Revelation 22:21
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
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(21) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .—There is some variety of reading among the MSS. We ought probably to read, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all (or else, following the Sinaitic MS., be with the saints). Amen. In any case, it is the grace or free pardon of the Lord Jesus which is the last word left in our ears. It reminds us that whatever be the dangers or difficulties, the afflictions or persecutions which have been pictured in the book, there is strength and love in the Lord; it reminds us that whether we are readers or interpreters of this book, or whether we are trying to carry out its teachings practically in daily life, our power and wisdom must come from Him. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Without Him it had not been written; without Him it cannot be understood; without Him it cannot be obeyed. This grace of Christ our Lord, for mind and heart and life, the writer prays may rest with those who read this Commentary, that they may be led into deeper knowledge of Him who is our life. The writer asks the reader to pray that this grace of Christ may rest in forgiveness and love upon him who has now finished his task of commenting on this book, whose hidden meanings must far transcend our knowledge and our expectations. May He (He alone can) open our eyes to see the shining towers of the Heavenly Jerusalem; may He unseal our ears to hear the heavenly music to which it is being built; may He bind us by His love to that sweet service and citizenship which is perfect freedom, and bring us to that spiritual city which is full of divine enchantments—

“For there is nothing in it as it seems

Saving the King; though some there be that hold

The King a shadow, and the city real;

Yet take thou heed of Him, for, so thou pass

Beneath this archway, then wilt thou become

A thrall to His enchantments, for the King

Will bind thee by such vows as is a shame

A man should not be bound by, yet the which

No man can keep; but so thou dread to swear,

Pass not beneath this gateway, but abide

Without among the cattle of the field.

For, an ye heard a music, like enow

They are building still, seeing the city is built

To music, therefore never built at all,

And therefore built for ever.”



Malachi 4:6
. - Revelation 22:21.

It is of course only an accident that these words close the Old and the New Testaments. In the Hebrew Bible Malachi’s prophecies do not stand at the end; but he was the last of the Old Testament prophets, and after him there were ‘four centuries of silence.’ We seem to hear in his words the dying echoes of the rolling thunders of Sinai. They gather up the whole burden of the Law and of the prophets; of the former in their declaration of a coming retribution, of the latter in the hope that that retribution may be averted.

Then, in regard to John’s words, of course as they stand they are simply the parting benediction with which he takes leave of his readers; but it is fitting that the Book of which they are the close should seal up the canon, because it stands as the one prophetic book of the New Testament, and so reaches forward into the coming ages, even to the consummation of all things. And just as Christ in His Ascension was taken from them whilst His hands were lifted up in the act of blessing, so it is fitting that the revelation of which He is the centre and the theme should part from us as He did, shedding with its final words the dew of benediction on our upturned heads.

I venture, then, to look at these significant closing words of the two Testaments as conveying the spirit of each, and suggesting some thoughts about the contrast and the harmony and the order that subsist between them.

I. I ask you, first, to notice the apparent contrast and the real harmony and unity of these two texts.

‘Lest I come and smite the land with a curse.’ That last awful word does not convey, in the original, quite the idea of our English word ‘curse.’ It refers to a somewhat singular institution in the Mosaic Law according to which things devoted, in a certain sense, to God were deprived of life. And the reference historically is to the judgments that were inflicted upon the nations that occupied the land before the Israelitish invasion, those Canaanites and others who were put under ‘the ban’ and devoted to utter destruction. So, says my text, Israel, which has stepped into their places, may bring down upon its head the same devastation; and as they were swept off the face of the land that they had polluted with their iniquities, so an apostate and God-forgetting Judah may again experience the same utter destruction falling upon them. If instead of the word ‘curse’ we were to substitute the word ‘destruction,’ we should get the true idea of the passage.

And the thought that I want to insist upon is this, that here we have distinctly gathered up the whole spirit of millenniums of divine revelation, all of which declare this one thing, that as certainly as there is a God, every transgression and disobedience receives, and must receive, its just recompense of reward.

That is the spirit of law, for law has nothing to say, except, ‘Do this, and thou shalt live; do not this, and thou shalt die.’

