Revelation 14

1The Lamb with his company standing on mount Sion; 6an angel preacheth the gospel; 8another proclaimeth the fall of Babylon; 9and a third the punishment of them that worship the beast. 13The blessedness of those that die in the Lord. 14The harvest of the world. 17The vintage and winepress of God's wrath.

1AND I looked, and, lo, a 1Lamb 2stood on the mount Sion, and with him 3ana hundred forty and four thousand, 4having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

1 Why Christ is called the Lamb, was shown in Rev. 5:6.

2Christ is introduced here, as it were, standing upon Mount Sion, whereby the church is represented, as Isa. 2:2, 3; 1 Peter 2:6, and elsewhere, because in the midst of the antichrist’s persecutions He has always a watchful eye over His church, and always gathers and protects the same, for which cause He is also said, Acts 6:56, to stand at the right hand of God, and previously in Rev. 2:1, to walk among the candlesticks, as being always ready and prepared to assist them, and to furnish them with all things necessary.

3 These are they who are marked out of all the tribes of the Israel of God, Rev. 7:3, etc., during the time of antichrist’s reign, and of the flight of the woman into the wilderness, and who in the general apostasy always cleave close to Christ, their Head; and are here contrasted to the great multitude of those who received the mark of the beast, whereof was spoken before, and shall yet be spoken of hereafter.

a Rev. 7:4.

4 The writings of these names on their foreheads, see before in Rev. 7:3; 9:4.

25And I heard a voice from heaven, as theb voice of many waters, and as the voice 6of a great thunder: and I heard the voice 7ofc harpers harping with their harps:

5 Some understand by this voice, the voice of the marked ones themselves, whom the apostle heard at first afar off, and afterward nigh at hand, approaching and coming nearer by degrees. But since it is said in the third verse that none was able to learn this song, besides these marked ones, therefore this is more suitably understood of the voice of an innumerable multitude of those who already in heaven stood previously round about the throne of God, and praised God day and night, of which is treated in Rev. 7:9, to whom these 144,000 also joined themselves, after that they in the times of the antichrist were also brought by Christ, their Head, gradually from the militant church here on earth to the triumphant church in heaven, as appears hereafter in Rev. 19:1, etc.

b Rev. 1:15.

6 Not in respect of its terribleness, as it is sometimes taken, but in respect of the greatness thereof, and the zeal from which it arose. Otherwise it was pleasant to hear, as is declared hereafter in Rev. 19:6.

7 This comparison is taken from the practice that was used in Solomon’s temple, where, together with singing, there were also used instruments of music by the priests and Levites. See also in Rev. 5:8.

c Rev. 5:8.

3And they sung as it were 8ad new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and 9no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, 10which were redeemed from the earth.

8 This is likewise so called in Rev. 5:9, and it is called new here by reason of the new occasion that was given for this song of praise by the redemption of these marked ones, and the new preaching of this everlasting Gospel. See the like phrase, Psalm 40:3; Isa. 42:10.

d Rev. 5:9.

9 Namely, with an upright mind and full assurance, that they had part in it. For, though hypocrites do sometimes also praise God for the redemption wrought by Christ, nevertheless no one is able to do this with all their heart but such as have learned it by true faith, and assurance of the Holy Spirit. See Rom. 8:15, 26; 1 Cor. 12:3.

10 Namely, through the blood of the Lamb, as is expressed in Rev. 5:9. See also 1 Peter 1:19.

4These are they 11which were not defiled with women; fore they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being 12the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

11 This cannot be understood of the state of marriage, as some would have it. For, that is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled, as Paul testifies in Heb. 13:4; and Christ is followed whither so ever He goeth, not only by the blessed saints who here have been unmarried, but also by the married persons, such as patriarchs, apostles, martyrs and innumerable others, as the Scripture speaks, 2 Cor. 5:6, etc.; 1 Thes. 4:17, etc. But by these virgins are here meant those who by their faith and true profession steadfastly adhered unto Christ, their Bridegroom, when the whore of Babylon made all the kings and nations of the earth drunk with the cup of her fornication, that is, with her idolatry. Whereof further will be spoken in the sequel. In like manner does the apostle Paul speak of all kind of true believers, 2 Cor. 11:2.

e 2 Cor. 11:2.

