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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Revelation 19



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Verse 1

After these things (μετα ταυταmeta tauta). Often when a turn comes in this book. But Beckwith is probably correct in seeing in Revelation 19:1-5 the climax of chapter Rev 18. This first voice (Revelation 19:1, Revelation 19:2) ως πωνην μεγαλην ουχλου πολλουhōs phōnēn megalēn ouchlou pollou (as it were great voice of much multitude) is probably the response of the angelic host (Revelation 5:11; Hebrews 12:22). There is responsive singing (grand chorus) as in chapters Revelation 4:1-11; Revelation 5:1-14.

Saying (λεγοντωνlegontōn). Present active participle of λεγωlegō genitive plural, though οχλουochlou is genitive singular (collective substantive, agreement in sense).

Hallelujah (ΑλληλουιαAllēlouia). Transliteration of the Hebrew seen often in the Psalms (lxx) and in 3 Macc. 7:13, in N.T. only in Revelation 19:1, Revelation 19:3, Revelation 19:4, Revelation 19:6. It means, “Praise ye the Lord.” Fifteen of the Psalms begin or end with this word. The Great Hallel (a title for Psalm 104-109) is sung chiefly at the feasts of the passover and tabernacles. This psalm of praise uses language already in Revelation 12:10.

Verse 2

For (οτιhoti). Because. The reason for God‘s judgments is given in Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7. The doom of Babylon seen in Revelation 14:7 is now realized.

For (οτιhoti). Second use of οτιhoti explaining the first.

He hath judged (εκρινενekrinen). First aorist (prophetic and climacteric, effective) active indicative of κρινωkrinō (ητιςhētis). The very one which.

Did corrupt (επτειρενephtheiren). This is the terrible fact. First aorist active indicative of πτειρωphtheirō Cf. Revelation 11:18; Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:2; Revelation 18:3.

And he hath avenged (και εχεδικησενkai exedikēsen). God has exacted vengeance for the blood of his servants from (εκek) her. Prophetic aorist again of εκδικεωekdikeō with accusative and εκek with ablative as in Revelation 6:10.

Verse 3

A second time (δευτερονdeuteron). Adverbial accusative, a heavenly encore.

They say (ειρηκανeirēkan). Perfect active indicative of ειπονeipon “They have said,” not an “aoristic” perfect for “they say,” but vivid dramatic perfect as in Revelation 5:7 and the form in αν̇an instead of ασιν̇asin as in Revelation 18:3; Revelation 21:6.

Goeth up (αναβαινειanabainei). Linear present active indicative of αναβαινωanabainō “keeps on going up,” “a last touch to the description already given (Revelation 18:21.) of Babylon‘s utter collapse” (Swete). The smoke of the city‘s ruin (Revelation 14:11; Revelation 18:8., and Revelation 18:18) instead of incense (Revelation 8:4). Cf. Isaiah 34:9.

Verse 4

Fell down and worshipped God (επεσαν και προσεκυνησαν τωι τεωιepesan kai prosekunēsan tōi theōi). Precisely as in Revelation 7:11, which see. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures take up the antiphonal chorus of the angels.

Verse 5

A voice from the throne (πωνη απο του τρονουphōnē apo tou thronou). Not the voice of God, nor of the Lamb, nor εκ του ναουek tou naou (Revelation 16:17), but from an angel of the Presence. This angel summons all the servants of God to join in the antiphonal praise to God.

Give praise to our God (αινειτε τωι τεωι ημωνaineite tōi theōi hēmōn). Present active imperative of αινεωaineō old verb, with the accusative elsewhere in N.T., but here with the dative as occasionally in the lxx (1 Chron 16:36, etc.).

Verse 6

As it were the voice (ως πωνηνhōs phōnēn). Used here three times, as once in Revelation 19:1: once of a second great multitude (οχλου πολλουochlou pollou), not of angels as in Revelation 19:1, but the innumerable multitude of the redeemed of Revelation 7:9; then “of many waters” (υδατων πολλωνhudatōn pollōn) as in Revelation 1:15; Revelation 14:2 like “the roar of a cataract” (Swete); and once more “the voice of mighty thunders” (βροντων ισχυρωνbrontōn ischurōn) as in Revelation 6:1; Revelation 10:3.

