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heavens, and ye that dwell in 13 And when the dragon them. Woe to the inhabiters saw that he was cast unto the of the earth, and of the sea ! earth, he persecuted the woman for the devil is come down which brought forth the manunto you, having great wrath, child. because he knoweth that he 14 And to the woman were hath but a short time.
given two wings of a great
his people, and will have mercy upon verse of this chapter. All that oppose his afflicted;" Isa. xlix. 13. This the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ address to the heavens is one of the may be sure to be overthrown. The accustomed apostrophes of the in- truth will prevail; and all opposition, spired writers. | Woe to the inhab- however strong at first, will be thrown iters of the earth. — This was a pre-down. diction, not a desire. The inhabit- 13. He persecuted the woman. – He ants of the earth (or land] and sea, raged the more fiercely, when he saw meant people of different classes that he had begun to lose power, and They were called to mourning, for that his entire overthrow was near. the devil had come down unto them, What more enrages an enemy, what having great wrath. T The devil. makes him more desperate, than to And who is meant here by the devil ? begin to lose power? When, there. Ans. The dragon who had been cast fore, the heathen power began to see out of heaven into the earth. He its decline, when it saw Christianity was “the great dragon, that old ser- working itself into the hearts of the pent, called the devil and Satan." people, it sought to vent its rage upon In the verse before us, we find him ihe church. The Son of God it could under the name ho diabolos, the devil. not persecute; he had been caught John having represented the imagi- up to God and to his throne, ver. 5; nary field of contest in the firmament, but the religion of Jesus and his fol. the discomfiture of the devil is repre- lowers were persecuted still. The sented as his falling from his high heathen powers of Rome, as we all place. He is ejected; he loses his know, persecuted the Christian church place; he falls like a lost star, to the after the ascension of Jesus; and earth, – the earth being opposite, in continued to persecute it, until their the view of the revelator, to the firma- influence was broken in the empire, ment. He had great wrath. This and Rome pagan was transformed to he had shown by seeking to devour Rome Christian. the man-child, and also by fighting 14. Two mings of a great eagle. with Michael and his angels, in which The facts here are a repetition of those contest, as we have stated, he was stated in the 6th verse. 1st. The beaten. T Short time. He had but woman fled into the wilderness. 2d. a short time to oppose the church; To the place prepared for her. 3d. the time of his overthrow was near, To be succored there twelve hundred as described verse 9, which proves and sixty days, or a time, times, and that the overthrow of the power de- half a time, which we have showed scribed by “the dragon, that old ser. mean the same thing. Compare pent, which is the devil and Satan,” verses 6 and 14. The church was was not far off. The final destruction faithful ; she waited upon the Lord; of the dragon is treated of in chap. and those “that wait upon the Lord XX. 1-3, 7-10. The reader must shall renew their strength; they shall examine the notes on those places; mount up with wings as eagles; and also what has been said on the 9th they shall run and not be weary, and eagle, that she might fly into time, from the face of the serthe wilderness, into her place, pent. where she is nourished for a 15 And the serpent cast out time, and times, and half a of his mouth water as a flood,
they shall walk and not faint;" Isa. iar with Jewish sacred history. For xl. 31. This figure of the woman further illustrations of this verse, see flying away into the wilderness on the note on verse 6th. eagles' wings, is taken from the 15. Serpent cast out of his mouth. account of the escape of the Israelites The metaphor is very unnatural here, from Egyptian bondage. We have for no serpent has power to cast a already shown that Pharaoh had been flood of water from his mouth. Some described under the figure of a dragon serpents (says Prof. Stuart) are said by the prophets. The revelator drew to eject from their mouths a poisona large number of his metaphors from ous bile when they are enraged, in the early history of his own nation. order to annoy their enemy. Or is the See Exod. xix. 1–4: “In the third metaphor taken for the spouting forth month, when the children of Israel of large quantities of water by some were gone forth out of the land of of the sea monsters? By the ser. Egypt, the same day came they into pent, the dragon is doubtless intended, the wilderness of Sinai. For they for he was "the dragon, that old serwere departed from Rephidim, and pent, which is the devil and Satan;" were come to the desert of Sinai, and all these terms signifying the same had pitched in the wilderness; and thing. Compare verses 15 and 16. there Israel encamped before the The Hebrew word translated dragon
And Moses went up unto in the Old Testament is used with God, and the Lord called unto him much latitude, and sometimes seems out of the mountain, saying, Thus to denote a crocodile, a whale, or shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, other large sea animal. The dragon, and tell the children of Israel ; yé in John's vision, had, in the first have seen what I did unto the Egyp: place, been seen in the firmament, tians, and how I bare you on eagles' seeking to devour the child. Here he wings, and brought you unto myself.” makes war with Michael, the imagThus was represented the escape of inary guardian angel of the ChrisIsrael from Egyptian bondage ; and tians; is beaten, and thrown down how natural, therefore, for the reve- from heaven to the earth. His wrath lator to describe the church when still continues, and rather increases, fleeing from persecution, as flying on because, from his fall, he sees that the wings of eagles into the wilder- his time is short. He persecutes the ness. Nothing is more common in woman, and she is provided with our day than to describe deliverance remarkable means of escape, and flies from darkness, danger and unbelief, away into the wilderness from the by being brought out of Egypt. The face, or presence, of the serpent. It state of unbelief is represented by is not said the serpent followed her Egyptian darkness, in the language into the wilderness; the contrary of Christians, to this time. The state seems to be implied. He could not of faith and joy is represented by the go there; and the woman, by going land of Canaan. We see, then, that there, got away from his presence. the revelator employed, in some cases, He seems to have used his best means metaphors which are now in familiar of attack, to prevent her escape, -he use; but which were more striking “cast out of his mouth water as a in his case, as he was a Jew, and dood, after the woman, that he might addressed those who were very famil. I cause her to be carried away of the after the woman, that he might out of his mouth. cause her to be carried away of 17 And the dragon was wroth the flood.
