corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.09.16
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Revelation 13

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

Revelation 13:1. That the Church of Rome was founded by the Lord alone. 2. That the Roman Pontiff is alone rightly called universal. 3. That he alone is able to depose or restore bishops. 4. That his legate takes precedence of all bishops in a council, even if he be of inferior rank, and is able to pass sentence of deposition upon them. 5. That the Pope is able to depose persons in their absence. 6. That, among other things, we ought not even to remain in the same house with those who have been excommunicated by him. 7. That it is lawful for him alone, according to the necessity of the time, to make new laws, to collect new congregations of people, of a canonry to make an abbacy, and, on the other hand, to divide a rich bishoprick, and to unite poor ones. 8. That he alone can use the imperial insignia. 9. That all princes are to kiss the feet of the Pope alone. 10. That the name of him alone is to be read in the churches. 11. That his name is the only name in the world. 12. That it is lawful for him to depose emperors. 13. That it is lawful for him, when compelled by necessity, to transfer bishops from one see to another. 14. That he is able to ordain a clerk of the whole Church to whatever place he shall wish. 15. That he who is ordained by him is able to preside over another church, but not to serve;(138) and that he ought not to receive a higher degree from any bishop. 16. That no Synod can be called general without his order. 17. That no section, and no book, can be esteemed canonical without his authority. 18. That his sentence ought to be repealed by no one, and he alone has the power of repealing the sentences of all. 19. That he himself ought to be judged by no one. 20. That no one may dare to condemn one who appeals to the Apostolic See. 21. That the greater causes belonging to every church ought to be referred to him. 22. That the Church of Rome has never erred, nor will it ever err, according to the testimony of Scripture. 23. That the Roman Pontiff, if he shall have been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly rendered holy by the merits of the blessed Peter, as St Ennodius testifies, the Bishop of Pavia, many holy fathers assenting to him, as it is contained in the decrees of the blessed Pope Symmachus. 24. That by his precept and license it is lawful for subjects to accuse. 25. That without a Synodal assembly he is able to depose and restore bishops. 26. That he is not to be esteemed a Catholic, who does not agree with the Church of Rome. 27. That he has the power of absolving the subjects of wicked princes from their allegiance.

The genuineness of these dicta has been acknowledged by Panvinius, P. de Marca, and Lupus; to whom is added Mabillon de re Diplom. f. 63. That they certainly give an accurate representation of the mind of Hildebrand, is demonstrated by Pfaffius Inst. H. E. p. 510; yea, Baronius calls them the Prerogatives [“privilegia”] of the Apostolic See and of the Roman Pontiff: nor are the other demands of the Romish Church of a different character, a great collection of which is set forth in the public book, written in German, de recus. Concil. Trid. pp. 134–159, of Nicolaus, concerning the Kingdom of Christ, ch. 7; Calixti Digress, pp. 446–456; Carpzov. Isag. in libb. symb. pp. 813, 814, and others. As was his word, so his deed. The Acts, which are everywhere extant, agree with his dictates. The sum of the whole is this: Up to this time the pontiffs had been subject to the emperor, although they often champed the bit; but then the Pope subdued the emperor, and, under the pretext of spiritual authority, began in his own person to act as monarch of the whole Christian world. That was the crowning point, to subdue the majesty of the Cæsars, which was the chief obstacle to his power. The alleged cause had reference to investitures, and this itself was part only of a business which was of greater moment than was supposed; but the whole was of by far the greatest moment. For Panvinius shows, that the cause then at issue especially tended either to the entire overthrow of the imperial power, or to its establishment for ever. Let the Life of Gregory VII., by J. C. Dithmar, and the History of the Controversy respecting the Investiture of Bishops, until the agreement between Henry V. and Calixtus II., be looked into, especially at the end. In the year 1076, in a Synod at Rome, in the presence of 110 bishops, Gregory VII. anathematized Henry IV.; having FIRST (as Platina says) altogether deprived him of the administration of his kingdom. But the form of a pontifical abrogation [absolving of subjects from their allegiance] was to this purport—(The speaker is the same; for Sigonius expressed it in purer Latin): “O blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, incline, I pray thee, thine ears, and listen to me thy servant, whom thou hast both brought up from infancy, and hast preserved unto this day from the hands of the wicked, who hate and have persecuted me for my faith in thee. Thou art the best witness to me, and the pious mother of JESUS CHRIST, and thy brother Paul, the sharer of martyrdom with thee, that it is not of my own accord, but against my will, that I have undertaken the helm of the pontificate. Not that I thought it a robbery to ascend thy seat in a lawful manner, but I preferred to pass my life as a pilgrim, rather than to occupy thy place only for the sake of fame and glory. I confess, and deservedly so indeed, that the care of Christ’s people has been committed to me, not through my own merits, but through thy favour; and that the power of binding and loosing has been granted to me. Therefore relying on this confidence, for the dignity and protection of His holy Church, in the name of Almighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I both depose from the exercise of his imperial and kingly office, King Henry, the son of Henry, formerly Emperor, who too boldly and rashly has laid hands upon thy Church; and I absolve all Christians who are subject to his authority from that oath, by which they have been accustomed to render allegiance to true kings. For it is befitting that he, who attempts to lessen the majesty of the Church, should be deprived of his dignity. Moreover, because he has despised my admonitions, yea! thine, having reference to the safety of himself and his people, and has separated himself from the Church of God, which he desires to injure by seditions, I bind him with the chain of an anathema; assuredly knowing that thou art Peter, on whose rock, as on a true foundation, our King CHRIST has built His Church.” “And the same curse,” says Platina, “he confirmed afresh in the year 1080, in these words: ‘O blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, and thou Paul, teacher of the nations, lend me your attention, I pray, for a short time, and mercifully hear me: for you are disciples and lovers of the truth: the things which I am about to say are true. I undertake this cause for the sake of the truth, that my brethren, whose salvation I earnestly desire, may more obediently acquiesce in my authority, and may know and understand that it is through reliance on your aid, next to that of Christ and his ever-Virgin mother, that I resist the abandoned and the wicked: and I am present with ready aid to the faithful. For I did not ascend this seat at my own will and desire; but against my will and in tears, because I judged myself unworthy of sitting on so lofty a throne. But I say these things, because I did not choose you, but ye chose me, and placed on my shoulders this most heavy weight. But when I was ascending the mount itself by your command, as I cried aloud, and proclaimed to the people their crimes, and to the sons of the Church their sins, these members of the devil conspired against me, and laid their hands upon me even to bloodshed. For the kings of the earth, and the princes of this world, stood up, and, together with them certain ecclesiastics and common persons, conspired against the Lord, and against His anointed ones (“Christos,” others read “Christianos”), saying: Let us break asunder their bonds, and east their yoke from us: but this they did, in order that they might punish me either with death or with exile: And among these was Henry, whom they call king,—Henry, I say, the son of Henry the Emperor, who, in the excess of his pride, has raised his horns and heel against the Church of GOD having made a confederacy with many Italian, French, and German bishops, whose pride your authority has as yet resisted, who, broken in spirit, rather than reduced to a sound mind, coming to me into the Cisalpine country, suppliantly besought me to release him from his anathema. This man, when I had believed that he had come to repentance, I received into favour, and restored him only to communion, without reinstating him in his kingdom, from which I had deservedly driven him in a Synod at Rome; nor did I permit those who were tributary to his kingdom, to return to their allegiance.(139) This I did to the intent, that if he should delay to return to favour with his neighbours, whom he had always harassed, and should refuse to restore affairs, both ecclesiastical and ordinary, according to his compact, he might be driven to his duty by curses and arms. Aided by this opportunity, certain bishops and princes of Germany, who had long been harassed by this wild beast, chose Rodulph as their leader and king in the place of Henry, who had fallen from the kingdom by his crimes; and he, with modesty and uprightness worthy of a king, at once sent messengers to me, from whom I might understand that he was compelled to undertake the government of the kingdom, but that he was not so desirous of reigning, as not to prefer obedience to me, rather than to those who promised him the kingdom; that he would always be under the control of God and of us; and in order that we might be assured that he would thus act, he promised his sons as hostages. Then Henry began to be indignant, and at first to implore us to repel Rodulph by curses from occupying the kingdom. I said that I wished to see to whom the right belonged, and that I would send thither messengers, to inquire into the whole matter, and that I would then judge which of them was to be esteemed to have the better claim in the matter. Henry forbade the appointment of a king by our legates, and put to death many persons, both secular and ecclesiastics, plundered and profaned churches, and in this manner bound himself by the bonds of an anathema. On this account, relying on the judgment and mercy of God, and on the protection of the blessed Virgin, supported also by your authority, I bind Henry himself and his partisans with the bond of an anathema: and I again deprive him of his royal power; and I forbid all Christians, as being absolved from that oath, by which allegiance is wont to be paid towards sovereigns, to obey Henry in any thing; and I order them to receive Rodulph for their king, whom many princes of the province, having deposed Henry, chose as their most excellent king. For it is right that, as Henry is deprived of his privileges on account of pride and obstinacy, so Rodulph, who is acceptable to all on account of his piety and religion, should be presented with the royal dignity. Come, therefore, ye most holy princes of the apostles, and confirm what I say by the interposition of your authority, that all may now at length understand, that, if you have the power of loosing and binding in heaven, we also have power on earth to take away and to bestow empires, kingdoms, principalities, and whatever mortals have power to hold. For if you have power to judge things which relate to God, what must we think respecting these inferior and common matters? And if it is yours to judge angels, who bear rule over haughty princes, what is it befitting that you (others read we) should do towards their servants? Let kings and all princes of the world now learn by his example, what power you have in heaven, and how great you are with God; so may they henceforth fear to despise the commands of the holy Church. But quickly exercise this judgment upon Henry, that all may understand that the son of wickedness falls from his kingdom not accidentally, but through your instrumentality. I could however wish to obtain this from you, that, led by repentance, he may at your request obtain favour from the Lord at the day of judgment. Given at Rome on the 7th of March, at the third indiction.’ ” By the Divine interdict (which says) “Vengeance is mine,” the anger of man ought to be restrained even now, if any one reads or calls to mind the unheard-of insult offered to the young Emperor, and the haughtiness of the pastor, throughout the whole business: the former deserted by all; compelled openly to ask for pardon; in the severity of winter, creeping, rather than walking; waiting out of doors in foul clothing, until it suited the convenience of the latter, from the lofty citadel of Canusium, at least to look down upon the suppliant Emperor, in the year 1077. Then Henry left Italy: Gregory, having established himself at Rome, began to reign vigorously. In the same year he sent letters to the island of Corsica, which give no slight illustration of his ascent out of the sea. One of them runs thus, according to Nic. Colet:

“Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all bishops, clergy, consuls, greater and less, who exist in the island of Corsica, greeting, and the apostolical benediction.

“Since, on account of the numerous engagements necessary for discharging the debt of our anxiety, we are not able in person to visit the churches of the several provinces, it is most necessary that, when circumstances or the time requires it, we should endeavour to send some one to that office, by whom the authority committed to us according to the will of God may be represented, and provision may be made for the safety and general advantage of the Lord’s flock. For we know that it cannot be without detriment and great peril of souls, when the diligence of him on whom the chief business and the necessity of care principally devolves, is for a long time wanting to the brethren placed under him and committed to him. Wherefore, weighing these things, and greatly fearing lest the intermission for so long a time of the exercise of such a foresight towards you should both be construed on our part into a charge of negligence, and (which Heaven forbid) should be injurious or opposed to your safety, as soon as the opportunity was presented to us, we have sent to you this our brother Landulph, bishop elect of the church of Pisa, to whom also we have entrusted our office among you, that, duly carrying out those things which relate to the order of our holy religion, according to the word of the prophet, he may pluck up and destroy, build and plant; and we wish you to obey him, and unanimously stand by him, admonishing you and enjoining you, with apostolic authority, that you show to him such honour and reverence as it is your duty, according to the appointment of the holy fathers, to show to those whom the holy and apostolic See, in its prescience, appoints, as fit to be admitted to a share of its anxiety, and to be entrusted with the representation of the Roman Pontiff.—Given at Sena, September 1st, at the commencement of the FIRST INDICTION.”

This letter derives additional weight from another, which follows.

“Gregory, the bishop, the servant of the servants of God, to all bishops and noble men, and to all who are established in the island of Corsica, both greater and less, greeting, and the apostolical benediction.

“Ye know, brethren and beloved sons in Christ, that it is manifest not only to you, but to many nations, that the island which ye inhabit, belongs, according to debt or strict propriety of justice, to no one of mortals, and to no power, but the holy Church of Rome; and that they who have held it up to this time with violence, exhibiting no service, no fidelity, no subjection at all or obedience to the blessed Peter, have involved themselves in the crime of sacrilege, and in great peril to their souls. But learning, through certain faithful friends of ours and yours, that you desire to return to the honour and just rights of the apostolic principality, as you know to be your duty, and that the just rights which have been long taken away by invaders should be restored to the blessed Peter, in your times and by your exertions, we greatly rejoiced, knowing that this will turn out not only to your present, but also to your future advantage and glory. Nor ought you to feel distrust, or to entertain any doubt in this cause, inasmuch as, if only your goodwill shall remain firm, and your faith unmoved towards the blessed Peter, we have, through the mercy of God, many TROOPS of counts and noblemen, in Tuscany, prepared, if it shall be necessary, for your assistance and defence. Wherefore, as seemed to us most befitting in this business, we have sent to you our brother Landulph, bishop of the church of Pisa, to whom also we have entrusted our office by deputy among you in spiritual matters, that he may receive the LAND on the part of the blessed Peter, and on our account, and may rule it with all zeal and diligence, and may interest himself in arranging concerning all matters and causes which belong to the blessed Peter, and through him to ourselves. And we wish you, in accordance with the love and reverence which you bear towards the same blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, to obey him, and faithfully to assist him in all things, and we admonish you by the apostolic authority so to do—. And that he may be more free from anxiety, and ready for all things among you, we admonish you not to withhold fidelity towards him, if he shall demand it, when you have first observed fidelity to St Peter, and to us and our successors, and that you will not refuse this to him on any opportunity.—Given at Rome on the 16th of September, in the first Indiction.”

