Revelation 1:7
Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) Behold, he cometh with clouds.—Better, with the clouds. The reference to Christ’s words (Mark 14:62) is undoubted. In the “clouds” St. Augustine sees the emblem of the saints of the Church, which is His body, who spread as a vast fertilising cloud over the whole world.

Every eye shall see him, and they also which (they were who = “whosoever”) pierced him.—Here again is a reference to the incident of the piercing of Christ’s side (John 19:34), recorded only by St. John.

Shall wail because of him.—Or, shall wail over Him. The prophecy in Zechariah 12:10, is the suggesting one of this. But the passage in Zechariah describes the mourning of grief over the dead; the passage here is the mourning towards one who was dead, and is alive. He towards whom they now direct their sorrow is the One over whom they should have wailed when He was laid in His tomb.

Revelation 1:7. Behold — In this and the next verse are the proposition and the summary of the whole book. He cometh — Jesus Christ. Throughout this book, whenever it is said He cometh, it means his glorious coming. The preparation for this began at the destruction of Jerusalem, and more particularly at the time of writing this book, and goes on without any interruption, till that grand event is accomplished. Therefore it is never said in this book, He will come, but, He cometh. And yet it is not said, He cometh again. For when he came before, it was not like himself, but in the form of a servant. But his appearing in glory is, properly, his coming; namely, in a manner worthy of the Son of God. And every eye — Of the Jews in particular; shall see him — But with what different emotions, according as they had received or rejected him! And they who have pierced him — They, above all, who pierced his hands, or feet, or side. Thomas saw the prints of these wounds, even after his resurrection. And the same, undoubtedly, will be seen by all, when he cometh in the clouds of heaven; and they that condemned him shall be arraigned at his tribunal. And all the tribes of the earth — The word tribes, in the Revelation, generally means the Israelites; but where another word, such as nations, or people, is joined with it, it implies likewise, (as here,) all the rest of mankind. Shall wail because of him — For terror and pain, if they did not wail before by true repentance; even all who have rejected his government and opposed his interest, shall lament the fatal opposition, by which, instead of prevailing in the least against him, they have only effected their own destruction. In this verse is prefixed the great moral, which the whole book is designed to illustrate; namely, that though there should be great opposition made against the cause and kingdom of Christ, yet it should be utterly in vain, and his kingdom should triumph in the most illustrious manner, so that all who opposed it should have the greatest reason to mourn. And as this series of divine prophecy begins, so it ends with this sentiment, and with the joyful consent of his faithful servants to this glorious truth, which should fill the enemies of Christ with both terror and dismay. Yea, amen — This refers to, every eye shall see him. He that cometh saith, Yea; he that testifies it, Amen. The word translated yea is Greek, amen is Hebrew; for what is here spoken respects both Jew and Gentile. 1:4-8 There can be no true peace, where there is not true grace; and where grace goeth before, peace will follow. This blessing is in the name of God, of the Holy Trinity, it is an act of adoration. The Father is first named; he is described as the Jehovah who is, and who was, and who is to come, eternal, unchangeable. The Holy Spirit is called the seven spirits, the perfect Spirit of God, in whom there is a diversity of gifts and operations. The Lord Jesus Christ was from eternity, a Witness to all the counsels of God. He is the First-born from the dead, who will by his own power raise up his people. He is the Prince of the kings of the earth; by him their counsels are overruled, and to him they are accountable. Sin leaves a stain of guilt and pollution upon the soul. Nothing can fetch out this stain but the blood of Christ; and Christ shed his own blood to satisfy Divine justice, and purchase pardon and purity for his people. Christ has made believers kings and priests to God and his Father. As such they overcome the world, mortify sin, govern their own spirits, resist Satan, prevail with God in prayer, and shall judge the world. He has made them priests, given them access to God, enabled them to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices, and for these favours they are bound to ascribe to him dominion and glory for ever. He will judge the world. Attention is called to that great day when all will see the wisdom and happiness of the friends of Christ, and the madness and misery of his enemies. Let us think frequently upon the second coming of Christ. He shall come, to the terror of those who wound and crucify him by apostacy: he shall come, to the astonishment of the whole world of the ungodly. He is the Beginning and the End; all things are from him and for him; he is the Almighty; the same eternal and unchanged One. And if we would be numbered with his saints in glory everlasting, we must now willing submit to him receive him, and honour him as a saviour, who we believe will come to be our Judge. Alas, that there should be many, who would wish never to die, and that there should not be a day of judgment!Behold he cometh with clouds - That is, the Lord Jesus, when he returns, will come accompanied with clouds. This is in accordance with the uniform representation respecting the return of the Saviour. See the notes on Matthew 24:30. Compare Matthew 26:64; Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62; Acts 1:9, Acts 1:11. Clouds are appropriate symbols of majesty, and God is often represented as appearing in that manner. See Exodus 19:18; Psalm 18:11 ff; Isaiah 19:1. So, among the pagan, it was common to represent their divinities as appearing clothed with a cloud:

"tandem venias, precamur,

Nube candentes humeros amictus.

Augur Apollo"

The design of introducing this representation of the Saviour, and of the manner in which he would appear, seems to be to impress the mind with a sense of the majesty and glory. of that being from whom John received his revelations. His rank, his character, his glory were such as to demand respect; all should reverence him, and all should feel that his communications about the future were important to them, for they must soon appear before him.

And every eye shall see him - He will be made visible in his glory to all that dwell upon the earth; to all the children of men. Everyone, therefore, has an interest in what he says; everyone has this in certain prospect, that he shall see the Son of God coming as a Judge.

And they also which pierced him - When he died; that is, they who pierced his hands, his feet, and his side. There is probably an allusion here to Zechariah 12:10; "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn." The language here is so general that it may refer to any act of looking upon the pierced Saviour, and might be applied to those who would see him on the cross and to their compunctious visitings then; or to their subsequent reflections, as they might look by faith on him whom they had crucified; or to the feeling of any sinners who should reflect that their sins had been the cause of the death of the Lord Jesus; or it might be applied, as it is here, more specifically to the feelings which his murderers will have when they shall see him coming in his glory. All sinners who have pierced his heart by their crimes will then behold him and will mourn over their treatment of him; they, in a special manner, who imbrued their hands in his blood will then remember their crime and be overwhelmed with alarm. The design of what is here said seems to be, to show that the coming of the Saviour will be an event of great interest to all mankind. None can be indifferent to it, for all will see him. His friends will hail his advent (compare Revelation 22:20), but all who were engaged in putting him to death, and all who in any manner have pierced his heart by sin and ingratitude, unless they shall have repented, will have occasion of bitter lamentation when he shall come. There are none who have a more fearful doom to anticipate than the murderers of the Son of God, including those who actually put him to death, and those who would have engaged in such an act had they been present, and those who, by their conduct, have done all they could to pierce and wound him by their ingratitude.

And all kindreds of the earth - Greek, "All the tribes - φυλαὶ phulai of the earth." This language is the same which the Saviour uses in Matthew 24:30. See the notes on that passage. The word "tribes" is what is commonly applied to the twelve tribes of Israel, and thus used, it would describe the inhabitants of the Holy Land; but it may be used to denote nations and people in general, as descended from a common ancestor, and the connection requires that it should be understood in this sense here, since it is said that "every eye shall see him"; that is, all that dwell on the face of the earth.

Shall wail because of him - On account of him; on account of their treatment of him. The word rendered "wail" - κόπτω koptō - means properly to beat, to cut; then to beat or cut oneself in the breast as an expression of sorrow; and then to lament, to cry aloud in intense grief. The coming of the Saviour will be an occasion of this:

(a) because it will be an event which will call the sins of people to remembrance, and

(b) because they will be overwhelmed with the apprehension of the wrath to come.

