|New International Version (©2011)|
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
New Living Translation (©2007)
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!"
English Standard Version (©2001)
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them."
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write: The dead who die in the Lord from now on are blessed."" Yes," says the Spirit, "let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them!"
International Standard Version (©2012)
I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: How blessed are the dead, that is, those who die in the Lord from now on!" "Yes," says the Spirit. "Let them rest from their labors, for their actions follow them."
NET Bible (©2006)
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: 'Blessed are the dead, those who die in the Lord from this moment on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so they can rest from their hard work, because their deeds will follow them."
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
And I heard a voice from Heaven that said, “Write, 'Blessed are the dead, from now on, who have departed in Our Lord; Yes, says The Spirit, because they shall rest from their labors.'”
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: From now on those who die believing in the Lord are blessed." "Yes," says the Spirit. "Let them rest from their hard work. What they have done goes with them."
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on: Yea, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.
American King James Version
And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from now on: Yes, said the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.
American Standard Version
And I heard the voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them.
And I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me: Write: Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow them.
Darby Bible Translation
And I heard a voice out of the heaven saying, Write, Blessed the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow with them.
English Revised Version
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their works follow with them.
Webster's Bible Translation
And I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: Verily, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works follow them.
Weymouth New Testament
And I heard a voice speaking from Heaven. It said, "Write as follows: "'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time onward. Yes, says the Spirit, let them rest from their sorrowful labours; for what they have done goes with them.'"
World English Bible
I heard the voice from heaven saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them."
Young's Literal Translation
And I heard a voice out of the heaven saying to me, 'Write: Happy are the dead who in the Lord are dying from this time!' 'Yes, (saith the Spirit,) That they may rest from their labours -- and their works do follow them!'
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 13. - And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me. It seems most natural to suppose that the voice is that of the angel who directs the visions of St. John (cf. Revelation 1:1; Revelation 4:1; Revelation 19:9, 10), but there is no certainty in the matter. Omit "unto me." with א, A, B, C, P, and others. Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. "Henceforth" should probably stand thus, and not in connection with the following sentence. We have just had mentioned the necessity for patience on the part of the saints; here we have an encouragement and incentive to that patience, inasmuch as they who die in the Lord are henceforward blessed. In what their blessedness consists, the next sentence slates. The full consummation of their bliss may not occur until after the judgment, but the faithful have not to wait until then for peace; their conflict is, after all, only for this life, and thus they may well be content to suffer for so short a period (comp. Revelation 6:11). Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them; that they shall rest... for their works, etc. The first part explains the "blessedness" of the previous passage; in this rest consists their blessedness. The last clause, "for their works," etc., explains why the blessedness consists in rest; they have henceforth no need of labours, for the effects of their former works accompany them and permit them now complete rest. Contrast the opposite fate of the wicked, described in ver. 11. St. Paul urges upon Christians the same duty, and proffers the same encouragement: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I heard a voice from heaven,.... Like that which was heard at Christ's baptism and transfiguration, certifying the truth of what follows, so that that may be depended upon as an undoubted verity:
saying unto me, write; which is a further confirmation of the following sayings being true and faithful; see Revelation 1:9
blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; merely to die is not an happiness, for death is common to all, good and bad; it is a disunion of soul and body, and cannot be in itself desirable; it is the fruit of sin, and has something in it awful and terrible; and though it is the privilege of believers, as its sting is removed by Christ, yet not as simply and absolutely considered; but to die in the Lord is a blessedness: some render the words, "which die for the Lord"; so the Arabic version, "which die for the faith of the Lord"; and the Ethiopic version, "which die for God"; and so restrain them to the martyrs of Jesus: to suffer death for the sake of Christ and his Gospel is a gift and an honour, and what glorifies Christ; and there is a glory consequent upon it, which such shall enjoy; but then in the spiritual reign of Christ, to which this passage refers, and after the destruction of antichrist, there will be no more suffering for Christ, no more martyrdoms; wherefore this cannot be the sense of the words: nor do they mean dying in the lively exercise of faith and hope in the Lord; for though it is a happiness so to die, both to persons themselves, and to their friends and relations, yet these are not the only persons that are blessed; there are some