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such enormities of persecution, that the question“ how “ long," seems more emphatically called forth, and thus the events of the fifth seal, as here interpreted, will be found to stand in their proper place.
The opening of the sixth Seal.
CHAP. vi. VER. 12-to the end.
12 Και είδον, ότε ήνοι- 12 And I beheld when he
६. Ti Apsaryida opened the sixth seal; gning oxiñue rj CHO
and there was a great μός μέγας εγένετο, , earthquake; and the xy o iyévelo sun became black, as μέλας, ως σάκκου
sack-cloth of hair; and τρίχιν@, και η σε- all the moon became
λήνη όλη εγένετο ως 13 as blood: And the stars 13 ailaz. Kaioiásé- of heaven fell to the ρες τ8 έραν έπεσαν
earth, as a fig-tree casttis Thyyñ, 's ouxă eth her untimely figs, βαλλει τις λύνθες
when shaken by a auths, imò regény 14 mighty wind: And the 14αγέμισειομένηΚαι heaven was removed
ο έρανος απεχω- as a volume rolled up; είσθη ως βιβλίον εί
and every mountain λισσόμενον, και σαν and island were moved Ogos y viñoos in tar
out of their places : τόπων αυτών εκινή
15 And the kings of the 15 θησαν και οι βασι
carth, and the great λεις της γης, και οι με- men, and the chief capγιγάνες, κ, οι χιλίαρ
tains, and the rich men, χοι και οι πλέσιοι, και
and the mighty men, δίσχυροι, και τας
and every boudman, Jeau, xzi [wäs]
and [every) freeman,
12 And I beheld when he
had opened the sixth seal; and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sack-cloth of hair,
and the moon became 13 as blood ;. And the
stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, wben she
is shaken of a mighty 14 wind: And the heaven
departed as a scroll, when it is rolled together; and
every mountain and island
moved out of 15 their places: And the
kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and tho mighty men, and every
ελεύθερG», έκρυψαν Saules sis tå otinλαια και εις τας σέ
τρας των ορίων . 16 Και λέγεσι τοίς όρι
σι και ταϊς πέτραις" Πέσετε εφ' ημάς, και κρύψαλε ημάς από τσροσώπε το καθημένα επί το θρόνε, και από της
igyñs rý agvíce 17 “Οτι ήλθεν η ημέρα
η μεγάλη της οργής αυτά και τις δύναFan satuzi;
hid themselves ip the
caves, and in the rocks
they say to the moun-
us from the face of
" the wrath of the 17“ Lamb: For the great “ day of his wrath is
come: and who is “ able to stand?"
bond-man, and every free-man, hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the 16 mountains; And said
to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from
the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of
his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Ver. 12. Sixth seal.] In the complaint of the martyrs under the fifth seal, it was asked, “ how long" the day of vengeance and of recompence should be delayed? The answer to which was expressed in general terms, “ When the number of martyrs should be com
pleted.” The sixth seal represents the arrival of this awful day: “ The great day of his wrath is come; and “ who may be able to stand !” Now, if this great day be (as I trust will be made apparent in these notes) the great day of universal recompence, and which cannot take place till all martyrdom is over, the prophecy before us evidently describes a time which is still future. Such a prophecy cannot be now illustrated, as all prophecy should be, by the event, as delivered in history. In a prophecy of this description, all that the commentator can prudently attempt is, to cast upon it what assistant light he can, by comparing it with the other prophecies of the Old and New Testament, which bear relation to it. This shall be our present object,
after having first ascertained the meaning of the figurative terms employed in the narration.
Ib. A great earthquake.] When the earth is shaken violently by subterraneous commotion, the buildings erected upon it fall. Agreeably to this, in prophetical language, whatever commotion, by Divine appointment, shakes and overturns political fabrics and empires, is called earthquake *.
Ib. The sun became black as sack-cloth of hair, and all the moon became as blood.] In such figurative language, great calamities, which bereave men of the usual sources of their comforts, are frequently expressed. The sun, under such deprivation, seems no longer to shine, but is enveloped in raiment of mourning; for, such, with the eastern nations of antiquity, was sackcloth of hair f. The moon glares horribly, like blood; the stars fall I.
