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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 14 - Verse 18

Verse 18. And another angel. The sixth in order. He came, like the angel in Re 14:15, with a command to him who had the sickle to go forth and execute his commission.

Came out from the altar. This stood in the front of the temple, (see Barnes "Mt 21:12"; compare See Barnes "Mt 5:23-24,) and was the place where burnt-sacrifices were made. As the work now to be done was a work of destruction, this was an appropriate place in the representation.

Which had power over fire. As if he kept the fire on the altar. Fire is the usual emblem of destruction; and as the work now to be done was such, it was proper to represent this angel as engaged in it.

And cried with a loud cry, etc. See Re 14:15. That is, he came forth as with a command from God, to call on him who was appointed to do the work of destruction, now to engage in performing it. The time had fully come.

Thrust in thy sharp sickle. Re 14:15.

And gather the clusters of the vine of the earth. That portion of the earth which might be represented by a vineyard in which the grapes were to be gathered and crushed. The image here employed occurs elsewhere to denote the destruction of the wicked. See the very beautiful description in Isa 63:1-6, respecting the destruction of Edom and Barnes on "Isa 63:1-6".

 

For her grapes are fully ripe. That is, the time has come for the ingathering; or, to apply the image, for the winding up of human affairs by the destruction of the wicked. The time here, as in the previous representation, is the end of the world; and the design is to comfort the church in its trials and persecutions, by the assurance that all its enemies will be cut off.

{a} "saying" Re 14:15

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