Revelation 14:1 Commentary - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary
1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Here we have one of the most pleasing sights that can be viewed in this world--the Lord Jesus Christ at the head of his faithful adherents and attendants. Here observe, 1. How Christ appears: as a Lamb standing upon mount Zion. Mount Zion is the gospel church. Christ is with his church and in the midst of her in all her troubles, and therefore she is not consumed. It is his presence that secures her perseverance; he appears as a Lamb, a true Lamb, the Lamb of God. A counterfeit lamb is mentioned as rising out of the earth in the last chapter, which was really a dragon; here Christ appears as the true paschal Lamb, to show that his mediatorial government is the fruit of his sufferings, and the cause of his people's safety and fidelity. 2. How his people appear: very honourably. (1.) As to the numbers, they are many, even all who are sealed; not one of them lost in all the tribulations through which they have gone. (2.) Their distinguishing badge: they had the name of God written in their foreheads; they made a bold and open profession of their faith in God and Christ, and, this being followed by suitable actings, they are known and approved. (3.) Their congratulations and songs of praise, which were peculiar to the redeemed (v. 3); their praises were loud as thunder, or as the voice of many waters; they were melodious, as of harpers; they were heavenly, before the throne of God. The song was new, suited to the new covenant, and unto that new and gracious dispensation of Providence under which they now were; and their song was a secret to others, strangers intermeddled not with their joy; others might repeat the words of the song, but they were strangers to the true sense and spirit of it. (4.) Their character and description. [1.] They are described by their chastity and purity: They are virgins. They had not defiled themselves either with corporal or spiritual adultery; they had kept themselves clean from the abominations of the antichristian generation. [2.] By their loyalty and stedfast adherence to Christ: They follow the Lamb withersoever he goes; they follow the conduct of his word, Spirit, and providence, leaving it to him to lead them into what duties and difficulties he pleases. [3.] By their former designation to this honour: These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits to God, and to the Lamb, v. 4. Here is plain evidence of a special redemption: They were redeemed from among men. Some of the children of men are, by redeeming mercy, distinguished from others: They were the first-fruits to God, and to the Lamb, his choice ones, eminent in every grace, and the earnest of many more who should be followers of them, as they were of Christ. [4.] By their universal integrity and conscientiousness: There was no guile found in them, and they were without fault before the throne of God. They were without any prevailing guile, any allowed fault; their hearts were right with God, and, as for their human infirmities, they were freely pardoned in Christ. This is the happy remnant who attend upon the Lord Jesus as their head and Lord; he is glorified in them, and they are glorified in him.
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Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary
Matthew Henry (1662 - 1714) was a Presbyterian minister in England who began his commentary on the Bible in 1704. He completed his work up to the end of Acts before his death. Afterwards, his ministerial friends completed the work from Henry’s notes and writings.