And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues…
A further vision is permitted - "another sign" - with which the faithful but tried ones are to be cheered. The vision, as a whole, is "great and marvellous." It reaches to the end of the eighteenth chapter. "Seven angels" have "seven plagues" - "the last, for in them is finished the wrath of God." With these solemn words the announcement of the coming judgments - the final ones - is prefaced. As before, the hearts of the faithful are comforted and assured by a vision of their glorious lot, before the revelation of the judgments upon the earth is made. So are they encouraged to fidelity, and prepared for the terrible scenes which are about to be presented. It is needless to search for an explanation of every detail of the symbol. The vision is of the holy ones, who sing a psalm of praise to God for his manifested judgments. "Thy righteous acts have been made manifest." It has its hidden assertion. Thy judgments hitherto, thy judgments ever, those which have been, those which are, and those which shall be, are true and righteous altogether. This ascription is thrown into the form of a song, which is -
I. A SONG OF PRAISE. Praise to God for the greatness and marvellous character of his works, and for the righteousness and truthfulness of his ways.
II. A SONG OF TRIUMPH. Like the several songs of the Revelation, it anticipates the final issue of the struggle between good and evil. "All the nations shall come and worship before thee."
III. A SONG FROM A FAITHFUL AND REDEEMED HOST. "Them that come victorious from the beast, and from his image, and from the number of his name." Only the redeemed who have been faithful in their struggle against evil can rejoice in the final overthrow of that evil.
IV. A JUBILANT SONG. They who sing stand "by the glassy sea, having the harps of God." It is a song of salvation and deliverance: "the song of Moses" - the triumphant exultation of the redeemed host when they, having crossed the flood, saw their enemies engulfed. "The song of the Lamb," when the whole work of the Lamb has been effected, when the redemption from sin is complete, and the overthrow of whatever opposes the Name of the Lamb is utterly crushed and destroyed. Then truly shall it be said, "Who shall not fear, O Lord, and glorify thy Name? for thou only art holy; for all the nations shall come and worship before thee." Thus is anticipated in song what is about to be portrayed. - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.