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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Revelation 13

 

 

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Verse 1

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

I stood. So B, Coptic; but 'Aleph (') A C, Vulgate, Syriac, 'He stood.' Standing on the sand of the sea, Satan gave his power to the beast rising out of the sea.

Upon the sand of the sea - whence could be seen the four winds striving upon the great sea (Daniel 7:2).

Beast - `wild beast.' Man becomes "brutish" (Jeremiah 10:14), severed from God, the archetype, in whose image he was made, which ideal is realized by the man Christ Jesus. Hence, the world-powers seeking their own glory, not God's, are beasts; Nebuchadnezzar, when in self-deification he forgot that "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men," was driven among the beasts. In Daniel 7:1-28 there are four; here the one expresses the sum total of the God-opposed world-power in its universal development, not restricted to one manifestation, Rome. This first beast expresses the world-power attacking the Church from without; the second, a revival of, and minister to, the first, the world-power as the false prophet corrupting the Church from within.

Out of the sea (Daniel 7:3; note, Daniel 8:8) - out of the troubled waves of peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues (Revelation 17:15). The earth (Revelation 13:11) means the ordered world of nations, with its civilization.

Seven heads and ten horns. 'Aleph (') A B C transpose, 'ten horns and seven heads.' The ten horns are now put first (contrast Revelation 12:3), because they are crowned. They shall not be so until the close of the fourth kingdom (the Roman), which continues until the fifth, Christ's shall supplant it: this last stage is marked by the ten toes (five on one foot, five on the other) of the image, Daniel 2:1-49. The seven implies the world-power assuming Godhead, and caricaturing the seven spirits of God; its God-opposed character is detected by ten accompanying the seven. Dragon and beast both bear crowns-the former on the heads, the latter on the horns (Revelation 12:3; Revelation 5:1). Both heads and horns refer to kingdoms: in Revelation 17:7; Revelation 17:10; Revelation 17:12, "kings" represent kingdoms whose heads they are. The seven kings-the great powers of the world-are distinguished from the ten, represented by the horns (simply "kings," Revelation 17:12), The ten mean the last phase of the world-power, the fourth kingdom divided into ten parts.

They are connected with the seventh head (Revelation 17:12), and are yet future (Auberlen). The mistake of those who interpret the beast Rome exclusively, and the ten horns kingdoms which took the place of Rome in Europe, is, the fourth kingdom in the image has TWO legs, the eastern as well as the western empire: the ten toes are not upon one foot (the west), but on the two (east and west) together. If the ten kingdoms were those which sprang up on the overthrow of Rome, the ten would be known; whereas 28 different lists are given, making in all 65 kingdoms! (Tyso in DeBurgh.) The seven heads are the seven world-monarchies-Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, the Germanic empire. Under the last we live (Auberlen); it devolved on Napoleon, after Francis, Emperor of Germany and King of Rome, resigned the title in 1806. Faber explains the healing of the deadly wound to be the revival of the Napoleonic dynasty after its overthrow at Waterloo. That secular dynasty, in alliance with the ecclesiastical papacy, "the eighth head," yet "of the seven" (Revelation 17:11), will temporarily triumph over the saints, until destroyed in Armageddon, (Revelation 19:1-21.) A Napoleon thus would be the Antichrist, restoring the Jews to Palestine, accepted as their Messiah, and afterward fearfully opening them. But the mention of the leopard, bear, and lion, answering to the first three kingdoms (Daniel 7:4-6), and the little horn of Daniel 8:1-27, and "wilful king," Revelation 11:1-19, arising out of the third, make it likely that the Antichrist about to oppress Israel is to arise from the east, the Greek empire, rather than the west: Gog, Meshech, and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:1-23, notes). The sea-beast comprises both the east and west: the earth-beast comes from the east.

Crowns - `diadems.'

Name of blasphemy. So 'Aleph (') C, Coptic, Andreas; but A B, Vulgate, 'names,' etc.-namely, a name on each of the heads; blasphemously arrogating attributes of God (note, Revelation 17:3). A characteristic of the willful king (Daniel 11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).


