Revelation 14:11
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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(11) For ever and ever.—Or, unto ages of ages. The imagery of the smoke going up reminds us of the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:28; comp. Isaiah 34:10). They have not rest by day and by night, who worship the wild beast, &c. Sin, which is first embraced as a delight, becomes soon an inexorable tyrant, by an awful retribution compelling men along the routine of the evil habits which they loathe while they long for, and long for even while they loathe them: there is a destiny of unrest in all sin. “The wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest.” It is well that solemn words like these should be read by the light of the most certain of all truths—the power sin has of stamping its indelible features upon the human character, and giving to habit the force of a destiny.

14:6-13 The progress of the Reformation appears to be here set forth. The four proclamations are plain in their meaning; that all Christians may be encouraged, in the time of trial, to be faithful to their Lord. The gospel is the great means whereby men are brought to fear God, and to give glory to him. The preaching of the everlasting gospel shakes the foundations of antichrist in the world, and hastens its downfal. If any persist in being subject to the beast, and in promoting his cause, they must expect to be for ever miserable in soul and body. The believer is to venture or suffer any thing in obeying the commandments of God, and professing the faith of Jesus. May God bestow this patience upon us. Observe the description of those that are and shall be blessed: such as die in the Lord; die in the cause of Christ, in a state of union with Christ; such as are found in Christ when death comes. They rest from all sin, temptation, sorrow, and persecution; for there the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest. Their works follow them: do not go before as their title, or purchase, but follow them as proofs of their having lived and died in the Lord: the remembrance of them will be pleasant, and the reward far above all their services and sufferings. This is made sure by the testimony of the Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, and the written word.And the smoke of their torment - The smoke proceeding from their place of torment. This language is probably derived from the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19:28; "And he (Abraham) looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace." The destruction of these cities is regarded as an emblem of the destruction of the wicked, and the smoke that ascended from them as a representation of what ascends from the place where the wicked suffer forever. See the notes on Jde 1:7.

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!

Who worship the beast and his image - See the notes on Revelation 13:4, Revelation 13:15.

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.

11. for ever and ever—Greek, "unto ages of ages."

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; that is, their torments shall be everlasting, as well as most exquisite, and causing the most acute pain.

And they have no rest day nor night; this is but the same thing in other words; their torments shall be such as shall give them no rest at any time.

Who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name: the sense of these two verses is no more than this: That all idolaters shall fall under the vengeance of God in this life, and at last shall be thrown to hell; not only such as worship the beast, committing paganish idolatry, worshipping stocks and stones, and devils, as the term of their worship, but such as worship the image of that beast set up by antichrist, worshipping of angels and saints, or their images. From hence an easy answer may be given to that question, Whether a man can be saved in that which at this day is called the Roman Catholic religion? If they either worship the beast, or the image of the beast, they cannot: whether they do or no, let the reader judge from what hath been before said. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever,.... That is, the smoke of that fire which torments them will for ever arise; or, in other words, there will be no end of their torment; hence their misery is called everlasting fire, everlasting punishment, and everlasting destruction, 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.
Revelation 14:11. Εἰς αἰῶνα αἰώνων[161]) Thus also ch. Revelation 19:3, Revelation 20:10. We have noticed in the Apparatus traces of this reading, which requires most studious investigation. In other places it is written, ΕἸς ΤΟῪς ΑἸῶΝΑς ΤῶΝ ΑἸΏΝΩΝ. Each expression is as it were, squared: as a myriad of myriads, the heaven of heavens. The article is emphatic, especially where the discourse is on the subject of the Eternity of God. In these expressions, either the use or the omission of the Greek article is very opportune.—ἀναβαίνει, ascendeth) The present, after a future, has the force of a future, but with emphasis.

[161] A Vulg. Cypr. 111, 264, 322, have εἰς αἰῶνας αἰώνων: so Lachm. and Tisch. But C, εἰς αἰῶνα αἰῶνος.—E.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.) Torment (βασανισμοῦ)

See on Matthew 4:23, Matthew 4:24; see vexed, 2 Peter 2:8.

Goeth up

See Isaiah 34:9, Isaiah 34:10; Genesis 19:28.

Rest (ἀνάπαυσιν)

See on give rest, Matthew 11:28, and see on resteth, 1 Peter 4:14.

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