Revelation 1:7
(7) Behold, he cometh with clouds.--Better, with the clouds. The reference to Christ's words (Mark 14:62) is undoubted. In the "clouds" St. Augustine sees the emblem of the saints of the Church, which is His body, who spread as a vast fertilising cloud over the whole world.

Every eye shall see him, and they also which (they were who = "whosoever") pierced him.--Here again is a reference to the incident of the piercing of Christ's side (John 19:34), recorded only by St. John.

Shall wail because of him.--Or, shall wail over Him. The prophecy in Zechariah 12:10, is the suggesting one of this. But the passage in Zechariah describes the mourning of grief over the dead; the passage here is the mourning towards one who was dead, and is alive. He towards whom they now direct their sorrow is the One over whom they should have wailed when He was laid in His tomb.

Verses 7, 8. - It is difficult to determine the exact connexion of these verses with one another, and with what precedes and follows. It seems best to make ver. 7 a kind of appendix to the salutation, and ver. 8 a kind of prelude to the whole book. They each give us one of the fundamental thoughts of the Apocalypse; ver. 7, Christ's certain return to judgment; ver. 8, his perfect Divinity. Verse 7. - He cometh. He who loveth us and cleansed us and made us to be a kingdom will assuredly come. While interpreting the verse of the second advent, we need not exclude the coming to "those who pierced him" in the destruction of Jerusalem, and to "the tribes of the earth" in the breakup of the Roman empire. With the clouds. This probably refers to Mark 14:62, "Ye shall see the Son of man ... coming with the clouds of heaven" (comp. Daniel 7:13, "Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven"). Aquinas and other writers make the clouds symbolize the saints, "who rain by preaching, glisten by working miracles, are lifted up by refusing earthly things, fly by lofty contemplation." And they also; better, and all they who (οἵτινες) pierced him. This is strong evidence of common authorship between the Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse.

(1) St. John alone mentions the piercing.

(2) Here and in John 19:37 the writer, in quoting Zechariah 12:10, deserts the LXX. and follows the Masoretic Hebrew text. The LXX. softens down "pierced" into "insulted" (κάτωρχήσατο), "piercing" appearing a violent expression to use respecting men's treatment of Jehovah.

(3) Here and in John 19:37 the writer, in translating from the Hebrew, uses the uncommon Greek word ἐκκεντᾷν. The reference here is to all those who "crucify the Son of God afresh," not merely to the Jews. In what follows the Revised Version is to be preferred: "and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him? The wording is similar to Matthew 24:30 and the LXX. of Zechariah 12:10. The mourning is that of beating the breast, not wailing, and it is "over him" (ἐπ᾿ αὐτόν). Even so, Amen. Ναί Αμήν, like "Abba, Father" (Mark 4:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6), combines a Hebrew word with its Greek equivalent (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:20).

1:4-8 There can be no true peace, where there is not true grace; and where grace goeth before, peace will follow. This blessing is in the name of God, of the Holy Trinity, it is an act of adoration. The Father is first named; he is described as the Jehovah who is, and who was, and who is to come, eternal, unchangeable. The Holy Spirit is called the seven spirits, the perfect Spirit of God, in whom there is a diversity of gifts and operations. The Lord Jesus Christ was from eternity, a Witness to all the counsels of God. He is the First-born from the dead, who will by his own power raise up his people. He is the Prince of the kings of the earth; by him their counsels are overruled, and to him they are accountable. Sin leaves a stain of guilt and pollution upon the soul. Nothing can fetch out this stain but the blood of Christ; and Christ shed his own blood to satisfy Divine justice, and purchase pardon and purity for his people. Christ has made believers kings and priests to God and his Father. As such they overcome the world, mortify sin, govern their own spirits, resist Satan, prevail with God in prayer, and shall judge the world. He has made them priests, given them access to God, enabled them to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices, and for these favours they are bound to ascribe to him dominion and glory for ever. He will judge the world. Attention is called to that great day when all will see the wisdom and happiness of the friends of Christ, and the madness and misery of his enemies. Let us think frequently upon the second coming of Christ. He shall come, to the terror of those who wound and crucify him by apostacy: he shall come, to the astonishment of the whole world of the ungodly. He is the Beginning and the End; all things are from him and for him; he is the Almighty; the same eternal and unchanged One. And if we would be numbered with his saints in glory everlasting, we must now willing submit to him receive him, and honour him as a saviour, who we believe will come to be our Judge. Alas, that there should be many, who would wish never to die, and that there should not be a day of judgment!Behold he cometh with clouds,.... John carries on the account of Christ in his kingly office, one branch of which is to execute judgment; and describes him by a future coming of his, which cannot be understood of his coming to take vengeance on the Jews, at the time of Jerusalem's destruction, though that is sometimes expressed in such language, and with such circumstances, as here; see Matthew 24:30; because if this revelation was made to John, in the latter end of Domitian's reign, as is commonly reported by the ancients, and in the year 95 or 96, as chronologers generally place it, it must be upwards of twenty years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and therefore cannot relate to that; nor to his coming in a spiritual sense to convert the Jews in the latter day; for this coming is personal, and with clouds, when he will be seen by every eye; all which circumstances do not so well agree with that; besides, all the kindreds of the earth will not lament on that account: the wicked will take little notice of it, the tribes of the Jews will rejoice at it, and so will all the converted Gentiles: it is better therefore to understand this of Christ's second coming to judge the quick and dead, which is represented as just at hand, to denote the certainty of it; and a "behold" is prefixed to it, to excite attention, and to denote the importance of it: things of great moment, and very surprising, will then be done; Christ will appear in great glory and majesty, the dead in Christ will be raised, Christ's personal kingdom will take place, and the general judgment come on. The manner of his coming will be "with clouds"; either figuratively, with angels, who will attend him both for grandeur and service, or literally, in the clouds of heaven; he shall descend in like manner as he ascended, and as Daniel prophesied he should, Daniel 7:13. Hence, one of the names of the Messiah, with the Jews, is, "Anani" (r), which signifies "clouds"; and his coming is so described, both to denote the grand and magnificent manner, in which he will come, making the clouds his chariots; and to strike terror into his enemies, clouds and darkness being about him, thunder and lightning breaking out of them, as tokens of that vengeance he comes to take upon them; as also the visibility of his coming, he shall descend from the third heaven, where he now is, into the airy heaven, and sit upon the clouds, as on his throne, and be visible to all: hence it follows,

and every eye shall see him; that is, everyone that has eyes shall see him, or all men shall see him; the righteous shall see him, and be glad; they shall see him in his glory, as he is, and for themselves, and be satisfied; they shall rejoice at the sight of him; they will be filled with joy unspeakable, and full of glory: but the wicked will see him and tremble; they will be filled with the utmost consternation and astonishment; they will not be able to bear the sight of him; they will flee from him, and call to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from his face,

And they also which pierced him; his hands, feet, and side, when they crucified him; both the Roman soldiers, who actually did it, and the body of the Jewish nation, the rulers and common people, who consented to it, and at whose instigation it was done; these, being raised from the dead, shall see him with their bodily eyes, whom they so used,

And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him; all the wicked, in the several parts of the world, will lament, and wring their hands, and express the inward terror and horror of their minds, at his appearing; they will fear his resentment of all their wicked words and actions; will dread his wrath, and tremble at his righteous judgment:

even so, Amen, says John, and so say all true believers; what the wicked lament, they rejoice at; they desire the coming of Christ, they love it, look and long for it; they believe it shall be, and wish it may be quickly, as in Revelation 22:20; This expression of faith in, and desire after the coming of Christ, is signified by two words, the one Greek and the other Hebrew; suggesting, that this is an article of faith among all the saints of all nations, Jews and Gentiles, and is what they are wishing and waiting for,

(r) Targum in 1 Chronicles 3.24. vid. Beckii Not. in ib. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 85. 2.

Revelation 1:6
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