Saying (λεγοντωνlegontōn). The best attested reading, genitive plural of λεγωlegō agreeing with οχλουochlou (genitive singular), for roll of the waters and the roar of the thunders were not articulate. Some MSS. have λεγοντεςlegontes (nominative plural) referring also to οχλουochlou though nominative instead of genitive. The fourth “Hallelujah” comes from this vast multitude.

The Lord our God, the Almighty (Κυριοσ ο τεοσ ο παντοκρατωρKuriosεβασιλευσενho theosβασιλευωho pantokratōr). For this designation of God see also Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:15; Revelation 21:22. Cf. deus et dominus noster used of the Roman emperor.

Reigneth (ebasileusen). First aorist active of basileuō Probably ingressive prophetic aorist, “God became king” in fulness of power on earth with the fall of the world power.

Verse 7

Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad (χαιρωμεν και αγαλλιωμενchairōmen kai agalliōmen). Present active subjunctive (volitive) of χαιρωchairō and αγαλλιαωagalliaō (elsewhere in N.T. in the middle except Luke 1:47; 1 Peter 1:8). For both verbs together see Matthew 5:12.

Let us give (δωμενdōmen). Second aorist active subjunctive of διδωμιdidōmi but A reads δωσομενdōsomen (future active) and P δωσωμενdōsōmen If the future indicative is read, the tone is changed from exhortation to declaration (we shall give glory unto him).

The marriage of the Lamb (ο γαμος του αρνιουho gamos tou arniou). In the O.T. God is the Bridegroom of Israel (Hosea 2:16; Isaiah 54:6; Ezekiel 16:7.). In the N.T. Christ is the Bridegroom of the Kingdom (the universal spiritual church as seen by Paul, 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25., and by John in Revelation 3:20; Revelation 19:7, Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:9; Revelation 22:17. In the Gospels Christ appears as the Bridegroom (Mark 2:19.; Matthew 9:15; Luke 5:34.; John 3:29). The figure of γαμοςgamos occurs in Matthew 22:2-14. Three metaphors of women appear in the Apocalypse (the Mother in chapter Rev 12, the Harlot in Rev 17-19, and the Bride of Christ here to the end). “The first and third present the Church under two different aspects of her life, while the second answers to her great rival and enemy” (Swete).

Is come (ηλτενēlthen). Prophetic aorist, come at last.

Made herself ready (ητοιμασεν εαυτηνhētoimasen heautēn). First aorist active indicative of ετοιμαζωhetoimazō and the reflexive pronoun. See Revelation 22:2 for ητοιμασμενην ως νυμπηνhētoimasmenēn hōs numphēn (prepared as a bride). There is something for her to do (1 John 3:3; Judges 1:21; 2 Corinthians 7:1), but the chief preparation is the act of Christ (Ephesians 5:25.).

Verse 8

That she should array herself (ινα περιβαληταιhina peribalētai). Sub-final object clause subject of εδοτηedothē (was given to her) with ιναhina and the second aorist middle (direct) of περιβαλλωperiballō to fling around. This bridal dress is a gift from Christ. This form, εδοτηedothē (it was given), occurs some 20 times in this book.

In fine linen, bright and pure (βυσσινον λαμπρον καταρονbussinon lampron katharon). See Revelation 19:14 for the same raiment on those accompanying “The Word of God” and for the seven angels in Revelation 15:6. See by contrast the garments of the harlot (Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:16). For βυσσινονbussinon see Revelation 18:16.

The righteous acts of the saints (τα δικαιωματα των αγιωνta dikaiōmata tōn hagiōn). This is the explanation (γαρgar) of the bridal dress and explains why there is work for the Bride as well as for Christ (Philemon 2:12.). See Revelation 15:4 for δικαιωμαdikaiōma (also Romans 5:18).

