Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
These things (ταῦτα)
Read τοῦτο this.
Holding fast or firmly. See on Mar 7:3; see on Act 3:11.
East (ἀνατολῆς ἡλίου)
Rev., more literally, the sunrising. See on Mat 2:2; see on Luk 1:78. Compare Eze 43:2.
The four angels
Compare Mat 24:31.
In their foreheads
Compare Exo 28:36-38; Eze 9:4.
An hundred and forty and four thousand
Not literally, but the number symbolical of fixedness and full completion (12 x 12). The interpretations, as usual, vary greatly, dividing generally into two great classes: one holding that only Jews are meant, the other including the whole number of the elect both Jew and Gentile. Of the former class some regard the sealed as representing Jewish believers chosen out of the literal Israel. Others add to this the idea of these as forming the nucleus of glorified humanity to which the Gentiles are joined. Others again regard them as Jews reserved by God until Antichrist comes, to maintain in the bosom of their nation a true belief in Jehovah and His law, like the seven thousand in the days of Elijah.
The interpretation of the latter class seems entitled to the greater weight. According to the Apocalyptic usage, Jewish terms are "christianized and heightened in their meaning, and the word "Israel" is to be understood of all Christians, the blessed company of all faithful people, the true Israel of God." See Rom 2:28, Rom 2:29; Rom 9:6, Rom 9:7; Gal 6:16; Phi 3:3. The city of God, which includes all believers, is designated by the Jewish name, New Jerusalem. In Rev 7:3, the sealed are designated generally as the servants of God. In chapter 14 the one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed are mentioned after the description of the enemies of Christ, who have reference to the whole Church of Christ; and the mention of the sealed is followed by the world-wide harvest and vintage of the earth. The one hundred and forty-four thousand in chapter 14, have the Father's name written in their foreheads; and in Rev 22:4, all the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem are so marked. In Rev 21:12, the twelve tribes include all believers. The mark of Satan which is in the forehead, is set upon all his servants without distinction of race. See Rev 13:16, Rev 13:17; Rev 14:9; Rev 16:2; Rev 19:20; Rev 20:4. The plagues threaten both Jews and Gentiles, as the sealing protects all.
This vision belongs to heaven, while the sealing took place on earth.
See on Rev 3:5.
See on Rev 6:11.
"The ancient scriptures and the new
The mark establish, and this shows it me,
Of all the souls whom God hath made His friends.
Isaiah saith that each one garmented
In His own land shall be with twofold garments,
And his own land is this delightful life.
Thy brother, too, far more explicitly,
There where he treateth of the robes of white,
This revelation manifests to us."
Dante, "Paradiso," xxv., 88-96.
Properly, palm-trees, but used here of palm-branches. Not a heathen but a Jewish image drawn probably from the Feast of Tabernacles. See on Joh 7:2.
The correct reading is κράζουσιν they cry. So Rev.
The praise of salvation, ascribing salvation to God.
Rev., more correctly, were standing. The tense is the pluperfect, used in this verb as an imperfect.
On the doxologies, see on Rev 1:6.
In the sense of taking up speech in connection with some given occasion, as Mat 11:25. See also on Joh 2:18.
What are these, etc.
The Rev., properly, follows the Greek order, which places first "These which are arrayed in the white robes, who are they?" emphatic and indicating the natural order of the thought as it presents itself to the inquirer. For what, render who, as Rev.
I said (εἴρηκα)
Lit., I have said. Rev., renders by the present, I say. See on cried, Joh 1:15.
Add μου my, and render, as Rev., my Lord. An address of reverence as to a heavenly being. See on Mat 21:3.
Which came (οἱ ἐρχόμενοι)
The present participle. Hence, as Rev., which come.
Out of great tribulation (ἐκ τῆς θλίψεως τῆς μεγάλης)
Lit., out of the tribulation, the great (tribulation). Rev., properly, gives the force of the article, "the great." See on Mat 13:21.
Have washed (ἔπλυναν)
The aorist tense. Rev., correctly, they washed. Only here and Luk 5:2, on which see note. For the New Testament words for washing, see on Act 16:33.
Made them white
Compare Isa 1:18; Psa 51:7; Mar 9:3. Milligan remarks that robes are the expression of character, and compares the word habit used of dress.
Because of this washing.
Before the throne
Compare Eph 5:27.
See on Luk 1:74. In scripture the verb never expresses any other service but that of the true God, or of the gods of heathenism.
Or sanctuary. See on Mat 4:5.
From σκηνή a tent or tabernacle. Hence better, as Rev., shall spread His tabernacle. See on Joh 1:14, and compare Lev 26:11; Isa 4:5, Isa 4:6; Eze 37:27.
They shall hunger no more, etc.
Compare Isa 49:10.
In Isa 49:10, the word καύσων the scorching wind or sirocco is used. See on Mat 20:12; see on Jam 1:11.
In the midst (ἀνά μεσον)
See on Rev 5:6.
Shall feed (ποιμανεῖ)
See on shall be shepherd of, Mat 2:6; see on Act 20:28; see on Pe1 5:2. Compare Psa 23:1.
Shall lead (ὁδηγήσει)
See on Luk 6:39.
Living fountains of waters (ζώσας πηγὰς ὑδάτων)
For the participle living, read ζωῆς of life, and render as Rev., fountains of waters of life. Compare Psa 23:2. In the Greek order, of life stands first as emphatic.
All tears (πᾶν δάκρυον)
Rev., correctly, every tear. Compare Isa 25:8.