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The Rejoicing in Heaven

19

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah!

Salvation and glory and power to our God,

2

for his judgments are true and just;

he has judged the great whore

who corrupted the earth with her fornication,

and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

3 Once more they said,

“Hallelujah!

The smoke goes up from her forever and ever.”

4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying,

“Amen. Hallelujah!”

5 And from the throne came a voice saying,

“Praise our God,

all you his servants,

and all who fear him,

small and great.”

6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God

the Almighty reigns.

7

Let us rejoice and exult

and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready;

8

to her it has been granted to be clothed

with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

 


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Re 19:1-21. The Church's Thanksgiving in Heaven for the Judgment on the Harlot. The Marriage of the Lamb: The Supper: The Bride's Preparation: John Is Forbidden to Worship the Angel: The Lord and His Hosts Come Forth for War: The Beast and the False Prophet Cast into the Lake of Fire: The Kings and Their Followers Slain by the Sword Out of Christ's Mouth.

1. As in the case of the opening of the prophecy, Re 4:8; 5:9, &c.; so now, at one of the great closing events seen in vision, the judgment on the harlot (described in Re 18:1-24), there is a song of praise in heaven to God: compare Re 7:10, &c., toward the close of the seals, and Re 11:15-18, at the close of the trumpets: Re 15:3, at the saints' victory over the beast.

And—so Andreas. But A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic omit.

a great voice—A, B, C, Vulgate, Coptic, and Andreas read, "as it were a great voice." What a contrast to the lamentations Re 18:1-24! Compare Jer 51:48. The great manifestation of God's power in destroying Babylon calls forth a great voice of praise in heaven.

peopleGreek, "multitude."

AlleluiaHebrew, "Praise ye Jah," or Jehovah: here first used in Revelation, whence Ellicott infers the Jews bear a prominent part in this thanksgiving. Jah is not a contraction of "Jehovah," as it sometimes occurs jointly with the latter. It means "He who Is": whereas Jehovah is "He who will be, is, and was." It implies God experienced as a PRESENT help; so that "Hallelujah," says Kimchi in Bengel, is found first in the Psalms on the destruction of the ungodly. "Hallelu-Jah" occurs four times in this passage. Compare Ps 149:4-9, which is plainly parallel, and indeed identical in many of the phrases, as well as the general idea. Israel, especially, will join in the Hallelujah, when "her warfare is accomplished" and her foe destroyed.

Salvation, &c.—Greek, "The salvation … the glory … the power."

and honour—so Coptic. But A, B, C, and Syriac omit.

unto the Lord our God—so Andreas. But A, B, C, and Coptic read, "(Is) of our God," that is, belongs to Him.

2. which did corrupt the earthGreek, "used to corrupt" continually. "Instead of opposing and lessening, she promoted the sinful life and decay of the world by her own earthliness, allowing the salt to lose its savor" [Auberlen].

avengedGreek, "exacted in retribution." A particular application of the principle (Ge 9:5).

blood of his servants—literally shed by the Old Testament adulterous Church, and by the New Testament apostate Church; also virtually, though not literally, by all who, though called Christians, hate their brother, or love not the brethren of Christ, but shrink from the reproach of the cross, and show unkindness towards those who bear it.

3. againGreek, "a second time."

rose upGreek, "goeth up."

for ever and everGreek, "to the ages of the ages."

4. beasts—rather, "living creatures."

satGreek, "sitteth."

5. out ofGreek, "out from the throne" in A, B, C.

Praise our God—Compare the solemn act of praise performed by the Levites, 1Ch 16:36; 23:5, especially when the house of God was filled with the divine glory (2Ch 5:13).

both—omitted in A, B, C, Vulgate, Coptic, and Syriac. Translate as Greek, "the small and the great."

6. many waters—Contrast the "many waters" on which the whore sitteth (Re 17:1). This verse is the hearty response to the stirring call, "Alleluia! Praise our God" (Re 19:4, 5).

the Lord God omnipotentGreek, "the Omnipotent."

reigneth—literally, "reigned": hence reigneth once for all. His reign is a fact already established. Babylon, the harlot, was one great hindrance to His reign being recognized. Her overthrow now clears the way for His advent to reign; therefore, not merely Rome, but the whole of Christendom in so far as it is carnal and compromised Christ for the world, is comprehended in the term "harlot." The beast hardly arises when he at once "goeth into perdition": so that Christ is prophetically considered as already reigning, so soon does His advent follow the judgment on the harlot.

