The Book of Revelation 16:15

As a Thief

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” (Rev 16:15 KJV)

This is the third blessing statement of the apocalypse. Jesus gives us one more warning that He is coming quickly and we do not know the time. To watch is to be ready spiritually. To keep garments, also ‘keep your robes white’, is metaphoric of living in holiness. Jesus is coming back for those that are watching for His coming and have kept their robes white. This echoes Jesus’ statement in Matthew.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

(Mat 24:42-44 KJV)

The apostles made similar statements.

2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”

(1Th 5:2-4 KJV)

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2Pe 3:10 KJV)

It echoes the rebuke to Sardis and Laodacia.

“Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev 3:3 KJV)

Jesus warns us to be ready. To not be ready is to be naked and shameful.

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Rev 3:18 KJV)

Thief – 2812 κλέπτηςkleptes {klep’-tace}

Meaning:  1) an embezzler, pilferer 1a) the name is transferred to false teachers, who do not care to instruct men, but abuse their confidence for their own gain

Origin:  from 2813; TDNT – 3:754,441; n m

Usage:  AV – thief 16; 16

Blessed – 3107 μακάριοςmakarios {mak-ar’-ee-os}

Meaning:  1) blessed, happy

Origin:  a prolonged form of the poetical makar (meaning the same); TDNT – 4:362,548; adj

Usage:  AV – blessed 44, happy 5, happier 1; 50

Watcheth – 1127 γρηγορεύω (γρηγορέω) gregoreuo {gray-gor-yoo’-o}

Meaning:  1) to watch 2) metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active 2a) to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

Origin:  from 1453; TDNT – 2:338,195; v

Usage:  AV – watch 21, wake 1, be vigilant 1; 23

Keepeth – 5083 τηρέωtereo {tay-reh’-o}

Meaning:  1) to attend to carefully, take care of 1a) to guard 1b) metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is 1c) to observe 1d) to reserve: to undergo something

Origin:  from teros (a watch, perhaps akin to 2334); TDNT – 8:140,1174; v

Usage:  AV – keep 57, reserve 8, observe 4, watch 2, preserve 2, keeper 1, hold fast 1; 75

Garments – 2440 ἱμάτιονhimation {him-at’-ee-on}

Meaning:  1) a garment (of any sort) 1a) garments, i.e. the cloak or mantle and the tunic 2) the upper garment, the cloak or mantle

Origin:  from a presumed derivative of ennumi (to put on);; n n

Usage:  AV – garment 30, raiment 12, clothes 12, cloke 2, robe 2, vesture 2, apparel 1; 61

Walk – 4043 περιπατέωperipateo {per-ee-pat-eh’-o}

Meaning:  1) to walk 1a) to make one’s way, progress; to make due use of opportunities 1b) Hebrew for, to live 1b1) to regulate one’s life 1b2) to conduct one’s self 1b3) to pass one’s life

Origin:  from 4012 and 3961; TDNT – 5:940,804; v

Usage:  AV – walk 93, go 1, walk about 1, be occupied 1; 96

Naked – 1131 γυμνόςgumnos {goom-nos’}

Meaning:  1) properly 1a) unclad, without clothing, the naked body 1b) ill clad 1c) clad in undergarments only (the outer garments or cloak being laid aside) 1d) of the soul, whose garment is the body, stripped of the body, without a body 2) metaph. 2a) naked, i.e. open, lay bare 2b) only, mere, bare, i.e. mere grain not the plant itself

Origin:  of uncertain affinity; TDNT – 1:773,133; adj

Usage:  AV – naked 14, bare 1; 15

See – 991 βλέπωblepo {blep’-o}

Meaning:  1) to see, discern, of the bodily eye 1a) with the bodily eye: to be possessed of sight, have the power of seeing 1b) perceive by the use of the eyes: to see, look descry 1c) to turn the eyes to anything: to look at, look upon, gaze at 1d) to perceive by the senses, to feel 1e) to discover by use, to know by experience 2) metaph. to see with the mind’s eye 2a) to have (the power of) understanding 2b) to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, understand 2c) to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine 3) in a geographical sense of places, mountains, buildings, etc. turning towards any quarter, as it were, facing it

Origin:  a primary word; TDNT – 5:315,706; v

Usage:  AV – see 90, take heed 12, behold 10, beware 4, look on 4, look 3, beware of 3, misc 9; 135

Shame – 808 ἀσχημοσύνηaschemosune {as-kay-mos-oo’-nay}

Meaning:  1) unseemliness, an unseemly deed 1a) of a woman’s genitals 1b) of one’s nakedness, shame

Origin:  from 809;; n f

Usage:  AV – that which is unseemly 1, shame 1; 2

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