Verse 9

Write (ΓραπσονGrapson). First aorist active imperative of γραπωgraphō as in Revelation 1:11; Revelation 14:13. The speaker may be the angel guide of Revelation 17:1.

It is another beatitude (μακαριοιmakarioi Blessed) like that in Revelation 14:13 (fourth of the seven in the book).

They which are bidden (οι κεκλημενοιhoi keklēmenoi). Articular perfect passive participle of καλεωkaleō like Matthew 22:3; Luke 14:17. Cf. Revelation 17:14. This beatitude reminds us of that in Luke 14:15. (Cf. Matthew 8:11; Matthew 26:29.)

These are true words of God (ουτοι οι λογοι αλητινοι του τεου εισινHoutoi hoi logoi alēthinoi tou theou eisin). Undoubtedly, but one should bear in mind that apocalyptic symbolism “has its own methods and laws of interpretation, and by these the student must be guided” (Swete).

Verse 10

To worship him (προσκυνησαι αυτωιproskunēsai autōi). First aorist active infinitive of purpose. John either felt that the angel represented God or he was beside himself with excitement over the glorious consummation. He was tempted to worship an angel (Colossians 2:18).

See thou do it not (ορα μηhora mē). Repeated in Revelation 22:9. Here there is no verb after μηmē (ellipse of ποιησηις τουτοpoiēsēis touto) as in Mark 1:44; 1 Thessalonians 5:15), the aorist subjunctive of negative purpose with μηmē after οραhora (present active imperative of οραωhoraō), a common enough idiom.

Fellow-servant (συνδουλοςsundoulos). The angel refuses worship from John on this ground. All Christians are συνδουλοιsundouloi (fellow-servants) as Christ taught (Matthew 18:28.; Matthew 24:49) and as Paul (Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:7) and John (Revelation 6:11) taught. Angels are God‘s servants also (Hebrews 1:4-14). For “the testimony of Jesus” see Revelation 1:2, Revelation 1:9; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 12:17; Revelation 22:4.

Worship God (τωι τεωι προσκυνησονtōi theōi proskunēson). And Christ, who is the Son of God (Revelation 5:13.).

The spirit of prophecy (το πνευμα της προπητειαςto pneuma tēs prophēteias). Explanatory use of γαρgar (for) here as in Revelation 19:8. The possession of the prophetic spirit shows itself in witness to Jesus. In illustration see Mark 1:10; Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:21; John 1:51; Revelation 4:1; Revelation 10:1; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 14:17; Revelation 15:5; Revelation 18:1; Revelation 19:1, Revelation 19:7-9.

Verse 11

The heaven opened (τον ουρανον ηνεωιγμενονton ouranon ēneōigmenon). Perfect passive participle (triple reduplication) of ανοιγωanoigō Accusative case after ειδονeidon So Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1) begins his prophecy. See also the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:21, but σχιζομενουςschizomenous in Mark 1:10). Jesus predicted the opened heavens to Nathanael (John 1:51). In Revelation 4:1 a door is opened in heaven, the sanctuary is opened (Revelation 11:19; Revelation 15:5), angels come out of heaven (Revelation 10:1; Revelation 14:17; Revelation 18:1), and sounds come from heaven (Revelation 19:1).

Behold, a white horse (ιδου ιππος λευκοςidou hippos leukos). Nominative case because of ιδουidou not ειδονeidon Cf. Revelation 6:2 for ιππος λευκοςhippos leukos The emblem of victory in both cases, but the riders are very different. Here it is the Messiah who is the Warrior, as is made plain by “Faithful and True” (πιστος και αλητινοςpistos kai alēthinos), epithets already applied to Christ (Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:7, Revelation 3:14). Cf. also Revelation 22:6.

In righteousness he doth judge and make war (εν δικαιοσυνηι κρινει και πολεμειen dikaiosunēi krinei kai polemei). See Isaiah 11:3. The Messiah is both Judge and Warrior, but he does both in righteousness (Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:5, Revelation 16:7; Revelation 19:2). He passes judgment on the beast (antichrist) and makes war on him. Satan had offered Christ a victory of compromise which was rejected.

