And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.
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Ascendeth up - Continually rises from that world of woe.
For ever and ever - See the notes on Jde 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 forever, 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 "forever 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 the notes on Matthew 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 overworked 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 forever, 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!
And whosoever receiveth the mark of his name - See the notes on Revelation 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 favor of an idolater, though he worships idols under the forms of an abused Christianity; none will be made in favor of a sinner because he practiced iniquity under the garb of religion.Matthew 25:41 and smoke being very troublesome and distressing, is mentioned to set forth the very uncomfortable state of the wicked; and so it is used by Jewish writers: hence we read of , "the smoke of hell" (r), with which the eyes of the wicked will be filled in the world to come:
and they have no rest, day nor night; the fire of divine wrath which tortures them is never quenched, and the worm of conscience which gnaws them never dies: this is directly contrary to a notion of the Jews, that the wicked in hell have rest sometimes; they talk of angels blowing away the smoke from them, so that they have rest an hour and a half; and which they say they have three times a day, and whenever Israel says Amen, let his great name be blessed (s); and particularly that hell fire never burns on the sabbath day, nor does the smoke of it ascend then, and that the wicked have always rest on that days (t); though sometimes they contradict themselves, and say they never have any rest (u), which is the truth:
who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name; that is, whoever are the followers of antichrist, or the professors of the Popish religion; so far is salvation from being in the church of Rome, and only there, that there is none in it; and whoever live and die in the profession of Popery, shall surely be damned as this passage is true.
(r) Targum in Psal. xxxvii. 20. T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 75. 1. Caphtor, fol. 109. 1.((s) Zohar in Gen. fol. 47. 4. (t) Zohar in Exod. fol. 36. 4. & in Lev. fol. 45. 3. & in Deut. fol. 115. 3. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 65. 2. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 149. 1. Nishmat Chayim, fol. 39. 1.((u) Zohar in Exod. fol. 62. 3. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 152. 2.And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
no rest day nor night—Contrast the very different sense in which the same is said of the four living creatures in heaven, "They rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy"; yet they do "rest" in another sense; they rest from sin and sorrow, weariness and weakness, trial and temptation (Re 14:13); the lost have no rest from sin and Satan, terror, torment, and remorse.And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever. This is also a symbol suggested by fire and brimstone. The thought of this verse is the eternal unrest and pain of those who have followed the beast. Verse 11. - And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever. Compare the wording of the passages quoted above on ver. 10, especially Isaiah 34:9, 10, "The smoke thereof shall go up forever." This statement of the eternity of punishment is also in agreement with Luke 16:26 and Mark 9:44. And they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. "No rest," in contrast with the blessed rest of the saints (ver. 13). Wordsworth says, "Οἱ προσκυνοῦντες τὸ θηρίον is a stronger expression than 'those who worship the beast;' it means those whose distinguishing characteristic is that they are worshipping the beast, and persist in worshipping him, even to the end. This characteristic is so strongly marked that they are here represented as keeping it even after their death." (On the "mark," see on Revelation 13:16-18.)
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