16:1 And 1 I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
(1) In the former chapter was set down the
preparation to the work of God: here is delivered the execution of it. In this
discourse of the execution, is a general commandment, in this verse, then a
particular recital in order of the execution done by every of the seven
angels, in the rest of the chapter. This special execution against Antichrist
and his crew does in manner agree to that which was generally done on the
whole world, chapters eight and nine and belongs (if my conjecture fail me
not) to the same time. Yet in here they differ from one another, that this was
particularly effected on the princes and ringleaders of the wickedness of the
world, the other generally against the whole world being wicked. Therefore
these judgments are more grievous than those.
16:2 2 And
the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome
and grievous sore upon the men which had the 3
mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image.
(2) The history of the first angel, whose plague
on the earth is described almost in the same words with that sixth plague of
the Egyptians in (Exodus
9:9). But it does signify a spiritual vicar, and that torture or butchery
of conscience seared with a hot iron, which accuses the ungodly within, and
both by truth of the word (the light of which God has now so long shown forth)
and by bitterness stirs up and forces out the sword of God's wrath. (3)
16:3 4 And
the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it a
became as the blood of a dead [man]: and every living soul died in the sea.
(4) The history of the second angel, who troubles
and molests the seas, that he may stir up the conscience of men sleeping in
their wickedness; (Revelation
(a) It was turned into rotten and filthy blood,
such as is in dead bodies.
16:4 5 And
the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and
they became blood.
(5) The story of the third angel striking the
rivers, in this verse, who proclaiming the justice of God, commends the same
by a grave comparison of the sins of men, with the punishment of God: which is
common to this place, and that which went before. Wherefore also this praising
is attributed to the angel of the waters, a name common to the second and
third angels, according as both of them are said to be sent against the
waters, though the one of the sea, the other of the rivers, in (Revelation
And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and
righteous [are] thy judgments.
(6) A confirmation of the praise before going out
of the sanctuary of God, whether immediately by Christ, or by some one of his
angels, for Christ also is called another angel; (Revelation
16:8 7 And
the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him
to scorch men with fire.
(7) The story of the fourth angel, who throws the
plague on the heavens and on the sun, of which Luke notes the effects in (Luke
21:26). The one peculiar, that it shall scorch men with heat in this
verse. The other proceeding accidentally from the former, that their fury
shall so much more be enraged against God in (Revelation
16:9), when yet (O wonderful mercy and patience of God) all other
creatures are first stricken often and grievously by the hand of God before
mankind, by whom he is provoked: as the things before declare.
And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his
kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
(8) The story of the first angel, who strikes the
kingdom of the beast with two plagues abroad the darkness, with biles and
distresses most grievous, throughout his whole kingdom that by this he might
wound the conscience of the wicked, and punish the perverse obstinacy of the
idolaters: of which arose perturbation, and thence a furious indignation and
desperate madness, raging against God and hurtful to itself.
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river 10
Euphrates; and 11 the water thereof was
dried up, 12 that the way of the kings
of the east might be prepared.
(9) The story of the sixth angel, divided into
his act, and the event of it. The act is, that the angel cast out of his mouth
the plague of a most glowing heat, in which even the greatest floods, and
which most were accustomed to swell and overflow (as Euphrates) were dried up,
by the counsel of God in this verse. The event is, that the madness with which
the wicked are enraged that they may scorn the judgments of God, and abuse
them furiously to serve their own turn, and to the executing of their own
(10) The bound of the spiritual Babylon, and to
the fortresses of the same (Revelation
(11) So the Church of the ungodly, and kingdom of
the beast is said to be left naked, all the defences of it in which they put
their trust, being taken away from it.
(12) That is, that even they who dwell further
off, may with more convenience make haste to the sacrifice, which the Lord has
16:13 And I saw 13
three unclean spirits 14 like frogs
[come] out of the mouth of the 15
dragon, and out of the mouth of the 16
beast, and out of the mouth of the 17
(13) That is, every one of them focus their whole
force, and conspired that by wonders, word and work they might bring into the
same destruction all kings, princes and potentates of the world, cursedly
bewitched by them by their spirits, and teachers of the vanity and impunity of
the beast that committed fornication with the kings of the earth. This is a
good description of our times.
(14) Croaking with all importunity and
continually day and night provoking and calling forth to arms, as the trumpets
and furies of wars, as is declared in (Revelation
(15) That is, the devil; (Revelation
(16) See (Revelation
(17) That is, of that other beast; (Revelation
13:11), for so he is called also in (Revelation
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his
garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
(18) A parenthesis for admonition, in which God
warns his holy servants, who rest in the expectation of Christ, always to
think of his coming, and to look to themselves, that they be not shamefully
made naked and circumvented of these unclean spirits, and so they be miserable
unprepared at the coming of the Lord; (Matthew
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue 20
(19) Namely the angel, who according to the
commandment of God, was to do sacrifice: nonetheless that those impure spirits
do the same wickedly, as servants not to God, but to the beast that has seven
(20) That is, (to say nothing of other
expositions) the mountain itself, or mountain places of Megiddon. Now it is
certain by the Holy Scripture, that Megiddon is a city and territory in the
tribe of Manasseh, bordering on Issachar and Asher, and was made famous by the
lamentable overthrow of king Josias; (2 Chronicles
12:11). In this mountain country God says by figure or type that the kings
of the people who serve the beast shall meet together; because the Gentiles
did always cast that lamentable overthrow in the teeth of the Church of the
Jews, to their great reproach and therefore were persuaded that that place
should be most fortunate to them (as they speak) and unfortunate to the godly.
But God here pronounces, that that reproach of the Church and confidence of
the ungodly, shall by himself be taken away, in the same place where the
nations persuaded themselves, they should mightily exult and triumph against
God and his Church.
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the 22
air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from 23
the throne, saying, 24 It is done.
(21) The story of the seventh angel to the end of
the chapter, in which first is shown by sign and speech, the argument of this
plague, in this verse: and then is declare the execution of it in the verses
(22) From whence he might move the heaven above,
and the earth beneath.
(23) That is, from him that sits on the throne,
(24) That is, Babylon is undone, as is shown in (Revelation
16:19) and in the chapters following. For the first onset (as I might say)
of this denunciation, is described in this chapter: and the last containing a
perfect victory, is described in those that follow.
And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great
earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an
earthquake, [and] so great.
(25) Now is declared the execution (as is said)
16:17) and the things that shall last come to pass in heaven and in earth
before the overthrow of the beast of Babylon: both generally in (Revelation
16:18) and particularly in the cursed city, and such as have any
familiarity with it, in the last verses.
And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations 27
fell: and great 28 Babylon came in
remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness
of his wrath.
(26) The seat or standing place of Antichrist.
(27) Of all who cleave to Antichrist and fight
(28) That harlot, of whom in the next chapter
following. Now this phrase "to come into remembrance" is from the
Hebrew language, borrowed from men, and attributed to God.
16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains
29 were not b
(29) That is, were seen no more, or were no more
extant. A borrowed Hebraism.
(b) Literally "appeared not"; (Genesis
And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the
weight of a c talent: and men blasphemed
God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding
(30) The manner of the particular execution, most
evidently testifying the wrath of God by the original and greatness of it: the
event of which is the same with that which is in (Revelation
9:12) and that which has been mentioned in this chapter, from the
execution of the fourth angel till now, that is to say, an incorrigible
pertinency of the world in their rebellion, and a heart that cannot repent; (Revelation
(c) About the weight of a talent, and a talent
was sixty pounds, that is, six hundred groats, by which is signified a
marvellous and strange weight.