The Meaning of Revelation 6:15 Explained

Revelation 6:15

KJV: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

YLT: and the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich, and the chiefs of thousands, and the mighty, and every servant, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains,

Darby: And the kings of the earth, and the great, and the chiliarchs, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains;

ASV: And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the chief captains, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains;

What does Revelation 6:15 Mean?

Context Summary

Revelation 6:9-17 - "the Wrath Of The Lamb"
This imagery is very majestic; but we cannot really think that the holy martyrs desire to be revenged, except in love and grace. That their persecutors should be forgiven in Pentecosts of revival must be the highest conception of vengeance that they permit themselves to have. The striking command that they should rest, each enclothed in a white robe of acceptance and purity, until the full roll of martyrs is complete, suggests that every age must yield its tale of those who love not their lives unto the death, because they love the Master so much more. We, too, have our daily martyrdoms, for it may be harder to live for Jesus always against continued opposition and scorn than to die once for Him.
Revelation 9:1-21; Revelation 10:1-11 answer to Matthew 24:6-7. Revelation 12:1-17; Revelation 17:1-18 to Matthew 24:29-30. Probably the words here refer, not to the final judgment, but to those revolutionary changes which always accompany the closing of one era and the opening of another; Hebrews 12:26-27. [source]

Chapter Summary: Revelation 6

1  The First Seal: Rider on White Horse
3  The Second Seal: War
5  The Third Seal: Famine
7  The Fourth Seal: Death
9  The Fifth Seal: Martyrs
12  The Sixth Seal: Terror

Greek Commentary for Revelation 6:15

The princes [οι μεγιστανες]
Late word from the superlative μεγιστος — megistos in lxx, Josephus, papyri, in N.T. only in Mark 6:21; Revelation 6:15; Revelation 18:23, for the grandees, the persecuting proconsuls (Swete). [source]
The chief captains [οι χιλιαρχοι]
The commanders of thousands, the military tribunes (Mark 6:21; Revelation 19:18).The rich (οι πλουσιοι — hoi plousioi). Not merely those in civil and military authority will be terror-stricken, but the self-satisfied and complacent rich (James 5:4.).The strong Who usually scoff at fear. See the list in Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:18. Cf. Luke 21:26.Every bondman (πας δουλος — pās doulos) and freeman (και ελευτερος — kai eleutheros). The two extremes of society.Hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains Based on Isaiah 2:10, Isaiah 2:18. First aorist active indicative of κρυπτω — kruptō with the reflexive pronoun. For the old word σπηλαιον — spēlaion see Matthew 21:13; Hebrews 11:38. Ορεων — Oreōn is the uncontracted Ionic form (for ορων — orōn) of the genitive plural of ορος — oros (mountain). [source]
The rich [οι πλουσιοι]
Not merely those in civil and military authority will be terror-stricken, but the self-satisfied and complacent rich (James 5:4.). [source]
The strong [οι ισχυροι]
Who usually scoff at fear. See the list in Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:18. Cf. Luke 21:26.Every bondman (πας δουλος — pās doulos) and freeman (και ελευτερος — kai eleutheros). The two extremes of society.Hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains Based on Isaiah 2:10, Isaiah 2:18. First aorist active indicative of κρυπτω — kruptō with the reflexive pronoun. For the old word σπηλαιον — spēlaion see Matthew 21:13; Hebrews 11:38. Ορεων — Oreōn is the uncontracted Ionic form (for ορων — orōn) of the genitive plural of ορος — oros (mountain). [source]
Every bondman [πας δουλος]
The two extremes of society. [source]
Hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains [εκρυπσαν εαυτους εις τα σπηλαια και εις τας πετρας των ορεων]
Based on Isaiah 2:10, Isaiah 2:18. First aorist active indicative of κρυπτω — kruptō with the reflexive pronoun. For the old word σπηλαιον — spēlaion see Matthew 21:13; Hebrews 11:38. Ορεων — Oreōn is the uncontracted Ionic form (for ορων — orōn) of the genitive plural of ορος — oros (mountain). [source]
Of the earth []
See on Revelation 6:10. [source]
Great men [μεγιστᾶνες]
Rev., princes. See on high captains, Mark 6:21. [source]
Chief captains [χιλίαρχοι]
See on Mark 6:21, and see on centurion, Luke 7:2. [source]
The mighty [οἱ δυνατοὶ]
The best texts read οἱ ἰσχυροὶ. Rev., the strong. For the difference in meaning, see on the kindred words δύναμις and ἰσχύς mightand power, 2 Peter 2:11. [source]
Every free man []
Omit every, and read as Rev., every bondman and free man. [source]
In the dens [εἰς τὰ σπήλαια]
Rev., caves. The preposition εἰς intoimplies running for shelter into. [source]
Rocks [πέτρας]
See on Matthew 16:18. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Revelation 6:15