And then turn to the other. ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.’ What has become of the thunder? All melted into dewy rain of love and pity and compassion. Grace is love that stoops; grace is love that foregoes its claims, and forgives sins against itself. Grace is love that imparts, and this grace, thus stooping, thus pardoning, thus bestowing, is a universal gift. The Apostolic benediction is the declaration of the divine purpose, and the inmost heart and loftiest meaning of all the words which from the beginning God hath spoken is that His condescending, pardoning, self-bestowing mercy may fall upon all hearts, and gladden every soul.

So there seems to emerge, and there is, a very real and a very significant contrast. ‘I come and smite the earth with a curse’ sounds strangely unlike ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.’ And, of course, in this generation there is a strong tendency to dwell upon that contrast and to exaggerate it, and to assert that the more recent has antiquated the more ancient, and that now the day when we have to think of and to dread the curse that smites the earth is past, ‘because the true Light now shineth.’

So I ask you to notice that beneath this apparent contrast there is a real harmony, and that these two utterances, though they seem to be so diverse, are quite consistent at bottom, and must both be taken into account if we would grasp the whole truth. For, as a matter of fact, nowhere are there more tender utterances and sweeter revelations of a divine mercy than in that ancient law with its attendant prophets. And as a matter of fact, nowhere, through all the thunderings and lightnings of Sinai, are there such solemn words of retribution as dropped from the lips of the Incarnate Love. There is nothing anywhere so dreadful as Christ’s own words about what comes, and must come, to sinful men. Is there any depth of darkness in the Old Testament teaching of retribution half as deep, half as black, and as terrible, as the gulf that Christ opens at your feet and mine? Is there anything so awful as the threatenings of Infinite Love?

And the same blending of the widest proclamation of, and the most perfect rejoicing confidence in, the universal and all-forgiving love of God, with the teaching of the sharpest retribution, lies in the writings of this very Apostle about whose words I am speaking. There are nowhere in Scripture more solemn pictures than those in that book of the Apocalypse, of the inevitable consequences of departure from the love and the faith of God, and John, the Apostle of love, is the preacher of judgment as none of the other writers of the New Testament are.

Such is the fact, and there is a necessity for it. There must be this blending; for if you take away from your conception of God the absolute holiness which hates sin, and the rigid righteousness which apportions to all evil its bitter fruits, you have left a maimed God that has not power to love but is nothing but weak, good-natured indulgence. Impunity is not mercy, and punishment is never the negation of perfect love, but rather, if you destroy the one you hopelessly maim the other. The two halves are needed in order to give full emphasis to either. Each note alone is untrue; blended, they make the perfect chord.

II. And now, let me ask you to look with me at another point, and that is, the relation of the grace to the punishment.

Is it not love which proclaims judgment? Are not the words of my first text, if you take them all, merciful, however they wear a surface of threatening? ‘Lest I come.’ Then He speaks that He may not come, and declares the issue of sin in order that that issue may never need to be experienced by us that listen to Him. Brethren! both in regard to the Bible and in regard to human ministrations of the Gospel, it is all-important, as it seems to me at present, to insist that it is the cruellest kindness to keep back the threatenings for fear of darkening the grace; and that, on the other hand, it is the truest tenderness to warn and to proclaim them. It is love that threatens; ‘tis mercy to tell us that the wrath will come.

And just as one relation between the grace and the retribution is that the proclamation of the retribution is the work of the grace, so there is another relation-the grace is manifested in bearing the punishment, and in bearing it away by bearing it. Oh! there is no adequate measure of what the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is except the measure of the smiting destruction from which He frees us. It is because every transgression receives its just recompense of reward, because the wages of sin is death, because God cannot but hate and punish the evil, that we get our truest standard of what Christ’s love is to every soul of us. For on Him have met all the converging rays of the divine retribution, and burnt the penal fire into His very heart. He has come between every one of us, if we will, and that certain incidence of retribution for our evil, taking upon Himself the whole burden of our sin and of our guilt, and bearing that awful death which consists not in the mere dissolution of the tie between soul and body, but in the separation of the conscious spirit from God, in order that we may stand peaceful, serene, untouched, when the hail and the fire of the divine judgment are falling from the heavens and running along the earth. The grace depends for all our conceptions of its glory, its tenderness, and its depth, on our estimate of the wrath from which it delivers.

