And the seven angels came out of the temple…
it appears, that they are such who are of, or belong to the church
of Christ; and are either ministers, or members of churches, who
will be the executioners of God's wrath upon the beast, and his
followers; some copies, and the Complutensian edition, read, "out of
having the seven plagues;
that is, they were appointed to inflict
them, and were preparing and furnishing for it, and quickly had
orders to do it:
clothed in pure and white linen;
in which habit angels have been
used to appear, as at our Lord's resurrection and ascension, and is
by some thought to be expressive of the purity and holiness of
angels; but rather saints are meant, who appear in the habit of
priests, being all made kings and priests; and denotes their being
clothed with the pure and spotless robe of Christ's righteousness,
which is fine linen, clean and white, and the righteousness of the
saints, (Revelation 19:8) and also their spiritual joy in their present
situation, and in the view of the destruction of antichrist, their
sackcloth being put off, in which they, the witnesses, before
appeared. So the linen garment of the high priest was, as Philo the
Jew says F14, made of "fine linen", (kayarwtatov) , "most pure". The
Alexandrian copy, and some copies of the Vulgate Latin version, and
some exemplars mentioned by Andreas Caesariensis, an ancient
commentator on this book, read, "clothed with a stone, pure and
white"; as if they were arrayed in garments of stone, which is not
likely; unless reference is had to the stone asbestos, of an iron
colour, found, as Pliny says F15, in the mountains of Arcadia, of
which linen was made, called "asbestinum", and of that garments;
which were so far from being consumed by fire, that they became
clean and brighter by it; or to the Carystian stone, which the
inhabitants of Carystus used to comb, spin, and weave, and make
carpets of F16.
And having their breasts girded with golden girdles;
such an one as
Christ himself was girded with, (Revelation 1:13) and this some understand of
the love, which the breasts of angels are filled with towards the
saints, and their readiness to perform all good offices to them, and
to execute the judgments of God upon their enemies, whenever they
have orders: but since these angels come out of the temple, and
members of Gospel churches seem designed, rather this is to be
understood either of the grace of faith, which is much more precious
than of gold that perisheth, which receives the righteousness of
Christ, puts it on, and girds it about the believer; or of love, the
love of God and Christ, which encompass the saints about, and
constrain them, and engage them in fervent love to them, and one
another: or of the girdle of truth, (Ephesians 6:14) which is near and
close to them, and which keeps them close to Christ; nor can they
depart totally and finally from him, or that; or in general, this
may denote their strength and readiness for what service they shall
be called to; see (Luke 12:35,36) (1 Peter 1:13) .
F14 De Somniis, p. 597.
F15 Nat. Hist. l. 37. c. 10.
F16 Pancirol, rer. memorab. par. 1. tit. 4. & Salmuth in ib. Plin. l.
19. c. 1. Turueb. Adversar. l. 23. c. 1. Schotti Thaumaturg, l.
2. sect. 10. p. 118.