Matthew Henry Complete

Commentary on The Revelation

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Chapter 7

The things contained in this chapter came in after the opening of the six seals, which foretold great calamities in the world; and before the sound of the seven trumpets, which gave notice of great corruptions arising in the church: between these comes in this comfortable chapter, which secures the graces and comforts of the people of God in times of common calamity. We have,

  1. An account of the restraint laid upon the winds (v. 1-3).
  2. The sealing of the servants of God (v. 4-8).
  3. The songs of angels and saints on this occasion (v. 9?12).
  4. A description of the honour and happiness of those who had faithfully served Christ, and suffered for him (v. 13, etc.).

Verses 1-12 Here we have,

I. An account of the restraint laid upon the winds. By these winds we suppose are meant those errors and corruptions in religion which would occasion a great deal of trouble and mischief to the church of God. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is compared to the wind: here the spirits of error are compared to the four winds, contrary one to another, but doing much hurt to the church, the garden and vineyard of God, breaking the branches and blasting the fruits of his plantation. The devil is called the prince of the power of the air; he, by a great wind, overthrew the house of Job’s eldest son. Errors are as wind, by which those who are unstable are shaken, and carried to and fro, Eph. 4:14. Observe,

II. An account of the sealing of the servants of God, where observe,

III. We have the songs of saints and angels on this occasion, v. 9?12, where observe,

Verses 13-17 Here we have a description of the honour and happiness of those who have faithfully served the Lord Jesus Christ, and suffered for him. Observe,

I. A question asked by one of the elders, not for his own information, but for John’s instruction: ministers may learn from the people, especially from aged and experienced Christians; the lowest saint in heaven knows more than the greatest apostle in the world. Now the question has two parts:—

II. The answer returned by the apostle, in which he tacitly acknowledges his own ignorance, and sues to this elder for information: Thou knowest. Those who would gain knowledge must not be ashamed to own their ignorance, nor to desire instruction from any that are able to give it.

III. The account given to the apostle concerning that noble army of martyrs who stood before the throne of God in white robes, with palms of victory in their hands: and notice is taken here of,


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