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man of great rank and influence at Thyatira, who seduced the Christians to intermix idolatry and heathen impurities with their religion. Such seducers were in the church in Saint Paul's time. And the history of Queen Jezebel, that eminent patroness of idolatry, as delivered in the Books of Kings, shews that such a woman would be fitly represented under that name, But there is another sense in which it also may be applied; for, in symbolical language, by a woman is signified a city, a nation, a community, a church t. This
passage is so understood by Venerable Bede, who explains the term Jezebel to mean I a synagogue of false apostles pretending to be Christian; and it may signify a sect of seducers, like that described in verses 14 and 15 of this chapter ; for the same doctrines are ascribed to both. In the comment of Andreas Bishop of Cæsarea, written about the year 500, and containing the matter, as the writer professes, of more ancient commentators on the Apocalypse, of Irenæus, Papias, Methodius, &c. it is said, that the Nicolaitan heresy is here called Jezebel figuratively ý, on account of its impiety and intemperance. See also the note below, ver. 24.
Ver. 20. Fornication.] The edict of the Apostles, (Acts xv.) forbids to the Gentile converts that which is here mentioned: 1. Tlogveld, fornication, under which word are comprehended all those carnal impurities, which were common among the heathens, and even made a part of their sacred rites. 2. Ειδωλαθυτα, Αλισγηματα των Eidwlw, meats offered unto idols; to partake of which, when declared to be such, was to partake of the
* 2 Cor. vi. 14, &c.
+ See note below, v. 22. Synagogam pseudo-apostolicam, quæ se Christianam fingit. και Τροπικως ωνομαζεμενην Ιεζας ηλ, δια την δυσσεβειαν και ασελγεια.
worship. The two sins were nearly connected together in the heathen institutions, and introduced each other.
Ver. 22. Adultery.] In scriptural language, nations and cities, and communities are frequently expressed under the emblems of women, virgins, &c.; nor has this mode of representation been confined to the ancient or Eastern nations. In our times and country, Britannia is personified, and is "seen, as a woman upon our coins; as are Judæa, Rome, &c. &c. on those of ancient days *. The nation of Israel, or the church of God under the Old Testament, is constantly represented under this symbol. In the times of her purity, she is a virgin; in her happy pro-X spects, a bride; in her impure connections, a harlot. And, conformably to this figure, the great Being who especially protects her, was pleased to represent himself, as the husband who espouseth her, and who, for her wickedness, divorces her t. For, by a continuance of the metaphor, she is described as “ treacherously departing from her husband,” committing adultery with stocks, stones, and idols I; but after chastisement and repentance, she is restored to favour and 'matrimonial distinction, and becomes fruitful in children, the multitudes of the Gentiles g. The reader may see this imagery produced into allegory, in the xvith chapter of Ezekiel. Agreeably to this, in the New Testament, our Lord, the head
• See the plates in Montfaucon, or in Calmet's Dictionary.
+ Jer. xxxi. 32. Is. xlix. 20, &c. liv. 5. lxii. 1, 5. Hos. ii. 2. Is, liv, 7.
Jer. iii. 8, 9. 20. Ezek. xvi. 22. xxiii. 37.
of the church, is represented as the bridegroom, and her apostacy from him is called adultery*.
Now, in the passage before us, adultery may be taken either in a literal, or in this its figurative sense; accordingly as we understand Jezebel to represent, either literally a woman, or figuratively a sect. If taken in the figurative meaning, (which seems most probable,) then her sons, to be slain, are the followers of her religious institutions; and they, who commit adultery with her, are the Christians, who are seduced to her doctrines and practices, from the duty they owe to their Lord.
Ver. 22. Bed.] The place which had been the scene of her transgression, is to be that of her punishment. Taken literally, it will imply the pains of a sick-bed ; and to be tormented in bed, where men seek rest, is peculiarly grievous t. Or, in a figurative sense, to adopt blasphemous and impure doctrines and practices, may, and probably will, occasion great tribulation to an apostatizing church.