Verse 2

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Leopard ... bear ... lion. This beast unites in itself the God-opposed characteristics of the three preceding. It rises up out of the sea, as Daniel's four, and has ten horns, as Daniel's fourth beast, and seven heads, as Daniel's four beasts had in all-namely, one on the first, one on the second, four on the third, and one on the fourth. Thus it represents the world-power (represented by four) of all times and places, as opposed to God: just as the woman is the Church of all ages. The beast is vicar of Satan, who similarly has seven heads and ten horns: implying his universal power in all ages. Satan as a serpent is archetype of beast nature (Revelation 12:9): his seven heads represent 'Satan's power on earth collectively' (Auberlen). The third kingdom, the leopard (Daniel 7:4-6), here first, including the former two, the bear and lion in reverse order, was the parent of Antiochus' blasphemy. Christianity gave its idolatry the deadly wound: and in it were the seven churches of Asia, to which Revelation is addressed. Its apostasy to picture-worship, mariolatry, and adoration of the eucharist, healed the wound. Daniel 8:1-27; Daniel 11:1-45 imply, from it shall come Israel's Antichrist.


Verse 3

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

One of - `from among.'

Wounded ... healed. Thrice emphatically (Revelation 13:12; Revelation 13:14): cf. Revelation 17:8; Revelation 17:11, "the beast that was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit" (Revelation 13:11 below): the Germanic empire, the seventh head (revived in Antichrist the eighth), future in John's time (Revelation 17:10). Contrast Nebuchadnezzar, humbled from self-deifying pride, and converted from beastlike character to MAN'S form and true position toward God: symbolized by his eagle-wings plucked, and himself made stand upon his feet as a man (Daniel 7:4). Here, the beast's head is not changed into human, but receives a deadly wound - i:e., the world-kingdom does not turn to God, but for a time its God-opposed character remains paralyzed ('as it were slain:' marking the beast's outward resemblance to the Lamb 'as it were slain,' notes, Revelation 5:6 : cf. the second beast's resemblance to the Lamb, Revelation 13:11). Though seemingly slain [ esfagmeneen (Greek #4969), 'wounded'], it remains the beast still, to rise again in another form (Revelation 13:11).

The six first heads were pagan-Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome; the seventh world-power (the German hordes pouring on Christianized Rome, including the Greek third empire, and so the two former), whereby Satan hoped to stifle Christianity (Revelation 11:15-16), became Christianized (the beast's, as it were, deadly wound: slain, and it is not, Revelation 17:11). Its ascent out of the bottomless pit answers to the healing of its deadly wound (Revelation 17:8). No change is noticed in Daniel as effected by Christianity upon the fourth kingdom. The beast, healed of its wound, returns from, not only the sea, but the bottomless pit, whence it draws new strength of hell (Revelation 13:3; Revelation 13:11-12; Revelation 13:14; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8). [It was antitheos: it now is antichristos (Greek #500).] Compare the seven evil spirits taken into the temporarily dispossessed, and the last state worse than the first, Matthew 12:43-45. A worse paganism breaks in upon the Christianized world, more devilish than that of the first beast's heads. The latter was apostasy only from the revelation of God in nature and conscience; this is from God's revelation of love in His Son. It culminates in Antichrist, the man of sin, son of perdition (cf. Revelation 17:11): 2 Thessalonians 2:3 : cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-4, the characteristics of old paganism (Romans 1:29-32) (Auberlen). More than one wound is meant: e.g., that under Constantine (when the worship of the emperor's image fell before Christianity), followed by healing, when image-worship and the Romish and Greek Catholic errors were introduced (Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:11; Daniel 7:24-25; 1 Timothy 4:1-3); again, that at the Reformation, followed by the form of godliness without the power, to end in the last apostasy, the second beast (Revelation 13:11), Antichrist (the willful king of the third kingdom, Daniel 8:11-12; Daniel 11:36), the same seventh world-power in another form (2 Timothy 3:1-9).

Wondered after - followed with wondering gaze.


Verse 4

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Which gave. So B but 'Aleph (') A B C, Vulgate, Syriac, Andreas, 'because he gave.'

Power - `the authority:' its authority.

Who is like unto the beast? The language appropriated to God, Exodus 15:11 (whence [from the initials Mi Camocah Baelim Yahweh] the Maccabees took their name: the opponents of the Old Testament Antichrist, Daniel 8:1-27; Daniel 11:1-45, Antiochus); Psalms 35:10; Psalms 71:19; Psalms 113:5; Micah 7:18 : blasphemously (Revelation 13:1; Revelation 13:5) assigned to the beast: a parody of "Michael" (cf. Revelation 12:7), 'Who is like unto God?'