Add that the Emperor was afterwards deprived of the imperial insignia by his son, at the instigation of Paschal II.; that the clergy whom he had enriched, did not even supply him, when so deprived, with bread; and, at last, that burial was for a long time refused to him. No drudge was ever treated by a purveyor worse. This was something new and remarkable: so it was right that the time should be distinguished when the Emperor became inferior and the Pope superior. And it was not only the imperial Majesty, but the whole Majesty of all Christian princes, which Gregory claimed to reduce into subjection to Peter, that is, to himself, and did actually reduce in a great degree; so that he took away, conferred, and transferred kingdoms, titles, and fiefs, as though he were king of kings, more noble than the noble, ἀνυπεύθυνος, irresponsible. Whether Gregory repented on his deathbed or not, his successors nevertheless thought that that which he had gained was their booty (Comp., so far, Matthew 27:4): and, the foundation being once laid, they built upon it the superstructure of their own Monarchy. For the things are well known which the Popes afterwards both dared and actually executed against emperors and princes; and which were so far from being retracted by later Popes, that Gregory VII. was at length gradually enrolled among the gods by Clement VIII., by Paul V., and by Benedict XIII. A senseless thunderbolt of Sixtus V. (p. 75, etc.) recounts the kings who held their power on feudal tenure. Tanner openly says: “I say that the Pontiff is the head of the Roman empire itself, and of the universal Christian Church: I add and amplify the saying, that he is the head of the Roman Emperor, and of all princes of the empire, and of each of them.”—Anat. Demonstrat. 5, n. 131. We have the beast, that is, a king: whence also, about those times, for instance, A. 1103, some writings are said to have been given in the REIGN of the POPE, as Mabillon teaches, de Re diplom. p. 187. He was king, however, not in name, but in reality. Not in name: for antichrist himself shall possess the Roman empire, yet without the name of Roman Emperor, as Bellarmine excellently says, de Rom. Pont. c. 15: but in reality; for Blondus says, “The princes of the world now adore and reverence, as perpetual Dictator, not the successor of Cæsar, but of the fisherman Peter, and the vicar of the aforesaid Emperor, the Supreme Pontiff.” And Aug. Steuchus: “On the overthrow of the empire, had not God restored the pontifical power, it would have come to pass that Rome, raised and restored by none, uninhabitable, would afterwards have become a most foul dwelling-place of cattle and flocks. But in the pontificate, although there was not the greatness of the ancient empire, it revived again not much different in appearance, because all nations from the east and the west venerate the Roman Pontiff, just as they used in former times to obey the emperors.” In fact the spiritual title separates the name of king from the reality itself: for the Roman empire has been changed FROM THE TEMPORAL TO THE SPIRITUAL, as Thomas wrote on 2 Thessalonians 2; and that temporal empire has been changed to the power of the Roman See, as Dominic of Sos dictates from Leo, Bishop of Rome; yea, so that even as the episcopate is sometimes said to be secularized, so the Christian world bearing rule is, as it were, spiritualized and amortised [alienated and made over to the spiritual power]. But the head of this new system is Gregory. He FIRST, under the appearance of religion, laid the foundations of the rule of Antichrist; so that, according to Aventine, 170 years afterwards, at the Council of Ratisbon, Eberhard, Archbishop of Saltzburg, noticed this Epoch. Aventine himself says: Gregory VII. FIRST founded the pontifical empire. See Vitringa in Ap., who, p. 570, etc., has both confirmed the rise of this Hildebrand himself, having refuted others who interpreted the prophecy of Rome pagan, and Diocletian, and has collected many testimonies, which we have lately brought forward. But also M., Ant., on the subject of Lords, says respecting Hildebrand: He was the FIRST who wished in open war to exercise power over kings and emperors: l. iv. de rep. eccl. c. 3. And that a NEW and unheard-of precedent being established, it was effected, that the Pope not only excommunicated Cæsar, but even deprived him of his office, Lairizius proves on the weighty testimonies of Otto of Frisingia, of Godofrid of Viterbo, John Trithemius, and On. Panvinius, in his history of the Papacy, in German, p. 482, etc. To these may be added the Exx. of Ts. Casaubon c. Baron., throughout; the 2d book especially of John, Bishop of Rochester, on the power of the Pope in temporal matters, ch. 9 and 10; Hottinger’s Eccl. Hist. Cent. xi.; Blondell’s discussion on the formula, Christ being King, sect. ii. ch. 16: Edm. Richer’s Hist. conc. gen. T. I. ch. 13, p. 758; Natal Alexander’s Hist. Eccl. Cent. xi. and xii. Diss. ii. art. 9; Du Pin on the ancient discipline of the Church, diss. 7th; A. Rechenberg’s diss. on the totality of Hildebrand; the Observ. misc. of Deylingius, exerc. the 6th, respecting the novelty of monarchical rule over the universal Church; the Diss. of Maichelius on the right of the prince with respect to public teaching, pp. 57, 58, etc.

In his Calculation of the years of the world, T. iv. Jen. Lat., fol. 741, etc., Luther in a memorable manner remarked, under the 1000th year of redemption, The bishop of Rome becomes Antichrist, even by the power of the sword.

It was by no instantaneous metamorphosis that the Pope passed from the spiritual simplicity of the first bishops to a height beyond all majesty of the world; but he imperceptibly acquired authority and influence, until, by an effort altogether extraordinary, he reached the highest point. From this origin the new kingdom used its own state, its own form, its own style, much more than before: and whereas hitherto the Pope had been a shepherd, with a principality annexed to his office, now he has come forth as a monarch, with the episcopate annexed to his office, yet with the title of the episcopate. On which account, even at the present day, foreign kings, for instance the Chinese, in their letters, address the Pope as King. Let us go through the chief points of the facts. He gradually obtained his own senate, the cardinals, who rejoiced in raising themselves by equal steps with the Pope, who, having first excluded the people, and then also the whole of the clergy and the Emperor, elected the Pope, and that too out of their own body: his own soldiers, the clergy, who were withdrawn from the civil power, bound to the Pontiff by celibacy, and distinguished from the laity by the use of the cup at the Eucharist: most ample territory, especially by means of Matilda: his own vassals, Christian kings, as we have said: his own body of laws, the Canon Law, fenced in by the scholastic theology: his own assemblies, the Councils, called under his own auspices; for formerly all the œcumenical councils had been in the east, afterwards all were in the west: his own satellites, monks, especially of the Dominican and Franciscan orders, and recently the Jesuits: his own tribunal, that of the Inquisition: his own badge, that mystic tiara, which was made threefold, A. 1048, and which is called the Kingdom of the world. From Gregory VII. especially the pontiffs omitted the years of the emperors, and substituted their own; and this custom they afterwards retained, together with the Indiction, as Mabillon says, p. 181; and what is the meaning of this usage, is plain from 1 Maccabees 13:41-42 : and Paschal II., a few years afterwards, began to do that very thing more solemnly. From about that time, greater regard is paid by historians to the coronation of the Pope than to his consecration; for instance, by Panvinius, in his Chronicle of the Pontiffs, and by the Pope himself, in reckoning his own years. The same Gregory at that time claimed for himself alone the very name of Pope, and the title of Holiness, and the kissing of his feet, which had been common to bishops and abbots. Nor further back than the age of Hildebrand had Claudius Fleury anything to say respecting the morals of Christians, described in his French Treatise. But even at this time, first, a public protesting first waxed strong against this kingdom, made up of heaven and earth (with what purity, we do not ask), by means of Arnald of Brixia, whom on that account Baronius deems to have been the patriarch of political heretics. We must not omit to notice, that by Gregory VII. especially the majesty of the empire and the sanctity of marriage were at the same time violated: whence those two heresies were invented, that of Simoniacs and that of the Nicolaitans. And indeed the sanctity of marriage was impugned in the case of priests, not in the case of all men; but still it was on such grounds, as to depress the marriage state itself. Whoever the king is, whom Daniel points out, ch. 11, that sentiment, at any rate, which is found in Daniel 11:37, He shall not regard the desire of women, and any of the gods (for this is the reading of the Septuagint; but the Vulgate, not following this, removes the negative from the former clause): it is especially suited to that despiser of marriage, and of the majesty of the Cæsars, the Pontiff Gregory VII.

The Romanists upbraid the Protestants, because in fixing the beginning of antichrist they differ from one another by many centuries.(140) They might in truth have upbraided them with the difference of a thousand years and more: so wide an extent the subject has. In truth, all things, which are done, have both a time in which they are done, and a point of time in which they begin to be done; and the more accurate the knowledge of the time is, the more does it assist the knowledge of the fact. But again there may be a knowledge of the fact, even though you are far distant from the knowledge of the time: otherwise, many men would have to hesitate respecting themselves, whether they are in the world, because they do not know at what hour, on what day, in what mouth, in what year, and even more than this, they were born. However the time of the beast’s birth is sufficiently plain. For the apostasy and mystery of iniquity has increased in various ways from its earliest threads, and does still increase, until he comes forth ἀντικείμενος καὶ ὑπεραιρόμενος, who opposeth and exalteth himself: 2 Thessalonians 2:3, etc. The trumpet of the seventh angel in the Apocalypse divides the whole duration into two parts. Before that trumpet, either from other passages of the Apocalypse or from the Apostolic writings, the adversary is presupposed in mystery: under the trumpet of the seventh angel, at a short interval after its beginning, the beast is opposed to Christ in his open kingdom, which is a consideration of far greater weight. The times of the former steps, on this very account, because they are varied and concealed, are not precisely defined in the New Testament, wherefore it is of no consequence to notice them particularly in their accomplishment: but with regard to the kingdom and its flourishing state, which is treated of, Revelation 13, the times are at once precisely defined, and John, as Bellarmine, l. iii. de Rom. Pont. ch. 3, says, has even added minutiæ; and we show that these very minutiæ have reference to the times. It is plain from this, what answer ought truly to be given to Bellarmine, who, l. iii. de Rom. Pont. ch. 3, at the end, thus refutes the sentiment, which he attributes to W. Musculus, respecting the beginning of Antichrist at the time of Bernard: There were pontiffs incomparably worse from the year 900 to 1000, than there were from 1100 to 1200; if therefore they were not antichrists, how shall these be? But in truth it is not their peculiar wickedness which ought to be considered (though this in no slight degree promoted the public opinion which prevailed respecting the approach of Antichrist, and certainly entered into the beginning of the third woe), but rather that worst form of a new kingdom established by Gregory VII., which is most opposed to the kingdom of Christ, and most deadly to the Church.

PROP. 8. The year 1077 properly contains the beginning of the Papacy of Hildebrand.—The subject of this year itself is treated of in Proposition 7: the part of the year, in Proposition 9.

PROP. 9. In the year 1077, the month of September deserves consideration, and the first day of that month.—The Indiction accompanies the Epoch of the Totality of Hildebrand, which was then commencing with the month of September, and that the first Indiction. The letters to the Corsicans, exhibited in Proposition 7, are distinguished by the beginning of the first Indiction.

We do not say that the rising out of the sea was completed in a moment; but it has a remarkable extent, and that indeed, if you please, from Gregory VII. to Alexander III. See Erkl. Offenb. p. 670. The horoscope however, so to speak, comes to be observed.

PROP. 10. Neither enemies, nor friends of the truth, ought to lead us away from the truth of this interpretation.—I bear dissent from my opinion more easily than the Epicrisis supposes, p. 382. But when the ancient testimony of the truth, as far as its chief portion is the genuine interpretation of the beast as referring to the Papacy, is endangered, and illustrious men, who are in fault however on this point, now at this particular point abandon the interpretation, there is just ground for grief: and the more shall join their suffrages with them, the greater will the fear become of injury about to follow. The right exposition, which sees the Papacy under the description of the beast, adds much greater strength for patience and faith (ch. Revelation 14:12), than that inferior one, which looks for it under the description of the whore. And altogether it is injurious to depart from the genuine meaning of the prophecy. The Divine of Halle, p. 383, denies that those witnesses of the truth regarded the Papacy as the beast. But there were many who did so regard it: as Purvæus, before the Reformation; and after it, Cluver: others undoubtedly regarded it as the other beast, which was most closely united with that, Revelation 13, as Luther did.

The same (Lange) does not remember that he has ever heard or read, that the whore is plainly the city of Rome, namely, in so far as the city is to be distinguished from the Papacy, which must be regarded as the beast of the Apocalypse: and he applies to me the appearance of singularity in my opinion. Whether it is the author, says he, who prates foolishly, or I IN COMPANY WITH OTHERS, let the reader judge. Epicr. p. 385, and the following. Pareus is expressly on my side: Comm. on the Apoc. col. 874, 892; nor do I add others. For all, who recognise the Papacy as pointed out in ch. 13 of the Apocalypse (and they are very many), cannot fail likewise to distinguish Babylon from it, although they do not all make the distinction with equal propriety. I often appear an innovator, when I bring forward again ancient truth, here recognised by Luther in almost all particulars: Nor do I deny, that, the knowledge of ancient sentiments, without any prejudging of the authority, has given me no little assistance. See Erkl. Offenb. pp. 1111, 1121. Let us return to the subject.

The Divine of Halle is right indeed in teaching, that the beast is different from the where, and that the same is regarded, either as a body, or as an individual: but he neither distinguishes the paragraphs which treat respecting the body, and respecting the individual; nor the sea and the bottomless pit, from which the beast has its twofold origin; nor its heads and horns; nor has he a sufficiently large idea of Rome, if the Papacy were removed. Epicr. pp. 385, 387, 388, 393. Wherefore we will unfold these parts also by observations as distinct as possible. Attend. ye who love the truth.

Obs. 1. The beast of the Apocalypse is the Romish Papacy, which has now reigned through many years.—This is the sum and substance of Proposition 5. Where that ends, there the remainder of this consideration begins.

Obs. 2. The beast has both ten horns and seven heads.—John plainly writes this.

Obs. 3. The seven heads are both seven hills and seven kings: and the same are different from the ten horns.—The former part of the Observation is expressly written and extant: the seven heads are the seven hills on which the woman sits, and are seven kings. Nor would it have been possible for one of the heads of the beast to be as it were wounded to death, if it were a hill apart from a king. As to the other part of the Observation, the heads are heads, the horns are horns: the heads are seven, the horns ten. They are not synonyms, nor are the horns changed into heads; for they are mentioned conjointly. The heads succeed one another: the horns are at the same time. The heads extend themselves through the whole duration of the beast: the horns are at the close of the time of the beast. The heads are of the substance of the beast: the horns are something adscititious. We have here brought together the differences into one accumulated mass: whatever of them is doubtful, will be confirmed by-and-by. The Divine of Halle, without perceiving the difference between the beast of Daniel and the Apocalypse, has not even been able to account for the remarkable difference between the heads, of which the beast of the Apocalypse (not so that in Daniel) has seven, and the ten horns: and on the contrary, he has made a wide, but unfortunate, separation between the seven heads and the seven kings. He suspects that the kings are Pharaoh, Jeroboam, Ahab, Nebuchadnezzar. Antiochus (what connection is there between these and the mountains of Rome?), Domitian, Antichrist: but he says that the heads are likewise the kings and horns in one age; and that by the rooting up of three of them the number ten, under Antichrist, is changed into the number seven.—Comm. Apoc. f. 202.

Obs. 4. The rising of the beast out of the sea, is different from his rising out of the bottomless pit.—The Apocalypse often makes mention of the sea, often the bottomless pit; but it never uses these two names promiscuously, and in the places respecting the beast it makes a most clear distinction: for in this passage the beast ascends out of the sea; and ch. Revelation 11:7, his ascent out of the bottomless pit is represented in such a way, that the same is described, ch. Revelation 17:8, by a head as though future. This must be carefully kept in mind.