with the woman, and went to 16 And the earth helped the make war with the remnant of woman; and the earth opened her seed, which keep the comher mouth, and swallowed up mandments of God, and have the flood which the dragon cast the testimony of Jesus Christ.
flood.” This figure is natural enough, the flood which the dragon cast out if we suppose by the dragon was of his mouth. It was an old axiom meant some huge sea monster; and among the faithful in the house of the word translated dragon, as we Israel, that “when the enemy shall have said, certainly sometimes has come in like a flood, the spirit of the that application. The metaphor may Lord shall lift up a standard against be understood in the manner here him ;” Isa. lix. 19. This verse exdenoted, or it may be understood on presses the sense of the passage bethe same principle we applied to the fore us. The enemy came in like a fire, smoke and brimstone, coming flood, and God interposed a barrier to out of the horses' nostrils, or mouths, his success, - he caused a cavern to ix. 17, 18, and the tails, with heads be opened in the earth to swallow up like serpents, 19, as mere imagery to the waters. represent the fearful power of the 17. Wroth with the woman. - - The cavalry. If the imagery of the Apoc- heathen power was angry that it could alypse in some cases be unnatural, not destroy the gospel. It had used we must look at the intent of it. If its utmost energies to do it, and had the serpent casting water out of his failed. Foiled in every attempt, it is mouth like a flood be an unnatural not to be wondered at that the dragon metaphor, the intent of it is easily was wroth ; but as his opposition had
It showed his continued oppo- failed to destroy the woman, and also sition to the woman, - his last efforts the man-child who had been caught to destroy her.
Lowman says:- up to the throne of God, he went to “Floods and inundations often come make war with the remnant of her so suddenly and with such violence, seed.” And who these were, we infer as to drown or carry away all things from the description, that they were within their reach, and give no time those “which keep the command. for an escape. They are a proper ments of God, and have the testimony figure to express some great and sud- of Jesus Christ.” It is certain that den danger. Nahum thus describes the faithful believers are here dethe judgments of God, which shall scribed. They were the objects of utterly destroy his enemies; i. 8: the dragon's vengeance as long as his But with an overflowing flood, he power lasted. will make an utter end of the place In the next chapter we shall find an thereof.' So that by this similitude account of a beast, resembling in of the serpent casting a flood out of some respects the dragon, but also his mouth, we may well understand differing in important particulars. some quick and smart attempts of the The great red dragon appeared in enemies of true religion to cut off all heaven, the beast rose out of the sea. hope of safety for the true worship. The former represented the Roman pers of God, even in retirement." empire in its spiritual or heathen
16. The earth helped the woman.- character, - the latter, the same emHow? By the power of God. He pire in its civil or secular state, caused caverns to be opened to receive
CHAPTER XIII. rise up out of the sea, having ND I stood upon the sand seven heads and ten horns, and of the sea, and saw a beast upon his horns ten crowns,
sea, or the abyss, rose up from among
the peoples, multitudes, nations and We have contemplated, in the pre- tongues, and doubtless was the emceding chapter, the Roman empire, pire in its secular form. This beast, in its religious or pagan character, like the dragon, had seven heads, under the figure of “a great red denoting Rome, the seat of the power dragon,” with seven heads, and ten of the empire. It had also, like the horns, and seven crowns. In the dragon, ten horns, showing a further chapter now to be examined, the same likeness. Who can doubt that the empire is set forth in its civil or dragon and the beast represent the political character, not under the fig. same power, in different characters ? ure of a dragon, (Dracon,) but under Let us look for a moment at the the figure of a beast, (Therion.) There prophetical use of the metaphor. is such a similarity between the de- What did the prophets intend by a scription of the dragon and the beast, beast? In Daniel's vision, chap. vii., that they must both have reference to we read that four great beasts [Theria the Roman empire; and yet is there in the lxx.] rose up out of the sea, such a difference in the description i. e., rose up from among the multias to show that precisely the same tudes of the people. And they were thing is not in both cases intended. not like the dragon and the beast in
1. I stood upon the sand of the sea. Revelation, viz., much alike, but they That is, I took my position upon the were “diverse one from another ; sand of the sea-shore; or I was ver. 3. The first was like a lion ; placed there in order to behold the ver. 4; the second was like a bear; further revelation that was to be ver. 5; the third was like a leopard ; made to me.
