What does Revelation 19:8 mean?
ESV: it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
NIV: Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.' (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people.)
NASB: It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
CSB: She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.
NLT: She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.' For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.
KJV: 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.
NKJV: And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Verse Commentary:
This continues a description of the "marriage supper of the Lamb." This depicts the church as "the bride of Christ," and symbolizes much of the relationship between Jesus and His followers. This verse explains that the bride of Christ was granted the privilege of clothing herself in fine linen that is bright and pure. Just as a bride wears a white gown as a symbol of her purity, so the bride of Christ receives fine linen attire.

The clothing represents the righteous acts that believers have performed. The church cannot claim she has attained any righteousness on her own. She owes her salvation entirely to God's grace (Ephesians 2:8–9). Furthermore, her righteous acts are done by grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). The apostle Paul attributed the fruit of a productive ministry to the Lord and not to himself. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:10: "According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." He also testified, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Verse Context:
Revelation 19:6–10 introduces the marriage supper of the Lamb, occurring immediately before the commencement of Jesus' millennial reign on the earth. Jesus spoke about marriage suppers in Matthew 22:1–14 and 25:1–13. He specifically referred to feasting in the kingdom of heaven, with many from the east and the west, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 8:11). The announcement of the marriage supper of the Lamb precedes Jesus' return to earth to judge His enemies and to establish His kingdom (Revelation 19:11–21).
Chapter Summary:
Revelation 19 begins with a multitude in heaven singing a doxology to God. He is praised for judging religious Babylon and avenging the martyrs. They are joined by the twenty-four elders (Revelation 4). Voices cry out joyfully that the Lord reigns and the marriage supper of the Lamb is ready. Then, John sees heaven open and observes Jesus—now coming as the glorious and invincible King of kings and Lord of lords—as He descends from heaven to execute judgment. The armies of earth gather to battle the Lord. The battle concludes with the Antichrist and False Prophet being thrown into the lake of fire and the graphic slaughter of their followers.
Chapter Context:
This chapter describes the victorious second coming of Christ, His victory over the Antichrist and the False Prophet after the fall of Babylon (Revelation 17—18). Christ's first arrival on earth was to redeem (Matthew 2; Luke 2:1–21; John 1:1–14; Galatians 4:1–5). The purpose of His second coming is judgment and the establishment of His reign on earth (Psalm 2). This is separate from the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13–17), the event in which Jesus returns in the air to take Christians from earth to be with Him. Jesus' second coming begins the millennial kingdom, leading up to the final judgments and the appearance of the New Jerusalem.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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