Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 13:13

He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Astronomy;   Miracles;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Antichrist;   Thompson Chain Reference - Lying Wonders;   Magic;   Wonders;   The Topic Concordance - Empires/world Powers;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Miracles through Evil Agents;   Miraculous Gifts of the Holy Spirit;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Miracle;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic literature;   Miracles;   Signs;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Antichrist;   Order;   CARM Theological Dictionary - False prophet, (the);   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Miracles;   Zechariah, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Miracles, Signs, Wonders;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Sign;   Spiritual Gifts;   Thessalonians, Second Epistle to the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Antichrist ;   Beast;   Eschatology;   Miracles;   Sign ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Miracles;   Prophets, the;   Roman Empire;   Thessalonians, Epistles to the;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And he doeth great wonders - That we may have the greatest assurance possible that the two-horned beast is the spiritual Latin empire, it is called in Revelation 19:20, a passage illustrative of the one now under consideration, the false prophet, "than which," as Bishop Newton observes, "there cannot be a stronger or plainer argument to prove that false doctors or teachers were particularly designed;" for prophet, in the Scripture style, is not unfrequently used for a preacher or expounder of God's word. See 1 Corinthians 14:1-5. It hence follows that the two-horned beast is an empire of false doctors or teachers.

In order to establish the Latin Church upon a foundation that can never fail, the false prophet doth great wonders - he attempts the most wonderful and prodigious exploits, and is crowned with incredible success. He has the art to persuade his followers that the clergy of the Church of Rome are the only true ministers of Christ; that they have such great influence in the court of heaven as to be able not only to forgive sins, but also to grant indulgences in sin, by paying certain stipulated sums. He persuades them too that they can do works of supererogation. He pretends that an incredible number of miracles have been wrought and are still working by the Almighty, as so many evidences of the great sanctity of the Latin Church; and the false prophet has such an astonishing influence over his flock, as to cause them to believe all his fabulous legends and lying wonders. He pretends also (and is believed!) that his power is not confined to this world; that he is able by his prayers to deliver the souls of the deceased from what he calls purgatory, a place which he has fabled to exist for the purification of sinful souls after their departure from this world. His wonderful exploits, in being able to induce men possessed of reasoning faculties to believe his monstrous absurdities, do not end here; he even: -

Maketh fire come down from heaven - in the sight of men - Fire, in Scripture, when it signifies wrath, represents that species of indignation which is attended with the destruction of whatever is the cause of it. Thus the wrath of God is likened to fire, Psalm 18:7, Psalm 18:8; Jeremiah 4:4. Therefore the fire which the false prophet bringeth down from heaven upon the earth, is the fiery indignation which he causes to come down from the heaven or throne of the Latin empire upon all those of the earth or Latin world who rebel against his authority. All this has been fulfilled in the Romish hierarchy; the Latin clergy have denominated all those that oppose their authority heretics, they have instituted tribunals to try the cause of heresy, and all those that would not submit to their idolatry they have condemned to various kinds of tortures and deaths. It is said of the false prophet that he bringeth fire From Heaven upon the earth; that is to say, he will only try the cause of heresy, and pass the sentence of condemnation; he will not suffer an ecclesiastic to execute the sentence of the court; the destroying fire he causeth to come down from the heaven or throne of the Latin empire; secular princes and magistrates must execute the sentence of death upon all that are capitally condemned by the spiritual power. He Maketh fire come down from heaven; he compels secular princes to assist him against heretics; and if any rebel against his authority he immediately puts them under the ban of the anathema, so that they are deprived of their offices, and exposed to the insults and persecution of their brethren. Thus the false prophet deceives the Latin world by the means of those miracles which he had power try do in the sight of the beast. Under the appearance of great sanctity he persuades men to believe all his lying doctrines, and enforces his canons and decretals with the sword of the civil magistrate.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And he doeth great wonders - “Signs” - σημεῖα sēmeia- the word commonly employed to denote “miracles” (compare the notes on Acts 2:19); and the representation here is, that the power referred to by the second beast would found its claim on pretended miracles, and would accomplish an effect on the world as if it actually did work miracles. The applicability of this to papal Rome no one can doubt. See the notes on 2 Thessalonians 2:9. Compare Revelation 13:14.

