Section 2 — "Things that shall be."

An Exposition of Revelation 4 — 22.

Part 3.

The Trinity of Evil, and the Manifestation of the Wicked One

Commencing Fulfillment of the First Promise [to the Woman's Seed]. (Rev. 11:19 – Rev. 12.) The trumpets, as we have seen, carry us to the end of all. What follows here, therefore, is not in continuation of them, but a new beginning, in which we find the development of details, — of course as to what is of primary importance, and involving principles of the deepest interest and value for us. Through all, the links between the Old Testament and the New are fully maintained, and we have the full light of the double testimony. On our part, we shall need on this account a more patient and protracted examination of that which comes before us.

The last verse of the eleventh chapter belongs properly to the twelfth. It characterizes what is to follow rather than what precedes, and, when we remember that Israel is upon the scene, is of greatest significance. The temple of God is opened in heaven, and there is seen in His temple the ark of His covenant. From the world below it had disappeared, and the temple itself been overthrown, — the testimony of His displeasure with an apostate people. Nor, though the temple were replaced, as after the Babylonish captivity had been the case, could the ark ever be restored by man's hand. It was gone, and with it the token of Jehovah's presence in the midst — a loss evidently irretrievable from man's side. Yet if Israel had no longer thus the assurance of what they were to Him, in heaven all the time, though in secret, the unchangeable goodness of God remained. The ark abode, as it were, with Him, and the time was now come to manifest this: the inner sanctuary of the heavens was opened, and there was the ark still seen.

To us who are accustomed to translate these types into the realities they represent, this is all simple. The ark is Christ, and, as the gold outside the shittim-wood declared, is Christ in glory, gone up after His work accomplished — the work which had provided the precious blood which had sprinkled the mercy-seat. Israel had indeed rejected the lowly Redeemer, and imprecated upon themselves the vengeance due to those who shed it. Yet, though the wrath came, Israel was neither totally nor finally rejected. The blood of Jesus speaketh better things than that of Abel, and is before God the justification of a grace that shall yet be shown them. The literal ark is passed away, as Jeremiah tells us, never to return; but instead of that throne of His of old, a more magnificent grace has declared that Jerusalem itself shall be called "the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart." (Jer. 3:16, 17.)

The ark, then, seen in the temple in heaven is the sign of God's unforgotten grace toward Israel; but the nations are not yet ready to welcome that grace, nor indeed are the people themselves, save a remnant, who on that account pass through the bitterest persecution. To that the chapter following bears decisive testimony, as it does of the interference of God for them. Therefore is it that when the sign of His faithfulness to His covenant is seen in heaven, on the earth there ensue convulsion and a storm of divine wrath: "there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail."

And now a "great sign appears in heaven," a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and in pain to be delivered."

The sign appears in heaven, not because the woman is actually there, but because she is seen according to the mind of God toward her. Who the woman is should be quite plain, as the child she brings forth is He who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. That is Christ, assuredly, and the mother of Christ is not the virgin, as we see clearly by what follows, still less the Church, of which in no sense is Christ born, but Israel, "of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came," says the apostle. (Rom. 9:4.) Thus she is seen clothed with the glory of the sun, — that is, of Christ Himself as He will presently appear (Mal. 4:2) in supreme power, for the sun is the ruler of the day. As a consequence, her glory of old, before the day-dawn, the reflected light of her typical system, is like the moon here under her feet. Upon her head the crown of twelve stars speaks naturally of her twelve tribes, — planets now around the central sun.

The next words carry us back, however, historically, to the time before Christ. She is in travail with Messiah, — a thought hard to realize or understand, except as we realize what the fulfillment of God's promise as to Christ involved in the way of suffering on the part of the nation. To them while under the trial of law, and with the issue (to man's thought, of course,) uncertain, Christ could not be born; the prosperous days of David must go by; the heirs of David be allowed to show out what was in their heart, and be carried to Babylon; humiliation, sorrow, captivity, fail to produce result, until the voice of prophecy even lapses with Malachi; until the long silence, as of death, is broken by the cry at last, "To us a child is born." Here is at least one purpose, as it would seem, of that triple division of the genealogy of the Lord in Matthew, the governmental gospel, in which the first fourteen generations bring one to the culmination of their national prosperity, the second is a period of decline to the captivity, the third a period of resurrection, but which only comes at last, and as in a moment, after the failure of every natural hope. Thus in the government of God Israel must have her travail-time.

But before we see the birth of the man-child, we are called to look at "another sign in heaven," "a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads." These heads and horns we shall presently find upon the fourth beast, or world-empire, but we are not left doubtful as to who the dragon is. Here we find the first in all this part of those interpretations which are given henceforth here and there throughout the book: the dragon is "that ancient serpent which is called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." Thus as the dawn rises upon the battlefield the combatants are discerned. It is Satan who here as the "prince of this world" appears as if incarnate in the last world-empire. "Seven heads" show perfection of world-wisdom; and every one of these heads wears a diadem, or despotic crown. The symbolic meaning of the number does not at all preclude another meaning historically, as Scripture-history is every where itself symbolic, as is nature also. The ten horns measure the actual extent of power, and infer by their number responsibility and judgment.

The serpent of old has thus grown into a dragon — a monster — "fiery red," as the constant persecutor of the people of God, and he draws with his tail the third part of the stars of heaven, and casts them to the earth. The analogy of the action of the little horn in Daniel (8:10), as well as the scope of the prophecy before us, would lead us to think here of Jews, not Christians, and certainly not angels, as to whom the idea of casting them to the earth would seem quite inappropriate. The "tail" implies the false prophet (Isa. 9:15), and therefore it is apostasy among the professing people of God that is indicated. False teaching is eminently characteristic of satanic power at all times, and far more successful than open violence.

"And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she was delivered of a son, a man-child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God, and to His throne."

The power of Satan, working through the heathen empire of Rome, was thus, with better knowledge than Rome had, in armed watch against the woman and her seed. The census mentioned in Luke as to have gone into effect at the time of Christ's birth, and which was actually carried out after the sceptre had wholly departed from Judah, was in effect a tightening of the serpent-coil around his intended victim. Divine power used it to bring a Galilean carpenter and his wife to Bethlehem, and then, as it were without effort, canceled the imperial edict. Only from the nation itself could come the sentence which should, as far as man could do so, destroy it, and that sentence was in Pilate's handwriting upon the cross. But from the cross and the guarded grave the woman's Seed escaped victoriously: "her child was caught up to God, and to His throne."