Obs. 5. The heads of the beast do not begin before his rising out of the sea, but contemporaneously with that rising itself.—What advance is made in understanding, when the beast, as the subject, is designated from Romulus, Brutus, etc., as the chief men of Rome, or at all events from Pharaoh, Jeroboam, etc., as the forerunners of Antichrist (respecting whom the Gebhards and Lange are for the most part agreed)? Nay, it is the things predicated of the beast that are described by a vivid representation [Hypotyposis.—Append.] of his future circumstances and actions: and this tends to instruction. Just as, after the casting of the dragon out of heaven, and after the beginning of the third woe, the beast arose out of the sea: Prop. 5, Obs. 4; so the feet, and the mouth, and the horns, etc., do not precede the rise of the beast, but accompany and follow it: nor ought the heads alone to be excepted, and to be thought to be prior to that rising; for the name of blasphemy is said to be upon the heads without any exception, namely, all (just as there are crowns upon all his horns): nor are times assigned to one or two of the more recent heads, but to the beast itself which arose out of the sea; a point which ought to be most accurately noticed, although the heads cannot subsequently be separated from the successive times. Again, the heads begin together with the rising out of the sea itself; for the beast is never without a head: and so in the very first time mention is made of one head, that is, the first, smitten with a deadly blow.

Obs. 6. The heads succeed one another.—D. Lange rightly acknowledges that the kings succeed each other: therefore also the heads succeed each other, for the heads are kings: Obs. 3. The succession is declared in the following Observation.

Obs. 7. That space of time, which has a series of seven heads, is divided into three clauses, or into three articles.—Five (of the kings, who equally with the hills are signified by the heads of the beast) have fallen: one is: the other is not yet come; and when he is come, he must continue a little space.

Obs. 8. The present time, in reference to which the angel speaks (Revelation 17:1; Revelation 17:10), falls into the middle clause.—The present time is, according to the Divine of Halle, in reference to the vision of John; whence he gives this interpretation: One (that is, Domitian) is, and the other (that is, Antichrist) is not yet come. But this expression, one is, and that, which we shall presently see, the beast is not, correspond with each other; nor can that, is not, whichever way you turn it, be in any way applied to the Roman empire according to the time of the vision: or does the subsequent clause, the other is not yet come, permit that this, one is, should be applied to Domitian. For the particle not yet excludes the interval between one and the other, who are strictly joined together even by the contradistinction between the five kings, and the one and the other. But Domitian was slain more than 1600 years ago; and to the present day that expression holds good: the other is not yet come. The present time, in speaking, is often the present in reference to the series of events itself. Such is the expression, thou didst gird thyself, etc., John 21:18. From this the prophets address future persons as if they were already born and alive; for instance, Ezekiel 38:17. Thus the first and the second woe are said to have gone: Revelation 9:12; Revelation 11:14. Add the expressions: they lived; who has; they shall be: ch. Revelation 20:4; Revelation 20:6. Comp. ch. Revelation 17:12; Revelation 17:14. This very method of speaking was remarkably proved by Bossuet, not to mention others, in the general thesis; for the particular hypothesis, which it supported, is nothing, being refuted by others long ago, and that with more labour than was necessary. So, in this passage, the angel plainly expresses three times, placing both himself and John in the middle of them, that is, in the second; in order that with a more suitable difference the first time may be declared to be in the past, the second in the present, and the third in the future: nor was there any other cause, why the angel should rather assume for the present, that time in which the beast is not, than that in which it is.

Obs. 9. The duration of the beast is itself divided into the same articles.—The beast was; he is not; he will ascend out of the bottomless pit and perish, etc.: ch. 17 in Revelation 13:8 twice, and in Revelation 13:11. Between these Versicles this is inserted as if parallel: five have fallen; one is; one is not yet come, etc.: Revelation 13:11. The sum made up from both is, the beast from the sea; the beast not yet; the beast from the bottomless pit.

Obs. 10. Babylon is Rome.—The name, Rome, ῥώμη, is so called from strength: whence formerly the same was called Valentia. The mighty city, ch. Revelation 18:10, is so called by Antonomasia [an Appellative for a proper name.—Append.], not by way of epithet. All things, which the Apocalypse says respecting Babylon, apply to Rome, and Rome only. This is Babylon, until it is entirely destroyed: but when did it begin to exist? Then, when it began to be mighty. When Babylon ceased to exist in the East, it emerged in the West. It existed therefore already in the time of the apostles; and their just cause is said to be “avenged” on Babylon, ch. Revelation 18:20, not for this reason, because the apostles predicted that avenging judgment, which reason is alleged by D. Lange in Comm. Ap. f. 213, who restricts Babylon to the degenerate hierarchy in Century VII., and thus makes it too late; but because, as she slew the saints and prophets, so also she slew the apostles. Comp. Revelation 18:24. The first mention of Babylon is, ch. Revelation 14:8; nor is it there indicated, that Rome was then beginning to be Babylon: but just as the Lamb, who was long ago the Lamb, is presupposed as such in the Apocalypse; and, on the contrary, the dragon, which had long ago been the dragon, is presupposed as such: so Babylon, which had long been Babylon, is presupposed as such. The present time of Babylon in action is determined in the Apocalypse by those things, which are attributed to the city.

Obs. 11. The beast reigns both before the kingdom of Babylon and after the kingdom of Babylon.—The Divine of Halle rightly judges that it is not possible for both the whore and the beast to rejoice at the same time in so great a kingdom: but he also places the reign of the beast not until after the reign of the whore. First the beast reigns, ch. Revelation 13:1, etc.: then Babylon, ch. Revelation 17:1, etc.; and the beast a second time, the same ch. Revelation 13:8, etc. My analysis accurately keeps to the order of the text: the Epicrisis does not.

Obs. 12. The heads are of the very substance of the beast; the horns are something adscititious. The wound of one head is said to be also the wound of the beast itself: but the horns, or kings, TOGETHER WITH the beast, receive the kingdom, ch. Revelation 13:3, Revelation 17:12. Moreover the seven kings, not by themselves, but together with the hills, are the heads of the beast: therefore they have that close connection with the city, which none but the Roman pontiffs have; and they are the pontiffs themselves. But that one expression, the horns AND the beast, same ch. Revelation 13:16, sufficiently distinguishes the horns from the beast, as something subsidiary.

Obs. 13. Into the first division (Obs. 7) fall the XLII. months of the beast; which certainly comprise some centuries.—The beast arose out of the sea, A. 1077, and shortly afterwards power was given to him for XLII. months: moreover that power has continued to the present time. The nearer determination of this point is explained elsewhere.

Obs. 14. The non-being of the beast and the kingdom of Babylon are contemporaneous.—The prophecy plainly fixes each of these to the middle of the three divisions, of which the duration of the beast is made up. The beast raged vehemently after his ascent from the sea, until his kingdom became obscured by the vial of the fifth angel. But still a kingdom, though obscured, is a kingdom: and the beast, having an obscured kingdom, is still the beast. But at length matters came to such a pitch, that there was occasion for this saying (Revelation 17:8): The beast was, was the beast, that is, was reigning, and that too unjustly: and is not, is not the beast, does not reign, having lost that standing which it had when it arose from the sea: Why so? Because the Woman is seated on the beast (Revelation 17:3), and the beast is subservient to her as a beast of burden; whereas the woman, rejoicing in her rule over the kings of the earth, sits as a queen (Revelation 18:7). In such a form is she brought forward upon the stage, under the third woe, after the rising of the beast out of the sea (Revelation 13:1), and of the other beast out of the earth (Revelation 13:11), after the affairs of the 14th chapter, and therefore after the pouring out of the vials, until the beast arising out of the bottomless pit (Revelation 11:7, Revelation 17:8), having joined unto him the ten kings, shall suddenly destroy her.

Obs. 15. At that time especially will be brought to light the difference, which there has never ceased to be, between Rome and the Pope.—Vitringa, Anacr. p. 756, has too slightly defined the difference between Rome and the Pope; and therefore the Divine of Halle has with greater speciousness concealed the Papacy under Rome. We have shown a more ample difference in the Erkl. Offenb. pref. § ix. and pp. 689, 776, 777, and on the whole of ch. 17, especially p. 845; but since those things, which are there noticed in a scattered manner, are overlooked by many, we will in this one place explain the matter more distinctly and fully. When Rome is mentioned, even apart from the Pontiff, three things are spoken of,—the city on seven hills, the Church of Rome, and the Roman state. Is. Newton, in his Observ. on Dan., Guil. Suderman being the translator, describes the Roman state with such a meaning, as to interpret the three horns, which were torn up by the little horn, of the reduction of the Exarchate, of the kingdom of the Lombards, and of Rome and its Senate, under the power of the Pope. This opinion, which represents the horn too early, being set aside, the whole passage will admirably help towards forming a just idea respecting the Roman state. “Rome,” he says, “with its dukedom, which comprised a part of Etruria and Campania, revolted from the Greek emperors, A.C. 726, and became a free republic, under the government of the Roman Senate. The authority of this Senate at length became supreme in civil affairs; the authority of the Pope up to this time not extending beyond ecclesiastical affairs:” p. 53. Again: “In the year 796, Leo III., being created Pontiff, by an embassy informed Charles the Great of his election, sending at the same time as a gift golden keys of the Confession of Peter, and also a banner of the city of Rome: the former indeed, as an admission that the Pope held the cities of the Exarchate of Ravenna and Lombardy by the gift of Charles; the latter, to signify to the king, that he should return and subdue the Senate and people of Rome, just as he had subdued the Exarchate and kingdom of the Lombards. For the Pontiff asked at the same time of Charles, that he should send some of his princes to Rome, who might subject to him the Roman people, and bind them by an oath, in fidelity and subjection, as Sigonius relates the words which he used. An anonymous poet, edited by Boecler, at Strasburg, describes it in this manner:—‘And he admonished him with pious prayers, that he might be pleased to send some of his own chiefs, and to render the people of Rome subject to him, and compelling them to promise the keeping of their compact of fidelity by great oaths.’(141)

Ex propriis aliquos primoribus, ac sibi plebem

Subdere Romanam, servandaque fœdera cogens

Hanc fidei sacramentis promittere magnis.

“Hence a disagreement arose between the Pope and the Roman citizens. And these indeed, two or three years afterwards, aided by some of the clergy, stirred up such great tumults against him, as to become the cause of a new aspect of affairs throughout the whole West. For two of the clergy accused the Pope of certain crimes; and shortly afterwards the Romans seized upon him with armed force, stripped him of his sacerdotal vestments, and imprisoned him in a monastery. But when, by the aid of his friends, he had escaped, he fled into Germany, to Charles the Great, to whom he complained of the Romans, as though they opposed him with this intent, that they might shake off the whole authority of the Church, and recover their ancient liberty. In his absence, his accusers laid waste with their forces the dominions of the Church, and sent the heads of the accusation to Charles the Great. But he, before a year was yet completed, sent back the Pope with a great retinue of attendants to Rome. The nobles and bishops from Francia [between the Loire and the Seine], who attended upon him, examined the chief of his accusers at Rome, and sent them into Francia for imprisonment. This happened in the year 799. In the next year Charles himself went to Rome, and on an appointed day presided over a Council of Italian and Frank bishops, to hear both sides. But when the adversaries of the Pope expected that they should be heard, the Council determined, that he, who was the supreme judge, was too great to be judged by any one except himself: upon which he in a solemn speech professed his innocence before the people, and was thus regarded as acquitted. A short time afterwards, on the day on which the memory of the Lord’s birthday was celebrated, the Roman people, who hitherto had elected their own bishops, and who thought that they and their Senate duly possessed the rights of the ancient Senate and people of Rome, elected Charles as Emperor, and submitted themselves to him in the same manner in which the ancient Roman empire and its Senate were formerly subject to the Roman emperors. The Pope placed a diadem upon his head, and anointed him with sacred oil, and adored him with bended knees, as was formerly done to the Roman emperors; the poet above quoted relating it in these words:—‘Therefore after the giving of praises, the chief Pontiff also adored the same, as was formerly the custom due to great princes.’(142)

Præsul adoravit, sicut mos debitus olim

Principibus fuit antiquis.

“On the other hand, the Emperor bound himself by this oath to the Pope:—‘In the name of Christ, I, Charles the Emperor, vow and promise, in the presence of God and the blessed Apostle Peter, that I will be the protector and defender of this holy Roman Church, in all its interests, as far as I shall be supported by the Divine aid, according to my knowledge and ability.’ Moreover the Emperor was also created Consul of the city of Rome, and his son Pepin was crowned King of Italy; and from that time he wished that his name should be written in this manner: ‘The most serene Charles Augustus, crowned by God, the mighty, the peace-maker, governing the Empire of Rome, or Emperor of the Romans:’ and prayers were offered for him in the churches at Rome. From this time also the Roman coins were stamped with his image. But the adversaries of the Pope, three hundred in number of the Romans, and two or three of the clergy, were condemned to death. The former were all beheaded on one and the same day in the Lateran plains; but the latter were pardoned at the intercession of the Pope, and they were sent into exile to Francia. And thus the title of Roman Emperor, with which the Grecian emperors, or those of the East, had hitherto been honoured, was transferred to the King of Francia in the West. After these things Charles gave to the Pope the principality of the city and of the Roman dukedom, subject however to himself, as Emperor of the Romans. He passed the winter at Rome in political affairs, and in settling those matters which had reference to the Apostolic See; I should rather say, in arranging the business of the whole of Italy, as well civil as ecclesiastical, and in passing new laws concerning them: in the next summer he returned into Francia, having left the state under the government of the Senate, both the one and the other being subject to the Pope and himself. But having heard that his new laws were neither observed by the judges in the administration of justice, nor by the people in obedience to him, and moreover, that the more powerful carried off from free men, yea, even from churches and monasteries, slaves, to labour in their own vineyards, fields, and pastures; that they even proceeded to exact from these flocks and wine, and to oppress those who were ministering in the churches; he wrote to his son Pepin, and admonished him to remedy these evils, to take care of the Church, and to see that his laws were observed.”—P. 55, etc. Many other things, if it is necessary, may be read in Newton. What the Church of Rome is, apart from the Pontiff, is seen, 1) When a council is held, either before the confirmation of the Pontiff, or without it: 2) When in a schism there is a contest concerning the lawful Pope: 3) When the See is vacant, especially for a longer time than usual, and there is an interregnum, or inter-pontificate, and a conclave: 4) When zeal for Catholicism is exercised, even by those who are not so much captivated with the pontifical dignity: 5) When the Pope himself is suspected by the Inquisition, or is unsatisfactory to the chiefs of the orders, for instance, to the general set over the Jesuits. In fine, it is unnecessary to say how Rome on its seven hills, together with its walls, temples, palaces, and dwellings, differs from the Pope. Upon the whole, Rome, viewed both architecturally, and politically and ecclesiastically, has something apart from the Pope. Rome scarcely shines, except by the rays of the Pope, as was seen when the Pope had his See at Avignon: on this account few perceive that Rome is distinct from the Pope. But the position of each will be changed: the woman will reign, the beast will carry her. Then indeed the difference will present itself to the eyes of all.