That he maketh five come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men - That is, he pretends this; he accomplishes an effect as if he did it. It is not necessary to suppose that he actually did this, anymore than it is to suppose that he actually performed the other pretended miracles referred to in other places. John describes him as he saw him in the vision; and he saw him laying claim to this power, and actually producing an effect as if by a miracle he actually made fire to descend from heaven upon the earth. This is to be understood as included in what the apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:9) calls “signs and lying wonders,” as among the things by which the “man of sin and the son of perdition” would be characterized, and by which he would be sustained. See the notes on that passage. Why this particular pretended miracle is specified here is not certain. It may be because this would be among the most striking and impressive of the pretended miracles performed - as if lying beyond all human power - as Elijah made fire come down from heaven to consume the sacrifice 1 Kings 18:37-38, and as the apostles proposed to do on the Samaritans Luke 9:54, as if fire were called down on them from heaven. The phrase “in the sight of men” implies that this would be done publicly, and is such language as would be used of pretended miracles designed for purposes of ostentation. Amidst the multitudes of pretended miracles of the papacy, it would probably not be difficult to find instances in which the very thing here described was attempted, in which various devices of pyrotechnics were shown off as miracles. For an illustration of the wonders produced in the dark ages in reference to fire, having all the appearance of miracles, and regarded as miracles by the masses of people, the reader is referred to Dr. Brewster‘s Letters on Natural Magic, particularly Letter 12.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he doeth great signs, that he should even make fire to come down out of heaven upon the earth in the sight of men.

And he doeth great signs ... fire from heaven ... Here is the apocalyptic equivalent of Paul's man of sin sitting in God's house, setting himself forth as God, and exhibiting "all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). See discussion of that whole passage in my Commentary on 2Thessalonians pp. 97-117. Paul referred to the great signs as "lying wonders"; and from this, we may be certain that the apostate power did not actually do what is mentioned here. Every year during the Easter season, the newspapers carry stories of miracles, visitations, and phenomena alleged to be miraculous. There are images bleeding, bloody robes with the image of Christ, etc. Admittedly, we have not seen any fire come down from heaven yet; but, who knows, we might get that next Easter! "Men still claim the power to perform miracles, but their message is not in harmony with God's word, and therefore we can be certain that God is not the source of their power."[79] In this connection, Hinds appropriately mentioned such alleged miracles as "changing the bread and wine of the communion into the literal body and blood of Christ."[80]

[79] James D. Strauss, The Seer, the Saviour, and the Saved (Joplin, Missouri: College Press, 1972), p. 177.

[80] John T. Hinds, op. cit., p. 198.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he doeth great wonders,.... Or miracles; not real, but pretended ones, lying wonders, which the Popish legends are full of the accounts of, as done by the priests, or by this or the other saint:

so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men; in imitation of Elijah, 2 Kings 1:9; and this single instance is put instead of all others, it being usual with the Jews to express all wonderful and miraculous operations by this miracle of Elijah's: and this may be understood mystically, of the pretensions of the Papacy to confer the Holy Ghost, and his gifts upon men, by breathing on them, which on the day of Pentecost were represented by cloven tongues, as of fire, coming down from heaven; or of their anathemas, curses, and excommunications, at which time burning torches and candles are cast up, and fall down, as emblems of divine wrath, which is called cursing men with bell, book, and candle; or else of the fire of persecution: "from heaven"; the secular powers of the empire: "upon the earth"; the common people: or this may be understood literally; so they tell us, that Pope Zachary, once on a journey to Ravenna, had in the daytime a cloud to protect him from the heat, and in the night time armies of fire appeared in the clouds to go before him; and as Pope Innocent was at Mass, a golden crown was seen, and on it a dove, and under it a smoking censer, and hard by them two burning firebrands: and it is reported of Pope Hildebrand, that, whenever he pleased, he could shake his sleeves, and sparks of fire would come out; and by these miracles deluded the eyes of the simple with a show of holiness, which, with other instances, are taken notice of by Napier, Brightman, and other writers: and so here this is said to be done "in the sight of men"; to their apprehension, seemingly, in their view; they being cheated and deluded with an appearance and show of things which were not real.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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