12 That is, in order that they might be holy and dedicated unto God and to the Lamb, as the firstfruits were to be consecrated and dedicated unto God. See Lev. 23:10; Num. 15:20, etc.

5Andf13in their mouth was found no guile: for they are 14withoutg fault before the throne of God.

f Zeph. 3:13.

13 Namely, as in those who bear the mark of the beast, which truly will seem to serve God and Christ, but in the act and with their heart they turn away from Him to the worship of images and other helpers, whom they will honor and worship besides God. See the like in Zeph. 3:13 and Rom. 1:25.

14 Namely, because they are justified before God by a true faith and serve Him sincerely and from the heart, not to please men, but to please God only. See likewise in Luke 1:6 and Eph. 5:27.

g Eph. 5:27.

615And I saw 16another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having 17the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

15 Here in this verse begins the second part of this chapter, wherein the restoration of the doctrine of the Gospel is foretold by certain steps and degrees in public churches, separated from the anti-christendom after it has climbed to its height and the truth of the Gospel was most of all obscured. Howbeit God has also at all times gathered out of it those who belong unto Him, as He had in Ahab’s time reserved those seven thousand in Israel, Rom. 11:4.

16 By this angel is understood the faithful witnesses of Christ and the teachers of the Gospel, who, when the anti-christendom was at its supreme height, began to warn publicly the world against it, and to spread the Gospel of Christ publicly abroad by Christendom; as this has been in France about the year 1170 where the antichrist set himself against the Waldenses and the Albigenses with great power, so that, according to the testimony of some historians, above ten hundred thousand of these were slain and banished at different times and in different places. But he was not able to root them out, as there were yet scattered in great numbers throughout Europe and remained to their profession.

17 Namely, of obtaining salvation only by faith and calling upon the one only God, and the only Mediator Christ; which Gospel is called everlasting, because it was ordained from eternity, and was promised from the beginning of the world, Titus 1:2. Howbeit others are also of the opinion that it is here called everlasting, because it could not anymore be so suppressed after that time, or that it would always continue to be publicly known in the world at some places, as it has truly occurred.

7Saying with a loud voice, 18Fear God, and give glory to him; for 19the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him thath made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and 20the fountains of waters.

18 This is the first part of the voice of the Gospel, whereby the worshippers of the beast are warned against idolatry, and are exhorted to honor, fear and serve only God in Christ Jesus.

19 That is, is near, as the Scripture also speaks of the last day. This is a very strong argument to dissuade men from idolatry, as this also is used by Paul to those of Athens, Acts 17:29, 30, 31.

h Gen. 1:1; Psalm 33:6; 124:8; 146:6; Acts 14:15; 17:24.

20 Scripture also relates elsewhere this wonderful work of God after the same manner, Psalm 104:10 and 114:8.

8And there followed 21another angel, saying, 22Babyloni is fallen, is fallen, thatj great city, because she made all nations drink of 23the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

21 Namely, who would assault antichrist’s realm with new earnestness and forewarn the world against it, after that it had now suppressed for the most part the progress of the previous angel’s preaching. Some are of the opinion that under this angel arose John Wycliffe with his followers in England, and John Hus and Jerome of Prague in Germany and Bohemia, who about the year 1380 and 1400 made by writing and teaching a great breach upon this new Babylon. And though they were at last suppressed in a great measure by the Council of Constance and by the violent power of Sigismund the Emperor, yet many of their disciples and churches always remained, especially in the parts of Bohemia and Moravia. Poland, Hungary and elsewhere.

22 That is, her fall is decreed by God, and is already begun in the hearts of many, and shall from henceforth be more and more advanced, till it be at last utterly destroyed, as shall be further shown hereafter in Revelation 18. These words are taken from Isa. 21:9 and Jer. 51:8, where similar threatening is announced against the old Babel of Assyria or Chaldea, which had for a long time oppressed the Israelites, and which had nurtured all kinds of pride and idolatry in the world.

i Isa. 21:9; Jer. 51:8; Rev. 18:2.

j Rev. 16:19; 17:5; 18:10, 21.

