Revelation 19:9
And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) And he saith unto me . . .—Who is the speaker? The general and simplest opinion is that it is the angel mentioned in Revelation 17:1 who speaks. The speaker bids the seer write: “Blessed are they who are bidden to the supper of the marriage of the Lamb.” This is one of the six benedictions of the Apocalypse (Rev. Revelation 1:3; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:14): it is founded on our Lord’s parables (Matthew 22:1; Matthew 25:1; comp. also Revelation 3:20): the blessing of the call to the marriage supper is more clearly realised now that the day of joy is at hand. We must not draw too sharp distinctions, as some have done, between the bride and the guests: the imagery is varied to give fulness and force to the truths which no emblems can adequately express. The Church of Christ will rest, and feast, and reign with her Lord; and in all the peace, gladness, and triumph of that joy-time God’s servants will share. A solemn confirmation of this follows, as in Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6 : “these words are true (sayings) of God.”

Revelation 19:9-10. And he (the angel) saith unto me, Write — Record this as an important truth, in which all that read this book in future ages will be greatly concerned; Blessed Μακαριοι, happy; are they which are called unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb — Who shall be living at this time, and shall obey the invitation to this marriage-feast, and partake of all the privileges and blessings belonging to it. And he saith unto me, after a little pause, These are the true sayings of God — They are to be regarded by thee, and all that read them, as declarations infallibly true, and infinitely momentous. And — While he was speaking to me in this kind and condescending manner, being overawed by his majestic appearance, and in such a rapture and ecstasy at these discoveries that I knew not, or did not consider, what I did; I fell at his feet — Prostrated myself before him; to worship him — Or to do him homage, as though I had owed all these discoveries to him. And he said, See thou do it not — Greek, ωρα μη, See not, with a beautiful abruptness. It does not appear that St. John intended to pay religious worship to this angel; for he could not but know that he was only a creature, and that religiously to worship any creature, however exalted, would be flat idolatry. He seems only to have intended such civil respect and reverence as the Asiatics were wont to pay to superiors, and especially to persons in high rank; which indeed is frequently all that is meant by the word προσκυνεω, here rendered to worship. Thus Ruth complimented Boaz with this kind of honour, when she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, Ruth 2:10. Thus Abigail also showed her respect for David: she fell before him on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, 1 Samuel 25:23. Indeed, the reason for which the angel forbids this high act of respect, seems to intimate that he did not understand it as an act of religious honour, for he mentions nothing concerning the sin or danger of idolatry, as implied in it: he only shows that it was improper the apostle should pay such respect to him, which he does, not by showing that it was unlawful to give such respect to any created being whatsoever, but because he was only a fellow-servant with the apostle, and a servant of his brethren, that had the testimony of Jesus. As if he had said, I am now employed as your fellow-servant, to testify of the Lord Jesus by the same Spirit which inspired the prophets of old. Worship God — Pay thine homage, in such expressions of it, to God alone, to whom alone thou owest these revelations. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy — That is, the spirit of prophecy serves, in a glorious manner, to confirm Jesus’s divine mission, to all that know and duly observe the circumstances of it; and that which I now reveal to thee makes a considerable article of the proof: or, this ability of foretelling things to come is an argument or evidence of Christ’s speaking in and by me, as he does by thee.19:1-10 Praising God for what we have, is praying for what is yet further to be done for us. There is harmony between the angels and the saints in this triumphant song. Christ is the Bridegroom of his ransomed church. This second union will be completed in heaven; but the beginning of the glorious millennium (by which is meant a reign of Christ, or a state of happiness, for a thousand years on earth) may be considered as the celebration of his espousals on earth. Then the church of Christ, being purified from errors, divisions, and corruptions, in doctrine, discipline, worship, and practice, will be made ready to be publicly owned by him as his delight and his beloved. The church appeared; not in the gay, gaudy dress of the mother of harlots, but in fine linen, clean and white. In the robes of Christ's righteousness, imputed for justification, and imparted for sanctification. The promises of the gospel, the true sayings of God, opened, applied, and sealed by the Spirit of God, in holy ordinances, are the marriage-feast. This seems to refer to the abundant grace and consolation Christians will receive in the happy days which are to come. The apostle offered honour to the angel. The angel refused it. He directed the apostle to the true and only object of religious worship; to worship God, and him alone. This plainly condemns the practice of those who worship the elements of bread and wine, and saints, and angels; and of those who do not believe that Christ is truly and by nature God, yet pay him a sort of worship. They stand convicted of idolatry by a messenger from heaven. These are the true sayings of God; of Him who is to be worshipped, as one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.And he saith unto me - The angel who made these representations to him. See Revelation 19:10.

