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16In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force.

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16. he hadGreek, "having." John takes up the description from time to time, irrespective of the construction, with separate strokes of the pencil [Alford].

in … right hand seven stars—(Re 1:20; Re 2:1; 3:1). He holds them as a star-studded "crown of glory," or "royal diadem," in His hand: so Isa 62:3. He is their Possessor and Upholder.

out of … mouth wentGreek, "going forth"; not wielded in the hand. His Word is omnipotent in executing His will in punishing sinners. It is the sword of His Spirit. Reproof and punishment, rather than its converting winning power, is the prominent point. Still, as He encourages the churches, as well as threatens, the former quality of the Word is not excluded. Its two edges (back and front) may allude to its double efficacy, condemning some, converting others. Tertullian [Epistle against Judaizers], takes them of the Old and the New Testaments. Richard of St. Victor, "the Old Testament cutting externally our carnal, the New Testament internally, our spiritual sins."

swordGreek, "romphaia," the Thracian long and heavy broad sword: six times in Revelation, once only elsewhere in New Testament, namely, Lu 2:35.

sun … in his strength—in unclouded power. So shall the righteous shine, reflecting the image of the Sun of righteousness. Trench notices that this description, sublime as a purely mental conception, would be intolerable if we were to give it an outward form. With the Greeks, æsthecial taste was the first consideration, to which all others must give way. With the Hebrews, truth and the full representation ideally of the religious reality were the paramount consideration, that representation being designed not to be outwardly embodied, but to remain a purely mental conception. This exalting of the essence above the form marks their deeper religious earnestness.