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2 posted on 11/26/2012 6:11:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Revelation 14:14-19

The Harvest and the Vintage


[14] Then I looked, and lo, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son
of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. [15]
And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who
sat upon the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come,
for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” [16] So he who sat upon the cloud
swung his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

[17] And another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp
sickle. [18] Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has power
over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Put in
your sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.”
[19] So the angel swung his sickle on the earth and gathered the vintage of the
earth, and threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

14-20. This preliminary description of the Last Judgment is given in two scenes
— the harvest (cf. 14:14-16) and the vintage (cf. 14:17-20) — no doubt following
the prophecy of Joel about how God will judge nations hostile to Israel: “Let the
nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I
shall sit to judge all the nations round about. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is
ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full” (Joel 3:12-13).

In the first scene Christ himself appears, described as “son of man” (cf. Dan 7:
13); it is he who will deliver the judgment (symbolized by the harvest), as in the
parable of the wheat and the weeds (cf. Mt 13: 24-30). In the second it is an an-
gel sent by God who gathers the grapes and puts them in the press to be trod-
den on either by God (in keeping with the prophecy of Isaiah 63:3, which says,
“I have trodden the wine press alone”) or by Christ (as we are told later in Reve-
lation 19:15). In either case we are being told that Jesus Christ, true God and
true man, has been empowered to perform the General Judgment which, accor-
ding to Jewish tradition, will take place at the gates of Jerusalem (cf., e.g. Zech
14:4) and which involves a huge bloodbath (cf. Rev 14:20).

In both scenes, an angel has the prominent role of giving the order (cf. vv. 15,
18) The fact that he comes out from the temple and the altar shows that the out-
come is linked to the prayers of the saints and martyrs, which stir Christ to take
action (cf. Rev 8:3-4). So it is that the moment Christ is made present on the al-
tar through the consecration of the bread and wine the Church calls for him to
come again — calls for his second coming, the Parousia, which will make his
victory complete: “When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your
death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory” (”Roman Missal”, eucharistic accla-
mation).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 11/26/2012 6:16:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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