|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:13-17 Faithful Christians deserve our notice and respect; we should mark the upright. Those who would gain knowledge, must not be ashamed to seek instruction from any who can give it. The way to heaven is through many tribulations; but tribulation, how great soever, shall not separate us from the love of God. Tribulation makes heaven more welcome and more glorious. It is not the blood of the martyrs, but the blood of the Lamb, that can wash away sin, and make the soul pure and clean in the sight of God; other blood stains, this is the only blood that makes the robes of the saints white and clean. They are happy in their employment; heaven is a state of service, though not of suffering; it is a state of rest, but not of sloth; it isa praising, delightful rest. They have had sorrows, and shed many tears on account of sin and affliction; but God himself, with his own gracious hand, will wipe those tears away. He deals with them as a tender father. This should support the Christian under all his troubles. As all the redeemed owe their happiness wholly to sovereign mercy; so the work and worship of God their Saviour is their element; his presence and favour complete their happiness, nor can they conceive of any other joy. To Him may all his people come; from him they receive every needed grace; and to him let them offer all praise and glory.
Verse 15. - Therefore are they before the throne of God. That is, because they have been washed, and have their robes made white, they are before the throne (cf. Ephesians 5:25-27, "Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it,... that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle," etc.). And serve him day and night in his temple. As described in Revelation 4:8, 11; Revelation 5:8-14; Revelation 7:12; Revelation 11:15, etc. Temple (ναός) is here, as in Revelation 3:12, the "dwelling place, the shrine, of God, i.e. heaven. Thus are the redeemed made "pillars" in his temple (Revelation 3:12). And he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them; shall spread his tabernacle over them (Revised Version). The same verb that occurs in John 1:14; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 13:6; Revelation 21:3. The allusion (not an uncommon one with St. John) is to the Shechinah which overshadowed the mercy seat. God's presence among them, co-dwelling with them, is the happiness of his people (cf. John 17:24, "Father, I will that they also be with me," etc.; 1 John 3:2, "We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is ").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore are they before the throne of God,.... See Gill on Revelation 7:9; not because of their great tribulations, but because they were brought through them, and out of them, by the grace and power of God; nor because of their robes, or conversation garments, but because those were washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb; or because of the blood of the Lamb, and their justification, pardon, and cleansing by it:
and serve him day and night in his temple; not in any material temple, but in the new Jerusalem, the general assembly and church of the firstborn, the temple of the living God; for in this state there will be no material temple, or place of worship, but God and the Lamb will be the temple thereof, Revelation 21:22; nor will there be any night there, Revelation 22:5; wherefore this phrase, day and night, only denotes the constancy and uninterruption of their service, there being nothing to obstruct them in it, or break them off from it, as now; in allusion to the priests and Levites, who were, one or other of them, night or day in the service of the temple: and the service of these persons in the new Jerusalem state will not lie in attending on the word and ordinances, or in the ministration of them, as in the present state; but in praising God, singing Hallelujahs to him, adoring the perfections of his nature, and admiring his wonderful works of providence and grace, and ascribing the glory of salvation to him, and to the Lamb; and this their service will be the glorious liberty of the children of God. Hence the Ethiopic version renders it, "and they praise him day and night"; this will be the employment of the saints in the millennium state, and to all eternity:
and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them; or "tabernacle over them"; for the tabernacle of God shall be now among men, and he will dwell among the saints; they shall enjoy his presence, and have the most intimate communion with him; it will appear most manifest that he is their covenant God, and they are his covenant people; and he will be a tabernacle, not only of inhabitation, but of protection for them; and the name of this city, this new Jerusalem, will be "Jehovah Shammah", the Lord is there.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. Therefore—because they are so washed white; for without it they could never have entered God's holy heaven; Re 22:14, "Blessed are those who wash their robes (the oldest manuscripts reading), that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city"; Re 21:27; Eph 5:26, 27.
before—Greek, "in the presence of." Mt 5:8; 1Co 13:12, "face to face."
throne … temple—These are connected because we can approach the heavenly King only through priestly mediation; therefore, Christ is at once King and Priest on His throne.
day and night—that is, perpetually; as those approved of as priests by the Sanhedrim were clothed in white, and kept by turns a perpetual watch in the temple at Jerusalem; compare as to the singers, 1Ch 9:33, "day and night"; Ps 134:1. Strictly "there is no night" in the heavenly sanctuary (Re 22:5).
in his temple—in what is the heavenly analogue to His temple on earth, for strictly there is "no temple therein" (Re 21:22), "God and the Lamb are the temple" filling the whole, so that there is no distinction of sacred and secular places; the city is the temple, and the temple the city. Compare Re 4:8, "the four living creatures rest not day and night, saying, Holy," &c.
shall dwell among them—rather (Greek, "scenosei ep' autous"), "shall be the tabernacle over them" (compare Re 21:3; Le 26:11, especially Isa 4:5, 6; 8:14; 25:4; Eze 37:27). His dwelling among them is to be understood as a secondary truth, besides what is expressed, namely, His being their covert. When once He tabernacled among us as the Word made flesh, He was in great lowliness; then He shall be in great glory.
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