Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

Revelations Ch.15 / 22 Ch.s


* A song of praise is sung by the church. (1-4) Seven angels
with the seven plagues; and to them one of the living creatures
gives seven golden vials full of the wrath of God. (5-8)

#1-4 Seven angels appeared in heaven; prepared to finish the
destruction of antichrist. As the measure of Babylon's sins was
filled up, it finds the full measure of Divine wrath. While
believers stand in this world, in times of trouble, as upon a
sea of glass mingled with fire, they may look forward to their
final deliverance, while new mercies call forth new hymns of
praise. The more we know of God's wonderful works, the more we
shall praise his greatness as the Lord God Almighty, the Creator
and Ruler of all worlds; but his title of Emmanuel, the King of
saints, will make him dear to us. Who that considers the power
of God's wrath, the value of his favour, or the glory of his
holiness, would refuse to fear and honour him alone? His praise
is above heaven and earth.

#5-8 In the judgments God executes upon antichrist and his
followers, he fulfils the prophecies and promises of his word.
These angels are prepared for their work, clothed with pure and
white linen, their breasts girded with golden girdles,
representing the holiness, and righteousness, and excellence of
these dealings with men. They are ministers of Divine justice,
and do every thing in a pure and holy manner. They were armed
with the wrath of God against his enemies. Even the meanest
creature, when armed with the anger of God, will be too hard for
any man in the world. The angels received the vials from one of
the four living creatures, one of the ministers of the true
church, as in answer to the prayers of the ministers and people
of God. Antichrist could not be destroyed without a great shock
to all the world, and even the people of God would be in trouble
and confusion while the great work was doing. The greatest
deliverances of the church are brought about by awful and
astonishing steps of Providence; and the happy state of the true
church will not begin till obstinate enemies shall be destroyed,
and lukewarm or formal Christians are purified. Then, whatever
is against Scripture being purged away, the whole church shall
be spiritual, and the whole being brought to purity, unity, and
spirituality, shall be firmly established.