Revelation 14:17
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Revelation 14:17-20. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven — As the former had done; he also having a sharp sickle — To assist in this execution, and finish the destruction of the enemies of the truth. And another angel, just at that instant, came out from the altar — Of burnt-offering, from whence the martyrs had cried for vengeance. Which angel, it is said, had power over fire — This, according to Daubuz, is spoken in allusion to the office of that priest who was appointed by lot in the temple-service to take care of the fire upon the altar, and who was therefore called the priest over the fire. Grotius interprets it, habens ministerium iræ divinæ, having the office of God’s vengeance. And he cried with a loud voice — With great vehemence; to him that had the sharp sickle — Being sent to bring a message to him; saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters, &c. — Begin to put in execution the righteous judgments of God on this wicked generation; for her grapes are fully ripe — The time of God’s vengeance, his appointed time, is fully come, for the iniquities of the inhabitants of the earth have made them fully ripe for destruction. And the angel thrust in his sickle — Immediately upon this order the angel began to cut down those wicked persons whose iniquities had made them ripe for destruction; and gathered — Or lopped off the grapes of the vine of the earth, and cast them into the great wine- press of the wrath of God — Which seemed to stand ready to receive them; that is, delivered them over to divine vengeance, which should press them hard with grievous afflictions, as grapes are pressed in a wine-press. And the wine-press was trodden without the city — The images in this vision are very strong and expressive. The largest wine-presses used to be in some places out of the city. This expression, therefore, seems to intimate the great numbers that should be involved in this general destruction. And the blood came out of the wine-press even unto the horses-bridles, &c. — Which is a strong hyperbolical expression, to signify a vast slaughter and effusion of blood; a way of speaking not unknown to the Jews, for the Jerusalem Talmud, describing the woful slaughter which the Roman Emperor Adrian made of the Jews at the destruction of the city of Bitter, saith, that “the horses waded in blood up to the nostrils.” Nor are similar examples wanting even in classic authors; for Silius Italicus, speaking of Hannibal’s descent into Italy, useth a like expression of “the bridles flowing with much blood.” The stage where this bloody tragedy is acted is without the city, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs, which, as Mr. Mede ingeniously observes, is the measure of stato dello chiesa, or the state of the Roman Church, or St. Peter’s patrimony, which, reaching from the walls of Rome unto the river Po and the marshes of Verona, contains the space of two hundred Italian miles, which make exactly sixteen hundred furlongs. 14:14-20 Warnings and judgments not having produced reformation, the sins of the nations are filled up, and they become ripe for judgments, represented by a harvest, an emblem which is used to signify the gathering of the righteous, when ripe for heaven, by the mercy of God. The harvest time is when the corn is ripe; when the believers are ripe for heaven, then the wheat of the earth shall be gathered into Christ's garner. And by a vintage. The enemies of Christ and his church are not destroyed, till by their sin they are ripe for ruin, and then he will spare them no longer. The wine-press is the wrath of God, some terrible calamity, probably the sword, shedding the blood of the wicked. The patience of God towards sinners, is the greatest miracle in the world; but, though lasting, it will not be everlasting; and ripeness in sin is a sure proof of judgment at hand.And another angel - The fifth in order. This angel came for a different purpose - with reference to the cutting off of the enemies of God, represented by the gathering of a vintage. Compare Matthew 13:41; Matthew 24:31.

Came out of the temple which is in heaven - Sent or commissioned by God. See the notes on Revelation 14:15.

He also having a sharp sickle - On the word "sickle," see the notes on Revelation 14:14.

