Revelation 16
Vincent's Word Studies
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
The vials

Add seven.

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
And the first went

Each angel, as his turn comes, with draws (ὑπάγετε, see on John 6:21; see on John 8:21) from the heavenly scene.

There fell (ἐγένετο)

Lit., there came to pass. Rev., it became. Elliott, very aptly, there broke out.

Noisome and grievous (κακὸν καὶ πονηρὸν)

Similarly the two cognate nouns κακία and πονρία malice and wickedness occur together in 1 Corinthians 5:8. Πονηρός emphasizes the activity of evil. See on Luke 3:19.

Sore (ἕλκος)

See on Luke 16:20. Compare the sixth Egyptian plague, Exodus 9:8-12, where the Septuagint uses this word ἕλκος boil. Also of the boil or scab of leprosy, Leviticus 13:18; king Hezekiah's boil, 2 Kings 20:7; the botch of Egypt, Deuteronomy 28:27, Deuteronomy 28:35. In Job 2:7 (Sept.) the boils are described as here by πονηρός sore.

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
It became (ἐγένετο)

Or there came.


Compare Exodus 7:19.

As of a dead man

Thick, corrupt, and noisome.

Living soul (ψυχὴ ζῶσα)

The best texts read ψυχὴ ζωῆς soul of life.

And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
The third angel

Omit angel.

They became (ἐγένετο)

There is no necessity for rendering the singular verb in the plural. We may say either it became or there came.

And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
The angel of the waters

Set over the waters as other angels over the winds (Revelation 7:1) and over the fire (Revelation 14:18).

O Lord


And shalt be

Following the reading ὁ ἐσόμενος. Read ὁ ὅσιος Thou Holy One.

Thou didst thus judge (παῦτα ἔκρινας)

Lit., Thou didst judge these things.

For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
For they are worthy

Omit for.

And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
Another out of the altar

Omit another out of, and read, as Rev., I heard the altar. The altar personified. Compare Revelation 6:9, where the souls of the martyrs are seen under the altar and cry how long.


Add the article: the Almighty.

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
The fourth angel

Omit angel.

Power was given (ἐδόθη)

Rev., it was given.

With fire (ἐν πυρί)

Lit., "in fire." The element in which the scorching takes place.

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.
Repent to give Him glory

Glorify Him by repentance.

His kingdom was darkened

Compare Exodus 10:21, Exodus 10:22.

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.

And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

See on Revelation 9:14.

Of the east (ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνατολῶν ἡλίου)

Lit., as Rev., from the sunrising. See on Matthew 2:2; and see on dayspring, Luke 1:78.

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

Possibly with reference to Exodus 8:1-14.

For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Of the earth and of the whole world

Omit of the earth and.

World (οἰκουμέης)

See on Luke 2:1.

The battle (πόλεμον)

Rev., more literally, war. Battle is μάχη.

That great day (ἐκείνης)

Omit. Read, as Rev., "the great day."

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Behold - shame

These words are parenthetical.

As a thief

Compare Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 2 Peter 3:10.

Watcheth (γρηρορῶν)

See on Mark 13:35; see on 1 Peter 5:8.

Keepeth his garments

"During the night the captain of the Temple made his rounds. On his approach the guards had to rise and salute him in a particular manner. Any guard found asleep when on duty was beaten, or his garments were set on fire. The confession of one of the Rabbins is on record that, on a certain occasion, his own maternal uncle had actually undergone the punishment of having his clothes set on fire by the captain of the Temple" (Edersheim, "The Temple," etc.).

Shame (ἀσχημοσύνην)

Only here and Romans 1:27. From ἀ not and σχῆμα fashion. Deformity, unseemliness; nearly answering to the phrase not in good form.

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

The proper Greek form Ἃρ Μαγεδών. The word is compounded of the Hebrew Har mountain, and Megiddon or Megiddo: the mountain of Megiddo. On Megiddo standing alone see Judges 1:27; 1 Kings 4:12; 1 Kings 9:15; 2 Kings 9:27. See also Judges 5:19; Zechariah 12:11; 2 Chronicles 35:22; 2 Kings 23:30. "Bounded as it is by the hills of Palestine on both north and south, it would naturally become the arena of war between the lowlanders who trusted in their chariots, and the Israelite highlanders of the neighboring heights. To this cause mainly it owes its celebrity, as the battle-field of the world, which has, through its adoption into the language of Revelation, passed into an universal proverb. If that mysterious book proceeded from the hand of a Galilean fisherman, it is the more easy to understand why, with the scene of those many battles constantly before him, he should have drawn the figurative name of the final conflict between the hosts of good and evil, from the 'place which is called in the Hebrew tongue Harmagedon'" (Stanley, "Sinai and Palestine").

Megiddo was in the plain of Esdraelon, "which has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in Palestine from the days of Nabuchodonozor king of Assyria, unto the disastrous march of Napoleon Buonaparte from Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Christian crusaders, and anti Christian Frenchmen; Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors of every nation that is under heaven, have pitched their tents on the plain of Esdraelon, and have beheld the banners of their nation wet with the dews of Tabor and Hermon" ("Clarke's Travels," cit. by Lee). See Thomson's "Land and Book" (Central Palestine and Phoenicia), p. 208 sqq.; and Stanley, "Sinai and Palestine," ch. ix.

Two great slaughters at Megiddo are mentioned in the Old Testament; the first celebrated in the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:19), and the second, that in which king Josiah fell (2 Kings 23:29). Both these may have been present to the seer's mind; but the allusion is not to any particular place or event. "The word, like Euphrates, is the expression of an idea; the idea that swift and overwhelming destruction shall overtake all who gather themselves together against the Lord" (Milligan).

And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Temple of heaven

Omit of heaven.

And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

See Exodus 9:18.

Every stone about the weight of a talent (ὡς ταλαντίαια)

The adjective, meaning of a talent's weight, agrees with hail; hail of a talent's weight; i.e., having each stone of that weight. Every stone is therefore explanatory, and not in the text. Hailstones are a symbol of divine wrath. See Isaiah 30:30; Ezekiel 13:11. Compare Joshua 10:11.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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