Nothing would fill the earth with greater consternation than the coming of the Son of God in the clouds of heaven; nothing could produce so deep and universal alarm. This fact, which no one can doubt, is proof that people feel that they are guilty, since, if they were innocent, they would have nothing to dread by his appearing. It is also a proof that they believe in the doctrine of future punishment, since, if they do not, there is no reason why they should be alarmed at his coming. Surely people would not dread his appearing if they really believed that all will be saved. Who dreads the coming of a benefactor to bestow favors on him? Who dreads the appearing of a jailer to deliver him from prison; of a physician to raise him up from a bed of pain; of a deliverer to knock off the fetters of slavery? And how can it be that people should be alarmed at the coming of the Saviour, unless their consciences tell them that they have much to fear in the future? The presence of the Redeemer in the clouds of heaven would destroy all the hopes of those who believe in the doctrine of universal salvation - as the approach of death now often does. People believe that there is much to be dreaded in the future world, or they would not fear the coming of Him who shall wind up the affairs of the human race.

Even so, Amen - ναὶ, ἀμήν nai, amēn. "A double expression of "so be it, assuredly, certainly," one in Greek and the other in Hebrew" (Prof. Stuart). Compare Romans 8:16, "Abba, Father" - ἀββᾶ, ὁ πατήρ abba, ho patēr. The idea which John seems to intend to convey is, that the coming of the Lord Jesus, and the consequences which he says will follow, are events which are altogether certain. This is not the expression of a wish that it may be so, as our common translation would seem to imply, but a strong affirmation that it will be so. In some passages, how. over, the word (ναὶ nai) expresses assent to what is said, implying approbation of it as true, or as desirable. "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight," Matthew 11:26; Luke 10:21. So in Revelation 16:7, "Even so (ναὶ nai), Lord God Almighty." So in Revelation 22:20, "Even so (ναὶ nai), come, Lord Jesus." The word "Amen" here seems to determine the meaning of the phrase, and to make it the affirmation of a "certainty," rather than the expression of a "wish."

7. with clouds—Greek, "the clouds," namely, of heaven. "A cloud received Him out of their sight" at His ascension (Ac 1:9). His ascension corresponds to the manner of His coming again (Ac 1:11). Clouds are the symbols of wrath to sinners.

every eye—His coming shall therefore be a personal, visible appearing.

shall see—It is because they do not now see Him, they will not believe. Contrast Joh 20:29.

they also—they in particular; "whosoever." Primarily, at His pre-millennial advent the Jews, who shall "look upon Him whom they have pierced," and mourn in repentance, and say, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." Secondarily, and here chiefly, at the general judgment all the ungodly, not only those who actually pierced Him, but those who did so by their sins, shall look with trembling upon Him. John is the only one of the Evangelists who records the piercing of Christ's side. This allusion identifies him as the author of the Apocalypse. The reality of Christ's humanity and His death is proved by His having been pierced; and the water and blood from His side were the antitype to the Levitical waters of cleansing and blood offerings.

all kindreds … shall wail—all the unconverted at the general judgment; and especially at His pre-millennial advent, the Antichristian confederacy (Zec 12:3-6, 9; 14:1-4; Mt 24:30). Greek, "all the tribes of the land," or "the earth." See the limitation to "all," Re 13:8. Even the godly while rejoicing in His love shall feel penitential sorrow at their sins, which shall all be manifested at the general judgment.

because of—Greek, "at," or "in regard to Him."

Even so, Amen—Gods seal of His own word; to which corresponds the believer's prayer, Re 22:20. The "even so" is Greek; "Amen" is Hebrew. To both Gentiles and Jews His promises and threats are unchangeable.

St. John being to speak of the various afflictions of the church of God, which should immediately begin, and hold on during the whole time that Rome should continue heathen, and one thousand two hundred and sixty years after, during the whole reign of the beasts, prepareth Christians for it, by calling them by the eye of faith to see (though at a great distance) Christ coming to judgment, whom he speaks of as already coming, according to the usual style of prophets, who use to speak of those things that shall shortly be done, or certainly, as if they were already done. He describes the manner of Christ’s coming to judgment, and saith,

he cometh with clouds, that is, in a glorious manner; in the clouds with power and great glory, Matthew 24:30; in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, Matthew 25:31; with ten thousand of his saints, Judges 1:14; with a shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God, 1 Thessalonians 4:16; here, with clouds, bright and glorious clouds, not obscuring him, but making his appearance more glorious and terrible.

And every eye shall see him; he shall come visibly, for, Acts 1:11, he shall so come, as he was seen going up to heaven: see Isaiah 40:5.

