R E V E L A T I O N.
In this chapter we have, I. A further account of the triumphant song of angels and saints for the fall of Babylon, ver. 1-4. II. The marriage between Christ and the church proclaimed and perfected, ver. 5-10. III. Another warlike expedition of the glorious head and husband of the church, with the success of it, ver. 10, &c.
A. D. 95.
1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
The fall of Babylon being fixed, finished, and declared to be irrecoverable in the foregoing chapter, this begins with a holy triumph over her, in pursuance of the order given forth: Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, ch. xviii. 20. They now gladly answer the call; and here you have,
1. The form of their thanksgiving, in that heavenly and most comprehensive word, Alleluia, praise you the Lord: with this they begin, with this they go on, and with this they end (v. 4); their prayers are now turned into praises, their hosannas end in halleluias.
2. The matter of their thanksgiving: they praise him for the truth of his word, and the righteousness of his providential conduct, especially in this great event–the ruin of Babylon, which had been a mother, nurse, and nest of idolatry, lewdness, and cruelty (v. 2), for which signal example of divine justice they ascribe salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto our God.
3. The effect of these their praises: when the angels and saints cried Alleluia, her fire burned more fiercely and her smoke ascended for ever and ever, v. 3. The surest way to have our deliverances continued and completed is to give God the glory of what he has done for us. Praising God for what we have is praying in the most effectual manner for what is yet further to be done for us; the praises of the saints blow up the fire of God’s wrath against the common enemy.
4. The blessed harmony between the angels and the saints in this triumphant song, v. 4. The churches and their ministers take the melodious sound from the angels, and repeat it; falling down, and worshipping God, they cry, Amen, Alleluia.
– Matthew Henry Commentary