And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which has power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
And blasphemed the name of God - The effect would be to cause them to blaspheme God or to reproach him as the author of these calamities; and in the fulfillment of this we are to look for a state of things when there would be augmented wickedness and irreligion, and when people would become worse and worse, notwithstanding the woes that had come upon them.
Which hath power over these plagues - Who had brought these plagues upon them, and who had power to remove them.
And they repented not - The effect was not to produce repentance, though it was manifest that these judgments had come upon them on account of their sins. Compare the notes on Revelation 9:21.
To give him glory - To turn from sin; to honor him by lives of obedience. Compare the notes on John 9:24.
In regard to the "application" of this the following things may be remarked:
(a) That the calamity here referred to was one of the series of events which would precede the overthrow of the "beast," and contribute to that, for to this all these judgments tend.
(b) In the order in which it stands it is to follow, and apparently to follow soon, the third judgment - the pouring of the vial upon the fountains and streams.
(c) It would be a calamity such as if the sun, the source of light and comfort to mankind, were smitten, and became a source of torment.
(d) This would be attended by a great destruction of people, and we should naturally look in such an application for calamities in which multitudes of people would be, as it were, consumed.
(e) This would not be followed, as it might be hoped it would, by repentance, but would be attended with reproaches of God, with profaneness, with a great increase of wickedness.
Now, on the supposition that the explanation of the previous passages is correct, there can be no great difficulty in supposing that this refers to the wars of Europe following the French revolution, the wars that preceded the direct attack on the papacy and the overthrow of the papal government, for these events had all the characteristics here referred to:
(a) They were one of a series in weakening the papal power in Europe - heavy blows that will yet be seen to have been among the means preliminary to its final overthrow.
(b) They followed in their order the invasion of Northern Italy, for one of the purposes of that invasion was to attack the Austrian power there, and ultimately through the Tyrol to attack Austria itself. Napoleon, after his victories in Northern Italy, above referred to (compare chapter xx of Alison's History of Europe), thus writes to the French Directory: "Coni, Ceva, and Alexandria are in the hands of our army; if you do not ratify the convention I will keep these fortresses and march upon Turin. Meanwhile I shall march tomorrow against Beaulieu, and drive him across the Po; I shall follow close at his heels, overrun all Lombardy, and in a month be in the Tyrol, join the army of the Rhine, and carry our united forces into Bavaria. That design is worthy of you, of the army, and of the destinies of France" (Alison, i.continued...
repented not to give him glory—(Re 9:20). Affliction, if it does not melt, hardens the sinner. Compare the better result on others, Re 11:13; 14:7; 15:4.
scorched with great heat, the vengeance of God cometh upon them; they are mad and enraged, and speak evil of a just and righteous God, who bringeth such plagues on them; but they have no sense of their sins, nor any thoughts of turning to God, confessing their sins, and giving him glory. This will be the upshot of God’s lesser judgments upon the papacy: they will be mad at them, and rage, and reproach God’s justice, but prove a hardened generation, given over to ruin, that will never be sensible that these judgments come upon them for their idolatries and superstitions, and for their persecutions, and the shedding the blood of God’s holy ones. Not that all adhering to that church will be so, (many, probably, will convert, and be brought to acknowledge the truth), but there will be a great party of them, whom nothing but the wrath of God come upon them in the bottomless pit to the utmost, will ever make sensible that they have done amiss, being given up to strong delusions, to a blind mind, and a hard heart, and a reprobate judgment.
and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues; plagues or judgments are from God, when and wherever they come; they are sent and inflicted by him, and he can lessen or increase them, continue or remove them, as he pleases; and these, unless sanctified, will not reform men, but harden them, and set them a blaspheming the author of them. And this blasphemy may either respect the nature and perfections of God, charging him with inequality in his ways, and with injustice and unfaithfulness; or the Gospel, and the truths of it, which declare his glory, and his greatness; and which will now have a general spread, to the great mortification and confusion of the followers of antichrist:
and they repented not to give him glory; that is, they did not repent of their wicked deeds, their idolatries, murders, sorceries, fornications, and thefts, as in Revelation 9:20 so as to own and confess them, which is, the meaning of giving glory to God in repentance; see Joshua 7:19. This shows that repentance is not in man's power, but in the gift of God's grace; for though he may give space, yet if he does not give grace to repent, no man will repent; nor will any means of themselves produce it; as not the most powerful and awakening ministry, as the ministry of John the Baptist, and of Christ, and of the Gospel preachers that will be in those times, this vial refers to, nor the greatest mercies and favours, so not the severest judgments; see Amos 6:6. The event of this vial, or the plague of it, is applied, by Mr. Daubuz, to the wars between the emperors and the popes, and between the Guelphs and Gibelines.And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Revelation 16:9. Failure to honour the true God, a note of the heathen spirit (as in Revelation 11:13, Revelation 14:7; Romans 1:28). See Introd., § 6. For the general idea, cf. 2 Clem. ix.: “while we have opportunity of being healed, let us give ourselves over to God the healer, giving him a recompense. And what recompense? Repentance from a sincere heart.… Let us give him eternal praise.”9. repented not to give him glory] Contrast Revelation 11:13, which therefore cannot refer to the same judgements as here, nor (probably) to judgements on the same place or people.Revelation 16:9. Ἐβλασφήμησαν, they blasphemed) A dreadful sin, blasphemy: but yet even against the will of the wicked it turns out to the honour of GOD: for they confess, that they succumb.Verse 9. - And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the Name of God. The men (see on ver. 8). (On the meaning of the first clause, see on ver. 8.) This is the first mention in the vials of men blaspheming. As with Pharaoh and the Egyptians, the judgments of God, instead of awakening them to repentance, only serve to harden their hearts. This again occurs under the fifth and seventh vials. So also in the sixth trumpet, we are told, men repented not - a statement also made in the subsequent part of this verse. As before pointed out (Revelation 13:1), the two things are identical; non repentance, continuance in the service of the dragon, is blasphemy against God; though we generally reserve the name "blasphemy" for the open avowal of infidelity to God. Which hath power over these plagues. This is what is implied in the words of ver. 8, "it was given to it?' In this visitation men distinctly recognize the hand of God. And they repented not to give him glory. Vide supra, on the "blasphemy;" and contrast with Revelation 11:13 - another example of the sense in which these vials are the "last plagues" (Revelation 15:1).
Glorify Him by repentance.
His kingdom was darkened
They gnawed (ἐμασσῶντο)
Only here in the New Testament.
For pain (ἐκ τοῦ πόνου)
Strictly, from their pain. Their, the force of the article τοῦ.
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