Mark 6:21 Lords [μεγιστᾶσιν]
Only here, and Revelation 6:15; Revelation 18:23. A late word, from μέγας , great. [source]
Mark 6:21 Made a supper [deipnon epoiēsen)]
Banquet.To his lords (γενεσιοις — tois megistāsin autou). From δειπνον εποιησεν — megistan (that from τοις μεγιστασιν αυτου — megas great), common in the lxx and later Greek. Cf. Revelation 6:15; Revelation 18:23. In the papyri. The grandees, magnates, nobles, the chief men of civil life.The high captains Military tribunes, commanders of a thousand men.The chief men of Galilee (μεγας — tois prōtois tēs Galilaias). The first men of social importance and prominence. A notable gathering that included these three groups at the banquet on Herod‘s birthday. [source]
Mark 6:21 To his lords [γενεσιοις]
From δειπνον εποιησεν — megistan (that from τοις μεγιστασιν αυτου — megas great), common in the lxx and later Greek. Cf. Revelation 6:15; Revelation 18:23. In the papyri. The grandees, magnates, nobles, the chief men of civil life. [source]
Romans 4:21 Able [δυνατός]
The sense is stronger: mighty; compare Luke 1:49; Luke 24:19; Acts 18:24; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Revelation 6:15. [source]
Revelation 18:23 Great men [μεγιστᾶνες]
Rev., princes. See on Revelation 6:15. [source]
Revelation 1:5 The Ruler of the kings of the earth [ὁ ἄρχων τῶν βασιλέων τῆς γῆς]
Through resurrection He passes to glory and dominion (Philemon 2:9). The comparison with the kings of the earth is suggested by Psalm 2:2. Compare Psalm 89:27; Isaiah 52:15; 1 Timothy 6:16; and see Revelation 6:15; Revelation 17:4; Revelation 19:16. [source]
Revelation 17:2 The kings of the earth [οι βασιλεις της γης]
Repeated in Revelation 1:5; Revelation 6:15; Revelation 17:18; Revelation 18:3, Revelation 18:9; Revelation 19:19; Revelation 21:24 and “the kings of the inhabited earth” (Revelation 16:14) either for human rulers in general or the vassal kings absorbed by the Roman Empire. [source]
Revelation 18:23 Shall shine no more at all [ου μη πανηι]
Fifth instance in these verses of ου μη — ou mē with the aorist subjunctive, here the active of παινω — phainō as in Revelation 8:12. It is not known whether Rome had street lights or not.The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride (πωνη νυμπιου και νυμπης — phōnē numphiou kai numphēs). See John 3:29; Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 16:9. “Even the occasional flash of the torches carried by bridal processions (Matthew 25:1.) is seen no more” (Swete). The sixth instance of ου μη — ou mē in Revelation 18:21-23, occurs with ακουστηι — akousthēi (third instance of ακουστηι — akousthēi two in Revelation 18:22).Were the princes of the earth For μεγισταν — megistān see Revelation 6:15; Mark 6:21. “Thy merchants were the grandees” once, but now these merchant princes are gone.With thy sorcery (εν τηι παρμακιαι σου — en tēi pharmakiāi sou). Εν — En (instrumental use) and the locative case of παρμακια — pharmakia old word (from παρμακευω — pharmakeuō to prepare drugs, from παρμακον — pharmakon sorcery, Revelation 9:21), in N.T. only here and Galatians 5:20 for sorcery and magical arts. If one is puzzled over the connection between medicine and sorcery as illustrated by this word (our pharmacy), he has only to recall quackery today in medicine (patent medicines and cure-alls), witch-doctors, professional faith-healers, medicine-men in Africa. True medical science has had a hard fight to shake off chicanery and charlatanry.Were deceived First aorist passive indicative of πλαναω — planaō These charlatans always find plenty of victims. See Mark 12:24. [source]
Revelation 18:23 Were the princes of the earth [ησαν οι μεγιστανες της γης]
For μεγισταν — megistān see Revelation 6:15; Mark 6:21. “Thy merchants were the grandees” once, but now these merchant princes are gone.With thy sorcery (εν τηι παρμακιαι σου — en tēi pharmakiāi sou). Εν — En (instrumental use) and the locative case of παρμακια — pharmakia old word (from παρμακευω — pharmakeuō to prepare drugs, from παρμακον — pharmakon sorcery, Revelation 9:21), in N.T. only here and Galatians 5:20 for sorcery and magical arts. If one is puzzled over the connection between medicine and sorcery as illustrated by this word (our pharmacy), he has only to recall quackery today in medicine (patent medicines and cure-alls), witch-doctors, professional faith-healers, medicine-men in Africa. True medical science has had a hard fight to shake off chicanery and charlatanry.Were deceived First aorist passive indicative of πλαναω — planaō These charlatans always find plenty of victims. See Mark 12:24. [source]
Revelation 6:15 The princes [οι μεγιστανες]
Late word from the superlative μεγιστος — megistos in lxx, Josephus, papyri, in N.T. only in Mark 6:21; Revelation 6:15; Revelation 18:23, for the grandees, the persecuting proconsuls (Swete). [source]
Revelation 6:16 And hide us [και κρυπσατε ημας]
Same tense of urgency again from κρυπτω — kruptō (verb in Revelation 6:15). Both imperatives come in inverted order from Hosea 10:8 with καλυπσατε — kalupsate (cover) in place of κρυπσατε — krupsate (hide), quoted by Jesus on the way to the Cross (Luke 23:30) in the order here, but with καλυπσατε — kalupsate not κρυπσατε — krupsate the face of him that “What sinners dread most is not death, but the revealed Presence of God” (Swete). Cf. Genesis 3:8. [source]
Revelation 6:17 And who is able to stand? [και τις δυναται στατηναι]
Very much like the words in Nahum 1:6; Malachi 3:2. First aorist passive infinitive of ιστημι — histēmi It is a rhetorical question, apparently by the frightened crowds of Revelation 6:15. Swete observes that the only possible answer to that cry is the command of Jesus in Luke 21:36: “Keep awake on every occasion, praying that ye may get strength to stand (στατηναι — stathēnai the very form) before the Son of Man.” [source]
Revelation 6:16 Fall on us [Πεσατε επ ημας]
Second aorist (first aorist ending) imperative of πιπτω — piptō tense of urgency, do it now.And hide us (και κρυπσατε ημας — kai krupsate hēmās). Same tense of urgency again from κρυπτω — kruptō (verb in Revelation 6:15). Both imperatives come in inverted order from Hosea 10:8 with καλυπσατε — kalupsate (cover) in place of κρυπσατε — krupsate (hide), quoted by Jesus on the way to the Cross (Luke 23:30) in the order here, but with καλυπσατε — kalupsate not κρυπσατε — krupsate the face of him that (απο προσωπου του — apo prosōpou tou etc.). “What sinners dread most is not death, but the revealed Presence of God” (Swete). Cf. Genesis 3:8.And from the wrath of the Lamb Repetition of “the grave irony” (Swete) of Revelation 5:5. The Lamb is the Lion again in the terribleness of his wrath. Recall the mourning in Revelation 1:7. See Matthew 25:41. where Jesus pronounces the woes on the wicked. [source]

