The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Revelation 19:5–10 (ESV)
5 And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.”
6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The triumphant song being ended, and epithalamium, or marriage-song, begins, v. 6.
I. The concert of heavenly music.
The chorus was large and loud, as the voice of many waters and of mighty thunderings. God is fearful in praises. There is no discord in heaven; the morning stars sing together; no jarring string, nor key untuned, but pure and perfect melody.
II. The occasion of this song; and that is the reign and dominion of that omnipotent God who has redeemed his church by his own blood, and is now in a more public manner betrothing her to himself: The marriage of the Lamb has come, v. 7.
Some think this refers to the conversion of the Jews, which they suppose will succeed the fall of Babylon; others, to the general resurrection: the former seems more probable.
Now, 1. You have here a description of the bride
She appeared; not in the gay and gaudy dress of the mother of harlots, but in fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of saints; in the robes of Christ’s righteousness, both imputed for justification and imparted for sanctification—the stola, the white robe of absolution, adoption, and enfranchisement, and the white robe of purity and universal holiness. She had washed her robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; and these her nuptial ornaments she did not purchase by any price of her own, but received them as the gift and grant of her blessed Lord.
2. The marriage-feast
Though not particularly described (as Mt. 22:4), yet is declared to be such as would make all those happy who were called to it, so called as to accept the invitation, a feast made up of the promises of the gospel, the true sayings of God, v. 9. These promises, opened, applied, sealed, and earnested by the Spirit of God, in holy eucharistical ordinances, are the marriage-feast; and the whole collective body of all those who partake of this feast is the bride, the Lamb’s wife; they eat into one body, and drink into one Spirit, and are not mere spectators or guests, but coalesce into the espoused party, the mystical body of Christ.
3. The transport of joy which the apostle felt in himself at this vision.
He fell down at the feet of the angel, to worship him, supposing him to be more than a creature, or having his thoughts at the present overpowered by the vehemency of his affections.
Here observe, (1.) What honour he offered to the angel:
He fell at his feet, to worship him; this prostration was a part of external worship, it was a posture of proper adoration.
(2.) How the angel refused it, and this was with some resentment:
“See thou do it not; have a care what thou doest, thou art doing a wrong thing.”
(3.) He gave a very good reason for his refusal:
“I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren which have the testimony of Jesus—I am a creature, thine equal in office, though not in nature; I, as an angel and messenger of God, have the testimony of Jesus, a charge to be a witness for him and to testify concerning him, and thou, as an apostle, having the Spirit of prophecy, hast the same testimony to give in; and therefore we are in this brethren and fellow-servants.”
(4.) He directs him to the true and only object of religious worship; namely, God:
“Worship God, and him alone.” This fully condemns both the practice of the papists in worshipping the elements of bread and wine, and saints, and angels, and the practice of those Socinians and Arians who do not believe that Christ is truly and by nature God, and yet pay him religious worship; and this shows what wretched fig-leaves all their evasions and excuses are which they offer in their own vindication: they stand hereby convicted of idolatry by a messenger from heaven.
Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible