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related, both speak of the Lord's purpose through the ages with regard to Israel and the
nations, and there, for the time being, our limited knowledge stays.
One further note must conclude this paper. The word rendered "holy" in Rev. 15: 4
is not the usual word so translated. It is hosios. Cremer, linking it with the Hebrew
chesed, speaks of it as denoting God's holy love toward His people Israel. Hosios
denotes a holiness established by a right or custom, but chesed "must not be taken as
implying any praiseworthy virtue or merit, but simply an hereditary advantage"
(Hupfeld). In Acts 13: 34 the word occurs in the sentence "I will give you the sure
mercies of David", and the A.V. margin calls attention to the use of ta osia, holy, or, just
things, which the LXX frequently uses for the Hebrew mercies.
The occurrence of this word in Rev. 15: 4 and 16: 5 is closely associated with the
fulfillment of the sure mercies of David and the restoration of Israel. The Song of Moses
and the Song of the Lamb bring before us the truth, the righteousness, the mercy of Him
who is both King of Nations and King of Ages, Who in the midst of wrath remembers
mercy and, while judging the nations for their idolatry, yet speaks of the day when all the
nations shall worship before Him.
The Vengeance of His Temple.
The Seven Vials (16:).
pp. 135 - 138
We now approach the great crisis of the book. Chapters 16:, 17: and 18: are
taken up with the seven last plagues. These seven vials of wrath are, in the language of
Jer. 51: 11, "The vengeance of His temple".
This expression is found in the same context as the words "Babylon hath been a
golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken". Because these seven
vials are peculiarly the "vengeance of His temple", we find in Rev. 15: 5, 16: 1 that the
seven angels who are commissioned to pour them out are connected with the very
innermost shrine of the tabernacle. "The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony" is the
basis of these judgments. They have to do with idolatry, with the usurpation of the place
of God, with the blood of the saints.
The order of the seven vials is very similar to that observed of the seven seals and the
seven trumpets. It will be remembered that the sixth seal takes us right on to the day of
the wrath of the Lamb, and that the seventh seal is divided off from the rest by the
half-hour's silence in heaven, and that the seventh seal covers the whole period of the
seventh trumpets. So here; the first six vials run in sequence. The seventh is detached
and is largely taken up with the judgments of Babylon. The order of the vials is as