Revelation 14:18
And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) And another angel . . .—Translate, And another angel, . . . he who hath authority over the fire. The two scenes—one in Revelation 6:9-10 (the souls crying beneath the altar), the other in Revelation 8:5 (the angel mingling incense with the prayers of the saints)—must be remembered. The angel who had charge of the altar fire, and flung the ashes betokening judgments towards the earth, calls with a loud cry, Send thy sharp sickle, and gather the bunches of the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.

14:14-20 Warnings and judgments not having produced reformation, the sins of the nations are filled up, and they become ripe for judgments, represented by a harvest, an emblem which is used to signify the gathering of the righteous, when ripe for heaven, by the mercy of God. The harvest time is when the corn is ripe; when the believers are ripe for heaven, then the wheat of the earth shall be gathered into Christ's garner. And by a vintage. The enemies of Christ and his church are not destroyed, till by their sin they are ripe for ruin, and then he will spare them no longer. The wine-press is the wrath of God, some terrible calamity, probably the sword, shedding the blood of the wicked. The patience of God towards sinners, is the greatest miracle in the world; but, though lasting, it will not be everlasting; and ripeness in sin is a sure proof of judgment at hand.And another angel - The sixth in order. He came, like the angel in Revelation 14:15, with a command to him who had the sickle to go forth and execute his commission.

Came out from the altar - This stood in the front of the temple (see the notes on Matthew 21:12; compare the notes on Matthew 5:23-24), and was the place where burnt-sacrifices were made. As the work now to be done was a work of destruction, this was an appropriate place in the representation.

Which had power over fire - As if he kept the fire on the altar. Fire is the usual emblem of destruction; and as the work now to be done was such, it was proper to represent this angel as engaged in it.

And cried with a loud cry, ... - See Revelation 14:15. That is, he came forth, as with a command from God, to call on him who was appointed to do the work of destruction, now to engage in performing it. The time had fully come.

Thrust in thy sharp sickle - Revelation 14:15.

And gather the clusters of the vine of the earth - That portion of the earth which might be represented by a vineyard in which the grapes were to be gathered and crushed. The image here employed occurs elsewhere to denote the destruction of the wicked. See the very beautiful description in Isaiah 63:1-6, respecting the destruction of Edom, and the notes on that passage.

For her grapes are fully ripe - That is, the time has come for the ingathering; or, to apply the image, for the winding up of human affairs by the destruction of the wicked. The time here, as in the previous representation, is the end of the world; and the design is, to comfort the church in its trials and persecutions, by the assurance that all its enemies will be cut off.

18. from the altar—upon which were offered the incense-accompanied prayers of all saints, which bring down in answer God's fiery judgment on the Church's foes, the fire being taken from the altar and cast upon the earth.

fully ripe—Greek, "come to their acme"; ripe for punishment.

From the altar; the place of sacrifices and burnt-offerings.

Which had power over fire; which had commission to execute God’s judgments, compared to fire, Psalm 11:6 21:9 1:3.

And cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying: God’s holy ones cry unto him who hath a power to execute vengeance.

Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; put an end to the rage of antichrist, and gather those clusters which grew upon this vine of Sodom, and were as the clusters of Gomorrah.

For her grapes are fully ripe; for their iniquities were come to the full, and they were now ripe for judgment. Our learned Dr. More expounds this ripeness, of a readiness for conversion, as well as for destruction, and thinks the first is here rather intended: the last words of the next verse incline me to judge otherwise. And another angel came out from the altar,.... Where are the souls of the martyrs of Jesus, Revelation 6:9 and whom this angel is thought by some to represent, in his address to him that had the sharp sickle, crying for vengeance on the wicked of the earth, who had shed their blood: the allusion seems to be to the altar of burnt offerings, where the sacrifices were slain, and on which they were burnt with fire; and which was an emblem of the strict justice of God, showing, that those persons, for whom these sacrifices were offered, deserved to be treated in like manner; and here the angel coming from thence signifies, that he came on the behalf of the justice of God, treating that he, to whom vengeance belonged, would execute it upon all the ungodly, who were ripe for judgment: and hence it is further said of him,

which had power over fire; whether the angels, as they have presided over particular kingdoms and states, Daniel 10:20 preside over the elements, since this angel had power over fire, and another angel is called the angel of the waters, Revelation 16:5 may be considered. According to the Jews (c) there are , "angels of fire", and , "angels of the waters"; particularly it is said (d), that Gabriel is , "the prince of fire", or "that has power over fire", and Jurkemo is , "prince of hail", or has power over it: however, fire is to be taken here, not for the Spirit, and his gifts, which not a created angel, but Christ only, has a power over, to baptize with; nor the Gospel, nor martyrdom, but rather the wrath of God, which in Scripture is often compared to fire, of which this angel was an executioner: and indeed here it may be referred, both literally to the burning of the world, and the wicked in it, in which the angels may be concerned, who will descend with Christ in flames of fire, taking vengeance on the wicked; and figuratively to hell fire, and the destruction of the wicked in it, who will be cast into it by the angels of God.

And cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, as in Revelation 14:15 expressing like vehemence and importunity,

saying, thrust in thy sharp sickle: not commanding or directing, but entreating as before:

and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; not the vine of God's planting, the vineyard of the Lord of hosts, the church of Christ; but the vine of the earth, of wicked and earthly men, whose vine is the vine of Sodom, &c. Deuteronomy 32:32 and which is spread over the whole earth; a wild vine, whose grapes are gall, clusters bitter, and their wine the poison of dragons; and to such a vine the wicked are compared, for their emptiness and unfruitfulness, their uselessness and unprofitableness, and for their being fit fuel for everlasting burnings; see Ezekiel 15:2. And the clusters of it may denote the great multitude of the wicked now to be cut down, gathered in, and destroyed, the reason given,

for her grapes are fully ripe; their wickedness very great, their iniquity full, the measure of their sins filled up, and they fitted for destruction, and ripe for ruin; see Joel 3:13. Some understand this of the degenerate church of Rome, and the destruction of it; see Revelation 19:15.

(c) Sepher Raziel, fol. 39. 2. Targum in 1 Reg. xix. 11. (d) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 118. 1.

And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 14:18. πυρός. The figure of this angel (= Jehuel in rabbinic tradition. Gfrörer, i. 369) has an Iranian tinge. The justice of the punishment is attested by its origin in the purpose of one who corresponded to the Persian Amshas-pand (cf. on Revelation 1:4), Ashem Vahishtan, who presided over fire and at the same time symbolised the closely allied conceptions of goodness, truth, and right in Zoroastrian mythology (cf. H. J., 1904, 350). A similar representation of an angel speaking from the fire in connexion with providence occurs in Chag. 14 b.18. the altar] Revelation 6:9.

which had power over fire] Plainly the A. V. leads us to understand an elemental Angel, like “the Angel of the Waters” in Revelation 16:5. This is not impossible: the word “fire” has the article, but in Greek “the element of fire” would be naturally so expressed. It may therefore be, that “the Angel of Fire” is made to invoke the judgement on the wicked which will be executed by fire. But probably here and at Revelation 8:3-5 we are to understand that this is the Angel “who had power over the fire” on the Altar. He appears also in rabbinical literature.

Thrust in] Send as in Revelation 14:15.Revelation 14:18. Καὶ ἄλλος ἄγγελος ἐκ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου, [169] ἜΧΩΝ ἘΞΟΥΣΊΣΝ ἘΠῚ ΤΟῦ ΠΥΡῸς, ἘΦΩΝΉΣΕ, Κ.Τ.Λ.) See the general remark respecting the Latin Translator in App. Crit. Ed. ii, on this passage. ἘΠῚ ΤΟῦ ΠΥΡῸς is said in the singular number; but it appears to be the singular for the plural, since the word ΠῦΡ, here used, has no plural. Comp. ΤῶΝ ὙΔΆΤΩΝ, ch. Revelation 16:5.—ΤΟῪς ΒΌΤΡΥΑςΑἸ ΣΤΑΦΥΛΑῚ) Ὁ ΒΌΤΡΥς ΚΑῚ Ἡ ΣΤΑΦΥΛῊ are often synonymous, but they sometimes differ, in the LXX.: Numbers 13:23, אשכול ענבים, LXX., ΒΌΤΡΥΝ ΣΤΑΦΥΛῆς; Genesis 40:10, ΠΈΠΕΙΡΟΙ ΟἹ ΒΌΤΡΥΕς ΣΤΑΦΥΛῆς. Therefore ΒΌΤΡΥς, the whole, a cluster: σταφυλαὶ, the parts, a grape.—Τῆς ἈΜΠΈΛΟΥ, of the vine) The plural is not wanting, נפנים, LXX., αἱ ἄμπελοι; and yet in this place it is singular: all the wicked are like one vine; they all cohere in one mass.

[169] So AC; but Rec. Text omits with B. A Vulg. omit ἐξῆλθεν: and A omits the following καὶ before ἐφώνησεν, which Vulg. retains; so Lachm. But BC support ἐξῆλθενκαί; so Tisch.—E.Verse 18. - And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire. Both in Revelation 6:9 and Revelation 8:3 the altar is connected with judgment. The angel here described is he who is referred to in those places, the fire being the fire of the altar, the fire of judgment (Revelation 8:3), or, less probably; the angel who has power over fire generally (as Revelation 7:1; Revelation 16:5). And cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying. Again the "loud voice," characteristic of the heavenly utterances (cf. ver. 15, etc.). Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe; send forth thy sharp, etc. (see on ver. 16). The sickle is figurative of the instrument by which the career of those on earth is terminated. The "sickle" and the "wine press" are both alluded to in the passage quoted above (on ver. 14) from Joel 3:13. (For the meaning of this gathering of the vintage, as representing the punishment of the wicked, see on ver. 16.) Altar (θυσιαστηρίου)

See on Acts 17:23.

Which has power (ἔξων ἐξουσίαν)

Lit., having power. Some texts add the article ὁ. So Rev., "he that hath power."

Fire

In the Greek with the article, the fire.

Cry (κραυγῇ)

See on Luke 1:42.

Thy sharp sickle

Lit., thy sickle, the sharp.

Gather (τρύγησον)

From τρύγη dryness, included in the notion of ripeness, and hence the vintage, harvest. The verb means therefore to gather ripe fruit. It occurs only in this chapter and in Luke 6:44.

Grapes (σταφυλαὶ)

The noun in the singular means also a bunch of grapes.

continued...

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