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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 7 - Verse 16

Verse 16. They shall hunger no more. A considerable portion of the redeemed who will be there, were, when on the earth, subjected to the evils of famine; many who perished with hunger. In heaven, they will be subjected to that evil no more, for there will be no want that will not be supplied. The bodies which the redeemed will have —spiritual bodies (1 Co 15:44)—will doubtless be such as will be nourished in some other way than by food, if they require any nourishment; and whatever that nourishment may be, it will be fully supplied. The passage here is taken from Isa 49:10: "They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them." See Barnes "Isa 49:10".

 

Neither thirst any more. As multitudes of the redeemed have been subjected to the evils of hunger, so have multitudes also been subjected to the pains of thirst. In prison; in pathless deserts; in times of drought, when wells and fountains were dried up, they have suffered from this cause—a cause producing as intense suffering perhaps as any that man endures. Compare Ex 17:3; Ps 63:1; La 4:4; 2 Co 11:27.

It is easy to conceive of persons suffering so intensely from thirst that the highest vision of felicity would be such a promise as that in the words before us—"neither thirst any more."

Neither shall the sun light on them. It is hardly necessary, perhaps, to say that the word light here does not mean to enlighten, to give light to, to shine on. The Greek is peshfall on—and the reference, probably, is to the intense and burning heat of the sun, commonly called a sun-stroke. Excessive heat of the sun, causing great pain or sudden death, is not a very uncommon thing among us, and must have been more common in the warm climates and burning sands of the countries in the vicinity of Palestine. The meaning here is, that in heaven they would be free from this calamity.

Nor any heat. In Isa 49:10, from which place this is quoted, the expression is:

HEBREW

sharab, properly denoting heat or burning, and particularly the mirage, the excessive heat of a sandy desert producing a vapour which has a striking resemblance to water, and which often misleads the unwary traveller by its deceptive appearance. See Barnes on "Isa 35:7".

The expression here is equivalent to intense heat; and the meaning is, that in heaven the redeemed will not be subjected to any such suffering as the traveller often experiences in the burning sands of the desert. The language would convey a most grateful idea to those who had been subjected to these sufferings, and is one form of saying that, in heaven, the redeemed will be delivered from the ills which they suffer in this life. Perhaps the whole image here is that of travellers who have been on a long journey, exposed to hunger and thirst, wandering in the burning sands of the desert, and exposed to the fiery rays of the sun, at length reaching their quiet and peaceful home, where they would find safety and abundance. The believer's journey from earth to heaven is such a pilgrimage.

{a} "hunger" Isa 49:10

{b} "heat" Ps 121:6

{c} "feed" Ps 23:1,2,5; 36:8; Isa 40:11

 

{d} "wipe" Isa 25:8

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