And they also which pierced him; they also which pierced him shall look on him, Zechariah 12:10; yea, not those only which pierced him with their spears, but every sinner who hath pierced him with his sins, Hebrews 6:6. From whence we may observe, that the resurrection will be general; and those in the Great Mogul’s country are like to awake out of their sleep in the grave, as well as others.

And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him; all the nations of the earth, (Greek, the tribes of the earth), shall wail, not with a mourning of repentance, the time for that will be past, but with a wailing of despair and horror.

Even so, Amen: these words are either a prophetical assertion, confirming the truth of what he had said, or a pious prayer or desire, or rather both together. Behold he cometh with clouds,.... John carries on the account of Christ in his kingly office, one branch of which is to execute judgment; and describes him by a future coming of his, which cannot be understood of his coming to take vengeance on the Jews, at the time of Jerusalem's destruction, though that is sometimes expressed in such language, and with such circumstances, as here; see Matthew 24:30; because if this revelation was made to John, in the latter end of Domitian's reign, as is commonly reported by the ancients, and in the year 95 or 96, as chronologers generally place it, it must be upwards of twenty years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and therefore cannot relate to that; nor to his coming in a spiritual sense to convert the Jews in the latter day; for this coming is personal, and with clouds, when he will be seen by every eye; all which circumstances do not so well agree with that; besides, all the kindreds of the earth will not lament on that account: the wicked will take little notice of it, the tribes of the Jews will rejoice at it, and so will all the converted Gentiles: it is better therefore to understand this of Christ's second coming to judge the quick and dead, which is represented as just at hand, to denote the certainty of it; and a "behold" is prefixed to it, to excite attention, and to denote the importance of it: things of great moment, and very surprising, will then be done; Christ will appear in great glory and majesty, the dead in Christ will be raised, Christ's personal kingdom will take place, and the general judgment come on. The manner of his coming will be "with clouds"; either figuratively, with angels, who will attend him both for grandeur and service, or literally, in the clouds of heaven; he shall descend in like manner as he ascended, and as Daniel prophesied he should, Daniel 7:13. Hence, one of the names of the Messiah, with the Jews, is, "Anani" (r), which signifies "clouds"; and his coming is so described, both to denote the grand and magnificent manner, in which he will come, making the clouds his chariots; and to strike terror into his enemies, clouds and darkness being about him, thunder and lightning breaking out of them, as tokens of that vengeance he comes to take upon them; as also the visibility of his coming, he shall descend from the third heaven, where he now is, into the airy heaven, and sit upon the clouds, as on his throne, and be visible to all: hence it follows,

and every eye shall see him; that is, everyone that has eyes shall see him, or all men shall see him; the righteous shall see him, and be glad; they shall see him in his glory, as he is, and for themselves, and be satisfied; they shall rejoice at the sight of him; they will be filled with joy unspeakable, and full of glory: but the wicked will see him and tremble; they will be filled with the utmost consternation and astonishment; they will not be able to bear the sight of him; they will flee from him, and call to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from his face,

And they also which pierced him; his hands, feet, and side, when they crucified him; both the Roman soldiers, who actually did it, and the body of the Jewish nation, the rulers and common people, who consented to it, and at whose instigation it was done; these, being raised from the dead, shall see him with their bodily eyes, whom they so used,

And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him; all the wicked, in the several parts of the world, will lament, and wring their hands, and express the inward terror and horror of their minds, at his appearing; they will fear his resentment of all their wicked words and actions; will dread his wrath, and tremble at his righteous judgment:

even so, Amen, says John, and so say all true believers; what the wicked lament, they rejoice at; they desire the coming of Christ, they love it, look and long for it; they believe it shall be, and wish it may be quickly, as in Revelation 22:20; This expression of faith in, and desire after the coming of Christ, is signified by two words, the one Greek and the other Hebrew; suggesting, that this is an article of faith among all the saints of all nations, Jews and Gentiles, and is what they are wishing and waiting for,

(r) Targum in 1 Chronicles 3.24. vid. Beckii Not. in ib. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 85. 2.