All is thus far easy of interpretation. In what follows, there is more difficulty, although it admits of satisfactory solution. "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that there they may nourish her a thousand, two hundred, and threescore days."

There Daniel's seventieth week comes in again, and evidently the last half of it. But the prophecy goes on immediately from the ascension of Christ to this time, not noticing a gap of more than eighteen centuries which has already intervened between these periods. How, then, can we explain this omission? and granting it can be explained, what is the connection between these two things that seem, in more than time, so far apart, — the ascension of Christ, and Israel's flight into the wilderness for this half-week of years?

The answer to the first question is to be found in a character of Old Testament prophecy of which already we have had one example, and that in the prophecy of the seventy weeks itself. The last week, although part of a strictly determined time on Israel, is cut off from the sixty-nine preceding by a gap slightly longer than that in the vision before us, the sixty-ninth week reaching only to "Messiah the Prince." (Dan. 9:25.) He is cut off and has nothing: the blessing cannot, therefore, come in for them; instead, there is a time of warfare — a controversy between God and the people which is not measured, and which is not yet come to an end. Of this the seventieth week is the conclusion, while it is also the time of their most thorough apostasy — the time to which we have come in this part of Revelation.

This lapse of prophecy as to Israel is coincident with the Christian dispensation, the period in which God is taking out of the earth (and characteristically out of the Gentile nations,) a heavenly people. True, there are Jews saved still, — "there is," as the apostle says, "at the present time also, a remnant according to the election of grace." But these are no longer partakers of Jewish hopes: blessed be God, they have better ones; but the nation as such in the meanwhile is given up, as Micah distinctly declares to them should be the case, while he also declares to them the reason of this, and the limit which God has appointed to it. His words are one of the clearest of Old Testament prophecies to Christ, so clear that nothing can be clearer, and are those cited by the chief priests and scribes themselves in proof of "where Christ should be born." "They shall smite the Judge of Israel," says the prophet, "with a rod upon the cheek." It is His people who do this, — His own, to whom He came, and they "received Him not." Then he declares the glory of the rejected One; "But thou, Bethlehem-Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me, that is to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:1, 2.) But what will be the result then of His rejection? This is answered immediately: "Therefore will He give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return unto the children of Israel."

The last sentence of this remarkable prophecy is a clear intimation of what we know to be the fact, that in this time of national rejection there would be "brethren" — Jewish evidently — of this Judge of Israel, whose place would not be with Israel; while at the end of the time specified, such converted ones would again find their place in the nation. Meanwhile, Israel being given up, the blessing of the earth which waits upon theirs is suspended also: the shadow rests upon the dial-plate of prophecy; time is as it were uncounted. Christ is gone up on high, and sits upon the Father's throne: the kingdom of heaven is begun, indeed, but only its "mysteries," unknown to the Old Testament, "things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." (Matt. 13:11, 35.)

Here, then, where we return to take up the thread of Old Testament prophecy, it is no wonder if the style of the Old Testament be again found. We have again the gap in time uncounted, the Christian dispensation treated as a parenthesis in God's ways with the earth, and the woman's Seed caught away to God and to His throne. Then follows, without apparent interval, the Jewish flight into the wilderness during the three and a half years of unequaled tribulation.

But this does not answer the second question — that as to the connection between the catching away of the man-child and the woman's flight. For this we must look deeper than the surface, and gather the suggestions which in Scripture every-where abound, and here only more openly than usual demand attention.

That which closes the Christian dispensation we have seen to be what is significantly parallel to that which opens it. In the Acts, the history of the Church is prefaced with the ascension of the Lord: that which will close its history is the removal of His people. This naturally raises the inquiry, If Christ and His people be so one as in the New Testament they are continually represented, may not the man-child here include both, and the gap be bridged over in this way? The promise to the overcomer in Thyatira links them together in what is attributed to the man-child — the ruling the nations with a rod of iron; and the mention of this seems to intimate the time for the assumption of the rod at hand.

This, then, completes the picture and harmonizes it, so that it may be well accepted as the truth; especially as this acceptance only recognizes that which is otherwise known as true, and makes no additional demands upon belief.

The man-child caught up to God and to His throne, the woman flies into the wilderness, into a place prepared of God, where they nourish her for the time of trouble. The woman is the nation as in the sight of God; not all Israel, nor even all the saints in Israel, but those who are ordained of God to continue, and who therefore represent it before Him. The apostate mass are cut off by judgment (Zech. 13:8, 9; Isa. 4:3, 4). The martyred saints go up to heaven. Still God preserves a people to be the nucleus of the millennial nation; and this, of course, it is the special desire of Satan to destroy. They are preserved by the hand of God, though amid trial such as the "wilderness" naturally indicates, and which is designed of God for their purification.

And now there ensues that which in the common belief of Christians had long before taken place, but which in fact is the initial stage of final judgment, — Satan is cast out of heaven.

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, — that old serpent called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

As I have said, the simplest interpretation of this is counter to the common belief of Christendom. Satan has, according to the thought of many, long been in hell, though he is (strangely enough) allowed to leave it and ramble over the earth at will. To these, it is a grotesque, weird and unnatural thought that the devil should have been suffered all this time to remain in heaven. Man has evidently been allowed to remain on earth, but then — beside the fact of death removing his successive generations — toward him there are purposes of mercy in which Satan has no part. The vision-character of Revelation may be objected against it also, so that the simplest interpretation may seem on that very account the widest from the truth. Does not our Lord also say that He saw "Satan fall as lightning from heaven"? (Luke 10:18.) And the apostle, that the angels which sinned, He cast down to hell? (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6.) Such passages would seem with many decisively to affirm the ordinary view.

In fact, it is only the last passages that have any real force; and here another has said, "It seems hardly possible to consider Satan as one of these," — the angels spoken of, — "for they are in chains, and guarded till the great day; he is still permitted to go about as the tempter and the adversary, until his appointed time be come."* As to our Lord's words, they are easily to be understood as in the manner often of prophecy, "I saw," being equivalent to "I foresaw."