So, dear brethren, remember, if you tamper with the one you destroy the other; if there be no fearful judgment from which men need to be delivered, Christ has borne nothing for us that entitles Him to demand our hearts; and all the ascriptions of praise and adoration to Him, and all the surrender of loving hearts, in utter self-abandonment, to Him that has borne the curse for us, fade and are silent. If you strike out the truth of Christ’s bearing the results of sin from your theology, you do not thereby exalt, but you fatally lower the love; and in the interests of the loftiest conceptions of a divine loving-kindness and mercy that ever have blessed the world, I beseech you, be on your guard against all teachings that diminish the sinfulness of sin, and that ask again the question which first of all came from lips that do not commend it to us-’Hath God said?’ or advance to the assertion-’Ye shall not surely die.’ If ‘I come to smite the earth with a curse’ ceases to be a truth to you, ‘the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ’ will fade away for you likewise.

III. Now, still further, let me ask you to consider, lastly, the alternative which these texts open for us.

I believe that the order in which they stand in Scripture is the order in which men generally come to believe them, and to feel them. I am old-fashioned enough and narrow enough to believe in conversion; and to believe further that, as a rule, the course through which the soul passes from darkness into light is the course which divine revelation took: first, the unveiling of sin and its issues, and then the glad leaping up of the trustful heart to the conception of redeeming grace.

But what I seek briefly to suggest now is, not only the order of manifestation as brought out in these words, but also the alternative which they present to us, one branch or other of which every soul of you will have to experience. You must have either the destruction or the grace. And, more wonderful still, the same coming of the same Lord will be to one man the destruction, and to another the manifestation and reception of His perfect grace. As it was in the Lord’s first coming, ‘He is set for the rise and the fall of many in Israel.’ The same heat softens some substances and bakes others into hardness. A bit of wax and a bit of clay put into the same fire-one becomes liquefied and the other solidified. The same light is joy to one eye and torture to another. The same pillar of cloud was light to the hosts of Israel, and darkness and dismay to the armies of Egypt. The same Gospel is ‘a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death,’ by the giving forth of the same influences killing the one and reviving the other; the same Christ is a Stone to build upon or a Stone of stumbling; and when He cometh at the last, Prince, King, Judge, to you and me, His coming shall be prepared as the morning; and ye ‘shall have a song as when one cometh with a pipe to the mountain of the Lord’; or else it shall be a day of darkness and not of light. He comes to me, to you; He comes to smite or He comes to glorify.

Oh, brethren! do not believe that God’s threatenings are wind and words; do not let teachings that sap the very foundations of morality and eat all the power out of the Gospel persuade you that the solemn words, ‘The soul that sinneth it shall die,’ are not simple verity.

And then, my brethren, oh! then, do you turn yourselves to that dear Lord whose grace is magnified in this most chiefly, that ‘He hath borne our sins and carried our sorrows’; and taking Him for your Saviour, your King, your Shield, your All, when He cometh it will be life to you; and the grace that He imparts will be heaven for ever more.

Revelation 22:21. The grace — The free love; of our Lord Jesus Christ — And all its fruits; be with you all — Who thus long for his appearing, and with all true Christians. The conclusion, as Bishop Newton says, is truly excellent, as well as all other parts of this book; and nothing could be contrived to leave these things with a stronger impression upon the mind of the reader. In the whole, from first to last, appears the majesty of the divine revealer — The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the Author and Finisher of every good work, and of this more especially. This is the sure word of prophecy, whereunto Christians, as St. Peter saith, do well to take heed, and attend, 2 Peter 1:16. Attention, then, to this book is recommended to us upon the authority of St. Peter, as well as of the writer, St. John: a double blessing, as we have seen in the book itself, is pronounced upon those who shall study and observe it; first in Revelation 1:3, and here again Revelation 22:7. Imboldened by which blessings, with Nehemiah, we would pray, Remember us, O my God, concerning this also, and spare us, according to the greatness of thy mercy, Nehemiah 13:22.

