VISION OF THE
OUT OF THE
OUT OF THE
POWER OF THE
1. I stood--So B, Aleph, and Coptic read. But A,
C, Vulgate, and Syriac, "He stood." Standing on
the sand of the sea, HE gave his power to the beast that
rose out of the sea.
upon the sand of the sea--where the four winds were to be
seen striving upon the great sea
beast--Greek, "wild beast." Man becomes "brutish" when he
severs himself from God, the archetype and true ideal, in whose image
he was first made, which ideal is realized by the man Christ Jesus.
Hence, the world powers seeking their own glory, and not God's, are
represented as beasts; and Nebuchadnezzar, when in
self-deification he forgot that "the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of
men," was driven among the beasts. In
there are four beasts: here the one beast expresses the
sum-total of the God-opposed world power viewed in its universal
development, not restricted to one manifestation alone, as Rome. This
first beast expresses the world power attacking the Church more from
without; the second, which is a revival of, and minister to, the first,
is the world power as the false prophet corrupting and
destroying the Church from within.
out of the sea--
compare Note, see on
out of the troubled waves of peoples, multitudes, nations, and
tongues. The earth
on the other hand, means the consolidated, ordered world of nations,
with its culture and learning.
seven heads and ten horns--A, B, and C transpose, "ten horns and
seven heads." The ten horns are now put first (contrast the order,
because they are crowned. They shall not be so till the last stage of
the fourth kingdom (the Roman), which shall continue until the fifth
kingdom, Christ's, shall supplant it and destroy it utterly; this last
stage is marked by the ten toes of the two feet of the image in
Da 2:33, 41, 42.
The seven implies the world power setting up itself as God, and
caricaturing the seven Spirits of God; yet its true character as
God-opposed is detected by the number ten accompanying the
seven. Dragon and beast both wear crowns, but the former on the heads,
the latter on the horns
(Re 12:3; 13:1).
Therefore, both heads and horns refer to kingdoms; compare
Re 17:7, 10, 12,
"kings" representing the kingdoms whose heads they are. The
seven kings, as peculiarly powerful--the great powers of the
world--are distinguished from the ten, represented by the horns
(simply called "kings,"
In Daniel, the ten mean the last phase of the world power, the
fourth kingdom divided into ten parts. They are connected with
the seventh head
and are as yet future [AUBERLEN]. The mistake of
those who interpret the beast to be Rome exclusively, and the ten
horns to mean kingdoms which have taken the place of Rome in Europe
already, is, the fourth kingdom in the image has TWO legs, representing the eastern as well as the
western empire; the ten toes are not upon the one foot (the west), as
these interpretations require, but on the two (east and west) together,
so that any theory which makes the ten kingdoms belong to the west
alone must err. If the ten kingdoms meant were those which sprung up on
the overthrow of Rome, the ten would be accurately known, whereas
twenty-eight different lists are given by so many interpreters, making
in all sixty-five kingdoms! [TYSO in DE BURGH]. The seven heads are the
seven world monarchies, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome,
the Germanic empire, under the last of which we live [AUBERLEN], and which devolved for a time on Napoleon,
after Francis, emperor of Germany and king of Rome, had 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 power, the Papacy
&c.), being "the eighth head," and yet "of the seven"
will temporarily triumph over the saints, until destroyed in Armageddon
A Napoleon, in this view, will be the Antichrist, restoring the Jews to
Palestine, and accepted as their Messiah at first, and afterwards
fearfully oppressing them. Antichrist, the summing up and concentration
of all the world evil that preceded, is the eighth, but yet one of the
name of blasphemy--So C, Coptic, and
ANDREAS. A, B, and Vulgate read, "names of
blasphemy," namely, a name on each of the heads; blasphemously
arrogating attributes belonging to God alone (compare Note, see
A characteristic of the little horn in
Da 7:8, 20, 21;
2. leopard . . . bear . . . lion--This beast
unites in itself the God-opposed characteristics of the three preceding
kingdoms, resembling respectively the leopard, bear, and
lion. It rises up out of the sea, as Daniel's four
beasts, 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 comprehensively in one figure the world power
(which in Daniel is represented by four) of all times and
places, not merely of one period and one locality, viewed as
opposed to God; just as the woman is the Church of all ages.
