Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Revelation 19:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I heard a great voice of much people in heaven - The idolatrous city being destroyed, and the blood of the martyred saints being avenged, there is a universal joy among the redeemed of the Lord, which they commence with the word יה הללו Hallelu, praise ye Jah or Jehovah; which the Septuagint, and St. John from them, put into Greek letters thus: Αλληλουΐα, Allelou-ia, a form of praise which the heathens appear to have borrowed from the Jews, as is evident from their paeans, or hymns in honor of Apollo, which began and ended with ελελευ ιη, eleleu ie ; a mere corruption of the Hebrew words. It is worthy of remark that the Indians of North America have the same word in their religious worship, and use it in the same sense. "In their places of worship, or beloved square, they dance sometimes for a whole night always in a bowing posture, and frequently singing halleluyah Ye ho wah; praise ye Yah, Ye ho vah:" probably the true pronunciation of the Hebrew יהוה , which we call Jehovah. See Adair's History of the American Indians.

Salvation - He is the sole author of deliverance from sin; the glory of this belongs to him, the honor should be ascribed to him, and his power is that alone by which it is effected.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And after these things - The things particularly that were exhibited in the previous chapter. See the notes on Revelation 18:1.

I heard a great voice of much people in heaven - The voice of the worshippers before the throne.

Saying, Alleluia - The Greek method of writing “Hallelujah.” This word - ἀλληλούΐα allēlouia- occurs in the New Testament only in this chapter, Revelation 19:1, Revelation 19:3-4, Revelation 19:6. The Hebrew phrase - הללוּ יה haleluw Yah“Hallelujah” - occurs often in the Old Testament. It means, properly, “Praise Yahweh,” or “Praise the Lord.” The occasion on which it is introduced here is very appropriate. It is uttered by the inhabitants of heaven, in the immediate presence of God himself, and in view of the final overthrow of the enemies of the church, and the triumph of the gospel. In such circumstances it was fit that heaven should render praise, and that a song of thanksgiving should be uttered in which all holy beings could unite.

Salvation - That is, the salvation is to be ascribed to God. See the notes on Revelation 7:10.

And glory, and honour - notes on Revelation 5:12.

And power - notes on Revelation 5:13.

Unto the Lord our God - That is, all that there is of honor, glory, power, in the redemption of the world belongs to God, and should be ascribed to him. This is expressive of the true feelings of piety always; this will constitute the song of heaven.

Uriah Smith
Daniel and the Revelation, 680

Verse 1

CONTINUING the subject of chapter 18, the apostle here introduces the song of triumph which the redeemed saints strike up on victor harps, when they behold the complete destruction of that great system of opposition to God and his true worship comprehended in great Babylon. This destruction takes place, and this song is sung, in connection with the second coming of Christ at the commencement of the thousand years.DAR 680.2

Forever and Ever. — There can but one query arise on this scripture, and that is how it can be said that her smoke rose up forever and ever. Does not this language imply eternity of suffering? Let it be remembered that this is borrowed language; and to gain a correct understanding of it, we must go back to its first introduction, and consider its import as there used. In Isaiah 34 will be found the language from which, in all probability, such expressions as these are borrowed. Under the figure of Idumea, a certain destruction is brought to view; and it is said of that land that its streams should be turned into pitch, its dust into brimstone, that it should become burning pitch, and not be quenched night nor day, but that its smoke should go up forever. Now this language is spoken, as all must concede, of one of two things; either of the particular country called Idumea, or of the whole earth under that name. In either case it is evident that the language must be limited. Probably the whole earth is meant, from the fact that the chapter opens with an address to the earth and all that is therein, the world and all that come forth of it; and the indignation of the Lord is declared to be upon all nations. Now, whether this refers to the depopulation and desolation of the earth at the second advent, or to the purifying fires that shall purge it of the effects of the curse at the end of the thousand years, the language must still be limited; for after all this, a renovated earth is to come forth, to be the abode of the nations of the saved throughout eternity. Three times this expression of smoke going up forever is used in the Bible: once here in Isaiah 34, of the land of Idumea as a figure of the earth; in Revelation 14 (which see), of the worshipers of the beast and his image; and again in the chapter we are now considering, referring to the destruction of great Babylon; and all of them apply to the very same time, and describe the same scenes; namely, the destruction visited upon this earth, the worshipers of the beast, and all the pomp of great Babylon, at the second advent of our Lord and Saviour.DAR 680.3

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Praising God for what we have, is praying for what is yet further to be done for us. There is harmony between the angels and the saints in this triumphant song. Christ is the Bridegroom of his ransomed church. This second union will be completed in heaven; but the beginning of the glorious millennium (by which is meant a reign of Christ, or a state of happiness, for a thousand years on earth) may be considered as the celebration of his espousals on earth. Then the church of Christ, being purified from errors, divisions, and corruptions, in doctrine, discipline, worship, and practice, will be made ready to be publicly owned by him as his delight and his beloved. The church appeared; not in the gay, gaudy dress of the mother of harlots, but in fine linen, clean and white. In the robes of Christ's righteousness, imputed for justification, and imparted for sanctification. The promises of the gospel, the true sayings of God, opened, applied, and sealed by the Spirit of God, in holy ordinances, are the marriage-feast. This seems to refer to the abundant grace and consolation Christians will receive in the happy days which are to come. The apostle offered honour to the angel. The angel refused it. He directed the apostle to the true and only object of religious worship; to worship God, and him alone. This plainly condemns the practice of those who worship the elements of bread and wine, and saints, and angels; and of those who do not believe that Christ is truly and by nature God, yet pay him a sort of worship. They stand convicted of idolatry by a messenger from heaven. These are the true sayings of God; of Him who is to be worshipped, as one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 645-6

The living righteous are changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels “gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God. GC 645.1

On each side of the cloudy chariot are wings, and beneath it are living wheels; and as the chariot rolls upward, the wheels cry, “Holy,” and the wings, as they move, cry, “Holy,” and the retinue of angels cry, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.” And the redeemed shout, “Alleluia!” as the chariot moves onward toward the New Jerusalem. GC 645.2

Before entering the City of God, the Saviour bestows upon His followers the emblems of victory and invests them with the insignia of their royal state. The glittering ranks are drawn up in the form of a hollow square about their King, whose form rises in majesty high above saint and angel, whose countenance beams upon them full of benignant love. Throughout the unnumbered host of the redeemed every glance is fixed upon Him, every eye beholds His glory whose “visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” Upon the heads of the overcomers, Jesus with His own right hand places the crown of glory. For each there is a crown, bearing his own “new name” (Revelation 2:17), and the inscription, “Holiness to the Lord.” In every hand are placed the victor's palm and the shining harp. Then, as the commanding angels strike the note, every hand sweeps the harp strings with skillful touch, awaking sweet music in rich, melodious strains. Rapture unutterable thrills every heart, and each voice is raised in grateful praise: “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” Revelation 1:5, 6. GC 645.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 432

The words will soon be spoken, “Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.” One of the ministers of vengeance declares. “And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because Thou hast judged thus.” These heavenly beings, in executing the mandate of God, ask no questions, but do as they are bid. Jehovah of hosts, the Lord God Almighty, the just, the true, and the holy, has given them their work to do. With unswerving fidelity they go forth panoplied in pure white linen, having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And when their task is done, when the last vial of God's wrath is poured out, they return and lay their emptied vials at the feet of the Lord. TM 432.1

And the next scene is recorded, “After these things ... I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.” They sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. TM 432.2

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