“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11).
“And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:1-10).
Just a few verses earlier, a general invitation to rejoice over the destruction of Babylon is issued. This passage sees the invitation received and acted on.
“Rejoice over her, thou heaven, And ye holy apostles and prophets; For God hath avenged you on her” (Rev. 18:20).
The rejoicing begins, and we see the use of the word *Alleluia* four times. This is the only time that this word is used in the New Testament, and it is striking that the occasion for using it is the destruction of Babylon. Alleluia, the smoke from her ascends forever. Because Babylon is Jerusalem, we see here that her destruction is, in effect, her divorce. Because of her great harlotry, God has finally put her away. And this is why the scene immediately turns to the marriage of Christ to the New Jerusalem. As the New Jerusalem replaces the old Babylon, this makes it clear that the old Babylon is the old Jerusalem.
Salvation, glory, honor and power are given to God for His true and righteous judgments, and these praises are rendered by a great voice of many in heaven. The great whore had corrupted the earth with her fornication, and the blood of Gods servants was finally and completed avenged. This smoking ruin of a city was by this point not a tragedy, but a cause of great rejoicing. Alleluia, the smoke from her ascends forever.
As they had done before earlier in the book, the elders and the living beasts worshiped the God who sat on the throne, and they added their assent by saying, Amen. Alleluia.
And then an unidentified voice came out of the throne, and invited all Gods servants, everyone who feared, whether small or great, to join in the praise. The invitation is offered to *all* Gods servants, and from what happens, it appears that all of them joined in with the praise. A voice like a great multitude responded, a voice like many waters, a voice like multiple thunderings, layered on top of one another, and all together they added the fourth *Alleluia*the Lord God omnipotent reigns.
The joy was not simply over the removal of corrupt Babylon, but also because it made room for the marriage that was Gods intention all along. They said they would be glad and would rejoice, and would give Him honor, because the marriage of Lamb had come. This is the first indication that we have that the book is going to climax with a wedding. But the bride has known about it because she has spent all this time making herself ready. She did this through her righteous behaviorthat behavior was her bridal garment, her white linen.
The angel turned to John, and told him to write out a blessing for those who receive an invitation to this wedding. It is a gloriously mixed metaphor the saints are the bride, the saints righteousness makes up the bridal garment, and the saints individually receive invitations to attend the wedding as guests. Those who are invited are blessed, and the angel affirms that these are the true words of God. There was something about this last solemn pronouncement that undid John, and so he fell on his face to worship the angel, who then rebuked him sternly. He said that he must not do that the angel is just a fellow servant to John, and a fellow
servant to anyone else who has the testimony of Jesus. He is told simply to worship God the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.