Verse 12

A flame of fire (πλοχ πυροςphlox puros). As in the opening vision of Christ in Revelation 1:14 (Revelation 2:18).

Many diadems (διαδηματα πολλαdiadēmata polla). A new feature, but the dragon has a diadem on each of his seven heads (Revelation 12:3) and the first beast one upon each of his ten horns (Revelation 13:1). So the victorious Messiah will wear many royal diadems and not mere crowns, because he is King of kings (Revelation 19:16).

And he hath (και εχωνkai echōn). Nominative active present participle of εχωechō either used absolutely as an independent verb (like indicative) or in an anacoluthon, though αυτουautou (his) is genitive.

A name written (ονομα γεγραμμενονonoma gegrammenon). Perfect passive participle of γραπωgraphō as in Revelation 2:17 (cf. Revelation 3:12).

But he himself (ει μη αυτοςei mē autos). “Except himself” (common ellipsis of the verb after ει μηei mē “if not”). See Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:12 for the new name there described. See Revelation 14:1 for the name of Christ on the forehead of the 144,000, and Revelation 17:5 for the name on the forehead of the harlot. This word here supplements what Jesus says in Matthew 11:27.

Verse 13

Arrayed (περιβεβλημενοςperibeblēmenos). Perfect passive participle of περιβαλλωperiballō to clothe, often in this book.

In a garment (ιματιονhimation). Accusative case after the passive participle περιβεβλημενοςperibeblēmenos (ρεραντισμενονrerantismenon). Perfect passive participle of ραντιζωrantizō in the predicate accusative case agreeing with ιματιονhimation A Q here read βεβαμμενονbebammenon (perfect passive participle of βαπτωbaptō to dip). Probably ρεραντισμενονrerantismenon (sprinkled) is correct, because the picture comes from Isaiah 63:3, where Aquila and Symmachus use ραντιζωrantizō The use of βεβαμμενονbebammenon (dipped) is a bolder figure and Charles considers it correct. In either case it is the blood of Christ‘s enemies with which his raiment (ιματιονhimation perhaps a χλαμυςchlamus Matthew 27:28, Matthew 27:31) is sprinkled or dipped as the case may be, not his own blood on Calvary (Revelation 1:5; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:14; Revelation 12:11), but proleptically and prophetically the blood of Christ‘s enemies. αιματιHaimati can be either locative case with βεβαμμενονbebammenon (dipped in blood) or instrumental with ρεραντισμενονrerantismenon (sprinkled with blood).

The Word of God (ο Λογος του τεουho Logos tou theou). Some scholars hold this addition inconsistent with Revelation 19:12, but it may be merely the explanation of the secret name or still another name besides that known only to himself. The personal use of the Logos applied to Christ occurs only in the Johannine writings unless that is the idea in Hebrews 4:12. In John 1:1, John 1:14 it is merely ο Λογοςho Logos (the Word), in 1 John 1:1 ο Λογος της ζωηςho Logos tēs zōēs (the Word of Life), while here it is ο Λογος του τεουho Logos tou theou (the Word of God), one of the strongest arguments for identity of authorship. The idiom here is one common in Luke and Paul for the teaching of Christ (Luke 5:1; Luke 8:11, etc.; 1 Corinthians 14:36; 2 Corinthians 2:17, etc.). Jesus is himself the final and perfect revelation of God to men (Hebrews 1:1.).

Verse 14

The armies which are in heaven (τα στρατευματα τα εν τωι ουρανωιta strateumata ta en tōi ouranōi). See Revelation 12:7 for Michael and angels warring with the dragon, and also Matthew 26:53 for the angels at Christ‘s call, not to say Hebrews 1:6., Hebrews 1:14; Matthew 13:41; and Revelation 5:11.

