« PreviousContinue »
4 Who shall not fear thee, for thou only art holy: for all O Lord, and glorify thy name ? nations shall come and worship and the children of Israel, when the of the state. But it is also put for Egyptian hosts were drowned. They the wonderful displays of the power are visible every day. They were of God in overcoming and punishing visible to the revelator. He did not his enemies. Hence the plagues he consider them as far distant, but sent upon Egypt were judgments. near; they were not prospective, but “Wherefore say unto the children of present. “Thy judgments ARE MADE Israel, I am the Lord, and I will MANIFEST." Does this seem as if the bring you out from under the burdens revelator believed the judgments of of the Egyptians, and I will rid you God were postponed to eternity? The out of their bondage, and I will judgments of the Apocalypse are rep- redeem you with a stretched-out arm, resented as being come, or about to and with great judgments;" Exod.
" Thy wrath is come, and the vi. 6. The judgments with which God time of the dead that they should be redeemed Israel were the remarkable judged;" Rev. xi. 18. * The hour manifestations of his power in wonof his judgment is COME ;' xiv. 7. drously preserving them against their See the notes at large on vi. 10, but enemies, and in opening their way to more especially xi. 18, and xiv. 7. the promised land. These wonderful Our notes on those passages will works they celebrated and praised as fully reveal our opinions of the Bible righteous, just and true. They were doctrine of judgment, formed after a prominent facts in the history of the very careful and we trust unbiassed people ; and, in all after ages, were study of that holy volume. In addi- celebrated as the righteous judgments tion to what is said there, we would of God. The rectitude of them was have it distinctly remembered, that continually asserted. - The judgunder the Old Testament, God is rep-ments of the Lord are true and resented as the Judge. He is the righteous altogether;" Psa. xix. 9. judge of all the earth ;" Gen. xviii. So in the song of Moses, in which he 25; Psa. vii. 11; l. 6; lxviii. 5; celebrated the deliverance of Israel lxxv. 7; Eccl. iii. '17. “Verily he is from the hands of the Egyptians, he a God that judgeth in the earth ," Psa. insists on the rectitude of the judglviii. 11. Under the gospel reign, ments. 6 Who is like unto thee, O Jesus was appointed, as the agent of Lord, among the gods ? who is like the Father, the judge of the world. thee, glorious in holiness, fearful As such he was ordained of God; in praises, doing wonders ? Thou Acts x. 42. “For the Father judgeth stretchedst out thy right hand, the
man; but hath committed all earth swallowed them. Thou in thy judgment unto the Son ;” John v. 22. mercy hast led forth the people which Jesus throughout the New Testament thou hast redeemed : thou hast guided appears as the judge; Matt. xvi. 27, them in thy strength unto thy holy 28; Matt. xxv. 31–34 ; Rev. xix. habitation ;" Exod. xv. 11–13. These 11. The splendid metaphors in the judgments are in the Apocalypse Apocalypse, of Jesus riding forth to made metaphors of the judgments of put down his enemies, refer to him as God upon Rome; and the song of the judge of the nations during the Moses becomes a song for the Chrisgospel reign. The word judgments, / tians delivered from the hands of we are aware, has different significa- their persecutors, who sing, “Great tions in the word of God. It some- and marvellous are thy works, Lord times siguifies God's laws, or statutes, God Almighty ; just and true are thy as we should call the laws of Massa- ways, thou King of saints. Who chusetts the judgments or ordinances shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glo
before thee; for thy judgments 5 And after that I looked, are made manifest.