(19) The second point of the things done by the beast, is the credit of great wonders or miracles, and pertaining to the strengthening of this impiety: of which signs some were given from above, as it is said, that fire was sent down from heaven by false sorcery, in this verse. Others were shown here below in the sight of the beast, to establish idolatry, and deceive souls: which part John sets forth, beginning (as they say) at that which is last, in this manner: First, the effect is declared in these words, "He deceives the inhabitants of the earth". Secondly, the common manner of working, in two sorts: one of miracles, "for the signs which were given him to do in the presence of the beast", the other of the words added to the signs, and teaching the idolatry by those signs "saying to the inhabitants of the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which etc." Thirdly, a special manner is declared, "That it is given to him to put life into the image of the beast" and that such a type of quickening, that the same both speaks by answer to those that ask counsel of it, and also pronounces death against all those that do not obey nor worship it: all things which oftentimes by false miracles through the procurement and inspiration of the devil, have been effected and wrought in images. The histories of the papists are full of examples of such miracles, the most of them false, many also done by the devil in images, as of old in the serpent; (Genesis 3:5). By which example is confirmed, not the authority of the beast, but the truth of God and these prophecies.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

wondersGreek, “signs.”

so that — so great that.

maketh fireGreek, “maketh even fire.” This is the very miracle which the two witnesses perform, and which Elijah long ago had performed; this the beast from the bottomless pit, or the false prophet, mimics. Not merely tricks, but miracles of a demoniacal kind, and by demon aid, like those of the Egyptian magicians, shall be wrought, most calculated to deceive; wrought “after the working (Greek, ‹energy‘) of Satan.”

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-13.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

That he should even make fire come down out of heaven (ινα και πυρ ποιηι εκ του ουρανου καταβαινεινhina kai pur poiēi ek tou ouranou katabainein). Purpose clause again with ιναhina and the present active subjunctive of ποιεωpoieō and the object infinitive of καταβαινωkatabainō after ποιειpoiei Christ promised great signs to the disciples (John 14:12), but he also warned them against false prophets and false christs with their signs and wonders (Mark 13:22). So also Paul had pictured the power of the man of sin (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Elijah had called down fire from heaven (1 Kings 18:38; 2 Kings 1:10) and James and John had once even urged Jesus to do this miracle (Luke 9:54).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-13.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 13. And he doth great wonders] By his art of magic; for true miracles he can do none, nor his master the dragon to help him. Hence they are called lying wonders, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10, sorceries, Revelation 18:23, and impostures here, Revelation 13:14.

So that he maketh fire] As another Elias. This the pope doth daily by his excommunications, casting firebrands, as it were, from on high at those that slight him; and moreover he telleth us of some, that for withstanding his edicts were thunderstruck to death. (Aventin. Annal.)

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-13.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

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.

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

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And he doeth great wonders; lying wonders, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, such as, by God’s permission, false prophets might do, Deuteronomy 13:1,2. Prophets were to be judged true or false, not from any signs or wonders which they did, but from the doctrine they taught, and would by those signs establish.

So that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men; wonders as great as those which Elijah wrought.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-13.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

великие знамения Для описания чудес Христа (Ин. 2:11, 23; 6:2) используется такое же выражение. Это подчеркивает, что лжепророк творит знамения, которые имитируют чудеса Христа. Вероятно, сатана, который совершал сверхъестественные деяния в прошлом (см., например, Исх. 7:11; 2Тим. 3:8), здесь тоже использует стратегию лжечудес, чтобы убедить мир, что антихрист более могущественен, чем истинные свидетели Бога (гл. 11), включая Иисуса Христа.

огонь низводит с неба В этом месте показано, что лежпророк постоянно совершает эффектные поддельные знамения, чтобы убедить людей в своей силе, а также подражая двум свидетелям (11:5).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-13.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Doeth great wonders-maketh fire come down; the probable meaning of these words is, that having, by his signs and lying wonders, deceived the multitude and gained control over them, he uses the power thus acquired to destroy, as if by fire from heaven, those who will not submit themselves to his usurped authority.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-13.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he performs great signs that he should even make fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by reason of the signs which it was given him to do in the sight of the wild beast, telling those who dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast who has the stroke of the sword and lived, and it was given to him to give breath to it, even to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should speak, and he will cause that as many as will not worship the image of the beast should be killed.’