17. out of the temple … in heaven—(Re 11:19). This angel some will have to be some instrument God would make use of to cut down antichrist: others would have it to be the word of God in the mouth of his ministers, which, Hebrews 4:12, is sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit; and thus they judge this angel to be the same with the rider upon the white horse, Revelation 19:11-21, out of whose mouth went a sharp sword, Revelation 14:15. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven,.... It is a strange conceit of Mr. Brightman's, that this angel is Thomas Lord Cromwell, in the days of King Henry the Eighth, a sincere favourer of pure religion; and that the following angel is Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, a martyr, that had power over fire; and that the vintage, here spoken of, refers to the destroying of religious houses, and disposing of abbey lands to other uses; which was done under the king's authority, by the former of these, at the instigation of the latter, when those who were set over that business made such havoc of the goods of the Papists, that their houses seemed to swim in their spoils, as in a river of pressed grapes. Dr. Goodwin much better interprets it of God's vengeance upon the carnal Protestants and professors of religion; since it is an angel out of the temple that will execute it, and another from the altar, zealous of God's worship, that will provoke to it; and since the winepress will be trodden without the city, the church; and which began in the wars in Germany, in the last age, and will have its full accomplishment when the whole outward court is given to the Gentiles; but how these, who are but a few, when compared with the wicked of the world, should be called the vine of the earth, I see not. Mr. Daubuz thinks this vision of the vintage has had, at least in part, its fulfilment in the late wars in the times of Queen Anne, the Popish countries being then made the seat of war, in which they suffered much; rather they come nearest to the truth of the matter, who take this to be the battle of the great God Almighty, under the sixth vial, Revelation 16:14 fought by the word of God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who will tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God, Revelation 19:15 when the beast and false prophet will both be destroyed: but inasmuch as Babylon is before declared to be fallen, Revelation 14:8 and since the gathering in of the Lord's wheat at the first resurrection is designed by the harvest, it is best to understand this vintage of the perdition of ungodly men by fire, at the conflagration of the world, which will be at the beginning of the thousand years' reign, and of the gathering of them in at the second resurrection, at the end of it, for the destruction of them in hell, soul and body. And by this "angel" is meant, not the saints of the most High; for though they may be said to come out of the temple, the church, and shall judge the world, yet they will not be employed in gathering together the wicked, and casting them into the lake of fire, or winepress of God's wrath: rather the ministering spirits are intended, who are the reapers at the end of the world, and who will gather the wicked, and bind them like tares in bundles, and cast them into the furnace of fire; though it is best to interpret this of Christ himself, who is often called an Angel in Scripture, as the Angel of God's presence; and the Angel of the covenant; and frequently in this book, as in Revelation 7:2 because, as Mediator, he is God's messenger; and he may be said to do that, which he does by others, as instruments, as to gather the vine of the earth, and cast it into the winepress; and he may be said to "come out of the temple which is in heaven": whether this be understood of heaven itself, which the temple, and especially the most holy place in it, was a figure of; here Christ is, and from hence he is expected to come, and will come at the last day, as Judge of all the earth; or of the church of God, for here Christ dwells, and grants his gracious and spiritual presence until his second and personal coming, with all his saints: and now he will have them all with him, both quick and dead, and will be personally in his temple, the church, in the great congregation of the righteous, and out from among them will he display his power in the destruction of the wicked; and the rather he may be thought to be intended, since none but a divine person ever trod the winepress of God's wrath; see Isaiah 63:1 to which may be added what follows,

he also having a sharp sickle; the same who is described as like to the son of man, on a white cloud, with a golden crown on his head, and such a sickle in his hand, Revelation 14:14 which is expressive of the same judiciary power and authority.

{14} And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

(14) The other type (as I said in) see Geneva Re 14:14 is the vintage: the manner of which is the same as that which went before, except for this, that the grape gathering is more exact in seeking out everything, then is the harvest labour. This is therefore a more grievous judgment, both because it succeeds the other, and because it is executed with great diligence.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 14:17-20. Another angel,[3555] likewise coming from the heavenly temple, and therefore from God himself, intrusted with a work symbolizing the final judgment, has, as one like the Son of man (Revelation 14:14), a sharp sickle, by which the ripened clusters in the vineyard of the earth are to be harvested. Not only does this occur at the command brought again by another angel, but the clusters are also pressed.

