Poole on Revelation 7:15, 16: The Blessedness of Heaven, Part 1

Verse 15:[1] Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall (Is. 4:5, 6; Rev. 21:3) dwell among them.


[Therefore] That is, because they washed, etc. (Cluverus, Durham).



[They are before the Throne of God] That is, adorned with heavenly glory, they serve God (Cluverus), enjoying a clear and continuous Vision of God and intimate familiarity (Tirinus, similarly Pareus, Cluverus). They are in sight of God: they are of the greatest concern to Him (Grotius). Others: He teaches that the true Church is denoted here (Forbes). They have fellowship with God, begun in the Church through the instituted worship, perfected in the heavens, before the Throne of glory (Durham). Others: It is not treated here of the kingdom and state of glory, in which the Lamb does not administrate, 1 Corinthians 15:24, as He does here; but of the kingdom of grace, of the felicitous state of the Church now liberated from all the oppression and servitude of Antichrist or other open enemies, possessing an abundance of light and peace, which nevertheless he expresses here magnificently, after the fashion of the Prophets, as in Isaiah 25; 49; 60. And it is remarkable that men, accustomed to the ordinary style of Scripture, drew these things to another sense. But concerning this matter, see more things on Revelation 20-22 (Forbes).


[They serve Him (not, I say, do they sleep, nor are they idle there [Cluverus]) day and night (that is, perpetually [Menochius], continuously [Tirinus], without intermission [Cluverus, Durham], forever [Pareus]: A catachresis,[2] for in Revelation 21:25 there shall be no night there [Menochius]) in His temple] That is, in heaven (Piscator, Drusius, Menochius, thus Pareus, Durham). Objection: There is no Temple there, Revelation 21:22. Response: Namely, of timber, but the Temple there is God and the Lamb (Pareus, thus Ribera), and the entire city of the blessed, for in it God is always celebrated with great love and suitable praises (Ribera). The sense is the same as in Revelation 4:8 (Grotius), they worship Him day, etc., suppose as Priests. The custom of the Jews in proving and admitting Priests is regarded, who were judged by the Great Sanhedrin, and, if vice was found in them, they put on black garments, and so, going out, they departed; if they were free from vice, they put on white garments, and, having entered in, they ministered with the Priests their brethren. See on Revelation 6:11 (Mede’s Works 1113). The blessed need no Priest (Durham), [but] they themselves, as true priests of God, as it were, offer themselves to God, and sing the praises of God (Ribera). It is a similitude taken from the Levites or Priests (Grotius, Durham, similarly Ribera, Cluverus, Beza), of which some were always keeping vigil in the Temple (Grotius, similarly Beza, Cluverus). See 1 Chronicles 9:33 (Cluverus); Psalm 134:1 (Cluverus, Grotius, Beza). And it is a tacit consolation. Indeed, the Jewish Temple, which is nothing but timber, shall perish; but there shall be another Temple, standing firm, constructed of pious minds and pure bodies (Grotius).


Therefore are they before the throne of God; not that they by their sufferings have merited heaven, but because it pleaseth God of his free grace so to reward them; therefore it was said, not only that they were such as came out of tribulation, but that they had washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb, whose blood had pai