Vincent's Word Studies
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
Read "the lamb." See Revelation 5:6.
The participle, standing, as Rev.
His Father's name
Add αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ ὄνομα His and the name, and render as Rev., His name and the name of His Father.
The Adoration of the Lamb is the subject of the great altar piece in the church of St. Bavon at Ghent, by John and Hubert Van Eyck. The scene is laid in a landscape. The background is formed by a Flemish city, probably intended to represent Jerusalem, and by churches and monasteries in the early Netherland style. The middle ground is occupied by trees, meadows, and green slopes. In the very center of the picture a square altar is hung with red damask and covered with a white cloth. Here stands a lamb, from whose breast a stream of blood issues into a crystal glass. Angels kneel round the altar with parti-colored wings and variegated dresses, many of them praying with joined hands, others holding aloft the emblems of the passion, two in front waving censers. From the right, behind the altar, issues a numerous band of female saints, all in rich and varied costumes, fair hair floating over their shoulders, and palms in their hands. Foremost may be noticed Sta. Barbara and Sta. Agnes. From the left advance popes, cardinals, bishops, monks, and minor clergy, with crosiers, crosses, and palms. In the center, near the base, a small octagonal fountain of stone projects a stream into a clear rill. Two groups are in adoration on each side of the fountain, - on the right, the twelve apostles kneeling barefoot, and an array of popes, cardinals, and bishops, with a miscellaneous crowd of church-people; on the left, kings and princes in various costumes. They are surrounded by a wilderness of flowering shrubs, lilies, and other plants. On the wings of the picture numerous worshippers move toward the place of worship, - crusaders, knights, kings, and princes, including the figures of the two artists on horseback. "Here, approaching from all sides, are seen that 'great multitude of all nations and hundreds and people and tongues' - the holy warriors and the holy pilgrims, coming in solemn processions from afar - with other throngs already arrived in the celestial plain, clothed in white robes, and holding palms in their hands. Their forms are like unto ours; the landscape around them is a mere transcript of the sweet face of our outer nature; the graceful wrought-iron fountain in the midst is such an one as still sends forth its streams in an ancient Flemish city; yet we feel these creatures to be beings from whose eyes God has wiped away all tears - who will hunger and thirst no more; our imagination invests these flowery meads with the peace and radiance of celestial precincts, while the streams of the fountain are converted into living waters, to which the Lamb Himself will lead His redeemed. Here, in short, where all is human and natural in form, the spiritual depths of our nature are stirred" (Mrs. Jameson, "History of Our Lord," ii., 339).
And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
And I heard the voice of harpers (καὶ φωνὴν ἤκουσα κιθαρῳδῶν)
The correct reading is, καὶ ἡ φωνὴ ἣν ἤκουσα ὡς κιθαρῳδῶν and the voice which I heard (was) as (the voice) of harpers. Κιθαρῳδός is from κιθάρα a harp (see on Revelation 5:8) and ᾠδός a singer. Properly, one who sings, accompanying himself on the harp.
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Rev., living creatures. See on Revelation 4:6.
Rev., correctly, purchased.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Were not defiled (οὐκ ἐμολύνθησαν)
The verb means properly to besmear or besmirch, and is never used in a good sense, as μιαίνειν (John 18:28; Jde 1:8), which in classical Greek is sometimes applied to staining with color. See on 1 Peter 1:4.
See on James 1:18.
And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Read ψεῦδος lie.
Without fault (ἄμωμοι)
Rev., blemish. See on 1 Peter 1:19.
Before the throne of God
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,
In 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)
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Add δεύτερος a second.
Is fallen (ἔπεσεν)
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
The third angel (τρίτος ἄγγελος)
Add ἄλλος another. Rev., another angel, a third.
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Poured out without mixture (κεκερασμένου ἀκράτου)
Lit., which is mingled unmixed. From the universal custom of mixing wine with water for drinking, the word mingle came to be used in the general sense of prepare by putting into the cup. Hence, to pour out.
Cup of His anger
Compare Psalm 75:8.
Commonly taken as the neuter of θεῖος divine; that is, divine incense, since burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify and to avert contagion. By others it is referred to θύω to burn, and hence to sacrifice.
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Here are they
Omit here are, and read, are, Rev., the patience of the saints, they that keep.
The faith of Jesus
Which has Jesus for its object.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
See on Matthew 5:3.
From henceforth (ἀπ' ἄρτι)
See on John 13:33. To be joined as in A.V. and Rev., with die in the preceding clause, and not with blessed, nor with the following clause. Not from henceforth saith the Spirit. The meaning is variously explained. Some, from the beginning of the Christian age and onward to the end; others, from the moment of death, connecting henceforth with blessed; others from the time when the harvest of the earth is about to be reaped. Sophocles says: "Show all religious reverence to the gods, for all other things Father Zeus counts secondary; for the reward of piety follows men in death. Whether they live or die it passeth not away" ("Philoctetes," 1441-1444).
That they may rest (ἵνα ἀναπαύσωνται)
See on Matthew 11:28. The ἵνα that gives the ground of the blessed.
From κόπων to strike. Hence to beat the breast in grief. Κόπος is, therefore, primarily, a smiting as a sign of sorrow, and then sorrow itself. As labor, it is labor which involves weariness and sorrow.
Follow them (ἀκολουθεῖ μετ' αὐτῶν)
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
Thrust in (πέμψον)
Lit., send. Rev., send forth.
See on Luke 10:2.
Is ripe (ἐξηράνθη)
And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
Thrust in (ἔβαλεν)
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
Properly, sanctuary. See on Matthew 4:5.
And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
See on Acts 17:23.
Which has power (ἔξων ἐξουσίαν)
Lit., having power. Some texts add the article ὁ. So Rev., "he that hath power."
In the Greek with the article, the fire.
See on Luke 1:42.
Thy sharp sickle
Lit., thy sickle, the sharp.
From τρύγη dryness, included in the notion of ripeness, and hence the vintage, harvest. The verb means therefore to gather ripe fruit. It occurs only in this chapter and in Luke 6:44.
The noun in the singular means also a bunch of grapes.
Are fully ripe (ἤκμασαν)
Only here in the New Testament. From ἀκμή, transcribed in acme, the highest point. Hence the verb means to reach the height of growth, to be ripe.
And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
The great wine-press (τὴν ληὸν τὸν μέγαν)
The Greek student will note the masculine adjective with the feminine noun, possibly because the gender of the noun is doubtful. The Rev., in rendering more literally, is more forcible: the wine-press, the great wine-press. See on Matthew 21:33.
And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
The furlong or stadium was 606 3/4 English feet.