23 That is, of her idolatry, whereby the wrath of God is provoked against them. It may also be differently rendered: the wine of the poison of her fornication; as this Greek word in the old Greek translation of the Old Testament is also taken; Deut. 32:32; Psalm 58:4. A comparison taken from a dishonest woman, who by sweet poisoned wine is wont to bereave men of their senses, and to draw them to her unchaste love; which signification agrees very well with the outward manner of the worship of idolaters.

9And the 24third 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,

24 This third angel comes further, and warns yet with greater earnestness all those who worship the beast or bear his mark, to beware of eternal punishment, which approaches them if they do not repent. Under this angel is appointed the time of fuller reformation in Christendom, which was begun by Luther, Zwingli and their colleagues in the year 1517, and has been thus far carried on and promoted by many eminent teachers, yea even kings, princes and republics. Wherein men, who were under anti-christendom, are yet more plainly instructed and are yet more earnestly warned to beware of the false doctrine and idolatry.

1025The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which 26is pouredk out without mixture intol the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormentedm withn fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

25 That is, because he has permitted himself to be allured by the cup of idolatry of the whore of Babylon, the Lord will cause him to drink of the wine of His wrath and of His chastisements. A phrase frequently used by the prophets, when God’s heavy punishments are threatened toward one nation. See Psalm 75:8; Jer. 25:15.

26 Or, intermixed; for, pure wines poured in or wines mingled together of different kinds do soon procure drunkenness, giddiness and other distempers to man; which are here compared to God’s just judgments, wherewith He does not intermingle His mercy.

k Rev. 18:6.

l Rev. 16:19.

m Rev. 20:10.

n Rev. 19:20.

1127Ando 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.

27 That is, the smoke of the fire whereby they are tormented, Luke 16:24.

o Rev. 19:1.

1228Herep is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep 29the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

28 This verse and the next serve for the comfort of believers, who in the time of these reformations would be persecuted and afflicted anew by the antichrist. Whereunto is contrasted their patience in the expectation of the righteous vengeance of God upon the ministers of the antichrist; and the assurance of salvation prepared for them, as also the martyrs, who in the first persecutions died under pagan emperors for Christ’s sake, were presented these two reason for their comfort, Rev. 6:10, etc.

p Rev. 13:10.

29 These are the two marks of a true reformed Christian, opposed to the worshippers of the beast and his image; as the same are also introduced previously in Rev. 12:11, 17. See there the exposition.

13And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die 30in the Lord 31from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow 32them.

30 That is, for the Lord’s sake, as Eph. 4:1, or, in the Lord, that is, in the faith and in the fear of the Lord, as this phrase is also used in 1 Cor. 15:18; 1 Thes. 4:16, etc.

31 Some join these words to the previous word write, and expound them thus: Write from henceforth, in such a manner that here is testified by the angel, that in the time of the renewing of the preaching of this everlasting Gospel, shown by these three angels, the true witnesses of Christ would not preach nor write, as is done in the darkness of anti-Christianity, that the children of God, when they die, would have cause to be troubled with the fear of purgatory, and of hellish torments, which they would have to suffer after their death, unless there be provision made against it by funeral solemnities, masses for the soul, indulgences, etc., but that they are blessed as soon as they die, and that they are purged alone by the blood of Christ from their sins. Others join these words from henceforth to the word blessed, and expound it thus, that those who die in Christ are blessed from henceforth, that is, as soon as they die, etc., notwithstanding that the antichrist with his followers condemns them as heretics and damned men; as Christ also places such comfort before His disciples, Mat. 5:10, 11, 12, and both opinions do agree well with thing itself.

32 Or, after them; that is, the gracious reward of their trouble, hardship, patience, etc. endured for Christ’s sake, does accompany them or does follow them. A comparison taken from them who are come to the end of the race, or of the warfare, and then take rest, are refreshed and crowned, 2 Tim. 4:7, 8.