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every {e} eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

(e) All men.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 1:7-8. Just as Amos (Revelation 1:2), by a forcible expression, concentrates the chief contents of his book at the very head; so here the writer of the Apoc., who in this also follows the mode of the ancient prophets, by adding to the passage Revelation 1:7, containing the sum of his entire prophecy,[638] the full authority of the name of God, of whose message he is the prophet, Revelation 1:8.[639] Klief. incorrectly denies that the parousia is the proper theme of the Apocalyptic prophecy, and therefore combines Revelation 1:7-8, not with Revelation 1:4-6, but with Revelation 1:9 sqq.

[638] Cf. Joel 3:16.

[639] Cf., especially, Amos 4:13.

Already the ἰδού is an indication that something important is presented.[640]

ἔρχεται. He (Christ) cometh;[641] this is the theme of the Apoc.,[642] which is expressed here not in indefinite generality, but directly afterwards its chief points, as they are further unfolded in the book, are stated. For the coming of the personal Christ is a coming to judgment,[643] and indeed not only for hostile Jews (οἵτινες αὐτὸν ἐξεκέντησαν), but also for the heathen (καὶ κοψ. πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς). Christ cometh “with the clouds.” The μετά[644] designates the coming one as accompanied by clouds; whether we are to regard these as beneath[645] or about him,[646] is not expressed. The ἐρχ. μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν does not form an apposition to “arising out of the sea,” and is not simply a descending from heaven,[647] for the conception, Revelation 13:1, is too unique to correspond to the stereotyped idea in our passage;[648] also, the μετὰ τ. νεφ. is too significant for “down from heaven.” But, according to the O. T. mode of representation, God coming to judgment appears surrounded by clouds.[649] [See Note XXIII., p. 124.] When he comes, absolutely all (πᾶς ὀφθαλμός) will see him; not only his believers, who have remained steadfast to him, and whom he, their Judge, their Deliverer, will introduce into his glory,[650] but also—as is expressly declared by the words ΟἽΤΙΝΕς

Τῆς Γῆς
,—unbelievers. Among these, the first to be especially mentioned are ΚΑῚ ΟἽΤΙΝΕς ΑὐΤΟΝ ἘΞΕΚΈΝΤΗΣΑΝ, i.e., the Jews. Volkmar and Hilgenf.[651] incorrectly think here chiefly of the heathen, since heathen hands directed the plunge of the lance into the Crucified. [Note XXIV., p. 124.] But decisive against this is not only the relation to the subject, but also the expression, Κ. ΚΟΨ.

Πᾶς ΑἹ ΦΥΛ. Τ. Γῆς
. Here, as in John 19:37, the prophecy, Zechariah 12:10, forms the foundation, where the words אֶת אַשֶר־דָּקָרוּ וְהִבִּיטוּ אֵלַי are rendered by the LXX., ΚΑῚ ἘΠΙΒΛΈΨΟΝΤΑΙ ΠΡῸς ΜῈ, ἈΝΘʼ ὮΝ ΚΑΤΩΡΧΉΣΑΝΤΟ. According to Zechariah, the converted people are to look towards their God, whom they had wounded by their infidelity and disobedience, i.e., as the LXX. correctly explain, had despised; but in this passage the “seeing,” i.e., the actual beholding of the coming Christ, is understood in the sense that then, at the commencement of the judgment, repentance is no longer possible, and only terror remains concerning sins that have then undoubtedly occurred. Against the pragmatism of this passage, Ebrard wishes here to find the meaning: “When he cometh, Israel shall be converted,[652] and the nations of the earth shall certainly lament,[653] as those who have fallen away.” Bengel falls into the same error, when he remarks of the ΚΌΨΟΝΤΑΙ in the second member, “Undoubtedly with hostile, or even, on the part of some, with penitential, terror.” How John 19:37 is in this respect related to this passage, is not manifest; since there only the fact of the ἐξεκέντησαν, i.e., the thrust of the lance, is stated. The difference between John 19:37 and this lies in the fact that there (ΕἸς ὋΝ ἘΞΕΚΈΝΤ.) the special point of the thrust of the lance is emphasized; while here (ΑὐΤῸΝ ἘΞΕΚΈΝΤ.) the subject is the death—“the slaying”[654]—in general, as the most manifest proof of hostile unbelief. As to ἘΚΚΕΝΤΕῖΝ in this sense, cf. Numbers 22:29, Jdg 9:54, 2Ma 12:6. Partly because of this difference, and also partly because Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion translate the word דקר, Zechariah 12:10, by ἘΚΚΕΝΤΕῖΝ,[655] we dare not infer the identity of the Evangelist and the writer of the Apoc.

