« AnteriorContinuar »
dwell upon the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life of the Lamb slaughtered from the foundation of the world, shall worship him. If any one have an ear, let him hear. If any one lead into captivity, into captivity he goeth : if any one shall slay with the sword, it is necessary that he should be slain with the sword. Thus is the patience and the faith of the saints • The second account will be found in a subsequent portion of the larger sealed book.
There came one of the seven angels, who had the seven vials ; and talked with me, saying : Come hither ; and I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great harlot, who sitteth upon the many waters ; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of her whoredom the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunken. And he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman seated upon a scarlet-coloured wild-beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus: and, having seen her, I wondered a great wonder. And the angel said unto me : Wherefore didst thou wonder ? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of that which carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and
the ten horns. The wild-beast, which thou sawest, was, and is not, and is about to ascend out of the abyss and to go into destruction. And they that dwell upon the earth shall wonder, whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they shall see the wildbeast, that he was, and is not, and yet is. Thus is the mind, that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven-mountains, on which the woman sitteth: they are also seven kings. Five have fallen, and one is, and the other hath not yet come; and, when he cometh, he must continue a short space : and, in reference to the wild-beast that was and is not, he is also an eighth, and yet he is of the seven": and he goeth into destruction. And the ten horns, which thou savest, are ten kings; which have not yet received their royalty, but which in one hour receive power as kings conjointly with the wild-beast". These have one counsel, and they give their power and their authority unto the wild-beast. These shall make war with the Lamb: and the Lamb shall overcome them (for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings), and they who are with him called and chosen and faithful. And he saith unto me: The waters, which thou sawest, where the harlot is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest, and the wild-beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall utterly burn her in the fire : for God hath put into their hearts to perform his counsels, and to agree, and to give their dominion to the wild-beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman, whom thou sawest, is that great city, which has the sovereignty over the kings of the earth'.
Gr. Ék Tüy entá lori. The meaning is, that the eighth king should be some one of the preceding seven : so that, although there might be nominally and chronologically an eighth king, there should truly be no more than seven, the eighth being one of the preceding seven revived.
2 Gr. Αί επτά κεφαλαι όρη είσιν επτά, όπου η γυνή κάθηται επ' αυτών και βασιλείς επτά είσιν. Οι πέντε έπεσον, και ο εις εστί, και ο άλλος ούπω ήλθε" και, όταν έλθη, ολίγον αυτόν δεί μείναι και, το θηρίον ο ήν και ουκ έστι, και αυτός όγδοος έστι, και εκ των επτά εστι, και εις απώλειαν υπάγει.
Our common English translation, which has been followed (I believe) by every interpreter, refers the pronoun avròs to the antecedent Onplov: and thence exhibits the prophecy as saying; The beast, that was and is not, even he, namely the beast, is the eighth.
No doubt, the Greek, according to a very common idiom of the language which makes a pronoun agree in gender with the substantive that follows instead of the substantive that precedes, will bear such a version : but zoological consistency shews very plainly, that such cannot be the proper version ; because it as cribes to the angel the contradictory assertion, that the whole body of the wild-beast is his last head when appearing in the character of the eighth king. Hence I suppose to Onploy to be governed of the preposition card understood; and refer the pronoun avròs, through the conjunction kai, to the antecedent • άλλος. .
According, therefore, to this grammatical arrangement, the prophecy teaches us : that, in the days of St. John, THE OTHER king is not yet come; and, when he cometh, he must continue a short space; and he is also an eighth king (in reference to the wild-beast that was and is not), and yet he is one of the seven. In other words, the seventh king is an eighth king, with reference to the beast that was and is not : because the beast, in his predicted state of reëxistence, will ascend out of the abyss under an eighth king who is the seventh king revived or restored.
' Gr. Εξουσίαν, ως βασιλείς, μίαν ώραν, λαμβάνουσι μετά του Onpiov. The original does not mean, as an incautious reader might easily conclude from our common English translation, that the ten kings should receive regal power synchronically with the beast, or that they and the beast should receive regal power about the same chronological era: but it means, that the ten kings, synchronically with each other, should receive regal power in conjunction with the beast, who himself had Jong reigned prior to the rise of the ten horns.
I. By the unanimous consent of commentators, whether they be ancient or modern, popish or protestant, however they may differ in subordinate particulars, the seven-headed and ten-horned beast of the Apocalypse is pronounced to be substantially the same as the fourth and ten-horned beast of Daniel. But the ten-horned beast of Daniel is indisputably the Roman Empire”. Therefore the sevenheaded and ten-horned beast of the Apocalypse must be the Roman Empire likewise.
Of this symbolical wild-beast, Daniel does not mention the seven heads; nor does he specially define his form; nor yet does he give us any direct verbal intimation, as to the Empire with which he
1. Rev. xvii.
is to be identified : he only observes, that he represented the fourth great kingdom upon earth, that he was dreadful and terrible and strong, and that he was different from all the beasts that were before him. But St. John amply supplies any such deficiency, which might be imputed to the elder prophet : for he informs us, that the wild-beast, which he beheld, had not only the ten horns mentioned by Daniel, but that he had likewise seven heads; that his shape was compounded of all the three beasts which preceded him, both the Babylonic lion and the Medo-Persian bear and the Macedonian leopard, inasmuch as the Roman Empire comprehended within its utmost limits the dominions of all the three former Empires; and that he was governed by that seven-hilled great city, which, in the time of the Apostle, reigned over the kings of the earth, a description which unequivocally identifies him with the Empire of Rome.
The seven-headed and ten-horned beast, then, of the Apocalypse, like Daniel's metallic image when viewed geographically, is the Roman Empire in its greatest extent: but, as the West is the special subject of the little open book, this wild-beast must be viewed, throughout the present vision, only as exerting himself in the West or in the region occupied by his ten horns.
II. Nor is the first wild-beast of the Apocalypse the Roman Empire only in its greatest extent, when considered geographically: he also represents the