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deceiveth the whole world: he his angels were cast out with was cast out into the earth, and him.
which mention is made of the dragon of his rivers. We have thus noticed is Isaiah li. 9, 10 : “ Awake, awake, every passage in the Bible, with the put on strength, O arm of the Lord : exception of the book of Revelation, awake, as in the ancient days, in the in which the dragon is mentioned in generations of old. Art thou not it the singular number. Those who that hath cut Rahab, and wounded wish to examine the places in which the dragon ? Art thou not it which the word occurs in the plural, are hath dried the sea, the waters of the referred to the following; Deut. xxxii. great deep; that hath made the depths 33; Job xxx. 29; Psa. xliv. 19; of the sea a way for the ransomed to lxxiv. 13; cxlviii. 7; Isa. xiii. 22; pass over?” This is an apostrophe xxxiv. 13; xliii. 20; Jer. ix. 11; x. to the arm of the Lord. It is called 22; xiv. 6; xlix. 33; li. 37; Micah on to awake as in the ancient days, i. 8; Mal. i. 3. Now in none of these and refers to the wounding of Rahab places will it be contended that the (Egypt) and the wounding of the dragon signifies, when used metadragon [Egyptian forces.] This took phorically, any other than human place when Israel passed through the adversaries or oppressors. Red Sea. Hence ihe reference to the no authority, then, from the Bible, for drying of the sea, and making the supposing that the sacred writers use depths thereof a way for the ransomed the dragon as a metaphor for a spir. [from bondage) to pass over. Dragon itual, invisible, superhuman spirit, or here, then, means human adversaries, adversary. Such a use of the metaand none other. The next quotation phor is against the general scripwe make is the following: “Nebu- tural use. Why should we introduce chadnezzar the king of Babylon hath a different rule of interpretation when devoured me, he hath crushed me, he we come to the book of Revelation ? hath made me an empty vessel, he We do not wonder that men have hath swallowed me up like a dragon, been unable to understand this book, he hath filled his belly with my deli- if they have made an entirely differcates, he hath cast me out;" Jer. li. ent application of scriptural meta34. By the dragon here, it is so plain phors, in interpreting it, from that that Nebuchadnezzar, the enemy and which they have adopted in interpretoppressor of the Jews, is intended, ing all other parts of the Bible. "We that no remarks of our own will hold that it is sound and just, in intermake this more apparent. We see, preting the Apocalypse, to follow the then, that as yet we have not found general drift of the sacred writers in an instance in which the dragon sig. ihe application of metaphors. If we nified anything other than a human will not do this, but submit ourselves adversary or oppressor. We quote to the direction of mere prejudice or only one passage more: "Speak and fancy, we must expect to go astray. say, Thus saith the Lord God; Be. But in respect to the dragon, we hold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king claim not only the general, but the of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth universal authority and use of the in the midst of his rivers, which hath sacred writers, to show that it signifies said, My river is mine own, and I human enemies and oppressors. We have made it for myself;" Ezek. have named every passage where the xxix. 3. This passage is too plain to word occurs; and we cannot, we be misunderstood. Pharaoh, king ought not, to depart, in applying the of Egypt, is expressly said to be the metaphor in the Apocalypse, from great dragon that lieth in the midst the universal scriptural use. | His
10 And I heard a loud voice power of his Christ; for the saying in heaven, Now is come accuser of our brethren is cast salvation, and strength, and the down which accused them before kingdom of our God, and the our God day and night.
angels were cast out with him. If any- ser, and is so translated; 2 Tim. ii. thing more than mere imagery is 3; Titus ii. 3. How agreeable, there. meant here, then by the angels of fore, to the enemy, diabolos, to bring the dragon may very naturally be false accusations against the followintended his forces, — his ministers, ers of Christ. The Jews continually
his supporters. The dragon signi- brought false accusations against the fied the leading, persecuting, eccle- apostles, and so did the Gentile opposiastical power of Rome; and his nents, when the gospel came to be angels were the leading men and preached among them. Jesus foreemissaries who abetted that power. warned his disciples of this feature
10. Now is come salvation and of the opposition they would be obliged strength. — The dragon and his angels to meet;" Matt. v. 11, 12: “Blessed having been cast out, we now come are ye when men shall revile you, to the hymn of the triumph of Chris- and persecute you, and shall say all tianity, - the hymn of triumph for manner of evil against you falsely, the prevalence of Christianity over for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedPaganism. “Now is come salva- ing glad; for great
your reward in tion, and strength, and the kingdom heaven ; for so persecuted they the of our God, and the power of his prophets which were
before you.” Christ.” This is the common lan. The accusation was said to be made guage in the New Testament to sig- before God, because it was observed nify the prevalence and triumph of by him; not that the accusation was gospel principles. Wherever the gos- made to him, for the heathen would pel prevailed; salvation was said to scarcely have gone to the true God,
When Simeon saw the babe whom they knew not, and much less Christ, he said: “Mine eyes have with an accusation against his serseen thy salvation ;" Luke ii. 30. vants. When it was said, “ The earth When Jesus entered the house of
was corrupt before God," Gen. vi. 11, Zaccheus, it was said: “This day is the meaning was, that it was corrupt salvation come to this house ;" xix. 9. in his sight, and that he took special " The kingdom of God is come unto notice of it. Paul spake of the world you ;' Matt. xii. 28.
