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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 from 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. Ixii. 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 espe
* 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 termination of the eighteenth chapter; while the third and last choral ascription anticipates all the remaining narrative, even 10 the close of the book. The last, therefore, reaches, as we have observed, that stage of revelation where God is manifested to be all in all. God, 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.
cially 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.
• 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 ixdixéw is employed, Luke xviii. 3: éxdiκησόν 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, iws nóre où 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 thr testimony in its proper sense, showing it to be just, and bringing it forth a. from a state of confinement. The illustration afforded by the figure appears n be parallel to that furnished by the typical restoration of the Jews after.heir captivity. ' And he smoke rose up for ever and ever ;' or,
Her smoke rises
for * 'Exduréw, ex te et diun, vindico pass. vindicor, (Suiceri Lex. et Trom. Concord. et Lex. ad Hexapla.) Vindico; to restore, vindicare libertatem Galliæ : to claim, Familiam pæne ab interilu vindicasti: Vindicice ; the asserting or clearing a thing from controversy ; discernere vindicias secundum libertatem : 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 is to apprise us that the conflagration in the last chapter bad 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. xvii. 21.
Vs. 4, 5. And the four and twenty el- Και έπεσον 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 καθημένω επί του θρόνου, , a voice came out of the throne, saying, λέγοντες: αμήν· αλληλούϊα. Και φωνή εκ Praise our Gol, all ye his servants, and του θρόνου εξήλθε λέγουσα· αινείτε τον ye that fear him, both small and great. θεόν ημών, πάντες οι δούλοι αυτού 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. 2,) although they aijo 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 sypba 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 yraise to him.
The servants of God being, apocalyptically, the elements r truth, the call on these to praise the Lord, is equivalent to the requisitio: that all elements of doctrine should begin and end with the purpose and effect of glorifying God. It is the sovereignty of God which enabies 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
as calling upon all elements of doctrine (small and great) to give glory to God—that is, ultimately, as at the epoch when the Son gives up the kingdom unto the Father.
Vs. 6, 7. And I heard as it were the Και ήκουσα ως φωνήν όχλου πολλού και νoice of a great multitude, and as the. ως φωνήν υδάτων πολλών και ως φωνήν voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for βροντών ισχυρών, λεγόντων· αλληλούϊα, ότι the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let sagihevox xúpios o frós ó navtoxou too. us be glad and rejoice, and give honour Χαίρωμεν και αγαλλιώμεθα, και δωμεν την to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is δόξαν αυτω, ότι ήλθεν ο γάμος του αρνίου come, and his wife hath made herself και η γυνή αυτού ήτοίμασεν εαυτήν, ready.
$425. 'And I heard,' &c.—This is a response to the voice from the throne—the call from the element of divine sovereignty. Like the voice spoken of in the first verse, although not termed great, it is compared to the voice of much people, or of a great multitude, the term in the Greek being the same in both cases, (öziov zoal.07.) This last voice, however, is not said to be in heaven, being apparently of a universal character. It is also compared to the sound of many waters, and to that of mighty thunderings. These voices we suppose to be put for the expression of doctrines ; the waters being an allusion to doctrines pertaining to means of atonement of a judicial character, and the thunderings to the threatening principles of the law ; all elements of justice, of propitiation, and of justification, combining virtually to give praise and glory to Jehovah, especially for tlie reason assigned, viz., his sovereignty-glory to Jehovah for, or because, (ör1,) the Almighty God reigneth—not merely because he is, but because he reignş. Glory is now given to God because he has manifested his sovereignty in subjecting all things, or principles, to the operation of salvation by grace, through Christ. The fact having been always the same from the beginning, the rejoicing is a consequence of the manifestation of the facts; all things having been manifested to have been made subject by the Almighty God to Christ, the Son gives up the kingdoin unto the Father, and God himself (the triune God) receives the whole praise.
· Let us be glad, and rejoice, and give honour to him, for [because] the marriage,' &c.—As the ascription of praise to Jehovah is because of his sovereignty, so the reason for the gladness, and rejoicing, and giving of honour, is because this sovereignty is, or is about being manisested in a certain mode—a mode compared to that of a public celebration of the nuptials of parties previously espoused. The plan of redemption having been formed and determined upon in the divine mind from the beginning, although not actually manifested till the whole mystery is revealed, this revelation is a cause of joy and rejoicing, in a literal sense, to the believer ; for which reason it is termed the gospel, or glad tidings: but in the figure before us all the ele
ments of divine government are represented as rejoicing ; even the element of justice rejoices that the time has now arrived for the exhibition of that plan by which the hitherto apparently conflicting attributes of infinite perfection are shown to be reconciled.
The word rendered marriage (yduos) applies primarily to the marriage solemnity, or nuptial entertainment—the feast usually given on the occasion of a marriage, (Donnegan ;) in which sense it appears to be generally used in the Scriptures. According to the Septuagint, the term occurs but three times in the canonical books of the Old Testament.
On the occasion of Jacob's marriage with Leah, (Gen. xxix. 22,) Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast, (xoè énoinsa yếuov.) The parties to the feast (yduos) were not Jacob and Leah, but the men of the place. The relation affords us a hint of the original design of a feast on such occasions. In those days there were no priests or ministers of religion, or magistrates, to give certificates of marriage ; nor were there any parish records ; the proofs of the validity of the union depended upon those who were witnesses between the contracting parties—the husband on one side, and the father of the bride on the other : the bride being brought into the assembly, veiled no doubt according to the custom of the country, was in this state given by the father to the husband elect, in presence of the company. Laban, aware of the grievous disappointment incident to his purposed deceit, and anticipating the possibility of a dispute between himself and his intended son-in-law, took care to assemble as many witnesses as possible on the occasion, and witnesses too upon whose aid he could calculate, in case of a controversy with the stranger ; in which light Jacob was probably considered by these men of the country. The design of the feast (yópos) was therefore to manifest the union—to place the fact beyond dispute. This Laban, as we may suppose, did not consider as necessary in the case of Rachel, Jacob's partiality for her being a sufficient guarantee that the fact of the marriage would not be controverted.
The term afterwards occurs only in the plural, (greuor,) being applied (Est. ii. 18) to the feast or feasts made by king Ahasuerus, subsequent to the crowning of his queen, apparently to give publicity to the distinction enjoyed by her; and, ix. 22, to the annual feasting of the Jewish people, on the fifteenth day of the month Adar, in commemoration of their deliv. erance from the power of Haman; manifestation and commemoration being accordingly in the time of the LXX the peculiar ideas to be associated with the term.
In the account given (Matt. xxii. 2–12) of the marriage, as we have translated it, made for a king's son, the term youos, which occurs eight times in the passage, is expressed both in the singular and plural, an equal number of times each, feast and feasts,—the feasting usual on such occasions,