and behold, the temple of the rify thy name? for thou only art pillar of fire that guided them by holy: for all nations shall come and night. " And on the day that the worship before thee; for thy judg- tabernacle was reared up, the cloud ments are made manifest ;" xv. 3, 4. covered the tabernacle, namely, the And the judgments which are found tent of the testimony: and at even described in the subsequent chapters there was upon the tabernacle as it of the Apocalypse are those which were the appearance of fire, until the are here referred to, viz., the judg. morning. So it was always: the ments which were sent upon the cloud covered it by day, and the Roman persecutors of the church, appearance of fire by night;" Numb. whose punishments were so strikingly ix. 15, 16. This was the manifesta. described in xiv. 9–11, 14—20. See tion of the divine presence; and by it xvi 5—7; xvii. 1; xviii. 8—10; xix. the people knew when to tarry and 2 ; xx. 12, 13. That they were tem- when to go forward. If the cloud poral judgments, and not judgments moved, they moved; if the cloud in eternity, will be made abundantly remained stationary, they remained evident in the notes on those passages. in their tents. We see, then, why
5. Temple of the tabernacle of the the temple was called the temtestimony. – By temple of the taberna- ple of the tabernacle of the testi. cle was doubtless meant the temple mony," viz., because that, above that had stood on mount Zion. Gen- everything else, made the temple the erally, by the word temple, was place of reverence and worship. intended the whole edifice, with its | In heaven. — The verse we are now walls and outer courts. But what considering, it seems to us, has referwas all the rest in the sight of the ence to xi. 19: “And the temple of Jews, compared with the inner tem- God was opened in heaven, and there ple, the ark, the “tabernacle of the was seen in his temple (what could testimony ?" The ark was called the be no longer seen on earth] the ark ark of testimony, because it contained of his testament.” We refer the reader the tables of the law; so the taber- to our notes on that verse. He will nacle was called the tabernacle of the see, in the 11th chapter, which contestimony, because in that tent the cludes the second principal division tables of the law were kept. — (Cal of the Apocalypse, and finishes the met's Dic., under Testimony.) _This account of the destruction of the was the ark of the covenant ; Exod. Jews, that the spiritual kingdom of the xxv. 10—22; or ark of the testi- Messiah was fully established upon mony; Idem, 16. The mercy-seat the ruins of Judaism. The kingdoms was upon the ark, and the cherubim of this world became the kingdoms of were there. " There will I meet with the Lord and of his Christ; xi. 15; and thee, (said God to Moses,) and I will he commenced to reign in power. At commune with thee from above the that time he took upon him his great mercy-seat, from between the two power and reigned ; 17. And as the cherubims which are upon the ark of outward temple on Zion was thus the testimony, of all things which I destroyed, God's peculiar presence will give thee in commandment unto was removed from the place up to the children of Israel ;" Idem, 22. heaven ; and hence it was said the This, then, was most precious and temple of God was opened in heaven, sacred in the eyes of the Jews. As it and there was seen in his temple the was the supposed place of the divine ark of his testament, xi. 19, or, which presence, there stood the cloud that is the same thing, the tabernacle of guided the people by day, and the the testimony.” Men should hence.
tabernacle of the testimony in seven plagues, clothed in pure heaven was opened :
and white linen, and having 6 And the seven angels came their breasts girded with golden out of the temple, having the girdles. forth no longer worship God on Zion, no longer remained a temple on earth. or Gerizim; but the true worshippers But in every place he would dwell in every place should worship him in with the contrite. The law was suc. spirit and in truth. Thus, in the sight ceeded by the covenant of the gospel, of the revelator, the temple was re- and this was to be regarded henceforth moved to the dwelling-place of God; as "the tabernacle of God;” xxi. 3. but he would vouchsafe his heavenly 6. Came out of the temple. — It was or spiritual presence to all humble so customary with the Jews to draw worshippers everywhere. The Jews their sacred images from the temple, unquestionably_looked upon heaven that John still continued the practice, as a place. "For thus saith the high although the edifice was destroyed. and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, Of the temple that once stood on Zion, whose name is Holy ; I dwell in the he saw a likeness in heaven, and high and holy place ;" Isaiah lvii. 15. angels came out of it, as the priests This was supposed by the Jews to be used to come out of the building on the place of God's special presence. earth. (Having the seven plagues. Nevertheless, they held that God could - The same plagues which had been so manifest himself to men on earth, mentioned verse 1, in which was as to justify the belief that he was filled up the wrath of God. See xv. present with them, although not seen 1,7,8; xvi. 1; xvii. 1. These angels by outward eyes. He was present were executors of the divine will in with Jacob, when on his way towards pouring out the plagues upon the Haran : “Surely the Lord is in this earth, as we shall see when we come place; and I knew it not. And he to the next chapter. Clothed in was afaid, and said, How dreadful is pure and white linen. White was the this place! this is none other but the color of honor ; iii. 4, 5, 18; iv. 4; vi. house of God, and this is the gate of 11; vii. 9, 13, 14. These seven heaven;" Gen. xxviii. 