It presents the book as a "Revelation which God gave . and close of xxii.)—into one so as to make the whole appear as emanating from John, the seer of the isle of Patmos in Asia Minor (see i. The Letters to the Seven Churches: The first part (i. 22) contains a vision by John, who is told by Jesus to send a letter to the seven angels of the seven churches in Asia (founded by Paul and his associates), rebuking them for the libertinism that has taken hold of many "who pass as Jews, but show by their blasphemy and licentiousness that they are of the synagogue of Satan" (ii. Owing to their heathen associations many of their members had lapsed into pagan or semipagan views and practises, under the influence of heretic leaders.
19) on the sea, which turns into blood, so that all living things therein die.
The seventh pours out his vial into the air and causes an earthquake which splits the great city (Rome) into three parts, and the cities of the nations fall, and islands and mountains are removed, and Babylon (Rome) takes from the hand of God the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath (comp.
For forty-two months (the three and a half years of Daniel) will its power last, trying the patience of the saints. The sixth pours out his vial upon the great Euphrates (comp. 98a), and it is dried up, so as to prepare the way for the kings of the East (the Parthians) to gather in Armageddon ('Ir Magdiel, symbolic name for Rome; xvi.
It bears (in "Augustus Divus") the name of blasphemy, and its mouth speaks blasphemy against God and His Shekinah on earth and in heaven (i. It has power over all nations and tongues, and over all those whose names are not written in the book of life (the awkward addition "of the lamb" betrays the Christian hand) from the foundation of the world, and it makes war upon the "saints" (the Jewish people, as in Daniel). 6-7) an angel in the midst of heaven announces good tidings to the people on the earth, saying, "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea." Here follows (xv. 21) the vision of the seven angels coming out of the Temple with "seven golden vials full of the wrath of God who liveth for ever and ever." The first angel pours out his vial upon the earth and there falls an evil and grievous sore (comp. The fifth pours out his vial upon the seat of the beast (Rome), and its empire becomes full of darkness; yet the people repent not.
"Go out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues" Jer. 6, 9); "for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities" (Ps.
In rhythmic sentences, taken from the Bible, the voice is heard saying: "Fill her cup double of what she offered you, and give her as much torment and grief as she has had glory and pleasure." All that is said of Babel (Isa. xvii.-xix., in imitation of Isaiah's and Ezekiel's vision of Tyre (Isa. He then sees in the wilderness "a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast full of names of blasphemy [idolatry] and having [seven heads and] ten horns [comp. Greatly astonished at this sight, he learns from the interpreting angel (verses 5-14 and 16 are later insertions which anticipate the interpretation) that "the many waters" are the many nations given into the power of the beast, and that the woman is the great city (of Rome) which reigneth over the kings of the earth. 1-8) one of the glorious angels descending from heaven, and crying out (in the words of the ancient seers—Isa. xxvii.-xxviii.), the apocalyptic writer then proceeds to dwell on the judgment held over the great harlot that sits upon the many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk. 7], herself arrayed in purple and scarlet and decked with gold and precious stones, and holding in her hand a golden cup full of the filthiness of her fornication" (the picture is taken probably from the Syrian representations of Astarte riding on a lion with a cup of destiny in her hand). 11-13), "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and has become the habitation of demons," for all the nations have drunk of the glowing wine of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her (Isa. In the following the attempt is made to acquaint the reader with the contents of the two original Jewish apocalypses, as far as they can be restored, the Christian interpolations and alterations being put aside. 16-18, the song of praise by the twenty-four elders before God and the vision of the reappearance of the Ark of the Covenant (xi. As to the relation of this to the apocalypse which follows see below. 8) contains several Jewish apocalypses worked into one, so altered, interpolated, and remodeled as to impress the reader as the work of the author of the letters to the seven churches. 6-7), formed part of the original Jewish apocalypse; also xi. In all probability this apocalypse was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, at a time of persecution, when many Jews died as martyrs, though many others yielded; hence only 12,000 of each tribe are to be selected. The Second Jewish Apocalypse: Far more powerful, and expressive of intense hatred of Rome, the Babel-like destroyer of Judea, is the second Jewish apocalypse, or series of apocalypses, written during the siege and after the destruction of Jerusalem, and contained in ch. Another singled out was a woman, probably a prophetess, called Jezebel (ii. Evidently the seed sown by Paul and his associates, who in their antinomian Gnosticism boasted of having penetrated "the deep things of God" (I Cor. 10), had borne evil fruit, so that the seer of Patmoscalls these heretics "false apostles and liars" (ii. 13), had to do with these heresies it is difficult to say; certain it is that many were "polluted" by pagan practises (ii.