« PreviousContinue »
was increased as the Empire declined " (op. cit., chap. vi.). They had lost their manhood, but had still the souls of menψυχάς ανθρώπων.
14. Και η οπώρα της επιθυμίας της ψυχής σου απηλθεν από σου, και πάντα τα λιπαρά και τα λαμπρά απώλετο από σου, και ουκέτι ου μή αυτά ευρήσουσιν.
14. And the fruits of the desire of thy soul are departed from thee, and all fat and goodly things are perished from thee, and they shall no more find them. (S. puts σου after οπώρα, and omits it after ψυχής.)
Having enumerated the articles of merchandise which gratified the desires of Rome, the city is apostrophised. All these things—the ripe fruits of her civilisation, the desire of her Soul-shall depart from her. Prof. Stuart says, “λιπαρά ” and «λαμπρά” characterise all kinds of furniture and clothing, which were gilt or plated or embroidered, and therefore were bright and splendid (op. cit., ii. 335). They shall perish from her, “And they shall no more find them”; or “they shall no more be found,” which is in better keeping with the Greek text.
15. Οι έμποροι τούτων, οι πλουτήσαντες απ' αυτής, από μακρόθεν στήσονται διά τον φόβον του βασανισμού αυτής, κλαίοντες και πενθούντες.
15. The merchants of these things, who were made rich, shall stand afar off from her, for fear of her torments, weeping and mourning.
Τούτων, “these things,” that is the merchandise mentioned at verses 12 and 13. The merchants of R. xviii. II, who were made rich by this merchandise of gold and silver, etc., “ shall stand afar off from her, for fear of her torments," as the kings did at R. xviii. 10. But their grief is greater, for their loss is greater. Commerce is at a standstill. Hence they weep and mourn, “ bewail themselves over her” (R. xviii. 9).
16. Λέγοντες, Ούαι ουαι, η πόλις η μεγάλη, η περιβεβλημένη βύσσινον και πορφυρούν και κόκκινον, και κεχρυσωμένη εν χρυσίω και λίθω τιμία και μαργαρίταις.
16. Saying, Woe, woe, that great city which was clothed with fine linen and purple and scarlet, and was gilt with gold and precious stones and pearls. (S. = μαργαριτή.)
The merchants, crying out Alas, alas! “that great city," mention some of the principal articles of their merchandise, and conclude, like the kings at verse 1o, by saying, “ For in one hour are so great riches come to nought." That is the cause of their crying out, Alas, alas! Dr. Swete prints this verse with the ending oti uia ópa K.7.1 as at verse 10. But Brandscheid, as usual, follows the Vulgate, and makes the merchants lament the beginning of the shipmasters' testimony (verse 17). The shipmasters' lament concludes with tl uiâ ápa, and therefore should not begin with it. All three laments are planned alike.
The scarlet woman at R. xvii. 4 is identified as “that great city,” Rome, by being clothed in purple and scarlet and “gilt with gold and precious stones and pearls," as above.
17. "Οτι μια ώρα ήρημώθη ο τοσούτος πλούτος, και πας κυβερνήτης και πάς ο επί τόπον πλέων και ναύται και όσοι την θάλασσαν εργάζονται, από μακρόθεν έστησαν.
17. For in one hour are so great riches come to nought, and every shipmaster, and all that sail into the lake, and mariners, and they that work at sea stood afar off.
Kai, and, really begins this sentence, as often elsewhere. Here we have a new set of witnesses. Another class of persons deeply interested in the prosperity of Rome testify to her greatness, to her ruin, and to their great loss. Thus the picture of Rome's magnificence and fall is filled up. Every "shipmaster "-"Kußepvýtys"—is literally the helmsman who pilots the ship. '
OT TÓTOV Teáv, means, “ He who sails to a place," i.e., from one place to another along the coast, the captain of a coasting ship, for example. And “vaūtai," sailors, and all who work at sea, oarsmen, carpenters, sail-makers, cooks, and the like, “stood afar off," like the kings and merchants, because they saw the smoke of her burning. The word “lake" is not in the Greek above. It is the Vulgate rendering of “ &TÈ TÓTOV Téwv," and suggests that the Latin redactor of the eighth century had the Mediterranean Sea in view, and knew that Babylon stood for Rome. Vg.=qui in lacum navigat.
The harbour of Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber, reconstructed by the Emperor Claudius in the first century, was crowded with shipping engaged in the commerce of Rome, when the Apocalypse of St. John was written.
18. Και έκραξαν βλέποντες τον καπνόν της πυρώσεως αυτής λέγοντες Τις ομοία τη πόλει τη μεγάλη.