The former vision had ver. 6; and the fourth was “dreadful been in the firmament; this is to be and terrible, and exceedingly strong, on the sea, or to rise up out of the and it had ten horns," &c.; ver. 7. sea. | Saw a beast rise up out of the In explaining these figures Daniel
- Now observe, there is noth- expressly says: “These great beasts, ing said here about "a wonder in which are four, are four kings, which heaven," as in the case of the dragon. shall arise out of the earth;" ver. The beast “rose up out of the sea, 17. Beasts, wild and ferocious in or as it is expressed in another place, their character, are used to represent the bottomless pit, or abyss ; xi. 7; earthly kings, or kingdoms.“ The xvii. 8; and did not appear as a fourth beast shall be the fourth kingwonder in heaven, or a spiritual won- dom upon earth, which shall be dider. Waters of the sea we know are verse from all kingdoms, and shall used in the Apocalypse to represent devour the whole earth, and shall • peoples, and multitudes, and nations, tread it down, and break it in pieces ;" and tongues ;" xvii. 15: “And hé ver. 23. This must be the Roman saith unto me, The waters which empire, for no other ever had such thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, wide dominion. Hence Daniel's are peoples, and multitudes, and na- beast, like that of the Apocalypse, tions, and tongues.” When John had ten horns, which he explains to thus explains his own metaphor, we be “ten kings that shall arise;" ver. need look no further for the true 24. The four kingdoms, represented sense. The beast that rose out of the in the 7th of Daniel by the four
and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
beasts, are represented in the second the imperial power) was established; chapter of that prophecy by the dif- and he also symbolized by them seven ferent parts of the great image, the particular kings, or emperors, whom legs and the feet thereof being of he had in his mind. We follow not iron, and representing the fourth king- our own fancy in these matters, but dom, which was as strong as iron. the indications which were put forth But as the Roman Empire was com- by the revelator himself. « And here posed of heterogeneous materials, so is the mind which hath wisdom. The the feet of the image were in part of seven heads are seven mountains, on iron and part of clay, which showed which the woman sitteth. And there the divisions of the kingdom, and the are seven kings: five are fallen, and cause of its fall. Now, it was when one is, and the other is not yet come; the Roman Empire was in its fullest and when he cometh, he must conglory that Christ appeared to estab. tinue a short space;" Rev. xvii. 9, 10. lish his spiritual kingdom; and Dan- T Ten horns. — A horn, as is periel therefore says: “ In the days of ceived at the first thought, is the these kings shall the God of heaven agent of power. All animals who set up a kingdom, which shall never are furnished with horns, find them be destroyed : and the kingdom shall to be their means of defence. Hence not be left to other people, but it shall the horn is used as a metaphor of break in pieces and consume all these power. The dragon, mentioned in kingdoms, and it shall stand for the preceding chapter, had seven ever;" ii. 44. This kingdom, which heads and ten horns, the same as the the God of heaven set up, was the beast before us had; and unqueskingdom of Christ, represented not tionably represented the same thing by a wild beast, but by the stone under a different form. But on the cut out without hands,” (i. e., without presumption that the dragon signified earthly aid, as Christ's spiritual king- an invisible, intangible, spiritual ad. dom was built up; Heb. ix. 11;) and versary, commonly called the devil, if the reader will compare carefully what do his seven heads and ten the 2d and 7th chapters of Daniel, he horns mean? Is it proper to suppose will see that it was the intention of that the seven heads and ten horns that prophet to show, that Christianity of the dragon signify certain things, was to arise in the time of the fourth and the seven heads and ten horns kingdom, terrible
and powerful, which of the beast things entirely different ? was the Roman Empire. Then Chris- Prof. Stuart supposes the beast, with tianity did arise ; and without any his seven heads and ten horns, to manifest aid from men, it prevailed signify the Roman Empire; but the over all human opposition, and shall dragon, with the same number of stand forever.
heads and horns, he interprets to Who, then, can entertain a doubt, mean the devil, after the form of his that the beast having ten horns, in own creed. That sound writer was the Apocalypse, is the same metaphor sadly hampered, in his interpretation with the beast having ten horns, in of the book of Revelation, by his Daniel ? Who can doubt that the creed; and we are not to wonder at author of the Apocalypse had his eye this, since he is obliged, once in five on Daniel's metaphor when he drew years, to give a renewed affirmation his own figure ?' Seven heads. of his belief in it. By the ten horns By the seven heads the revelator may of the beast we think were intended have intended the seven hills, on ten kings. See the following: “And which the city of Rome (the seat of the ten horns which thou sawest