Obs. 16. The beast is a body, in the first and second portion of his duration: in the third, he is an individual.—Two great errors have long existed, one of which regards the seventh head only of the beast as the Papacy of many ages; the other regards the whole beast with his seven heads as an individual antichrist. On the contrary, the beast with seven heads is the Papacy of many ages: the seventh head is the Man of Sin, who is called by many Antichrist. The beast is a body, from ch. Revelation 13:1, to ch. Revelation 17:7. He is a body and an individual, ch. Revelation 17:8-11, according to different periods. He is an individual, from ch. Revelation 17:12, to ch. Revelation 19:20. These things, as I hope, are distinct and easy. The Divine of Halle indeed says, that the beast is first a body, and then afterwards an individual; but he treats it in ch. 13 as an individual, and in ch. 17 as a body. It is plain, of what character this is. I have not quoted the things, which are noticed in the Epicrisis, pp. 387, 388, as the sentiments of others (as D. Lange understands it), although Bibera at least includes the whole duration of the beast in the 3½ years; but as a discordant consequence, which would result from the opinion that confines the beast with its body itself within the limits of 3½ years. For with the rising of the beast out of the sea begins the series of seven heads (as we have shown in Obs. 5), which far exceeds 3½ years, especially since it is only to the last head or king that a short space (Revelation 17:10) of continuance is attributed.

Obs. 17. That individual is the seventh head of the beast; or the other king after the five and the one; he himself the eighth, and also of the seven (Revelation 17:10-11).—He is of the seven heads or kings, in so far as he is the Pope: but he himself is the eighth, or the beast itself, and not merely a head, not in so far as he is the Pope, but in so far as he introduces from the bottomless pit wickedness of a new and altogether peculiar character. A similitude will explain the matter: A tree of seven branches, of which six are somewhat slender and the seventh very thick, still continues a tree, if the six are cut off, and the seventh remains. Comp. Erkl. Offenb. p. 885. But he is said to be the eighth, before he is said to be of the seven; because he will not enact the part of the Pope—sooner than he will the Man of Sin. My German Exegesis, together with the parentheses of D. Lange, is this. “The beast, with reference to the last head, or rather (the commentator himself is not certain) at that time, when the last head, and strictly speaking the beast itself, as the eighth, rages, is an individual person (which however will not be any Pope),” etc.: Epicr. p. 387. I reply: The expression, or rather, does not imply doubt respecting the fact, but it only subjoins to an inadequate expression one which is adequate, the comparison of which two may not be useless to the reader. There is no reason why the last Pope, by far the worst of all, should not have that destruction, which is mentioned, Revelation 19:20, and which follows the desolation of Babylon.

Obs. 18. He is the Impious One, the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition, who Opposeth and Exalteth himselfthe Wicked One.—Thus the Scripture terms him, and especially Paul, 2 Thessalonians 2:3. And I should wish that my Annotations on that passage may be referred to here.

Obs. 19. The same is called by a word very commonly used, Antichrist.—The term, Antichrist, where the Epistles of John are not in question, and beyond these it does not occur in the Scripture, is most conveniently set aside in this discussion, on account of the Homonymia [Append.]. For it is spoken either with reference to Antichristianity, which arose about the time of the apostles, in which sense John himself wrote, that even then there had already been not one, but many antichrists, 1 Ephesians 2:18 : or with reference to the Papacy, which had now borne rule for many ages, in which sense most of the Protestants take it: or with reference to the Man of Sin in an individual, as the Divine of Halle especially takes it. I do not employ a word which has become so ambiguous, except when I either treat of the Epistles of John, or when I quote the sentiments of others, who employ the word: and if I should make use of it in discussing the Apocalypse (although that Wicked One will call himself God, and not Christ), I should use it in the same sense in which the Divine of Halle does; and yet he denies, that I have a right idea of Antichrist: Epicr. pp. 375, 389. He would not deny it, if he had leisure for an attentive perusal at least of my Preface.

Obs. 20. The ten horns or kings, together with the beast, receive power as kings for one hour.—That is openly stated, Revelation 17:12. The individual beast is meant: and the one hour is the time of their carrying on the kingdom; since the ten horns shortly afterwards give it to the beast. The beast was lately said not to be: wherefore he receives power afresh, and with him the kings, who after the interval of an hour give their power also, so recently acquired, to the beast.

Obs. 21. The whole strength of the Roman monarchy, which is divided into ten kingdoms, shall be bestowed upon the beast.—This is stated, ch. Revelation 17:13; Revelation 17:16-17. There shall be not only ten kingdoms, but ten kings; and those kings altogether devoted to the beast with a wonderful agreement.

Obs. 22. The ten horns, and the beast, shall make the whore desolate.—This is said, ch. Revelation 17:16. The most important particle, καὶ, and, which is commonly omitted, is defended at the proper place.

Obs. 23. At last the beast, with the ten horns, and the other kings of the earth, shall rush into that great destruction.—This is written, Revelation 19:19; and that the ten horns are there contained under the kings of the earth, is plain from ch. Revelation 17:14; Revelation 17:17, at the end.

Obs. 24. The prophecy of Daniel, in whatever way you explain it, presents no obstacle to this consideration.—The things which we have hitherto learned from the Apocalypse, lead us to the very close of the beast and of the ten horns, and are plain of themselves: nor are they weakened by Daniel, whether Lange’s interpretation of it or any other be true. Grant that the fourth beast in Daniel is the Græco-Syriac kingdom; or that the little horn is Mahomet (which opinion the Epicrisis certainly refutes by a rather inadequate method, pp. 404, 405); or that the ten horns have one meaning in Daniel and another in John (for in the former, after the ten horns there rises a horn, Daniel 7:24, in the Chaldee; whereas, in the latter, the ten horns receive the kingdom, together with the beast: ch. Revelation 17:12): none of these things is opposed to my interpretation. For inasmuch as the beast of the Apocalypse has a kind of resemblance also to the third, the second, and the first of Daniel, as we saw in Proposition 5, Obs. 2, and yet is not the same with any of them: so the resemblance which the beast of the Apocalypse bears to the fourth beast of Daniel, does not prove that it is the same beast. I wish to say this for the sake of those who interpret Daniel in a different manner from our interpretation of the Apocalypse, or who at any rate are in doubt respecting the interpretation of Daniel. But let us proceed.

Obs. 25. The fourth beast of Daniel is the Roman monarchy.—The Græco-Syriac kingdom is contained under the four wings or heads of the third beast; nor by itself does it attain to the vastness of the whole beast, much less of the fourth, which is so widely distinct from the former. The successive series of the ten horns can with difficulty be shown in it, much less that of one time, as the text requires. In short, that kingdom expired much more quickly than either the fourth beast perished, or the Stone was cut out. Nothing remains, except the Roman empire, as Abbadie on Apoc. T. iv. pp. 446–537, besides others, proves on good grounds; and Janus on the Four Monarchies. If the Roman empire had been omitted, there would have been one hiatus, and that a great one, between the beasts of Daniel and that of the Apocalypse. But both Daniel, ch. 2 and 7, and the Apocalypse, ch. 13–19, from different beginnings of the kingdoms which they describe, arrive, by a continuous thread, at one and the same goal, at Christ and His universal kingdom.

Obs. 26. The same beast is something continuous, from the beginning of the Roman monarchy until the thrones are set: and comprises in itself the beast of the Apocalypse and the woman, and many other different subjects.—It is of no great consequence what victory in particular it was which gave a beginning to the Roman monarchy. Whatever that beginning was, from it even to the goal the fourth of the four monarchies is like a river, which has but one channel from its fountain, but sometimes imbibes certain streams,—sometimes is itself divided into several streams, and yet remains one continuous river. First of all the Roman power was undivided, then certain commencements of a division arose, and the division itself into the East and West, which has had many vicissitudes. Then the kings of the Heruli, the Goths, and the Lombards, claimed to themselves a part of the Roman power; as did the Exarchs, the Romans themselves, the Carlovingian and German emperors, without excluding other kings. Whatever power either the Pope also or the city had before Gregory VII., that the beast of Daniel directly comprises: whatever power the Papacy from Gregory VII. (who is distant a period [Chronus] from Augustus), even under a spiritual form, exercises over the city, over the Patrimony of Peter, over its vassals, over kings, over peoples, that the beast of the Apocalypse represents. But again, the beast of the Apocalypse itself, and also Rome, together with its last power—and moreover that which withholdeth or letteth (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7), and he who is withheld, are comprehended under the beast of Daniel; which, on account of the Papacy, is different from all the former beasts: ch. Revelation 7:7. In Daniel the series of princes is much longer than it is in the Apocalypse. The very variety of the parts, of which the fourth beast in Daniel is made up, exhibits the principal difference between it and the three former beasts: and the third beast indeed, after the death of Alexander the Great, comprised many different elements, and yet was one; but the fourth has a much greater variety of parts, in such a manner, however, that both conjointly they differ from the third, and, cohering with one another, they exhibit one beast.

Obs. 27. The things which Daniel saw respecting the ten horns, thus also agree with our interpretation of the Apocalypse.—In Daniel three of the ten horns are plucked up, on the coming up of the little horn; but in the Apocalypse the ten horns in their full number join themselves to the beast, at his last time. The ten, therefore, are earlier in Daniel than in the Apocalypse. You may say that the form is different, but the material the same; and therefore that John, with reference to Daniel, in the text makes mention of the horns before all things, in Revelation 13:1, but that afterwards he continually places them after the heads. Long ago, especially in the later ages, there were various lineaments and preparations for the denary of kings: the denary itself was not yet clearly apparent: nor the ternary of those who are represented as torn up. But the ten will arise; and, as far as can be supposed from a comparison of the two prophecies of the ten kings, another little horn (Daniel 7:8), a prince of no great power, will subdue three who are neighbours to himself: and he also, to the wonder of the inhabitants of the earth, having been increased with fresh malice from the bottomless pit, will himself receive the kingdom, and with him ten kings, according to a new division; and he will also be both the eighth, and of the seven; and the ten kings, after a reign of one hour, will bestow their power upon him. Daniel himself, ch. 7, in one verse, the 20th, with reference to the ten horns, and the three, mentions another: and afterwards, much more plainly, that horn which had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things.

Obs. 28. Nor are the things which Daniel saw respecting the little horn at variance with this.—The little horn, which differs from the fourth beast, as a part does from the whole (for in Revelation 13:11 it is not used for the beast himself), is the beast of the Apocalypse, either with seven heads, or the individual beast. If it is the beast with seven heads, it is well; if the individual (so that, as Christ is the Horn of salvation, so the Adversary may be the Horn of destruction), yet that horn appears to have had a much more rapid rise in Daniel, so that three of the ten kings are cast down before that the beast with the ten kings receives the kingdom. However it is, the things which in Daniel are applied to the horn, are spoken m the Apocalypse respecting the beast with seven heads, as a mouth speaking great things and blaspheming, war with the saints, and victory over them: nor is that opposed to us. For the actions which the beast wickedly performs in the first period of his duration, he with heinous vehemence persists in carrying on during the third: on which very account the action of the individual beast is more sparingly described in ch. 17 and 19; because in point of fact many things are to be repeated from ch. 13. See Erkl. Offenb. p. 893. There is in this fact the fuller intimation that the subject, though regarded in different points of view, has the same predicates.

Obs. 29. The times of the beast in Daniel and in the Apocalypse have a sweet mutual agreement.—The 3½ times, while the horn bears rule, Daniel 7:25, and the 42 months of the beast raging, Revelation 13:5, and the ὀλίγον, the short space of his continuing, ch. Revelation 17:10 (not to add the other passages which we have touched upon above, at ch. Revelation 6:2), the Epicrisis, pp. 390, 399, with great positiveness takes for 3½ years, and those ordinary years; and so also the Comm. Ap. f. 203. With obvious facility the month of 30 days has long ago commended itself to many, so that 1260 days, 42 months, and 3½ years should be equivalent to each other: but this very facility is proved to be deceitful by a comparison of the computations of natural days, months, and years, which present difficulties in their mutual proportions. Neither in the age of John, nor in that of Daniel, are there found single years, which contained 360 days, without intercalated days; much less are there 3½ years, which contained 1260 days, as even the years of Nabonassar prove, which are more ancient than the time of Daniel. Time has different significations in different places: see Erkl. Offenb. pp. 130, 131, 148: and a time ( καιρὸς) in the Apocalypse is longer than a year, even than a prophetic year: and 3½ years, or 42 months, are longer than 1260 days, whether you regard them as prophetic or ordinary years, months, and days. See Erkl. Offenb. p. 136, etc. Whence the arguments brought forward by D. Lange in his Comm. Apoc., in favour of a period of 3½ years, will be done away. Seizius, with many others, rested on the year-day: the Divine of Halle is the chief maintainer of an ordinary day. After an examination of the systems of the one and the other, the true analysis of the times, leading me between the two (see 18, note), is wonderfully confirmed, which is not to be undone by any sudden or deliberate assault. I have considered the chronology of Daniel, as far as relates to the last times, in the order of the times, p. 371, etc. [Ed. ii. p. 319, etc.]. The secret of the times is laid open in the Apocalypse, and by means of it in Daniel: and most sacred adjurations in both prophecies have reference to that very point. The interpretation which reduces long periods of time in them to a short space, cannot fail to cause great confusion. There is a parallelism of the times in Daniel and in the Apocalypse, but it is of a hidden character, and, when you have once found it, well put together, far beyond the agreement of the 1260 days, the 42 months, and 3½ times. See Ord. Temp., as cited above, and pp. 322, 323. [Ed. ii. pp. 274, 275.] As far as relates to the three passages quoted, the parallelism sought in them destroys itself. We will hereafter compare the first passage with the third, at ch. Revelation 17:10; but the second differs widely from the third, and therefore also from the first. The 42 months precede the vials, and almost exhaust the first portion (division) of the beast, Obs. 9, 13; but after the vials there is ὀλίγον, a short space, and 3½ times, in the third portion. The period is not equal, much less the same. The variety of prophetic periods is much too elegant and skilfully contrived, for us to suppose that so many things should come to be thrown together into one mass.

Obs. 30. It is only by this method that those things which are written in each prophecy respecting the destruction of the beast are reconciled with one another.—The Epicrisis in this part also notices the resemblance only, p. 400. Daniel, he says, attributes fire to the beast: and John confirms this. Comp. p. 373. The dissimilarity is not less remarkable. I beheld, says Daniel, Revelation 13:11, until the beast was slain, and his body was destroyed: and he was given to the burning flame. That last expression, and was given, is separated from the body of the beast, both by the accent and the feminine gender in the Chaldee also, and is joined with the beast himself. Both John and Daniel speak in consideration of one and the same time of the beast, namely, the last; but Daniel means the beast in all that it comprises (comp. Obs. 26); that is, the ten horns, or kings on his head, and the single horn amidst the ten horns, and the body. John separates the ten horns from the beast. Therefore the latter says,—1) That the beast, together with the false prophet, was cast alive into the lake of fire; 2) That the other enemies, and in their number those ten, and the rest of the kings of the earth, were slain: but the former writes,—1) That the beast himself, as far as relates to the ten horns of the head, as distinguished from the body, was slain; 2) That the body, that is, the resources and power of the beast, perished; and again, 3) That the beast, as far as relates to the single horn, was thrown into the burning fire. While the first and the third division are here separated, a Simultaneum [see Append. Techn. Terms] of both with the second is indicated. The destruction of the fourth beast in Daniel is connected with the destruction of the former beasts, ch. Daniel 7:12, Daniel 2:35; Daniel 2:45, and with the destruction of the Apocalyptic beast which afterwards arose.