Write, Blessed are they - See the notes on Revelation 14:13.

Which are called unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb - The idea of a festival, or a marriage-supper, was a familiar one to the Jews to represent the happiness of heaven, and is frequently found in the New Testament. Compare the Luke 14:15-16; Luke 16:22; Luke 22:16 notes; Matthew 22:2 note. The image in the passage before us is that of many guests invited to a great festival.

And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God - Confirming all by a solemn declaration. The importance of what is here said; the desirableness of having it fixed in the mind, amidst the trials of life and the scenes of persecution through which the church was to pass, makes this solemn declaration proper. The idea is, that in all times of persecution - in every dark hour of despondency - the church, as such, and every individual member of the church, should receive it as a solemn truth never to be doubted, that the religion of Christ would finally prevail, and that all persecution and sorrow here would be followed by joy and triumph in heaven.

9. He—God by His angel saith unto me.

called—effectually, not merely externally. The "unto," or into," seems to express this: not merely invited to (Greek, "epi"), but called INTO, so as to be partakers of (Greek, "eis"); compare 1Co 1:9.

marriage supper—Greek, "the supper of the marriage." Typified by the Lord's Supper.

true—Greek, "genuine"; veritable sayings which shall surely be fulfilled, namely, all the previous revelations.

And he saith unto me, Write; write it, as a business of moment, of which a record is fit to be kept.

Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb; that is, (say those who understand by the marriage of the Lamb the Jews’ conversion), who live in this happy period of time when the Jews shall be converted, and with the Gentiles make one gospel church. But this seems to me not sufficient. The marriage is one thing, the supper another, and (ordinarily) consequential to the marriage itself. The kingdom of glory seems to me rather intended, and those are called to it, who are made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.

These are the true sayings of God; that is, these are the undoubted truths of God, and therefore to be called into question by none. And he saith unto me, write,.... What follows, because of the importance of it, and to show the certainty of it, and that it may be regarded and remembered: the person speaking is either the voice from the throne, Revelation 19:5 or the angel that attended John all along, and showed him this revelation, Revelation 1:1 or the angel that proposed to show him the judgment of the great whore, Revelation 17:1.

Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb; by which is meant the Gospel ministry and ordinances, and communion in them, to which the Jews will be called to partake of in the latter day; these at the first of the Gospel dispensation are called a "dinner", to which, the Jews were invited, but refused to come, and now a "supper", because made in the evening of that dispensation; to which being called with an effectual calling, they will come and partake of it; on which account they are pronounced blessed, being the bride, the Lamb's wife, having on his righteousness, partaking of his benefits, and being called unto, and made meet for eternal glory and happiness; or else these may design converted Gentiles, who will be invited to join with them, and will.

And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God; the Syriac version reads, "these my true words are of God"; being true, it is plain they are of God, and being of God, it is certain they are true; for he is the God of truth, and cannot lie, and therefore may be depended upon.

{10} And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

(10) Namely the angel, as it appears by the next verse.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 19:9-10. The significance of the short interlude lies in what the angel says to John (Revelation 19:9), by applying in express exhortation,[4057] the reference contained already in the ascription of praise of the heavenly beings, to the goal of all the hopes of believers, and emphatically confirming the consolatory certainty of the hope thus set before believers, by the assurance that this word of God is true. Also to the prophetical declaration of this glorious hope by John, an attestation is given in Revelation 19:10, which must confirm believers[4058] receiving the testimony of the prophet in the hope and patience upon which their victory depends.

λέγει-g0- μοι-g0-. The one speaking is, at all events, according to Revelation 19:10, an angel; but not “an interpreting angel,” such as Ewald and Ebrard think was the constant attendant of John,[4059] but the angel who from Revelation 17:1 on serves John as the communicator of the revelation.[4060] To this points also the immediately succeeding declaration of the same angel (οὖτοι οἱ λόγοι, κ.τ.λ.).

Γράψον μακάριοι, κ.τ.λ.). Cf. Revelation 14:3.

