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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 14 - Verse 11

Verse 11. And the smoke of their torment. The smoke proceeding from their place of torment. This language is probably derived from the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Ge 19:28: "And he [Abraham] looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace." The destruction of these cities is regarded as an emblem of the destruction of the wicked, and the smoke that ascended from them as a representation of that which ascends from the place where the wicked suffer for ever. See Barnes "Jude 1:7".

 

Ascendeth up. Continually rises from that world of woe.

For ever and ever. See Barnes "Jude 1:7".

This does not indeed affirm that their individual sufferings would be eternal—since it is only a declaration that "the smoke of their torment ascends;" but it is such language as would be used on the supposition that they would suffer for ever, and as can be explained only on that supposition. It implies that their torments continued, and were the cause of that ascending smoke; that is, that they were tormented while it ascended, and as this is declared to be "for ever and ever," it implies that the sufferings of the wicked will be eternal: and this is such language as would not and could not have been used in a revelation from God, unless the punishment of the wicked is eternal. Compare See Barnes "Mt 25:46".

 

And they have no rest day nor night. "Day and night" include all time; and hence the phrase is used to denote perpetuity—always. The meaning here is, that they never have any rest—any interval of pain. This is stated as a circumstance strongly expressive of the severity of their torment, Here, rest comes to the sufferer. The prisoner in his cell lies down on his bed, though hard, and sleeps; the over-worked slave has also intervals of sleep; the eyes of the mourner are locked in repose, and for moments, if not hours, he forgets his sorrows; no pain that we endure on earth can be so certain and prolonged that nature will not, sooner or later, find the luxury of sleep, or will find rest in the grave. But it will be one of the bitterest ingredients in the cup of woe, in the world of despair, that this luxury will be denied for ever, and that they who enter that gloomy prison sleep no more; never know the respite of a moment— never even lose the consciousness of their heavy doom. Oh, how different from the condition of sufferers here! And oh, how sad and strange that any of our race will persevere in sin, and go down to those unmitigated and unending sorrows!

Who worship the beast and his image. See Barnes on "Re 13:4,15".

 

And whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. See Barnes on "Re 13:17".

The meaning here is, that such worshippers will receive the punishment which other idolaters and sinners do. No exception will be made in favour of an idolater, though he worships idols under the forms of an abused Christianity; none will be made in favour of a sinner because he practised iniquity under the garb of religion.

{c} "smoke" Isa 34:10 {d} "no rest" Isa 57:20,21

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