Revelation 14:6
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
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(6) And I saw . . .—Better, And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an everlasting gospel, to declare glad tidings over them that sit on the earth, and over every nation, and tribe, and tongue, and people. In view of the world the gospel is proclaimed; this is the good news that God loves the world, has redeemed mankind, that they belong to Him. This word of God is the sword of the Spirit, and the weapon (not carnal) which the Church uses against her foes. It is represented as in the hand of an angel rising in view of all nations: “The sound has gone out unto all lands.”

Revelation 14:6-7. And — As a further motive to Christian patience and constancy, this vision of the happy state of faithful Christians was followed by another; I saw another angel — A second is mentioned Revelation 14:8; a third, Revelation 14:9. These denote great messengers of God, with their assistants. The first exhorts to the fear and worship of God, the second proclaims the fall of Babylon, the third gives warning concerning the beast. Happy were they who made a right use of these divine messages! Fly — Or flying, going on swiftly; in the midst of heaven — Through the air; having the everlasting gospel to preach unto every nation and people — Both to Jews and Gentiles, even as far as the authority of the beast had extended. In the fourth and fifth verses the nature and character of the true Christian Church, in opposition to the wicked antichristian kingdom, were described; and here it is predicted that three principal efforts would be made toward a reformation at three different times, represented by the three angels appearing one after another. Or, that the gospel, here said to be everlasting, because, like its Divine Author, it is the same yesterday, to- day, and for ever, should be preached during this period, in opposition to the novel doctrines of the beast and the false prophet, which should be rooted up, Matthew 15:13. And the swiftness with which the gospel should be disseminated and spread over the world, is admirably represented by the swift flight of the first angel; and the nature of the doctrine, and the earnestness wherewith it should be especially inculcated, is set forth by the first clause of the next verse; saying, with a loud voice — That is, urging in the most zealous and forcible manner, Fear God, and give glory to him, who made heaven, earth, the sea, &c. — Revere, stand in awe of, dread to offend, worship, and serve him; for the hour of his judgment is come — It is now denounced with certainty, and in due time will be fully executed on the impenitent, unbelieving, and disobedient. “It is,” says Bishop Newton, “a solemn and emphatic exhortation to forsake the reigning idolatry and superstition, and such exhortations were made even in the first and earliest times of the beast. Besides several of the Greek emperors, who strenuously opposed the worship of images, Charlemagne himself held a council at Frankfort in the year 794, consisting of about three hundred French, and German, and Italian, and Spanish, and British bishops, who condemned all sorts of adoration or worship of images, and rejected the second council of Nice, which had authorized and established it. At the same time the Caroline books, as they are called, four books written by Charles himself, or by his authority, proving the worship of images to be contrary to the Scripture, and to the doctrine and practice of antiquity, were approved by the council, and transmitted to the pope. Lewis the Pious, the son and successor of Charles, held a council at Paris, in the year 824, which ratified the acts of the council of Frankfort, and the Caroline books, and affirmed that, according to the Scripture and the fathers, adoration was due to God alone. Several private persons also taught and asserted the same Scriptural doctrines. Claude, bishop of Turin, declares, that ‘we are not commanded to go to the creature that we may be made happy, but to the Creator himself; and therefore we should not worship dead men; they are to be imitated, not to be adored; let us, together with the angels, worship one God.’ Agobard, archbishop of Lyons, wrote a whole book against images, and says, that ‘angels or saints may be loved and honoured, but not be served and worshipped; let us not put our trust in man, but in God, lest that prophetic denunciation should redound on us, Cursed is the man who trusteth in man.’ Many other bishops and writers of Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France, professed the same sentiments; and this public opposition of emperors and bishops to the worship of saints and images, in the eighth and ninth centuries, appears to be meant particularly by the loud voice of this first angel flying aloft, and calling upon the world to worship God. In another respect, too, these emperors and bishops resemble this angel having the everlasting gospel to preach unto every nation; for in their time, and greatly by their means, the Christian religion was propagated and established among the Saxons, Danes, Swedes, and many other northern nations.”