τὸ δεῖπνον τοῦ γάμ. τ. ἀρν. In a still more concrete way than Revelation 19:7 (ὁ γάμος τ. ἀρν.) is the final blessed communion with the Lord illustrated. Moreover the paracletic pertinence of the discourse brings with it also the fact that it is not the idea of the Church as the bride of the Lamb, but that of individual believers as wedding guests, which enters here.[4061] By the repetition of the formula καὶ λέγει μοι, the succeeding speech of the angel is especially separated from his preceding words, and thus receives a peculiar importance. If we suppose that the art. is to be read before ἀληθινοὶ,[4062]—which certainly does not serve to facilitate the construction,[4063]—we must translate with Beng., Ebrard, Bleek, and Ew. ii.: “These are the true words of God.” The ingenious explanation of Hengstenb. (“These words are true, they are words of God”), even apart from the art. before ἀληθ., is refuted by the fact that the εἰσίν, in any case, belongs not before, but after, the τοῦ θεοῦ. De Wette, who translates: “These words are the true (words) of God,”[4064] appeals, in opposition to Beng., to the parallel, Revelation 21:5. But there the construction of the sentence is extremely simple, since to the subj. οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι the definition of the predicate is added, πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί εἰσιν; but here not only the τοῦ θεοῦ, but especially the art. before ἀληθ., effects another relation in the entire statement. By means of this art., it becomes far simpler to bring together οἱ λόγοι οἱ ἀληθινοὶ, and to understand these words combined with τοῦ θεοῦ as a predicate to the subject οὖτοι.[4065] But the sense is by no means that which Bengel’s explanation suggests to De Wette,[4066] but after the angel has afforded John the revelation of the judgment upon the harlot, and, from this beginning of the final judgment, has given an intimation concerning the blessed mystery of God, which lies back of the entire judgment, he reviews all the words of revelation, of which he had served as the interpreter to the prophet from Revelation 17:1 on. These, he says, are the true, i.e., the genuine and right, words of God. The ἀληθινοί here mentions not the truth or the correctness of the contents, but the reality of the correlated statement: τοῦ θεοῦ. This explanation is afforded, on the one hand, by the plural οἱ λόγοι alone,—which Hengstenb., as well as Klief., refers to 5–8, Ebrard to 6–8 and 9, but the most do not take into further consideration,—and, on the other hand, also by what is reported in Revelation 19:10. Ebrard was on the right track when he alluded to the expression οἱ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ, Revelation 17:17; but he wanders from it again, when, just as he understands those λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ as promises concerning the final redemption of the Church, so, in this passage, he limits the λόγοι οἱ ἀληθ. τ. θ. to Revelation 19:6-9. The latter is not entirely correct; for there is no reason for excluding the songs of Revelation 19:1-5, which also refer to the goal presented in Revelation 19:9, in a manner precisely identical with Revelation 19:6-8. But what is said from Revelation 19:1 on, concerning the now-impending glorification of the Church, has to do with but one side of the subject, with only one part of the λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ (Revelation 17:17), or of the mystery of God, announced by the ancient prophets.[4067] This one point is made prominent also in the songs from Revelation 19:1 on, only upon the ground of the judgment lying before the same, which is now already fulfilled in an act. As now (Revelation 17:17) the λόγοι τ. θεοῦ contain both, viz., the proclamation of the Divine judgment against every thing antichristian,—the kings of the world, with the beast of the world, are to rule only until the words of God, which proclaim the destruction of these same powers, shall find their fulfilment, i.e., until the dominion of those antichristian powers shall be annihilated according to God’s declaration,—and the promise; the λόγοι οἱ ἀληθ. τ. θ., in this passage, refer to all the revelations which the prophet has received, as the fulfilment of the promise (Revelation 17:1) of the angel even now also speaking with him (δεἰξω σοι τὸ κρίμα τῆς πόρνης τ. μεγ.), i.e., they refer to Revelation 18:1 to Revelation 19:9. By the expression οὐτοι οἱ λόγοι οἱ ἀληθ., a review is made of that entire section—in which the expressions referring to the glorification of believers, Revelation 19:1-9, are represented in most immediate combination with judgment upon the antichristian powers already fulfilled in one act—in a way precisely analogous to that of Revelation 22:6, where, at the conclusion of the entire revelation, a confirmatory reference is made to all that was disclosed to the gazing prophet, from Revelation 4:1 on, as about to happen. But in this passage, also, such a conclusion is entirely justified, because here an important part of what was to happen had already happened, viz., the judgment upon the great harlot; and therewith the fulfilment of the words,[4068] or of the mystery,[4069] of God, had already begun. Now also there is given to the prophet the direct pledge of the certainty of what he has beheld; that these words which he has received are the actual and true words of God himself. From this the explanation follows as to why it is that John (Revelation 19:10)[4070] falls down before the angel in order “to worship” him. Ebrard is wrong in his attempt to attach a prophetic significance to this occurrence; viz., that the children of God are to be warned against the temptation of worshipping angels, “who have brought about the victory over antichrist.” The last is here entirely foreign. Grot., Vitr., Beng., etc., recognize in the adoring prostration an excessive token of gratitude, and therefore forbidden also by the angel.[4071] De Wette, in accordance with his exposition of 9b, finds here an expression of joyful astonishment at prophecies so confirmed (?). But partly from what precedes (λόγ. οἱ ἀληθ. τοῦ θεοῦ), and partly from the manner in which the angel rejects the adoration as not due him, as a fellow-servant of John, it may be first of all inferred that John regarded the angel thus addressing him, not as a fellow-servant, but as the Lord himself.[4072] At first,[4073] John had a proper estimate of the angel; but just by what was said (Revelation 19:9 b), John could attain the supposition that the Lord himself spoke to him.

