Revelation 19:1

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! Revelation 19:1

Different source texts will read a little differently here –

And after these things I heard a great voice of a great multitude in the heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia! the salvation, and the glory, and the honour, and the power, is to the Lord our God; YLT

After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; NASB 1995

With the variations, the verse can now be analyzed. The words, “After these things,” introduce a new train of thought into the narrative as has been seen elsewhere. In this case, the destruction of Babylon the great has just been noted, now a great rejoicing in the victory of the Lord over her comes into the narrative. As John says, “I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven.”

The vision starts with hearing, “a great voice, like voice of a multitude in heaven,” not with a single voice. The answer to who these are is found in the previous chapter, verse 20 –

“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”

It is the sound of the many worshipers there before the throne in heaven as they raise their voices in praise, “saying, Alleluia!”

This is the Greek form of the Hebrew words Hallelujah. That comes from the words halal, or praise (literally to shine), and Yah, a shortened form of the divine name Yehovah. This is the first of four times the word will be used in the New Testament. All four uses will be in this chapter of Revelation. The multitude are together praising the self-existent Creator God, the I AM THAT I AM of Exodus 3:14, and who is then proclaimed throughout the Old Testament.

“Hallelujah” is the phrase that today most closely unites believers from all over the world. Anywhere that the true God is proclaimed, a few words from Hebrew are almost universally understood. Chief among them are “Hallelujah” and “Amen.” These two words, in particular, seem to transfer to all languages on earth, and they will unite all souls in heaven’s praise as well.

Next, it says, “Salvation and glory and honor and power.”

Salvation – the Greek word is sótéria. It is that which is brought to the people through the workings of God in Christ. For example, Paul says –

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16

Glory – it is the Greek word doxa. When ascribed to God, it conveys the thought of His infinite and intrinsic worth.

Honor – In Greek, the word is timé. It speaks of that which has value in the eyes of the beholder. Thus, in the case of God, it is that which is of infinite value that is being ascribed to Him.

Power – The Greek word is dunamis. It speaks of the ability to perform. When speaking of the power of God, it signifies His infinite ability to work out His plans effectively. There is nothing that He sets forth to accomplish that He will also not perform.

Each of these attributes is then said to “belong to the Lord our God!” They are His possession in their fullest sense, and thus it is acknowledged as such by His creatures. His redemptive plans were spoken forth, and He has brought them to pass because of His ability to do so.

Life application: The heavenly congregation was told in the previous chapter to rejoice at the fall of Babylon and now they do so in a resounding cry of exultation. But who is the Lord God that they are praising? A clue is found in Jesus’ words of Luke.

The word “salvation” in the Old Testament is quite often translated from the word yeshuah. This is the Hebrew name of Jesus, or Yeshua. Throughout the Bible, hints of His coming are given in the Old Testament and puns or plays on His name are given in the New. A good example of one such pun is from Jesus’ own mouth –

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.’” Luke 19:9

“Salvation” came to the house of Zacchaeus, both in the spiritual sense, but it also came in the literal sense when Jesus (Yeshua/salvation) came to dine with him.

Along with “salvation” the people also proclaim that “glory,” “honor,” and “power” belong to the Lord God. Each of these descriptions is used both of the Lord (Yehovah) in the Old Testament and to Jesus in the New. In fact, in Isaiah, the Lord says that He would not give His glory to another. The New Testament descriptions of Jesus’ glory are then confirmations of His deity.

The Lord has revealed Himself to mankind clearly and without confusion. He is the image of the invisible God, and in Him dwells all of the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Alleluia! He is JESUS!

How wonderful it is to know that we have You, O Lord Jesus, to reveal to us the love and greatness of Your Father. You have bridged the gap between the finite and the infinite so that we can now have a Mediator who both understands our weaknesses and who also is able to petition for us to our Heavenly Father. What a great and splendid Lord You are. Amen.