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Ib. They should rest yet a time, until their fellowservants also and their brethren should be completed, who were about to be slain, eden as they had been.] A general day of recompense, and of vengeance on wicked persecutors, is universally promised in the Word of God. Until that time come, although persecutors may be seen to suffer some exemplary punishments *, yet the adequate and complete vengeance of a Just God is delayed. Under this seal, the promise of a Divine retribution is renewed, and the lists are still kept open for additional martyrs who shall conquer in the cause of their Redeemer. At the time when this prophecy was delivered, there had been but few martyrs to the Christian cause. We are here taught to expect (that which subsequent history has produced) a numerous succession of suffering witnesses, through a long period of time. We were prepared; by the imagery of the second and third, and more especially of the fourth seal, to expect some account of those that should be slain in such times " for the testimony of the word.” In this seal it comes forward, but in general description ikisindros only, (as in the preceding seals,) to be resumed in the time sequel of the prophecy t. The period of time, occupied fiseted by the martyrs under this seal, is therefore from the cildar death of our Lord, who is properly the first Christian" haha
7.2.11 Martyr $, to the great day of recompense, when the “noble Army of Martyrs” will be completed and avenged.
ti But the point of time in which their history is espe
Inici cially delineated, under this seal, seems to be towards the close of the fourth seal, when they had suffered
top: • See some striking instances adduced in Jortin's Eccl. Hist. ižio wear 246-322.
such enormities of persecution, that the question “ how
long," seems more emphatically called forth, and thus the events of the fifth seal, as here interpreted, will be found to stand in their proper place.
The opening of the sixth Seal.
CHAP. vi. VER. 12-to the end.
12 Και είδον, ότε ήνοι- 12 And I beheld when he
ξε την σφραγίδα opened the sixth scal; . Tìm txmy 9 THƠ
and there was a great μός μέγας εγένείο, , earthquake; and the x 6 2.5 iyix12 sun became black, as μέλας, ως σάκκα
sack-cloth of hair; and τρίχιν, και η σε- all the moon became
λήνη όλη εγένετο ως 13 as blood: And the stars 13 αίμα. Και οι αξέ- . of heaven fell to the ρες το έραν έπεσαν
earth, as a fig-tree castεις την γην, ως συκή
eth her untimely figs, βαλλει τις ολύνθες
when shaken by a aútys, úto urycény 14 mighty wind: And the 14ανέμε σειομένη" Και heaven was removed
ó égævòs a mexw- as a volume rolled up; είσθη ως βιβλίον εί
and every mountain λισσόμενον, και σαν and island were moved όρος και νησος εκ των
out of their places : τόπων αυτών εκινή
15 And the kings of the 15 θησαν και οι βασι
carth, and the great λείς της γης και οι με- men, and the chief cap* γιγάνες, και οι χιλίαρ- tains, and the rich men, χοι και οι κλέσιοι, και
and the mighty men, οι ισχυροί, και σας
and every boodman, döne, xai [wäs] and (every} freeman,
12 And I beheld when he
had opened the sixth seal; and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the syn became black as sack-cloth of hair,
and the moon became 13 as blood; And the
stars of heaven fell nnto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she
is shaken of a mighty 14 wind: And the heaven
departed as a scroll, when it is rolled together; and
every mountain and island
were moved out of 15 their places: And the
kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every
ελεύθερG», έκρυψαν hid themselves in the
they say to the moun16 Και λέξεσι τοίς όρι- tains and to the rocks,
σι και ταϊς πέτραις “ Fall on us, and hide
ofyns rü aşviy “ day of his wrath is 17 "Οτι ήλθεν η ημέρα come: and who is η μεγάλη της οργής
" able to stand ?".
bond-man, and every
in the rocks of the
to the mountains and
the wrath of the Lamb:
his wrath is come; and
“ how long"
Ver. 12. Sixth seal.] In the complaint of the
“ The great day of his wrath is come; and
i./ after having first ascertained the meaning of the figuTative terms employed in the narration.
Ib. A great earthquake.] When the earth is niec
shaken violently by subterraneous commotion, the --7: buildings erected upon it fall. Agreeably to this, in ic c
prophetical language, whatever commotion, by Divine
appointment, shakes and overturns political fabrics and La
empires, is called earthquake*
Ib. The sun became black as sack-cloth of hair, and all the moon became as blood.] In such figurative language, great calamities, which bereave men of the usual sources of their comforts, are frequently expressed. The sun, under such deprivation, seems no longer to shine, but is enveloped in raiment of mourning; for, such, with the eastern nations of antiquity, was sackcloth of hair t. The moon glares horribly, like blood; the stars fall 1.
Ver. 13. Figs.] See Isaiah xxxiv. 4. Nahum iii. 12.
Ver. 14. As a volume rolled up.] A sheet of parchment, upon which the ancient books were written 5, being in its nature elastic, is seen to roll up in an instant, when he that extends it quits his hold. Then the characters, written or painted upon it, vanish from the sight, with a rapidity, which aptly expresses this sudden disappearance of the splendid luminaries in heaven, at the command of their Maker. The same image is used by Isaiah, ch. xxxiv. 4.
* Psalm ix. 2. xcvii. 147. xcix. 1. Isaiah ii. 19. xiii. 13. xxiv, 15--21. Jer. iv. 24. X. 10. xlix. 21. Joel ii. 10. ii. 16. Mic. vi. 2. Hagg. ii. 6,7, 21, 22. Amos vili. 8. Hab. xii. 26.
+ 1 Kings xxi. 7. Zech, xii. 4. Eccl’us xxv. 17. Matt. xi. 21. Luke x. 13.
1 Isaiah xiii. 10. xxiv. 4, 23. Ezek. xxxii. 7, 8. Amos viii. 8, 9. Joel ii. 10. iii, 15. Matt. xxiv. 29. Mark xiii. 24, 25. Luke xxi. 25. Acts ii. 20. s See note, ch, v. 1.
Ib. Mountain—Island.] These are places of the greatest security in times of hostile invasion; the mountain is difficult of access, by reason of its height and steepness; the island, from its surrounding waters. . Therefore, under these images, the securest places are represented as no longer affording safety during this dreadful visitation. *
Ver. 15. Kings of the earth, &c.] As in the description of the verse preceding, no place can afford security, so, in this, no pre-eminence in rank, power, or riches, can yield protection from the impending devastation: nor is there escape from it in any station of life: “Every bond-inan and every free-man” flee before it, but in vain!
Ver. 16. Say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us.] Compare Judges vi. 2; 1 Sam. xiii. 6; Isaiah ii. 10, 19; Hos. x. 8; Luke xxiii. 30; and add to them the accounts which we derive from modern travellers, of the caves and hiding-places yet to be seen in Judæa, Arabia, &c. : and this language will be found to describe a flight of the utmost terror and dismay, before a victorious enemy, who, having destroyed all the fortresses and cities, pursues the hopeless fugitives into their last places of refuge. But who is this dreadful and avenging Conqueror, before whom at this time they flee? (ver. 16.) “He who sitteth on the " Throne; and the Lamb,” the Redeemer, his Vicegerent, who executes his wrath f.
Hab, iii, v. 6.
+ Go, then, thou mightiest, in thy Father's might;