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:
And I heard a voice from heaven,.... The same with the voices heard in heaven upon the sounding of the seventh trumpet,
as the voice of many waters; very loud, and uttered by a great multitude of people, signified by waters in this book, Revelation 17:15; the same with those that praise the Lord for the destruction of antichrist, and for the marriage of the Lamb, Revelation 19:1;
and as the voice of a great thunder; to which the Gospel may be compared for its open, loud publication, being heard far and near, as thunder is:
And I heard the voice of harpers, harping with their harps; that is, singing the praises of God, for the fall of Babylon, the happy state and condition of the church, and the blessings of grace; the harp being a musical instrument, used under the Old Testament in singing praise: Brightman thinks that these different sounds represent the course of Gospel doctrine, and the church's voice throughout the reign of antichrist; that when the church first went into the wilderness, her voice was like the murmuring of waters, confused and indistinct; when she began to revive under the Waldenses and Albigenses, Wickliff, Huss, &c. her voice was like thunder, loud and terrible; and at the Reformation, it was as the voice of harpers, when confessions of faith were published with sweet harmony and consent. Others have thought that the different properties and efficacy of the Gospel are designed; as its rapidity and irresistible force, by the many waters; its striking and shaking the consciences of men, by the thunder, Christ's ministers being sometimes "Boanergeses", sons of thunder; and its harmonious music, pleasant sound, peace, joy, and comfort it brings, by the voice of harpers. The Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read, "the voice which I heard was as harpers", &c.