And now, to use the words of the pious and excellent Dr. Doddridge, “How sweetly and delightfully the canon of Scripture concludes, leaving, as it were, the music of heaven upon the attentive ear! O thou blessed root and offspring of David! O thou bright and morning star, impress on all our hearts these thy gracious words, which thou hast condescended to speak from the throne of thy glory; thereby, as it were, to aid the weakness of our faith in those which thou didst deliver while dwelling in mortal flesh! Then did the compassionate Saviour proclaim, from an eminence in the temple, to a crowded assembly, on a day of peculiar solemnity, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink, John 7:37. And now, behold, he makes the same proclamation from the celestial temple: he points as it were, to the fountain-head of happiness, to the springs of the water of life, near the throne of God; and says, Whoever will, let him come, let him take, let him freely take, of this living water, Revelation 22:17. Yea, and not content with speaking this language by his Spirit only, he calls on his bride to lift up her melodious voice, to publish this kind invitation. He calls on every one who hears it to echo it back, as if the excess of his goodness overcame him; as if it were necessary to his happiness that men should accept of their own salvation!

“With what sacred observance should these books be guarded, which contain a message of such infinite importance! of what dreadful curses are they worthy who presume to add to what is already perfect, or to take away, from that which is in every part divine! Revelation 22:18. God forbid that any of us should ever presumptuously attempt to do it! And may we be preserved from those mistaken interpretations, in consequence of which we should teach the world, as by his authority, any thing which he has not dictated, or deny any thing which carries along with it the stamp of such an authority! Have pity, O Lord, upon our weakness! Impute not prejudices which thou knowest we do not allow; and give us a greater penetration of mind to understand the true sense of thy word; a simplicity of heart to receive it; an integrity, so far as the duty of our station requires, to declare it; and a zeal to inculcate and defend it.

“While we are thus employed, — or employed in any other services which Providence may assign us; — whatever labours may exercise us, whatever difficulties may surround us, whatever sorrows may depress us, let us with pleasure hear our Lord proclaiming, Behold, I come quickly: I come to put a period to the labour and suffering of my servants; I come, and my reward of grace is with me; to recompense, with royal bounty, every work of faith and labour of love. I come to receive my faithful, persevering people to myself, to dwell for ever in that blissful world where the sacred volume, which contains the important discoveries of my will, shall be no more necessary; but knowledge, and holiness, and joy, shall be poured in upon their souls, in a more immediate, a more noble, and a more effectual manner. Amen! even so, come, Lord Jesus! Hasten the blessed hour to us, and to all the churches, so far as it may consist with thy wise and holy counsels. And, in the mean time, may thy grace be with us, to keep alive the remembrance of thy love, and the expectation of thy coming, in our hearts; and to animate us to a temper and conduct which may suit the blessings we have already received, and the nobler felicity after which thou hast taught us to aspire! Amen and Amen!”

22:20,21 After discovering these things to his people on earth, Christ seems to take leave of them, and return to heaven; but he assures them it shall not be long before he comes again. And while we are busy in the duties of our different stations of life; whatever labours may try us, whatever difficulties may surround us, whatever sorrows may press us down, let us with pleasure hear our Lord proclaiming, Behold, I come quickly; I come to put an end to the labour and suffering of my servants. I come, and my reward of grace is with me, to recompense, with royal bounty, every work of faith and labour of love. I come to receive my faithful, persevering people to myself, to dwell for ever in that blissful world. Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus. A blessing closes the whole. By the grace of Christ we must be kept in joyful expectation of his glory, fitted for it, and preserved to it; and his glorious appearance will be joyful to those who partake of his grace and favour here. Let all add, Amen. Let us earnestly thirst after greater measures of the gracious influences of the blessed Jesus in our souls, and his gracious presence with us, till glory has made perfect his grace toward us. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen - The usual benediction of the sacred writers. See the notes on Romans 16:20. 21. our—so Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic. But A, B, and Aleph omit.

Christ—so B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas. But A and Aleph omit.

with you all—so none of our manuscripts. B has, "with all the saints." A and Vulgate have, "with all." Aleph has, "with the saints." This closing benediction, Paul's mark in his Epistles, was after Paul's death taken up by John. The Old Testament ended with a "curse" in connection with the law; the New Testament ends with a blessing in union with the Lord Jesus.