ὅρα μη. The aposiopesis[4074] is self-evident from what precedes: “See that thou dost it not!” Ay, do it not!

σύνδουλος. Because the angel serves the same Lord[4075] as John and all his brethren, “who have the testimony of Jesus,” i.e., all believers.[4076] The Lord is God;[4077] to him, therefore, belongs the adoration which John intended to offer to the angel (τῷ θεῷ προσκύνησον). The entire repulse by the angel does not therefore sound “as tender as possible, almost having the tone of intercession,”[4078] but is throughout decided.

The closing words of Revelation 19:10 belong not to the address of the angel, but are a remark of John, whereby he establishes and explains (γάρ) what has just been said by the angel. It is incorrect to explain the gen. τοῦ Ἰησοῦ as subjective, “the testimony proceeding from Jesus;”[4079] for if, on the one hand, reference to the expression ἐχόντων τὴν μαρτ. τοῦ Ἰησοῦ require this explanation,[4080] on the other hand the declaration is intelligible only by defining the μαρτυρία τοῦ Ἰησ. as τὸ πνευμα τῆς προφητείας. This cannot mean: “He who confesses Christ as thou dost has also the spirit of prophecy,”[4081] but designates, in the sense of 1 Peter 1:11, and in thorough agreement with what is indicated in Revelation 1:1 and Revelation 22:6; Revelation 22:16, concerning the nature and the origin of prophecy, that Christ, by himself imparting his testimony of revelation to a man, fills him[4082] with the spirit of prophecy,—who now speaks from and through the prophets.[4083] As Christ, the coming One, is the goal of all Christian prophecy,[4084] so is He also its author. From the closing words of the verse, it might be inferred,[4085] that “they who have the testimony of Jesus” are not believers in general, but only the prophets, so that the angel would call himself a fellow-servant only of the prophets; as Hengstenb. also (Revelation 22:6) understands by the ΔΟΎΛΟΙς ΑὐΤΟῦ only prophets. But as (Revelation 22:6), on the contrary, the servants of God[4086] are distinguished from the prophets, and considered as the believers for whose instruction the prophets receive their revelations,[4087] so also in this passage.[4088] Believers do not have the testimony proceeding from Jesus without the service of the prophets, as John himself is one; but they are prophets because of the testimony communicated to them by the Lord, which testimony in them is the spirit of prophecy. Thus there is in Revelation 19:10 b an attestation to the prophetical book of John, similar to that which was emphatically maintained in the beginning[4089] and at the close.[4090] [Note LXXXV., p. 461.]

[4057] Cf. Revelation 14:13.

[4058] Cf. Revelation 1:3, Revelation 22:18 sqq.

[4059] Cf. Revelation 1:1.

[4060] Beng., Züll., De Wette, Hengstenb.

