Matthew Henry Complete

Commentary on The Revelation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Chapter 14

After an account of the great trials and sufferings which the servants of God had endured, we have now a more pleasant scene opening; the day begins now to dawn, and here we have represented,

  1. The Lord Jesus at the head of his faithful followers (v. 1-5).
  2. Three angels sent successively to proclaim the fall of Babylon and the things antecedent and consequent to so great an event (v. 6–13).
  3. The vision of the harvest (v. 14, etc.).

Verses 1-5 Here we have one of the most pleasing sights that can be viewed in this world—the Lord Jesus Christ at the head of his faithful adherents and attendants. Here observe,

Verses 6-12 In this part of the chapter we have three angels or messengers sent from heaven to give notice of the fall of Babylon, and of those things that were antecedent and consequent to that great event.

I. The first angel was sent on an errand antecedent to it, and that was to preach the everlasting gospel, v. 6, 7. Observe,

II. The second angel follows the other, and proclaims the actual fall of Babylon. The preaching of the everlasting gospel had shaken the foundations of antichristianism in the world, and hastened its downfall. By Babylon is generally understood Rome, which was before called Sodom and Egypt, for wickedness and cruelty, and is now first called Babylon, for pride and idolatry. Observe,

III. A third angel follows the other two, and gives warning to all of that divine vengeance which would overtake all those that obstinately adhered to the antichristian interest after God had thus proclaimed its downfall, v. 9, 10. If after this (this threatening denounced against Babylon, and in part already executed) any should persist in their idolatry, professing subjection to the beast and promoting his cause, they must expect to drink deep of the wind of the wrath of God; they shall be for ever miserable in soul and body; Jesus Christ will inflict this punishment upon them, and the holy angels will behold it and approve of it. Idolatry, both pagan and papal, is a damning sin in its own nature, and will prove fatal to those who persist in it, after fair warning given by the word of Providence; those who refuse to come out of Babylon, when thus called, and resolve to partake of her sins, must receive of her plagues; and the guilt and ruin of such incorrigible idolaters will serve to set forth the excellency of the patience and obedience of the saints. These graces shall be rewarded with salvation and glory. When the treachery and rebellion of others shall be punished with everlasting destruction, then it will be said, to the honour of the faithful (v. 12): Here is the patience of the saints; you have before seen their patience exercised, now you see it rewarded.

Verses 13-20 Here we have the vision of the harvest and vintage, introduced with a solemn preface. Observe,

I. The preface, v. 13. Here note,

II. We have the vision itself, represented by a harvest and a vintage.


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