14:6-13 The progress of the Reformation appears to be here set forth. The four proclamations are plain in their meaning; that all Christians may be encouraged, in the time of trial, to be faithful to their Lord. The gospel is the great means whereby men are brought to fear God, and to give glory to him. The preaching of the everlasting gospel shakes the foundations of antichrist in the world, and hastens its downfal. If any persist in being subject to the beast, and in promoting his cause, they must expect to be for ever miserable in soul and body. The believer is to venture or suffer any thing in obeying the commandments of God, and professing the faith of Jesus. May God bestow this patience upon us. Observe the description of those that are and shall be blessed: such as die in the Lord; die in the cause of Christ, in a state of union with Christ; such as are found in Christ when death comes. They rest from all sin, temptation, sorrow, and persecution; for there the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest. Their works follow them: do not go before as their title, or purchase, but follow them as proofs of their having lived and died in the Lord: the remembrance of them will be pleasant, and the reward far above all their services and sufferings. This is made sure by the testimony of the Spirit, witnessing with their spirits, and the written word.And I saw another angel - This must, of course, mean a different one from someone mentioned before; but no such angel is referred to in the previous chapters, unless we go back to Revelation 12:7. It is not necessary, however, to suppose that John refers to a particular angel immediately preceding this. In the course of these visions he had seen many angels; and now, accustomed to these visions, he says that he saw "another" one employed in a remarkable embassy, whose message was suited to cheer the hearts of the desponding, and to support the souls of the persecuted and the sad - for his appearing was the pledge that the gospel would be ultimately preached to all that dwell upon the earth. The design of this vision is, therefore, substantially the same as the former - to cheer the heart, and to sustain the courage and the faith of the church, in the persecutions and trials which were yet to come, by the assurance that the gospel would be ultimately triumphant.

Fly in the midst of heaven - In the air; so as to appear to be moving along the face of the sky. The scene cannot be in heaven, as the gospel is not to be preached there; but the word must denote "heaven" as it appears to us - the sky. Prof. Stuart renders it correctly "mid-air." He is represented as flying, to denote the rapidity with which the gospel would spread through the world in that future period referred to. Compare the notes on Isaiah 6:2.

Having the everlasting gospel - The gospel is here called everlasting or eternal:

(a) because its great truths have always existed, or it is conformed to eternal truth;

(b) because it will forever remain unchanged - not being liable to fluctuation like the opinions held by people;

(c) because its effects will be everlasting - in the redemption of the soul and the joys of heaven. In all the glorious eternity before the redeemed, they will be but developing the effects of that gospel on their own hearts, and enjoying the results of it in the presence of God.

To preach unto them that dwell on the earth - To all people - as is immediately specified. Compare Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15.

And to every nation, and kindred, ... - To all classes and conditions of people; to all human beings, without any distinction or exception. See the notes on Revelation 7:9. The truth here taught is, that the gospel is to be preached to all people as on an equality, without any reference to their rank, their character, or their complexion; and it is implied also, that at the time referred to this will be done. When that time will be the writer does not intimate further, than that it would be after the beast and his adherents had attempted to stay its progress; and for the fulfillment of this, therefore, we are to look to a period subsequent to the rise and fall of that great anti-Christian power symbolized by the beast and his image. This is in entire accordance with the prediction in Daniel. See the notes on Daniel 7:19-22.

6. Here begins the portion relating to the Gentile world, as the former portion related to Israel. Before the end the Gospel is to be preached for a WITNESS unto all nations: not that all nations shall be converted, but all nations shall have had the opportunity given them of deciding whether they will be for, or against, Christ. Those thus preached to are "they that dwell (so A, Coptic, and Syriac read. But B, C, Origen, Vulgate, Cyprian, 312, read, 'SIT,' compare Mt 4:16; Lu 1:79, having their settled home) on the earth," being of earth earthy: this last season of grace is given them, if yet they may repent, before "judgment" (Re 14:7) descends: if not, they will be left without excuse, as the world which resisted the preaching of Noah in the the hundred twenty years "while the long-suffering of God waited." "So also the prophets gave the people a last opportunity of repentance before the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, and our Lord and His apostles before the Roman destruction of the holy city" [Auberlen]. The Greek for "unto" (epi, in A and C) means literally, "upon," or "over," or "in respect to" (Mr 9:12; Heb 7:13). So also "TO every nation" (Greek, "epi," in A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, Origen, Andreas, Cyprian, and Primasius). This, perhaps, implies that the Gospel, though diffused over the globe, shall not come savingly unto any save the elect. The world is not to be evangelized till Christ shall come: meanwhile, God's purpose is "to take out of the Gentiles a people for His name," to be witnesses of the effectual working of His Spirit during the counter-working of "the mystery of iniquity."

