The Meaning of Revelation 14:2 Explained

Revelation 14:2

KJV: 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:

YLT: and I heard a voice out of the heaven, as a voice of many waters, and as a voice of great thunder, and a voice I heard of harpers harping with their harps,

Darby: And I heard a voice out of the heaven as a voice of many waters, and as a voice of great thunder. And the voice which I heard was as of harp-singers harping with their harps;

ASV: And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

What does Revelation 14:2 Mean?

Verse Meaning

John did not identify the person who spoke from heaven. This could be the voice of Christ (cf. Revelation 1:15; Ezekiel 1:24; Ezekiel 43:2), the Tribulation martyrs ( Revelation 7:10), an angel (cf. Revelation 6:1; Daniel 10:6), or many angels ( Revelation 5:8; Revelation 5:11; Revelation 7:11; Revelation 19:6). Perhaps the last option is best in view of how John described it here and in the next verse (pl. "they sang"). These angels do not include the four living creatures and the24elders, however ( Revelation 14:3).

Context Summary

Revelation 14:1-8 - The Lamb's Chosen Worshipers
The blessed ones with whom this chapter opens are only the first-fruit sheaf from the great harvest field. Think of it! If one sheaf consists of 144,000, what will be the entire number of the saved? The characteristics attributed to them may be realized by us all now and here. We must bear the name, that is, the nature and character of Jesus, in our faces; we must be pure in heart and life; and we must go wherever He goes. If to Gethsemane, we must follow Him; if to Calvary, we must take up our cross and go thither; if to Heaven, we shall be with Him there also. It is thought by some that this first-fruit sheaf represents the dear children who have died in early life and have become the Savior's body-guard and close associates. It may be so, but more likely it stands for the possessors of the child-heart.
In majestic procession, one after another, strong angels are seen issuing from the heavenly portals, with "their sublime announcements. Notice the phrase, the everlasting gospel, Revelation 14:6. In other words, the gospel of the grace of God is no expedient brought in to patch up a program which has been seriously spoiled; it is as old as eternity and brings to men eternal joy, and peace, and hope. [source]

Chapter Summary: Revelation 14

1  The Lamb standing on Mount Zion with his company
6  An angel preaches the gospel
8  The fall of Babylon
15  The harvest of the world
20  The winepress of the wrath of God

Greek Commentary for Revelation 14:2

As a voice of many waters [ως πωνην υδατων πολλων]
For which see Revelation 1:15. [source]
Of a great thunder [βροντης μεγαλης]
For which see Revelation 6:1; Revelation 19:6. For this voice out of heaven see Revelation 10:4; Revelation 14:15; Revelation 18:4 and note accusative with ηκουσα — ēkousa the voice of harpers harping with their harps Triple use of κιταρα — kithara (Revelation 5:8), κιταρωιδων — kitharōidōn (Revelation 18:22), κιταριζοντων — kitharizontōn (old verb κιταριζω — kitharizō in N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 14:7). Wonderful melody in this chorus by the angels, not by the 144,000. [source]
And I heard the voice of harpers [καὶ φωνὴν ἤκουσα κιθαρῳδῶν]
The correct reading is, καὶ ἡ φωνὴ ἣν ἤκουσα ὡς κιθαρῳδῶν andthe voice which I heard (was) as (the voice) of harpers. Κιθαρῳδός is from κιθάρα aharp (see on Revelation 5:8) and ᾠδός asinger. Properly, one who sings, accompanying himself on the harp. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Revelation 14:2

John 3:8 Sound [φωνὴν]
Rev., voice. Used both of articulate and inarticulate utterances, as of the words from heaven at Jesus' baptism and transfiguration (Matthew 3:17; 2 Peter 1:17, 2 Peter 1:18); of the trumpet (Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 14:8), and of inanimate things in general (1 Corinthians 14:17). John the Baptist calls himself φωνή , a voice, and the word is used of the wind, as here, in Acts 2:6. Of thunder, often in the Revelation (Revelation 6:1; Revelation 14:2, etc.). [source]
John 11:18 About fifteen furlongs off [ως απο σταδιων δεκαπεντε]
The idiom of απο — apo with the ablative for distance is like the Latin a millibus passum duobus (Caesar, Bell. Gall. ii. 7), but it See it again in John 21:8; Revelation 14:20. [source]
James 3:3 Bits [χαλινοὺς]
Only here and Revelation 14:20. It may be rendered either bit, as A. V., or bridle, as Rev., but bridle is preferable because it corresponds with the verb to bridle (James 3:2) which is compounded with this noun. [source]
James 3:3 The horses‘ bridles [των ιππων τους χαλινους]
ιππων — Hippōn (genitive plural of ιππος — hippos horse, old word, in N.T. only here except in the Apocalypse), put first because the first of the several illustrations of the power and the peril of the tongue. This is the only N.T. example of χαλινος — chalinos old word for bridle (from χαλαω — chalaō to slacken, let down), except Revelation 14:20.That they may obey us (εις το πειτεσται αυτους ημιν — eis to peithesthai autous hēmin). Present middle infinitive of πειτω — peithō with εις το — eis to as a purpose clause with the dative ημιν — hēmin after πειτεσται — peithesthai and αυτους — autous the accusative of general reference.We turn about Present active indicative of μεταγω — metagō late compound to change the direction (μετα — meta αγω — agō), to guide, in N.T. only here and James 3:4. The body of the horse follows his mouth, guided by the bridle. [source]
Revelation 21:16 Four square [τετράγωνος]
From τέτρα fourand γωνία anangle. Only here in the New Testament. Compare Ezekiel 48:16, Ezekiel 48:20. Twelve-thousand furlongs ( ἐπὶ σταδίων δώδεκα χιλιάδων ). Strictly, to the length of ( ἐπί ) twelve, etc. For the collective term χιλιάδες thousandssee on Revelation 5:11. For furlongs see on Revelation 14:20. The twelve-thousand furlongs would be 1378.97 English miles. Interpretations vary hopelessly. The description seems to be that of a vast cube, which may have been suggested by the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle, which was of that shape. But opinions differ as to whether the twelve thousand furlongs are the measure of the four sides of the city taken together, in which case each side will measure three thousand furlongs; or whether the twelve-thousand furlongs are intended to represent the length of each side. The former explanation is prompted by the desire to reduce the vast dimensions of the city. Another difficulty is raised about the height. Düsterdieck, for example, maintains that the houses were three-thousand stadia in height. The question arises whether the vertical surface of the cube includes the hill or rock on which the city was placed, a view to which Alford inclines. These are enough to show how utterly futile are attempts to reduce these symbolic visions to mathematical statement. Professor Milligan aptly remarks: “Nor is it of the smallest moment to reduce the enormous dimensions spoken of. No reduction brings them within the bounds of verisimilitude; and no effort in that direction is required. The idea is alone to be thought of.” [source]
Revelation 18:22 Harpers []
See on Revelation 14:2. [source]
Revelation 15:2 The harps of God []
Omit the. Instruments devoted wholly to His praise. Compare Revelation 5:8; Revelation 14:2. [source]
Revelation 1:9 Patmos []
Now called Patmo and Palmosa. In the Aegean, one of the group of the Sporades, about twenty-eight miles S. S.W. of Samos. It is about ten miles long by six in breadth. The island is volcanic, and is bare and rocky throughout; the hills, of which the highest rises to nearly a thousand feet, commanding a magnificent view of the neighboring sea and islands. The bay of La Scala, running into the land on the east, divides the island into two nearly equal parts, a northern and a southern. The ancient town, remains of which are still to be seen, occupied the isthmus which separates La Scala from the bay of Merika on the western coast. The modern town is on a hill in the southern half of the island, clustered at the foot of the monastery of St. John. A grotto is shown called “the grotto of the Apocalypse,” in which the apostle is said to have received the vision. “The