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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 12 - Verse 10

Verse 10. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven. The great enemy was expelled; the cause of God and truth was triumphant; and the conquering hosts united in celebrating the victor. This representation of a song, consequent on victory, is in accordance with the visual representations in the Bible. See the song of Moses at the Red Sea, Ex 15:1; the song of Deborah, Jud 5:1; the song of David when the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, 2 Sa 22:1; and Isaiah 12-25. On no occasion could such a song be more appropriate than on the complete routing and discomfiture of Satan and his rebellious hosts. Viewed in reference to the time here symbolized, this would relate to the certain triumph of the church and of truth on the earth; in reference to the language, there is an allusion to the joy and triumph of the heavenly hosts when Satan and his apostate legions were expelled.

Now is come salvation. That is, complete deliverance from the power of Satan.

And strength. That is, now is the mighty power of God manifested in casting down and subduing the great enemy of the church.

And the kingdom of our God. The reign of our God. See Barnes "Mt 3:2".

That is now established among men, and God will henceforward rule. This refers to the certain ultimate triumph of his cause in the world.

And the power of his Christ. His anointed; that is, the kingdom of Christ as the Messiah, or as anointed and set apart to rule over the world. See Barnes "Mt 1:1".

 

For the accuser of our brethren is cast down. The phrase "our brethren" shows by whom this song is celebrated. It is sung in heaven; but it is by those who belonged to the redeemed church, and whose brethren were still suffering persecution and trial on the earth. It shows the tenderness of the tie which unites all the redeemed as brethren, whether on earth or in heaven; and it shows the interest which they "who have passed the flood" have in the trials, the sorrows, and the triumphs of those who are still upon the earth. We have here another appellation given to the great enemy —"accuser of the brethren." The word here used—kathgorov, in later editions of the New Testament kathgwr—means properly an accuser; one who blames another, or charges another with crime. The word occurs in Joh 8:10; Ac 23:30,35

Ac 24:8; 25:16,18; Re 12:10, in all which places it is rendered accuser or accusers, though only in the latter place applied to Satan. The verb frequently occurs, Mt 12:10; 27:12; Mr 3:2; 15:3, et al. The description of Satan as an accuser accords with the opinion of the ancient Hebrews in regard to his character. Thus he is represented in Job 1:9-11; 2:4-5; Zec 3:1-2; 1 Ch 21:1.

The phrase "of the brethren" refers to Christians, or to the people of God; and the meaning here is, that one of the characteristics of Satan—a characteristic so well-known as to make it proper to designate him by it—is that he is an accuser of the righteous; that he is employed in bringing against them charges affecting their character and destroying their influence. The propriety of this appellation cannot be doubted. It is, as it has always been, one of the characteristics of Satan—one of the means by which he keeps up his influence in the world—to bring accusations against the people of God. Thus, under his suggestions, and by his agents, they are charged with hypocrisy; with insincerity; with being influenced by bad motives; with pursuing sinister designs under the cloak of religion; with secret vices and crimes. Thus it was that the martyrs were accused; thus it is that unfounded accusations are often brought against ministers of the gospel, palsying their power and diminishing their influence, or that when a professed Christian falls the church is made to suffer by an effort to cast suspicion on all who bear the Christian name. Perhaps the most skilful thing that Satan does, and the thing by which he most contributes to diminish the influence of the church, is in thus causing "accusations" to be brought against the people of God.

Is cast down. The period here referred to was, doubtless, the time when the church was about to be established and to flourish in the world, and when accusations would be brought against Christians by various classes of calumniators and informers. It is well known that in the early ages of Christianity crimes of the most horrid nature were charged on Christians, and that it was by these slanders that the effort was made to prevent the extension of the Christian church.

Which accused them before our God. See Barnes "Job 1:9-10".

The meaning is, that he accused them, as it were, in the very presence of God. Day and night. He never ceased bringing these accusations, and sought by the perseverance and constancy with which they were urged, to convince the world that there was no sincerity in the church, and no reality in religion.

{d} "Now" Re 11:15

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