{*Principal Barry, in Smith's Dictionary. The question as to the class of angels here referred to, this is hardly the place to entertain.}

On the other hand, that the "spiritual hosts of wickedness" with which now we wrestle are "in heavenly places" is told us plainly in Ephesians 6:12, R.V.; and in the passage in Revelation before us, no less plainly. For the connection of this vision with what is still future we have already seen, and shall see further, and the application to Satan personally ought not to be in doubt. The "dragon" is indeed a symbol; but "the devil and Satan," is the interpretation of it, and certainly not as figurative as the dragon itself.

Scripture implies also in other ways what we have here. When the apostle speaks of our being "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance," he adds that it is to be that "until the redemption of the purchased possession," — that is, until we get the inheritance itself (Eph. 1:14). But we get it then by redemption, not our own, but of the inheritance itself. Our inheritance has therefore to be redeemed, and this redemption takes place manifestly when the heirs as a whole are ready for it. Now redemption, it is plain, in this case, like the redemption of the body, is a redemption by power, — God laying hold of it to set it free in some sense from a condition of alienation from Himself, and to give his people possession. And if the man. child include "those who are Christ's at His coming," then the purging of the heavenly places by the casting of Satan and his angels out is just the redemption of the heavenly inheritance.

Elsewhere we read, accordingly, of the reconciliation of heavenly as of earthly things (Col. 1:20). And this is a phrase which, like the former, implies alienation previously. And here it is on the ground of the cross: "having made peace through the blood of the cross." In Hebrews, again, as "it was necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens" — as in the tabernacle — "should be purified with" sacrificial blood, so must "the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these." (Heb. 9:23.) The work of Christ having glorified God as to the sin which has defiled not the earth only but the heavens, He can come in to deliver and bring back to Himself what is to be made the inheritance of Christ and His "joint-heirs."

All is, then, of a piece with what is the only natural meaning of this war in heaven. The question of good and evil, every-where one, receives its answer for heaven as for earth, first, in the work of Christ, which glorifies God as to all, and then, as the fruit of this, in the recovery of what was alienated from Him, the enemies of this glorious work being put under Christ's feet. This now begins to be, though even yet in a way which to us may seem strange: strange to us it seems to hear of war in heaven, — of arrayed hosts on either side, — of resistance though unsuccessful, the struggle being left as it would seem to creature-prowess, God not directly interfering: "Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not."

After all, is it stranger that this should be in heaven than on the earth? Are not God's ways one? And is not all the long-protracted struggle allowed purposely to work out to the end thus, the superior power being left to show itself as the power resident in the good itself, as in that which is the key of the whole problem, the cross of the Son of Man? If God Himself enter the contest, He adapts Himself to the creature-conditions, and comes in on the lowest level, — not an angel even, but a man.

Let us look again at the combatants: on the one side is Michael — "Who is like God?" — a beautiful name for the leader in such a struggle! On the opposite side is he who first said to the woman, "Ye shall be as God;" and whose pride was his own condemnation (1 Tim. 3:6). How clearly the moral principle of the contest is here defined! Keep but the creature's place, you are safe, happy, holy; the enemy shall not prevail against you: leave it, you are lost. The "dragon" — from a root which speaks of "keen sight" — typifies what seems perhaps a preternatural brilliancy of intellect, serpent-cunning, the full development of such "wisdom" as that with which he tempted Eve, but none of that which begins with the fear of God. He is therefore, like all that are developed merely upon one side, a monster. This want of conscience is shown in his being the devil — the "false accuser;" his heart is made known in his being Satan — the adversary.

These are the types of those that follow them; and Michael is always the warrior-angel, characterized as he is by his name, as Gabriel — "man of God" — is the messenger of God to men. If God draw near to men, it is in the tender familiarity of manhood that He does so. How plainly do these names speak to us!

In the time of distress that follows upon earth, Daniel is told that "Michael shall stand up, the great prince that standeth for the children of thy people; . . . and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." Here in Revelation we have the heavenly side of things, and still it is Michael that stands up as the deliverer. The tactics of divine warfare are not various, but simple and uniform. Truth is simple and one; error manifold and intricate. The spiritual hosts fight under faith's one standard, and it is the banner of. Michael, "Who is like God?" Under its folds is certain victory.

The dragon is cast out: the war in that respect is over; heaven is free. But he is not yet cast into hell, nor even into the bottomless pit, but to the earth; and thus the earth's great trouble-time ensues. Satan comes down with great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time. How terrible a thing is sin! How amazing that a full, clear view of what is before him should only inspire this fallen being with fresh energy of hate to that which must all recoil upon himself, and add intensity of torment to eternal doom! Even so is every act of sin as it were a suicide; and he who committeth it is the slave of sin (John 8:34).

A great voice in heaven celebrates the triumph there. "Now is come the salvation and power and kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night." The salvation spoken of here is not, apparently, as some think, the salvation of the body; for it is explained directly as deliverance of some who are called "our brethren" from the accusation of Satan. The voice seems, therefore, that of the glorified saints, and the "brethren" of whom they speak, the saints on earth, who had indeed by individual faithfulness overcome in the past those accusations which are now forever ended. Satan's anti-priestly power, as another has remarked, is at an end.

Yet he may, and does, after this, exercise imperial power, and stir up the most violent persecution of the people of God, and these still may be called not to love their lives unto death. It is not here, then, that his power ceases: they have conflict still, but not with "principalities and powers in heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12.) Heaven is quiet and calm above them, if around is still the noise of the battle. And how great is the mercy that thus provides for them during those three and a half years of unequaled tribulation still to come! Is not this worthy of God that, just at the time when Satan's rage is greatest, and arming the world-power against His people, the sanctuary of the soul is never invaded by him: the fiery darts of the wicked one cease; he is no more "prince of the power of the air," but restricted to the earth simply, to work through the passions of men, which he can inflame against them.

Accordingly to this he gives himself with double energy: "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man-child." But God interferes: "And there were given unto the woman the two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the face of the serpent."