everlasting gospel—the Gospel which announces the glad tidings of the everlasting kingdom of Christ, about to ensue immediately after the "judgment" on Antichrist, announced as imminent in Re 14:7. As the former angel "flying through the midst of heaven" (Re 8:13) announced "woe," so this angel "flying in the midst of heaven" announced joy. The three angels making this last proclamation of the Gospel, the fall of Babylon (Re 14:8), the harlot, and the judgment on the beast worshippers (Re 14:9-11), the voice from heaven respecting the blessed dead (Re 14:13), the vision of the Son of man on the cloud (Re 14:11), the harvest (Re 14:15), and the vintage (Re 14:18), form the compendious summary, amplified in detail in the rest of the book.

God having in a vision showed unto his servant John the reign and rage of antichrist, Revelation 13:1-18, and in this chapter the care he would extend toward his church for the preservation of a godly seed during his reign, he now cometh by further visions to instruct him in what should be done during antichrist’s reign of forty-two months. The gospel should be preached: this I take to be the substance of this verse. This angel seems to me to represent faithful ministers’ speed and diligence to preach the gospel in all parts of the world. It is called

the everlasting gospel, either with reference to the time past, as much as to say, the old gospel; or to the time to come, it being that doctrine of salvation, besides which there neither is, nor ever shall be, revealed any other while the world endureth, Acts 4:12.

And I saw another angel,.... This is to be understood not of one of the ministering spirits so called; for though wings are sometimes ascribed to angels, and Gabriel is said to fly swiftly; and though they desire to look into the mysteries of the everlasting Gospel, yet the preaching of that is not committed to any of them; but a minister of the Gospel is intended, who is the angel of the church, for in this book pastors of churches are so called, Revelation 1:20; and not a single minister of the Gospel is meant, but a set of Gospel ministers; and some think that those are designed who appeared in the eighth and ninth centuries, both in the eastern and western empire, against the worshipping of images; since this angel calls upon the inhabitants of the earth to fear God, give glory to him, and worship him, and not images; but there was little of the everlasting Gospel preached in those times. Others are of opinion that those who preceded, and led on to the Reformation, are pointed at by this angel, such as Wickliff in England, Franciscus Petrarcha in Italy, John Huss and Jerom of Prague in Bohemia, with others; but these also had not the everlasting Gospel in its clearness and purity, nor did they preach it to all the inhabitants of the earth; rather I think a set of Gospel preachers are intended, who will appear at the beginning of the spiritual reign of Christ, and will be a means of ushering it in; and these are the watchmen of Zion, who will give the Lord no rest till he has made Jerusalem the praise of the whole earth; and who will then see eye to eye in Gospel mysteries, and will publish good tidings of peace and salvation, and proclaim Zion's King reigning, Isaiah 62:6; this angel is called "another", being distinct from the voice heard Revelation 14:2, though he is the first with respect to the following angels, as appears from Revelation 14:9; the place where John saw this angel, and the position he was in, follow:

fly in the midst of heaven: the church, the great congregation, the several congregations of the saints; in the midst of which these ministers will preach righteousness, salvation, loving kindness, and truth, as Christ has done before them; and from hence the word of the Lord will go forth to all parts of the world: they will preach the Gospel openly and publicly, with great freedom, boldness, and intrepidity, in the view of all men, not fearing the faces of any; and the Gospel ministered by them will have a swift, sudden, and universal spread; they themselves will run to and fro, and the Gospel will run and be glorified, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and multitudes will flock to Christ, who in that day will be alone exalted; for these ministers will come forth publicly:

having the everlasting Gospel; the Gospel in its fulness and purity; the Gospel of the grace of God, of free justification by the righteousness of Christ, of peace and pardon by his blood, and of complete salvation by him; called everlasting, because the substance of it was settled from all eternity, in the council and covenant of peace; it was ordained before the world was, and was hid in God from the beginning; and the revelation of it was of old; it was made to our first parents immediately after the fall, and was spoken of by all God's holy prophets which have been since the world began; it was preached before unto Abraham, and in the times of Isaiah, and by other prophets, and so is no new upstart doctrine: besides, the matter of it is everlasting; it treats of everlasting things; of the eternal election of persons to salvation; of God's everlasting love to them; of an everlasting covenant he made with Christ on their account; of blessings, promises, and grace given to them in him, before the world began; and of his being set up so early as a Mediator, and of his going forth in a way of grace from everlasting; as well as it reveals an everlasting righteousness, and brings life and immortality, or eternal life to light, or shows the way to everlasting life and happiness; to which may be added, that it will abide for ever, it will always remain, and that inexpugnable, maugre all the opposition of hell and earth; it will continue till all the elect of God are gathered in, notwithstanding the violence of persecutors, or the craft of seducers; nor will it be antiquated and made void by another Gospel succeeding it, for there will be no other: now this the ministers of those times will "have"; not in their heads only, by knowledge, but in their hearts, by experience, and will have it in their mouths, and speak it out freely and openly, and will have a commission from Christ to preach it, and gifts qualifying them for it:

to preach to them that dwell on the earth; that are in the apostate church, carnal, unregenerate, and earthly persons. The Complutensian edition reads, "that sit on the earth"; as persons abject, mean, and distressed, to whom the Gospel is acceptable:

and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people; whether Jews, Turks, or Pagans; for the Gospel, as before observed, will now have an universal spread all the world over.

{4} And I saw {5} another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

(4) The other part (as I said in the first verse) see Geneva Re 14:1 is of the acts of the Lamb, the manner of which is delivered in two sorts, of his speech and of his facts. His speeches are set forth to Re 14:7-13, and his facts to the sixteenth chapter. In the speech of the Lamb, which is the word of the Gospel, are taught in this place these things: The service of the godly consisting inwardly of reverence towards God, and outwardly of the glorifying of him: the visible sign of which is adoration Re 14:7. The overthrowing of wicked Babylon, Re 14:8 and the fall of every one of the ungodly who worship the beast, Re 14:9,10,11. Finally the state of the holy servants of God both present, Re 14:12 and to come, most blessed, according to the promise of God in Re 14:13.

(5) This angel is a type or figure of the good and faithful servants of God, whom God especially from the time of Boniface the eighth has raised up to the proclaiming of the gospel of Christ, both by preaching and by writing. So God first, near the time of the same Boniface, used Peter Cassiodorus an Italian: after, Arnold de villa nova, a Frenchman, then Occam, dante, Petrarch, after the Johannes de rupe casa, a Franciscan: after again, John Wycliff an Englishman, and so continually one or another to the restoring of the truth, and enlarging of his Church.

Revelation 14:6 sq. ἄλλον ἄγγ., as Revelation 10:1, in distinction from those that appeared in former scenes. Against the idea and phraseology of the Apoc., Hilgenf.[3478] refers the ἌΛΛΟΝ ἌΓΓ. to the Messiah, designated in Revelation 14:1, whom he regards the first with respect to the angel here mentioned (Revelation 14:6; Revelation 14:8-9).

ΠΕΤΌΜΕΝΟΝ ἘΝ ΜΕΣΟΥΡΑΝΉΜΑΤΙ. Like the eagle which (Revelation 8:13) flies in the zenith, this angel is to reach the whole earth with its cry.

ἜΧΟΝΤΑ. Cf. Revelation 10:2, Revelation 1:16.

ΕὐΑΓΓΈΛΙΟΝ ΑἸΏΝΙΟΝ. As the article is lacking, the gospel of God’s eternal counsel of salvation cannot be meant.[3479] Too generally, and missing the idea ΑἸΏΝΙΟΝ, C. a Lap. also explains: A message which promises eternal blessings in heaven. This reference De Wette combines, without proper clearness, with that which is alone correct, to the decree of God from eternity with respect to the things proclaimed in the gospel which the angel has. It is not, however, the summons to repentance sounded forth in Revelation 14:7, that forms the contents of the message, which is a gospel because of a term being afforded even enemies for repentance;[3480] but the authentic explanation is to be derived from Revelation 10:7,[3481] where by the same expression (ΕὐΗΓΓΈΛΙΣΕ) reference is made directly to the eternal counsel of God, with respect to the glorious end at the coming of the Lord. As all patience and victorious fidelity of believers depend upon this message, it also contains the ground for the succeeding call to repentance in Revelation 14:7.

ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊΣΑΙ ἘΠῖ ΤΟῪς ΚΑΘΗΜΈΝΟΥς, Κ.Τ.Γ. The infin., which explains the idea ΕὐΑΓΓΈΛΙΟΝ, is in its formal dependence upon ἜΧΟΝΤΑ to be explained indeed from expressions like Luke 12:50; Luke 7:40, John 16:12 :[3482] yet the distinction is to be observed, that in this passage the ΕὐΑΓΓ. ΑἸΏΝ. appears chiefly as the visible object which the angel has (ἜΧ., see above) in his hand—possibly in the form of a little book.[3483] The ἘΠῚ with the acc. following ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊΣΑΙ, which does not occur elsewhere in such combination, has a meaning analogous to that of the ἘΠΊ with the dative occurring with ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕῦΣΑΙ. Not without violence is Ewald’s explanation: “Above—because the angel flies above all lands.”

To the dwellers on earth goes forth the evangelical message of the angel in the same sense as in Revelation 10:11, the προφητεῦσαι of John, which has indeed also an evangelical import (Revelation 10:7). [See Note LXXVI., p. 000.] To the ungodly dwellers on earth, there proceeds from the message which is to all believers, a true ΕὐΑΓΓΈΛΙΟΝ, but threatens the Lord’s enemies with his coming to judgment, the strongest admonition to repentance. In Revelation 14:7, therefore, there follows: ΦΟΒΉΘΗΤΕ ΤῸΝ ΘΕῸΝ ΚΑῚ ΔΌΤΕ ΑὐΤῷ ΔΌΞΑΝ,[3484] with the express emphasis of the reason just indicated: ὍΤΙ ἩΛΘΕΝ, Κ.Τ.Λ.[3485]

ΚΑῚ ΠΡΟΣΚΥΝΉΣΑΤΕ Τῷ ΠΟΙΉΣΑΝΤΙ, Κ.Τ.Λ. They are to worship, not the beast, but Him who has manifested himself by his work of creation as the sole true God and Lord of the world, who also will punish his despisers.[3486]

[3478] p. 438.

[3479] This is the same as the opinion of the old Protestant expositors, who understand, by the angel, Luther. See also Ebrard.

[3480] Hengstenb.; cf. against him, Ebrard.

[3481] Cf. Züll.

[3482] De Wette.

[3483] Revelation 10:2.

[3484] Cf. Revelation 11:13.

[3485] Cf. Revelation 11:18, Revelation 6:7.

[3486] Cf. Revelation 4:11; lsa. Isaiah 40:12 sqq., Isaiah 41:1 sqq.


LXXVI. Revelation 14:7. εὐγγέλιον αἰώνιον

Alford says briefly on Düsterdieck’s interpretation: “I should have thought that such a rendering only needed mentioning to be repudiated. Ch. Revelation 10:7, which is adduced to justify it, is quite beside the purpose.” Ebrard really anticipates every objection to the older interpretation here urged: “The older exegetes, together with Lücke, are probably right when they understand the contents of the message in general as the message of the salvation in Christ. ‘An eternal message of joy’ that is, indeed, which the angel here brings; he brings a message which is eternal as to its contents, and, therefore, is eternal also, according to its announcement, as since the foundation of the world there has been no other message of joy and salvation, and in eternity there will be no other. That the definite article does not stand here, is owing to the fact that the message is to be described, as it appears to the ἔθνεσι, κ.τ.λ., viz., as one new to them. The angel has ‘an eternal message of salvation to bring them.’ ” So also Gebhardt, who refers, besides, to the error of our author in conceiving of something being intended by this proclamation for the ungodly inhabitants of the earth, that is different from the real contents of the message. Gebhardt regards the angel only “an Apocalyptic art-device” to describe vividly “the publication of Christianity in ever-widening circles,” which “is in reality accomplished by the apostles and other preachers,” and coinciding in meaning with Matthew 24:14.

