Dr. Mosheim, in the commencement of his second chapter upon the fifth century, observes "that the Goths, the Heruli, the Franks, the Huns, and the Vandals, with other fierce and warlike nations, for the most part strangers to Christianity, had invaded the Roman empire, and rent it asunder in the most deplorable manner. (14-17). The church, under the emblem of a woman, the mother of believers, was seen by the apostle in vision, in heaven. A description of the church of Christ and of Satan, under the figures of a woman and of a great red dragon. See on Revelation 12:15 (note). Thus the heathen Imperial government is doubly represented, first, by one of the seven draconic heads, to show that it was one of those seven heathen forms of government which have been successively at the head of the Roman state; and secondly, by the dragon's tail, because it was the last of those seven. At the rising of the sun the night is ended, and the lunar light no longer necessary, as the sun which enlightens her shines full upon the earth; exactly in the same way has the whole Jewish system of types and shadows has been superseded by the birth, life, crucifixion, death, resurrection, ascension, and intercession of Jesus Christ. 12 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. The moon is the less light, ruling over the night, and deriving all its illumination from the sun; in like manner the Jewish dispensation was the bright moonlight night of the world, and possessed a portion of the glorious light of the Gospel. We must not understand the phrase flying into her place of her removing from one part of the habitable world into another, but of her speedy declension from a state of great prosperity to a forlorn and desolate condition. VERSE BY VERSE COMMENTARY ON THE REVELATION "A TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST" by Tony Garland. * [12:1–14:20] This central section of Revelation portrays the power of evil, represented by a dragon, in opposition to God and his people. This alarmed the pagan priests, whose interests were so closely connected with the continuance of the ancient superstitions, and who apprehended that to their great detriment the Christian religion would become daily more universal and triumphant throughout the empire. There mention is made of his being found no longer in heaven, or on the throne of the Roman empire, here he is entirely cast out from all offices of trust in the empire; his religion is first only tolerated, and then totally abolished, by the imperial power. As the woman's husband, that is, the holy and blessed God. The dragon - and his angels - The same as Rab. The strength of the church is in having the Lord Jesus for the Captain of their salvation. Proferunt Insigne Lignum, quod Draconem subdidit. Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: Revelation 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. gr., the Prophet Ezekiel to lie upon his left side three hundred and ninety days, that it might be a sign or symbol of the house of Israel bearing their iniquity as many years; and forty days upon his right side, to represent to the house of Judah in a symbolical manner, that they should bear their iniquity forty years, The one thousand two hundred and threescore days, therefore, that the woman is fed in the wilderness, must be understood symbolically, and consequently denote as many natural years. i. c. 9. And as each prophetic year contains three hundred and sixty days, so three years and a half will contain precisely twelve hundred and sixty days. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. Let us take heed that we give him no cause to accuse us; and that, when we have sinned, we go before the Lord, condemn ourselves, and commit our cause to Christ as our Advocate. This information is about Israel and her Messiah and Satan’s attempt to stop the kingdom of God from being set up on the earth. Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Revelation 12 ← Back to Matthew Henry's Bio & Resources. But the subtle design which the serpent or dragon had in view, when he vomited out of his mouth a flood of waters, was most providentially frustrated; for: -. See Dr. Mitchell's Exposition of the Revelation, in loc. by Don Koenig . Daniel 12:3. The devil, defeated in his designs upon the church, turns his rage against persons and places. Consequently, it differed entirely from the imperial power, which was the entire conversion of the Roman state from a republic to a monarchy. This dynasty is represented by Michael, because he is "the great prince which standeth for the children of God's people." When Galerius heard of the death of Constantius, and that he had appointed Constantine his successor, he was filled with the most ungovernable rage and indignation, notwithstanding he did not dare to take any steps contrary to the interest of Constantine. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. for the devil is come down unto you - By the inhabiters of the earth are meant the people in subjection to the Roman empire; and by the sea, those parts of the Roman dominions appear to be intended that were reduced to a state of anarchy by the incursions of the barbarous nations. The woman Virgo symbolizes the kingdom of God. On that same night the first born of Egypt were destroyed. 