Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
Read ὅταν, the indefinite particle with the indicative mood. For a similar construction, see Mar 11:19 (correct reading). Alford observes that it occurs in the opening of this seal only, giving it an indefiniteness which does not belong to any of the rest.
There was (ἐγένετο)
More literally, come to pass. Rev., there followed.
A usual form of expression with John. See Joh 1:39; Joh 6:19; Joh 11:18.
Rev., correctly, stand.
See on Rev 1:10.
At the altar (ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον)
The best texts read θυσιαστηρίου, which justifies the Rev., "over the altar." For altar, see on Rev 6:9. Interpreters differ as to whether the altar meant is the brazen altar, as in Rev 6:9, or the altar of incense, as in Rev 9:13. There seems to be no reason for changing the reference from the brazen altar (see on Rev 6:9), especially as both altars are mentioned in this verse. The officiating priest in the tabernacle or temple took the fire for his censer from the brazen altar, and then offered the incense upon the golden altar.
See on Rev 5:8.
See on Rev 5:8.
Offer it with the prayers (δώσῃ ταῖς προσευχαῖς)
Lit., should give it unto the prayers. Rev., add it unto the prayers. So that the prayers and the incense might ascend together. Προσευχή is always used of prayer to God.
The altar of incense. Exo 30:1-6; Exo 39:38.
Which came with the prayers
An awkward rendering, followed by Rev., though with the omission of the italicized which came. The construction is ἀνέβη went up, with the dative case, to the prayers. "The ascending smoke had reference to the prayers, was designed to accompany them and render them more acceptable" (Winer).
Of the saints (τῶν ἁγίων)
See on Act 26:10.
Lit., hath taken. So Rev., in margin.
With the fire (ἐκ τοῦ πυρὸς)
Lit., "from or out off the fire," i.e., the coals or hot ashes. For ἐκ out off see on Rev 2:7.
Cast it into the earth
See Eze 10:2; Luk 12:49.
To sound (ἵνα σαλπίσωσιν)
Lit., that they should blow the trumpets. Raised their trumpets to their mouths in act to blow.
The first angel
Hail and fire mingled with blood (χάλαζα καὶ πῦρ μεμιγμένα αἵματι)
Insert ἐν in before αἵματι blood. Instead of "with blood" as A.V., and Rev., we should render "in blood." The hailstones and fire-balls fell in a shower of blood. Compare the account of the plague of fire and hail in Egypt (Exo 9:24) to which the reference is here, where the Septuagint reads and there was hail and the fire flaming in the hail. Compare Joe 2:30.
And the third part of the earth was burnt up
This is added by the best texts.
See on pale, Rev 6:8.
As it were (ὡς)
Not a mountain, but a fiery mass so large as to resemble one.
Reminding of the first plague in Egypt (Exo 7:20, Exo 7:21).
See on Jo3 1:2.
See on Luk 5:2.
Rev., torch. See on Rev 4:5.
Used metaphorically in the Old Testament of the idolatry of Israel (Deu 29:18); of calamity and sorrow (Jer 9:15; Jer 23:15; Lam 3:15, Lam 3:19); of false judgment (Amo 5:7).
An angel (ἑνὸς ἀγγέλου)
For angel read ἀετοῦ eagle. Lit., one eagle. The eagle is a symbol of vengeance in Deu 28:49; Hos 8:1; Hab 1:8.
Mid heaven (μεσουρανήματι)
Only in Revelation, here, Rev 14:6; Rev 19:17. It means, properly, the meridian, the highest point in the heavens which the sun occupies at noon; not the space between heaven and earth.