a Lamb standing on Mount Zion
Mount Zion refers to the city of David in Jerusalem
It also can refer to Jerusalem in the Millennium
There is also mention of Zion as the heavenly mountain of God
Which Zion is in view here? Earthly or heavenly?
heavenly , the 144,000 have probably died. If
earthly , the 144,000 who were sealed have survived the Tribulation.
a heavenly scene?
Evidence in favor of the heavenly Zion:
The location of singers is "before the four living creatures" in heaven
They are "before the throne" (Rev. 14:5).
When last seen, the Lamb was standing in heaven. In the Millennial Kingdom,
the Lamb would more naturally be seated on the throne of David.
The 144,000 are said to be
from the earth(Rev. 14:3)
from among men(Rev. 4:4). This implies they are no longer on earth among men.
an earthly and heavenly scene?
Perhaps the Lamb and the 144,000 are on
and the rest of the participants are in
heaven . The heavenly chorus sings a song that the 144,000 then learns on earth.
Weaknesses of this view include:
The song originates in the mouths of the harpists rather than the 144,000
who had the actual experience in the Tribulation.
The faultlessness of the 144,000 before the throne
must be taken as salvific and not a physical position.
(This phrase is only found in the TR.)
Since others besides the 144,000 sing, there is a need to distinguish between singing and learning the song.
The uniqueness of the song and its singing is harder to explain.
Most manuscripts (NU and MT) indicate the voice or sound is
but may not be harpists.
14:2 - a voice from heaven
a voice from heaven like the voice of many waters
Possibly a single loud voice
Or a great multitude speaking in unison
I heard the sound of harpists playing
Textual variations make it difficult to know whether John heard
or that the voice was
but not actually harpists. Moreover,
the same Greek word,
can mean either "voice" or "sound." The
is probably a
which includes a multitude and harpists.
14:3 - they sang a new song
Isaiah indicated the ransomed (redeemed) would return to Zion with singing
(Isa. 35:10). This theme is repeated by Jeremiah
The song celebrates the victory of the 144,000 and their unique experience.
no one could learn that song
Only the 144,000 could learn the song, probably because the lyrics
speak of their personal and unique experience.
the song and are the only singers, or the chorus in heaven
them and only they among men on earth can sing it.
14:4 - virgins
not defiled with women
This statement does not negate the divine institution and blessing of
These probably minister in a time when most sexual relations are outside of
marriage. Fornication and licentiousness is probably rampant.
they are virgins
In their complete dedication to the Lamb and their calling, they forgo
sexual relations with women to focus completely on their unique God-given
tasks during the Tribulation. These are the "eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake" which Jesus taught about
The first portion of grain and fruit harvests, as well as flocks, was offered to
God. It demonstrates the priority given to God and indicates a larger
harvest to follow
14:5 - faultless
in their mouth was found no deceit
The mouth is the organ out of which the heart "speaks" (Mat. 12:34;
These were pure of
Their mouths are like the Lamb
They represent the early stages of the glorious promise of the New Covenant
to Israel wherein they will be righteous
14:6 - a preaching angel
an angel having the everlasting gospel
The earth dwellers, in their time of testing
are continually urged to repent. This is their final chance before taking
the mark and being eternally damned.
14:7 - fear God and give glory to Him
fear God and give glory to Him
This is not the gospel message, but the intended result of the gospel
message. This is the reaction which is urged of the earth dwellers.
Evidently some respond for martyrs in the next chapter sing of God's fear and
who made heaven and earth
The Creator vs. creature distinction is the basis for all true worship.
The earth dwellers have rejected God as Creator. Thus, the destruction of the
earth's resources and systems is intended as a wake-up call to their error.
14:8 - Babylon is fallen
Where and what is Babylon in Revelation?
Commercial success and general godlessness anywhere and in any age?
We can't tell and it doesn't matter?
A literal city on the banks of the Euphrates, founded by Nimrod as Babel
? We believe the latter.
is fallen, is fallen, that great city
"Is fallen" : aorist proleptic verbs--stating the event as if it has passed.
It is so sure and imminent as to be understood as a done deal! "That great city" is an allusion to Nebuchadnezzar's prideful statement which resulted
in his 7 years affliction as a grass grazer
wine of the wrath of her fornication
She has corrupted the nations, both commercially and through physical and
Babylon polluted the nations and so God will judge the nations through her
before she herself is judged
14:9-11 - beast worshipers damned
if anyone worships the beast
This is a unique time in history and the angel is describing an "unpardonable sin." This is why the Beast worshipers are not written in the Book of Life.
he himself shall also drink of the wrath of God
Having drunk from the cup of God's judgment
, the recipient is the object of God's wrath
and staggers with drunkenness, becoming mad and participating in his own
They will be "cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Rev. 20:10).
This is the
second death(Rev. 21:8).
14:12-13 - blessed are the dead
blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on
This special recognition by God underscores the horrors of the reign of the
Beast which includes unprecedented slaughter of Christians by the Beast
(Rev. 13:7), his image
(Rev. 13:15), and the Harlot
These receive special mention and position in the Millennial Kingdom
that they may rest
The Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory (where the dead go to pay for
their sins before entering heaven) is unknown to Scripture. When believers
die, they receive "rest" and are instantly in the presence of the Lord
14:14-16 - the earth's harvest
the harvest of the earth is ripe
The long interadvent period between Christ's first and Second Coming is
now seen as coming to an end, a time only the Father knows
harvests before us. The first harvest is that of the faithful (wheat)
and the second is that of the faithless (tares)
Here, the second
harvest is portrayed as a grape vintage--the 'grapes of wrath.' "He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they will
gather together His
from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other " (Mat. 24:31).
14:17-20 - the winepress of God's wrath
the harvest of the earth is ripe
Now the tares are taken out so they cannot enter the Millennial Kingdom
(Mat. 13:39-43). "One will be taken, one will be left" -- those taken are removed in judgment
The eagles gather to feast on the bodies
gather the clusters of the vine of the earth
God's vineyard brought forth
which are now to be destroyed
the great winepress of the wrath of God
This is the campaign of Armageddon at the second advent of Christ
(We will discuss this in greater detail in Chapter 16.)
For additional information on this topic, see the commentary.