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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Revelation 14



Other Authors
Verse 1

A lamb

Read “the lamb.” See Revelation 5:6.

Stood ( ἑστηκὸς )

The participle, standing, as Rev.

His Father's name

Add αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ ὄνομα Hisand the name, and render as Rev., His name and the name of His Father.

The Adoration of the Lamb is the subject of the great altar piece in the church of St. Bavon at Ghent, by John and Hubert Van Eyck. The scene is laid in a landscape. The background is formed by a Flemish city, probably intended to represent Jerusalem, and by churches and monasteries in the early Netherland style. The middle ground is occupied by trees, meadows, and green slopes. In the very center of the picture a square altar is hung with red damask and covered with a white cloth. Here stands a lamb, from whose breast a stream of blood issues into a crystal glass. Angels kneel round the altar with parti-colored wings and variegated dresses, many of them praying with joined hands, others holding aloft the emblems of the passion, two in front waving censers. From the right, behind the altar, issues a numerous band of female saints, all in rich and varied costumes, fair hair floating over their shoulders, and palms in their hands. Foremost may be noticed Sta. Barbara and Sta. Agnes. From the left advance popes, cardinals, bishops, monks, and minor clergy, with crosiers, crosses, and palms. In the center, near the base, a small octagonal fountain of stone projects a stream into a clear rill. Two groups are in adoration on each side of the fountain, - on the right, the twelve apostles kneeling barefoot, and an array of popes, cardinals, and bishops, with a miscellaneous crowd of church-people; on the left, kings and princes in various costumes. They are surrounded by a wilderness of flowering shrubs, lilies, and other plants. On the wings of the picture numerous worshippers move toward the place of worship, - crusaders, knights, kings, and princes, including the figures of the two artists on horseback. “Here, approaching from all sides, are seen that 'great multitude of all nations and hundreds and people and tongues' - the holy warriors and the holy pilgrims, coming in solemn processions from afar - with other throngs already arrived in the celestial plain, clothed in white robes, and holding palms in their hands. Their forms are like unto ours; the landscape around them is a mere transcript of the sweet face of our outer nature; the graceful wrought-iron fountain in the midst is such an one as still sends forth its streams in an ancient Flemish city; yet we feel these creatures to be beings from whose eyes God has wiped away all tears - who will hunger and thirst no more; our imagination invests these flowery meads with the peace and radiance of celestial precincts, while the streams of the fountain are converted into living waters, to which the Lamb Himself will lead His redeemed. Here, in short, where all is human and natural in form, the spiritual depths of our nature are stirred” (Mrs. Jameson, “History of Our Lord,” ii., 339).

Verse 2

And I heard the voice of harpers ( καὶ φωνὴν ἤκουσα κιθαρῳδῶν )

The correct reading is, καὶ ἡ φωνὴ ἣν ἤκουσα ὡς κιθαρῳδῶν andthe voice which I heard (was) as (the voice) of harpers. Κιθαρῳδός is from κιθάρα aharp (see on Revelation 5:8) and ᾠδός asinger. Properly, one who sings, accompanying himself on the harp.

Verse 3

Beasts ( ζώων )

Rev., living creatures. See on Revelation 4:6.

Redeemed ( ἠγορασμένοι )

Rev., correctly, purchased.

Verse 4

Were not defiled ( οὐκ ἐμολύνθησαν )

The verb means properly to besmear or besmirch, and is never used in a good sense, as μιαίνειν (John 18:28; Judges 1:8), which in classical Greek is sometimes applied to staining with color. See on 1 Peter 1:4.

Virgins ( παρθένοι )

Either celibate or living in chastity whether in married or single life. See 1 Corinthians 7:1-7, 1 Corinthians 7:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2.

First-fruits ( ἀπαρχὴ )

See on James 1:18.

Verse 5

Guile ( δόλος )

Read ψεῦδος lieWithout fault ( ἄμωμοι )

Rev., blemish. See on 1 Peter 1:19.

Before the throne of God


Verse 6

In the midst of heaven ( ἐν μεσουρανήματι )

Rev., in mid-heaven. See on Revelation 8:13.

The everlasting Gospel ( εὐαγγέλιον αἰώνιον )

No article. Hence Rev., an eternal Gospel. Milligan thinks this is to be understood in the same sense as prophesying (Revelation 10:11). Αἰώνιον includes more than mere duration in time. It is applied to that of which time is not a measure. As applied to the Gospel it marks its likeness to Him whose being is not bounded by time.

To preach unto ( εὐαγγελίσαι ἐπὶ )

Rev., proclaim, which is better, because more general and wider in meaning. Ἑπί which is omitted from the Rec. Tex. is over, throughout the extent of. Compare Matthew 24:14.

That dwell ( κατοικοῦντας )

Read καθημένους thatsit. So Rev., in margin. Compare Matthew 4:16; Luke 1:79.

Verse 8


Add δεύτερος asecond.

Is fallen ( ἔπεσεν )

Lit., fell. The prophetic aorist expressing the certainty of the fall. Compare Isaiah 21:9; Jeremiah 51:7, Jeremiah 51:8.

Verse 9

The third angel ( τρίτος ἄγγελος )

Add ἄλλος anotherRev., another angel, a third.

Verse 10

Poured out without mixture ( κεκερασμένου ἀκράτου )

Lit., which is mingled unmixed. From the universal custom of mixing wine with water for drinking, the word mingle came to be used in the general sense of prepare by putting into the cup. Hence, to pour out.

Cup of His anger

Compare Psalm 75:8.

Brimstone ( θείῳ )

Commonly taken as the neuter of θεῖος divine; that is, divine incense, since burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify and to avert contagion. By others it is referred to θύω toburn, and hence to sacrifice.

Verse 11

Torment ( βασανισμοῦ )

See on Matthew 4:23, Matthew 4:24; see vexed, 2 Peter 2:8.

Goeth up

See Isaiah 34:9, Isaiah 34:10; Genesis 19:28.

Rest ( ἀνάπαυσιν )

See on give rest, Matthew 11:28, and see on resteth, 1 Peter 4:14.

Verse 12

Here are they

Omit here are, and read, are, Rev., the patience of the saints, they that keep.

The faith of Jesus

Which has Jesus for its object.

Verse 13

Blessed ( μακάριοι )

See on Matthew 5:3.

From henceforth ( ἀπ ' ἄρτι )

See on John 13:33. To be joined as in A.V. and Rev., with die in the preceding clause, and not with blessed, nor with the following clause. Not from henceforth saith the Spirit. The meaning is variously explained. Some, from the beginning of the Christian age and onward to the end; others, from the moment of death, connecting henceforth with blessed; others from the time when the harvest of the earth is about to be reaped. Sophocles says: “Show all religious reverence to the gods, for all other things Father Zeus counts secondary; for the reward of piety follows men in death. Whether they live or die it passeth not away” (“Philoctetes,” 1441-1444).

That they may rest ( ἵνα ἀναπαύσωνται )

See on Matthew 11:28. The ἵνα thatgives the ground of the blessed.

Labors ( κόπων )

From κόπων tostrike. Hence to beat the breast in grief. Κόπος is, therefore, primarily, a smiting as a sign of sorrow, and then sorrow itself. As labor, it is labor which involves weariness and sorrow.

Follow them ( ἀκολουθεῖ μετ ' αὐτῶν )

Rather, accompany. Rev., follow with them. Compare Matthew 4:25; Mark 3:7, etc. See on John 1:43.

Verse 15

Thrust in ( πέμψον )

Lit., send. Rev., send forth.

Harvest ( θερισμὸς )

See on Luke 10:2.

Is ripe ( ἐξηράνθη )

Lit., was dried. Compare Mark 11:20; John 15:6. Rev., is over-ripe.

Verse 16

Thrust in ( ἔβαλεν )

Lit., cast.

Verse 17

Temple ( ναοῦ )

Properly, sanctuary. See on Matthew 4:5.

Verse 18

Altar ( θυσιαστηρίου )

See on Acts 17:23.

Which has power ( ἔξων ἐξουσίαν )

Lit., having power. Some texts add the article ὁ . So Rev., “he that hath power.”


In the Greek with the article, the fire.

Cry ( κραυγῇ )

See on Luke 1:42.

Thy sharp sickle

Lit., thy sickle, the sharp.

Gather ( τρύγησον )

From τρύγη drynessincluded in the notion of ripeness, and hence the vintage, harvest. The verb means therefore to gather ripe fruit. It occurs only in this chapter and in Luke 6:44.

Grapes ( σταφυλαὶ )

The noun in the singular means also a bunch of grapes.

Are fully ripe ( ἤκμασαν )

Only here in the New Testament. From ἀκμή , transcribed in acme, the highest point. Hence the verb means to reach the height of growth, to be ripe.

Verse 19

The great wine-press ( τὴν ληὸν τὸν μέγαν )

The Greek student will note the masculine adjective with the feminine noun, possibly because the gender of the noun is doubtful. The Rev., in rendering more literally, is more forcible: the wine-press, the great wine-press. See on Matthew 21:33.

Verse 20

Furlong ( σταδίων )

The furlong or stadium was 606 3/4English feet.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 14:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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