καὶ κόψονται ἐπʼ αὐτὸν πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς. Although this expression may comprise also the Jews, yet, according to the connection, it is to be limited to the anti-theocratic and antichristian heathen. The κόψονται[656] obtains, by the construction with ἐπὶ and the acc.,[657] a graphic clearness, such as is peculiar to the entire style of the writer of the Apoc., by representing the mourning, not according to its inner reason (ἐπʼ αὐτῷ), but according to its external direction,—towards the coming Judge.[658]

Not only by the twofold assurance in both Greek and Hebrew,[659] at the close of Revelation 1:7, but still more completely and solemnly by the entire Revelation 1:8,[660] is the main sentence, Revelation 1:7, sealed. This verse contains a significant unfolding of the old prophetic formula נְאֻם יִהוָה. For the Eternal, who is at the same time Lord of all, will execute his prophecy, Revelation 1:7.[661]

The formula ΤῸ ἈΛΦᾺ ΚΑῚ ΤῸ Ὦ[662] is, according to its meaning,[663] correctly explained by the gloss ἈΡΧῊ ΚΑΙ ΤΈΛΟς.[664]

Ὁ ΠΑΝΤΟΚΡΆΤΩΡ. Cf. Amos 4:13, where the LXX. have it for אֱלֹהְֵי־צְבָוֹת.

[640] Cf. Revelation 16:15, where, in like manner, the same fundamental thought of the book suddenly enters with surprising force.

[641] Cf. concerning the present, Winer, p. 249.

[642] Introduction, sec. 2.

[643] Matthew 16:27.

[644] Daniel 7:13; Mark 14:62.

[645] Matthew 26:64.

[646] Cf. Psalm 97:2.

[647] Ebrard.

[648] Among the later Jews, the Messiah is expressly called “the cloud-man” (Wolkenmann) עֲנָנִי or כַר נִבְלִי; cf. Ewald.

[649] Psalm 97:2; Psalm 18:10 sqq.; Nahum 1:3; Grot., Hengstb.; cf. Knobel, Prophetismus d. Hebr., i. p. 361 sqq.

