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gin together, says he, from one and the same point of time; namely, when the dragon is overcome and cast down to the earth. Now, if this be the point of time, from which the sojournment of the woman in the wilderness is to be dated, yet it can scarcely be that of the commencement of the beast's reign. For there is an interval, full of action, between the fall of the dragon and the rise of the beast; namely, that in which the dragon pursues the woman, casting after her torrents of water; and it is not till after he has in vain tried this method of destroying her, that, enraged at his disappointment, he raises up the beast to war against the rest of her offspring. (See ch. xii. 13–17; and ch. xiii. 1.) That the beast and the woman are cotemporary in some parts of their periods, is very probable; and it is probable likewise, that their beginnings are not far distant from each other,—so that from what has hitherto appeared, they may be the same:—but this has not yet seemed to admit of complete demonstration.
The synchronism of the beast, with the prophecy of the witnesses, seems likewise defective in proof. These, says Mede, are both brought down to the same period of consummation, at the end of the sixth trumpet. But, if the period of the witnesses be allowed to end with the sixth trumpet, it is otherwise with the period of the beast, whose warfare against the Church is particularly described under the seventh trumpet; when, together with the false prophet, he is taken and slain. (Ch. xix. 19.) Besides, nothing is more manifest, than that the beast does not come to his end at the same time with the witnesses; for the witnesses are slain by him; and when they are slain, they finish their prophetical office; as is expressly declared in ch. xi. 7. Add to this, that the earthquake and fall of one tenth of the city, which concludes the prophecy of the witnesses, and
also the sixth trumpet, (ch. xi.) cannot be the same with the great slaughter and total victory under the seventh trumpet (ch. xix.); when the beast is destroyed. The synchronism therefore is defective of proof.
The four grand apocalyptic periods are involved very much together, and before the final completion of them all has taken place, it may not be in the power of man to settle the times when each of them had its commencement. But, for the reasons above assigned, I am inclined to conjecture that the period of the beast may be found to derive its beginning somewhat later than that of the woman in the wilderness; and to receive its termination somewhat later than that of the witnesses. His times seem rather later than either of theirs. And it may perhaps be found, that those of the woman and of the witnesses are the same; with which the other remaining period, that of the Gentiles treading the holy city, seems also to accord. Commentators seem to have been too adventurous in fixing the exact commencement of these periods, which appear to be involved in a purposed obscurity, which the event only can
1 This attempt of the ingenious author of the Clavis Apocalyptica to synchronise these periods, seems to me conclusive in very few stages of it. He appears to approach near to the truth, in many instances, but the proofs are not positive and satisfactory. The prophecies do not seem to supply the means of that strict demonstration which he has attempted; and, one proof failing (as we have seen in these first propositions,) that which is built upon it must fail also. There is one passage in this able divine's commentary, from which it may be collected, that he did not always conclude the termination of the beast's career to be exactly synchronal with the termination of the prophecy of the witnesses. He plainly asserts the one to belong to the sixth, the other to the seventh trumpet. (See his Works, pages 490, 491.) And his method of solving this difficulty must be thought defective; for surely, the end of the beast is his final confinement in the lake of fire, ch, xix. 20, and not his imagined expulsion from the city of Rome.
But it may be probable, that the twelve hundred and sixty years of the Gentiles; of the woman in the wilderness, and of the witnesses; will come to their conclusion, before the antichristian reign of the beast is seen finally to cease. And this is all that I dare advance concerning prophecies which are yet fulfilling, and are to be fulfilled.
The Beast from the earth or land, or the false
CHAP. xiji, ver. 11 to the end. 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him; and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.
' He is denominated ó fevàot popnens. Ch. xvi. 13; xix. 20 ; xx, 10.
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that bad the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.
We may make some safe and useful advance towards the explication of this prophecy, by first paraphrasing the words of the original, and then adding such an interpretation of the symbols as has been adopted by discrete commentators; and afterwards I will offer to the reader's consideration some corrections and additions resulting from my own inquiries.
11. “ Another wild beast,” for he is of the same
description as the former, Onprov,—with this difference, that whereas the first came from the stormy sea, as the four heathen monarchies had done, (Dan. vii. 3.) subduing and oppressing the people of God,—this second beast arises from the earth or land, (ek tñs yñs) from among the inhabitants, whom he subjugates by false arts and pretensions. He bears upon his head two horns, like the horns of a lamb, (the Lamb is Christ, ch. v. 6, &c.) His speech is dragonlike, as that of a false prophet, (see ch. xvi. 13; xix. 20; xx. 10.) discovering that in outward show only he is lamb-like; and the sequel of
the description clearly imports, that he is dia12. bolical and antichristian. He unites with the
first beast, and, as his minister,(Irenæus calls him his armour-bearer, útepaonions,) exercises all the power of that beast, which was derived from the dragon before him, (ver. 4.) and makes the earth or land, and its inhabitants, to wor
ship the first beast, whose deadly wound had 13. been healed. This he effects by performing
miracles; for such they appear to be, xvwTIOV Tūv av@pwtūv, in the sight of the men,' in imitation of Elijah, by whom fire was called down from heaven, betokening divine acceptance,
(1 Kings xviii. 30—40.); but these are not real, 14. but pretended miracles, for they deceive; nor are
they of divine operation, nor such evwTiOV Tov Okov, in the sight of God, or of his faithful servants.? But, the weak in faith are beguiled by them, and, at the persuasion or command of this false
prophet, they make an image or statue in honour 15. of the first beast. And to this statue it is per
mitted to give avevua, breath, or apparent life;
so that it should utter decrees, and cause those 16. who refuse to worship it, to be slain. Men of
all stations, ranks, and degrees, are compelled
by him to receive the mark of the beast, his 17. name, or the number of his name, as his slaves
and idolatrous worshippers, or to be deprived of the common rights and comforts of society, the
power of buying and selling so as to preserve 18. life. Persons of wisdom and understanding
are exhorted to calculate the number of the wild beast; for it is the number of a man, 666.
This paraphrase I have endeavoured to make faithful to the words of the prophecy, and so general in the explication of the symbols, that nearly all of the distinguished commentators might have agreed in it. The rise, progress, and actions of the second wild beast, called also the false prophet, (ch. xvi. 13; xix. 20; xx. 10.) so far as is here stated, few would be disposed to reject : but in the application of it to history, there is a wide difference of opinion. We are prepared to expect it, for such had appeared
1 Των Ανθρωπων.
• Τους εν τω Ουρανο σκηνουντας. Ch. xiii. 6, compared with Phil. üi. 20.