“ Salvation is becoming guilty before God; Rom. come unto the Gentiles ;" Rom. xi. iii. 19; meaning guilty in his sight. 11. When the kingdom of God was So the accuser, who was cast down, fully established, Jesus was said to accused the Christians falsely in the come with power; Matt. xxiv. 30; sight of God. The enemies were for all power was given unto him in diaboloi, false accusers, and are called heaven and on earth ;" xxviii. 18; | by that name in the preceding verse. he had “ power over all flesh;" John Let us turn now to behold the means xvii. 2. The power of Christ is by which the conquest was obtained. acknowledged in this song, as the 11. Blood of the Lamb — word of power of God was acknowledged, their testimony. — Thus we see by chap. iv. 11; and of Christ, ch. v. 12, what means the gospel prevailed, viz., 13; xix. 146. | The accuser is cast by the “ blood of the Lamb,” which donon. — One of the most common is explained to be “the word of their manifestations of a hostile spirit is to testimony." " The blood of Jesus bring false accusations. The word Christ" is said to "cleanse from all diabolos, devil, signifies a false accu. I sin ;" 1 John i. 7; but blood surely
11 And they overcame him and they loved not their lives by the blood of the Lamb, and unto the death. by the word of their testimony; 12 Therefore rejoice, ye is not to be taken here in the literal | 26. The early Christians were not
In that sense what effect required to throw their lives away; could the blood of Christ exert to save they were to live as long as they men from sin ? Under the Jewish could do good, and to die when the law, without the shedding of the blood cause of truth required it. The word of animals, there was no remission of psuche, here translated life or lives, is sin; Heb. ix. 32; and from this cir- sometimes, in the common version, cumstance the New Testament wri- | translated soul, as in Matt. xvi. 25, ters were led to use the blood of Christ | 26: “For whosoever will save his as a metaphor. Jesus did not offer life, shall lose it; and whosoever will the blood of goats and calves, but his lose his life for my sake, shall find it. own blood, which is said to “purge For what is a man profited, if he shall our consciences from dead works to gain the whole world, and lose his own serve the living God;" verses 12–14. soul ? or what shall a man give in He himself shall explain the metaphor exchange for his soul ?" Who would of his blood. See John vi. 55, 56 : suppose that the same Greek word “For my flesh is meat indeed, and occurred in both these last quoted my blood is drink indeed. He hat ve es? And yet it is so; and it is eateth my flesh, and drinketh my rendered life in the former and soul blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” in the latter. Does it not mean life When the Jews heard this, they in both verses, as it does in the thought it was a hard saying. Jesus passage now before us? We have then asked them, “What and if ye shown, that the Christians were reshall see the Son of man ascend up quired to love their lives less than where he was before ?” That is, if they loved Christ's truth. If a man you find it difficult to understand loved father, mother, brother, sister, what is meant by eating my flesh son, daughter, wife, children, or even and drinking my blood now, when his own life, more than he loved my body is present with you, what Christ, he was not worthy of him. will you do when my body is removed The early Christians, therefore, loved by my ascension into glory? He then not their lives unto the death ; i. e., showed them that he did not use the they ceased to love life when the words in the literal sense, for he alternative was presented them of added : “ It is the spirit that quicken- apostacy or death. Christ was more
the flesh profiteth nothing; The precious to them than the preservaWORDS that I speak unto you, they tion of their lives. are spirit, and they are life;" vi. 63. 12. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens.It was not blood in the literal sense That is, rejoice at the triumph of that gave them life, but blood stand. Christianity. At the establishment of ing as an emblem of the word of God. the kingdom of God, the heavens were And thus it is said in the verse before called on by the prophets to rejoice.
They overcame him by the “Say among the heathen that the blood of the Lamb, and by the WORD Lord reigneth: the world also shall be of their testimony." See the notes established that it shall not be moved ; on i. 5 ; v. 9; vii. 14. [ And they he shall judge the people righteously. loved not their lives. — This was true Let the heavens rejoice,” &c.; Psa, of the early Christians. It was one xcvi. 10, 11. Again: “Sing, O of the conditions of discipleship, that heavens; and be joyful, 0 earth; and
man should love Christ's cause break forth into singing, 0 mounmore than his own life ; Luke xiv. 'tains : for the Lord hath comforted
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. 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 folthe disconfiture 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 slated, he was stated in the 6th verse. 1st. The beaten. 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 serEgypt, 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 ; ye 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 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 food, after the woman, that he might addressed thosē who were very famil. I cause her to be carried away of the