stern, rugged barrenness of its broken promontories well suits the historical fact of the relegation of the condemned Christian to its shores, as of a convict to his prison. The view from the topmost peak, or, indeed, from any lofty elevation in the islands, unfolds an unusual sweep such as well became the Apocalypse, the unveiling of the future to the eyes of the solitary seer. Above, there was always the broad heaven of a Grecian sky; sometimes bright with its 'white cloud' (Revelation 14:14), sometimes torn with 'lightnings and thunderings,' and darkened by 'great hail,' or cheered with 'a rainbow like unto an emerald' (Revelation 4:3; Revelation 8:7; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 16:21). Over the high tops of Icaria, Samos, and Naxos rise the mountains of Asia Minor; amongst which would lie, to the north, the circle of the Seven Churches to which his addresses were to be sent. Around him stood the mountains and islands of the Archipelago (Revelation 6:14; Revelation 16:20). When he looked round, above or below, 'the sea' would always occupy the foremost place … the voices of heaven were like the sound of the waves beating on the shore, as 'the sound of many waters' (Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6); the millstone was 'cast into the sea' (Revelation 18:21); the sea was to 'give up the dead which were in it' (Revelation 20:13)” (Stanley, “Sermons in the East”). [source]
Revelation 1:15 Many waters []
Compare Ezekiel 1:24; Ezekiel 43:2; Isaiah 17:12. See also Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6. [source]
Revelation 1:6 And he made [και εποιησεν]
Change from the participle construction, which would be και ποιησαντι — kai poiēsanti (first aorist active of ποιεω — poieō) like λυσαντι — lusanti just before, a Hebraism Charles calls it, but certainly an anacoluthon of which John is very fond, as in Revelation 1:18; Revelation 2:2, Revelation 2:9, Revelation 2:20; Revelation 3:9; Revelation 7:14; Revelation 14:2.; Revelation 15:3. [source]
Revelation 1:15 As the voice of many waters [ως πωνη υδατων πολλων]
So the voice of God in the Hebrew (not the lxx) of Ezekiel 43:2. Repeated in Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6. [source]
Revelation 12:10 A great voice saying [πωνην μεγαλην λεγουσαν]
Accusative after ηκουσα — ēkousa in this phrase as in Revelation 5:11; Revelation 10:4; Revelation 14:2; Revelation 18:4, but the genitive πωνης λεγουσης — phōnēs legousēs in Revelation 11:12; Revelation 14:13. We are not told whence this voice or song comes, possibly from one of the twenty-four elders (Swete) or some other heavenly beings (Revelation 11:15) who can sympathize with human beings (Revelation 19:10), the martyrs in heaven (Charles). [source]
Revelation 14:19 And cast it [εβαλεν]
Repeating εβαλεν — ebalen and referring to αμπελον — ampelon (vintage) just before.Into the winepress the great winepress (εις την ληνον τον μεγαν — eis tēn lēnon ton megan). Ληνος — Lēnos is either feminine as in Revelation 14:20; Revelation 19:15, or masculine sometimes in ancient Greek. Here we have both genders, a solecism frequent in the Apocalypse (Revelation 21:14 το τειχος εχων — to teichos echōn). See Matthew 21:33. For this metaphor of God s wrath see Revelation 14:10; Revelation 15:1, Revelation 15:7; Revelation 16:1, Revelation 16:19; Revelation 19:15. [source]
Revelation 1:15 As if it had been refined [ως πεπυρομενης]
Perfect passive participle of πυροω — puroō old verb, to set on fire, to glow, as in Ephesians 6:16; Revelation 3:18. The feminine gender shows that η χαλκολιβανος — hē chalkolibanos is referred to with της χαλκολιβανου — tēs chalkolibanou understood, for it does not agree in case with the associative-instrumental χαλκολιβανωι — chalkolibanōi just before. Some would call it a slip for πεπυρομενωι — pepuromenōi as Aleph, and some cursives have it (taking χαλκολιβανωι — chalkolibanōi to be neuter, not feminine). But P Q read πεπυρωμενοι — pepurōmenoi (masculine plural), a correction, making it agree in number and gender with ποδες — podes (feet).In a furnace (εν καμινωι — en kaminōi). Old word, in N.T. also Revelation 9:2; Matthew 13:42, Matthew 13:50.As the voice of many waters So the voice of God in the Hebrew (not the lxx) of Ezekiel 43:2. Repeated in Revelation 14:2; Revelation 19:6. [source]
Revelation 14:19 Gathered [ετρυγησεν]