The reference to fire coming down from heaven specifically points to Elijah (1 Kings 18:38). Thus he will be the anti-Elijah. These words parallel Paul’s in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10, ‘he whose coming is according to the working of Satan, with all powers and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for those who are perishing’.

The bringing of fire down ‘from heaven’ may be through the manipulation of natural phenomena (claiming lightning strikes as his work) or may be achieved through trickery, as may other wonders (compare the Egyptian magicians with Moses (Exodus 7:11; 2 Timothy 3:8)). Clever priests of many religions have been able to achieve such things through the ages, and some men love putting on such performances. We need not doubt that some of Caligula’s sycophantic followers made such attempts.

The same applies to the speaking image (compare the oracle at Delphi which was also portrayed as speaking). The whole point is that ‘he’ (the second beast representing initially the priesthood at various Temples for Emperor worship, combined with local authorities) is a deceiver. But his authority is such that he has the power to condemn to death those who refuse to worship the Emperor’s image.

‘Telling those who dwell on earth that they should make an image to the wild beast.’ Caligula especially sought to promote the erection of images to his honour and divinity, even demanding that one be set up in the Temple in Jerusalem. Previously Jewish susceptibilities had been catered for by Emperors but Caligula thrust them aside. It was only his timely death that prevented it happening.

‘The wild beast who has the stroke of the sword and lived’. This refers to the two-edged sword of Christ which ‘smote’ him so that he nearly died, but he recovered and did not heed the warning. It is quite probable that Caligula’s ‘miraculous’ recovery was cited against Christians when they proclaimed the resurrection of Christ.

‘To give breath to’ the image of the beast. As suggested above this and its speech can be accomplished by manipulation. History is full of such pious frauds.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-13.html. 2013.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

Verse 13: He performed visional pseudo-signs, which were not actual, in order to deceive, such as Jesus foretold (Matthew 24:24) would precede the destruction of Jerusalem; and such as Paul described (2 Thessalonians 2:3-9) as characteristic of the pretensions of "the man of sin and son of perdition." The wonders were merely the magical machinations of the Roman emperor-beast to deceive. Josephus relates that two representatives of Nero, by the names of Albinus and Gessius Florus, in this very period, were sent into the land, and being notorious for wickedness they made pompous ostentations before the people. (Antiquities, Book XX, II, I) These are facts recorded by the eye-witness historian on the scene of things; and there could be no more fitting fulfillment of the two horns of this beast.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-13.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Like Pharaoh"s magicians, only with greater effectiveness, the second beast will have authority to perform supernatural miracles (cf. Exodus 7:11; Exodus 7:22; Exodus 8:7). These will be genuine signs and wonders, not just tricks ( Revelation 16:13-14; Revelation 19:20; Matthew 24:4-5; Matthew 24:11; Matthew 24:24-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:9). [Note: See Gregory H. Harris, "Satan"s Deceptive Miracles in the Tribulation," Bibliotheca Sacra156:623 (July-September1999):308-24.] Like Elijah and the two witnesses, he will even be able to call down fire from heaven. John himself had at one time wanted to call down fire from heaven on some Samaritans ( Luke 9:54).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-13.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 13:13. And he doeth great signs that he should even make fire to come down out of heaven into the earth before men. The ‘great signs’ are again a symbol of what is done by false prophetical and priestly power. The ‘fire out of heaven’ is explained by the function of this beast. He is to direct men to the worship of the first beast in whom the Satanic power of the dragon is personified. As therefore Christ, in whom the power of God is personified, is preceded by Elias, who is to direct men’s eyes to Him, so the first beast has in the second his Elias, who travesties the miracle of the ancient prophet (2 Kings 1:10-12).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-13.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

wonders. App-176.

so that. Greek. hina.

fire. Add "also".

from. Greek. ek. App-104.

in the sight of = before, as Revelation 13:12.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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).

