10). Jesus predicted the opened heavens to Nathanael (Joh 1:51). In Re 4:1 a door is opened in heaven, the sanctuary is opened (11:19; 15:5), angels come out of heaven (10:1; 14:17; 18:1), and sounds come from heaven (19:1).
Behold, a white horse ( ιδου ιππος λευκος ). Nominative case because of ιδου, not ειδον. Cf. 6:2 for ιππος λευκος. The emblem of victory in both cases, but the riders are very different. Here it is the Messiah who is the Warrior, as is made plain by "Faithful and True" ( πιστος κα αληθινος ), epithets already applied to Christ (1:5; 3:7,14). Cf. also 22:6.
In righteousness he doth judge and make war ( εν δικαιοσυνη κρινε κα πολεμε ). See Isa 11:3ff. The Messiah is both Judge and Warrior, but he does both in righteousness (15:3; 16:5,7; 19:2). He passes judgment on the beast (antichrist) and makes war on him. Satan had offered Christ a victory of compromise which was rejected.
A flame of fire ( φλοξ πυρος ). As in the opening vision of Christ in 1:14 (2:18).
Many diadems ( διαδηματα πολλα ). A new feature, but the dragon has a diadem on each of his seven heads (12:3) and the first beast one upon each of his ten horns (13:1). So the victorious Messiah will wear many royal diadems and not mere crowns, because he is King of kings (19:16).
And he hath ( κα εχων ). Nominative active present participle of εχω either used absolutely as an independent verb (like indicative) or in an anacoluthon, though αυτου (his) is genitive.
A name written ( ονομα γεγραμμενον ). Perfect passive participle of γραφω as in 2:17 (cf. 3:12).
But he himself ( ε μη αυτος ). "Except himself" (common ellipsis of the verb after ε μη, "if not"). See 2:17; 3:12 for the new name there described. See 14:1 for the name of Christ on the forehead of the 144,000, and 17:5 for the name on the forehead of the harlot. This word here supplements what Jesus says in Mt 11:27.
Arrayed ( περιβεβλημενος ). Perfect passive participle of περιβαλλω, to clothe, often in this book.
In a garment ( ιματιον ). Accusative case after the passive participle περιβεβλημενος.
Sprinkled ( ρεραντισμενον ). Perfect passive participle of ραντιζω, in the predicate accusative case agreeing with ιματιον. A Q here read βεβαμμενον (perfect passive participle of βαπτω, to dip). Probably ρεραντισμενον (sprinkled) is correct, because the picture comes from Isa 63:3, where Aquila and Symmachus use ραντιζω. The use of βεβαμμενον (dipped) is a bolder figure and Charles considers it correct. In either case it is the blood of Christ's enemies with which his raiment ( ιματιον, perhaps a χλαμυς Mt 27:28,31) is sprinkled or dipped as the case may be, not his own blood on Calvary (1:5; 5:9; 7:14; 12:11), but proleptically and prophetically the blood of Christ's enemies. Hαιματ can be either locative case with βεβαμμενον (dipped in blood) or instrumental with ρεραντισμενον (sprinkled with blood).
The Word of God ( ο Λογος του θεου ). Some scholars hold this addition inconsistent with verse 12, but it may be merely the explanation of the secret name or still another name besides that known only to himself. The personal use of the Logos applied to Christ occurs only in the Johannine writings unless that is the idea in Heb 4:12. In Joh 1:1,14 it is merely ο Λογος (the Word), in 1Jo 1:1 ο Λογος της ζωης (the Word of Life), while here it is ο Λογος του θεου (the Word of God), one of the strongest arguments for identity of authorship. The idiom here is one common in Luke and Paul for the teaching of Christ (Lu 5:1; 8:11, etc.; 1Co 14:36; 2Co 2:17, etc.). Jesus is himself the final and perfect revelation of God to men (Heb 1:1f.).
The armies which are in heaven ( τα στρατευματα τα εν τω ουρανω ). See 12:7 for Michael and angels warring with the dragon, and also Mt 26:53 for the angels at Christ's call, not to say Heb 1:6f.,14; Mt 13:41; Re 5:11f.
Followed ( ηκολουθε ). Imperfect active and singular ( στρατευματα, neuter plural) of ακολουθεω, graphic picture of the celestial Warrior with his angelic hosts "upon white horses" ( εφ' ιπποις λευκοις ) like the Leader and, like him "clothed in fine linen white and pure" ( ενδεδυμενο βυσσινον λευκον καθαρον ) like the Leader again (19:8). Note ενδεδυμενο here as in 1:13; 15:6.
A sharp sword ( ρομφαια οξεια ). As in 1:16; 2:12,15.
That he should smite ( ινα παταξη ). Purpose clause with ινα and the first aorist active subjunctive of πατασσω, old verb already in 11:6 and like Isa 11:4, a figure here for forensic and judicial condemnation.
And he shall rule them ( κα αυτος ποιμανε ). Emphatic use of αυτος twice (he himself). Future active of ποιμαινω, to shepherd as in 2:27; 12:5 "with a rod of iron" ( εν ραβδω σιδηρα ) as there. See 1Pe 2:25; Heb 13:20 for Christ as Shepherd.
And he treadeth ( κα αυτος πατε ). Change to present tense of πατεω, to tread (here transitive), with solemn repetition of κα αυτος.
The winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God ( την ληνον του οινου του θυμου της οργης του θεου του παντοκρατορος ). Literally, "the winepress of the wine of the wrath of the anger of God the Almighty" (four genitives dependent on one another and on ληνον ). These images are here combined from 14:8,10,19f.; 16:19. The fact is already in 19:13 after Isa 63:1ff.
And on his thigh ( κα επ τον μηρον αυτου ). "Even upon his thigh." Old word, here alone in N.T.
King of kings, and Lord of lords ( Βασιλευς βασιλεων κα Κυριος κυριων ). The title already given to the Lamb in 17:14, but in reverse order. See the same idea in 1Ti 6:15.
An angel ( ενα αγγελον ). Like εις in 18:21, just "an," not "one."
Standing in the sun ( εστωτα εν τω ηλιω ). Second perfect active participle of ιστημ (intransitive). "Where all the birds of prey would behold him" (Beckwith). For ορνεοις (birds) see 18:2 and for εν μεσουρανηματ (in mid heaven) see 18:13; 14:6.
Come and be gathered together ( Δευτε συναχθητε ). Δευτε is the adverb δευρω (hither), used when two or more are addressed, possibly from δευρο ιτε (come here). Asyndeton also without κα (and). First aorist passive imperative of συναγω. The metaphor is drawn from Eze 39:17.
Unto the great supper of God ( εις το δειπνον το μεγα του θεου ). The habits of vultures are described by Christ in Mt 24:28. This is a bold and powerful picture of the battlefield after the victory of the Messiah, "a sacrificial feast spread on God's table for all the vultures of the sky" (Swete). Is this battle the same as that of Har Magedon (16:16) and that of Gog and Magog (20:8ff.) mentioned after the thousand years? The language in 20:8ff. seems like this derived from Eze 39:17ff., and "in the Apocalypse priority in the order of sequence does not always imply priority in time" (Swete). There seems no way to decide this point save that the end seems to be at hand.
That ye may eat ( ινα φαγητε ). Purpose clause with ινα and the second aorist active subjunctive of εσθιω.
The flesh of kings ( σαρκας βασιλεων ). "Pieces of flesh" (plural of σαρξ, flesh) and of all classes and conditions of men who fell in the battle (6:18; 11:13; 13:16; 19:5; 20:12). War is no respecter of persons.
Gathered together ( συνηγμενα ). Perfect passive participle of συναγω. In battle array.
To make war against ( ποιησα πολεμον μετα ). First aorist active infinitive of ποιεω, to express purpose. See πολεμεω μετα in 12:7 and the use of συναγω εις πολεμον in 16:14; 20:8. The beast (for his army see 16:13f.) led a league of ten kings against Babylon in 17:16f., but with the purpose also of fighting the Lamb (17:14).
Was taken ( επιασθη ). First aorist (prophetic) passive indicative of the Doric πιαζω (Attic πιεζω ). Cf. 2Th 2:8.
The false prophet ( ο ψευδοπροφητης ). Possibly the second beast of 13:11-17; 16:13; 20:10. Charles takes him to be "the priesthood of the Imperial cult, which practised all kinds of magic and imposture to beguile men to worship the Beast."
That wrought the signs in his sight ( ο ποιεσας τα σημεια ενωπιον αυτου ). As in 13:14.
Wherewith ( εν οις ). "In which" signs.
He deceived ( επλανησεν ). First aorist active indicative of πλαναω. He was only able to deceive "them that had received" ( τους λαβοντας, articular second aorist active participle of λαμβανω, "those receiving") "the mark of the beast" (13:16; 14:9ff.; 16:2; 20:4) "and them that worshipped his image" ( τους προσκυνουντας τη εικον αυτου ) as in 13:15.
They twain ( ο δυο ). "The two."
Were cast ( εβληθησαν ). First aorist passive Indicative of βαλλω. They fall together as they fought together. "The day that sees the end of a false statecraft will see also that of a false priestcraft" (Swete).
Alive ( ζωντες ). Present active participle of ζαω, predicative nominative, "living."
Into the lake of fire ( εις την λιμνην του πυρος ). Genitive πυρος describes this λιμνην (lake, cf. Lu 5:1) as it does γεεννα in Mt 5:22. See also 20:10; 21:8. It is a different figure from the "abyss" in 9:1ff; 20:1ff. This is the final abode of Satan, the beast, the false prophet, and wicked men.
That burneth with brimstone ( της καιομενης εν θειω ). Note the genitive here in place of the accusative λιμνην, perhaps because of the intervening genitive πυρος (neuter, not feminine). The agreement is regular in 21:8. For εν θειω (with brimstone) see 14:10; 20:10; 21:8. The fact of hell is clearly taught here, but the imagery is not to be taken literally any more than that of heaven in chapters Re 4; 5; 21; 22 is to be so understood. Both fall short of the reality.
The rest ( ο λοιπο ). Of the enemy (the kings and their hosts of verse 19).
Were killed ( απεκτανθησαν ). First aorist (effective) passive indicative of αποκτεινω. Those affected by the Caesar-worship (14:9ff.) were not at once cast into the lake with the two beasts.
Were filled ( εχορτασθησαν ). First aorist (effective) passive of χορταζω. As they had been invited to do in verse 17.
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