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. Moreover, a picture of Constantine was set up over the palace gate, with the cross over his head, and under his feet the great enemy of mankind, who persecuted the Church by means of impious tyrants, in the form of a dragon, transfixed with a dart through the midst of his body, and falling headlong into the depth of the sea." 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. "It is very remarkable," as Bishop Newton observes, "that Constantine himself, and the Christians of his time, describe his conquests under the image of a dragon, as if they had understood that this prophecy had received its accomplishment in him. And there appeared a great wonder 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 pained to be delivered. By the word of their testimony: the powerful preaching of the gospel is mighty, through God, to pull down strong holds. Constantine added to the other Roman ensigns the labarum, or standard of the cross, and constituted it the principal standard of the Christian Roman empire. L. Brutus instituted liberty and the consulate. Parallel Commentary on the NT. There was war in heaven - In the same treatise, fol. In what sense then can it be said that the different kingdoms into which the Roman empire was divided by the barbarous nations are horns of the dragon? Thus the dragon, or heathen power, stood before the woman, or Christian Church, to devour her son, or deliverer, as soon as he was born. The word translated fled is not to be taken in that peculiar sense as if the woman, in the commencement of her flight, had been furnished with wings, for the original word is εφυγεν. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. It is true these savage nations were much more intent upon the acquisition of wealth and dominion than upon the propagation or support of the pagan superstitions, nor did their cruelty and opposition to the Christians arise from any religious principle, or from an enthusiastic desire to ruin the cause of Christianity; it was merely by the Instigation of the pagans who remained yet in the empire, that they were excited to treat with such severity and violence the followers of Christ." (Read Revelation 12:7-11) The attempts of the dragon proved unsuccessful against the church, and fatal to his own interests. the Israelitish Church, so that her fruit depart, hoc fit in exilio, he shall surely be punished, i.e., Samael. Commentary on Revelation 9:1-12 (Read Revelation 9:1-12) Upon sounding the fifth trumpet, a star fell from heaven to the earth. It was granted to him to make war with the saints: Revelation 12 described the broad phenomenon of Satanic persecution during the tribulation period. The dragon's persecution of the woman and her seed, Revelation 12:13-17 b. 101, 3. Here then is a wo denounced against the whole Roman world which will be excited by the devil, the father of lies, the heathen party being thus denominated from the method they pursued in their endeavors to destroy the religion of Jesus. Revelation 7:9-12. by Grant Richison | Dec 13, 1998 | Revelation | 0 comments. The vision of the dragon is in Revelation 12:3, who is described by his size, a great one; by his colour, red; by the number of his heads and horns, and the crowns on the former; by the force and strength of his tail, drawing and casting: down to the earth the third part of the stars of heaven; and by his position, standing before the woman, in order to devour her child when born. gr., Pirkey Eliezer, c. 46, speaking of the day of expiation; "And the holy blessed God hears their testimony from their accuser, מן הקטיגור min hakkatigor; and expiates the altar, the priests, and the whole multitude, from the greatest to the least. To this labarum Prudentius refers, when speaking of the Christian soldiers, in his first hymn περι στεφανων. (13,14) His vain endeavours to destroy her, He renews his war against her seed. But this view of the passage cannot be correct, from the circumstance that it is the dragon which is thus called. View Revelation 12:13-16. In the Old Testament, 11, 12, edit. Wo to the inhabiters of the earth, and of the sea! 1809, "a man was called to fix upon the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most calamitous and afflicted, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Theodosius the Great to the establishment of the Lombards in Italy, a period of one hundred and seventy-six years. Revelation commentary: chapter 12 - the dragon and the man child. Lond. 31, fol. Note the similarity between this description and the description that Joseph gave of his father Jacob (Israel) and his mother and their children (Genesis 37:9-11). It is the dragon's tail that draws the third part of the stars of heaven, therefore it was during the dominion of his last form of government that Christianity was introduced into the world; for in the time of the six preceding draconic forms of government, the world was divided religiously into only two grand branches, Jews and Gentiles. Paganism received several mortal strokes in the time of Constantine and his sons Constans and Constantius. For though the Roman empire was not completely dismembered till the fifth century, it is well known that the depression of the heathen idolatry, and the advancement of Christianity to the throne, elected not the least change in the form of government: the Romans continued still to be under subjection to the imperial power; and, consequently, when the heathen barbarous nations divided the Roman empire among themselves, they might very properly be denominated horns of the dragon, as it was by means of their incursions that the imperial power, Founded by the heathen Caesars, was abolished. The appellations, old serpent, devil, and Satan, must, therefore, be understood figuratively. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man. It is said the tail of the dragon draweth, (for so συρει should be translated), but it is added, and Hath Cast then upon the earth, to show that at the time the Apocalypse was written the world was divided into the three grand religious divisions already referred to; but that the tail of the dragon, or the pagan Roman power under its last form of government, had brought the whole heathen world (which was a third part of the religious world in the apostolic age) into subjection previously to the communication of the Revelation to St. John. That the sense in which the third part is here taken is the one intended in the prophecy is put beyond all controversy, when it is considered that this very division is made in the first and third verses, in which mention is made of the woman clothed with the sun - the Christian Church, the moon under her feet, or Jewish Church, and the dragon, or heathen power. This is another informational chapter from the little book that John digested. A great sign appeared in heaven = is problematic. And by the word of their testimony - By constantly testifying against the errors and follies of mankind. Caesaris vexilla linquunt, eligunt Signum Crucis. ", The moon under her feet - Bishop Newton understands this of the Jewish typical worship and indeed the Mosaic system of rites and ceremonies could not have been better represented, for it was the shadow of good things to come. Revelation 3:12 Commentaries: 'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. A Christian commentary on Revelation should not read like an anthology of ancient pagan mythology. And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. All Scripture quotations are from the 1901 American Standard Version unless otherwise noted. For a justification of this method of interpretation, see on the angel's double explanation of the heads of the beast, Revelation 17:9 (note), Revelation 17:10 (note), Revelation 17:16 (note). The moon was under her feet; she was superior to the reflected and feebler light of the revelation made by Moses. "If men strive, i.e. Revelation 12:6 Commentary: The Christians of Jerusalem Fled to Pella and were Presumably Kept Safe for 1,260 days.. And they loved not their lives unto the death - They regarded not their present temporal estate, but even gladly delivered up their lives to the fury of their persecutors, and thus sealed the truth of what they spake with their blood. The accuser of our brethren - There is scarcely any thing more common in the rabbinical writings than Satan as the accuser of the Israelites. Revelation 12:1-2. iii. 164. c. 46; and lib. With a rod of iron - A strong figure to denote the very great restraint that should be put upon paganism, so that it should not be able longer to persecute the Christian Church. Revelation 12 is the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.The book is traditionally attributed to John the Apostle, but the precise identity of the author remains a point of academic debate. Answer: In Revelation chapter 12, John sees a vision of a woman "clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Revelation 12:1). The woman is nourished for one thousand two hundred and threescore years from the face of the serpent, The empires in the east and west were destined, in the course of the Divine providence, to support the Christian religion, at least nominally while the rest of the world should remain in pagan idolatry or under the influence of this dragon, here called the serpent, because he deceiveth the whole world. That she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, etc. i., in principio) in words to the following effect: "The city of Rome was originally governed by kings. "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the Stars for ever and ever." 1. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a 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. If, therefore, the ten horns of Daniel's fourth beast point out as many kingdoms, for the very same reason must the horns of the dragon have a similar meaning. He persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child - The heathens persecuted the Christian Church in the behalf of which Divine Providence had raised up a dynasty of Christian Roman emperors. The wilderness is a desolate place, and full of serpents and scorpions, uncomfortable and destitute of provisions; yet a place of safety, as well as where one might be alone. Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke [1831]. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. About this commentary: IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press. - See the note on Revelation 17:10, where the heads of the beast are explained in a similar way. Revelation 12:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Revelation 12:14, NIV: "The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach."
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