16, 17. This angels, coming out of the temple like shows that the belief that God could priests, are of course clothed in the be spiritually present with men on habits of priests. | Golden girdles. earth, although his dwelling-place This was the habit of the priests. was in heaven, existed from the ear- They were girded over their breasts liest antiquity. Afterward God dwelt with girdles, composed in part of gold. with the Jews. He accompanied them" And the curious girdle of the ephod through the wilderness, in the ark. which is upon it, shall be of the same, He dwelt in Zion, whither the people according to the work thereof; even went to appear before God; Psalms of gold, of blue, and purple, and lxxxiv. 7. The Jews supposed his scarlet, and fine twined linen;" Exod. presence was there in a sense in which xxviii. 8. See our remarks on Rev. it was manifested nowhere else on i. 13. earth; and there it continued until 7. Four beasts. — The translation of the temple was destroyed, when the the word zoa should not be beasts, Shekinah departed. The God, how- but living creatures. They were not ever, still remained to bless all the beasts; but a kind of fabulous beings, nations of the earth. He changed remarkable for their intelligence, revnot; it was the form of his presence erence, and constancy: The word only that was changed. His temple for wild beast is not the word that was opened in heaven; that is, there occurs here, but therion, which was
7 And one of the four beasts / wrath of God, who liveth for gave unto the seven angels ever and ever. seven golden vials full of the 8 And the temple was filled applied to the beast in Rev. xiii. The 8. And the temple. — John still has four beasts are mentioned first, ch. his eye on the image of the temple in iv. 6. If the reader wishes to know heaven. See the note on verse 5. what they were like, in the revelator's The temple on Zion, from which he imagination, see iv. 7, 8; v. 8, 14; had drawn so many of his metaphors, xiv. 3. We earnestly recommend to was destroyed; but still he sees the those who wish for light in regard to image of it in heaven ; xi. 19; xv. 5; these hieroglyphical beasts, or crea- and thus draws his metaphors from it tures, to consult our long note on still. | Filled with smoke. — The met. Rev. iv. 6. These living creatures aphor of "smoke from the glory of gave to the seven angels who had God” is very ancient. When God issued from the spiritual tabernacle was represented by Moses as descend“ seven golden vials full of the wrath ing on mount Sinai, it was covered of God. This, of course, is sceni. with smoke. And mount Sinai was cal. These angels, as we have said, altogether on a smoke, because the were to be executors of the divine Lord descended upon it in fire : and will, in pouring out the vials of wrath; the smoke thereof ascended as the of course the vials were put into their smoke of a furnace, and the whole hands. The metaphor of the living mount quaked greatly. And when creature passing out the vials of the voice of the trumpet sounded long, wrath from the ark, or mercy-seat, and waxed louder and louder, Moses seems to have been taken from Ezk. spake, and God answered him in a x. 7: “And one cherub stretched voice;?' Exod. xix. 18, 19. This is forth his hand from between the much in the style of the Apocalypse. cherubims unto the fire that was God's presence was represented as between the cherubims, and took veiled in the smoke. The cloud and thereof, and put it into the hands of the smoke were fine metaphors, as him that was clothed with linen ; who veils of the mysterious presence of took it, and went out.” The figure the Deity. Who that has witnessed shows that the judgments were in- a thunder-storm, has not felt some. flicted by the command of God. The what of the awe that the description vials were full of the wrath, or judg- of Moses was calculated to inspire in ments, of God, meaning something the Jews ? "And it came to pass on that was emblematical of those things. the third day in the morning, that The vials are a very similar met- | there were thunders and lightnings, aphor to that of the cup; xiv. 10. and a thick cloud upon the mount, | Who liveth forever and ever. — God and the voice of the irumpet exceedis the same always; he changeth not; ing loud; so that all the people that he is without variableness or shadow was in the camp trembled ;" Exod. of turning. Here is an instance in xix. 16. The voice of thunder fills which we know that the phrase "for- with awe the hardest heart. The sun ever and ever” imports strictly endless is veiled, as if retiring because its duration, because it is applied to God. Maker had come. • The thunder of The words take their force from the his power who can understand ?” subject to which they are applied. Job xxvi. 14. Who is not seized with But when the phrase is applied to the conviction, that behind the cloud things on the earth, and to things that there is a mysterious Deity, whose long ago passed away, we know that voice we hear, and who sends his irre. it cannot have the same extent of sig- sistible flame through the heavens? nification.
