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The Dragon taken and confined.
CHAP. XX. VER. 1-3.
1 Kai sidor ayshor 11 And I saw an angel | 1 And I saw an angel καλαβαίνονία έκ το coming down from come down from heaåpass, xorla rino heaven, having the key ven, having the key *Asīm rñs ábtoor, of the bottomless pit, of the bottomless pit, και άλυσιν μεγάλης and a great chain in and a great chain in
ini to xxipz ain | 2 his hand. And he laid | 2 his hand: And he laid 2 τε. Και εκράτησε hold on the dragon, hold on the dragon,
Tùy seexola, còn (that apcient serpent, that old serpent, which όφιν τον αρχαίον, who is the devil and is the devil and Satan, os iso diáconos xei satan,) and bound him and bound him a thouorlovās, xai l'Snoer | 3 a thousand years; And | 3 sand years, And cast
αυτόν χίλια έτη. cast him into the bot him into the bottom3 Kai Cahsy ajtón tomless pit, and shut less pit, and shut him
tis two ä vodov, rej up; and set a seal over up, and set a seal upon éxãHOEV, zj loppá him, that he should him, that he should gucev inávw auto, deceive the nations no deceive the nations no να μη σλανήση τα more, until the thou more, till the thousand FAm Ti, á xestado sand years should be years should be fulfillOğ Tà xinua itne sy completed : and after ed: and after that, he pelà Txūta dei av these, he, must be loose must be loosed a little τον λυθήναι μικρών ed a little time.
The removal of the beast and false prophet is followed by the decline of impiety and wickedness, and by the rapid growth of true Religion and Virtue. This is symbolically displayed. The dragon, that ancient foe of man, who, under the disguise of a serpent, had be
guiled Eve; who had lent his throne, his authority and his arts, to the beast and the false prophet; to mislead the nations and their kings *; is taken and confined. His influence upon earth is wonderfully diminished. And this important object is accomplished by the same superior agency. For, though an angel is represented as binding satan, yet, whence has he the commission and the power? whence the key of the bottomless deep, but from him who alone is described, as having "the “ keys of hell and of death t;" from him, who shutteth, and no man openeth $? By his permission the bottomless deep had been opened $; by his power it is now closed and sealed. The author of all iniquity is confined in it, for a time; after which he is permitted to come forth again “ for. a season,” and “ to deceive the nations.” But the beasts rise up no more. They are no longer the successful agents of satan. He is no longer permitted to employ this kind of civil and religious tyranny against true Religion, and the happiness of man. The blissful season, during which satan continues bounden, is called a thousand years. But of this more particularly, under the next section.
* See notes, ch. xii.
Ch. iii. 7.
+ Cb. i. 18. See note, ch. ix. 1.
CIAP. XX. VER.
4 Kaisidor Spoves, rj 4 And I saw thrones, | 4 And I saw thrones, and
εκάθισαν επ' αυτές, and they sate upon they sate upon them, και κρίμα εδόθη αυ them: and judgment and judgment was Tois' rý rás foga's was given unto them : given unto them: and των τσεπελεκισμέ and the souls of those I saw the souls of them wwn ora tau mazgłon who had been slain that were beheaded for giar Insš, nai diad with the axe for the the witness of Jesus, Tuy Aoyov Tử Osẽ, testimony of Jesus, and for the word of και οίτινες και προσε and for the word of God, and which had rimsuv tū Ingią, God; and whosoever not worshipped the &T rã tixay công had not worshipped beast, neither his
y ex txabor to the beast nor his image, neither had xes to imi và image, and had not received his mark upon uération, mai imi received the mark their foreheads, or in the xeique aútūr upon their forehead their hands; and they rj Encar, rj Cacic and upon their hand : lived and reigned with λευσαν μεία τα Χρι and they lived and Christ a thousand
σε τα χίλια έτη. reigned with Christ 5 years: But the rest of 5 o de 2017.0h Tüy the thousand years : | · the dead lived not
vergão éx 13nozo, 5 But the rest of the again until the thouέως τελεσθή τα χί
dead did not live till sand years were finishλια έτη. Αύτη η the thousand years ed. This is the first
ανάςασις ή σπρώτη. Ι should be completed. 6 resurrection. Blessed 6 Maxágra sjäys@ This is the first resur and holy is he that
i fywy kie@sv trñ | 6 rection. Blessed and hath part in the first dvæskou tý agás | holy is he who hath a resurrection: on such 7 iti rótar : part in the first resur the second death hath Bsútep@ Jévata rection: over these, the no power, but they åre exuižuolas, second death hath no shall be priests of God, ära ooola ligtīs power : but they shall and of Christ, and
Ver. 4. And I saw thrones ; &c.] In Daniel, vii. 22, 26, “ the judgment sits;"_" judgment is given to “ the saints ;-they possess the kingdom.” To this passage, St. Paul seems to allude in i Cor. vi. 2, 3, as well as does our Lord's promise in Matt. xis. 28. Lake xxii. 30. giving thrones of judgment to his Disciples. These prophecies, dark in themselves, until the event and completion shall illustrate them, are here repeated, with some additional information: for, it is affirmed, that this reign of the Saints shall continue “a thousand “years.” Who the saints are, is at first expressed in
ry general terms; as also is the prophecy of Daniel. “ They sate; judgment was given unto them.” But among those who sit upon these thrones, are afterwards expressly enumerated, they who during the long conflict with the beast and false prophet, have kept the faith, even unto death, and refused the idolatrous worship, to which they were tempted or forced, by the worldly powers. These faithful sons and champions of the Church, are described as living and reigning with the Anointed, or Christ, the thousand years. And this early or first resurrection appears to be their exclusive privilege, and not to belong to the rest of the dead, who, it is said, shall not live, until the thousand years shall be completed. .
Much has been written upon this promised Millennium, or reign of the Saints; yet little that can afford
satisfaction to the judicious *. The meaning of a prophecy of this kind can only be made manifest by the event wbich is to fulfil it. Before that time shall arrive, it is unsafe to conjecture after what method it shall be fulfilled; whether, as some prophecies literally, or as others, typically; whether the departed Saints and Martyrs shall actually be raised again in their own persons, to effect so glorious a change in Religion and morals; or, whether, like Elijah in the person of John Baptist, and David in that of Christ, they shall live again in the persons of other saints, who shall fulfill their characters and offices, no man may presume to determine. It is best therefore, after the example of the wise father Irenæus, respecting another prophecy, to “ wait the completion of the prediction f.” Yet, if we are not permitted to descend to a special interpretation, we may receive advantage from a general view.' We may confidently indulge a well-grounded expectation, that happy times, of long duration, are yet destined
* Augustine, in Civ. Dei, lib. xx. c. 7, commenting on this chap ter, says, that the doctrine of a Millennium, in which the saints were to enjoy a corporeal resurrection in this world, was founded on a notion that, after six thousand years of trouble, the saints should enjoy one thousand years of sabbath, or rest. But the doctrine was founded on this passage of the Revelation. The notion of the time only, in which the prophecy will be fulfilled, was taken from this tradition of the Church. From Papias, a good man, but weak and credulous, seem to bave been derived those earthly notions of a Millennium, branded with the name of Chiliasm, which were adopted by some eminent writers of the ancient Church; by Irenæus, Apollinaris, Tertullian, Victorinus, Lactantius, &c. But there was another, and much more debasing, notion of a Millennium, entertained in those early times, in which, gross, sensual, corrupting delights were supposed to make the felicity of the Saints. This seems to have been derived from Cerinthus, and thence to have passed on to other heretics. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. iii. c. 28. + Iren. lib. v. 30.