Ver. 23. I will slay with death.] This is a Hebraism, denoting, by its repetition, the certainty of the event denounced. The equivalent expression in Genesis ii. 17, is translated, “thou shalt surely die." Sickness and death are represented by Saint Paul, as punishments inflicted on the perverters of holy ordinances in the apostolical times : or, Oevatos may here signify, as it does evidently in ch. vi. 8, pestilence; and thus express the mode of death by which these rebellious servants of God were to be slain.
Matt. xxv. 2 Cor. xi. 2. Rom. vii. 4. Eph. v. 23, &c. Gal. iv. 26, &c.
+ Daubuz. See Psalm vi. 3. xli. 3. Job xxxii, 19. Is. xxviii. 20. | 1 Cor. xi. 30.
Ver. 24. The depths of Satan.] Our interpretation of the word Jezebel in a figurative sense, seems to be X confirmed. She had a doctrine, and taught deep mysterious knowledge, calling it perhaps with Saint Paul, Tu baby 78 ©€8, the deep things of God*, but it is declared to be τα βαθη το Σατανα, the depths of Satan. Traces of such philosophizing sects are to be seen in the writings of the apostles, and of the apostolical fathers. And the Gnostics, who dealt eminently in these bean, thus afterwards entered and corrupted the church.
Ver. 25. Until I come.] See note, ch. i. 3.
Ver. 27. Power over the Nations.] The express when sions in this passage have near resemblance to those of the second Psalm, which are undoubtedly pro
hires phetic of Christ t. He is there declared, “a king leneily
over the nations, even unto the ends of the earth.” He shall “ rule over the nations with an iron rod, or sceptre, “and break them to pieces, as a potter's vessel I." But our Lord informed his disciples, ie is that “he appoints unto them a kingdom, even as
Hier “his Father had appointed unto him ;" and the promise is continued by them to their successors in the lirit.
i Cor. ii. 10.
+ See Acts iv. 24. | In this passage in the Septuagint, the word woluzivw is used, as well as in the Apocalypse. And the ancient Hebrew text probably agreed with it. (See Reeves's Collation of Hebrew and Greek texts, Ps. ii. 9.) This character, of shepherd of the people, was anciently attributed to good kings. Such was the worden dawn of Homer. By such a character, did the great Cyrus desire to be distinguished. (Xenoph. Cyrop. lib. i.) It is frequently applied in Scripture to the Messiah, and occurs in that sense four times in the Apocalypse. So 'Pz6dos is properly translated sceptre, as in Heb. i. 8. See Schleusner, in voc. Luke xxii. 29. John xxi. 16. Acts xx. 8. 1 Pet. iii. 2.
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church. It is a kingdom of great power and glory, yet not after the fashion of this world; for it is neither acquired nor preserved by arms. It is not founded on worldly policy, over which it is destined to prevail. It is the stone of Daniel's vision, which, cut out of the mountain without hands, breaks to pieces the kingdoms of the world, miraculously increasing till it fills the whole earth.
" And the king“ dom and dominion, and the greatness of the king“ dom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the “people of the saints of the Most High, whose king“ dom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions “shall serve and obey him*.”
Ver. 28. The morning star.) A star is a teacherfi Á JÁski our Lord is eminently such ; and such he intitles himself
in ch. xxii. 16. é ustne o deep napos rell og@givos, “the shi
ning and morning star.” As such he was foretold intra
in Numbers, xxiv. 17; and a star, in the eastern and 41. morning quarter of the hemisphere, preceded his birth I.
As this star, seen by the wise men, sight, nified to them his first coming; so by the star, pro
mised in this passage, we must probably understand the signs denoting his second coming; a knowIedge of “the mysteries of the kingdom of hea
ven §,” and of its approach in power. Saint Peter, :
speaking of prophecy, whose office it is in part ... to reveal these mysteries, recommends us to attend
diligently to this “ light shining in a dark place," List until some
clearer manifestation shall be revealed; εως 8, ημερα διαυγασε και Φως φορος ανατελη εν ταις
mapslees vu wv, until the day shine forth, and the dayPisey
* Dan. vii. 27. See the note, ch. ii. 7. and the Scriptures there quoted. This reign of the saints is again described in ch. xix. 15. + See note, ch. i. 16. Matt. ii2. $Matt. xiii, 2.
star ! le vici?
beiden, she day
زه به ..