The words recall plainly the deliverance from Egypt. Pharaoh king of Egypt is called thus by the prophet, "the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers," (Ezek. 29:3,) and is himself the concentration of the malice of the world-power; while God says to delivered Israel at Sinai, "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians; and how I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you to Myself." (Ex. 19:4.) The reference here seems definitely to this: it is not, as in the common version, "a" great eagle, indefinitely, but "the" great eagle, — the griffon, perhaps, than which no bird has a more powerful or masterly flight. Clearly it is divine power that is referred to in these words: in the deliverance out of Egypt there was jealous exclusion of all power beside. Israel was to be taught the grace and might of a Saviour-God. And so in the end again it will be when He repeats, only in a grander way, the marvels of that old deliverance, and "allures" the heart of the nation to Himself.

Miracle may well come in again for them, and it may be that the wilderness literally will once more provide shelter and nourishment for them. Figure and fact may here agree together, and so it often is; the terms even seem to imply the literal desert here, just because it is evidently a place of shelter that divine love provides, and sustenance there; and what more natural than that the desert, by which the land of Israel is half encompassed, should be used for this?

That which follows seems to be imagery borrowed from the desert also. Like the streams of Antilibanus, many a river is swallowed up in the sand, as that is which is now poured out of the dragon's mouth. If it be an army that is pictured, the wilderness 'is no less capable of the absorption of a nation's strength. The river being cast out of his mouth would seem to show that it is by the power of his persuasion that men are incited to this overflow of enmity against the people of God, which is so completely foiled that the baffled adversary gives up further effort in this direction, and the objects of his pursuit are after this left absolutely unassailed.

But those who so escape, while thus securing the existence of the nation — and therefore identified with the woman herself, — are not the whole number of those who in it are converted to God; and "the remnant of her seed" become now the object of his furious assault. These are indeed those, as it would seem, with whom is the testimony of Jesus, which is, we are assured, "the spirit of prophecy." (Rev. 19:10.) These are they, perhaps, who amid these times of trouble go forth, as from age to age the energy of the Spirit has incited men to go forth, taking their lives in their hand that they might bring the word of God before His creatures, and who have been ever of necessity the special objects of satanic enmity. They are the new generation of those who as men of God have stood forth prominently for God upon the earth, and have taken from men on the one hand their reward in persecution, but from God on the other the sweet counterbalancing acknowledgment. It is of such the Lord says, "Blessed are ye when they shall reproach and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you." (Matt. 5:11, 12.)

Noticeable it is that it is in heaven still this new race of prophets find their reward. The two witnesses whom we have seen ascend to heaven in a cloud belong to this number; and those who in Daniel as turning many to righteousness, shine as the stars for ever and ever (Dan. 12:3). Earth casts them out, and they are seen in our Lord's prophecy as brethren of the King, hungering and athirst, in strangership, naked and sick and in prison (Matt. 25:35, 36, 40). Heaven receives them in delight as those of whom the earth was not worthy, — a gleaning after harvest, as it were, of wheat for God's granary, — a last sheaf of the resurrection of the saints, which the twentieth chapter of the book before us sees added to the sitters upon the thrones, among the "blessed and holy" now complete. How well are they cared for who might seem left unsheltered to Satan's enmity! They have lost the earthly blessing,, they have gained the heavenly; their light has been quenched for a time, to shine in a higher sphere forever. Blessed be God!

We may follow, then, the new development of satanic enmity without fear. We shall gain from considering it. Their enemy and ours is one and the same: it is Satan, the old serpent, the ancient homicide, and we must not be "ignorant of his devices." His destiny is to be overcome, and that by the feeblest saint against whom he seems for the present to succeed so easily.

The Resurrection of the Fourth Empire (Rev. 13:1-10.)

Satan being now in full activity of opposition to the woman and her seed, we are carried on to see his further efforts to destroy them. Working, as from the beginning, through instruments in which he conceals himself, we find ourselves now face to face with his great instrument in the last days; in which too we recognize one long before spoken of in the prophets, especially by him to whom in the book of Revelation we have such frequent reference — the apocalyptic prophet of the Old Testament.

It is indeed the fourth beast of Daniel without dispute to which the word of inspiration now directs our attention. "I saw," says the apostle, "a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads the names of blasphemy."

The four beasts of Daniel's vision answer, as every one knows, to the one human figure seen by the king of Babylon. In his eyes there is in it at least the likeness of man, although there is no breath, no life. To the prophet afterward the world-empires appear on the other hand full of life, but it is bestial. One of the chapters between supplies the link between the two: for Nebuchadnezzar is himself driven out among the beasts, as we see in the fourth chapter, for a disciplinary punishment until he knows "that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men." In a pride which has forgotten God, he has become but a beast which knows none. He is therefore driven out among the beasts until seven times pass over him. The prophet sees thus the powers of the world to be but beasts — "wild beasts" indeed, as here.

As the fourth beast, moreover, the successor and heir to those that have been before it, the last empire not only shows still this bestial nature. It combines in itself the various characters of the first three. It is in general form like the leopard or Greek empire, agile and swift in its attack as the leopard is known to be. But it has the feet of the bear, the Persian tenacity of grasp, and the mouth of the lion, the Babylonian ferocity. Beast it is clearly, yet not in simple ignorance of God as the beast is: its seven heads are seen to have on each of them a name of blasphemy.

In its ten horns it differs from all before it; and these, we are explicitly told, (Rev. 17:17) are "ten kings" which "give their power unto the beast." In the vision now we find these kings actually crowned. They are in existence when the beast rises from the sea, that is, from the commencement of the empire in some sense — not of old Rome, that is certain, for old Rome never commenced in such a manner. It must then be Rome as new-risen among the nations in the latter days.

The later chapter, to which we have just now referred, speaks plainly of a time when the beast that was "is not;" and for centuries, we are well aware, the empire has not existed. But the same prophecy assures us that it is to be again; and in the vision before us we find it accordingly risen up, as of old time, from the sea, — that is to say, the restless strife of the nations. As we have seen, however, that is not the only way in which it is seen to rise again: for in the history of the witnesses it has been spoken of as "ascending up out of the bottomless pit," and this is repeated in the seventeenth chapter, "the beast . . . shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition." Are these two ascents, then? or only one, looked at from two sides?