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
he doeth
16:14; 19:20; Exodus 7:11,12,22; 8:7,18,19; 9:11; Deuteronomy 13:1-3; Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; Acts 8:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:9,10
he maketh
11:5; Numbers 16:35; 1 Kings 18:38; 2 Kings 1:10-14; Matthew 16:1; Luke 9:54-56; 2 Timothy 3:8
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 13:2 - GeneralJob 1:16 - there came;  Daniel 3:3 - the princes;  Galatians 3:1 - who;  Revelation 9:21 - their sorceries;  Revelation 13:4 - and they;  Revelation 18:23 - for;  Revelation 20:9 - and fire

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-13.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

This verse is a statement of the false claims of the church of Rome, not that it actually performed the wonders mentioned. (See next verse.)

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-13.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 13:13

Revelation 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

Here we have a discovery of Antichrist's grand design, how he made the inhabitants of the earth worship the beast, and make an image of the beast, viz. By working great wonders

in the sight of men;

as Christ and his apostles did miracles and wonders to confirm their doctrine, that the people might believe. { John 4:48; Hebrews 2:4} So Antichrist and his false teachers, the Pope and his false prophets, do wonders to deceive the people, { Matthew 24:24; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10} whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-13.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13.Doeth great wonders—The Romanists to-day teach us that one of the marks of a true Church is miracles; and they claim a continual train of miracles as existing in their own Church. Chief among these is the act of transubstantiation, by which every priest is able to “create the Son of God.” But as this miracle is an invisible process, it is of no use in converting those who do not already believe. Romish books are full of transcendental marvels, narrating miraculous performances, sometimes ludicrous, often monstrous, and not seldom altogether surpassing those of Christ and his apostles in their prodigious character. The Bollandist volumes, more than sixty in number, approved by the pope, are full of tales written with a free inventive fancy, producing great wonders by the mere flourish of an unrestrained pen.

In modern times the “Holy Coat of Treves” was pronounced by Pope Gregory, predecessor of Pius IX., to be the true coat of Christ on which the soldiers cast lots, and for a time hundreds of thousands of pilgrims paid their visit to it.

Another specimen miracle is the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius, which is exhibited thrice a year at Naples. A red mass is first shown in a vial, and then this gradually melts, and the process is considered miraculous! Probably it is a red substance liquefied by the warmth of the priest’s hands. The classic Addison saw it and said, “So far from thinking it a miracle, I look upon it as one of the most bungling tricks I ever saw.”

The mechanical miracles of the moving eyes of the saints’ images could be easily repeated by the manufacturers of our Christmas toys, but they were once powerful aids to Romish superstition. True miracles may, indeed, be the marks of a true Church; but false miracles are the marks of a false Church, especially as fulfilling predictions like this verse.

Fire come down from heaven—Said Pope Pius IX., “I cannot, like St. Peter, launch certain thunders which reduce bodies to ashes; but I can, nevertheless, launch the thunders which reduce souls to ashes.” Lightnings and thunderbolts are the terms under which excommunication is conceived. Gregory VII. pronounced the Emperor Henry IV. to be “struck with lightning,” afflatum fulmine, by his excommunication. Says Ducange, “To fulminate an excommunication is the established phrase of the present day.” So also we are told, in a work on the “Glories of Mary,” that she once descended with torches in her hands and consumed a church building, at which she was offended, with fifteen hundred guilty occupants. See “Medieval Miracles,” p. 138.

 

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-13.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

13. It made fire come down. Tricks and false-miracles to “sell” people the State Religion. Also, since “fire” can symbolize the Holy Spirit, this can refer to what seem to be “outpourings of the Spirit.” The Devil does not mind people being religious, just as long as he can turn them away from God. See Matthew 24:24. To build an image. This is “emperor worship” in all its forms. Compare note on Revelation 2:13. Images [idols, fetishes] were actually made in honor of the Roman Emperor, and worshiped. Whoever refused to bow down to the Emperor’s fetish, or refused to say: “The emperor is Lord,” was killed. But this is symbolic of the new “corporate image” formed by the alliance of religion and government.

 

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 13:13". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-13.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.