Thus far concerning the ten Propositions. Whatever I have spoken concerning these, I had already spoken in my German Exegesis: but because many judge, while but few read, it was right that the subject should again be submitted to the eyes, comprised as it is here in one collection. Then next the Divine of Halle, being about to examine my annotations on the verses of ch. 13 separately, considers by what means I shall show that the beast is the Papacy. But in the annotations I presuppose this, as already demonstrated, and I proceed in the handling of the text, as each portion demands. He who shall duly have made himself acquainted with the former parts, will easily reply for me: yet I will make some remarks in a summary way. He denies that any application of this verse, and of those which follow, to the Papacy, is given by me. Epicr. p. 386, etc. I have not given it in pp. 690–695, which he quotes; for there I laid down the resemblance and also the dissimilitude between the beast of Daniel and that of the Apocalypse, as was befitting. I gave the application in order, pp. 658, 678, 696, etc.; and in p. 663 I referred the reader to ch. 17, where I distinctly and fully treated of the heads and horns, p. 853, etc. On the subject of the leopard, the bear, and the lion, I was able to be the more concise, because a fuller explanation is given by those who in great numbers interpret this passage of the Papacy. Nor have the interpreters of Daniel failed to accomplish something. I do not readily write that which has been before written by others. He denies that the name of Pope (Erasmus restores ὄνομα, in the singular, from an ancient reading of Andreas of Cæsarea(143)) is blasphemous, p. 388. Since the Pope has taken this name to himself alone, he has no name greater, and therefore none more blasphemous. See Erkl. Offenb. p. 697, and add Forbes on Ap. p. 118.


Verse 3

Revelation 13:3. καὶ μίαν) Thus all the most ancient remains: two or three copies insert εἶδον.(144) I agree with Wolf, that μίαν, when you destroy εἶδον, does not refer to the verb ἔδωκε, which immediately precedes it. although there appears to be a gloss, as noticed in the Apparatus, which refers μίαν to it. But if εἶδον is to be understood, it ought to be repeated from Revelation 13:1, just as Pliny uses the verb of seeing by Hyperbaton, H. N. Book VIII. c. 6: Italy first saw elephants in the war with king Pyrrhus, and called them Lucanian oxen; but (it saw them) at Rome(145) in a triumph, etc. But the connection of the discourse is equally good, ἔχον μίαν, κ. τ. λ.: comp. Revelation 13:14 : and the Latin translator, whereas long ago he did not read I saw, seems thus to have construed the passage: and I saw a beast having seven headsand (having) one of HIS [SUIS, not ejus] heads as it were slain to death. There is here, Revelation 13:1-3, that mixture of cases, which we have seen more than once, and shall see somewhat below: and the connection is easy between the seven heads and one of the heads. One head is mentioned for the first: for εἷς, one, even without the article, means the first, ch. Revelation 6:1, twice; Ezekiel 32:1, especially in the LXX., etc. The accusative μίαν, which, as we lately noticed, depends by Hyperbaton on ἔχον, Revelation 13:1, most closely connects together the ascent of the beast out of the sea and the wound. Wherefore also he says, κεφαλὴν ἐσφαγμένην, not σφαττομένην, as ἀστέρα πεπτωκότα, in the preterite, ch. Revelation 9:1. The first head of the beast is the Pope in the Lateran, on the Cælian Mount, from Gregory VII. to Innocent III., or beyond him. During that space of time many adversities befel the Pope, through his contention with the Emperor; but he recovered from all.— ὡς ἐσφαγμένηνἐθεραπεύθη, as it were slain [“wounded to death”]—was healed) You may see paroxysms both of the wound and of the healing in the history of Gregory VII., Paschal II., Calixtus II., Alexander III., and others. Whatever adversity then happened, belongs to the wound: whatever prosperity, belongs to the healing.— καὶ ἐθαύμασεν ὅλη γῆ ὀπίσω τοῦ θηρίου, and all the earth wondered after the beast) that is, went after the beast with admiration. An abbreviated expression, as Acts 15:23, writing and sending by their hands. All followed the beast with their feet, or eyes, or inclination; for instance, in the Crusades.


Verse 4

Revelation 13:4. καὶ προσεκύνησαν τῷ δράκοντικαὶ προσεκύνηεαν τὸ θηρίον) The verb προσκυνεῖν, when it treats of the worship of God, everywhere takes the Dative; and thus it is used of the worship of the angel, ch. Revelation 19:10 : but when used of devils and idols, the Accusative, ch. Revelation 9:20. Hence προσκυνεῖν, with the Dative, seems to mean something more than with the Accusative, especially when the two cases are used in one passage, as here and ch. Revelation 14:9; Revelation 14:11, Revelation 20:4. From this worship I have in my German Exegesis incidentally confirmed Proposition 2, which has been before reviewed on Revelation 13:1. D. Lange says, that he does not regard the beast as a purely political power: Epicr. p. 389. But I have here refuted those, who in other respects agree with him, and who determine it to be a political power, although in different senses. See the same, p. 383.— τίς δυνατὸς, who able) that is, ἐστί; Thus the Septuagint, δυνατὸς ἔσομαι; Numbers 23:1 (Numbers 22:38). Comp. the LXX. also, Numbers 13:31; Genesis 32:28; Daniel 3:17. The worshippers of the beast challenge others: who (is) like the beast? who (is) able to make war with him? Car. Sigonius, Book XIV., concerning the kingdom of Italy, at the year 1176, says: Great men easily impelled (Frederic), who, by repeatedly reminding him that this war was not carried on with man, but with God, prevailed upon him to send ambassadors to Alexander respecting peace. The same writer shortly afterwards represents Alexander himself as saying, That the cause of God is at stake in this war, which cause Frederic has opposed, by opposing the lawful Pontiff. Horatius Tursellinus, in his Epitome of History, says, At length Frederic, perceiving that he was carrying on war, not with men, but with GOD, finally made peace with Alexander. Matthew of Paris thus speaks concerning the same matter:—“The Emperor Frederic came TO THE FEET OF ALEXANDER THE POPE: for he heard and was assured of this, that when he was fleeing from the persecution of the Emperor, and there was no safe passage for him over land, or indeed over the sea, when a tempest had arisen, he put on all his papal attire on board the ship, as if about to celebrate [mass], and stood and commanded the sea and the winds in the place of Jesus Christ, whose vicar he was, AS HE SAID, and immediately there was a great calm. On hearing of this, the Emperor was astonished, and humbly submitted to him in all things, FEARING GOD HOWEVER MORE than MEN.”—Hist. Angl. at the year 1577. Great indeed and blasphemous are the things which his worshippers say of the beast, and the beast of himself, Revelation 13:5-6. See Rome’s Final Downfall, pp. 7–18, I. F. Mayer in Diss. c. Grot., whether it be a dogma of the Papists, that the Roman Pontiff is a god.


Verse 5

Revelation 13:5. καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ἐξουσία μῆνας τεσσαράκοντα δύο) This ancient, short, middle reading is the genuine one:(146) so that the accusative μῆνας, months, answers to the question, how long. Others have supplied ποιῆσαι: more, πόλεμον ποιῆσαι. Both of them from Revelation 13:7. One important point is marked out in Revelation 13:5; another, the calamity increasing, Revelation 13:7. A fuller consideration of these months will follow at Revelation 13:18 : by the use of which, there will be no doubt as to the meaning of the close of the power of the beast. Many persons, when they hear anything of this kind for the first time, wonder at it, as news of future events, instead of reverencing it as the word of God: they say, in short, that the matter is worthy of consideration, and yet they do not consider it in such a manner, as to lay aside for a little time lighter subjects (and what subject is not light in comparison with these of such great magnitude?), and examine into the truth: and then, when they have once or twice heard and related it, having lost the taste of novelty, they loathe it; and with the character which they always had, they rush into the Divine judgments, whether known or unknown, regarding neither things past, nor things present, nor things future. Let them take care what they are about. We do not write for them: we will not be silent out of regard for them. See ch. Revelation 22:10-11. The close of the power of the beast is therefore approaching nearer and nearer: and matters of the greatest importance will precede that close, which matters remain from ch. 13 and 14, and which are contained in ch. 15 and 16. But the Non-being of the beast will follow the same close, and so will many other things, which are described in ch. 17 and those which follow.


Verse 6

Revelation 13:6. τοὺς) Without a connecting particle, as Job 42:9.


Verse 7

Revelation 13:7. πόλεμον ποιῆσαι μετὰ τῶν ἁγίων, to make war with the saints) Daniel 7:21, עבדא קרב עם קדושין, LXX., ἐποίει πόλεμον μετὰ τῶν ἁγίων. Thus πόλεμον ποιεῖν, Revelation 12:17; Revelation 19:19, and the LXX. often for עשה מלחמה. I. C. Becman, in his Dissertation respecting the justice of the arms of Cevennes, p. 33, rightly refers this war with the saints to the Crusades against the Waldenses.— πᾶσαν, every) The law of the Roman Pontiffs prevailed over a greater portion of the earth, than that of the Emperors: Greg. vii. lib. 2, Ep. 75.


Verse 8

Revelation 13:8. προσκυνήσουσιν, shall worship) The verb in ordinary use, when the ceremonies about the Pope are treated of, is adoration (worship); and connected with this by derivation is a kiss, that is, of his feet, just as προσκυνεῖν, κυνεῖν, κύειν, is to kiss; whence נשק, LXX. 1 Kings 19:18, and Symmachus, Psalms 2:12, προσκυνεῖν.— ἀπὸ) ἀπὸ is here equivalent to before, as Matthew 25:34, note, and is plainly construed with οὐ γέγραπται [not as Engl. With ἐσφαγμένου], and that so easily, that it is not even to be called an instance of Hyperbaton (See Append.). All doubt is removed by a passage strictly parallel, ch. Revelation 17:8. The Apocalypse often makes mention of the Lamb slain: it never adds, from the foundation of the world; nor indeed was He slain from the foundation of the world: Hebrews 9:26. They who allege that He was thus slain in the Divine decree, in a like sense will say that He was born, raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven, from the foundation of the world.


Verse 10

Revelation 13:10. αἰχμαλωσίαν συνάγει) The LXX. have συγκλείειν αἰχμαλωσίαν, εἰσάγειν αἰχμαλωσίαν, ἄγειν αἰχμαλωσίαν, respecting the vanquished who are led away into captivity: but in 1 Maccab. Revelation 14:7, it is said, συνήγαγεν αἰχμαλωσίαν πολλήν· that is, Simon freed and brought together many, who had been captives. Also 1 Maccab. Revelation 3:9; Revelation 3:13, συνήγαγεν ἀπολλυμένους, ἤθροισεν ἄθροισμα. And this notion agrees with this passage, in this sense: if any one supplies and equips captives, he will be taken captive.— ὑπάγει, goes away) being easily led away.— ἀποκτένει) The present, as συνάγει. κτένω, κτέννω, and κτείνω, are the same.


Verse 11

Revelation 13:11. καὶ, and) The description of the two beasts most strictly coheres, as does the description of more joyful circumstances in the following chapter.— ἄλλο θηρίον, another beast) This is afterwards more frequently called the false prophet: and here his very action is described, as that of the false prophet. That bewitched power and wisdom, which independent of the Word of GOD, without a Redeemer and a Comforter, is reverenced by many individually and collectively, having no dread of Deism, Socinianism, and Pelagianism, abusing the dogma respecting the internal Word, which would without scruple reconcile Christianity with Mahometanism itself, and moreover the perverse interpretation of the Apocalypse itself, and of the whole of the Sacred Scripture, will be favourable to the beast. D. Lange, in Epicr. p. 391, etc., entertains a different opinion from me respecting this beast also. I will here also notice some points cursorily. Now I nowhere say, that from the times of Hildebrand the second beast was subservient to the former one (on account of the common advantage of both, but rather on account of his own, as is the practice of the wicked). Nor do I say, that the 42 months of the former beast are common to the two; but I imitate the expression of the text, which is explained in its proper place. The former beast has an origin much more ancient than the other; but when this also has arisen, it exists together with the former one. Gregory VII. has long ceased to live; but that his cause has not yet expired, his Legenda testify. I never thought, that his image flourished at the same time with the former beast. I had treated incidentally of the destruction of the beast and the false prophet at p. 733, but more plainly, in its place, p. 935. If the venerable man had perceived the idea of the beast, presented by the Apocalypse and held by me, he would not have blended with one another so many important points. We have replied above to the argument, which he subjoins at p. 393.— ἐκ τῆς γῆς, out of the earth) The earth [land], as opposed to the sea, comp. Revelation 13:1, is Asia; which contains Palestine, Persia, etc.


Verse 12

Revelation 13:12. ποιεῖἐποίει) There is a mixture of tenses, as Revelation 13:15, and ch. Revelation 11:9-10, with Annot. in the Apparatus, p. 818 [Ed. ii. p. 541].— τὴν γῆν καὶ τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ κατοικοῦντας, the earth and them which dwell therein) A remarkable expression; for in Revelation 13:14, and in other places, it is said, τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, those that dwell on the earth. I see no difference of meaning, except that here in Revelation 13:12, a sudden universality of worship is implied, perhaps to be promulgated by some edict.


Verse 13

Revelation 13:13. ἵνα, so that) The particle ἵνα is frequently employed by John. In all his books, he has used ὥστε only once, ch. 3 of his Gospel, Revelation 13:16, where ἵνα in fact follows.— ἐνώπιον) Construe with ποιῇ, or rather with ποιεῖ.


Verse 14

Revelation 13:14. τῆς μαχαίρας, of the sword) It had been strictly speaking a wound by the sword. For Henry V., in his transaction with Callixto II., calls the contention which had preceded WAR [GUERRA].


Verse 15

Revelation 13:15. ἵνα λαλήσῃ εἰκὼν τοῦ θηρίου) that the image of the beast should speak. “That images should speak, is a wonderful thing, and yet not incredible. You find it mentioned in Roman stories, and in Valerius Maximus, respecting the images of Juno Moneta, of Fortuna Mulielnis, and of Silvanus. And Moses Maimonides, in Part iii. ch. 24 of the Guide of those in doubt, says, that two books have been read by himself respecting Images which spake.”—Grotius on this passage. Add the things which Peter Crugotius and Nic. Mulerius cite on this passage also. The things which Freinshemius has collected on Florus, who treats, Book ii. c. 8, respecting the sweat of Apollo of Cumæ, are not dissimilar. “All these things were so customary two or three centuries ago, in the case of images belonging to our country, that they wept, laughed, and even SPOKE and walked, almost oftener than men; and performed other actions, which the men of our time can scarcely believe.”— ἵνα ἀποκτανθῶσι, that they should be killed) Rupertus says with weight on this passage: “Christ did not do this; nor have His prophets nor apostles taught, nor have kings now become Christian understood this, that they should kill, and think that the service of Christ is to be advanced by bloodshed. For the true God does not wish compulsory, but willing service. Therefore also in this, nay, even especially in this, he will show to those who have understanding, and who are strong in reason, that he is in truth Antichrist, that he is in truth not Christ; but that, in accordance with his name, he is opposed to Christ. It is Christ who shed His own blood. It is Antichrist who shed the blood of others.” After the Reformation, illustrious interpreters from time to time laid it down that a most violent persecution was even then impending from the beast: as Phil. Nicolai, Book ii. concerning the kingdom of Christ, p. 305; Hoe on Ap. XI., num. 78; Doelingius de Antichr. p. 298, and everywhere. Add Matthew Hofmann’s Chronology Apoc. p. 116.