Again of its heads, one is said in the present chapter to be "wounded to death," but "its deadly wound was healed;" and afterward the beast is spoken of as having had the "wound by a sword" and living (v. 14). Are these still various ways of expressing the same thing, or not? and is there any way of deciding this?

Certainly, the long collapse of centuries during which the beast "was not" could hardly seem to be described as its having a wound and living, or as a deadly wound which could be healed. Let us look more closely at the prophecy, or rather at the different prophecies about this, and see what may be gathered.

In Daniel we have no mention of the time of nonexistence, or of a plurality of heads upon the beast, but the ten horns show us that the empire is there before us also as it exists in the latter days; as it is plain also that it is in this form that the judgment there described comes upon it. But the prophet considering these ten horns, sees, rising up after them, another little horn in which are developed those blasphemous characters which bring down, its final judgment upon the beast. It speaks great words against the Most High, and wears out the saints of the Most High, and thinks to change times and laws; and these are given into its hands until a time and times and the dividing of a time, — that is, for the last half week of Daniel's seventy, just before the Lord comes and the judgment falls.

Now this last horn rises up after the first ten are in existence, and therefore the empire in its latter-day form; and if this little horn be that whose "dominion" brings judgment upon the beast, then it would seem that the eleventh horn and the eighth head of Revelation must be the same.

The seven heads are not in Daniel, nor is the eleventh horn in Revelation. But we may learn in both of these details by means of which we can compare them. Thus, as to the heads, five had fallen when the angel spoke to John (Rev. 17:10): one existed, the imperial; another was to come and last but a short time, and then would be the eighth, or the beast in its final form, identified with its head here, as morally at least with the little horn in Daniel.

We have anticipated somewhat, and seem obliged for our purpose to anticipate, what is given us only in the seventeenth chapter, before the history of these latter days becomes in measure clear to us. Let us seek first to get hold of the point of time which the interpretation contemplates as present. When the angel says to John, "The woman which thou sawest is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth," we know that at the time of the revelation there was one city, and but one, to which his words could apply. It was Rome that ruled over the kings of the earth, even as Rome fills out his description also in another respect, being notoriously the seven-hilled city. That Rome is in fact the city spoken of, is, spite of the effort of a few to find another application, the verdict of the mass of commentators of all times, and this interpretation of the woman seems given by the angel as what would need no further explanation.

The ten horns, on the other hand, he states to be future: "the ten horns are ten kings which have received no kingdom as yet." Here we see that the point of view is still that of the apostle himself. And when it is said of the heads, "five are fallen, and one is," Livy, as is well-known, has given the five different forms of government under which Rome had been before that sixth, the imperial, which existed in the apostle's day. The point of view seems here quite plain.

On the other hand, "the beast that was and is not" may seem to be opposed to this. But if that could not be said in the apostle's day, that the beast was not, it could be as little said of the day of the fulfillment of the vision. Thus, "was, is not, and shall be," merely pictorially presents the history of the beast, and does not at all give us the stand-point, as the other expressions do.

It is a curious coincidence, that if in Daniel's vision of the four beasts we connect the four heads of the leopard with the other three of the remaining ones, we have just seven, and it has been argued that these are, in fact, the seven heads upon the beast in Revelation; but then six should have fallen, and not five, when the angel spoke. The sixth also would be the last Grecian head, and the Roman would be future. That the heads are successive is quite plain, and there seems no room for any other application than that of the sixth head to the emperor of Rome.

The seventh would follow at an uncertain period in the future, and the application here has been various — to the exarchate of Ravenna, to Charlemagne, to Napoleon. It is not needful to enter into any elaborate disproof of these, as that putting together of prophecy, of the necessity of which the apostle warns us, will show sufficiently how inadmissible they are.

"The beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven," says the angel "one of the seven," Bleek with others takes it to mean; "sprung-from the seven," says Alford. But the last, if we are to interpret the sixth as we have done, can scarcely be maintained. If we are to say, "one of the seven," then we may tentatively suppose it to be the seventh revived; and put in this way, other passages would seem to throw light upon it.

The seventh head was to continue but a little while; and one of the heads — it is not stated which — was to be wounded to death and live, as we have seen. It is on this account that the world wonders after the beast, and this is clearly at the end: so that it is either the eighth head itself that is wounded and revives, or else it is the eighth head which is the seventh revived, as we have just supposed. This thought unites then and makes plain the different passages.

The beast (under this eighth head) "practices" forty and two months, the last half week of Daniel's seventy. Yet the "prince that shall come" makes his covenant with the Jews for the whole last week, in the midst of which he breaks it (Dan. 9:27). Does not this show that not only are the seventh and eighth heads as heads identical, but individually also? and does it not confirm very strongly as truth what at first appeared only to be supposition?

In this manner Daniel's prophecy of the little horn would seem to describe his second rise to power, after having fallen from being the seventh head of the beast to a rank below that of the ten kings. From this, partly by force, partly by concession, gained no doubt by the aid of him who discerns in the fallen ruler a fitting instrument for his devilish ends, he rises to his former preeminence over them all, filled with the animosity against God with which the dragon, "prince of this world," has inspired him, and the world wondering and ready to worship.

Thus the picture seems complete and the outline harmonious in all its details. It agrees well with what has been before suggested — the rise of the seventh head under the first seal, its collapse under the fourth trumpet, its revival through satanic influence under the sixth. Its judgment takes place under the seventh, but the details of this are unfolded in the latter part of Revelation. We see that the conspiracy of the second psalm, of the kings and rulers "against the Lord and His Anointed," is by no means over. Nay, the Gentile power that wrote defiantly His title on His cross is risen up again, and with even more than its old defiance. The long-suffering of the Lord has not been to it salvation. The exhortation, "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way," has not been heeded. Rome still vindicates its title to its position as the head of a hostile world. "I gave her space to repent, and she will not repent," is as true of her in her civil as in her ecclesiastical character.

