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Vs. 1-3. And after these things I heard Μετά ταύτα ήκουσα ως φωνήν μεγάλης a great voice of much people in heaven, όχλου πολλού εν τω ουρανώ, λεγόντων· αλsaying, Alleluia ; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord Indovia . r owinpia xai i Sóšo xai i dúv. our God: for true and righteous (are) αμις του θεού ημών· ότι αληθιναι και his judgments ; for he hath judged the δίκαιαι αι κρίσεις αυτού· ότι έκρινε την πόρgreat whore, which did corrupt the earth νην την μεγάλην, ήτις έφθειρε την γήν εν τη with her fornication, and hath avenged πορνεία αυτής, και εξεδίκησε το αίμα των the blood of his servants at her hand. δούλων αυτού εκ χειρός αυτής. Και δεύτεAnd again they said. Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

ρον είρηκαν· αλληλούϊα και ο καπνός αυτης αναβαίνει εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. .

$422. “And after these things I heard,' &c.—That is, after hearing the prophetic accounts of the conflagration, and the entire destruction of Babylon. The change is not in what is seen, so much as in what is heard; the attention of the apostle is called to something very different from that with which it was before occupied. He had been listening to a description of the desolation and wo incident to the fall of the great city : he now hears only the language of praise, joy, and exultation, reminding us that an event so lamentable to one class of beings, is as much a cause of rejoicing with another.

A great voice of much people,' &c.; or, according to our Greek, a great voice, or sound, like that of a great multitude. The voice is not said to be that of much people, but it is compared to the sound of the voices of an immense number of persons. The preceding denunciations were uttered as by a single voice, though sometimes said to be a great voice ; the utterance of gratulation in heaven is as a great voice of a great multitude. Whatever regret the demolition of a system of error may cause to some on earth, the rejoicing at the triumph of truth with the lovers of truth in earth and heaven must be infinitely greater.

"Saying, Alleluia,' or, Hallelujah, according to our common mode of rendering the expression.—The Greek word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, and in the Septuagint it is found only in the Psalms. In this chapter of Revelation, it is repeated four several times, and we may presume not without reason, compounded as it is of two Hebrew words, abbm, glory, or bənm, praise, and ", Jah or Jehovah—nomen veri Dei—the name of the true God, (Index Heb. et Chald. Trommii ;) the whole expression signifying an ascription of praise or glory to God pre-eminently, as above all other objects of praise, (Ps. lxviii. 4.)

Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God.'— This may be taken as an amplification of the Hebrew words just noticed : a repetition laying a peculiar emphasis upon the designation of the supreme object of praise—the Lord our God; the salvation, and the glory, and the honour, and the power of the whole work of redemption, being all ascribed to this one object, which is confirmed by the Alleluia, or Praise ye Jehovah, repeated at the close of this ascription ; this again being confirmed, as we shall see, by the Alleluia of the four and twenty elders, and of the four living creatures, as well as by their act of prostration and worship of the God sitting upon the throne. To this we may add the voice from the throne, giving the direction, Praise our God, all ye his servants, &c., (5th verse,) and the further response of the voice of a great multitude, or as of a great multitude reiterating the Alleluia, assigning the sovereignty of the Lord God as the reason for this praise.

Prior to this, Rev. v. 13, and vii. 10, there had been two choral ascriptions of the praise of salvation, not to God alone, but to God and the Lamb. The peculiarity of the passage now under consideration is, that the Lamb is not mentioned as being a joint object of praise, as in the other instances. Connecting this peculiarity with the circumstance that the great system of error symbolized by the harlot, is now represented as utterly destroyed, we come to the conclusion that the present epoch of revelation corresponds with that alluded to by Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 28: “When all things having been put under him, the Son also himself shall be subject unto Him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” This stage of the revelation may also be considered equivalent to a manifestation of the fulfilment of the prophecy, (Is. ix. 6,) "Unto us a child is born,” &c., “called the mighty God, the everlasting Father;" so predicted, because he is now manifested to be identic with the Deity ;—the Father and Son in these ascriptions of praise being both addressed as one and the same sovereign God.