[3555] Cf. Revelation 14:15.

καὶ αὐτός. The formula[3556] marks only that the same thing is said by this person as by the person designated in Revelation 14:14; but in other respects the persons are by no means “put on the same level,”[3557] so that it does not follow from Revelation 14:17 that the one like the Son of man is an angel. Still less, however, can it be inferred to the contrary, from Revelation 14:14, that the ἄγγελος (Revelation 14:17) is not an angel, but the Lord himself.[3558]

The other angel (Revelation 14:18), who brings to the one mentioned in Revelation 14:17 the command for harvesting the vineyard of the earth, is in a twofold respect significantly characterized, according to his place of starting: ἐξῆλθεν ἐκ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου, and according to his peculiar power: ὁ ἔχων ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ τοῦ πυρός. He came forth “out of the altar.”[3559] This idea is derived from the ἐκ, which is to be rendered here “from,”[3560] as little as the ἀπό in Revelation 9:13. Its meaning is to be derived from the description (Revelation 8:3 sqq.),[3561] in connection with the designation of the ἐξουσία which the angel has over fire.[3562] The same altar beneath which the souls of the martyrs lie, crying for vengeance, and from which not only the fire is taken which, cast upon the earth, gives the signal in general for the trumpet-visions announcing the beginning of the vengeance, but whence, also, in the sixth trumpet-vision especially, the voice sounds that calls forth a destructive army upon the earth, appears significantly in this passage as the proper place of an angel who transmits the command for the execution of judgment, and who, since he has power over fire,[3563] manifests himself as one whose sending brings an answer to the prayers of the martyrs, and thus, by his entire manner and appearance, recalls the blood-guilt of the enemies whose blood is now to cover the earth (Revelation 14:20).

ΤΡΎΓΗΣΟΝ. Luke 6:44.

ΚΑῚ ἜΒΑΛΕΝ, Κ.Τ.Λ., Revelation 14:19. Cf. Revelation 14:16. Here, however, the figure is not limited to the mere cutting-off of the clusters, but the pressing also follows: ΚΑῚ ἜΒΑΛΕΝ ΕἸς ΤῊΝ ΛΗΝῸΝ Τ. ΘΥΜ. Τ. Θ. ΤῸΝ ΜΕΓ. In reference to the remarkable combination of the masc. ΤῸΝ ΜΕΓ. with the fem. ΤῊΝ ΛΗΝ,[3564] cf. Winer, p. 490, who explains the masc. by the fact that ὁ λην. also occurs. But a reason why this change of the gen. has happened is scarcely to be found. At all events, Proverbs 18:14 should be recalled, where the word רוּח occurs first as masc. because the spirit appears in more forcible activity, and afterwards as fem., because, since it suffers from disease, it is represented in feminine weakness. So, too, the masc. τόν μέγ. could be attached to the ordinary feminine form τὴν λην., because this form appears appropriate to the representation of the wrath of God as active in the pressing.

καὶ ἐπατήθη ἡ λην. The standing expression: cf. Joel 3:13; Isaiah 63:2 sq.

ἔξωθεν τῆς πόλεως. “The city,” without further designation, cannot be Rome,[3565] but only Jerusalem; yet not the heavenly Jerusalem,[3566] also not Jerusalem so far as the holy city represents the Church,[3567] but the real, earthly Jerusalem, against which, as is stated in Revelation 20:9, the hosts of the world rush, but will be annihilated there before the holy city.[3568] Incorrectly, Grotius: “This did not occur in the city, because there were no Jews there.”[3569]

αἰμα. In Isaiah 63:3, LXX., the blood is also expressly mentioned, which is properly meant by the figure of the juice of grapes.

ἄχρι τῶν χαλινῶν τῶν ἰππων, κ.τ.λ. How fearful the bloodshed is, is illustrated by designating it as a stream of blood which is so deep as to reach to the reins of the horses wading therein, while its extent is given as sixteen hundred furlongs.[3570] In this sense, the first expression, ἄχρι τ. χαλ. τ. ἵππ., is understood by almost all expositors;[3571] but the reference to the extent of the stream of blood is not without difficulty. Passing by purely arbitrary explanations,[3572] only two possibilities are offered: either the designation of the measure must be regarded as schematical, whether it depend upon the adoption of an hyperbole not to be urged with respect to details,[3573] or the number four[3574] be considered as a root, and then the number 1,600 reduced to 4 × 4 × 100,[3575] or 40 × 40,[3576] or 4 × 400,[3577] be taken in the sense which Victorin.[3578] and Beda already have; or the sixteen hundred furlongs must be understood accurately and properly, so that the length of Palestine is designated,—according to the statement of Jerome, who[3579] says: “From Dan to Beersheba, which is extended scarcely to the distance of clx. miles.” In accordance with this are the explanations not only of Eichh., Heinr., Züll., Ewald, etc., who[3580] maintained that the scene of Revelation 14:20 is in the Holy Land, but also of C. a Lap., etc., who understand by the Holy Land the Church; and of Grot. and Beng., who, in a different respect, wanted to reach the meaning that the bloodshed occurred even beyond the boundaries of Palestine.[3581] But the entire explanation, based upon the statement of Jerome, is hardly tenable, because, if John had wished, by means of a geographical designation of length, to refer to the Holy Land, the number must have been accurate. But this is not the case; for, as a Roman mile contained eight furlongs,[3582] the one hundred and sixty Roman miles of Jerome would correspond to twelve hundred and eighty, but not to sixteen hundred stadia.[3583] It is highly probable, therefore, that the schematic number, which is intended to represent the vast extent of the stream of blood proceeding from the horns of the altar, has grown in a similar way from the number four, which refers to all four ends of the earth,[3584] to that in which, in Revelation 7:4, Revelation 14:1, the number one hundred and forty-four thousand has been developed from the holy radical twelve.

[3556] Cf. Revelation 14:10.

[3557] De Wette.

[3558] Against Hengstenb.

[3559] Mentioned in Revelation 8:3 sqq., Revelation 16:7.

[3560] Ew. i., De Wette, Ebrard.

[3561] Cf. Revelation 6:9, Revelation 9:13, Revelation 16:7.

[3562] ἐπὶ τ. πυρ., as Revelation 11:6; cf. Revelation 6:8.

[3563] Viz., of that altar; cf. Grot., Vitr., Ewald; but not over fire in general (cf. Revelation 16:5), for this general reference is here entirely out of place.

[3564] The MSS. allow neither τὸν λην.

τὸν μέγ., nor τὴν λην.

την μεγ. ἡ λην. occurs also in Revelation 14:20; Revelation 19:15. Lücke (Einl., II., p. 464) regards it possible, even though very harsh, for the τον μἐγαν, by a construction according to the sense, to refer to τοῦ θυμοῦ τ. θ., and to have the meaning of τοῦ μεγάλου. Yet he also recurs to Winer’s explanation.

[3565] Hammond, Wetst., Calov., Hilgenf., Kienlen, etc.

[3566] Beda, Marlorat., who recall that the lost shall suffer pain outside of heaven, viz., in hell.

[3567] Hengstenb.: “It is declared that not the members of the Church, but the world outside the Church, shall be judged.”

[3568] Cf. Eichh., Züll., Ew., De Wette, etc.

[3569] Cf. the close of the verse.Verse 17. - And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle; from the shrine, or sanctuary (as before, see on ver. 15), the dwelling place of the undivided Trinity, from whence come God's judgments (Alford; cf. Revelation 11:19). Temple (ναοῦ)

Properly, sanctuary. See on Matthew 4:5.

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