This view is favored also by the fact, that the beast is the vicarious
representative of Satan, who similarly has seven heads and
ten horns: a general description of his universal power in all
ages and places of the world. Satan appears as a serpent, as being the
archetype of the beast nature
"If the seven heads meant merely seven Roman emperors, one cannot
understand why they alone should be mentioned in the original image of
Satan, whereas it is perfectly intelligible if we suppose them to
represent Satan's power on earth viewed collectively" [AUBERLEN].
3. One of--literally, "from among."
wounded . . . healed--twice again repeated
(Re 13:12, 14);
Re 17:8, 11,
"the beast that was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the
bottomless pit" (compare
the Germanic empire, the seventh head (revived in the eighth),
as yet future in John's time
Contrast the change whereby Nebuchadnezzar, being humbled from his
self-deifying pride, was converted from his beast-like form and
character to MAN'S form and true position towards
God; symbolized by his eagle wings being plucked, and himself
made to stand upon his feet as a man
Here, on the contrary, the beast's head is not changed into a
human head, but receives a deadly wound, that is, the world
kingdom which this head represents does not truly turn to God, but for
a time its God-opposed character remains paralyzed ("as it were slain";
the very words marking the beast's outward resemblance to the Lamb, "as
it were slain," see on
Compare also the second beast's resemblance to the Lamb,
Though seemingly slain (Greek for "wounded"), it remains
the beast still, to rise again in another form
The first six heads were heathenish, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia,
Greece, Rome; the new seventh world power (the pagan German hordes
pouring down on Christianized Rome), whereby Satan had hoped to stifle
(Re 11:15, 16),
became itself Christianized (answering to the beast's, as it were,
deadly wound: it was slain, and it is not,
Its ascent out of the bottomless pit answers to the healing
of its deadly wound
No essential change is noticed in Daniel as effected by Christianity
upon the fourth kingdom; it remains essentially God-opposed to the
last. The beast, healed of its temporary and external
wound, now returns, not only from the sea, but from the
bottomless pit, whence it draws new Antichristian strength of
(Re 13:3, 11, 12, 14;
Re 11:7; 17:8).
Compare the seven evil spirits taken into the temporarily
dispossessed, and the last state worse than the first,
A new and worse heathenism breaks in upon the Christianized world, more
devilish than the old one of the first heads of the beast. The latter
was an apostasy only from the general revelation of God in nature and
conscience; but this new one is from God's revelation of love in His
Son. It culminates in Antichrist, the man of sin, the son of perdition
the very characteristics of old heathenism
[AUBERLEN]. More than one wound seems to me to be
meant, for example, that under Constantine (when the pagan worship of
the emperor's image gave way to Christianity), followed by the healing,
when image worship and the other papal errors were introduced into the
Church; again, that at the Reformation, followed by the lethargic
form of godliness without the power, and about to end in the
last great apostasy, which I identify with the second beast
Antichrist, the same seventh world power in another form.
wondered after--followed with wondering gaze.
4. which gave--A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, and
ANDREAS read, "because he gave."
power--Greek, "the authority" which it had;
Who is like unto the beast?--The very language appropriated to
(whence, in the Hebrew, the Maccabees took their name; the
opponents of the Old Testament Antichrist, Antiochus);
Ps 35:10; 71:19; 113:5;
(Re 13:1, 5)
assigned to the beast. It is a parody of the name "Michael" (compare
meaning, "Who is like unto God?"
5. blasphemies--So ANDREAS reads. B reads
"blasphemy." A, "blasphemous things" (compare
Da 7:8; 11:25).
power--"authority"; legitimate power (Greek,
to continue--Greek, "poiesai," "to act," or
"work." B reads, "to make war" (compare
But A, C, Vulgate, Syriac, and ANDREAS omit
forty . . . two month--(See on
Re 11:2, 3;
6. opened . . . mouth--The usual formula in the case
of a set speech, or series of speeches.
Re 13:6, 7
blasphemy--So B and ANDREAS. A and C read
and them--So Vulgate, Coptic,
ANDREAS, and PRIMASIUS read.
A and C omit "and": "them that dwell (literally, 'tabernacle') in
heaven," mean not only angels and the departed souls of the righteous,
but believers on earth who have their citizenship in heaven, and whose
true life is hidden from the Antichristian persecutor in the secret
of God's tabernacle. See on
7. power--Greek, "authority."
all kindreds . . . tongues . . .
nations--Greek, "every tribe . . . tongue
. . . nation." A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac,
ANDREAS, and PRIMASIUS add
"and people," after "tribe" or "kindred."
8. all that dwell upon the earth--being of earth earthy; in
contrast to "them that dwell in heaven."