Ver. 13. Figs.] See Isaiah xxxiv. 4. Nahum iji. 12.
Ver. 14. As a rolume rolled up.] A sheet of parchment, upon which the ancient books were written §, being in its nature elastic, is seen to roll up in an instant, when he that extends it quits his hold. Then the characters, written or painted upon it, vanish from the sight, with a rapidity, which aptly expresses this sudden disappearance of the splendid luminaries in heaven, at the command of their Maker. The same image is used by Isaiah, ch. xxxiv. 4.
* Psalm ix. 2. xcvii. 147. xcix. 1. Isaiah ii. 19. xiii. 13. xxiv. 18-21. Jer. iv. 24. X. 10. xlix. 21. Joel ii. 10. iii. 16. Mic, vi. 2. Hagg. ii. 6,7, 21, 22. Amos viii. 8. Hab. xii. 26.
+ 1 Kings xxi. 7. Zech. xii. 4. Eccl’us xxv. 17. Matt. xi. 21. Luke x. 13.
| Isaiah xiii. 10. xxiv. 4, 23. Ezek. xxxii. 7, 8. Amos viii. 8, 9. Joel ii. 10. iii, 15. Matt. xxiv. 29. Mark xiii. 24, 25. Luke xxi. 25. Acts ii, 20. § See note, ch. v. 1.
Ib. Mountain—Island.] These are places of the greatest security in times of hostile invasion; the mountain is difficult of access, by reason of its height and steepness; the island, from its surrounding waters. Therefore, under these images, the securest places are represented as no longer affording safety during this dreadful visitation.*.
Ver. 15. Kings of the earth, &c.] As in the description of the verse preceding, no place can afford security, so, in this, no pre-eminence in rank, power, or riches, can yield protection from the impending devastation: nor is there escape from it in any station of life: “Every bond-man and every free-man” flee before it, but in vain!
Ver. 16. Say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us.] Compare Judges vi. 2; 1 Sam. xiii. 6; Isaiah ii. 10, 19; Hos. x. 8; Luke xxiii. 30; and add to them the accounts which we derive from modern travellers, of the caves and hiding-places yet to be seen in Judæa, Arabia, &c. : and this language will be found to describe a flight of the utmost terror and dismay, before a victorious enemy, who, having destroyed all the fortresses and cities, pursues the hopeless fugitives into their last places of refuge. But who is this dreadful and avenging Conqueror, before whom at this time they flee? (ver. 16.) “He who sitteth on the " Throne; and the Lamb,” the Redeemer, his Vicegerent, who executes his wrath f.
ThroughThroughout the whole of prophetical Scripture, a time of retribution, and of vengeance on God's enemies, is denounced. It is called “the day of the Lord;" “ the day of wrath and slaughter; of the Lord's anger, “ visitation, and judgment;" “ the great day;" “ the " last day:" and whenever it is described, the signs which occur under this seal will be found, more or less, to compose its dreadful apparatus. At the same time, it is to be observed, that this kind of description, and the same expressions, which are used to represent this great day, are also employed by the Prophets, to describe the fall and punishment of particular states and empires ;—of Babylon, by Isaiah (ch. xiii.); of Egypt, by Ezekiel (ch. xxx. 2, 3, 4. xxxii. 7, 8.); of Jerusalem, by Jeremiah, Joel, and by our Lord * and in many of these prophecies, the description of the calamity which is to fall on a particular state or nation, is so blended and intermixed with that general destruction, which, in the final days of vengeance, will invade all the inhabitants of the earth, that the industry and skill of our ablest interpreters have been scarcely equal to separate and assort them t. Hence it has been concluded by judicious divines, that these partial prophecies and particular instances of the Divine vengeance, whose accomplishment we know to have taken place, are presented to us as types, certain tokens and fore-runners, of some greater events which are also disclosed in them. To the dreadful time of universal
* Hab. ii. v. 6.
+ Go, then, thou mightiest, in thy Father's might;