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

Verse 12. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens. It is not unusual in the Scriptures to call on the heavens and the earth to sympathize with the events that occur. Compare See Barnes "Isa 1:2".

Here the heavens are called on to rejoice because of the signal victory which it was seen would be achieved over the great enemy. Heaven itself was secure from any further rebellion or invasion, and the foundation was laid for a final victory over Satan everywhere.

And ye that dwell in them. The angels and the redeemed. This is an instance of the sympathy of the heavenly inhabitants—the unfallen and holy beings before the throne—with the church on earth, and with all that may affect its welfare. Compare See Barnes "1 Pe 1:12".

 

Woe to the inhabiters of the earth. This is not an imprecation, or a wish that woe might come upon them, but a prediction that it would. The meaning is this: Satan would ultimately be entirely overcome—a fact that was symbolized by his being cast out of heaven; but there would be still temporary war upon the earth, as if he were permitted to roam over the world for a time, and to spread woe and sorrow there.

And of the sea. Those who inhabit the islands of the sea, and those who are engaged in commerce. The meaning is, that the world as such would have occasion to mourn—the dwellers both on the land and on the sea.

For the devil is come down unto you. As if cast out of heaven.

Having great wrath. Wrath shown by the symbolical war with Michael and his angels, (Re 12:7;) wrath increased and inflamed because he has been discomfited; wrath the more concentrated because he knows that his time is limited.

Because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. That is, he knows that the time is limited in which he will be permitted to wage war with the saints on the earth. There is allusion elsewhere to the fact that the time of Satan is limited, and that he is apprised of that. Thus in Mt 8:29, "Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" See Barnes on "Mt 8:29".

Within that limited space, Satan knows that he must do all that he ever can do to destroy souls, and to spread woe through the earth, and hence it is not unnatural that he should be represented as excited to deeper wrath, and as rousing all his energy to destroy the church.

{c} "Therefore rejoice" Ps 96:11; Isa 49:13 {d} "Woe" Re 8:13 {e} "because he knoweth" Re 10:6

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