Revelation 21:8 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
8. But the fearful ] The cowards would express the sense more accurately, at least in modern English. Those condemned are those who are afraid to do their duty, not those who do it, though timidly and in spite of the fears of nature: still less those who do it “with fear and trembling” in St Paul’s sense.
unbelieving ] It is, as usual, questionable whether this word or “unfaithful” expresses the sense most accurately. He who believes God’s Word is “faithful” to God: the character here condemned is the exact opposite.
abominable ] Lit. abominated; probably alluding to crimes yet fouler than those named.
sorcerers ] Not the same word as that applied to Simon and Bar-jesus in the Acts, but cognate with that used above, Rev 9:21, and rendered “witchcrafts” in Gal 5:20. The natural meaning of the word would rather be “poisoners;” and in fact in St John’s days the two generally went together, and no line could be drawn between them. It is therefore no wonder that both the Apostles speak of it as a real crime connected with murder and other “works of the flesh,” as well as with idolatry. For of course professed sorcery involved devil-worship, the basest idolatry of all, even if the devil had no more direct communication with the sorcerers than he has with all liars and impostors.
liars ] The word is a little more general, all the false.
shall have ] Lit. But to the fearful, &c. their portion [ shall be ] in the lake &c.
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The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".