Verse 17

Revelation 13:17. ἵνα) Others, καὶ ἵνα. Wolf approves of this, remarking, however, that καὶ is omitted even by the Coptic Version. In truth the shorter reading is supported by the most ancient authorities. Add to the Latins, Apringius, Ansbert, Etherius.(147) See above, on ch. Revelation 6:4. The construction is this, δῶσι χάραγμα, ἵνα, κ. τ. λ. We have shown, on Revelation 13:1, that there are three Periods of duration. In the last part of the first period arises the most grievous calamity, the length of which can scarcely he defined, unless it be the number of clays agreeing by analogy with the number of the beast, of which we shall speak presently.


Verse 18

Revelation 13:18. ἔχων νοῦν, ψηφισάτω, Let him that hath understanding, count) It is not said, He who readeth, νοείτω, let him consider, understand, as Matthew 24:15, but νοῦς, mind, understanding, is presupposed; and he who has mind already, is aroused also to computing the number of the beast, and to make a calculation. νοῦς, the understanding, is contradistinguished from the spirit, 1 Corinthians 14:14; but here it is contradistinguished from wisdom. We must calculate: therefore it is befitting that the numbers should be precisely taken which enter into the calculation, and those which answer to the numbers entering into the calculation. He who has νοῦν, understanding, is ordered to calculate; he ought therefore to bear with calmness another who does not comprehend calculations: only let him not despise and trample upon calculations, especially ὧδε here, where such a remedy [against the delusions of the beast] is necessary for us. Look to the passage, Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:10. What kind of persons are they to whom, in this business, cither diligence and understanding, or negligence, is attributed?— ἀριθμὸς γὰρ, κ. τ. λ., for the number, etc.) Each noun is without an article, in this sense, ἀριθμὸς τοῦ θηρίου ἐστὶν ἀριθμὸς ἀνθρώπου. ἀριθμὸς, without the article, is the predicate: and ἀνθρώπου denotes a number relating to a man. Thus μέτρον, not τὸ μέτρον, ch. Revelation 21:17. The particle γὰρ, for, stimulates us, affording hope, nay, even the key, for solving the number. For immediately afterwards both the quality of the number reckoned is indicated, namely, that it is the number of a man; and the quantity of the number reckoning, namely DCLXVI. I have professedly given the more laborious calculation of this number in my German Exegesis of the Apocalypse, and indeed especially in the Introduction, § 43. I will here give some scattered fragments, by means of certain aphorisms, accompanied by their own illustrations: but I should wish the severer demonstration itself to be sought from that exegesis.

§ 1. It is correctly read in Greek ἑξακόσια ἑξήκοντα ἕξ, in the neuter gender;(148) but in Latin it is also truly read, sexcenti sexaginta sex, in the masculine gender.—Many copies have the numeral letters χξς. This in Latin is DC. LX. VI. There is no vestige of any proof to show, that, in expressing numbers, the prophets and apostles, and first copyists, made use of numeral letters. On the contrary, there is reason to suppose that they did not make use of them: for these numerals would have been a hindrance in the public reading of the lessons. Undoubtedly, whether John denoted the number by χξς, or wrote it out in full, it was necessary for the reader, who was sent from Patmos into Asia, to know, whether it was to be pronounced in the masculine or the neuter gender. It will be worth while to refer to and consider Irenæu(149), Book v. ch. 29 and 30. From thence you may collect, that even then the number of the beast had been described in Greek and Latin by numeral letters, and yet not by all writers. I have shown in the Apparatus, p. 826, that Irenæus wrote his works in Greek, but with this intention, that they might immediately after be translated by others into Latin; and therefore that he had reference alike to the Latin and Greek MSS. of the Now Testament. Wherefore he treated of the number of the beast in such a manner, as that it should agree at once with the Greek and Latin reading. The Alexandrian Copy in Greek, and the Latin translator, as in other places, so in this, agree with one another: for in the former there are ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ, and in the latter, sexcenti sexaginta sex. The translator, as I conceive, did not trouble himself as to the sense, in which he either read it masculine in Greek, or rendered it so in Latin: but the Greek copyist seems to have preferred this form, because in the books of the Old Testament he had for the most part been accustomed to the expression of numbers in the masculine gender; for instance, Ezra 2:13, where the same number is used, as applied to men. Thence Irenæus more than once says, sexcentos sexaginta sex. The same writer again, when he writes that the same number had been sought for in the Greek names, ευανθασ, λατεινοσ, τειταν, shows that ἑξακόσια ἑξήκοντα ἕξ, in the neuter gender, was read in the Greek: for the numerical value of 666, in the abstract, could not have been sought, by means of names of this kind, in the masculine gender, but only in the neuter. In a census of men, for instance in the fourth book of Moses, which from this circumstance has the title, ἀριθμῶν, of Numbers, and in the book of Ezra, the numbers are put in the masculine gender: but when any number is put absolutely, no other gender than the neuter is conveniently employed. Arias Montanus expresses the Greek number in the masculine gender, after the example of the Complutensians; the Complutensians thus expressed it on the authority of the Vulgate: for in the Greek MS. which was used by them in other places, and which closely resembles the Codex Seidelianus, it was χξς, as is plain from the extracts of the Codex Seidelianus, with which a friend supplied me. Many MSS., as I think, retain the neuter gender; and collators may have judged it superfluous to note down their difference from the notation χξς. For it was not until the close of his labour that Mill himself quoted the Codex Covelianus as an authority for the reading, ἑξακόσια ἑξήκοντα ἕξ, to which my Apparatus added two others, widely removed from each other, and on that account of sufficient weight.

§ 2. The number 666 is a certain [fixed] one, and is not put for an uncertain one.—We drew this inference a little while ago, in a summary manner, from the very command to calculate. We will hear Joh. March on the same subject. “Carolus Gallus,” he says, “thinks that he has made some important discovery, in believing that the wordman’ is put collectively for men, and then, that a number of men signifies a very numerous multitude. But the Hebrew phrase, which he adduces by way of proof, is altogether opposed to his hypothesis. For they (the Hebrews) use the phrase, ‘men of number’ [Marg. and Hebr. Ezekiel 12:16], for a few, etc. But that opinion appears to be one which ought above all others to be rejected by us, which will have it, that a definite number is here put for an indefinite one, as when 144,000 are given to the Lamb; and that a great number is then denoted, either of blasphemies and errors of Antichrist, which errors make up a body so compact and bound together, that the members depend mutually upon one another; or [as others say] a great number of Papists, followers of Antichrist, in which the Romish beast prides himself, and far surpasses other holy and reformed churches. Gallus prefers this latter sense; but Durham the former, who contends at great length, that the name ought to denote the doctrines by which those devoted to the beast are distinguished, even by reason of the contradistinction to the elect, who have the name of the Father on their forehead; moreover, that the phrase, to number, is sometimes used for, to weigh together with judgment; comp. Daniel 5:27; and that theological wisdom deduces inferences from doctrines and facts, rather than from letters. In reply to these things, it will suffice to have remarked in few words, that when a fixed character is assigned to the beast in the designated number of the name, and when the computation of that number is enjoined upon men, it ought altogether to be understood in a definite sense; and the more so even on this account, because this is not a round number, nor is there in it any allusion to any other calculation of men or opinions, which is elsewhere celebrated. I add, that if it were only a multitude indefinitely that is intended, whether it were of errors, or of persons in error, there would here be need of no such great understanding and attention as that which John requires. I still wonder by what means the number 666 can be taken for a great multitude, and that, too, by comparing it with the elect 144,000, since the latter greatly exceed the former. Gallus acknowledges this, and boldly changes the 666 men into so many myriads of men,” etc.—Comm. on Ap. p. 589, etc. Another interpretation takes the 666 for 6666, the 6666 for a legion, and the legion for a multitude of enemies of the Church. Contrary to this is the opinion of Zeger, who in his Epanorthotes thus comments: “There appears to be an allusion and reference to that name of the legion, which comprises 6666: and while this first number [figure] is taken away, it seems to be insinuated, that very great resources, both of strength and of subjects, have been subtracted from the devil by Christ, so that he cannot now boast and say, as he formerly did, My name is Legion.” Meyer, on Ap. fol. 55, is not at variance with both interpretations; and many things may be advantageously observed, either with reference to both or with reference to either of them. 1) Hesychius, in his Lexicon, is the only one who affirms that the legion consists of 6666 men, unless the copyist intentionally added the lesser sixes [numbers of six]. Weighty writers of military affairs speak otherwise, as Vegetius. l. ii. c. 2, 6. It is certain that the legion cannot be made to consist of 6666 men, so as to fall in with the time of John or the time of the boast. 2) The thousandth number in an epoch, and in the numbers of years from the creation of the world, is not expressed among the Hebrews: and we even now want proof that this custom prevailed among them in the time of John. An anonymous writer, indeed, who is said to have been Tobias Littleton, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and who wrote The Final Downfall of Rome, which was published at London A. 1655, and wished to persuade the English who were living at Rome that the downfall of that city would take place in the 666th year after the thousandth, was mistaken. Among the Romans, whom no one has referred to this point, in a large amount the sestertium [a thousand sesterces] is not expressed. In all other computations, in every nation, it is not the largest, but the smallest part, which is especially accustomed to be omitted. 3) The Hebrews were compelled to use this abbreviation, through want of letters by which they might express thousands; but John had at hand the well-known Greek letters, by which he might, express the whole, σχξς, 6666. 4) The Hebrews supply the defect by a formula expressed by קטון לפרט, to which the formula of our ancestors, nach der mindern Zahl, sometimes answers. But John puts the number absolutely. 5) Without having recourse to the number of a thousand and its ellipsis, without having recourse to the legion and its metalepsis, a tenth part of the legion, the cohort, and thus 666 or 600 (just as six hundred is proverbially used [for any large number]), or 555 or 500 (see Vegetius, as quoted above), might more easily have been put or taken for an indefinite multitude. 6) But neither does one legion nor one cohort always promiscuously represent a great multitude, but according to the given circumstances; for instance, with reference to the one possessed, Mark 5:9. At other times many legions are rather used to express a multitude; for instance, of angels, Matthew 26:53. 7) A multitude would comprise, under the number of the boast, either the seducers only, or the seduced also. But it cannot comprise the seduced, for they are much more numerous, Revelation 13:8 : nor the seducers, for they either have no government at all, or that of a democracy, or an aristocracy, or a monarchy; and any one of these will repel the notion of a multitude. But they have, in my opinion, a government, and that monarchical; and as in a monarchy the denomination is wont to be derived, not from many, much less from very many, but from are that which is especially needed in the case of the beast is, that there may be a place where the seven heads and the ten horns may be fixed. 8) No one who shall have weighed the system of the numbers of this book, the whole picture of the beast, and especially the close of this thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse, will say that a multitude, whether great or lessened, is indefinitely denoted. The same interpretation of the number of the beast by a reference to the Roman legion, is refuted by the Acta Basileensia, etc., published A. 1730, p. 42, etc.

Lightfoot arrives at the same conclusion by a different course of argument, when he thus writes:— “The 42 months and 1260 days, also a time, times, and half a time, are SHORT PHRASES taken from Daniel, who, when he employs that made of speaking, describes the rage of Antiochus, and the trampling under foot of Religion, which was about last during the space of three years and six months. Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Daniel 12:11, in which certain times of adversity and affliction (and NOT ANY DEFINITE PERIOD) seem to be marked out. This meaning of expressions of this kind prevailed everywhere among the Jewish writers”.—Chron. N. T. on Ap. xi. The two examples which he there subjoins are foreign to the purpose; and since the numbers in the same, and the very numbers used by Daniel, have a precise meaning, the numbers used in the Apocalypse ought not, as though they merely contained an allusion to those of Daniel, to be weakened, but to be taken with equal precision. Otherwise, in fact, the number of the for LXX. weeks. which Lightfoot takes precisely, would skill, because it is a round number, have to be taken as a certain number for an uncertain one, by some allusion or other (an error, which God forbid that any fall into!)

In short, the indefinite interpretation is as though he should say: A multitude is designed in general terms: there is to need of an arithmetical computation, by which the numbers are solved in a specific sense. But the text says, Count. And since that is not said at random, but to point out the hope of finding, we now proceed to make the computation.

§ 3. Another number adapted to the explanation of the number of the beast by calculation, and that affording proper facility [for counting], both ought to be sought in the text, and is found, viz. that of XLII. months.—The prophecy. 1) bids us to compute; 2) names the numbers of the beast; 3) names the numbers of a Prayer of Manasseh 1:4) and says that it is 666. All these things are pertinent to the subject; and we will look to them in the order of the Apocalypse, that is, in retrograde order.

1) The number is said to be 666, the adjective alone being expressed

Revelation 13:1) The number is said to be 666, the adjective alone being expressed. A number expressed both by an adjective and a substantive (for instance, ten months, a hundred drachmæ, a thousand soldiers), the one of which we call the reckoning number, the other the number reckoned, needs no explanation. But when a number is presented to us which requires solution, then either the substantive is expressed, as, for instance, pieces of money; and the adjective is to be sought for and inferred, for instance, five myriads: Acts 19:19; also Luke 14:28 : or the adjective is given, as 666, and so the substantive is to be sought for which is to be joined to it; a mode which, except in enigmas, and undoubtedly here, in a prophetical enigma, scarcely comes into use. The adjective, 666, I say, is given, and that so plainly, that it needs no further solution. It remains, that there should be traced out, and made up by calculation, not indeed another mere numeral adjective, by which no progress would be made, but a noun substantive, and that of a specific meaning, for which a general term of number is substituted. Be that of whatever kind it may, its ellipsis (the readers being now prepared by the ellipsis of the noun tongue and horsemen, in the first and second woe, to submit more readily to that in the third woe, ch. Revelation 9:11; Revelation 9:16, note),—the ellipsis, I say, is certainly that of a substantive: the only question is, whether the 666 are as it were points, such as are accustomed to be sought in systems of years; or men, or times, or anything else which occurs to the mind. In the meantime there appears to be a great difference between the two computations; for in the former case the subject of inquiry is the reckoning number, which is easily to be explained by arithmetic; but in the other, such as is the matter now under consideration, the subject of inquiry is the reckoned number, requiring a greater amount of the power of interpretation.

