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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - REVELATION 13
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    CHAPTER 13

    Re 13:1-18. VISION OF THE BEAST THAT CAME OUT OF THE SEA: THE SECOND BEAST, OUT OF THE EARTH, EXERCISING THE POWER OF THE FIRST BEAST, AND CAUSING THE EARTH TO WORSHIP HIM.

    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 (Da 7:2).
    - 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 Da 7:4-7 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-- (Da 7:3; compare Note, see on Re 8:8); out of the troubled waves of peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. The earth (Re 13:11), 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, Re 12:3) 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," Re 17:12). 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 (Re 17:12), 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 (Re 13:11, &c.), being "the eighth head," and yet "of the seven" (Re 17:11), will temporarily triumph over the saints, until destroyed in Armageddon (Re 19:17-21). 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 seven (Re 17:11).
    - crowns--Greek, "diadems."
    - 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 on Re 17:3). A characteristic of the little horn in Da 7:8, 20, 21; 2Th 2:4.

    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 (Re 12:9). "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 emphatically (Re 13:12, 14); compare Re 17:8, 11, "the beast that was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit" (compare Re 13:11); the Germanic empire, the seventh head (revived in the eighth), as yet future in John's time (Re 17:10). 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 (Da 7:4). 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 Re 5:6. Compare also the second beast's resemblance to the Lamb, Re 13:11). Though seemingly slain (Greek for "wounded"), it remains the beast still, to rise again in another form (Re 13:11). 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 Christianity (Re 11:15, 16), became itself Christianized (answering to the beast's, as it were, deadly wound: it was slain, and it is not, Re 17:11). Its ascent out of the bottomless pit answers to the healing of its deadly wound (Re 17:8). 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 hell (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, Mt 12:43-45. 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 (compare Re 17:11); 2Th 2:3; compare 2Ti 3:1-4, the very characteristics of old heathenism (Ro 1:29-32) [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 (Re 13:11), 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; its authority.
    - Who is like unto the beast?--The very language appropriated to God, Ex 15:11 (whence, in the Hebrew, the Maccabees took their name; the opponents of the Old Testament Antichrist, Antiochus); Ps 35:10; 71:19; 113:5; Mic 7:18; blasphemously (Re 13:1, 5) assigned to the beast. It is a parody of the name "Michael" (compare Re 12:7), 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, "exousia").
    - to continue--Greek, "poiesai," "to act," or "work." B reads, "to make war" (compare Re 13:4). But A, C, Vulgate, Syriac, and ANDREAS omit "war."
    - forty . . . two month--(See on Re 11:2, 3; Re 12:6).

    6. opened . . . mouth--The usual formula in the case of a set speech, or series of speeches. Re 13:6, 7 expand Re 13:5.
    - blasphemy--So B and ANDREAS. A and C read "blasphemies."
    - 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 Re 12:12; Joh 3:7.

    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."
    - whose

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