Verse 5

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Blasphemies. So 'Aleph (') C, Andreas; B, 'blasphemy;' A, 'blasphemous things' (cf. Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:11; Daniel 7:25). The "mouth" answers to both Antiochus Epiphanes' three and a half years of blasphemy against God's "tabernacle," suspending the daily sacrifice (notes, Daniel 8:1-27.), and to the little horn of the fourth kingdom, the papacy in its forty-two prophetic months, as also the great sacerdotalist pretensions of the Greek eastern (third kingdom) patriarchate in the same period.

Power - `authority:' legitimate [ exousia (Greek #1849)]. 'Aleph (') omits.

To continue - `to act,' 'work' [ poieesai (Greek #4160)]. B, "to make war" (cf. Revelation 13:4); but A C, Vulgate, Syriac, Andreas, omit "war;" 'Aleph (') has, 'to do what he wills' [ ho (Greek #3588) thelei (Greek #2309)] (Daniel 11:36; Daniel 12:7).

Forty and two months - (notes, Revelation 11:2-3; Revelation 12:6.)


Verse 6

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Opened his mouth - the formula of a set speech, or series of speeches. Revelation 13:6-7 expand Revelation 13:5.

Blasphemy. So B, Andreas; but 'Aleph (') A C, 'blasphemies.'

And them. So Vulgate, Coptic, Andreas, Primasius, read; A C 'Aleph (') omit "and:" 'them that dwell [skenountas: tabernacle] in heaven;' not only angels, and departed souls of the righteous, but believers on earth, having their citizenship in heaven, whose life is hidden from the anti-Christian persecutor in the secret of God's tabernacle (Psalms 27:5; note, Revelation 12:12; margin, John 3:7).


Verse 7

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. Power - `authority.'

All kindreds, and tongues, and nations - `every tribe ... tongue ... nation.' A B C 'Aleph ('), Vulgate, Syriac, Andreas, Primasius, add, 'and people,' after 'tribe.'


Verse 8

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

All that dwell upon the earth - of earth earthy: in contrast to 'them that dwell in heaven.'

Whose names are not written. So 'Aleph ('); but A B C, Syriac, Coptic, Andreas, read singular, '(everyone) whose [ hou (Greek #3757): but 'Aleph (') B, hon (Greek #3739), plural] name is not written.'

Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The Greek order favours this. He was slain in the Father's eternal counsels: cf. 1 Peter 1:19-20. Otherwise, 'written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb slain.' So Revelation 17:8. 'As He was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," so all (previous sacrificial) atonements were only effectual by His blood' (Dr. Pearson).


Verse 9

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Christ's monition calling solemn attention (Matthew 13:9; Matthew 13:43).


Verse 10

He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

He that leadeth into captivity. A B C, Vulgate, read, 'if anyone (be) for captivity.'

Shall go into captivity - present, 'goeth into captivity.' A, Vulgate; Jeremiah 15:2 is alluded to: 'Aleph (') B C read simply, 'he goeth away,' and omit "into captivity."

He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. So 'Aleph ('); but B C, Vulgate, 'shall kill;' A omits "must:" 'if any (be) for being killed, (it must be) that he be killed.' As of old, so those to be persecuted by the beast have their trials severally appointed by God's fixed counsel. 'Aleph (') B C reading is, a warning to persecutors that they shall be punished in kind.

Here - Herein: in bearing their appointed sufferings lies the persevering endurance of the saints. This is to be the watchword of the elect during this period. The first beast is to be met by patience and faith (Revelation 13:10); the second by true wisdom (Revelation 13:18; Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10).


Verse 11

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Another beast - "the false prophet" (Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10).

Out of the earth - society civilized and consolidated, still, with all its culture, of earth earthy: as distinguished from 'the sea,' the agitations of peoples, out of which the world-power and its kingdoms have emerged. 'The sacerdotal persecuting power, Pagan and Christian: the pagan priesthood making an image of the emperors, which they compelled Christians to worship, and working wonders by magic; the Romish priesthood, inheritor of pagan rites, images, and superstitions, lamb-like in Christian professions, dragon-like in word and act' (Alford, from the Spanish Jesuit Lacunza, or Ben Ezra). As the first beast was like the Lamb in being, as it were, wounded to death, so the second is like the Lamb in having two lamb-like horns (its essential difference is marked by its having TWO, the Lamb SEVEN, Revelation 5:6). The paganism of the world-power, seeming wounded to death by Christianity, revives.