It is true that, in the order of narration, the destruction of the beast, and of the false prophet, and of the accuser, is yet to be detailed; but time, in the ordinary sense, ( 230,) is not to be taken into consideration; and even if it were, that which is to be done on earth is spoken of in heaven as already done. These heavenly elements may be said to see, in the destruetion of the harlot, the victory over all the other objects alluded to as the

enemies of the Lamb; the demolition of error and the exhibition of truth being nearly interchangeable expressions. The representation of the destruction of Babylon here, is accordingly equivalent to the exhibition of the holy city described in the two last chapters of the book. Besides, we are to notice an important difference in the language of this chorus, and that of the voice froin heaven, and of the mighty angel in the preceding chapter. The utter destruction of the harlot city is there spoken of as a thing to be ; here, it is spoken of as having already taken place. This scene in heaven may thus be considered something in anticipation of all that is afterwards described as taking place on earth ; the battles, of which we have a relation at the close of this and in the subsequent chapter, taking place in effect between the prediction of the mighty angel casting the millstone, and the utterance of these triumphant Alleluias. In confirmation of this view, we may further remark that, notwithstanding the extraordinary events related in the remaining chapters, the present is the last heavenly chorus of which we have an account; and as such, in a human dramatic composition, it would probably have its place at the close of the piece.*

$ 423. “For [because] true and righteous are his judgments ; for [because] he hath judged,” &c.—Here we have the reason given for this ascription of salvation to God; not that the destruction of the harlot is itself the means of salvation, &c., but that it is the means of showing to whom the honour of that salvation is due. As if it were said, Now it is manifest that Babylon is not a city of refuge, that the mixed system affords no hope of safety, that man has no share in the merit or glory of this work of redemption; consequently Jehovah alone is to be praised — His glory is not to be divided with another—corresponding with the uniform language of the prophets and the Psalmist : as it is said Is. xii. 2, “ Behold, God is my salvation ; I will trust and not be afraid : the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song ;" and Ps. lxii. 7, “God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.” The trial to which Babylon has been exposed has resulted in exhibiting the falsehood of her system, and thus the truth and justice of divine judgment in its destruction is manifested. With the words rendered judgment and judge, we associate especially the idea of discrimination. The line of discrimination has been drawn and manifested between the system of the harlot and that of error, and the result of this manifest discrimination is now the cause of praise.

* The first choral ascription of praise may be viewed as anticipating the developments of the six seals, reaching to the close of the sixth chapter; the second like ascription anticipates the developments of the seventh seal, extending to the ternination of the eighteenth chapter; while the third and last choral ascription anticipates all the remaining narrative, even to the close of the book. The last, therefore, reaches, as we have observed, that stage of revelation where God is manilested to be all in all. Gol, manifest in Christ, being no other than “Jehovah our righteousness." This we think must be the reason for the reiterated utterance of the Alleluia by the great voice in heaven, and the responsive Alleluias of the four and twenty elders and four living creatures, and of the voice or voices described in the sixth verse.

• Which did corrupt the earth,' &c.—Whatever the harlot system be, it must have, or must have had, a very extensive influence; spreading itself over the whole surface of the ordinary view of revelation, adulterating and corrupting the doctrines of Christianity, destroying all sound principles coming in contact with it; as a mass of putrefied matter will engender putrefaction in a sound body immediately exposed to its action.

• And hath avenged the blood of bis servants at her hands ;'—or, more strictly, has vindicated the blood of his servants out of her hands. To avenge is not necessarily to revenge. The idea of revenge does not appear to be that intended to be conveyed by the text; it is rather that of a rescue or restoration, as the Greek term izdıxéw is employed, Luke xviii. 3: 8x86κησόν με από του αντιδίκου μου, (cause my property to be restored to me out of the hands of him by whom it is unjustly held,) vindicate my rights, cause justice to be done to me, (Donnegan.) So too, Rev. vi. 10, ios nóve κρίνεις και εκδικείς το αίμα ημών από, κ.τ.λ., until how long will thou not judge and vindicate our blood from, &c.* The blood of saints and of prophets had been found in Babylon after her fall. The finding of this blood was equivalent to its vindication, showing where the guilt of the loss of it lay ; or, as we construe it, ($ 420,) this blood of the prophets, &c., being the spiritual sense of the elements of revelation, to find the mixed system guilty of the suppression of this sense is equivalent to a restoration or deliverance of it. So we suppose the finding and exposing, or bringing to light this suppressed spiritual sense of the prophets, to be equivalent to vindicating the blood of those whose souls were under the altar from the dwellers upon the earth. The servants of God, in the apocalyptic sense, are the elements of revelation serving him in the promulgation of truth. Depriving these servants of their blood, (life,) was a withholding of the spiritual sense of their testimony, as if judged untrue ; avenging this blood is a vindication of the truth of this testimony in its proper sense, showing it to be just, and bringing it forth as from a state of confinement. The illustration afforded by the fiỹure appears to be parallel to that furnished by the typical restoration of the Jews after their captivity.