[650] Cf. Revelation 19:1 sqq., Revelation 20:11 sqq., Revelation 21:1 sqq.; Matthew 25:31 sqq; Revelation 1:7. A reminiscence and adaptation of Daniel 7:13 (Theod.) and Zechariah 12:10-14. The substitution of ἐξεκέντησαν (so John 19:37, Justin’s Apol. i. 52, Dial, xxxii., cf. 61., 118., adding εἰς) for κατωρχήσαντο (70 mistranslation in this passage, though not elsewhere, of דקרו)—shows that the original text was used (though Lücke and Ewald hold that ἐξ. was the LXX reading till Origen), and that it was interpreted in some (Johannine? Abbott, Diatessarica, 1259–1262, 2317) circles as a prophecy of the crucifixion. Only, the reference is no longer to repentance (Zech.), but, by a turn of characteristic severity, to remorse and judgment. There is a remarkable parallel in Matthew 24:30, where patristic tradition (cf. A. C. 233–36) early recognised in τὸ σημεῖον τ. . . the cross itself, made visible on the day of judgment. The first of the three signs preceding Christ’s advent in the clouds, acc. to Did. xvi. 6 (cf. Zechariah 2:13 LXX), is σημεῖον ἐκπετάσεως ἐν οὐρανῷ (Christ with outstretched arms, as crucified?); and, acce. to Barn, vii. 9, “they shall see him on that day wearing about his flesh τὸν ποδήρη κόκκινον”. Note (a) that the agreement with John 19:37 is mainly verbal; the latter alludes to the crucifixion, this passage to an eschatological crisis, (b) No such visible or victorious return of Christ is fulfilled in the Apocalypse, for visions like Revelation 14:14 f., Revelation 19:12 f., do not adequately correspond to Revelation 1:7, Revelation 22:12, etc. (c) No punishment of the Jews occurs at Christ’s return, for the vengeance of Revelation 19:13 f. falls on pagans, while Revelation 11:13 lies on another plane. καὶ, κ.τ.λ.: the monotonous collocation of clauses (Vit. i. 9–16) throughout the Apocalypse with καί, is not necessarily a Hebraism; the syntax of Aristotle (e.g., cf. Thumb, 129), betrays a similar usage. καὶ οἵτ. κ.τ.λ., selected as a special class (καὶ τότε μετανοήσουσιν, ὅτε οὐδὲν ὠφελήσουσι, Justin). The responsibility of the Jews, as opposed to the Romans, for the judicial murder of Jesus is prominent in the Christian literature of the period (Luke–Acts, cf. von Dobschütz in Texte u. Unters. xi. 1, pp. 61, 62), though the Apoc. is superior to passages like 2 Clem. xvii. πᾶσαι κ.τ.λ.= the unbelieving pagans, who are still impenitent when surprised by the Lord’s descent (ἐπὶ = “because of,” cf. Revelation 18:9 in diff. sense); a realistic statement of what is spiritually put in John 16:8-9.—This forms an original element in the early Christian apologetic. To the Jewish taunt, “Jesus is not messiah but a false claimant: he died,” the reply was, “He will return in visible messianic authority” (Mark 14:62 = Matthew 26:64, significant change in Luke 22:69). In several circles this future was conceived not as a return of Jesus, nor in connexion with his historical appearance, but as the first real manifestation of the true messianic character which he had gained at the resurrection (cf. Titius, 31, 32). See on Revelation 12:4 f. ναὶ, ἀμήν: a double (Gk. Heb.) ratification of the previous oracle.7. This verse, as indeed may be said of the whole Book, is founded chiefly on our Lord’s own prophecy recorded in St Matthew 24, and secondly on the Old Testament prophecies which He there refers to and sums up.

with clouds] “With the clouds,”—“he clouds of heaven” of Daniel 7:13.

and they also which pierced him] Zechariah 12:10; in his Gospel, John 19:37, St John translates that passage correctly, and here refers to the same translation: that of the LXX. is wrong and almost meaningless. But while the words here are taken from Zechariah, the thought is rather that of Matthew 26:64 : “they which pierced Him” are thought of, not as looking to Him by faith, and mourning for Him in penitence, but as seeing Him Whom they had not believed in, and mourning in despair.

all kindreds of the earth] Better, all the tribes—the reference is still to Zech. l. c., through the medium of Matthew 24:30. Thus we see that the fact that the profitable and the unprofitable “mourning” (or “wailing”—the Greek word is the same in St Matthew as here) are foretold in the same terms, in solemnly suggestive contrast with each other, is due not to the Apostle but to his Master: it is He that tells us that all tribes of the earth must mourn, either now for the woe our sins caused Him, or then for the woe they will cause us.

because of him] Literally, “at him;” at sight of Him. R. V. “over Him,” which can hardly be meant here.

Even so, Amen] Or, Yea, Amen—the two words, Greek and Hebrew, being similarly coupled in 2 Corinthians 1:20. The second, like the first, is an emphatic word of confirmation—so used e.g. repeatedly by our Lord Himself, St Matthew 5:18, &c., where it is translated “verily.” The popular tradition that “Amen” means “So be it” is only partially true: even in its liturgical use, we append it to creeds as well as prayers. It comes from the same Hebrew root as the words for “faith” and “truth;” the primary meaning being apparently “solidity.” See on Revelation 3:14.Revelation 1:7. [14] ἜΡΧΕΤΑΙ) namely, Ὁ ἘΡΧΌΜΕΝΟς. He who is to come, cometh. His glorious advent at the last day is meant.—ἐξεκέντκσαν, pierced) The Saviour and Judge both exhibited Himself, and will exhibit Himself, with most evident marks of the nails and spear in His raised and glorified body. Then the disdain and reproaches of His enemies, especially of the Jews, which He for so long has borne and still bears with wonderful long-suffering, will be for ever refuted.—κόψονται, shall wail) without doubt through fear, as of an enemy, or even through a feeling of penitence in the case of some.