Followed (ηκολουτειēkolouthei). Imperfect active and singular (στρατευματαstrateumata neuter plural) of ακολουτεωakoloutheō graphic picture of the celestial Warrior with his angelic hosts “upon white horses” (επ ιπποις λευκοιςeph' hippois leukois) like the Leader and, like him “clothed in fine linen white and pure” (ενδεδυμενοι βυσσινον λευκον καταρονendedumenoi bussinon leukon katharon) like the Leader again (Revelation 19:8). Note ενδεδυμενοιendedumenoi here as in Revelation 1:13; Revelation 15:6.

Verse 15

A sharp sword (ρομπαια οχειαromphaia oxeia). As in Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12, Revelation 2:15.

That he should smite (ινα παταχηιhina pataxēi). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the first aorist active subjunctive of πατασσωpatassō old verb already in Revelation 11:6 and like Isaiah 11:4, a figure here for forensic and judicial condemnation.

And he shall rule them (και αυτος ποιμανειkai autos poimanei). Emphatic use of αυτοςautos twice (he himself). Future active of ποιμαινωpoimainō to shepherd as in Revelation 2:27; Revelation 12:5 “with a rod of iron” (εν ραβδωι σιδηραιen rabdōi sidērāi) as there. See 1 Peter 2:25; Hebrews 13:20 for Christ as Shepherd.

And he treadeth (και αυτος πατειkai autos patei). Change to present tense of πατεωpateō to tread (here transitive), with solemn repetition of και αυτοςkai autos winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God (την ληνον του οινου του τυμου της οργης του τεου του παντοκρατοροςtēn lēnon tou oinou tou thumou tēs orgēs tou theou tou pantokratoros). Literally, “the winepress of the wine of the wrath of the anger of God the Almighty” (four genitives dependent on one another and on ληνονlēnon). These images are here combined from Revelation 14:8, Revelation 14:10, Revelation 14:19.; Revelation 16:19. The fact is already in Revelation 19:13 after Isaiah 63:1.

Verse 16

And on his thigh (και επι τον μηρον αυτουkai epi ton mēron autou). “Even upon his thigh.” Old word, here alone in N.T.

King of kings, and Lord of lords (ασιλευς βασιλεων και Κυριος κυριωνBasileus basileōn kai Kurios kuriōn). The title already given to the Lamb in Revelation 17:14, but in reverse order. See the same idea in 1 Timothy 6:15.

Verse 17

An angel (ενα αγγελονhena aggelon). Like ειςheis in Revelation 18:21, just “an,” not “one.”

Standing in the sun (εστωτα εν τωι ηλιωιhestōta en tōi hēliōi). Second perfect active participle of ιστημιhistēmi (intransitive). “Where all the birds of prey would behold him” (Beckwith). For ορνεοιςorneois (birds) see Revelation 18:2 and for εν μεσουρανηματιen mesouranēmati (in mid heaven) see Revelation 18:13; Revelation 14:6.

Come and be gathered together (Δευτε συναχτητεDeute sunachthēte). ΔευτεDeute is the adverb δευρωdeurō (hither), used when two or more are addressed, possibly from δευρο ιτεdeuro ite (come here). Asyndeton also without καιkai (and). First aorist passive imperative of συναγωsunagō The metaphor is drawn from Ezekiel 39:17.

Unto the great supper of God (εις το δειπνον το μεγα του τεουeis to deipnon to mega tou theou). The habits of vultures are described by Christ in Matthew 24:28. This is a bold and powerful picture of the battlefield after the victory of the Messiah, “a sacrificial feast spread on God‘s table for all the vultures of the sky” (Swete). Is this battle the same as that of Har Magedon (Revelation 16:16) and that of Gog and Magog (Revelation 20:8.) mentioned after the thousand years? The language in Revelation 20:8. seems like this derived from Ezekiel 39:17., and “in the Apocalypse priority in the order of sequence does not always imply priority in time” (Swete). There seems no way to decide this point save that the end seems to be at hand.