· And her smoke rose up for ever and ever ;' or, Her smoke rises up for

* 'Erdırio, ex {x et slun, vindico pass. vindicor, (Suiceri Lex. et Trom. Concord. et Lex. ad Hexapla.) Vinlico; 10 restore, vindicare libertatem Galliæ: to claim, Familiam pæne ab interilu rindicasli: Viniliciæ ; the asserting or clearing a thing from controversy ; discernere vindicias secundum liberlatem : Vindicta ; a rod laid upon the head of a servant, (slave,) when he was made free, (Ainsworth.) To vindicate ; to justify, to maintain as correct or true, (Webster.)

ever and ever; the Greek verb being in the present tense. This clause appears to be thrown in by way of explanation ; as if to apprise us that the conflagration in the last chapter had actually taken place, and that all now remaining of Babylon was the evidence of her total destruction. The fire of the revealed word of God acting upon the mixed system of error, and completely destroying it, affords also a perpetual testimony of that destruction. This evidence itself, as it prevents any resuscitation of the delusion, furnishes a guarantee of the fulfilment of the prediction, that the system, once demolished, shall be found no more at all, Rev. xviii. 21.

Vs. 4, 5. And the four and twenty el- Και έπεσαν οι πρεσβύτεροι οι είκοσιτέσders and the four beasts [living creatures] σαρες και τα τέσσαρα ζώα, και προσεκύνηfell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And

σαν τω θεώ τω καθημένων επί του θρόνου, a voice came out of the thirone, saying, λέγοντες· αμήν· αλληλούϊα. Και φωνή εν Praise our God, all ye his servants, and του θρόνου εξήλθε λέγουσα· αινείτε τον ye that fear him, both small and great. θεόν ημών, πάντες οι δούλοι αυτοί και οι

φοβούμενοι αυτόν, οι μικροί και οι μεγάλοι. $424. And the four and twenty elders,' &c.—The four and twenty elements of the Old Testament revelation, ($ 121,) or of the old and new, and the four attributes of divine sovereignty, ($ 125) virtually respond to this ascription of salvation, glory, honour, and power, to God, as the all in all ; a response indicated more especially by their Alleluia. In fact, these twenty-four elders and the four living creatures give all honour and glory to the Lord God Almighty from the beginning. They rest not day nor night in doing so, (Rev. iv. &,) although they also join with the myriads of angels round about the throne in ascribing worthiness to the Lamb, (Rev. v. 12.) The four and twenty elders prostrated themselves, as here described, on the sounding of the seventh trumpet, (Rev. xi. 16–18,) rejoicing then that the time had come for doing that which they now rejoice over as having been done. There is no difference, however, of time between these two prostrations ; the difference is only in the progress of the developments.

"And a voice came out of the throne,' &c.--The throne being a symbol of sovereign power, ($ 118,) this voice from the throne must be equivalent to a virtual call of the sovereignty of God to adore him—to direct all praise to him.

The servants of God being, apocalyptically, the elements of truth, the call on these to praise the Lord, is equivalent to the requisition that all elements of doctrine should begin and end with the purpose and effect of glorifying God. It is the sovereignty of God which enables him to save by grace; it is his sovereignty which enables him to form and to accomplish the work of salvation by grace. The Lamb is the visible operator in the work, but the sovereignty of God is the element of divine power by which the Lamb operates. This sovereignty therefore is appropriately represented

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