14And 33I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one 34sat like untoq the Son of man, 35having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand 36a sharp sickle.

33 These following visions in this chapter are understood by some of the grievous wars, massacres, and bloodsheds, which the antichrist would raise against the reformed princes and nations in the world, and of the taking away of many hundred thousand men, who followed after this from all sides, and still happens daily, and yet more grievous (calamities) are to be expected before that great Babylon shall utterly fall. But the greater part understand it of the last judgment, as the similitudes and phrases imply, and as almost all visions in this revelation end in the last judgment.

34 Most expositors understand this of Christ Himself, to Whom such titles are also given elsewhere, as in Rev. 1:13, and Whose coming to judgment is likewise described after this manner in Rev. 1:7. See also Dan. 7:13; Mat. 26:64.

q Ezek. 1:26; Dan. 7:13; Rev. 1:13.

35 Namely, as KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS, Rev. 19:16.

36 Namely, by reason of His power in this judgment, whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself, Philip. 3:21.

15And another angel came out of 37the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrustr in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee 38to reap; for the harvest of the earth is 39ripe.

37 Namely, of heaven, as is expressed in verse 17, where is the throne of God the Father, as is testified in Rev. 4:1; from where this angel comes as a messenger of the Father unto Christ, according to the custom used among great kings to declare the things that follow, and to show the fulfillment of the time of the execution of God’s judgments; as we read that in the time of His humiliation, not only angels but also Moses and Elijah came unto Him from heaven to speak of His departure at Jerusalem, Mat. 17:3; Luke 9:30; forasmuch as He came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father, Who sent Him, John 4:34; 6:38.

r Joel 3:13; Mat. 13:39.

38 That is, to take away men from the earth, seeing that the number of the elect was now made up. See Rev. 6:11 and 2 Peter 3:9.

39 Gr. dry, withered.

16And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth 40was reaped.

40 Namely, to gather the good wheat into His barn, and to burn the tares with fire, as Christ Himself speaks in Mat. 13:30, from which last clause is further spoken of in the following verses.

17And 41another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

41 Some understand this also of Christ Jesus, Who in several appearances is introduced as a Judge both of the good and evil; though others understand it of some special created angel, who had other angels next to him, who would gather the offences and the wicked ones from the earth, to bring them before the presence of Christ sitting on the judgment seat, and to cause them to receive their sentence there, and to cast them into hell; as Christ, accompanied with the power of His angels, shall pronounce and execute sentence upon them, Mat. 13:41, 42; 2 Thes. 1:7, etc.

18And another angel came out 42from the altar, 43which 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; 44for her grapes are fully ripe.

42 Namely, where the souls of the martyrs were seen, Rev. 6:9, who cried and longed after vengeance upon the enemies of God, and after the redemption of Christ’s church on earth; whose prayer is here heard, when their number, and the time there mentioned was fulfilled. This angel is a publisher and announcer of this fulfillment, as the angel declared unto Daniel, Dan. 9:21, 23 and to Cornelius, Acts 10:4.

43 Namely, wherewith the wicked shall be tormented, of which is spoken previously in verse 10.

44 That is, their sins have come to the highest, and God’s long-suffering towards them is at an end, as is said of the Amorites, Gen. 15:16, and of those of Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen. 18:20, 21.

19And the angel 45thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it 46into the great winepress of thes wrath of God.

45 Gr. cast, as also verse 16; namely, to execute God’s judgment upon them, as under such a similitude the execution of God’s punishment upon the wicked is also understood, Joel 3:13, and in Rev. 19:15, and elsewhere.

46 That is, into the deep bottomless pit, where God will pour out His wrath upon the wicked.

s Rev. 19:15.

20And thet winepress was trodden 47without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, 48even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a 49thousand and six hundred furlongs.

t Isa. 63:3.

47 Namely, of the new Jerusalem. See Rev. 22:15.

48 A similitude taken from a great slaughter, where the blood flows very high. See similar expression in Isa. 63:3.

49 That is, about 66 of our miles, a certain number taken for an uncertain, that is, very great and terrible to behold.