Verse 18

That ye may eat (ινα παγητεhina phagēte). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the second aorist active subjunctive of εστιωesthiō flesh of kings (σαρκας βασιλεωνsarkas basileōn). “Pieces of flesh” (plural of σαρχsarx flesh) and of all classes and conditions of men who fell in the battle (Revelation 6:8; Revelation 11:13; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5; Revelation 20:12). War is no respecter of persons.

Verse 19

Gathered together (συνηγμεναsunēgmena). Perfect passive participle of συναγωsunagō In battle array.

To make war against (ποιησαι πολεμον μεταpoiēsai polemon meta). First aorist active infinitive of ποιεωpoieō to express purpose. See πολεμεω μεταpolemeō meta in Revelation 12:7 and the use of συναγω εις πολεμονsunagō eis polemon in Revelation 16:14; Revelation 20:8. The beast (for his army see Revelation 16:13.) led a league of ten kings against Babylon in Revelation 17:16., but with the purpose also of fighting the Lamb (Revelation 17:14).

Verse 20

Was taken (επιαστηepiasthē). First aorist (prophetic) passive indicative of the Doric πιαζωpiazō (Attic πιεζωpiezō). Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

The false prophet (ο πσευδοπροπητηςho pseudoprophētēs). Possibly the second beast of Revelation 13:11-17; Revelation 16:13; Revelation 20:10. Charles takes him to be “the priesthood of the Imperial cult, which practised all kinds of magic and imposture to beguile men to worship the Beast.”

That wrought the signs in his sight (ο ποιεσας τα σημεια ενωπιον αυτουho poiesas ta sēmeia enōpion autou). As in Revelation 13:14.

Wherewith (εν οιςen hois). “In which” signs.

He deceived (επλανησενeplanēsen). First aorist active indicative of πλαναωplanaō He was only able to deceive “them that had received” (τους λαβονταςtous labontas articular second aorist active participle of λαμβανωlambanō “those receiving”) “the mark of the beast” (Revelation 13:16; Revelation 14:9.; Revelation 16:2; Revelation 20:4) “and them that worshipped his image” (τους προσκυνουντας τηι εικονι αυτουtous proskunountas tēi eikoni autou) as in Revelation 13:15.

They twain (οι δυοhoi duo). “The two.”

Were cast (εβλητησανeblēthēsan). First aorist passive Indicative of βαλλωballō They fall together as they fought together. “The day that sees the end of a false statecraft will see also that of a false priestcraft” (Swete).

Alive (ζωντεςzōntes). Present active participle of ζαωzaō predicative nominative, “living.”

Into the lake of fire (εις την λιμνην του πυροςeis tēn limnēn tou puros). Genitive πυροςpuros describes this λιμνηνlimnēn (lake, cf. Luke 5:1) as it does γεενναgehenna in Matthew 5:22. See also Revelation 20:10; Revelation 21:8. It is a different figure from the “abyss” in Revelation 9:1; Revelation 20:1. This is the final abode of Satan, the beast, the false prophet, and wicked men.

That burneth with brimstone (της καιομενης εν τειωιtēs kaiomenēs en theiōi). Note the genitive here in place of the accusative λιμνηνlimnēn perhaps because of the intervening genitive πυροςpuros (neuter, not feminine). The agreement is regular in Revelation 21:8. For εν τειωιen theiōi (with brimstone) see Revelation 14:10; Revelation 20:10; Revelation 21:8. The fact of hell is clearly taught here, but the imagery is not to be taken literally any more than that of heaven in chapters Revelation 4:1-11; Revelation 5:1-14; 21; 22 is to be so understood. Both fall short of the reality.

Verse 21

The rest (οι λοιποιhoi loipoi). Of the enemy (the kings and their hosts of Revelation 19:19).

Were killed (απεκταντησανapektanthēsan). First aorist (effective) passive indicative of αποκτεινωapokteinō Those affected by the Caesar-worship (Revelation 14:9.) were not at once cast into the lake with the two beasts.

Were filled (εχορταστησανechortasthēsan). First aorist (effective) passive of χορταζωchortazō As they had been invited to do in Revelation 19:17.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 19:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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