Amen—so B, Aleph, and Andreas. A and Vulgate Fuldensis omit it.

May the Blessed Lord who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, bless this humble effort to make Scripture expound itself, and make it an instrument towards the conversion of sinners and the edification of saints, to the glory of His great name and the hastening of His kingdom! Amen.

See Poole on "Revelation 22:13"

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. That is, let a sense of the love of Christ, shown in all his regards to his church and people, which is always the same in itself, though the saints have not always the same perception of it, abide upon you: may you see your interest in the redeeming grace of Christ, in all its branches, and in his justifying, pardoning, sanctifying, and persevering grace; let the fulness of grace in Christ be the object of your trust and confidence; may you have a supply from it to enable you to overcome every temptation, to exercise every grace, and discharge every duty. This shows this book was written in the form of an epistle, and sent to the seven churches of Asia, Revelation 1:11 and through them to the churches in all ages. It begins with a salutation of them, Revelation 1:4 and ends with one commonly used by the Apostle Paul in all his epistles, 2 Thessalonians 3:17. The Arabic version, instead of "you", reads "us"; and the Complutensian edition and the Syriac version read, "with all the saints". {11} The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

(11) The apostolic salutation, which is the other part of the conclusion, as I said see Geneva Re 22:6 and is the end of almost every epistle; which we wish to the Church, and to all the holy and elect members of it, in Christ Jesus our Lord, until his coming to judgment Come Lord Jesus and do it. Amen, again Amen.

Revelation 22:21. A benediction at the close of the reading (Revelation 1:3, Revelation 22:7) before the congregation, rather than an epistolary epilogue to the Apocalypse. The epistolary form in which apocalypses, like historical and homiletical writings of the age, were occasionally cast, was connected with their use in Christian worship. Such open letters of pastoral counsel were circulated by means of public reading, and were indeed designed for that end. They were not to be rejected as merely local (cf. Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:23, Revelation 22:7-21; Mark 13:14; Mark 13:37), any more than their contents were to be arbitrarily treated by individuals (Revelation 22:18; Revelation 22:1) in accordance with their own predilections.

21. our Lord Jesus Christ] Read only, the Lord Jesus.

with you all] We should read either only with all, or more probably with the saints. Many authorities omit “Amen” here, as after the benedictions ending many of St Paul’s Epistles.

Revelation 22:21. [252] ΠΆΝΤΩΝ) Some add, ὙΜῶΝ and ἈΜΉΝ.[253] Wolf will not have the last word ἀμὴν, which is found in many manuscripts, and in all the published editions, omitted. How ready the copyists were to insert the particle Amen in Doxologies and clauses containing a prayer, since it is usually found in such situations, appears from almost all the books of the New Testament, at the close, and from the annotation of Wolf on App. Revelation 1:18, where almost all the copyists have absurdly inserted ἀμήν. One copyist who omits it, is of more value than ten who add it at their own pleasure. See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage [where the relation in which Wolf stood to Bengel is distinctly set forth at large]. Now, if any one should write out at full length such a text, for instance of the Apocalypse, as many persons prefer at the present day, he will have a reading which is full, intelligible, tinged with parallelism, that is, interpolated, and almost everywhere made up of the fewest and most recent authorities, which, when compared with the editions, would not much differ from the text published by H. Stephens and the Elzevirs. My recension also, in the margin, indeed, is sometimes deprived of the greater number of authorities; but this happens in those places which were less frequently quoted by the Fathers: nor, however, is it without the support of competent authorities, whose antiquity, together with the exegetical arguments natural to the text itself, makes up for the deficiency in number. With the exception of such passages (for they are to be treated for a while by way of exception), my text in its whole tenor approaches the copies which are by far the most numerous, spread out from the times of John to all ages and countries, whether you look to the Greek manuscripts, or the versions, and especially to the noted Italian Version, or to the fathers, Irenæu[254], Hippolytus, Orige[255], Athanasius, Andreas, Tertullian, Cypria[256], Jerome, Primasius, etc.: bound to follow no edition entirely, and yet seldom compelled to betake itself to manuscripts only. The reading is for the most part brief; and where there was a manifold variety, it takes a middle course: it everywhere retains its ancient and austere, that is, its natural character. Of what kind this was, Wolf has discovered, as I think, in the Supplements to his Curæ (if he has advanced to this point), and has yielded to the truth more plainly ascertained. He has always been mindful of his own moderation towards me; and all, as I hope, will understand that I also have accurately preserved the laws of moderation. The Exegesis, of which by far the better portion is contained here, proceeds on the same plan. Wherever I have not been able to exchange my own sentiments with the opinion of others, competent judges will, as I hope, recognise not obstinacy (for a sentiment which has been already carefully weighed, through many doubts and considerations, is less liable to change), but love of the truth. And the same persons, when they shall have considered what foundations I first laid, and when they shall have duly weighed what I have replied to doubts put forward from various quarters, will perhaps determine that a suitable defence[257] of other passages also, which no one hitherto has censured, if they shall be censured, will be in readiness for me to make, or will suggest itself to my readers, if I am silent or dead.[258]

