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20. Και επιάσθη το θηρίον και μετ' αυτού ο ψευδοπροφήτης και ποιήσας τα σημεία ενώπιον αυτού, εν οις έπλάνησεν τους λαβόντας το χάραγμα του θηρίου και τους προσκυνούντας τη εικόνα αυτού. ζώντες έβλήθησαν οι δύο εις την λίμνην του πυρός της καιομένης εν θείω.
20. And the beast was taken and with him the false prophet who wrought signs before him, wherewith he deceived them who received the mark
of the beast and who adored his image. These two were cast alive into the pool of fire burning with brimstone.
We have not seen the Beast, except for the purpose of identification, since the Seer foretold this coming battle at R. xvi. 14.
As the result of the battle the Beast=the line of the Cæsars, and the false prophet= the pagan priesthood, are cast into the pool of fire. The false prophet is described in a way to identify him clearly with the beast from “the earth Chapter xiii., II ff., where see notes. The beast from the earth was called the false prophet when the gathering of the army of the dragon and the Beast, preparatory to Armagedon, took place (R. xvi., 13 f.). His appearance both there and here is meant, inter alia, to show that the same event is in view in both places-the battle of "the great day of Almighty God.” When the battle took place paganism and the Cæsars perished together. As a matter of history they never revived. As a matter of exegesis they never will, for the pool of fire burning with brimstone is hell, out of which there is no escape. R. xx. 9, 10, and xxi. 8. “Cast alive into the pool of fire ” follows the punishment of Dathan and Abiron in the O.T., “And they go down alive into hell, you shall know that they have blasphemed the Lord” (Numb. xvi. 30). Blasphemy in a similar sense is the principal charge against the Beast (R. xiii. 5, 6). The Psalmist referring to the persecuting Jews says, "Let them go down alive into hell" (Ps. liv. 16).
« Επλάνησεν” should be translated « seduced” to keep in touch with “ πλανά” at R. xiii. Ι4.
21. Και οι λοιποί απεκτάνθησαν εν τη ρομφαία του καθημένου επί του ίππου τη εξελθούση εκ του στόματος αυτού, και πάντα τα όρνεα εχορτάσθησαν εκ των σαρκών αυτών.
21. And the rest were slain by the sword of him that sitteth upon the horse, which proceedeth out of his mouth ; and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
And “ the rest,” οι λοιποί, slain by the Sword of justice, amount to such a considerable number that all the vultures
“ that did fly through the midst of heaven” (R. xix. 17) were
xoptáo Onoav, “satiated"; which leads one to suppose that “ the rest who are at Thyatira” (R. ii. 24), may mean a great number.
This is the end of the Roman theme, a pageant of conquest, in which “the King of Kings" appears on the stage triumphantly with his victorious army, a fine dramatic conclusion.
THE “millennium" is that period of a thousand years in which, according to this Book, “the dragon,” “Satan,” is “bound” up and " cast into the bottomless pit ... that he shall no more seduce the nations till the thousand years be finished” (R. XX. 2, 3). It is the Cerinthian “era of pleasure” which gave rise to the great millennarian and Montanist controversies of the second and third centuries. It is that “era of peace” which our “ daily papers" constantly refer to as in “ the dim and distant future”!
The Seer gives us definite indications as to the time of the beginning of the millennium. The battle of Armagedon took place before the destruction of Rome, as it is referred to in Chapter xvi., with reference to the fall of the Empire. After that in Chapter xviii. we have a long description of the fall of Rome. The battle is then put at the end of the Roman theme for effect. Even supposing it has no reference whatever to the battle of Chalons, simply summing up in symbolism the result of the war between Christ and the pagan enemies of His Church; in any case the destruction of Rome stands out prominently as concluding the Roman theme, and the millennium must be dated from that time. We have seen that Gibbon puts the end of the Roman Empire in the 6th century (Historic Notes, p. 80). We must accept that as approximately the date of the beginning of the millennium. Dr. Swete refers to this date as follows: “If, however, the visions are to be regarded as following each other in something like chronological order (but see v. I notes), S. John has in view the moment of the overthrow of the Beast and the False Prophet, i.e., the final break up of the Roman world-power and its ally the pagan system of priestcraft and superstition " (op. cit., p. 266).
