|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-4 Seven angels appeared in heaven; prepared to finish the destruction of antichrist. As the measure of Babylon's sins was filled up, it finds the full measure of Divine wrath. While believers stand in this world, in times of trouble, as upon a sea of glass mingled with fire, they may look forward to their final deliverance, while new mercies call forth new hymns of praise. The more we know of God's wonderful works, the more we shall praise his greatness as the Lord God Almighty, the Creator and Ruler of all worlds; but his title of Emmanuel, the King of saints, will make him dear to us. Who that considers the power of God's wrath, the value of his favour, or the glory of his holiness, would refuse to fear and honour him alone? His praise is above heaven and earth.
Verse 4. - Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy Name? Omit "thee." The latter part is from Jeremiah 10:7 (see on ver. 3). The former part contains the same idea as Jeremiah 10:6, "Thy Name is great in might." Compare the similar ascription of praise to the beast in Revelation 13:4. The following three clauses supply the reasons for thus fearing and glorifying God. For thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest; for thy righteous acts have been made manifest (Revised Version). "Holy" is ὅσιος, not ἅγιος. It is a word which is applied more particularly to human acts. Perhaps it is used here in connection with the manifest justice of God's acts before all nations; cf. the song of Moses (Exodus 15:11), "Who is like thee, glorious in holiness," etc.? The three clauses supply the reason for fearing and glorifying God, as mentioned in the first part of the verse.
(1) He himself is in his nature holy;
(2) his sway extends over all nations;
(3) the righteousness of his acts is now visible to all.
Afford adds, "Thy deeds of righteousness acted out towards the nations, both in the publication of the gospel and in the destruction of thine enemies."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Who shall not fear thee, O Lord,.... At this time the people of the Jews shall seek after Christ, and fear him and his goodness; the forces of the Gentiles shall be brought into Zion, whose heart shall then fear, and be enlarged; the fear of the Lord will be in all places, and in all men, both Jews and Gentiles, Hosea 3:5
and glorify thy name? by ascribing all divine perfections to him, giving him divine worship and adoration, and attributing the whole of salvation to him, and the glory of all that is done for his church, and against its enemies:
for thou only art holy; not only perfectly holy, as man, but infinitely and essentially holy, as God, and the fountain of holiness to his people, as Mediator: this character seems to be given in opposition to antichrist, who arrogantly assumes the title of holiness to himself, when it only belongs to Christ.
For all nations shall come and worship before thee; the Gospel shall now be preached to all nations, and the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of it; the kingdoms of this world will become Christ's, and his kingdom shall be to the ends of the earth, and all people shall obey him: the words seem to be taken, with some other phrases before used, out of Psalm 86:8
for thy judgments are made manifest; or "thy justifications", or "righteousnesses"; the perfect righteousness of Christ, and the doctrine of justification by it, will now be most clearly revealed, and generally received, in opposition to the Popish doctrine of merits, works of supererogation, &c. or the judgments of the King of saints upon antichrist, who will now avenge their blood, which he has shed; see Revelation 17:1 and the justice and righteousness of his proceedings against the man of sin will be notorious and manifest to all, and be acknowledged, as in Revelation 16:5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Who shall not—Greek, "Who is there but must fear Thee?" Compare Moses' song, Ex 15:14-16, on the fear which God's judgments strike into the foe.
thee—so Syriac. But A, B, C, Vulgate, and Cyprian reject "thee."
all nations shall come—alluding to Ps 22:27-31; compare Isa 66:23; Jer 16:19. The conversion of all nations, therefore, shall be when Christ shall come, and not till then; and the first moving cause will be Christ's manifested judgments preparing all hearts for receiving Christ's mercy. He shall effect by His presence what we have in vain tried to effect in His absence. The present preaching of the Gospel is gathering out the elect remnant; meanwhile "the mystery of iniquity" is at work, and will at last come to its crisis; then shall judgment descend on the apostates at the harvest-end of this age (Greek, Mt 13:39, 40) when the tares shall be cleared out of the earth, which thenceforward becomes Messiah's kingdom. The confederacy of 'the apostates against Christ becomes, when overthrown with fearful judgments, the very means in God's overruling providence of preparing the nations not joined in the Antichristian league to submit themselves to Him.
are—literally, "were": the prophetical past for the immediate future.
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