|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:8-11 The heart of man is so desperately wicked, that the most severe miseries never will bring any to repent, without the special grace of God. Hell itself is filled with blasphemies; and those are ignorant of the history of human nature, of the Bible, and of their own hearts, who do not know that the more men suffer, and the more plainly they see the hand of God in their sufferings, the more furiously they often rage against him. Let sinners now seek repentance from Christ, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, or they will have the anguish and horror of an unhumbled, impenitent, and desperate heart; thus adding to their guilt and misery through all eternity. Darkness is opposed to wisdom and knowledge, and forebodes the confusion and folly of the idolaters and followers of the beast. It is opposed to pleasure and joy, and signifies anguish and vexation of spirit.
Verse 9. - And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the Name of God. The men (see on ver. 8). (On the meaning of the first clause, see on ver. 8.) This is the first mention in the vials of men blaspheming. As with Pharaoh and the Egyptians, the judgments of God, instead of awakening them to repentance, only serve to harden their hearts. This again occurs under the fifth and seventh vials. So also in the sixth trumpet, we are told, men repented not - a statement also made in the subsequent part of this verse. As before pointed out (Revelation 13:1), the two things are identical; non repentance, continuance in the service of the dragon, is blasphemy against God; though we generally reserve the name "blasphemy" for the open avowal of infidelity to God. Which hath power over these plagues. This is what is implied in the words of ver. 8, "it was given to it?' In this visitation men distinctly recognize the hand of God. And they repented not to give him glory. Vide supra, on the "blasphemy;" and contrast with Revelation 11:13 - another example of the sense in which these vials are the "last plagues" (Revelation 15:1).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And men were scorched with great heat,.... Burned with rage against the followers of Christ; were filled with envy at the success of his Gospel, and with fury and madness at the ruinous condition of the antichristian state, being deprived of its head, and chief officers:
and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues; plagues or judgments are from God, when and wherever they come; they are sent and inflicted by him, and he can lessen or increase them, continue or remove them, as he pleases; and these, unless sanctified, will not reform men, but harden them, and set them a blaspheming the author of them. And this blasphemy may either respect the nature and perfections of God, charging him with inequality in his ways, and with injustice and unfaithfulness; or the Gospel, and the truths of it, which declare his glory, and his greatness; and which will now have a general spread, to the great mortification and confusion of the followers of antichrist:
and they repented not to give him glory; that is, they did not repent of their wicked deeds, their idolatries, murders, sorceries, fornications, and thefts, as in Revelation 9:20 so as to own and confess them, which is, the meaning of giving glory to God in repentance; see Joshua 7:19. This shows that repentance is not in man's power, but in the gift of God's grace; for though he may give space, yet if he does not give grace to repent, no man will repent; nor will any means of themselves produce it; as not the most powerful and awakening ministry, as the ministry of John the Baptist, and of Christ, and of the Gospel preachers that will be in those times, this vial refers to, nor the greatest mercies and favours, so not the severest judgments; see Amos 6:6. The event of this vial, or the plague of it, is applied, by Mr. Daubuz, to the wars between the emperors and the popes, and between the Guelphs and Gibelines.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. men—Greek, "the men."
repented not to give him glory—(Re 9:20). Affliction, if it does not melt, hardens the sinner. Compare the better result on others, Re 11:13; 14:7; 15:4.
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