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blow, yet does not die; in the other, he was, and is not, and yet he is, or shall be again * .
Ver. 4. And they worshipped the dragon, because he had given the power to the beast; and they worshipped the beast.] The beast succeeds to the dragon, who, in verse 2, gives him “his power, and his throne, and great authority.” Accordingly,
Accordingly, he promotes the interests of his master, and the worship of him in the world. This beast is joined by another beast, whom we shall proceed to consider; and by the ministry of the latter beast, not only the dragon, but the first beast-also, becomes an object of worship to the inhabitants of the earth. To worship the dragon, i. e. the devil, is to do what our Lord refused, when satan tempted him with the offer of worldly greatness; when, shewing to him “all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory “ of them; all these things,” saith he, “will I give
thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship met.” Whoever, to attain worldly eminence, relinquishes his trust in God, and deviates from the path of the Divine laws, withdraws his allegiance from God, and tranfers it unto the devil. —And this aliegiance may also be transferred to the agents of the devil; to the powers of this world, who promote his infernal interests in opposition to that heavenly kingdom, which we daily pray for, and which we are bound daily to promote.
Ib. IV'ho is like unto the beast? who is able to make mar with him ?) The battle to be fought with the beast, who proclaims and enforces idolatry, is of a spiritual nature I. They who, giving up their faith in God, worship after the ordinances of the beast, are overcome by him: but every faithful Christian, who adheres “to the word of the Testimony, loving not his " life, even unto death, overcomes him by the blood “ of the Lamb*."
* See more on this subject, in notes, ch. xvii. 8. * Matt. iv. 8, 9. 1 See note, ch. ii. 7.
Ver. 5. Blasphemies.] These shall be considered when we take into view the assistant beast and false prophet, who enabled the first beast to blaspheme to the utmost excess. See note below, ch. xiii. 5. 6. 7.
Ib. Power [to continue in action] forty-two months.] Nounoui, applied to time, signifies to continue, as in Acts xv. 33; xx. 3; to continue, during this period, in his evil practices against the Church.
This being the last time in which the period of forty-two months is mentioned, presents us with the proper occasion for taking it into more minute consideration, together with the other concurrent periods of the same duration.
There are three of these periods mentioned in the Apocalypse; and it has been already shewn that they contain the same duration of time f. This will appear still inore evident, by the following scheme:
I. A time, and times,? and dividing of time.
Καιρον και καιρός και ήμισυ raig४.
Rev. xii. 14.
Dan, vii. 25.
ra. During this period, the
Saints, or times and laws, are given into the hand of the little horn, or king, rising after the ten kings.
Dan. vii. 25. xiii. 7. b. The woman is nourished
in the wilderness from the presence of the serpent. Rev. xii. 14.
Ch. xii. 11.
+ See note, cb. xi. 2. II 2
c. The Gentiles tread the
holy city. Rev. xi. 2. II. Forty-two months. Luke xxi. 24. Μήνας τεσσαρακονία δυο. d. The beast continues to act
against the saints. Rev. l xiii. 5.
e. The witnesses prophesy in III. Twelve hundred
sackcloth. Rev. xi. 3. and sixty days.
The woman is nourished “Ημερας χιλιας διακόσιας εξη
in the wilderness. Rev. xovic
Now if we compare a and d together, they will be found to relate the same history; therefore the periods contained under I. and II. appear to be the same. Again compare b with f; they are the same history: therefore I. and Ill. are the same periods. But I. which thus appears to be the same with III., has been seen also to be the same with II. ; therefore all three periods are the same. Thus these three prophetic periods are of the same length or duration : they measure the same quantity of time. But another question will arise ; whether they measure the same identical period : for, although allowed to measure the same quantity of time, they may possibly succeed each other; or if they be eotemporary in some parts, yet it may not appear that they quadrate and agree in all: their beginnings and their endings may not be at the same points. Now it will not be difficult to shew
b, common coincidence; they are all contained under the sixth Trumpet. a and d exhibit the same history, told by different prophets, viz. that of the antichris
tian oppressor expected to arise out of the Roman empire, after its division into ten kingdoms. b and f contain the same history,--the nourishment of the woman in the wilderness, which, for a particular reason, is repeated *. But the beast, represented in a and d, receives his power from the dragon t, who is certainly described as cotemporary with the woman; and makes war against her seed, the seed of the woman in the wilderness, the saints. Therefore a and d, and b and f, contain histories, some parts of which at least are of the same period. Again; any one, who reads ch. xi. 2, 3, with attention, must perceive that cand e are purposeiy brought together, in order to shew that they contain the same period, but e, in some of its parts, is certainly cotemporary with a and d; with the times of the beast. For the beast of a and d slays the witnesses of e. And thus all of them appear to cotemporize in some parts of their course. But, that they agree and coincide in all their points; that they synchronize, as Mede expresses it, in every part of their periods, so as to have the same beginning, middle, and end, will not be so easily admitted.
But, to render this examination less difficult, we may begin with reducing the six periods to four. For, (1.) a and d may safely be pronounced to be the selfsame period; viz. the time during which the antichristian oppressor is permitted to act against the saints. The history is the same, but given in different expression, yet amounting to the same duration, by two different prophets I. (2.) b and f evidently set forth the same history and time; viz. the nourishment of the * See note, ch, xii, 14.
+ Ch. xiii. 2, 5. The forty-two months of Saint John are exactly equal to three years and an balf, the time, and times, and half a time, of Daniel. See note, ch. xi, 2. xii. 14.
woman • Clav. Apoc. p. 419.
woman in the wilderness. We are therefore enabled to reduce the sir periods to four :-). the period of the continuance of the beast; a and d: - 2. that of the continuance of the woman in the wilderness; b and f :-- 3. that of the Gentiles continuing to tread the holy city, c:—4. that of the witnesses continuing to prophesy in sackcloth; e.
This is what Joseph Mede has intitled, nobilis iste quaternio vaticiniorum, æqualibus temporum intervallis insignium *; whose periods he has endeavoured to exhibit as synchronizing in all their parts. His first attempt is to shew the synchronisin of the time of the beast, (a, b,) with that of the woman in the wilderness, (6, f.) upon this ground, that their times begin together, and consequently must run together throughout. But the proof of their beginning together does not appear free from objection. They begin 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, euraged at his disappointment, he raises up the beast to war against the rest of her offspring f. 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
+ See ch. xii. 13–17; and ch. xiii. 1.