Wherefore 2) There occurs the mention of “the number of a man,” which is undoubtedly the cause of a difference: whence it is more fully evident, that the reckoned number is that which we are commanded to search out; for no reckoning number is found in the universe different from “that of a man.”(150) It is of no use to pursue this subject further.

3) It is to be observed, that the number is said to be that of one beast, not of many beasts: and that it is the number of the beast itself, and not that of the name of the beast, which is proposed for computation

A number indeed is both assigned to the name of the beast repeatedly, and in Revelation 13:18, only to the beast itself: and Rupertus Tuitiensis on Ap. p. 380, that I may not appear too minute in my inquiries, has seriously remarked, that the number of the beast is one thing, and the number of his name another; and Potter, in his Interpretation of the number 666, ch. 1, where he quotes many who agree with him, and this is proved by the very peculiarity of the expression. For there occurs, I. The beast; II. His name; III. The number of his name; IV. The number of the beast: and the fourth ought no more to be confounded with the others, than the others ought to be confounded with one another. Since however no number of the name of the beast is indicated apart from the number of the beast, I will readily acknowledge, that the latter is to be investigated by means of the former. In the meantime the prophetic phraseology is to be precisely adhered to, and the peculiarity of the well-weighed expression is to be followed. It is not said that the number of the name of the beast is to be computed, but the number of the beast. Moreover the number both of the beast himself and of one beast only, is a proof, that there is a number or multitude of accidents: for a number indeed of beasts would denote a number which was made up of the substances of many beasts taken together; but the number of the beast is that which is made up of certain accidents of one beast taken together. And since this is the number of the accidents, those accidents are inherent in the beast himself: For as, if the days of the beast were spoken of, I should take those days for a certain duration of the beast himself: so the number of accidents of the beast ought to be looked for in the beast itself, and not outside of him.

4) Here we are commanded not only to number, but to compute. The word is ψηφισάτω, not ἀριθμησάτω, comp. ch. Revelation 7:9. “The peculiar number of the beast,” says Cassiodorus, in his Complexiones on this passage, “is explained under a certain method OF CALCULATION.” Now calculation and computation cannot be carried on in such a matter, except by taking in another number. Potter says, in accordance with reason, “Neither addition, nor subtraction, nor multiplication, nor division, can be carried on, unless two numbers at least are given, so that a third number may be sought out, which must be either their sum, or the remainder, or the product, or the quotient.” Whence the same writer, without noticing another number, which was expressed in a twofold manner, looked to the number 666 itself, endeavouring to extract its square root. See by all means the treatise quoted, ch. 10. What if there should be in the context another number expressed (as Potter required), and that too a more easy one, from which we may elicit a noun adapted to this adjective? Shall we imagine that it is accidentally presented to us? Lo! here are at hand 42 months, Revelation 13:5. Receive that which is produced with a soul desirous of truth, and take it. The 42 months are times: therefore the 666 are also times. For what accidents except times, can one suppose, are possibly contained beneath the number 666?

§ 4. A number is elegantly used for the number of times, for times, years, etc.—This sentiment, the beast has 666 days, years, etc., when it has now been found out, may be suitably expressed in the following words: the number of days, of years, etc., of the beast are 666. But it is a much more suitable expression, compute the number 666, whereby a problem in particular is proposed for solution, so that the sense may be, compute 666, that you may ascertain whether they are days, years, etc.: nor will you be able to devise an easier formula of proposing this problem. What? not even in a categorical enunciation is it foolish to express times either by ellipsis or by trope. For thus the Septuagint, Job 36:26, ἰσχυρὸς πολυσ, God is great, that is, eternal; for it adds, ἀριθμὸς ἐτῶν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀπέραντος. So 2 Chronicles 30:5, לרב, according to the meaning given by some interpreters, denotes often, much, for many years. In the commencement of his eighth book on the Republic, Plato, describing the period of states with the well-known obscureness of his numbers, uses the words τριὰς πεμπὰς, κ. τ. λ., and the very word ἀριθμὸς, absolutely, meaning times: and among all writers, πεντὰς, δεκὰς, εἰκὰς, τριακὰς, hebdomas, are used for a number of days. Caius says of Cerinthus, according to Eusebius, l. iii. Hist. Eccl. c. 25, ἀριθμὸν χιλιονταετίας λέγει γίνεσθαι. Hesychius, σάρος, ἀριθμός τις παρὰ βαβυλωνίοις. It is a number of years, on which the Ordo Temp, treats, p. 323. Pliny, Hist. Natur. lib. viii. c. 6, says, Seven years being added to the former NUMBER (the 472d year of the city). Orosius, in his Apol. pro Lib. Arb., calls that the number of the world, which he had a little while before called the fulness of the appointed times, p. 753. The phraseology is very similar: The number of the beast, the number of the world. The Latin prologue to Mark: a fast of number, that is, of 40 days. Ticonius, on Revelation 11:3, says, He spoke of the NUMBER of the last persecution, and of future peace, and of the whole time from the Passion of the Lord, etc. Time and place have many points of resemblance. It is a resemblance, that Xenophon in his Cyropœdia says, ἀριθμὸν ὁδοῦ, the number of a journey, for length. Add Eurip. ed. Gr. p. 290, r. 3, ed. Lat. Part II. p. 232; Eus. Præp. Ev. f. 228, ex Afric.

§ 5. The 42 months and the number 666 are equal.—The duration of the locusts, under the first woe, is twice expressed by five months: to the angels of the Euphrates, under the second woe, there is given an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year; and that body of horsemen, two myriads of myriads (200,000,000), is equalled to this space. Thus, under the third woe, 42 months of the power which the beast has, and the number 666 of the same beast, are equal.

§ 6. The form of expression respectingthe number of a manimplies 666 ordinary years, and by way of contradistinction to this, 42 prophetical months.—The number of the beast is said to be the number of a man. This expression, of a man, either denotes a man definitely or indefinitely. If definitely, it has reference either to the beast with ten horns, or to the man computing. There is no need of either of these in a matter which is of itself obvious; and neither would tend to aid the calculation. Therefore it must be used indefinitely, whence the article is not added in the Greek: therefore the genitive singular, of a man, is used for human, as ὀστᾶ ἀνθρώπου, 1 Kings 13:2 (that is, ὀστᾶ ἀνθρώπσα, Numbers 19:16); σωτηρία ἀνθρώπω, Psalms 60:11 [see marg. of Engl. Version]; μάχαιρα ἀνθρώπου, Isaiah 31:8. Moreover it is either human number of times, or a number of human times. It is not the former: for it would then have to be a human number, either of years, or months, or days: but 666 years very far exceed the age of man: but 666 days or months are far too short to express the duration of the beast; and such an ellipsis of days or months is unusual: finally, the word, months, is already preoccupied by the opposite 42 months. Therefore it is a number of times, human, or belonging to man. But the expression, the number of a man, is used for this very conveniently. For as in Galatians 6:11, the greatness [of size] which belongs to the whole epistle is assigned to the letters; and as the curtailing, by which a longer interval is curtailed, is assigned to days, Psalms 102:24-25; and the middle, which belongs to greater times of the world, is assigned to years, Habakkuk 3:2 so, on the other hand, there is sometimes given to a collective noun a predicate, adapted to the individual things separately: Proverbs 30:26, οἱ χοιρογρύλλιοι ἔθνος οὐκ ἰσχυρόν: also, the days of My people are as the days of a tree, Isaiah 65:22,—of the people, that is of the individuals among the people. Among the Romans, Gallia Togata. And this metalepsis was especially befitting in a prophetical enigma, until the units of the times being found out, might themselves support the epithet, human, which was meanwhile sustained by the number, but was properly designed for themselves. Now since it is settled that the epithet, human, is taken indefinitely, and has reference to the individual times, it is evident of itself that such times are even passed by the beast, and, which falls in elegantly with the sense, by the computer of the number. Thus it is also in the case of the measures of the new Jerusalem, which are said, not universally, but each severally, to be the measure of a man, that is, of the angel, ch. Revelation 21:17; and likewise the angel who measures partakes of the measure of a man, which is indefinitely that of an angel.

We have seen in § 5, that the number 666 and 42 months are equal to each other. Therefore the 666 times of man are 666 ordinary years of men; and, on the contrary, the 42 months, inasmuch as in the text they are not said to be the months of a man, are truly prophetical months. Q. E. D.

Thus at length (I use an ad hominem argument) justice is done to the Vulgate translator, who writes, as we have remarked, § 1, sexcenti sexaginta sex. If DIoCLes aVgVstVs, as Bossuet says, or any other name of this kind, would fill up the number of the beast by its 666 points, the Suppositio Materialis [see Append. Techn.] would require sexcenta, etc., the neuter absolute having the force of a substantive; wherefore even Rupertus Tuitiensis, in resolving the word DICLUX, which was invented by Ambrose Ansbert out of DCLXVI, was not able to retain sexcentos, etc., but says that it made sexcenta sexaginta sex: Comm. on Ap. p. 379: which very neuter gender, you may see on this passage, is used by many interpreters willingly, and by Romanists sometimes against their will. Now they ought to bring forward some who read sexcentos sexaginta sex; otherwise they will not be able to absolve the Translator, so highly extolled at Trent, from an error, and that of a serious character (for the subject is both a most weighty one, and the reading in the Latin copies is most unvarying). Those sexcenti sexaginta sex are so many years. Innocent III. long ago interpreted it by years in his Epistle to ALL the faithful of Christ, in aid of the Holy Land, A. 1213, and, to omit others of the intermediate ages, F. Louis S. Francisci, in his Cycle of Secrets, p. 917, edit. Rom. This stricture of Innocent, if there be added to it the parallelism of the 42 months, the length of the first and second woes, which is analogous to these, the intervals after the first and the second woe, the union of the beast and the woman, must persuade even those who depend on pontifical authority, of the true interpretation of the whole prophecy.

We return to the subject itself. The ellipsis of a “year” is of frequent occurrence. Xenophon, οἱ δέκα ἀφʼ ἥβης, who are passing the tenth year from their puberty. Plato, lib. vi. de legib., κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν δὲ εἶναι καὶ μὴ μακρότερον χρὴ τὴν ἱερωσύνην ἐκάστῳ. ἔτι δὲ μὴ ἔλαττον ἑξήκοντα ἡμῖν εἴη γεγονὼς μέλλων καθʼ ἱεροὺς νόμους περὶ τὰ θεῖα ἱκανῶς ἁγιστεύειν. Polybius, ὀκτωκαίδεκα γεγονὼς, of eighteen years. But Dio Cass. appropriately to this passage, τόσα γέγονα, as though he should say, this is my number, that is, of years. The two last instances are contained in the Greek ellipses of Bos; and, from all the instances which he has collected of substantives that are usually omitted, you may perceive that nothing but ἔτος is suitable to this passage. In Daniel mention is made of LXX. weeks, the word, yearly times, being understood. Therefore ἀριθμὸς τοῦ θηρίου is equivalent to ἀριθμὸς τῶν ἐτῶν τοῦ θηρίου, just as ἀριθμὸς γενημάτων is equivalent to ἀριθμὸς ἐνιαυτῶν γενημάτων, Leviticus 25:15-16.

This ellipsis of years is not without advantage. If they had been expressly mentioned by name, the reader would have been liable to confound together times strictly and figuratively denoted, with an error which would create many disturbances; whereas now ordinary years conceal their own title, in sight of the prophetic months. So much the less ought the human times to cause us any difficulty in this book, since they are so sparingly and providently attempered with so many prophetical times, and so therefore without any danger of their being confounded with one another. For we do not pass by a leap, but we are gradually led from the prophetic times to the ordinary years which are here indicated by the ellipsis, and then in succession to the ordinary years, which are expressly mentioned as such in ch. 20. But the ellipsis even contributes to the seasonableness of the enigma, not only with reference to the beast, to whom, in the same mysterious manner as to the king of Babylon of old, the number and consummation of his kingdom is written before his eyes, Daniel 5:26, but also with reference to the saints, who would have been disheartened by the long duration of those most sorrowful times, if they had known it, both on their own account and on account of their friends; for they did not imagine that so many years remained, even to the world itself. But it is evident that they, both before the Reformation and afterwards, were long supported by that hope, that the war against the saints would quickly come to an end. It was plainly to their own great advantage that they did not comprehend the age of the beast (for it was not then at hand). At one time the beast was acquainted with the times, and not with himself; the saints were acquainted with the beast more than with his times: now both the beast and his number, or, in other words, his times, will together become more and more known.

As to what remains, it is a question whether the number of 666 years in the Greek text is to be taken in the masculine or neuter gender. If the former, the reading is ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἓξ ἐνιαντοί; if the latter, it is ἑξακόσια ἑξήκοντα ἓξ ἔτη. But in truth the neuter gender, to which we gave the preference, § 1, is far superior to the masculine, as we shall presently, § 7, more fully ascertain.

§ 7. These 666 years have an appendage.—The 666 and the 1000 years, or ἔτη, are properly opposed to each other. The beast rages 666 years: they who had not worshipped the beast reign 1000 years. Moreover 666 are to 1000 years as nearly as possible in the same ratio as 2 to 3; but precisely as 3 are to 2, so are 1000 expressed years to 666 666/999 2/3, and this fractional number agrees with the ellipsis, leaving the word year to be understood: for each unit of the number of the beast is a figurative year, but is so with the addition of a few hours; which addition does not take away the truth of the ordinary year, but yet makes the title of year in some degree inappropriate. Thus the number 666 and the 1000 years mutually confirm and explain one another. It has occurred to some, doubtless from that hypothesis of the Apocalyptic year which contains 360 days, that is, the same number of years,—that 1000 years may be taken for 360 thousands of ordinary years. And although this thought is very absurd, yet it may have no slight influence with him who has been struck with the accurate analogy of the Apocalyptic times. Now, it is not only in this one place, but also previously in the number 666, that ordinary years and those “of a man” are employed. On the other hand, because the thousand years are said to be ἔτη, the number of 666 years is furnished with the most appropriate word to be supplied, viz. ἔτος, and the confusion between ordinary and prophetical times is thereby the more avoided; for a prophetical year in this book is called ἐνιαυτὸς, ch. Revelation 9:15, but here they are ἔτη, which are partly expressed and partly understood. Indeed ἐνιαυτὸς has something more of a general meaning than ἔτος. Whence the comic writer said, ἐτῶν ἐνιαυτοὺς, and Plato in his Cratylus does not vary much from him. It has a closer reference to this, that the noun ἐνιαυτὸς is used for denoting any positive year, so to speak, while ἔτος is only used to denote the natural year. Apollodorus, lib. iii., speaking of Cadmus, ἀΐδιον ἐνιαυτὸν ἐθήτευσεν ἄρει· ἦν δὲ ἐνιαυτὸς τότε ὄκτω ἔτη. And the LXX., Deuteronomy 31:10, μετὰ ἑπτὰ ἔτη, ἐν καιρῷ ἐνιαυτοῦ τῆς ἀφέσεως: and thus continually, Leviticus 25:10; Leviticus 25:10; Leviticus 25:52; Leviticus 27:18; Judges 10:8. Whence it comes to pass, that in innumerable places the noun ἔτη is construed with any cardinal number whatever, and often a large number; whereas ἐνιαυτὸς is never so used, but for the most part indefinitely, or in the singular number: Genesis 47:28; 2 Samuel 21:1 : compared with 1 Kings 14:21; 2 Kings 24:18; 2 Chronicles 22:2. And this difference between the words ought not to be neglected, because it is peculiar to the Greeks, and not customary with us.

