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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.”

 

The Rider on the White Horse

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. 13He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

The Beast and Its Armies Defeated

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in midheaven, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of the mighty, the flesh of horses and their riders—flesh of all, both free and slave, both small and great.” 19Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against the rider on the horse and against his army.


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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.

11. behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him—identical with Re 6:2. Here as there he comes forth "conquering and to conquer." Compare the ass-colt on which He rode into Jerusalem (Mt 21:1-7). The horse was used for war: and here He is going forth to war with the beast. The ass is for peace. His riding on it into Jerusalem is an earnest of His reign in Jerusalem over the earth, as the Prince of peace, after all hostile powers have been overthrown. When the security of the world power, and the distress of the people of God, have reached the highest point, the Lord Jesus shall appear visibly from heaven to put an end to the whole course of the world, and establish His kingdom of glory. He comes to judge with vengeance the world power, and to bring to the Church redemption, transfiguration, and power over the world. Distinguish between this coming (Mt 24:27, 29, 37, 39; Greek, "parousia") and the end, or final judgment (Mt 25:31; 1Co 15:23). Powerful natural phenomena shall accompany His advent [Auberlen].

12. Identifying Him with the Son of man similarly described, Re 1:14.

many crownsGreek, "diadems": not merely (Greek, "stephanoi") garlands of victory, but royal crowns, as King of kings. Christ's diadem comprises all the diadems of the earth and of heavenly powers too. Contrast the papal tiara composed of three diadems. Compare also the little horn (Antichrist) that overcomes the three horns or kingdoms, Da 7:8, 24 (Quære, the Papacy? or some three kingdoms that succeed the papacy, which itself, as a temporal kingdom, was made up at first of three kingdoms, the exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of the Lombards, and the state of Rome, obtained by Pope Zachary and Stephen II from Pepin, the usurper of the French dominion). Also, the seven crowns (diadems) on the seven heads of the dragon (Re 12:3), and ten diadems on the ten heads of the beast. These usurpers claim the diadems which belong to Christ alone.

he had a name written—B and Syriac insert, "He had names written, and a name written," &c., meaning that the names of the dominion which each diadem indicated were written on them severally. But A, Vulgate, Origen, and Cyprian omits the words, as English Version.

name … that no man knew but … himself—(Jud 13:18; 1Co 2:9, 11; 1Jo 3:2). The same is said of the "new name" of believers. In this, as in all other respects, the disciple is made like his Lord. The Lord's own "new name" is to be theirs, and to be "in their foreheads"; whence we may infer that His as yet unknown name also is written on His forehead; as the high priest had "Holiness to the Lord" inscribed on the miter on his brow. John saw it as "written," but knew not its meaning. It is, therefore, a name which in all its glorious significancy can be only understood when the union of His saints with Him, and His and their joint triumph and reign, shall be perfectly manifested at the final consummation.

13. vesture dipped in bloodIsa 63:2 is alluded to here, and in Re 19:15, end. There the blood is not His own, but that of His foes. So here the blood on His "vesture," reminding us of His own blood shed for even the ungodly who trample on it, is a premonition of the shedding of their blood in righteous retribution. He sheds the blood, not of the godly, as the harlot and beast did, but of the blood-stained ungodly, including them both.

The Word of God—who made the world, is He also who under the same character and attributes shall make it anew. His title, Son of God, is applicable in a lower sense, also to His people; but "the Word of God" indicates His incommunicable Godhead, joined to His manhood, which He shall then manifest in glory. "The Bride does not fear the Bridegroom; her love casteth out fear. She welcomes Him; she cannot be happy but at His side. The Lamb [Re 19:9, the aspect of Christ to His people at His coming] is the symbol of Christ in His gentleness. Who would be afraid of a lamb? Even a little child, instead of being scared, desires to caress it. There is nothing to make us afraid of God but sin, and Jesus is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. What a fearful contrast is the aspect which He will wear towards His enemies! Not as the Bridegroom and the Lamb, but as the [avenging] judge and warrior stained in the blood of His enemies."

14. the armies … in heaven—Compare "the horse bridles," Re 14:20. The glorified saints whom God "will bring with" Christ at His advent; compare Re 17:14, "they that are with Him, called, chosen, faithful"; as also "His mighty angels."

white and cleanGreek, "pure." A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Cyprian omit "and," which Origen and Andreas retain, as English Version.

15. out of his mouth … sword—(Re 1:16; 2:12, 16). Here in its avenging power, 2Th 2:8, "consume with the Spirit of His mouth" (Isa 11:4, to which there is allusion here); not in its convicting and converting efficacy (Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12, 13, where also the judicial keenness of the sword-like word is included). The Father commits the judgment to the Son.

he shall rule—The HE is emphatic, He and none other, in contrast to the usurpers who have misruled on earth. "Rule," literally, "tend as a shepherd"; but here in a punitive sense. He, who would have shepherded them with pastoral rod and with the golden scepter of His love, shall dash them in pieces, as refractory rebels, with "a rod of iron."

treadeth … wine-press—(Isa 63:3).

of the fierceness and wrath—So Andreas reads. But A, B, Vulgate, Coptic, and Origen read, "of the fierceness (or boiling indignation) of the wrath," omitting "and."

Almighty—The fierceness of Christ's wrath against His foes will be executed with the resources of omnipotence.

16. "His name written on His vesture and on His thigh," was written partly on the vesture, partly on the thigh itself, at the part where in an equestrian figure the robe drops from the thigh. The thigh symbolizes Christ's humanity as having come, after the flesh, from the loins of David, and now appearing as the glorified "Son of man." On the other hand, His incommunicable divine name, "which no man knew," is on His head (Re 19:12), [Menochius].

KING OF KINGS—Compare Re 17:14, in contrast with Re 19:17, the beast being in attempted usurpation a king of kings, the ten kings delivering their kingdom to him.

17. anGreek, "one."

in the sun—so as to be conspicuous in sight of the whole world.

to all the fowls—(Eze 39:17-20).

and gather yourselves—A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas read, "be gathered," omitting "and."

of the great God—A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas read, "the great supper (that is, banquet) of God."

18. Contrast with this "supper," Re 19:17, 18, the marriage supper of the Lamb, Re 19:9.

captainsGreek, "captains of thousands," that is, chief captains. The "kings" are "the ten" who "give their power unto the beast."

free and bond—specified in Re 13:16, as "receiving the mark of the beast." The repetition of flesh (in the Greek it is plural: masses of flesh) five times in this verse, marks the gross carnality of the followers of the beast. Again, the giving of their flesh to the fowls to eat, is a righteous retribution for their not suffering the dead bodies of Christ's witnesses to be put in graves.

19. gathered together—at Armageddon, under the sixth vial. For "their armies" in B and Andreas, there is found "His armies" in A.

war—so Andreas. But A and B read, "the war," namely, that foretold, Re 16:14; 17:4.




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