Revelation 11:18
And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
11:14-19 Before the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet, there is the usual demand of attention. The saints and angels in heaven know the right of our God and Saviour to rule over all the world. But the nations met God's wrath with their own anger. It was a time in which he was beginning to reward his people's faithful services, and sufferings; and their enemies fretted against God, and so increased their guilt, and hastened their destruction. By the opening the temple of God in heaven, may be meant, that there was a more free communication between heaven and earth; prayer and praises more freely and frequently going up, graces and blessings plentifully coming down. But it rather seems to refer to the church of God on earth. In the reign of antichrist, God's law was laid aside, and made void by traditions and decrees; the Scriptures were locked up from the people, but now they are brought to the view of all. This, like the ark, is a token of the presence of God returned to his people, and his favour toward them in Jesus Christ, as the Propitiation for their sins. The great blessing of the Reformation was attended with very awful providences; as by terrible things in righteousness God answered the prayers presented in his holy temple now opened.And the nations were angry - Were enraged against thee. This they had shown by their opposition to his laws; by persecuting his people; by slaying his witnesses; by all the attempts which they had made to destroy his authority on the earth. The reference here seems to be to the whole series of events preceding the final establishment of his kingdom on the earth; to all the efforts which had been made to throw off his government and to crush his church. At this period of glorious triumph it was natural to look back to those dark times when the "nations raged" (compare Psalm 2:1-3), and when the very existence of the church was in jeopardy.

And thy wrath is come - That is, the time when thou wilt punish them for all that they have done in opposition to thee, and when the wicked shall be cut off. There will be, in the setting up of the kingdom of God, some manifestation of his wrath against the powers that opposed it; or something that will show his purpose to destroy his enemies, and to judge the wicked. The representations in this book lead us to suppose that the final establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth will be introduced or accompanied by commotions and wars which will end in the overthrow of the great powers that have opposed his reign, and by such awful calamities in those portions of the world as shall show that God has arisen in his strength to cut off his enemies, and to appear as the vindicator of his people. Compare the notes on Revelation 16:12-16; Revelation 19:11-26.

And the time of the dead, that they should be judged - According to the view which the course of the exposition thus far pursued leads us to entertain of this book, there is reference here, in few words, to the same thing which is more fully stated in Revelation 20:1-15, and the meaning of the sacred writer will, therefore, come up for a more distinct and full examination when we consider that chapter. See the notes on Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 20:12-15. The purpose of the writer does not require that a detailed statement of the order of the events referred to should be made here, for it would be better made when, after another line of illustration and of symbol Revelation 11:19; Revelation 12-19, he should have reached the same catastrophe, and when, in view of both the mind would be prepared for the fuller description with which the book closes, Revelation 20-22. All that occurs here, therefore, is a very general statement of the final consumation of all things.

And that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants - The righteous. Compare Matthew 25:34-40; Revelation 21:22. That is, in the final winding-up of human affairs, God will bestow the long-promised reward on those who have been his true friends. The wicked that annoyed and persecuted them will annoy and persecute them no more; and the righteous will be publicly acknowledged as the friends of God. For the manner in which this will be done, see the details in Revelation 20-22.

The prophets - All who, in every age, have faithfully proclaimed the truth. On the meaning of the word, see the notes on Revelation 10:11.

And to the saints - To all who are holy - under whatever dispensation, and in whatever land, and at whatever time, they may have lived. Then will be the time when, in a public manner, they will be recognized as belonging to the kingdom of God, and as being his true friends.

And them that fear thy name - Another way of designating his people, since religion consists in a profound veneration for God, Malachi 3:16; Job 1:1; Psalm 15:4; Psalm 22:23; Psalm 115:11; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 3:13; Proverbs 9:10; Isaiah 11:2; Acts 10:22, Acts 10:35.

Small and great - Young and old; low and high; poor and rich. The language is designed to comprehend all, of every class, who have a claim to be numbered among the friends of God, and it furnishes a plain intimation that people of all classes will be found at last among his true people. One of the glories of the true religion is, that, in bestowing its favors, it disregards all the artificial distinctions of society, and addresses man as man, welcoming all who are human beings to the blessings of life and salvation. This will be illustriously shown in the last period of the world's history, when the distinctions of wealth, and rank, and blood shall lose the importance which has been attributed to them, and when the honor of being a child of God shall have its true place. Compare Galatians 3:28.

And shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth - That is, all who have, in their conquests, spread desolation over the earth and who have persecuted the righteous, and all who have done injustice and wrong to any class of people. Compare the notes on Revelation 20:13-15.

Here ends, as I suppose, the first series of visions referred to in the volume sealed with the seven seals, Revelation 5:1. At this point, where the division of the chapter should have been made, and which is properly marked in our common Bibles by the sign of the paragraph (),there commences a new series of visions, intended also, but in a different line, to extend down to the consummation of all things. The former series traces the history down mainly through the series of civil changes in the world, or the outward affairs which affect the destiny of the church; the latter - the portion still before us - embraces the same period with a more direct reference to the rise of antichrist, and the influence of that power in affecting the destiny of the Church. When that is completed Revelation 11:19; Revelation 12-19, the way is prepared Revelation 20-22 for the more full statement of the final triumph of the gospel, and the universal prevalence of religion, with which the book so appropriately closes. That portion of the book, therefore, refers to the same period as the one which has just been considered under the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and the description of the final state of things would have immediately succeeded if it had not been necessary, by another series of visions, to trace more particularly the history of antichrist on the destiny of the church, and the way in which that great and fearful power would be finally overcome. See the Analysis of the Book, part 5. The way is then prepared for the description of the state of things which will exist when all the enemies of the church shall be subdued; when Christianity shall triumph; and when the predicted reign of God shall be set up on the earth, Revelation 20-22.

18. the nations were angry—alluding to Ps 99:1, Septuagint, "The Lord is become King: let the peoples become angry." Their anger is combined with alarm (Ex 15:14; 2Ki 19:28, "thy rage against Me is come up into Mine ears, I will put My hook in thy nose," &c.). Translate, as the Greek is the same. "The nations were angered, and Thy anger is come." How petty man's impotent anger, standing here side by side with that of the omnipotent God!

dead … be judged—proving that this seventh trumpet is at the end of all things, when the judgment on Christ's foes and the reward of His saints, long prayed for by His saints, shall take place.

the prophets—as, for instance, the two prophesying witnesses (Re 11:3), and those who have showed them kindness for Christ's sake. Jesus shall come to effect by His presence that which we have looked for long, but vainly, in His absence, and by other means.

destroy them which destroy the earth—Retribution in kind (compare Re 16:6; Lu 19:27). See on [2712]Da 7:14-18.

And the nations were angry; those who have not been of thy true Israel, but old or modern Gentiles, they have been angry long enough.

And thy wrath is come; now it is time for thee to show thyself angry, and thou hast begun to do it.

And the time of the dead, that they should be judged; the time is come for thee to judge the cause of thy faithtful witnesses, and all those who have died in testimony to thy truth.

And that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets; and for thee to reward such as have faithfully revealed thy will.

And to the saints; and not only them, but all thy holy ones.

And them that fear thy name, small and great; without respect to their quality in the world, be they little or great.

And shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth; the time also is come, when thou hast destroyed, or wilt destroy, that antichristian brood, which so long hath plagued the earth, and destroyed thy people in it.

And the nations were angry,.... See Psalm 99:1, which the Septuagint render, the "Lord reigns, let the nations be angry". This refers not to the times of the dragon, or the Pagan Roman emperors, who were wroth with the woman, the church, and made war with her seed; but Rome Papal, and its Gentiles, are intended; these are the nations that antichrist reigns over: and it does not so much design their anger against Christ, and his people, expressed by their anathemas, excommunications, murders; and massacres, and bloody persecutions, which could not be cause of thanksgiving to the elders; but their anger and resentment at his power and reign, at having the outward court taken from them, said to be given them, Revelation 11:2; and at their loss of power, profit, pleasure, and plenty, through the fall of Babylon, and the setting up of Christ's kingdom; and though these things will make the Gentiles, the followers of antichrist, gnash their teeth, it will occasion joy and thanksgiving among the saints:

and thy wrath is come: the time is come to make Babylon, or the Romish antichrist, to drink of the wine of the fierceness of divine wrath; as the time of the Lamb's wrath and vengeance upon Rome Pagan was come at the opening of the sixth seal, so the time of his wrath and vengeance on Rome Papal will be come at the sounding of the seventh trumpet:

and the time of the dead, that they should be judged; not the time of the wicked, who are dead in sins, while they live, and who die in their sins, not their time to be raised from the dead, in order to be judged, for they will not rise till after the thousand years are ended; nor the time of the dead in Christ, who will rise upon Christ's personal coming, at the beginning of the thousand years; but this trumpet respects not the personal coming of Christ to raise the dead, and judge the world, but his spiritual coming to reign in his churches, and judge their enemies: the time of those that were dead for Christ, whose blood had been shed in his cause, the time for the vindication of them, and avenging their blood, is now come; the souls of those under the altar had been a long time crying to God to avenge their blood on them that dwell on the earth; and now the time will be come, when God will judge his people, vindicate their cause; and when he, to whom vengeance belongs, will repay it, by pouring out the vials of his wrath on the antichristian party, by giving them blood to drink, because they are worthy; this judgment will issue in the fall and ruin both of the western and eastern antichrist.

And that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants; not a reward of debt, but of grace; not the recompence of reward, or the reward of the inheritance in heaven; but some marks of honour and respect; some measure of happiness, peace, and joy, which Christ of his rich grace will give to his ministers and churches, and all that love him in this glorious period of time; and who are distinguished in the following manner,

the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great: by the "prophets" are meant, not the prophets of the Old Testament, but the prophets of the New; and not those extraordinary persons, who are distinguished on the one hand from apostles and evangelists, and on the other from pastors and teachers, who had an extraordinary gift of interpreting the Scriptures, and of foretelling things to come; but the ministers of the word, the two prophets or witnesses, who had prophesied in sackcloth, but shall now be clothed with salvation: and by "the saints" are designed such as were set apart by God the Father from eternity, and whose sins are expiated by the blood of Christ, and who are internally sanctified by the, Spirit of God, and externally separated from the rest of mankind, and incorporated into a Gospel church state, and are in holy fellowship one with another: and they that "fear the name" of God are such as truly love and reverence him, and worship him in Spirit and in truth, but are not members of any particular church; who yet will be taken notice of by the Lord, and a book of remembrance be written for them; so the proselytes from among the Gentiles are distinguished from the Israelites by the same character; See Gill on Acts 13:16; or rather this is a general character of both ministers and churches, since to fear the name of the Lord is a phrase that includes all religious worship, internal and external. And now all these, "small and great", whether greater or lesser believers, whether men of larger or meaner gifts and abilities, will all have the same reward, enjoy the same church privileges, partake of the same ordinances, in the purity of them, have the same communion with God, and fellowship with Christ, and one another, and share in, the same common peace, and liberty, and security from enemies: the last thing taken notice of by these elders, as matter of thanksgiving, is the destruction of antichrist.

And shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth; or "corrupt it"; meaning antichrist and his followers; who destroy the bodies, souls, and estates of men, and not only the inhabitants of the earth, but even the earth itself; for through that laziness and idleness which they spread wherever they come, a fruitful country is turned into barrenness; who corrupt the minds of men with false doctrine, idolatry, and superstition, and the bodies of women and men with all uncleanness and filthiness, with fornication, sodomy, &c. Revelation 19:2; and are the cause of their own destruction, and the destruction of others; which, upon the blowing of the seventh trumpet, will come swiftly and irrecoverably. Now will Babylon sink as a millstone into the sea, never to be seen more; both the western and eastern antichrists are intended; the former is called the son of perdition, because of his destroying others, and going into perdition himself; and the latter is called "Abaddon" and "Apollyon", which both signify a destroyer, 2 Thessalonians 1:4.