We have thus far discussed the subjects which we proposed, § 3. For the subject, viewed in this light, plainly, 1) consists of ψήφοι, elements of calculation, and contains division, multiplication, subtraction, and addition; and by means of those elements of calculation, first, its noun, years, is connected with the adjective itself 666; and then many other computations also are made from these. 2) It squares with the number of the beast, properly so called. 3) It introduces the number of the times of a Prayer of Manasseh 1:4) and the 666 years.

§ 8. Hence several lesser periods of times are resolved.—After the analogy of 42 months, other periods, for instance, the five months of the first woe, the hour and day and month and year of the second woe, are easily resolved; and the history corresponds, as we have shown at the proper places. But the question respecting the precise length of the Apocalyptic hour itself separately, of the day, the month, and the year, might be omitted. If, however, it is inquired into, it is easily deduced from those things which we have said. A month is the twelfth part of a year; a year has 365 97/400 days; a day has 24 hours: and with this natural division the prophetical corresponds. Moreover, since the 42 prophetical months are 666 2/3 ordinary years, the length of the prophetical times readily presents itself. In short, each measure of ordinary time is with reference to prophetical time, as 190 1/2 0/1 to 1, or as 4000 to 21.

§ 9. In the same manner greater periods also of time are resolved.—We propose this progressive system:—

A Half-time contains of ordinary years,

111 1/9

A Time ( καιρός),

222 2/9

The Number of the beast,

666 6/9

Time 1, 2, and 1/2,

777 7/9

A Short Time,

888 8/9

A Millennium,

999 9/9

A Chronus (period),

1111 1/9

An Age,

2222 2/9, etc

The connection of the prophecy and the series of events confirm this as approximating to the length of periods thus increasing: but this exact length is recommended first of all by the analogy of the number 666 and of 1000 years; and in the next place it is confirmed by the system of septenaries resulting from it. For if, with astronomical strictness, you should resolve all the steps of this progression into days, the second step will give pure weeks of days, whilst the first will give as many half weeks (and this is the peculiar reason why the first is called ἥμισυ καιροῦ, half a time, and not until the second is there said to be καιρὸς, a time): then, as is the ratio either of the first or of the second step, so is that of the others, which are multiplied out of the first or even out of the second. Thus the System of sevens, which Moses and the Prophets so frequently employ in times, and the Apocalypse in actions, unexpectedly displays itself also from the times of the Apocalypse affording thus a remarkable test of true analysis. But the proper place for this demonstration is in the Order of Times, c. 11 and 12.

§ 10. This analysis of times, though intermediate, ought not to be thought foreign to the subject.—The prophetic day of about six months, for instance, ought not to be thought to be inconsistent with the sense of a day of the heavens, or an ordinary day. The Apocalypse itself suggests half times: ch. Revelation 8:1, Revelation 11:9, Revelation 12:14; and other interpreters, proceeding from different ways, have long ago arrived at half forms of times. Seb. Meyer calls the 42 months, the 1260 days; and the 1, 2, and 1/2 times, the half of a week of years; but without. any further explanation. John Napeir endeavours to resolve the seven periods of time which he lays down from the destruction of Jerusalem to the end of the world, from the fact, that there are seven great Jubilees; not entire, of 490 years: therefore the HALVES consist of 245 years. See Expl. Apoc. Part i. Prop. 5. Molinæus thinks, that the 1260 years of the beast in the exercise of his power are a week; so that the half week of the two slain witnesses denotes a persecution of 630 years, which are the HALF of 1260 years. See Accompliss. des Proph. p. 357. Nor are these influenced so much by the truth of the reasons, as by the probable appearance of the fact alone. Aretius on this passage proceeds more speciously, mutually comparing the 1335 days of Daniel and the number 666. A space of six months is not only a part of a time, but it is also a time: and as the Indians, according to Curtius, had their month divided into 15 days (whence the Malabars at the present time account the 14 semicircles of the 7 planets for fourteen worlds); and the Chinese fix 24 semi-solar months in the year: so some of the ancients not unskilfully marked out one year by summer, and another by winter, as Pliny remarks, l. vii. c. 48. And Plutarch, Censorinus, and others, remark that the year was also terminated in six months among the Egyptians, and from them among the Greeks, and undoubtedly so among the Carians and Acarnaniaus, between whom Patmos was situated, and indeed it was very near to Caria. See Jo. Hiskiæ Cardilucii T. I. Evang. Naturwissenschaft in Præf., and Fabricii lib. de Mensibus, pp. 7, 8, and 153. The history of Thucydides is arranged by winters and summers. The ancient Saxons divided the year into two Malinas, autumnal and vernal, as Martinius remarks from Scaliger in his Lexicon Etym. col. 1438. And in all the intercourse of civil life a space of time consisting of six months was of very frequent occurrence. There were many magistracies of six months’ duration, as, for instance, the tribuneship mentioned by Pliny, Ephesians 4, l. 4. The fasces of the consuls were formerly given for six months: and at the present day, Academic officers and others. The Romans had rings for summer and winter: whence the six months’ gold, in Juven. Sat. vii. Those skilled in civil law cite six-monthly counsels of princes. See P. Fabri Præf. to his Semestria; for by this title he and other civil lawyers, and Dorscheus of divines, inscribed some of their writings: and at the present day Semestria are in existence among the French in forensic practice. James Cappellus suspects that the patriarchal years before Abraham were held by the Alexandrians to be of six months, when he is comparing the Alexandrian era of the creation of the world with the Jewish. Disp. Sedan. T. I. p. 1048. Comp. the things related by Calvis. upon A.M. 3185, taken from John George Herbart of Hohenburg. With astrologers sometimes, when they conjecture future things from celestial phenomena, a day by a mystic calculation denotes six months. See Zimmermann’s Tr. on the Comet of the year 1680, p. 101. With this especially agrees that solemnly observed division of the year into two equal parts among the Israelites, that is, into two periods of six months, one of which parts was reckoned from the beginning of the months, the other from the beginning of the year, viz. in spring and in autumn. See Ord. Temp. pp. 19, 27 [Ed. ii. pp. 16, 23]. Nor is it in the first month that the Jews increase the age by the addition of the year; but it is in the beginning of the seventh month, for instance, that they would begin to write A.M. 5500, instead of 5499, with the approbation of Moses: Exodus 23:16; Exodus 34:22. At any rate, from the time of Moses a period of six months was always very remarkable among the Israelites in life and its vicissitudes: and the courses of the priests divided the year into two periods of about six months. Moreover there was an interval of six months between the forerunner John and Christ Jesus Himself: Luke 1:36. R. Ase had his disciples with him six months in every year; he ordered them to be at home six months. We have not collected these things to demonstrate the precise length of the prophetical day, but only for the purpose of showing that that length ought not to appear so strange to us. We have derived the demonstration itself from a different source.

§ 11. Nay, it is only thus that interpretations branching off into intricate and extreme points are avoided.—The year-day, which many Protestants have long defended, is longer, and much longer, than truth permits; the ordinary day, which is maintained by Romanists and some of our more recent writers, is shorter, and much shorter, than truth permits. I have demonstrated both these points in my German Introduction, § 38, etc. It is evident that these are the two chief sources from which so many false interpretations have flowed. The truth lies between the two. Whoever is able to entrust himself to this will be in safety. See on Revelation 13:1, Prop. 10. Obs. 29.

§ 12. Therefore both the months of the beast and his number, and the number of his name, have a system free from difficulty.—The 666 2/3 years, which equal the months of the beast and the number of the beast (see Erkl. Offenb. p. 133), had their commencement, when the event was proceeding from the beginning of ch. 13 to the middle of Revelation 13:5, at the commencement of the pontificate of Cœlestine II. on September 25th A. 1143. Gregory VII. began to be independent of the Roman Emperor, Cœlestine II. of Rome itself, during the flourishing period of which the beast is not. At that time, therefore, power was given absolutely to the beast. The number of the name of the beast began from Gregory VII., who claimed for the Roman Pontiff alone the name of Pope, in the most exalted sense. They have that name who embrace and approve of the most disgraceful novelty of Gregory as something divine. Thus the number of the name of the beast is known from the number of the beast, and somewhat exceeds it. This method is easy and simple, by which the number of the name of the beast is explained. But there are some who think that it may possibly be the case that, as the name ιησουσ, that is, Jesus, is equivalent to 888 (see Estius on this passage), so the name of His adversary has the number 666 according to the numeral value of letters. “Nor is that to be passed over in this place,” says Neuhusius, “which historians have remarked, that the Number of the name assumed by the Pope is generally ominous of the duration of his life and reign. Certainly Alexander II. departed this mortal life in the second year of his pontificate, Clement III. in the third year, Victor IV. in the fourth, Pius V. in the fifth, Leo X. in the tenth, Gregory XIII. in the thirteenth, Sixtus V. in the fifth. By a like fatality, Benedict II., Sixtus II., Anastasius II., John II., Martin II., Nicholas II., died in the second year of their reign. Stephen III., Martin III., Clement III., Nicholas III., in the third year of their supreme power. Felix IV., Martin IV., Nicholas IV., Paul IV., Benedict IV., Clement IV., in the fourth; Boniface V. in the fifth; Innocent VIII, in the eighth, ceased to be among the living.”—Lib. ii. Fatid. Sacror. c. 31. G. Burius, in Notitia Pontificum, sect. xvi., has noticed similar instances, not only in years, but also in months. It was with this feeling that many have long since sought for the number 666 in many names. We have before brought forward some things from Irenæus; and of these, who has not spoken of λατεινοσ? And we may conjecture how this might, even at that time, have occurred to any one. In the Sibylline books, which the ancients greatly regarded, it is said, lib. viii., λίνος αὐτὸν ὀλεῖται. Now in many sovereignties, the first and the last sovereigns are found to have been distinguished by the same name; and the first Bishop of Rome was not Peter, but Linus: and therefore, although an ancient error speaks of a second Peter, as the last, a more ancient opinion seems to have fastened upon a second Linus (with what amount of truth, does not affect the argument). In Latin, LInVs seCVnDVs might perhaps be equivalent to 666: but such signatures are accustomed to be noticed among their subjects at the first time, whence some regard them as omens, and not at the last. However that is, λινοσ is equivalent to 360. There is therefore wanting the number 306, that is, TEA. By a combination of the letters TEA and λινοσ, the well-known word λατεινοσ was formed. Or else they had heard that the name of the beast would be Latin, as about to occur in the Latin language, and not in Hebrew or Greek; and by a “Suppositio Materialis” [See Append. Techn. Terms], they interpreted that of the name λατεῖνος itself. Whether the former or the latter was the case, λατεῖνος ought not to have been put with E for the Greek EI, with a consonant following, is expressed in Latin by I, as εἰκὼν, icon: but the Latin I does not pass into ει in Greek, nor is λατεῖνος borne out by analogy: for it is not written ἀκυλεῖνος, κ. τ. λ., but ἀκυλῖνος, ἀλβῖνος, ἀκραγαντῖνος, ἀλεξανδρῖνος, ἀντωνῖνος, ἀρκτῖνος, ἀρχῖνος, βροντῖνος, καλουῖνος, καρῖνος, κολλατῖνος, κρατῖνος, κρισπῖνος, κουαρτῖνος, κωνσταντῖνος, λεοντῖνος, λευῖος, λιβερτῖνος, λογγῖνος, ΄ακρῖνος, ΄αξιμῖνος, ΄αρῖνος, νερυλλῖνος, νιγρῖνος, ξιφιλῖνος, πισῖνος, σαβῖνος, σατορνῖνος, στασῖνος, ταραντῖνος, τιγελλῖνος, φιλῖνος, φλωρεντῖνος. It would be tedious to collect more instances. In Irenæus himself, ἰουστῖνος, οὐαλεντῖνος, ὑγῖνος, φλωρῖνος, are uniformly written with the simple I: and thus also λατῖνος, which very word is used in the Sibylline books with I, at one time long, and at another time short. And thus in one MS. of Andreas, λατῖνος is replaced by the copyist, correcting the text, contrary to the design of Andreas: in a second, at the word λατεῖνος there is added διὰ διφθόγγου, with an open acknowledgment of the license which is frequently used by the Greeks in Greek chronologies, as it is by the Germans in German. For on account of the same number 666, they made τειτὰν out of τιτὰν, παπεῖσκος out of παπίσκος, ἀρνοῦμε out of ἀρνοῦμαι. But there ought to be no place for a license of this kind in a matter of such great importance. Andreas of Cæsareia, or they who have enlarged upon his works, have added other names, for the sake of exercise, after the example of Hippolytus. Among these, BENEDICTUS is especially remarkable, not only in the Augustan Codex, which superadds one name upon another, but even in the Sylburgian edition: nor however does that Benedict of Nursia, of whom Andreas might have heard, and whom Nic. Mulerius brings forward on this place, appear to have been the person intended by any Greek copyist: for the Menologia of the Greeks also preserves his memory on the 14th of March; but the person meant was Benedict IX., Pontiff of Rome. sILVester seCVnDVs, who occurs to Caspar Heunischius, is not a dissimilar instance: for Silvester was on the Papal throne, when the 1000th year from the birth of Christ was reckoned; Benedict, when the 1000th year from His death; and at one or the other of these thousandth years, as though the thousand years mentioned in ch. 20 had elapsed, the ancients expected the kingdom of the beast (as it is plainly seen from Andreas, for the name βενεδικτοσ, as it appears, furnished some ingenious reader of his with the number 666): nor has the fame of that Benedict the support of such authorities at the present day, as that of Silvester. We have, as I think, bestowed sufficient labour upon the consideration of the opinions of the ancients. Scherzer, above others, in Syst., p. 865, has thought it worth while to recount even more recent inventions, or rather trifles; and Wolf., in vol. iv. Curar., p. 545. Therefore we may pass them by: that however may be added, which Christopher Seebach, in his Germ. Key to Ap., p. 309, ἐπαῤῥησιάσατο: but the name LUDoVICVs has been certainly less forced [to yield the 666], which a treatise, published in Belgic and German, with the title, The Faith and Patience of the Saints, ch. 23, has applied to this, although even that disastrous persecution of the Reformers in the kingdom of the Gauls did not attain to the great force implied in this number; and evidently the name to which this number is given ought to be found, if anywhere, in the series of the Popes. Some, with Vitringa, who, on Ap. p. 629, quotes that writer who is in other places unnamed, and his book, question the numeral power of the Latin letters: but Baudius, Ep. 79, cent. 1, proves that they all have that power, except D Scaliger, following Priscian, in his book respecting causes, L. L., ch. xli., proves that they all without exception have it. We think that these subtleties may be omitted. The number, even of the name of the beast, has, as we have seen, another meaning.(151)

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 13:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-13.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, September 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology