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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Revelation: Chapter 15)

15:1 {Another sign in heaven} (allo sˆmeion en t“i ouran“i). Looking back to 12:1,3, after the series intervening. The Seven Bowls are parallel with the Seven Seals (ch. Re 6) and the Seven Trumpets (chapters Re 8-11), but there is an even closer connection with chapters Re 12-14, "the drama of the long conflict between the church and the world" (Swete).
{Great and marvellous} (mega kai thaumaston). Thaumastos is an old verbal adjective (from thaumaz“, to wonder) and is already in Mt 21:42. The wonder extends to the end of this vision or sign (16:21).
{Seven angels} (aggelous hepta). Accusative case in apposition with sˆmeion after eidon. Cf. 8:2.
{Which are the last} (tas eschatas). "Seven plagues the last." As in 21:9, "the final cycle of such visitations" (Swete).
{Is finished} (etelesthˆ). Proleptic prophetic first aorist passive indicative of tele“ as in 10:7. The number seven seems particularly appropriate here for finality and completeness.

15:2 {As it were a glassy sea} (h“s thalassan hualinˆn). Accusative case after eidon and h“s here, not in 4:6, which see for the symbol.
{Mingled with fire} (memigmenˆn puri). Perfect passive participle of mignumi, to mix, and the associative instrumental case puri. This item not in 4:6 (a vision of peace), but here it adds to the splendour of the vision. This parenthesis (2-4) gives a picture of the martyrs in their state of bliss.
{Them that come off victorious} (tous nik“ntas). Present active articular participle of nika“, accusative after eidon, "those that come off victorious" (14:4).
{From the beast and from his image} (ek tou thˆriou kai ek tˆs eikonos autou). This use of ek after nika“ is unusual, also with ek tou arithmou. For these items see 13:1,14,17; 14:9,11; 19:20; 20:4.
{By the glassy sea} (epi tˆn thalassan tˆn hualinˆn). Or "upon" more likely (4:6) with the accusative as in Mt 14:25ff.
{Harps of God} (kitharas tou theou). Objective genitive, for the worship of God (5:8; 14:2; 1Ch 16:42).

15:3 {The song of Moses} (tˆn “idˆn tou M“use“s). Ex 14:31; 15:1-19. A song of victory like that of Moses after crossing the Red Sea.
{And the song of the Lamb} (tˆn “idˆn tou arniou). A separate note of victory like that of Moses, though one song, not two. Charles finds it impossible to reconcile the two expressions, if genuine, but it is a needless objection. The words come from the O.T.: "great" (megala) from Ps 111:2, "wonderful" (thaumasta) from Ps 139:14, "O Lord God the Almighty" (Kurie ho theos ho pantokrat“r) from Am 4:13 (Re 4:8), "righteous and true" (dikaiai kai alˆthinai) from De 32:4, "Thou King of the ages" (ho basileus t“n ai“n“n) like Jer 10:10; 1Ti 1:17. Some MSS. have "the king of the saints" and some "the king of the nations," like Jer 10:7. John thus combines in Hebraic tone the expressions of the old and the new in the song to the Glorified Messiah.

15:4 {Who shall not fear?} (tis ou mˆ phobˆthˆi;). Rhetorical question with ou mˆ (double negative) and first aorist passive subjunctive of phobeomai future passive in Jer 10:7).
{And glorify} (kai doxasei). Change here to the future indicative instead of the aorist subjunctive, as often. Cf. Ps 86:9.
{Thou only art holy} (monos hosios). Both predicate adjectives, "Thou art alone holy." God alone is perfectly holy (16:5).
{Shall come} (hˆxousin). Future active of hˆk“.
{And worship} (kai proskunˆsousin). Future active of proskune“. Both from Ps 86:9.
{Have been made manifest} (ephaner“thˆsan). Prophetic first aorist passive indicative of phanero“. This martyr's song has the ring of great poetry.

15:5 {The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony} (ho naos tˆs skˆnˆs tou marturiou). Charles calls this "strange" language. Probably the tabernacle or tent of witness (Nu 9:15; 17:7) is in mind and the tent of meeting (Ex 27:21 rather than the temple in Jerusalem).
{Was opened} (ˆnoigˆ). Second aorist passive indicative of anoig“ as in 11:19. For naos see 3:12; 7:15; 14:15,17; 16:1,17.

15:6 {There came out} (exˆlthan). Second aorist active indicative of exerchomai with -an rather than -on. Proleptic and prophetic aorist.
{The seven angels} (hoi hepta aggeloi). Those in verse 1.
{The seven plagues} (tas hepta plˆgas). The bowls are not given them till verse 7.
{Arrayed} (endedumenoi). Perfect passive participle of endu“.
{With precious stone pure and bright} (lithon katharon lampron). Accusative case retained with verb of clothing as so often, literally "with a stone pure bright." For both adjectives together see 19:8,14. Some MSS. read linon (linen). For lithon see 17:4; 18:16; Eze 28:13.
{Girt} (periez“smenoi). Perfect passive participle of periz“nnu“. See 1:13 for both participles. For stˆthos (breast) see Lu 18:13.
{With golden girdles} (z“nas chrusƒs). Accusative case after the perfect passive participle periez“smenoi as in 1:13.

15:7 {Seven golden bowls} (hepta phialas chrusƒs). Golden saucers, but not full of incense as in 5:8, but "full (gemousas for which see 5:8) of the wrath of God who liveth for ever and ever" (tou thumou tou theou tou z“ntos eis tous ai“nas t“n ai“n“n). Portents of dreadful events.

15:8 {Was filled with smoke} (egemisthˆ kapnou). First aorist passive indicative of gemiz“ (from gem“), to fill full, and with the genitive kapnou (smoke). Smoke is here the symbol of God's presence (Ex 19:18; Isa 6:5).
{Till should be finished} (achri telesth“sin). Temporal clause for future time with achri (equal to he“s in import) and the first aorist passive subjunctive of tele“, a metaphorical and symbolic "smoke screen" to keep all out of the sanctuary for the time being.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Revelation: Chapter 15)

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