[252] 20. ἔρχομαι ταχὺ, I come quickly) Thus Jesus speaks; John, both afterwards and before, says, Come. These coincide at the one moment. So Psalm 27:8, My heart says, (seek ye my face:) Thy face do I seek.—V. g.

[253] So A. Amiat. MS. of Vulg. omits ὑμῶν, but adds the Ἀμήν. B adds τῶν ἁγίων, and the Ἀμήν; Rec. Text, ὑμῶν. ἀμήν.—E.

[254] renæus (of Lyons, in Gaul: born about 130 A.D., and died about the end of the second century). The Editio Renati Massueti, Parisinæ, a. 1710.

[255] rigen (born about 186 A.D., died 253 A.D., a Greek father: two-thirds of the N. Test. are quoted in his writings). Ed. Vinc. Delarue, Paris. 1733, 1740, 1759.

[256] yprian (in the beginning and middle of the third century: a Latin father). Ed. Steph. Baluzii, Paris. 1726.

[257] The departed has not been disappointed in his expectation. After his death he has obtained many defenders, most distinguished both for the fame of their learning, and for uprightness of mind; some, indeed, of whom, have either understood or expressed the mind of Bengel more or less accurately than others. There occur to me at present as worthy of mention, for example, C. A. Crusius, a divine of the first rank at Leipsic, in the Vorrede zu Hn. Past. Fehrens Anleitung zum rechten Verstand und Gebrauch der Offenb. Joh. 1760: s. t. fassliche Vorstellung von dem ganzen Buche der Offenb. J. C., wie man es mit oder ohne Berechnung der geheimen Zeiten nutzen soll, republished at Leipsic, 1766: in his Memoranda on the Theology of Prophecy, T. I. Lips. 1764: in the Vorrede zu Hn. Past. Michaëlis erläutertem N. T. Leipz. 1769, and everywhere: J. F. Burscher, in the Versuch einer kurzen Erläuterung des propheten Jeremiæ, Leipz. 1756: S. B. Fehre, in the Anleitung zum rechten Verstand und Gebrauch der Offenb. Joh., Altenburg, 1760: W. B. Christlieb, in the Grundfeste der Bengelischen Erklärung der Offenbarung J. C. etc., Frkf. und Leipz. 1760: C. F. Schmid, in the allgem. Vorbereitung zu seiner kritischen Untersuchung, Ob die Offenb. Joh. ein ächtes göttliches Buch ist? Leipz. 1771: M. F. Roos, in his Auslegung der Weissagungen Daniels, die in die Zeit des N. T. hineit reichen, nebst ihrer Vergleichung mit der Offenb. Joh. nach der Bengelischen Erklärung derselben, Leipz. 1771: J. F. Frisch, in his apocalyptischen Catechismus, oder catechetischen Erklärung der Offenb. Johannis, auf eine deutlich und fassliche Art vor die gemeine Christenheit abgefasset, Leipz. 1773. And to these deserve to be added the anonymous writer in the schriftmässigen Anmerkungen über die in des D. Ernesti theologischen Bibliothek, B. VI., James 4, befindliche Recension, des Hn. D. Crusii Hypomnemata ad Theol. Proph. betreffend, Frkf. und Leipz. 1766 (in which treatise much strength of interpretation is put forth with remarkable facility, and in particular the memorable passage of Habakkuk, concerning the middle of the years, is manfully vindicated according to the sense of Bengel); and especially J. G. Böhmer, in his erläuternden Anmerkungen zu dem—von ihme übersetzten Bengelischen Cyclus oder Betrachtung über das grosse Weltjahr, Leipz 1773 (where the agreement of the Chronology of Bengel with the observations of Astronomers is proved, as I hope, by no ordinary arguments). In which matter I wish the readers ever to bear in mind, that Bengel, in his Vorrede zur Erkl. Offenb. § XIII., wished every one to be questioned in these words: “Was in dieser Erklärung enthalten ist, und aus derselben durch eine rechtmässige Folge fleusst, das gilt: hingegen wolle sich niemand bereden lassen, dass ich irgendwo etwas, das doch mit dieser Erklärung keine Verwandtschaft hat, ausgesagt und veranlasset hätte,” etc. But if any one is anxious to know the rest of the more recent interpreters who adopt altogether different opinions, he must notice J. C. Harenberg, in the Erklärten Offenbarung Johannis, Braunschw. 