18. And cried out, seeing the place of her burning, saying, What city is like to this great city ?
They cried out seeing “TÒV Kanvòv," i.e., “the smoke" of her burning Standing afar off, they could see the smoke, for it was the smoke of a great city. The conflagration of Rome would be visible from the sea. The dome of S. Peter's is visible from the sea. The walls of Rome were thrown down, the public monuments demolished, and the city destroyed by fire by Totila (Procop. L. iii. 12). Evidence of the fire still remains. Recent excavations in the Forum show the coins of the money changers melted and burnt into the solid rock.
“ The place of her burning" in the English version above is taken from the Vulgate, locum incendii ejus, which follows “TOTOV,"_"place" in the Codex Alexandrinus. In this Greek text we have " the smoke" of her burning.
19. Και έβαλον χούν επί τας κεφαλάς αυτών και έκραξαν κλαίοντες και πενθούντες, λέγοντες Ούαι, ουαι, η πόλις ή μεγάλη, εν ή έπλούτησαν πάντες οι έχοντες τα πλοία εν τη θαλάσση εκ της τιμιότητος αυτής, ότι μια ώρα ήρημώθη.
19. And they cast dust upon their heads and cried out, weeping and mourning, Woe! woe ! that great city wherein all were made rich who had ships at sea, by reason of her prices, for in one hour she is made desolate.
“ They cast dust upon their heads,” an ancient Jewish way of demonstrating grief (Jos. vii. 6; Job ii. 12; Josephus, Ants. xx. 6, I).
This picture of the downfall of Rome is very similar to that of the fall of Tyre in Ezechiel, as will be seen from the following : “ The mariners and all the pilots of the sea, shall stand upon the land. And they shall mourn over thee with a loud voice, and shall cry bitterly: and they shall cast up dust upon their heads, and shall be sprinkled with ashes. And they shall take up a mournful song for thee, and shall lament thee. What city is like Tyre, which is become silent in the midst of the sea, which by thy merchandise, that went from thee by sea, didst fill many people; which by the multitude of thy riches, and of thy people, didst enrich the kings of the earth ?" (Ezech. xxvii. 29, 30, 32, 33).
“By reason of her prices” sounds peculiar. 'Ex Tńs TIJLÓTntos aúrîs, could be rendered " by reason of her wealth," where tîmórns is “worth,” “ value," "preciousness.” The shipmasters conclude, “ for in one hour she is made desolate" -oti plâ ápą npnuáon, that is the conclusion, not the beginning, of a lament.
20. Ευφραίνου επ' αυτή, ουρανέ, και οι άγιοι και οι απόστολοι και οι προφήται, ότι έκρινεν ο Θεός το κρίμα υμών εξ αυτής.
20. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets, for God hath judged your judgment on her.
A new chord is struck and a command given. Enough, for the present, of weeping and mourning over the downfall of wicked Babylon. Her victims, the souls of the martyrs, who cried to heaven for vengeance against her, at R. vi. Io, have a right to rejoice now their prayer, “judge' and revenge our blood,” is heard. The countless multitude of martyrs who stood before the throne at R. vii. 9, amongst them the Holy Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, and the prophets, or Bishops of the Church, slain for their faith by Rome, are told to rejoice, "for God hath judged your judgment on her.” This again looks back to R. xvii. 1, I will show you the condemnationTò kpina-of the great harlot. Kpina is translated "condemnation" at R. xvii. 1, and "judgment" here.
In the Greek, above, ärioi, “saints," are commanded to rejoice, as well as “apostles and prophets,” accordingly the response comes from “ many multitudes in heaven" at R. xix. 1, followed by “the four-and-twenty ancients" at R. xix. 4.
21. Και ήρεν εις άγγελος ισχυρός λίθον ως μύλινον μέγαν, και έβαλεν εις την θάλασσαν λέγων, Ούτως ορμήματι βληθήσεται Βαβυλών η μεγάλη πόλις, και ου μη kúpell éri.
21. And a mighty angel took up a stone, as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, With this violence shall Babylon, that great city, be thrown down, and shall now be found no more.
We have seen this “ äryyelos lo xupòs" before at R. v. 2 and X. I., and perhaps at xviii. 1. He cast a stone, as heavy as a millstone, into the sea, saying, With this opunuari, “ impetus," will great Babylon “be thrown down," and “be found no more.” Millstones were round flat stones weighing about 25 lbs. or more, superimposed, one upon the other, for grinding corn. It is a striking prediction of the complete disappearance of the city of pagan Rome. The prophet Jeremias predicted