Like ετεριστη — etheristhē in Revelation 14:16, in obedience to the instructions in Revelation 14:18 “The vine of the earth.” Here αμπελος — ampelos is used for the enemies of Christ collectively pictured.And cast it Repeating εβαλεν — ebalen and referring to αμπελον — ampelon (vintage) just before.Into the winepress the great winepress (εις την ληνον τον μεγαν — eis tēn lēnon ton megan). Ληνος — Lēnos is either feminine as in Revelation 14:20; Revelation 19:15, or masculine sometimes in ancient Greek. Here we have both genders, a solecism frequent in the Apocalypse (Revelation 21:14 το τειχος εχων — to teichos echōn). See Matthew 21:33. For this metaphor of God s wrath see Revelation 14:10; Revelation 15:1, Revelation 15:7; Revelation 16:1, Revelation 16:19; Revelation 19:15. [source]
Revelation 14:19 Into the winepress the great winepress [εις την ληνον τον μεγαν]
Ληνος — Lēnos is either feminine as in Revelation 14:20; Revelation 19:15, or masculine sometimes in ancient Greek. Here we have both genders, a solecism frequent in the Apocalypse (Revelation 21:14 το τειχος εχων — to teichos echōn). See Matthew 21:33. For this metaphor of God s wrath see Revelation 14:10; Revelation 15:1, Revelation 15:7; Revelation 16:1, Revelation 16:19; Revelation 19:15. [source]
Revelation 15:2 Mingled with fire [μεμιγμενην πυρι]
Perfect passive participle of μιγνυμι — mignumi to mix, and the associative instrumental case πυρι — puri This item not in Revelation 4:6 (a vision of peace), but here it adds to the splendour of the vision. This parenthesis (Revelation 15:2-4) gives a picture of the martyrs in their state of bliss.Them that come off victorious (τους νικωντας — tous nikōntas). Present active articular participle of νικαω — nikaō accusative after ειδον — eidon “those that come off victorious” (Revelation 14:4).From the beast and from his image This use of εκ — ek after νικαω — nikaō is unusual, also with εκ του αριτμου — ek tou arithmou For these items see Revelation 13:1, Revelation 13:14, Revelation 13:17; Revelation 14:9, Revelation 14:11; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:4.By the glassy sea (επι την ταλασσαν την υαλινην — epi tēn thalassan tēn hualinēn). Or “upon” more likely (Revelation 4:6) with the accusative as in Matthew 14:25.Harps of God Objective genitive, for the worship of God (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 14:2; 1 Chronicles 16:42). [source]
Revelation 15:2 From the beast and from his image [εκ του τηριου και εκ της εικονος αυτου]
This use of εκ — ek after νικαω — nikaō is unusual, also with εκ του αριτμου — ek tou arithmou For these items see Revelation 13:1, Revelation 13:14, Revelation 13:17; Revelation 14:9, Revelation 14:11; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:4.By the glassy sea (επι την ταλασσαν την υαλινην — epi tēn thalassan tēn hualinēn). Or “upon” more likely (Revelation 4:6) with the accusative as in Matthew 14:25.Harps of God Objective genitive, for the worship of God (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 14:2; 1 Chronicles 16:42). [source]
Revelation 15:2 Harps of God [κιταρας του τεου]
Objective genitive, for the worship of God (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 14:2; 1 Chronicles 16:42). [source]
Revelation 19:6 As it were the voice [ως πωνην]
Used here three times, as once in Revelation 19:1: once of a second great multitude (οχλου πολλου — ochlou pollou), not of angels as in Revelation 19:1, but the innumerable multitude of the redeemed of Revelation 7:9; then “of many waters” (υδατων πολλων — hudatōn pollōn) as in Revelation 1:15; Revelation 14:2 like “the roar of a cataract” (Swete); and once more “the voice of mighty thunders” (βροντων ισχυρων — brontōn ischurōn) as in Revelation 6:1; Revelation 10:3. [source]
Revelation 18:22 Of harpers [κιταρωιδων]
Old word (from κιταρα — kithara harp, and ωιδος — ōidos singer) as in Revelation 14:2.Of minstrels (μουσικων — mousikōn). Old word (from μουσα — mousa music), here only in N.T., one playing on musical instruments.Of flute-players Old word (from αυλεω — auleō to play on a flute, Matthew 11:17, αυλος — aulos flute, 1 Corinthians 14:7), in N.T. only here and Matthew 9:23.Of trumpeters (σαλπιστων — salpistōn). Late form for the earlier σαλπιγκτης — salpigktēs (from σαλπιζω — salpizō), here only in N.T.Shall be heard no more at all First aorist passive subjunctive of ακουω — akouō with the double negative as below, with πωνη μυλου — phōnē mulou (sound of the millstone), and as in Revelation 18:21 with ου με ευρετηι — ou me heurethēi and again with πας τεχνιτης — pās technitēs (craftsman). This old word is from τεχνη — technē art, as here in some MSS. (“of whatsoever craft,” πασης τεχνης — pasēs technēs). Τεχνιτης — Technitēs occurs also in this sense in Acts 19:24, Acts 19:38; and in Hebrews 11:10 of God as the Architect. There is power in this four-fold sonorous repetition of ου μη — ou mē and the subjunctive with two more examples in Revelation 18:23. [source]

