Revelation 15:4
Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? for you only are holy: for all nations shall come and worship before you; for your judgments are made manifest.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Who shall not fear . . .—Rather, Who will not fear, &c. (the word “Thee” should be omitted, because Thou art holy. The word rendered “holy” is not that which is usually employed when the holiness of God is spoken of; it is a word which, when applied to men, denotes one who reverences the sacred obligations of natural and moral order, apart from the thought of mere law or custom. The word is applied here, and in Revelation 16:5, to God, and denotes the recognition of those sacred obligations which the character of God, if I may say so with reverence, imposes upon Himself. It is the remembrance that God will, as Judge of all the earth, do right, and will vindicate the expectations of those who stay themselves upon His character, which generates a holy fear of Him.

All nations shall come and worship . . .—Translate, All the nations worship, because Thy judgments (or, righteous acts) are manifested. The song is one in anticipation. The angels of judgment are going forth; the righteous dealings of God will be seen; but these things are spoken of as though accomplished: their completion is a divine certainty.

15:1-4 Seven angels appeared in heaven; prepared to finish the destruction of antichrist. As the measure of Babylon's sins was filled up, it finds the full measure of Divine wrath. While believers stand in this world, in times of trouble, as upon a sea of glass mingled with fire, they may look forward to their final deliverance, while new mercies call forth new hymns of praise. The more we know of God's wonderful works, the more we shall praise his greatness as the Lord God Almighty, the Creator and Ruler of all worlds; but his title of Emmanuel, the King of saints, will make him dear to us. Who that considers the power of God's wrath, the value of his favour, or the glory of his holiness, would refuse to fear and honour him alone? His praise is above heaven and earth.Who shall not fear thee, O Lord - Reverence and adore thee; for the word "fear," in the Scriptures, is commonly used in this sense when applied to God. The sense here is, that the judgments about to be inflicted on the beast and his image should and would teach people to reverence and adore God. There is, perhaps, included here also the idea of awe, inasmuch as this would be the effect of punishment.

And glorify thy name - Honor thee - the name being put for the person who bare it. The sense is, that, as a consequence of these judgments, men would be brought to honor God, and to acknowledge him as the Ruler of the earth.

For thou only art holy - That is, in these judgments he would show himself to be a holy God; a God hating sin, and loving righteousness and truth. When it is said that he "only" is holy, the expression is used, of course, in a comparative sense. He is so pure that it may be said that, in comparison with him, no one else is holy. Compare the notes on Job 4:18; Job 15:15.

For all nations shall come and worship before thee - That is, as the result of these punishments inflicted on this dread anti-Christian power, they shalt come and worship thee. Everywhere in the New Testament the destruction of that power is connected with the promise of the speedy conversion of the world.

For thy judgments are made manifest - To wit, on the beast. That formidable power is overthrown, and the grand hindrance to the universal spread of the true religion is now taken away. Compare the notes on Isaiah 26:9.

4. Who shall not—Greek, "Who is there but must fear Thee?" Compare Moses' song, Ex 15:14-16, on the fear which God's judgments strike into the foe.

thee—so Syriac. But A, B, C, Vulgate, and Cyprian reject "thee."

all nations shall come—alluding to Ps 22:27-31; compare Isa 66:23; Jer 16:19. The conversion of all nations, therefore, shall be when Christ shall come, and not till then; and the first moving cause will be Christ's manifested judgments preparing all hearts for receiving Christ's mercy. He shall effect by His presence what we have in vain tried to effect in His absence. The present preaching of the Gospel is gathering out the elect remnant; meanwhile "the mystery of iniquity" is at work, and will at last come to its crisis; then shall judgment descend on the apostates at the harvest-end of this age (Greek, Mt 13:39, 40) when the tares shall be cleared out of the earth, which thenceforward becomes Messiah's kingdom. The confederacy of 'the apostates against Christ becomes, when overthrown with fearful judgments, the very means in God's overruling providence of preparing the nations not joined in the Antichristian league to submit themselves to Him.

judgments—Greek, "righteousnesses."

are—literally, "were": the prophetical past for the immediate future.

Acknowledging, that for this God deserved to be worshipped and served by all the world, because of his holiness, much seen in the justice and truth of his ways; declaring their faith and hope, that now all nations should own and acknowledge Christ, and be subject unto him, now that his judgments upon antichrist, and his justice in all his dispensations, was made so evident to the world. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord,.... At this time the people of the Jews shall seek after Christ, and fear him and his goodness; the forces of the Gentiles shall be brought into Zion, whose heart shall then fear, and be enlarged; the fear of the Lord will be in all places, and in all men, both Jews and Gentiles, Hosea 3:5

and glorify thy name? by ascribing all divine perfections to him, giving him divine worship and adoration, and attributing the whole of salvation to him, and the glory of all that is done for his church, and against its enemies:

for thou only art holy; not only perfectly holy, as man, but infinitely and essentially holy, as God, and the fountain of holiness to his people, as Mediator: this character seems to be given in opposition to antichrist, who arrogantly assumes the title of holiness to himself, when it only belongs to Christ.

