« PreviousContinue »
Vicenza, Verona, and Bergamo were exposed to the same rapacious cruelty of the Huns ” (D. and È., c. xxxv.). There is much more of the same kind, in Gibbon, which throws light on the xvi. 4, 5, 15, and 19.
For "fury of his wrath " see xix. 15.
20. And every island fled away and the mountains were not found.
21. And great hail like a talent came down from heaven upon men ; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague was exceeding great.
Plate VI. shows a photo-reproduction of an ancient Hebrew talent, of white limestone. It resembled the ballista stones used by the Roman siege trains in size, shape, weight, colour and material. Ballista stones were not quite round. See Plate IV. Showers of these projectiles could not be better described than, "great hail, like a talent."
CHAPTER XVII 1. And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven vials and spoke with me, saying, Come, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot who sitteth upon many waters.
At this point of the Roman theme, the seven vials having been emptied on the Roman Empire, the Seer wishes to convey secretly further information as to the Beast, and his crime. These passages connect with xiii. 18-—so that, putting two and two together, Simeon might know that mighty Nero was the Beast!
Kplua connects with judgment at vi. 10.
The great Harlot is another name for great Babylon, xiy. 8 and xvi. 19.
2. With whom the Kings of the earth have committed fornication, and they who dwell on the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
The expression οι κατοικούντες επί την γην, has been translated by " they who dwell on the earth” at vi. 10, xi. 10, xiii. 8, 14. It refers to non-Christians.
3. And he took me away in spirit into the desert. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
The blasphemies of Rome were voiced by the inscriptions on her temples, statues, and coins.
4. And the woman is clothed round in purple and scarlet and udorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of the abominations and filthiness of her fornication.
Kexpuo wuévn, here, means “ adorned," not guilt. Rome is symbolised by a woman.
5. And on her forehead a name written mysteriously Babylon the Great ; the mother of harlots, and of the abominations of the earth.
The phrase yeypappévov uvotýplov, indicates “ written mysteriously.” For uvotnpòv, see i. 20, x. 7, and xvii. 7. The mother of harlots connects with xvii. 1.
6. And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; and seeing her I wondered with great wonder.
Thousands of "saints,” i.e. Christians, were slain in the Roman wars, who were not actually martyrs.
“When I had seen" (D.R.) is not in the Greek.
7. And the angel said to me, Why dost thou wonder ? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman and of the beast which carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns.
Compare this with “the mystery of the seven stars and the seven golden lamps" at i. 20.
8. The beast which thou sawest was and is not, and shall come up out of the abyss and go into destruction and they that dwell on the earth whose names are not written in the book of life from the beginning of the world, shall wonder, seeing the beast that was and is not, and shall reappear.
For the King, the angel of the abyss, see ix. 11, xi. 7. It is generally allowed that the Neronian superstition is in view
“And shall reappear" is not in D.R. It completes the Neronian fable, and has the support of X. A. P. Q. and many early MSS.
9. Here is the understanding that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman sitteth, and they are seven Kings.
Compare this verse with xiii. 18, which it supplements. Wisdom and understanding are transposed; but the reference to xiii. 18 is obvious. 128€ ý ooola agrees with 'Ide vous, and ο έχων νούν agrees with ο έχων σοφίαν ; and both combined shed sufficient light on the mystery of the Beast to make it intelligible to a servant of God in the year 67.
10. Five are fallen; one is, and the other is not yet come, and when he shall come he must remain a short time.
Advocates of the Domitian date of Revelation say that Julius Cæsar should not be counted amongst the five fallen, as he was not a King, the Seer took the precaution of introducing the Beast as with seven heads, not crowned heads (xiii. I). He had in his mind Cæsar worship. Julius Cæsar was head of the line of Cæsars, and for many years Dictator and head of the Roman Empire. He was raised to her altars as a God (see p. 48). He was the first of the Cæsar gods, and Cæsar worship is called after his name. But the Seer, intent on showing that the existing head, when he wrote, was Nero ; explains that “the seven heads are seven mountains” to connect them with Rome, “and they are seven Kings" to connect them with the reigning Cæsar Nero.
Plate VIII. shows us a coin of Julius Cæsar, Divus; and Plate VII. Divus Cæsar Augustus, with the radiate crown of divinity, and Nero Claudius Cæsar Augustus, with the same crown.
II. And the beast which was, and is not, the same is also the eighth and is of the seven, and goeth into destruction.
Eis åtórelay connects with the destroyer of Daniel, the Apollyon of the Seer (see ix. II, Apx. note). Verses 10 and 11 should be read in connection with verse 8, which they amplify.
The three indications of Nero are at xiii. 9, 18, and xvii. 9, 10, 11.
12. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten Kings, who have not yet received a Kingdom, but shall receive power as Kings, one hour, by leave of the beast.
Metd with the genitive means “with the leave,” or “help of.” Machiavelli, in his history (1531), gives his list of these Kingdoms, which is interesting. They are the Heruli, the Thuringi, the Ostrogoths, the Lombards, the Franks, the Burgundians, the Visigoths, the Sueves and Alans, the Vandals, the Huns, and the Saxons (II). Most of these Kingdoms were established in Roman territory by permission of the Empire, which needed allies.
Gibbon says that Rome had to purchase with oppressive tributes the neutrality or services of the barbarians, and to introduce hostile and independent nations into the heart of the Roman monarchy (D. and F., c. x.).
13. These have one design ; and their strength and power they shall give to the beast.
I'vóun means a purpose, in this case a political purpose.
14. These shall fight with the Lamb and the Lamb shall conquer them, because He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings; and they that are with Him are called and elect and faithful.
Nekńoei is translated here “shall conquer," to correspond with vi. 2; which looks forward to this event. We learn at xix. 14 that “the armies that followed Him” are clothed in fine linen white and pure, which is the uniform of the Church (xix. 8). See also vii. 9.
15. And he said to me, The waters which thou sawest, where
I. Constantine (brass)
2. Nero, silver denarius 3. Nero, Claudius Cæsar (brass) 4. Gondophares, on horseback (brass) 5. Julius Cæsar. Divus (brass) 6. Domitian (brass) 7. Divus Augustus with radiate crown (brass) 8. Volagases (silver)
See "Coins” Appendix. Index.