The revival of the last empire is Satan's mockery of resurrection; yet God is over it and in it, commanding her from her tomb for judgment. And with her, other buried nations are to revive and come forth to the light. Greece has thus revived. Italy has revived. Israel, as we well know, is reviving, and for her also there is not unmingled blessing, but solemn and terrible judgment that will leave but a remnant for the final promise surely to be fulfilled. Israel were foremost in the rejection of their Lord, when first He came to His own, and His own received Him not. It was they who used Gentile hands to execute the sentence which they lacked power to carry out. And it is strange indeed to find, in these awful last days of blasphemy and rebellion, the Jew still inspiring the Gentile in the last outburst of infidel pride and lawlessness: the second beast in the chapter before us is at once Jewish, and by its lamb-like appearance and its dragon-voice, antichristian.

And this is that to which, unwarned by the sure word of prophecy, men are hurrying on. The swiftness of the current that is carrying them, owned as it is by all, is for them "progress," while it is but the power felt of the nearing cataract. "When they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape!" So said the lips that uttered that lament over Jerusalem, which with added force may speak to us today, "How often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wing; and YE would not!"

Antichrist. (Rev. 13:11-18.)

Along with the resurrection of the imperial power, we are now shown in the vision the uprise of another "wild beast," which we have nowhere else brought before us in this character. We shall have, therefore, more attentively to consider the description given, and what means we have for identification of the power or person who is described, so that the prophecy may be brought out of the isolation which would make it incapable of interpretation, and may speak at least with its full weight of moral instruction for our souls.

The one seen is "another wild beast," and this character is clear enough. The empires of Daniel are "beasts," in that they know not God; the thought of the wild beast adds to this that savage cruelty, which will, of course, display itself against those who are God's. Inasmuch as the other beasts are powers — empires, — it would seem as if here too were a power, royal or imperial; but this would not be certain, unless confirmed by other intimations.

It is seen rising up out of the earth, and not out of the sea. The latter symbol evidently applies to the nations, — the Gentiles; does not then this power rise out of the nations? It has been thought to mean a settled state of things into which the nations now had got, — a state of things unlikely at the period we are considering, and which would seem rather imageable as quiet water, than as "earth." Looking back to that first chapter of Genesis, in which we should surely get the essential meaning of these figures, and where typically the six days reveal the story of the dispensations on to the final Sabbath-rest of God, we shall find the earth, in its separation from the waters on the third day, speaking of Israel as separated from the Gentiles.* If this be true interpretation, as I doubt not, it is an Israelitish power with which we are here brought face to face. Political events today look to a Jewish resurrection, as something in the near future scarcely problematical. Daniel's words (Dan. 12:1) which apply to this, make it sure that this will not be all of God, but that "some" will rise "to shame and everlasting contempt." Prophecies that we have already to some extent considered, intimate that Jewish unbelief is yet to unite with an apostasy of Christendom, and culminate in a "man of sin, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (2 Thess. 2:3, 4.) Thus we may be prepared to find here a blasphemous persecuting power rising up in the restored nation. And this may help us to the awful significance of what follows in Revelation — "and he had two horns like a lamb, and spake as a dragon."

{*See "Genesis in the light of the New Testament," or "The Numerical Bible."}

"Two horns like a lamb:" the "Lamb" is a title so significant in the present book, — nay, of such controlling significance, that any reference to it must be considered of corresponding importance. The two horns, then, are of course an intimation that the power exercised by the one before us — for the "horn" is a well-known symbol of power — is twofold, in some sense like that of a lamb: how then? What is the twofold character of the power here? It seems as if there could be but one meaning: Christ's power is twofold, as manifested in the day that comes; He is a priest upon the throne," — a royal Priest, with spiritual authority as well as kingly. This the blasphemous usurper before us will assume; and this manifests him, without possibility of mistake that one can see, as ANTICHRIST.

He is betrayed by His voice: his speech is that of a dragon; he is inspired, in fact, by Satan. There is no sweet and gracious message upon His lips. It is not He who has been man's burden-bearer, and the sinner's Saviour. No gentleness and meekness, but the tyranny of the destroyer; no heavenly wisdom, but Satan's craft, utters itself through him. Arrogant as he is, he is the miserable tool of man's worst enemy, and his own.

"And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast in his presence." He is the representative of the newly constituted empire of the west, not locally merely, but throughout it; and thus, as standing for another, he is still the awful mockery of Him who is on the throne of the world, the Father's representative. This is developed by the next words to its full extent: "and he causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed; and he doeth great signs, so that he maketh fire to descend from heaven upon the earth before men." Here the very miracle which Elijah once had wrought to turn back the hearts of apostate Israel to the true God he is permitted to do to turn men to a false one. Men are given up to be deceived: God is sending them (as it is declared in Thessalonians) "strong delusion, that they may believe the lie . . . because they received not the love of the truth." The Word of God, announcing this beforehand, would, of course, be the perfect safeguard of those that trusted it; and this very miracle as it would appear, would be a sign to the elect, not of Christ, but of Antichrist. But to the men that dwell upon the earth, a moral characteristic distinguishing those who as apostate from Christianity have given up all their hope of heaven, and who are all through this part specially pointed out, heaven itself would seem to seal the pretensions of the deceiver. "And he deceiveth the dwellers upon the earth, by means of the signs which it was given him to do in the presence of the beast, saying to the dwellers upon earth, that they should make an image to the beast who had the wound by the sword and lived. And it was given him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause those that would not worship the image of the beast to be slain."

Is an actual image of the beast intended here? or is it some representative of imperial authority, such as the historical interpreters in general (though in various ways) have made it out to be? Against the latter thought there is in itself no objection, but rather the reverse, the book being so symbolical throughout. But it is the second beast itself that is the representative of the authority of the first beast; and on the other hand an apparent creation-miracle would not be unlikely to be attempted by one claiming to be divine. Notice, that it is not "life" he gives to it, as in the common version, nor "spirit," though the word may be translated so, but "breath," which as the alternative rendering is plainly the right one, supposing it be a literal image.