1. Και είδον άγγελον καταβαίνοντα εκ του ουρανού, έχoντα την κλεϊν της αβύσσου και άλυσιν μεγάλην επι την χείρα αυτού.
1. And I saw an angel coming down from heaven having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand.
Και, “and,” introduces a new train of visions. “An angel”... “ καταβαίνοντα εκ του ουρανού,” as at R. viii. 1, having the key of the bottomless pit.” "Αβύσσος, means without bottom. It was a place of heat and darkness in which the fallen angels were chained up till the judgment day (Jude, verse 6; 2 Pet. ii. 4). At R. ix. I, the key of the abyss was lent to a fallen angel for a special purpose. Here an angel comes down from heaven with the key. He is sent from God, who keeps the key (R. i. 18). He has a great chain, so great, that he carries it, επί την χείρα, “ on his hand,” not in his hand. The “ chain,” “ άλυσιν,” is a prison fetter. S. Peter was chained with “ two chains,” αλύσεσι δυσί ; “ and the chains fell off his hands" (Acts xii. 6, 7).
2. Και εκράτησεν τον δράκοντα ο όφις και αρχαίος, ός έστιν διάβολος και ο σατανάς, και έδησεν αυτόν χίλια έτη.
2. And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and satan, and bound him for a thousand years.
The great red dragon who appeared at R. xii. 3, as "a wonder in heaven,” “ having seven heads” “and ten horns,” is now chained up.
. It is the same dragon, we know, because S. John disclosed his true character at R. xii. 9- Ω δράκων ... ο όφις ο αρχαίος ... διάβολος και ο σατανάς, and he identifies him, in the above passage, in the same words. The idea set forth is that this particular Satan was chained up. We have had it impressed upon us that this dragon was allied with world-powers and false prophets in persecuting the Church; that he, like the scarlet woman, Babylon, was red with the blood of the martyrs. In that character he is restrained for 1,000 years. The angel bound Satan with a great chainάλυσιν μεγάλην-showing that great restraint would be put on him for a thousand years.
According to the symbolism of ten and multiples of ten, a thousand years should be at least ten centuries.
3. Και έβαλεν αυτόν εις την άβυσσον, και έκλεισεν και εσφράγισεν επάνω αυτού ίνα μη πλανήση έτι τα έθνη άχρι τελεσθή τα χίλια έτη και μετά ταύτα δει αυτόν λυθήναι μικρόν χρόνον. .
3. And he cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal upon him, that he should no more seduce the nations till the thousand years be finished ; and after that he must be loosed a little time.
(S. omits kal after én.)
The bottomless pit was a place of confinement for devils, “And they besought him that he would not command them to go into the abyss” (Luke viii. 31). Into this abyss Satan was cast, and locked in, čKNELOEV; "and the lock was sealed, that he should no longer seduce the nations"-"tà čovn"-the Gentiles (those who are not God's people), till the thousand years be finished. We have seen that “ He seduced them that dwell on the earth by the signs," etc. (R. xiii. 14); that is through the false prophet (see R. xix. 20). Satan's action, as disclosed in the Apocalypse (R. xii. 4, 13, 17, xiii. 2, 4, xvi. 13), has been to war upon the Church, the seed of the womanactual warfare and bloody persecution stirred up by the Gentiles against her. He is described as a red dragon, because his mission is to shed Christian blood. This chaining up of Satan does not mean that there would be no devils left in the world to tempt men to sin. It only means that the old Satan of Genesis, who was cast down from heaven by S. Michael (R. xii. 9), was stopped for a thousand years from inflicting bloody persecution upon the Church, through Cæsarism and false prophets.
The chaining up stands on precisely the same ground as all the other events related in the Apocalypse. It is history prefigured by symbols. The Jewish theme and the Roman theme stand the test of history marvellously well. So does this postRoman theme.
The question before us is, was Satan bound up as a bloody persecutor of the Church for a thousand years after the fall of Rome-that is from the sixth until the sixteenth century ? The historic page answers that question with a distinct affirmative. There was no bloody persecution of the Church from the sixth till the sixteenth century. More than that, the cessation of persecution gave the Church wide expansion. It was granted to her "that she should clothe herself with fine linen
glittering and white," for the marriage of the Lamb was come, and she was prepared (R. xix. 7, 8).
The millennium consisted in the peaceful development of the Catholic Church throughout the world from the sixth to the