The harlot-apostasy of the Church answers to the healing of the wound. When she has been eaten by the beast and burned with fire (Revelation 17:16), the second beast (Antichrist) brings back the first beast's paganism, recommending it by a spiritual form and earthly culture. Matthew 24:11; Matthew 24:24, "Many false prophets shall rise:" ushering in "the false prophet." This Antichrist has both the mouth of blasphemy (Revelation 13:5) of the little horn of the third kingdom (Daniel 8:11-12; Daniel 8:23-25; Daniel 11:36), and also "the eyes of man" of the little horn of the fourth kingdom (Daniel 7:8). "The eyes of man" symbolize intellectual culture and spiritual pretensions, characteristic of "the false prophet" (Revelation 13:13-15; Revelation 16:14). The first beast is political; the second spiritual, the power of ideas (the favourite term in the French school): humanity substituted for the Son of man, Antichrist for Christ. Lawless democracy [ anomia (Greek #458)] (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8), ever since the 1789 revolution, has been preparing the way for the lawless one.

Both alike are beasts, from below, not from above; faithful allies, worldly anti-Christian wisdom serving worldly God-opposing power: both "lion" and "dragon" ( Revelation 13:2; Revelation 13:11): might and cunning. The dragon gives his power to the first beast, his spirit to the second, so that it speaks as a dragon. The second, arising out of the earth, is in Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8, said to ascend out of the bottomless pit: its earthy culture only intensifies its infernal character, the pretence to rationalistic philosophy (as in the primeval temptation, Genesis 3:5; Genesis 3:7, "their EYES were opened") veiling the deification of nature, self, and man. Hence, spring Idealism, Materialism, Pantheism, Atheism. The fourth kingdom little horn, the papacy's claim to the double power, secular and spiritual, is the immediate forerunner of the twofold beast in its final state, that out of the sea, ministered to by that out of the earth, or bottomless pit. Primasius of Adrumetum (sixth century), 'He feigns to be a lamb, that he may assail the Lamb-the body of Christ.'


Verse 12

And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Power - `authority.'

Before him - `in his presence;' as ministering to him. The non-existence of the beast (Revelation 17:8) embraces the Germanic and Greek Christian period.

Which dwell therein - the earthly-minded. The Church becomes the harlot; the world's power, the anti-Christian beast; the world's wisdom, the false prophet. Christ's three offices are perverted: the first beast is the false kingship; the harlot, the false priesthood; the second beast, the false prophet. The beast is the bodily, the false prophet the intellectual, the harlot the spiritual power of anti-Christianity (Auberlen). The Old Testament Church stood under the beast, the pagan world-power: the Middle Ages Church under the harlot: in modern times the false prophet predominates. But in the last days all three shall cooperate; the false prophet causes men to worship the beast, and the beast carries the harlot, (Revelation 17:1-18.) These three are reducible to two: the apostate church and the apostate world, pseudo-Christianity and anti-Christianity, the harlot and the beast; for the false prophet is also a beast; and the two beasts, different manifestations of the same beastlike principle, are finally judged together, whereas separate judgment falls first on the harlot (Auberlen).

Deadly wounds - `wound of death.'


Verse 13

And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

Wonders - `signs.'

So that - so great that.

Maketh fire - `maketh even fire.' The very miracle which the two witnesses, and Elijah long ago, performed: this the beast from the bottomless pit, or false prophet, mimics. Not tricks, but miracles by demon aid, like those of the Egyptian magicians, calculated to deceive: performed "after the working (energy) of Satan" (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Probably this second beast answers to "the little horn," the 'wilful king' of Daniel 8:9-12; Daniel 8:23-25; Daniel 11:21-38; the Antichrist that oppresses Israel, from the third kingdom: as the first beast represents the God-opposed world-power, generally comprising Antiochus' blasphemies in the third kingdom, and the sacerdotal pretensions of the Eastern patriarchate, and the Romish little horn of Daniel 7:7-8; Daniel 7:11; Daniel 7:24-26, that oppressed Gentile believers, of the fourth kingdom. As Daniel 7:1-28 is Chaldaic, so with Daniel 8:1-27 begins the Hebrew portion. The little horn of the third kingdom, whose forerunner was Antiochus, is probably the pseudo-Messiah or false prophet which "shall come in his own name" (Daniel 8:1-27; Daniel 11:1-45; John 5:43), received by, and then tearing, the Jews (Zechariah 11:16); after that the apostate churches, Roman and Greek (the harlot), shall have been divested of all traces of their Christianity (answering to the humanity of the harlot).