Our Lord's words as to the "abomination of desolation standing in the holy place" (Matt. 24:15), are in evident connection with this, and confirm this thought. "Abomination" is the regular word in the Old Testament, to express what idolatry is in the sight of God; but here it is established in what was but awhile before professedly His temple. For until the middle of Daniel's seventieth week, from the beginning of it, sacrifice and oblation have been going on among the returned people in Jerusalem. This was under the shelter of the covenant with that Gentile "prince" of whom the prophet speaks as the "coming one." At first, he is clearly therefore not inspired with the malignity toward God which he afterwards displays. Now, energized by Satan, from whom he holds his throne, and incited by the dread power that holds Jerusalem itself, he makes his attack upon Jehovah's throne itself, and as represented by this image, takes his place in defiance in the sanctuary of the Most High.

The connection of this prophecy with those in Daniel and in Matthew makes plain the reason of the image being made and worshiped. The head of the Roman earth, and of this last and worst idolatry, is not in Judea, but at Rome; and he who is in Judea, of whatever marvelous power possessed, is yet only the delegate of the Roman head. Thus the image is made to represent this supreme power, and the worship paid to it is in perfect accordance with this. Here in Judea, where alone now there is any open pretension to worship the true God, — here there is call for the most decisive measures. And thus the death-penalty proclaimed for those who do not worship. Jerusalem is the centre of the battle-field, and here the opposition must be smitten down. "And he causeth all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and bond, that they should give them a mark upon their right hand and upon their forehead, and that no one should be able to buy or sell except he have the mark, the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

Thus, then, is that "great tribulation" begun of which the Lord spoke in His prophecy in view of the temple. We can understand that the only hope while this evil is permitted to have its course is, that flight to the mountains which He enjoins on those who listen to His voice. Israel have refused that sheltering wing under which He would have so often gathered them, and they must be left to the awful "wing of abominations" (Dan. 9:27, Heb.) on account of which presently the "desolator" from the north swoops down upon the land. Still His pity whom they have forsaken has decreed a limit, and "for His elect's sake, whom He hath chosen, He hath shortened the days."

Why is it that breath is given to the image? Is it in defiance of the prophet's challenge of the "dumb idols," which "speak not through their mouth"? Certainly to make an image speak in such a place against the Holy One would seem the climax of apostate insolence. But it only shows that the end is indeed near.

What can be said of the "number of the beast"? The words, "Here is wisdom: let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast," seem directly to refer to those whom Daniel calls "the wise," or "they that understand among the people," of whom it is said, concerning the words of the vision "closed up and sealed till the time of the end," that "none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." The "wise," or "they that understand," are in Hebrew the same word — the maskilim, and remind us again of certain psalms that are called maskil psalms, an important series of psalms in this connection, four of which (Ps. 52 – 55) describe the wicked one of this time and his following; while the thirty-second speaks of forgiveness and a hiding-place in God, the forty-second comforts those cast out from the sanctuary, and the forty-fifth celebrates the victory of Christ, and His reign, and the submission of the nations. Again, the seventy-fourth pleads for the violated sanctuary; the seventy-eighth recites the many wanderings of the people from their God; the seventy-ninth is another mourning over the desolation of Jerusalem; the eighty-eighth bewails their condition under a broken law; and the eighty-ninth declares the "sure mercies of David. The hundred and forty-second is the only other maskil psalm.

Moll may well dispute Hengstenberg's assertion that these psalms are special instruction for the Church. On the other hand, the mere recital of them in this way may convince us how they furnish the very key-note to Israel's condition in the time of the end, and may well be used to give such instruction to the remnant amid the awful scenes of the great tribulation. In Revelation, it will not be doubtful, I think, to those who will attentively consider it, that we have in this place a nota bene for the maskilim.

Can we say nothing, then, as to the number of the beast?

As to the individual application, certainly, I think, nothing. We cannot prophesy; and until the time comes, the vision in this respect is "sealed up." The historical interpreters, for whom indeed there should be no seal, if their interpretation be the whole of it, generally agree upon Lateinos (the Latin), which has, however, an e too much, and therefore would make but 661. Other words have been suggested, but it is needless to speak of them: the day will declare it.

Yet it does not follow but that there may be something for us in the number of significance spiritually. The 6 thrice repeated, while it speaks of labor and not rest, — of abortive effort after the divine 7, declares the evil in its highest to be limited and in God's hand. This number is but, after all, we are told, "the number of a man;" and what is man? He may multiply responsibility and judgment; but the Sabbath is God's rest, and sanctified to Him: without God, he can have no Sabbath. This 6, 6, 6, is the number of a man who is but a beast, and doomed.

With this picture in Revelation, we are to connect the prophecies of Antichrist which we have elsewhere in the New Testament, and which we have briefly considered. The apostle John has shown us distinctly that he will deny the Father and the Son, — the faith of Christianity, — and (not that there is a Christ, but) that Jesus is the Christ. He is thus distinctly identified with the unbelief of Israel, as he is impliedly an apostate from the Christian faith, in which character the apostle plainly speaks of him to the Thessalonians. He is a second Judas, "the son of perdition," the ripe fruit of that "falling away" which was to come before the day of the Lord came, — itself the outcome of that "mystery of of iniquity" (or "lawlessness") then at work. He is the "wicked," or "lawless one," — not the sinful woman, the harlot of Revelation, but the "man of sin."

Every word here claims from us the closest attention. The sinful woman is still professedly subject to the man, antichristian, because in fact putting herself in Christ's place, claiming a power that is His alone. Nevertheless, she claims it in His name, not in her own. The pope assumes not to be Christ, but the vicar of Christ. The real "man of sin" throws off this womanly subjection. He is no vicar of Christ, but denies that Jesus is the Christ. He sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Yet, even as Christ owns, and brings men to worship, the Father, so Antichrist brings men to worship another, as Revelation has shown us. There is a terrible consistency about these separate predictions, which thus confirm and supplement one another.

We see clearly now that the temple in which he sits is not the Christian church, but the Jewish temple, and how he is linked with the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel and by the Lord, an abomination, which brings in the time of trouble lasting till the Son of Man comes in the clouds of heaven as Saviour of Israel and of the world.