[14] αὐτῷ, to Himself) that is, to Jesus Christ.—V. g.Verses 7, 8. - It is difficult to determine the exact connexion of these verses with one another, and with what precedes and follows. It seems best to make ver. 7 a kind of appendix to the salutation, and ver. 8 a kind of prelude to the whole book. They each give us one of the fundamental thoughts of the Apocalypse; ver. 7, Christ's certain return to judgment; ver. 8, his perfect Divinity. Verse 7. - He cometh. He who loveth us and cleansed us and made us to be a kingdom will assuredly come. While interpreting the verse of the second advent, we need not exclude the coming to "those who pierced him" in the destruction of Jerusalem, and to "the tribes of the earth" in the breakup of the Roman empire. With the clouds. This probably refers to Mark 14:62, "Ye shall see the Son of man ... coming with the clouds of heaven" (comp. Daniel 7:13, "Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven"). Aquinas and other writers make the clouds symbolize the saints, "who rain by preaching, glisten by working miracles, are lifted up by refusing earthly things, fly by lofty contemplation." And they also; better, and all they who (οἵτινες) pierced him. This is strong evidence of common authorship between the Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse.

(1) St. John alone mentions the piercing.

(2) Here and in John 19:37 the writer, in quoting Zechariah 12:10, deserts the LXX. and follows the Masoretic Hebrew text. The LXX. softens down "pierced" into "insulted" (κάτωρχήσατο), "piercing" appearing a violent expression to use respecting men's treatment of Jehovah.

(3) Here and in John 19:37 the writer, in translating from the Hebrew, uses the uncommon Greek word ἐκκεντᾷν. The reference here is to all those who "crucify the Son of God afresh," not merely to the Jews. In what follows the Revised Version is to be preferred: "and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him? The wording is similar to Matthew 24:30 and the LXX. of Zechariah 12:10. The mourning is that of beating the breast, not wailing, and it is "over him" (ἐπ᾿ αὐτόν). Even so, Amen. Ναί Αμήν, like "Abba, Father" (Mark 4:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6), combines a Hebrew word with its Greek equivalent (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:20). He cometh with clouds (ἔρχεται μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν)

The clouds are frequently used in the descriptions of the Lord's second coming. See Daniel 7:13; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62. Compare the manifestation of God in the clouds at Sinai, in the cloudy pillar, the Shekinah, at the transfiguration, and see Psalm 97:2; Psalm 18:11; Nahum 1:3; Isaiah 19:1.

Shall see (ὄψεται)

The verb denotes the physical act, but emphasizes the mental discernment accompanying it, and points to the result rather than to the act of vision. See on John 1:18. Appropriate here as indicating the quickened spiritual discernment engendered by the Lord's appearing, in those who have rejected Him, and who now mourn for their folly and sin.

They which (οἵτινες)

The compound relative describes a class. See on Matthew 13:52; see on Matthew 21:41; see on Mark 12:18.

Pierced (ἐξεκέντησαν)

See on John 19:34, and compare Zechariah 12:10; John 19:36. The expression here refers not to the Jews only, but to all who reject the Son of Man; those who "in any age have identified themselves with the Spirit of the Savior's murderers" (Milligan). The passage is justly cited as a strong evidence that the author of the Gospel is also the author of Revelation.

Kindreds (φυλαὶ)

More correctly, tribes. The word used of the true Israel in Revelation 5:5; Revelation 7:4-8; Revelation 21:12. As the tribes of Israel are the figure by which the people of God, Jew or Gentile, are represented, so unbelievers are here represented as tribes, "the mocking counterpart of the true Israel of God." Compare Matthew 24:30, Matthew 24:31.

Shall wail because of Him (κόψονται ἐπ' αὐτὸν)

Rev., better, shall mourn over Him. Lit., shall beat their breasts. See on Matthew 11:17.

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