7. glad … rejoiceGreek, "rejoice … exult."

give—so B and Andreas. But A reads, "we will give."

gloryGreek, "the glory."

the marriage of the Lamb is come—The full and final consummation is at Re 21:2-9, &c. Previously there must be the overthrow of the beast, &c., at the Lord's coming, the binding of Satan, the millennial reign, the loosing of Satan and his last overthrow, and the general judgment. The elect-Church, the heavenly Bride, soon after the destruction of the harlot, is transfigured at the Lord's coming, and joins with Him in His triumph over the beast. On the emblem of the heavenly Bridegroom and Bride, compare Mt 22:2; 25:6, 10; 2Co 11:2. Perfect union with Him personally, and participation in His holiness; joy, glory, and kingdom, are included in this symbol of "marriage"; compare Song of Solomon everywhere. Besides the heavenly Bride, the transfigured, translated, and risen Church, reigning over the earth with Christ, there is also the earthly bride, Israel, in the flesh, never yet divorced, though for a time separated, from her divine husband, who shall then be reunited to the Lord, and be the mother Church of the millennial earth, Christianized through her. Note, we ought, as Scripture does, restrict the language drawn from marriage-love to the Bride, the Church as a whole; not use it as individuals in our relation to Christ, which Rome does in the case of her nuns. Individually, believers are effectually-called guests; collectively, they constitute the bride. The harlot divides her affections among many lovers: the bride gives hers exclusively to Christ.

8. granted—Though in one sense she "made herself ready," having by the Spirit's work in her put on "the wedding garment," yet in the fullest sense it is not she, but her Lord, who makes her ready by "granting to her that she be arrayed in fine linen." It is He who, by giving Himself for her, presents her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, but holy and without blemish. It is He also who sanctifies her, naturally vile and without beauty, with the washing of water by the word, and puts His own comeliness on her, which thus becomes hers.

clean and white—so Andreas. But A and B transpose. Translate, "bright and pure"; at once brilliantly splendid and spotless as in the bride herself.

righteousnessGreek, "righteousnesses"; distributively used. Each saint must have this righteousness: not merely be justified, as if the righteousness belonged to the Church in the aggregate; the saints together have righteousnesses; namely, He is accounted as "the Lord our righteousness" to each saint on his believing, their robes being made white in the blood of the Lamb. The righteousness of the saint is not, as Alford erroneously states, inherent, but is imputed: if it were otherwise, Christ would be merely enabling the sinner to justify himself. Ro 5:18 is decisive on this. Compare Article XI, Church of England. The justification already given to the saints in title and unseen possession, is now GIVEN them in manifestation: they openly walk with Christ in white. To this, rather than to their primary justification on earth, the reference is here. Their justification before the apostate world, which had persecuted them, contrasts with the judgment and condemnation of the harlot. "Now that the harlot has fallen, the woman triumphs" [Auberlen]. Contrast with the pure fine linen (indicating the simplicity and purity) of the bride, the tawdry ornamentation of the harlot. Babylon, the apostate Church, is the antithesis to new Jerusalem, the transfigured Church of God. The woman (Re 12:1-6), the harlot (Re 17:1-7), the bride (Re 19:1-10), are the three leading aspects of the Church.

9. He—God by His angel saith unto me.

called—effectually, not merely externally. The "unto," or into," seems to express this: not merely invited to (Greek, "epi"), but called INTO, so as to be partakers of (Greek, "eis"); compare 1Co 1:9.

marriage supperGreek, "the supper of the marriage." Typified by the Lord's Supper.

trueGreek, "genuine"; veritable sayings which shall surely be fulfilled, namely, all the previous revelations.

10. atGreek, "before." John's intending to worship the angel here, as in Re 22:8, on having revealed to him the glory of the new Jerusalem, is the involuntary impulse of adoring joy at so blessed a prospect. It forms a marked contrast to the sorrowful wonder with which he had looked on the Church in her apostasy as the harlot (Re 17:6). It exemplifies the corrupt tendencies of our fallen nature that even John, an apostle, should have all but fallen into "voluntary humility and worshipping of angels," which Paul warns us against.

and of thy brethren—that is, a fellow servant of thy brethren.

have the testimony of Jesus—(See on Re 12:17).

the testimony of—that is, respecting Jesus.

is the spirit of prophecy—is the result of the same spirit of prophecy in you as in myself. We angels, and you apostles, all alike have the testimony of (bear testimony concerning) Jesus by the operation of one and the same Spirit, who enables me to show you these revelations and enables you to record them: wherefore we are fellow servants, not I your lord to be worshipped by you. Compare Re 22:9, "I am fellow servant of thee and of thy brethren the prophets"; whence the "FOR the testimony," &c., here, may be explained as giving the reason for his adding "and (fellow servant) of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus." I mean, of the prophets; "for it is of Jesus that thy brethren, the prophets, testify by the Spirit in them." A clear condemnation of Romish invocation of saints as if they were our superiors to be adored.




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