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Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, [1886], at

Revelation Chapter 16

Revelation 16:1

rev 16:1

The vials

Add seven.

Revelation 16:2

rev 16:2

And the first went

Each angel, as his turn comes, with draws (ὑπάγετε, see on Joh 6:21; see on Joh 8:21) from the heavenly scene.

There fell (ἐγένετο)

Lit., there came to pass. Rev., it became. Elliott, very aptly, there broke out.

Noisome and grievous (κακὸν καὶ πονηρὸν)

Similarly the two cognate nouns κακία and πονρία malice and wickedness occur together in Co1 5:8. Πονηρός emphasizes the activity of evil. See on Luk 3:19.

Sore (ἕλκος)

See on Luk 16:20. Compare the sixth Egyptian plague, Exo 9:8-12, where the Septuagint uses this word ἕλκος boil. Also of the boil or scab of leprosy, Lev 13:18; king Hezekiah's boil, Kg2 20:7; the botch of Egypt, Deu 28:27, Deu 28:35. In Job 2:7 (Sept.) the boils are described as here by πονηρός sore.

Revelation 16:3

rev 16:3

It became (ἐγένετο)

Or there came.


Compare Exo 7:19.

As of a dead man

Thick, corrupt, and noisome.

Living soul (ψυχὴ ζῶσα)

The best texts read ψυχὴ ζωῆς soul of life.

Revelation 16:4

rev 16:4

The third angel

Omit angel.

They became (ἐγένετο)

There is no necessity for rendering the singular verb in the plural. We may say either it became or there came.

Revelation 16:5

rev 16:5

The angel of the waters

Set over the waters as other angels over the winds (Rev 7:1) and over the fire (Rev 14:18).

O Lord


And shalt be

Following the reading ὁ ἐσόμενος. Read ὁ ὅσιος Thou Holy One.

Thou didst thus judge (παῦτα ἔκρινας)

Lit., Thou didst judge these things.

Revelation 16:6

rev 16:6

For they are worthy

Omit for.

Revelation 16:7

rev 16:7

Another out of the altar

Omit another out of, and read, as Rev., I heard the altar. The altar personified. Compare Rev 6:9, where the souls of the martyrs are seen under the altar and cry how long.


Add the article: the Almighty.

Revelation 16:8

rev 16:8

The fourth angel

Omit angel.

Power was given (ἐδόθη)

Rev., it was given.

With fire (ἐν πυρί)

Lit., "in fire." The element in which the scorching takes place.

Revelation 16:9

rev 16:9

Repent to give Him glory

Glorify Him by repentance.

His kingdom was darkened

Compare Exo 10:21, Exo 10:22.

They gnawed (ἐμασσῶντο)

Only here in the New Testament.

For pain (ἐκ τοῦ πόνου)

Strictly, from their pain. Their, the force of the article τοῦ.

Revelation 16:12

rev 16:12


See on Rev 9:14.

Of the east (ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνατολῶν ἡλίου)

Lit., as Rev., from the sunrising. See on Mat 2:2; and see on dayspring, Luk 1:78.

Revelation 16:13

rev 16:13


Possibly with reference to Exo 8:1-14.

Revelation 16:14

rev 16:14

Of the earth and of the whole world

Omit of the earth and.

World (οἰκουμέης)

See on Luk 2:1.

The battle (πόλεμον)

Rev., more literally, war. Battle is μάχη.

That great day (ἐκείνης)

Omit. Read, as Rev., "the great day."

Revelation 16:15

rev 16:15

Behold - shame

These words are parenthetical.

As a thief

Compare Mat 24:43; Luk 12:39; Th1 5:2, Th1 5:4; Pe2 3:10.

Watcheth (γρηρορῶν)

See on Mar 13:35; see on Pe1 5:8.

Keepeth his garments

"During the night the captain of the Temple made his rounds. On his approach the guards had to rise and salute him in a particular manner. Any guard found asleep when on duty was beaten, or his garments were set on fire. The confession of one of the Rabbins is on record that, on a certain occasion, his own maternal uncle had actually undergone the punishment of having his clothes set on fire by the captain of the Temple" (Edersheim, "The Temple," etc.).

Shame (ἀσχημοσύνην)

Only here and Rom 1:27. From ἀ not and σχῆμα fashion. Deformity, unseemliness; nearly answering to the phrase not in good form.

Revelation 16:16

rev 16:16


The proper Greek form Ἃρ Μαγεδών. The word is compounded of the Hebrew Har mountain, and Megiddon or Megiddo: the mountain of Megiddo. On Megiddo standing alone see Jdg 1:27; Kg1 4:12; Kg1 9:15; Kg2 9:27. See also Jdg 5:19; Zac 12:11; Ch2 35:22; Kg2 23:30. "Bounded as it is by the hills of Palestine on both north and south, it would naturally become the arena of war between the lowlanders who trusted in their chariots, and the Israelite highlanders of the neighboring heights. To this cause mainly it owes its celebrity, as the battle-field of the world, which has, through its adoption into the language of Revelation, passed into an universal proverb. If that mysterious book proceeded from the hand of a Galilean fisherman, it is the more easy to understand why, with the scene of those many battles constantly before him, he should have drawn the figurative name of the final conflict between the hosts of good and evil, from the 'place which is called in the Hebrew tongue Harmagedon'" (Stanley, "Sinai and Palestine").

Megiddo was in the plain of Esdraelon, "which has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in Palestine from the days of Nabuchodonozor king of Assyria, unto the disastrous march of Napoleon Buonaparte from Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Christian crusaders, and anti Christian Frenchmen; Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors of every nation that is under heaven, have pitched their tents on the plain of Esdraelon, and have beheld the banners of their nation wet with the dews of Tabor and Hermon" ("Clarke's Travels," cit. by Lee). See Thomson's "Land and Book" (Central Palestine and Phoenicia), p. 208 sqq.; and Stanley, "Sinai and Palestine," ch. ix.

Two great slaughters at Megiddo are mentioned in the Old Testament; the first celebrated in the Song of Deborah (Jdg 5:19), and the second, that in which king Josiah fell (Kg2 23:29). Both these may have been present to the seer's mind; but the allusion is not to any particular place or event. "The word, like Euphrates, is the expression of an idea; the idea that swift and overwhelming destruction shall overtake all who gather themselves together against the Lord" (Milligan).

Revelation 16:17

rev 16:17

Temple of heaven

Omit of heaven.

Revelation 16:21

rev 16:21


See Exo 9:18.

Every stone about the weight of a talent (ὡς ταλαντίαια)

The adjective, meaning of a talent's weight, agrees with hail; hail of a talent's weight; i.e., having each stone of that weight. Every stone is therefore explanatory, and not in the text. Hailstones are a symbol of divine wrath. See Isa 30:30; Eze 13:11. Compare Jos 10:11.

Next: Revelation Chapter 17