Revelation 14:6-20. Two visions, whose beginning in each case is marked by the formula καὶ εἱδον (Revelation 14:6; Revelation 14:14), bringing the declarations of the judgment upon the world paying homage to the beast (ch. 13), stand therefore in inner connection with the vision (Revelation 14:1-5), because they serve in their way for the encouragement of believers oppressed by the beast and his worshippers. The first vision (Revelation 14:6-13). The first vision is concluded with an express reference to the foundation of the patience for believers lying here (Revelation 14:12), since a heavenly voice proclaims a glorious promise for those who are faithful, and expressly enjoins that John should write down this assurance that is so important (Revelation 14:13).

Revelation 14:6-20 : the fearful doom of the impenitent pagans is announced in a triple vision of angels (Revelation 14:6-13), whereupon a proleptic summary of the final judgment on the world follows (Revelation 14:14-20). In 6–13, 12–13 and καὶ ἐν τ. . (10) are the only specifically Christian touches; but the latter need not even be a scribal gloss, and 6–11 is intelligible as the outburst of a vehement Jewish Christian apocalyptist. The stylistic data do not justify any hypothesis of an edited source. The first angel (Revelation 14:6-7) announces (εὐαγγελίσαι here, and perhaps also in Revelation 10:7, in neutral sense of LXX., 2 Samuel 18:19-20; Dio Cass. lxi. 13) to the universe the news that the divine purpose is now to be consummated, but that there is still (cf. Revelation 11:3) a chance to repent (implicit, cf. Mark 1:15). The sterner tone of Revelation 8:13 to Revelation 9:21 is due to the fact that men were there accounted as strictly responsible for their idolatry and immorality. Here the nations are regarded in the first instance as having been seduced by Rome into the Imperial cultus (Revelation 14:8-9); hence they get a warning and a last opportunity of transferring their allegiance to its rightful object. The near doom of the empire, of which the prophet is convinced even in the hour of her aggrandisement (Revelation 13:8), is made a motive for urging her beguiled adherents to repent in time and her Christian victims to endure (Revelation 14:12). The substance of this proclamation is not much of a gospel, and the prophet evidently does not look for much result, if any. Its “pure, natural theism” (Simcox) is paralleled by that of Romans 2:5 f.

The Angel with the Everlasting Gospel, Revelation 14:6-76. another angel] Different from the many mentioned before, perhaps especially distinguished from the one who appears in ch. 10, but see Revelation 14:17, Revelation 18:1, where such a reference is hardly possible.

in the midst of heaven] See on Revelation 8:13.

the everlasting gospel] Strictly speaking, these words have not the article, but neither has “[the] Gospel of God” in Romans 1:1. Even if, therefore, the grammatical usage of this Book were more regular than it is, it would be needless to translate “an eternal piece of good news,” in which, moreover, it would be hard to find a sense for the epithet. No doubt “gospel” is used in its constant N. T. sense; and the gospel is called “everlasting,” as declaring the eternal truth of God. The preaching of the Gospel here stands in the same relation to God’s Judgement as in St Matthew 24:14. But notice, that the name is applied to the whole truth of God, not to what was revealed by Christ only: for the substance of the angel’s message is pure natural theism.