{30} And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

(30) A speech of the Hebrew language, as if to say, as Gentiles being angry, your inflamed wrath came on them, and showed itself from heaven, occasioned by their anger and fury.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 11:18. ὠργ. = defiant rage (cf. Revelation 16:11), not the mere terror of Revelation 6:17, at the messianic ὀργή. The prophets are as usual the most prominent of the ἅγιοι. If the καὶ after ἁγίοις is retained, it is epexegetic (as in Genesis 4:4, Galatians 6:16), not a subtle mark of division between Jewish and Gentile Christians (Vólter) or (in a Jewish source) saints and proselytes. The same interpretation (for φοβ. cf. Introd. § 6) must be chosen, if καὶ is omitted (as, e.g., by Bousset and Baljon), but the evidence is far too slight to justify the deletion.—διαφθ. “When Nero perished by the justest doom/Which ever the destroyer yet destroyed” (Byron). Contrast the exultant tone of this retrospective thanksgiving with the strain of foreboding which is sounded in Revelation 12:12 before the actual conflict.

18. destroy them which destroy] The verb used twice over is ambiguous, and perhaps has a meaning that we should express differently in the two places; as in 1 Corinthians 3:17. Thus neither the marginal rendering nor the text is wrong.

Revelation 11:18. Καὶ ὁ καιρὸς) that is, ἐστίν. For ὁ καιρὸς does not seem here to be joined with ἦλθεν (although often in other places time is both understood to be, and is said to come, and that, in one place, jointly, Psalm 102:14), since that sentence, τὰ ἔθνη ὠργίσθησαν, και ἦλθεν ἡ ὀργή σου, is now finished. In like manner, ἐστὶ is understood after the verb ἔρχομαι, ch. Revelation 22:12. In like manner, ὁ καιρὸς (namely, ἐστι) τοῦ ἄρξασθαι τὸ κρίμα, 1 Peter 4:17; πότε ὁ καιρός ἐστιν, Mark 13:33.—τῶν νεκρῶν, of the dead) of mortals and the departed. The German Exegesis quotes many passages of Scripture speaking in this manner. Add the son of Sirach, before noticed, on Judges 1:4.—κριθῆναι) This verb, equally with δοῦναι καὶ διαφθεῖραι, is spoken concerning God, and answers to the Hebrew נשפט, which is likewise spoken of God. Isaiah 66:16; Ezekiel 38:22, in the Hebrew; and Ezekiel 17:20; Ezekiel 20:35-36; Joel 3:2, in the Hebrew, and in the Septuagint, where, however, the reading is not κριθῆναι, but διακριθῆναι; and Jeremiah 2:35; Jeremiah 25:31, in which the Septuagint has κρίνομαι. There is an allusion to the wonderful συγκατάβασις (condescension) of the Supreme Judge, whereby, for the sake of showing the justice of His cause, He blends discussion [“controversy”] with His unbending judgment. Ὅπως ἂν νικήσῃς ἐν τῷ κρίνεσθαί σε, Romans 3:4, note.

Verse 18. - And the nations were angry (cf. Psalm 2:1, which appears to be in the mind of the seer, for ver. 9 of the same psalm is referred to in Revelation 12:5). "The nations" raged in the period of their persecution of the Church, as set forth under the visions of the seals. They were angry, says Hengstenberg, at the progress of the kingdom of God, after the Word was made flesh. And thy wrath is come; thy wrath came. This verse points conclusively to the judgment day, the events of which, however, as before remarked (see on ver. 15), are merely indicated, not fully described. This is the last final infliction upon the wicked, the seventh of the trumpet plagues. And the time of the dead, that they should be judged; to be judged. Vitringa and others understand this judgment to refer to the dead martyrs who are now vindicated; but the meaning probably extends to all the dead, both classes of whom are referred to in the following part of the verse. And that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy Name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth; and to give their reward... and to destroy, etc. Though μικροὺς καὶ τοὺς μεγάλος, "the small and the great," is in the accusative ease, it is in apposition with the preceding datives, προφήταις ἁγίοις, φοβουμένοις, "prophets, saints, those that fear." The wicked are those who "destroy the earth," since it is on their account that the world is destroyed; they "destroy the earth" also by corrupting it, which is the force of διαφθεῖραι. In what way this destruction of the wicked is accomplished we are not told. Revelation 11:18Were angry (ὀργίσθησαν)

See on wrath, John 3:36. Compare Psalm 2:1.

The time (ὁ καιρὸς)

See on Matthew 12:1.

Reward (μισθὸν)

See on 2 Peter 2:13.

Destroy (διαφθεῖραι)

Also to corrupt.

Which destroy (τοὺς διαφθείροντας)

Or, the destroyers.

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