who all their lifetime are subject to bondage, and go off in the dark, and yet are happy; but to die in the Lord is to die interested in him, in union to him; which union is not dissolved by death, and which preserves from all condemnation, at death or at judgment, and secures the soul's immediate entrance into happiness, and the resurrection of the body at the last day, and therefore such must be blessed: the phrase, "from henceforth", is differently placed; the Ethiopic version connects it with the word "write", rendering it, "write now"; and the Vulgate Latin version reads it with the next clause, "hereafter, yea, saith the Spirit"; and so the Latin interpreter of the Syriac version, though that itself seems rather to place it as ours does, and which is most correct; and is to be understood not of the time of John's writing, thenceforward to the resurrection; for those that died before his time were as happy as those who died after; nor of the time of death, though it is a truth, that from the time of the saints' death, and from the very moment of their separation, they are blessed, and are in a state of happiness until the resurrection; but of that period of time which the declarations made by the three preceding angels refer to, from thenceforward, and after the destruction of antichrist, and during the spiritual reign of Christ: and the sense is, that happy will those persons be that die in Christ within that time, and before the Laodicean church state takes place; when coldness, lukewarmness, and carnal security will seize upon men, and Christ will come upon them at an unawares; and those sharp and severe times will commence, signified by the harvest and vintage of the earth in the following verses, and which seem to be no other than the end of the world, and the destruction of it; wherefore happy will they be that are going to heaven before that time comes; see Ecclesiastes 4:1
yea, saith the Spirit; the third witness in heaven, who sets his seal to the truth of what the voice declares, and shows wherein this blessedness will consist:
that they may rest from their labours; both of body and soul; from all toil of body, and laborious work, from all diseases and distempers of body, and all outward sorrows and calamities men labour under, and are fatigued with in this life; and from all inward troubles, from a body of sin, from the temptations of Satan, and from all doubts and fears, from their present warfare state, and all conflicts with their spiritual enemies:
and their works do follow them; they do not go before them, to prepare heaven and happiness for them; nor do they take them along with them, and use them as pleas for their admission into the heavenly glory; but they will follow them, and will be found to praise, and honour, and glory, and will be taken notice of by Christ, and graciously rewarded by him, at his appearing and kingdom. This is directly opposite to the notions of the Jews, who say, that when a man departs this life, his works "go before him", and say unto him, thou hast done so and so, in such a place, and on such a day (w); and that whoever does a good work in this world, it shall "go before him" in the world to come (x); and so they (y) represent good works as saying to a man when he is about to die,
"go in peace; before thou gettest thither, , we will go before thee, as it is said, Isaiah 48:8 "thy righteousness shall go before thee".''
Sometimes they say (z), they go along with him at the time of a man's departure: neither gold, nor silver, nor precious stones and pearls accompany him, but the law and good works, as it is said, Proverbs 6:22 "when thou goest it shall lead thee", &c.
(w) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 11. 1.((x) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 3. 2. & Avoda Zara, fol. 5. 1. & Nishmat Chayim, fol. 21. 1.((y) Pirke Eliezer, c. 34. & Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 55. 4. (z) Pirke Abot, c. 6. sect. 9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Encouragement to cheer those persecuted under the beast.
Write—to put it on record for ever.
Blessed—in resting from their toils, and, in the case of the saints just before alluded to as persecuted by the beast, in resting from persecutions. Their full blessedness is now "from henceforth," that is, FROM THIS TIME, when the judgment on the beast and the harvest gatherings of the elect are imminent. The time so earnestly longed for by former martyrs is now all but come; the full number of their fellow servants is on the verge of completion; they have no longer to "rest (the same Greek as here, anapausis) yet for a little season," their eternal rest, or cessation from toils (2Th 1:7; Greek, "anesis," relaxation after hardships. Heb 4:9, 10, sabbatism of rest; and Greek, "catapausis," akin to the Greek here) is close at hand now. They are blessed in being about to sit down to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Re 19:9), and in having part in the first resurrection (Re 20:6), and in having right to the tree of life (Re 22:14). In Re 14:14-16 follows the explanation of why they are pronounced "blessed" now in particular, namely, the Son of man on the cloud is just coming to gather them in as the harvest ripe for garner.
Yea, saith the Spirit—The words of God the Father (the "voice from heaven") are echoed back and confirmed by the Spirit (speaking in the Word, Re 2:7; 22:17; and in the saints, 2Co 5:5; 1Pe 4:14). All "God's promises in Christ are yea" (2Co 1:20).
unto me—omitted in A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic.
that they may—The Greek includes also the idea, They are blessed, in that they SHALL rest from their toils (so the Greek).
and—So B and Andreas read. But A, C, Vulgate, and Syriac read "for." They rest from their toils because their time for toil is past; they enter on the blessed rest because of their faith evinced by their works which, therefore, "follow WITH (so the Greek) them." Their works are specified because respect is had to the coming judgment, wherein every man shall be "judged according to his works." His works do not go before the believer, nor even go by his side, but follow him at the same time that they go with him as a proof that he is Christ's.
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