Hence, follow the 144,000 on Zion (Revelation 14:1; Revelation 15:3): probably Israelites. The little horn, in Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:11; Daniel 7:25-26, is distinct from the beast: the horn (the papal kingdom) is judged and his dominion taken away, simultaneous with judgment on the whore, or whole apostate church, stripped naked, eaten, and burnt by the beast (Revelation 17:16); the beast's (Antichrist's) body is given by the Lord in person to the burning flame (Revelation 19:16-20). Antichrist's persecutions, though primarily falling on Israel, will also secondarily fall on Gentile believers. For the seven Asiatic Gentile churches addressed are urged to obtain the kingdom through suffering and keeping Christ's Word in the hour of universal temptation (Revelation 3:10).


Verse 14

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Deceiveth them that dwell on the earth - the earthly-minded. Even a miracle is not enough to warrant belief in a professed revelation, unless in harmony with God's already-revealed will (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; Matthew 24:24).

By the means of those miracles - rather [ dia (Greek #1223) ta (Greek #3588) seemeia (Greek #4592)], 'on account of those miracles.'

Which he had power to do - `which were given him to do.'

In the sight of the beast - (Revelation 13:12.)

Which. So 'Aleph ('); but A B C read, 'who:' a personal Antichrist.

Had. So B, Andreas; but A 'Aleph (') C, Vulgate, read, 'hath.'


Verse 15

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

He had power - `it was given to him.'

To give life - `breath,' 'spirit.'

Image. Nebuchadnezzar set up in Dura a golden image to be worshipped, probably of himself; for his dream had been interpreted, "Thou art this bead of gold." The three Hebrews who refused to worship it were cast into a burning furnace. Typifying the last apostasy. Pliny, in his letter to Trajan, states that he punished Christians who would not worship the emperor's image with incense. So Julian, the apostate, set up his image with idols in the Forum, that the Christians, in doing reverence to it, might seem to worship the idols. So Charlemagne's image was set up; and the Pope adored the new emperor (Dupin, vol. 6:, p. 126). Napoleon, Charlemagne's successor, designed, after he had first lowered the Pope by removing him to Fontainbleau, then to 'make an idol of him' (Memorial de Saints Helene): he would, through the Pope's influence, have directed the religious as well as the political world. Antichrist will realize the project, becoming the beast supported by the false prophet (some infidel supplanter of the papacy, under a spiritual guise, after the harlot, or apostate church, has been judged by the beast, Revelation 17:16); he then might have his image set up as a test of secular and spiritual allegiance.

Speak. 'False doctrine will give a spiritual appearance to the foolish apotheosis of the creaturely personified by Antichrist' (Auberlen). Jerome, on Daniel 7:1-28, says, Antichrist shall be 'a man in whom the whole of Satan shall dwell bodily.' Rome's speaking images, and winking pictures of the Virgin Mary, are an earnest of the demoniacal miracles of the false prophet in making the beast's image to speak.


Verse 16

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

To receive a mark - `that they should give them a mark:' such as masters stamp on their slaves. Soldiers punctured their arms with marks of the general under whom they served. Votaries of idols branded themselves with the idol's symbol. Antiochus Epiphanes branded the Jews with the ivy leaf, the symbol of Bacchus (2 Maccabees 6:7; 3 Maccabees 2:29). Contrast God's seal and name in the foreheads of His servants (Galatians 6:17; Revelation 7:3; Revelation 14:1; Revelation 22:4). The mark in the right hand and forehead implies prostration of body and intellect to the beast. 'In the forehead for profession; in the hand for work and service' (Augustine).


Verse 17

And that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark or the name of the beast or the number of And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

And. So A B, Vulgate; but 'Aleph (') C, Irenaeus, 316, Coptic, Syriac, omit it.

Might buy - `may be able to buy.'

The mark, or the name - Greek, 'the mark, the name of the beast.' The mark may be, as in scaling the saints, not visible, but symbolical of allegiance. So the sign of the cross. The Pope's interdict has often shut out the excommunicate from social intercourse. Under Antichrist this shall reach its worst form.

Number of his name - implying that the name has numerical meaning.


Verse 18

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is needed to solve the mystery of iniquity, and not be beguiled by it.

Count ... for - implying the possibility of our counting the beast's number.

The number of a Prayer of Manasseh 1:-1 :e., counted as men generally count. So Revelation 21:17. The number of a man, not of God; he shall extol himself above the Godhead, as the MAN of sin (Aquinas). Though it imitates the divine name, it is only human.

