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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 7 - Verse 13

Verse 13. And one of the elders. See Barnes on "Re 4:4".

That is, as there understood, one of the representatives of the church before the throne.

Answered. The word answer, with us, means to reply to something which has been said. In the Bible, however, the word is not unfrequently used in the beginning of a speech, where nothing has been said—as if it were a reply to something that might be said on the subject; or to something that is passing through the mind of another; or to something in the case under consideration which suggests an inquiry. Compare Isa 65:24; Da 2:26; Ac 5:8.

Thus it is used here. John was looking on the host, and reflecting on the state of things; and to the train of thought passing through his mind the angel answered by an inquiry as to a part of that host. Professor Stuart renders it accosted me.

What are these which are arrayed in white robes? Who are these? The object evidently is to bring the case of these persons more particularly into view. The vast host with branches of palm had attracted the attention of John, but it was the object of the speaker to turn his thoughts to a particular part of the host—the martyrs who stood among them. He would seem, therefore, to have turned to a particular portion of the immense multitude of the redeemed, and by an emphasis on the word these—"Who are these?"—to have fixed the eye upon them. All those who are before the throne are represented as clothed in white robes, (Re 7:9) but the eye might be directed to a particular part of them as grouped together, and as having something peculiar in their position or appearance. There was a propriety in thus directing the mind of John to the martyrs as triumphing in heaven, in a time when the churches were suffering persecution, and in view of the vision which he had had of times of darkness and calamity coming upon the world at the opening of the sixth seal. Beyond all the scenes of sorrow and grief, he was permitted to see the martyrs triumphing in heaven.

Arrayed in white robes. See Barnes "Re 7:9".

 

And whence came they? The object is to fix the attention more distinctly on what is said of them, that they came up out of great tribulation.

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