Revelation 16:6
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
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(6) For they have shed . . .—Better, Because they shed (not, “have shed,” but did shed, or pour out), and blood didst Thou give them; they are worthy. “For” is to be omitted; the sentence has a startling force without it. They—i.e., those enemies of all righteousness—are worthy; they receive the due reward of their deeds.

16:1-7 We are to pray that the will of God may be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Here is a succession of terrible judgments of Providence; and there seems to be an allusion to several of the plagues of Egypt. The sins were alike, and so were the punishments. The vials refer to the seven trumpets, which represented the rise of antichrist; and the fall of the enemies of the church shall bear some resemblance to their rise. All things throughout their earth, their air, their sea, their rivers, their cities, all are condemned to ruin, all accursed for the wickedness of that people. No wonder that angels, who witness or execute the Divine vengeance on the obstinate haters of God, of Christ, and of holiness, praise his justice and truth; and adore his awful judgments, when he brings upon cruel persecutors the tortures they made his saints and prophets suffer.For they have shed the blood of saints - The nations here referred to. They have been engaged in scenes of bloody persecution, and this is a just recompense.

And prophets - Teachers of religion; ministers of truth. It is not necessary to understand the word "prophets" here in its technical sense, as denoting those who are raised up by God and sent forth as inspired men, but it may be understood in its more common signification in the New Testament as denoting teachers of religion in general. See the Romans 12:6 note; 1 Corinthians 14:1 note.

And thou hast given them blood to drink - To wit, by turning the streams and fountains into blood, Revelation 16:4. Blood had been poured out in such abundance that it seemed to mingle with the very water that they drank. This was a recompense for their having, in those very regions, poured out so much blood in persecuting the saints and prophets - the pious private members of the church, and the public teachers of religion.

For they are worthy - That is, they deserve this; or this is a just recompense for their sins. It is not intended that those who would thus suffer had been individually guilty of this, or that this was properly a punishment on them; but it is meant that in those countries there had been bloody persecutions, and that this was a fit recompense for what had there occurred.

6. (Re 11:18, end; Ge 9:6; Isa 49:26.) An anticipation of Re 18:20, 24; compare Re 13:15.

For—A, B, C, and Andreas omit.

Because of their persecutions of, and cruelty towards, God’s faithful ministers and people, which rendered the spilling of their blood but a condign punishment suited to their sin.

For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,.... Which shows that rivers and fountains cannot be literally understood, but men are designed, wicked and bloody men; and it is notorious to all, how much of the blood of the saints, of the preachers of the Gospel, of the prophets and witnesses, have been shed in Italy, Savoy, and other places near Rome, as well as in Rome itself; see Revelation 17:6.

And thou hast given them blood to drink; sent the sword among them, making great slaughter and devastation; see Isaiah 49:26

for they are worthy; or deserving, to have their blood shed by the law of retaliation.

For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
Revelation 16:6. The retribution once threatened on Jerusalem and the Jews (Matthew 23:35) is now transferred apparently to Rome, the later antagonist of the faith (cf. on Revelation 18:24). Once the Romans made Christian blood run like water. Now, by the irony of providence, they shall find nothing but blood to drink. This moral vengeance (cf. Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables), with its grim equivalence between sin and sin’s punishment (Revelation 11:18, Revelation 13:10, Revelation 18:7; cf. 2 Timothy 2:12, etc.) is not pushed, however, into the grotesque and elaborately Dantesque details, e.g., of the Apocalypse of Peter.—ἐξέχεαν (the verb runs all through this chapter, and this chapter only), cf. Dittenberger’s Sylloge Inscript. Graec. 8167 (cent. A.D.) ἐγχέαντας τὸ ἀναίτιον αἷμα ἀδίκως.—ἁγ. κ. πρ., all prophets are ἅγιοι, but all ἅγιοι are not prophets.

6. of saints and prophets] See Revelation 11:18, Revelation 18:20.

for they are worthy] Omit “for:” but we may compare Revelation 3:4, where a very different judgement is grounded on the same weighty words.

Revelation 16:6. Ἄξιοι εἰσὶ, are worthy) An abrupt sentence, with great force. So ch. Revelation 14:5, ἄμωμοι εἰσίν. Psalm 99:5, קדוש הוא.

Verse 6. - For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. This supplies the key to the interpretation of the previous visions. The ungodly have shed the blood of saints, therefore God deals out death to them. This is the meaning signified by the "blood" of the previous verses (cf. the doom of Babylon, described in Revelation 17, especially ver. 6; and Revelation 18:6, 24. Cf. the words, "they are worthy," with Revelation 3:4). It is correct to consider that this prophecy received its first fulfilment in the violent deaths of so many of those who were the earliest Christian persecutors. On this subject see Lactantius, 'De Morte Persecutorum.' Revelation 16:6For they are worthy

Omit for.

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