The abomination is mentioned three times in Daniel, the only place that is equivocal in its application to the last days being that of the eleventh chapter (v. 31). The connection would refer it there to Antiochus Epiphanes, the Grecian oppressor of Israel, who, near the middle of the second century before Christ, profaned the temple with idolatrous sacrifices and impure rites. It is agreed by commentators in general that the whole of the previous part of the chapter details in a wonderful manner the strife of the Syrian and Egyptian kings, in the centre of which Judea lay. From this point on, however, interpreters differ widely. The attempt to apply the rest of the prophecy to Antiochus has been shown by Keil and others to be an utter failure. The time of trouble such as never was yet which ends with the deliverance of the people (Rev. 12:1) corresponds exactly with that which is spoken of in the Lord's prophecy on the mount of Olives; and the "time, times, and a half" named in connection with the abomination of desolation, and which the book of Revelation again and again brings before us, are alone sufficient to assure us that we have here reached a period future to us today. The connection of all this becomes a matter of deepest interest.

That the whole present period of the Christian dispensation should be passed over in Old Testament prophecy is indeed not a new thing to us; and the knowledge of this makes the leap of so many centuries not incredible. If, however, the "time, times, and a half," or twelve hundred and sixty days, from the setting up of the abomination, contemplate that abomination set up by Antiochus, more than a century and a half before Christ, then the reckoning of this time is an utter perplexity. Yet, what other can be contemplated, when in all this prophecy there is none other referred to? To go back to Rev. 8 or 9 to find such a reference, overlooking what is before our eyes, would seem out of question. What other solution of the matter is possible?

Now we must remember that the book is shut up and sealed until the "time of the end," — a term which has a recognized meaning in prophecy, and cannot apply to the times of Antiochus, or to those of the Maccabees which followed them. It assures us once more that the prophecy reaches on to the days of Matt. 24; and that the abomination of desolation there must be the abomination here. Yet how can it be? Only, surely, in one way: if the application to Antiochus, while true, be only the partial and incipient fulfillment of that which looks on to the last days for its exhaustive one, then indeed all is reconciled, and the difficulty has disappeared. This, therefore, must be the real solution.

What we have here is only one example of that double fulfillment which many interpreters have long since found in Scripture prophecies, and of which the book of Revelation is the fullest and the most extended. There may be a question here as to how far the double fulfillment in in this case reaches back. With this we have not to do, for we are not primarily occupied with Daniel. It is sufficient for our purpose, if we are entitled to take the abomination of desolation here (as it certainly appears that we are bound to take it,) as in both places the same, and identical with that which we find in the New Testament.

Going on in the eleventh chapter, then, to the thirty-sixth verse, we find the picture of one who may well be the same as the second "beast" of Revelation. If at the first look it might appear so, a further consideration, it is believed, will confirm the thought of this. We must quote the description in full.

"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished, for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the Desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honor the god of forces; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain." (Dan. 11:36-39.)

If we take the prophecy as closely connected, at least from the thirty-first verse, — and we have seen that there seems a necessity for this, — then this king is described in his conduct after the abomination of desolation has been set up in the temple; and this strange, and it might seem contradictory character that is ascribed to him, would seem to mark him out sufficiently, that he sets himself up above every god, and yet has a god of his own. This is exactly what is true of the antichristian second beast: and there can scarcely be another at such a time, of whom it can be true. But let us look more closely.

First, he is a king; and the place of his rule is clearly, by the connection, in the land of Israel. Thus he fills the identical position of the second beast. Then he does according to his own will, is his own law — "lawless," as in Thessalonians. His self-exaltation above every god naturally connects itself with blasphemy against the God of gods, spite of which he prospers till the indignation is accomplished, — that is, the term of God's wrath against Israel, a determinate, decreed time. This is the secret of his being allowed to prosper, that God wills to use him as a rod of discipline for His people. Israel's sins give power to their adversaries.

The next verse intimates that he is a Jew himself, an apostate one, for he regards not the God of his fathers. It is not natural to apply this to any other than the true God, and then his ancestry is plain. Then too the "desire of women," put as here among the objects of worship, is the Messiah, promised as the "woman's seed." Thus his character comes still more clearly out.

Yet, though thus exalting himself, he has a god of his own, the "god of forces," or "fortresses." And we have seen the second beast's object of worship is the first beast; a political idol, sought for the strength it gives, a worship compounded of fear and greed. Thus it is indeed a god whom his fathers knew not, none of the old gods of which the world has been so full, although the dark and dreadful power behind it is the same: the face is changed, but not the heart.

Indeed strongholds are his trust, and he practices against them with the help of this strange god: this seems the meaning of the sentence that follows. "And whosoever acknowledges him he will increase with glory, and cause him to rule over the multitude, and divide the land for gain."

In all this we find what agrees perfectly with what is elsewhere stated of the "man of sin." There are no doubt difficulties in interpreting this part of Daniel consistently all through, especially in the connection of the "king" here spoken of with the setting up of the abomination in the thirty-first verse. For it is the king of the north who there seems to inspire this; and the king of the north is throughout the chapter the Grecian king of Syria, and the part he plays is clearly that which Antiochus did play. From this it is very natural that it should be conceived (as by some it is) that the king of the north and Antichrist are one. If this were so, it would not alter any thing that has been said as to the application of the prophecy, although there might be a difficulty as to a Grecian prince becoming a Jewish false Christ.

But there is no need for this; nor any reason that I am aware why the perpetration of the awful wickedness in connection with Jehovah's sanctuary should not be the work of more than even the two beasts of Revelation. It is certainly striking that in chap. 8, where the rise of this latter-day Grecian power is depicted, the taking away of the daily sacrifice is linked in some way with his magnifying himself against the Prince of the host (Dan. 8:11). It may not be positively asserted that it is done by him, (as most translators and interpreters however give it,) yet the connection is so natural, one might almost say, inevitable, that, had we this passage alone, all would take it so. How much more would one think so when the eleventh chapter seems so entirely to confirm this?

Let it be remembered that Greece was one of the provinces of the Roman empire, and as such would seem to be subject to it upon its revival, whether or not the bond with it be broken before the end. Why not a combination of powers and motives in the commission of this last blasphemous crime, even as in the cross Jew and Gentile were linked together?

The instrument is no doubt the antichristian power in Judea, but the Grecian power may none the less have its full part, and both of these be in subordination to the head of the western empire.