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Poole on Revelation 8:4: The Prayers of All Saints

Verse 4:[1] And (Ps. 141:2; Luke 1:10) the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

[And, etc., καὶ ἀνέβη—ταῖς προσευχαῖς, etc.] Spoken after the fashion of the Hebrews in the place of τῶν προσευχῶν, of the prayers:[2] concerning which see what things we said on Colossians 2[3] (Castalio). I think that the Latin here read τῆς προσευχῆς, of the prayer, and rightly. For in such things the Singular and Plural numbers are used interchangeably. And τοῦτ᾽ ἔστι, that is, is understood before that τῆς προσευχῆς, of the prayer: for to what that Vision tended is explained (Grotius). [Thus they translate:] And ascended the smoke of the incenses with the prayers (either, by the prayers, or, according to the prayers [Pareus], or, of the prayers [Erasmus], or, with the prayers [Beze, Piscator], as in verse 3 [Beza], or, of the supplications [Castalio]) of the Saints, etc. (Montanus, etc.); that is to say, They reached God (Menochius, thus Tirinus, Ribera): that is, Those prayers were agreeable to God, and heeded by Him (Pareus, thus Ribera, Cluverus). For this is signified by to ascend into the view of God, Acts 10:4. Compare Exodus 3:9 (Pareus). God, delighted by the consistent piety of the Christians, willed to restrain His wrath against the Jews no longer, whose cruelty against Christians had been so very great (Grotius).


The smoke of the incense, etc.: This only denotes the acceptableness of Christ’s intercession, and God’s people’s prayers, through the virtue of that intercession, unto God.

[1] Greek: καὶ ἀνέβη ὁ καπνὸς τῶν θυμιαμάτων ταῖς προσευχαῖς τῶν ἁγίων ἐκ χειρὸς τοῦ ἀγγέλου ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ. [2] That is, the smoke of the incense of the prayers. [3] See Colossians 2:14: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances (χειρόγραφον τοῖς δόγμασιν) that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross…”

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7 Comments


Ron Francis
Ron Francis
Sep 14, 2021

Enjoying the posts on Revelation. Sermon Audio Series is still the best around. Liked Boston's Discourse on Prayer comment. We pray today for our session as they search for a new pastor. liked the quote...It is certain, that there is nothing that will bear any weight of that, but the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, Revelation 8:4. And his plan for the church.

Only 67 audio's to go and you will have to add some new ones...Looking forward to them.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Sep 11, 2021

Thomas Brook's Privy Key of Heaven: 'It is a notable speech that Luther hath upon Psalm 130, "Often and willingly," saith he, "do I inculcate this, that you should shut your eyes, and your ears, and say, you know no God out of Christ, none but he that was in the lap of Mary, and sucked her breasts," Dulce nomen Christi. He means none out of him. When you go to closet-prayer, look that you pray not in your own names, but in the name of Christ; and that you believe and hope not in your own names, but in the name of Christ; and that you look not to speed in your own names, but in the name o…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Sep 11, 2021

Thomas Boston's Discourses on Prayer: 'They are apt to lay too much weight of their acceptance in their prayers, on what will bear none of it. It is certain, that there is nothing that will bear any weight of that, but the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, Revelation 8:4. But the natural bias of the heart lies another way, to lay weight on the very performance of the duty, and the way how it is performed, as with such affection, pointedness, length, nay, the very voice, as insignificant a thing as it is before the Lord. Hence our Lord cautions against "using vain repetitions" in prayer, "as the Heathen do; for they think (says he) that they shall b…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Sep 10, 2021

Thomas Boston's A View of the Covenant of Grace: 'Their prayers made in faith, though smelling rank of the remains of the corruption of nature, yet being perfumed by the Intercessor with the incense of his merit, are accepted in heaven, and have gracious returns made them, Revelation 8:4.'

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Sep 10, 2021


William Tong (for Matthew Henry): 'To prepare for this, another angel must first offer incense, Revelation 8:3. It is very probable that this other angel is the Lord Jesus, the high priest of the church, who is here described in his sacerdotal office, having a golden censer and much incense, a fulness of merit in his own glorious person, and this incense he was to offer up, with the prayers of all the saints, upon the golden altar of his divine nature. Observe, 1. All the saints are a praying people; none of the children of God are born dumb, a Spirit of grace is always a Spirit of adoption and supplication, teaching us to cry, Abba, Father. Psalm 32:6…

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