What do the individual words in Revelation 6:15 mean?

And the kings of the earth great ones commanders rich powerful every slave free hid themselves in the caves among the rocks of the mountains
Καὶ οἱ βασιλεῖς τῆς γῆς μεγιστᾶνες χιλίαρχοι πλούσιοι ἰσχυροὶ πᾶς δοῦλος ἐλεύθερος ἔκρυψαν ἑαυτοὺς εἰς τὰ σπήλαια εἰς τὰς πέτρας τῶν ὀρέων

βασιλεῖς  kings 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: βασιλεύς  
Sense: leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.
τῆς  of  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
γῆς  earth 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: γῆ  
Sense: arable land.
μεγιστᾶνες  great  ones 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: μεγιστάν  
Sense: the grandees, magnates, nobles, chief men.
χιλίαρχοι  commanders 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: χιλίαρχος  
Sense: a chiliarch, the commander of a thousand soldiers.
πλούσιοι  rich 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: πλούσιος  
Sense: wealthy, abounding in material resources.
ἰσχυροὶ  powerful 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἰσχυρός  
Sense: strong, mighty.
πᾶς  every 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: πᾶς  
Sense: individually.
δοῦλος  slave 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: δοῦλοσ1 
Sense: a slave, bondman, man of servile condition.
ἐλεύθερος  free 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἐλεύθερος  
Sense: freeborn.
ἔκρυψαν  hid 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: κρύπτω  
Sense: to hide, conceal, to be hid.
ἑαυτοὺς  themselves 
Parse: Reflexive Pronoun, Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἑαυτοῦ  
Sense: himself, herself, itself, themselves.
σπήλαια  caves 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: σπήλαιον  
Sense: a cave, den.
πέτρας  rocks 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: πέτρα  
Sense: a rock, cliff or ledge.
τῶν  of  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ὀρέων  mountains 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: ὄρος  
Sense: a mountain.