[4061] Cf. Revelation 3:20; Matthew 22:1 sqq., Revelation 19:9. The saints are the Bride, but—by a confusion inevitable when the the two cognate figures, apocalyptic and synoptic (Matthew 22:2 f.), are combined—they are also the guests at the wedding. (The bliss of the next world is termed “the Banquet” in rabbinic writings, which interpret Exodus 24:11 as though the sight of God were meat and drink to the beholders). Like the Greek πόλις, the church is composed of members who are ideally distinguishable from her, just as in En. xxxviii. 1 the congregation of the righteous is equivalent to the new Jerusalem. With the idea of 7–9, cf. Pirke Aboth, iv. 23: This world is like a vestibule before the world to come; prepare thyself at the vestibule that thou mayest be admitted into the τρικλίνιον.—ἀληθ. either “real” as opposed to fanciful and delusive revelations, or (if ἀληθ. = ἀληθής) “trustworthy words of God” (Daniel 2:9) emphasising the previous beatitude (like ναί, λέγει τὸ πνεῦμα Revelation 14:13). Originally the words (see above) gravely corroborated all the preceding threats and promises (cf. Revelation 17:17), despite their occasionally strange and doubtful look. It is a common reiteration in apocc. (cf. reff.), underlining as it were the solemn statements of a given passage. See, e.g., Herm. Vis. iii. 4, “that God’s name may be glorified, hath this been revealed to thee, for the sake of those who are of doubtful mind, questioning in their hearts whether this is so or not. Tell them it is all true, that there is nothing but truth in it, that all is sure and valid and founded”. In Sanhed. Jerus. Rabbi Jochanan declares, with reference to Daniel 10:1, that a true word is one which has been already revealed by God to the council of the heavenly host.9. And he saith] Who speaks? Plainly an angel (see Revelation 19:10), presumably the angel of Revelation 17:1.

Blessed are they, &c.] St John, and “they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein” (Revelation 1:3) are made to realise heartily what our Lord’s fellow-guest (St Luke 14:15) said without seeing the full force of his own words. Of course, when we reduce the image to plain prose, “they that are called” are the same as the Bride: while St Paul again speaks of them as her children.

These are the true sayings of God] More literally, These words are [some add “the”] true (words) of God.Revelation 19:9. Γράψον) The Apparatus makes mention of the MSS. which omit this word. Among them are the first editions of Erasmus, which Luther followed: whence the suspicion of a typographical error in the German Bibles is removed. The more recent editors of the German Bibles have inserted that word.—ἀληθινοὶ, true) A remarkable epithet. It is used by itself in this one passage only of the Apocalypse, as πιστὸς, faithful, of the Witness, ch. Revelation 1:5. In other places both are joined. The faithful and true witness, ch. Revelation 3:14 Faithful and true, put absolutely, ch. Revelation 19:11. Then, Faithful and true words, ch. Revelation 21:5, Revelation 22:6. In other places another epithet is added. Jesus, Holy and true, ch. Revelation 3:7. God, the Lord Holy and true, ch. Revelation 6:10. Just and true are the ways of God: true and just are His judgments, ch. Revelation 15:3, Revelation 16:7, Revelation 19:2. Where these epithets are used conjointly, God is called Holy, with reference to Himself: faithful and just, with reference to His people, and in the word given to His people: He is called true, in His work, the issue of which, especially in this place, answers to the word which has preceded. Where one epithet only is used, as Faithful, at the beginning of the book, and True, here, about the end, the force of the other is to be understood. And as He Himself is, so are His words, and ways, and judgments.Verse 9. - And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb; which are bidden (Revised Version). Cf. the command in Revelation 1:11 and Revelation 21:5, and the prohibition in Revelation 10:4; cf. also the expression in Revelation 14:13, "Blessed are the dead," etc. It almost seems as if the writer has in his mind the connection of ideas indicated by the words quoted above on ver. 8, "Their works do follow them." The figure of the "marriage supper" is rather a new symbol than the continuation of the symbol of the bride; though very probably suggested by it. For those who partake of the "marriage supper" are those who constitute the bride, viz. the faithful Church of God. Cf. Revelation 3:20, the words which are spoken by the "Amen, the faithful and true Witness" (Revelation 3:14): "If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." It is impossible to say who the speaker is that thus addresses St. John, except in so far as may be gathered from ver. 10. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. Cf. the words of Revelation 3:14, quoted above, and Revelation 21:5; also the "Yea, saith the Spirit" of Revelation 14:13. (On the word "true," see Revelation 3:7.) These words have been restricted to different portions of the Apocalypse by different commentators; but it seems best, on the whole, to understand them as referring to the whole series of visions connected with the harlot and Babylon and the faithful bride of Christ.
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