1759: an anonymous writer in the Apocalypse revealed, in which are brought to light secret things which are there foretold, and have hitherto been concealed, Amst. 1766 (concerning which comp. my Beleuchtung, etc., § 16, p. 70, etc.): Ph. F. Hane, in his Entwurf der Kirchengeschichte N. T. wie solche in den erfüllten Weissagungen der göttlichen Offenb. Joh. enthalten sind, etc., Leipz. 1768, 1769, 1772: J. S. Semler, in the freyen Untersuchung über die sogenannte Offenbarung Johannis, aus der Handschrift eines Fränkischen Gelehrten (D. Oeders) herausgegeben, mit eignen Anmerkungen, Halle, 1769 (—which book, though it does not contain a continuous exegesis, but rather a spirited rejection of the Apocalypse, was not, however, to be concealed by me here): Jac. Brucker, in his Anmerkungen zum Englischen Bibelwerk, XIX. Th., oder des N. T. VIII. B. Leipz. 1770: an anonymous writer, s. t. die Offenbarung des heil. Johannis, erläutert, I. and II. Abschn. Halle, 1769, 1772: but especially Ernesti, in his neuen und neuesten Theol. Bibl. 1760–72, and Michaelis, in his Einleitung in die göttliche Schriften des N. B., 1766, everywhere show themselves keen censors of Bengel, as far as it respects their suffrages on the Apocalypse, although they rather confine themselves to general judgments, than descend to the stronghold of the cause by arguments betraying mature investigation. And here, indeed, we may repeat, by way of conclusion, the words of Hellwage (Pref. to new Ed. Ord. Temp. § XI.): “Let those who are alarmed at the present commotions, review and more closely examine what (Bengel) has said or written. Let those who can, profit by the kind favour of Bengel, in knowing and bearing witness to the truth which he taught; and, by the gift of GOD, let them surpass Bengel, who would wish that very thing, and congratulate us:” (comp. altogether die Erkl. Offenb. on ch. xvii. 9,)—εἰδότες, ὅτι ὁ κόπος ὑμῶν οὐκ ἔστι κενὸς ἐν Κυρίῳ.

[258] Bengel, J. A. (1866). Vol. 5: Gnomon of the New Testament (M. E. Bengel & J. C. F. Steudel, Ed.) (W. Fletcher, Trans.) (329–388). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

Verse 21. - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen; the grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen. So the delivery of the message was commenced (cf Revelation 1:4; cf. the form in 1 Thessalonians 5:28). Bearing in mind that the theme of the book is the conflict between good and evil, we may well conclude our study of it by joining in the prayer of the author, that the help of the Lord Jesus may be on the side of his saints to enable them to overcome, and then receive their reward. Revelation 22:21Our Lord (ἡμῶν)


With you all (μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν)

The readings differ. Some read μετὰ πάντων with all, omitting you. Others, μετὰ τῶν ἁγίων with the saints.

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