Who can wonder, then, that the ancient
with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and Hebrews used the cloud and the smoke the tabernacle of the congregation, as veils of God's presence? Isaiah and behold the cloud covered it, and employs the same metaphor: “In the the glory of the Lord appeared. This year that king Uzziah died I saw also was the forerunner of judgment, for the Lord sitting upon a throne, high at once Moses directed Aaron to go and lifted up, and his train filled the quickly and make atonement, because temple. Above it stood the sera- wrath is gone out from the Lord, and phims: each one had six wings; with the plague is begun; ver. 46. Thus twain he covered his face, and with proper is this emblem of smoke from twain he covered his feet, and with the glory of God, or from the cloud twain he did fly. And one cried unto of glory, to express the execution of another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is judgment, as well as to be a sign of the Lord of hosts : the whole earth is favor. Both proceed from the power full of his glory. And the posts of of God, and in both he is glorious." the door moved at the voice of him - (Lowman.) | No man was able to that cried, and the house was filled enter into the temple. — The services with smoke;") vi. 1-4. There are of the temple are represented as susmany instances in which the cloud pended. The worship of which we represented, in the same way, the have so glowing a description in verses presence of God's glory. In the jour- 3, 4, is discontinued. No man can ney through the wilderness the Lord enter into the temple during the
pourwent with the Israelites by day in a ing out of the plagues. “ It came pillar of cloud, and by night in a even to pass, as the trumpeters and pillar of fire; Exod. xii. 21. For singers were as one, to make one instances of a cloud being mentioned sound to be heard in praising and as the veil of the divine presence, see thanking the Lord; and when they Exod. xvi. 10; xix. 9; xxiv. 15, 16, lifted up their voice with the trumpeis 18; xxxiv. 5; xl. 34, 38; Lev. xvi. and cymbals and instruments of mu2; Numb. ix. 16; x. 34 ; xi. 25; 1 sic, and praised the Lord, saying, For Kings viii. 10; 2 Chron. ý. 13; Ezk. he is good; for his mercy endureth x. 4. How easily, then, we account forever : that then the house was for the description of the circum- filled with a cloud, even the house of stances attending the transfiguration. the Lord; so that the priests could not “While he yet spake, behold, a bright stand to minister by reason of the cloud overshadowed them : and be- cloud : for the glory of the Lord had hold, a voice out of the cloud, which filled the house of God;" 2 Chron. v. said, This is my beloved Son, in whom 13, 14. Here there was such a maniI am well pleased : hear ye him ;" festation of the divine glory, in the Matt. xvii. 5. How natural, too, to cloud, that the priests were obliged to represent Christ as coming in the withdraw. It is possible that the clouds, to inflict judgment on his revelator drew his metaphor from this enemies; Matt. xxiv. 30; Luke xxi. prominent fact in the sacred history 27; Rev. i. 7. In reference to the of the Jews, which all the people ascension also, the same language is reverently remembered.
His object employed : “And when he had spoken was to show that God was present these things, while they beheld, he in the judgment of the seven vials, was taken up; and a cloud received which were to be poured out upon the him out of their sight!" Acts i. 9. earth ; xvi. 1. In xiv. 10, it was said " When the congregation of Israel that the Roman persecutors were punmurmured against Moses and Aaron, | ished in the presence of the holy Numb. xvi. 42, and were gathered angels and the presence of the Lamb." against them, they looked towards In the verse before us Jehovah him