What do the individual words in Revelation 14:2 mean?

And I heard a voice out of - heaven as [the] sound of waters many of thunder loud the voice that [was] like that of harpists harping with the harps of them
καὶ ἤκουσα φωνὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὡς φωνὴν ὑδάτων πολλῶν βροντῆς μεγάλης φωνὴ ἣν ὡς κιθαρῳδῶν κιθαριζόντων ἐν ταῖς κιθάραις αὐτῶν

ἤκουσα  I  heard 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: ἀκουστός 
Sense: to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf.
φωνὴν  a  voice 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: φωνή  
Sense: a sound, a tone.
ἐκ  out  of 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐκ 
Sense: out of, from, by, away from.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
οὐρανοῦ  heaven 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: οὐρανός  
Sense: the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it.
φωνὴν  [the]  sound 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: φωνή  
Sense: a sound, a tone.
ὑδάτων  of  waters 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: ὕδωρ  
Sense: water.
πολλῶν  many 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: πολύς  
Sense: many, much, large.
βροντῆς  of  thunder 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: βροντή  
Sense: thunder.
μεγάλης  loud 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: μέγας  
Sense: great.
φωνὴ  voice 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: φωνή  
Sense: a sound, a tone.
ἣν  that 
Parse: Personal / Relative Pronoun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ὅς 
Sense: who, which, what, that.
ὡς  [was]  like  that 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὡς 
Sense: as, like, even as, etc.
κιθαρῳδῶν  of  harpists 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: κιθαρῳδός  
Sense: a harper, one who plays the harp and accompanies it with his voice.
κιθαριζόντων  harping 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: κιθαρίζω  
Sense: to play upon the harp.
κιθάραις  harps 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Plural
Root: κιθάρα  
Sense: a harp to which praises of God are sung in heaven.
αὐτῶν  of  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.