Revelation 14:6. Ἄγγελον, an angel) Under the name of angels the preachers of the heavenly doctrine come, in Revelation 14:6; Revelation 14:8-9. [They are opposed to him who published the threefold woe, ch. Revelation 8:13.—V. g.] But as to that which G. G. Zeltner has in his Diss, de Chiliasmo præsenti, § 13, p. 22: Nor shall we be opposed, to it, if any one should affirm that the aid of Angels, or of one in particular, was employed here (Revelation 21:1) in animating the Confessors of the Gospel, in the same sense in which an angel is said also to have stood beside Paul, Acts 27:23, comp. with Daniel 10 throughout the whole chapter; and we admit that this explanation is MOST of all approved by us: we think that is more suitable to the three heralds (preachers) here mentioned.— αἰώνιον, existing through eternal ages) αἰὼν, an age, is attributed to the Gospel, or to the office of publishing it, which the angel here has. It is therefore a definite age,[157] which, in accordance with the analogy of the other times, consists of two periods (chroni), and extends from the publishing of this Gospel to the judgment day itself. This length of the age in particular, besides many other things, affords an occasion for considering whether this angel be Arndt. We are not so certain that the second angel is already come; if he is already come, it must be understood of Spener. The third precedes the close of the 42 months by a shorter interval: although the worship of the beast himself, and not only the worship of the image, which is subsequent, is forbidden by him.—εὐαγγελίσαι) There is a similarity of expression in πειρασμοῦπειράσαι, ch. Revelation 3:10, and εὐαγγέλιονεὐαγγελίσαι, in this passage.—τοὺς καθημένους) Several copies read τοὺς κατοικοῦντας,[158] according to the more usual phraseology of the Apocalypse. The Reuchlinian Manuscript has joined both readings: the better part of the copies, together with Lat. Orig. To sit on the earth is something more innocent than to dwell on the earth: the latter is the part of citizens, the former of persons less closely connected with it. They whom the three woes strike are spoken of as dwelling upon the earth: they to whom the everlasting Gospel is preached, as sitting on the earth. The difference between the words plainly appears from Isaiah 18:3, כל ישבי תבל ושכני ארץ.

[157] But that the notion of a definite age contributes in no slight degree to confirm the harmony of the rest of the chronology of Scripture, the sainted Author appears to me to have proved in his Ord. temp. Ed. I. p. 410, Ed. II. p. 352, n. 20, saying, Paul makes repeated mention τῶν αἰώνων, of the ages, especially in the Epistles which were written when the close of the fourth space of a thousand years was now drawing near. Romans 16:25; Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; especially 1 Corinthians 10:11, where he says that τὰ τέλη τῶν αἰώνων, the ends of the ages, have arrived. The duration of the world contains 35 times, or 7 periods (chroni), or 3 1/2 ages altogether: and when Paul wrote thus. 18 times were just on the close, and 17 times still remained. These are in the ratio of 1 8/10 to 1 7/10, and are in the total 3 ½ ages. We do not know how distinct a knowledge the apostles had respecting the past and future times of the world, before the Apocalypse was given to John, but undoubtedly they were so governed by God, that their expressions admirably agreed with the discovery about hereafter to take place. Comp. D. Burscher, in dem Versuch einer kurzen Erläuterung des Prophet Jeremiæ Leips. 1756, pp. 255, 256.—E. B.

[158] BC Orig. Vulg. Cypr. 312 read καθημἐνους. Rec. Text has κατοικοῦντας, with A Memph. Syr.—E.

Verse 6. - And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven. "Another" is omitted in some manuscripts, but should probably be inserted. "In mid heaven," as in Revelation 8:13, etc. Having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people; having an eternal gospel... every nation and tribe and tongue and people. 'Probably (though not certainly) "the gospel" in the ordinary sense, which is the signification of the expression throughout the New Testament, though the word is not found elsewhere in St. John's writings. The idea of this and the following verses is to portray the certainty of coming judgment. As a preliminary to this, the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, in accordance with our Lord's words in Matthew 24:14. The gospel is eternal in its unalterable nature (cf. Galatians 1:9), and in contrast to the power of the beast, which is set for destruction (cf. Revelation 13:7). The fourfold enumeration shows the universal nature of the proclamation of the gospel (cf. Revelation 5:9, etc.) in reference to the world. Revelation 14:6In the midst of heaven (ἐν μεσουρανήματι)

Rev., in mid-heaven. See on Revelation 8:13.

The everlasting Gospel (εὐαγγέλιον αἰώνιον)

No article. Hence Rev., an eternal Gospel. Milligan thinks this is to be understood in the same sense as prophesying (Revelation 10:11). Αἰώνιον includes more than mere duration in time. It is applied to that of which time is not a measure. As applied to the Gospel it marks its likeness to Him whose being is not bounded by time.

To preach unto (εὐαγγελίσαι ἐπὶ)

Rev., proclaim, which is better, because more general and wider in meaning. Ἑπί which is omitted from the Rec. Tex. is over, throughout the extent of. Compare Matthew 24:14.

That dwell (κατοικοῦντας)

Read καθημένους that sit. So Rev., in margin. Compare Matthew 4:16; Luke 1:79.

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