|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-5 Mount Sion is the gospel church. Christ is with his church, and in the midst of her in all her troubles, therefore she is not consumed. His presence secures perseverance. His people appear honourably. They have the name of God written in their foreheads; they make a bold and open profession of their faith in God and Christ, and this is followed by suitable actings. There were persons in the darkest times, who ventured and laid down their lives for the worship and truth of the gospel of Christ. They kept themselves clean from the wicked abominations of the followers of antichrist. Their hearts were right with God; and they were freely pardoned in Christ; he is glorified in them, and they in him. May it be our prayer, our endeavour, our ambition, to be found in this honourable company. Those who are really sanctified and justified are meant here, for no hypocrite, however plausible, can be accounted to be without fault before God.
Verse 3. - And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders. They sing; that is to say, the heavenly inhabitants. The four living beings; viz. those of Revelation 4:9, where see an explanation of the positions occupied, and of the nature and signification of the "living beings and the elders." The "new song," which can only be understood by the hundred and forty-four thousand, is (as explained by ver. 4) a song of victory won by those who have been tried in the world and subjected to temptations. And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth; even they that had been purchased out of the earth (Revised Version). These only can know the song for the reason given above. The joys of heaven and the song of victory are not for those who have succumbed to the world.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they sung as it were a new song,.... The song of redeeming grace; the same with that in Revelation 5:9; see the note there: this is to be understood of the 144,000, who sung it
before the throne, and before the four beasts and the elders; that is, publicly in the church, the ministers and members being present; of these; See Gill on Revelation 4:4; See Gill on Revelation 4:6;
and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth; out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation; from among the men of the earth, and out of the apostate church, called the earth, in opposition to the pure church, which so often goes by the name of heaven in this book; and these, in consequence of being redeemed by the blood of Christ, were called by grace out of the world; and such only can sing the song of redemption with application to themselves; and say he has redeemed us, and loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood; to none but these is it given to know spiritually and experimentally the mysteries of electing and redeeming grace; the natural and carnal man neither knows nor receives the things of the Spirit of God; nor can he learn them by hearing, reading, study, and conversation, unless it be only in a notional and speculative way. The Jews speak of a new song, which the angels have never used (m);
"it is said, Psalm 98:1; "sing unto the Lord a new song"; a new song, for there is an old song; but this song is what the angels never praised him with, and therefore it is new;''
and indeed the song of redeeming love is peculiar to men.
(m) Zohar in Numb. fol. 70. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. sung—Greek, "sing."
as it were—So A, C, and Vulgate read. It is "as it were" a new song; for it is, in truth, as old as God's eternal purpose. But B, Syriac, Coptic, Origen, and Andreas omit these words.
new song—(Re 5:9, 10). The song is that of victory after conflict with the dragon, beast, and false prophet: never sung before, for such a conflict had never been fought before; therefore new: till now the kingdom of Christ on earth had been usurped; they sing the new song in anticipation of His blood-bought kingdom with His saints.
four beasts—rather, as Greek, "four living creatures." The harpers and singers evidently include the 144,000: so the parallel proves (Re 15:2, 3), where the same act is attributed to the general company of the saints, the harvest (Re 14:15) from all nations. Not as Alford, "the harpers and song are in heaven, but the 144,000 are on earth."
redeemed—literally, "purchased." Not even the angels can learn that song, for they know not experimentally what it is to have "come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb" (Re 7:14).
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