Six hundred threescore and six. A, Vulgate, write the numbers in full; B, merely the three letters standing for numbers, Ch, X, C reads 616; Irenaeus, 328, disciple of Polycarp, John's disciple, maintained 666, which he thought to be contained in the Greek, Lateinos (L, 30; A, 1; T, 300; E, 5; I, 10; N, 50; O, 70; S, 200): or else Teitan. Latin is the language of Rome in all official acts: the forced unity of language in ritual being the counterfeit and premature anticipation of real unity only to be realized at Christ's coming, when all the earth shall "in a pure language ... serve the Lord with one consent" (Zephaniah 3:9). The last Antichrist will have a close connection with his Romish predecessor, and will arrogate all Rome's pretensions, besides others. The Hebrew letters of Balaam amount to 666 (Bunsen): a type of the false prophet, whose characteristic will be spiritual knowledge perverted to Satanic ends.

Revelation 2:14 favours this: also, the fact that the Antichrist here has been shown primarily to oppress the Hebrews. Six is the world-number: in 666, in units, tens, and hundreds. It is next to the sacred seven, which it mimics (Revelation 13:1), but severed from it by an impassable gulf. The wounding to death of the seventh head leaves the beast's world-number six disclosed. It is that of the world given over to judgment: hence, there is a pause between the sixth and seventh seals, the sixth and seventh trumpets. The judgments on the world are complete in six: by the fulfillment of seven, the kingdoms of the world become Christ's. As twelve is the number of the Church, so six, its half, symbolizes the world-kingdom broken. The raising of the six to tens and hundreds indicates that the beast, notwithstanding his progression to higher powers, can only rise to greater ripeness for judgment. Thus 666, the judged world-power, contrasts with the 144,000 sealed and transfigured ones (the Church-number, twelve, squared and multiplied by 1,000, the number symbolizing the world pervaded by God; ten, the world-number, raised to the power of three, the number of God) (Auberlen).

The mark [ charagma (Greek #5480)] and name are the same. The first two radicals of Christ, Ch and R, are the first two of charagma, the imperial monogram of Christian Rome. Antichrist, personating Christ, adopts a symbol like, but not agreeing with, Christ's monogram, Ch, X, St: whereas the radicals in 'Christ' are Ch, R, Papal Rome has substituted the Keys for the Cross. So on the papal coinage (the image of power, Matthew 22:20). In 'Christ,' Ch R represent seven hundred, the perfect number. The Ch, X, St represent an imperfect number, a triple falling away (apostasy) from septenary perfection (Wordsworth). A friend, E. L. Garbett, has calculated the numerical value of 3,000 nouns in the Greek Testament, and found just two represent 666 [ paradosis (Greek #3862), 'tradition,' the great engine of doctrinal corruption; and euporia (Greek #2142), 'wealth,' that of practice]. Euporia occurs only once (Acts 19:25): in Ephesus, one of the seven towns addressed in Revelation.

The only uncontradicted entry of 666 is (1 Kings 10:14; 2 Chronicles 9:13) the 666 talents of gold that came in yearly to Solomon, and which were among the corrupting influences that misled him. The two horns of the earth beast represent the two phases of idolatry which ever corrupt the Church, literal and spiritual, image-worship and covetousness (Psalms 17:14; Psalms 49:12; Psalms 49:20; Colossians 3:5). The seven heads of the first, the sea-beast, are the totality of capital sins (Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15), the "mountains" which lift themselves up against God (Revelation 17:9). Idolatry is the wounded and revived head. Gold, silver, brass, the materials of the first three empires in Nebuchadnezzar's image, and the medium of wealth, have in the fourth kingdom iron added, as the prominent metal of civilization. The children of Adonikam (Ezra 2:13) are 666, but in Neh. 7:18; 667: Nehemiah 10:15 . Adonijah rose against the Lord's anointed, and so is a type of Antichrist: his name is changed into a curse, Adonikam. The forehead is the seat of avowed intention. The act and the intention are the two ways of worshipping the beast (Revelation 13:16). The heart-worship of money bearing "the image" of the world-power (Luke 20:24) fulfils Revelation 13:15-17. E. L. Garbett takes Revelation 13:5 'Power was given to IT (the mouth) to work forty-two months:' the mouth is not yet given. He quotes Pelletan ('Profession of Faith in the Nineteenth Century'), wherein wealth is addressed, 'Divine Son-Messiah-Redeemer-dumb confidant of God-begotten by mysterious conception, who hast saved man from misery, redeemed the world,' etc. E. L. Garbett denies the identity of the scarlet-coloured beast (Revelation 17:3) and the leopard-like beast here (Revelation 13:2).

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 13:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-13.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, September 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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