For all nations shall come and worship before thee; the Gospel shall now be preached to all nations, and the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of it; the kingdoms of this world will become Christ's, and his kingdom shall be to the ends of the earth, and all people shall obey him: the words seem to be taken, with some other phrases before used, out of Psalm 86:8

for thy judgments are made manifest; or "thy justifications", or "righteousnesses"; the perfect righteousness of Christ, and the doctrine of justification by it, will now be most clearly revealed, and generally received, in opposition to the Popish doctrine of merits, works of supererogation, &c. or the judgments of the King of saints upon antichrist, who will now avenge their blood, which he has shed; see Revelation 17:1 and the justice and righteousness of his proceedings against the man of sin will be notorious and manifest to all, and be acknowledged, as in Revelation 16:5.

Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 15:4. God’s holiness is the reason why his name must be feared and magnified, especially when its effects are visible in the reverent homage of all nations to God (a hyperbolical statement in view of Revelation 16:9, etc.) at the sight of his “deeds of judgment” (δικαιώματα = judicial sentences, here of condemnation and penalty) inflicted on the world (cf. Daniel 9:14 f.). The absolute and unique (note the prophet’s insertion of μόνος) reign of Yahveh was a traditional tenet of Mosaism; indeed for Orientals generally the power which formed their ideal source of righteousness and justice partook necessarily of a monarchic character (R. S. 74 f.). To the Semites it appeared that the perfection of their god as a just king formed a ground for his ultimate sovereignty over the nations of the world. The O.T. outlook and the phraseology warn us not to press the poetical language too closely here; otherwise (cf. Revelation 14:6-7) it would contradict, e.g., the characteristic idea of the author that the bowl-plagues, instead of producing penitence and submission, ended in defiant blasphemy.—ἐνώπιόν σου, here a reverential periphrasis, it being considered in the later O.T. literature, the Targums, and the N.T. (occasionally) more respectful to worship and pray before the royal god than directly to him (Dalman, i. viii. 5). For the whole conception of this dual song see Targ. Jonath. on Isaiah 26:1 and Targ. Schir Haschirim i. 1; the latter reckons ten songs altogether, (1) Adam’s at his forgiveness, (2) that of Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea, (3) that of the Israelites, when the spring of water was given them, (4) that of Moses at his death, (5) Joshua’s at Gibeon, (6) that of Barak and Deborah, (7) Hannah’s, (8) David’s, (9) Solomon’s, and (10) that which the children of the captivity are to sing when the Lord frees them. It tallies with this expectation that the new song of the Apocalypse (Revelation 5:9, Revelation 14:3) is always a song of Christ’s redemption.

Revelation 15:5 to Revelation 16:1 : the introduction to the seven bowls or plagues.4. holy] Not the same word as is applied to God in Revelation 4:8 &c., but ordinarily used of human piety or holiness—and in that sense applied to our Lord, in His human character, in Hebrews 7:26. It is only used of God here and in Revelation 16:5 (the true text): in both places the sense is that God is “justified in His saying and clear when He is judged.”

all nations shall come &c.] Psalm 86:9; Isaiah 66:23.

thy judgments] Rather, righteous acts, cf. Revelation 19:8. The word occurs only once besides in the N. T., Romans 5:18.Revelation 15:4. Πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, all nations) Here is declared both the conversion of all nations (comp. Jeremiah 16:19), and the moving cause, together with the time of the conversion.Verse 4. - Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy Name? Omit "thee." The latter part is from Jeremiah 10:7 (see on ver. 3). The former part contains the same idea as Jeremiah 10:6, "Thy Name is great in might." Compare the similar ascription of praise to the beast in Revelation 13:4. The following three clauses supply the reasons for thus fearing and glorifying God. For thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest; for thy righteous acts have been made manifest (Revised Version). "Holy" is ὅσιος, not ἅγιος. It is a word which is applied more particularly to human acts. Perhaps it is used here in connection with the manifest justice of God's acts before all nations; cf. the song of Moses (Exodus 15:11), "Who is like thee, glorious in holiness," etc.? The three clauses supply the reason for fearing and glorifying God, as mentioned in the first part of the verse.

(1) He himself is in his nature holy;

(2) his sway extends over all nations;

(3) the righteousness of his acts is now visible to all.

Afford adds, "Thy deeds of righteousness acted out towards the nations, both in the publication of the gospel and in the destruction of thine enemies." Who shall not fear Thee?

See Jeremiah 10:7. Omit thee.

Holy (ὅσιος)

See on Luke 1:75. The term is applied to Christ in Acts 2:27, Acts 2:35; Hebrews 7:26. To God only here and Revelation 16:5, where the correct reading is ὁ ὅσιος thou holy one, instead of ὁ ἐσόμενος which shalt be.

All nations shall come

Compare Psalm 86:9; Isaiah 2:2-4; Isaiah 66:23; Micah 4:2.

Judgments (δικαιώματα)

Not merely divine decisions, but righteous acts generally. So Rev. Primarily, the word signifies that which has been deemed right so as to have the force of law. Hence an ordinance (Luke 1:6; Hebrews 9:1; Romans 1:32). A judicial decision for or against (Romans 5:16). A righteous deed. See Revelation 19:8.

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