An American Commentary on the New Testament

Edited by Hovey, Alvah

Introduction to the Revelation


At the opening of the Book of the Acts, we find two of the apostles standing forth with special prominence, and in intimate association. These are Peter and John. In those events which signalized the opening of the New Dispensation, these two are introduced in company, and so acting and speaking as jointly to represent their brethren in the apostleship. Of the two, however, Peter is the one who speaks and acts most in the capacity of a leader, and who, contrary to what we should have anticipated of him — as that disciple whose courage and loyalty so signally failed at the critical moment — appears, evidently, as the organizer of the infant church.

In due time another figure appears upon the scene. The function of the organizer becomes less conspicuous, while that of the doctrinal teacher fills the foremost place. This is assigned to Paul, But there remained still another. A time was to come when, the organization and order of the church having been settled, and its doctrine so fully set forth as to endow it for the office it should fill to the end of time, as a witness to the truth, the opening scenes of its contact and conflict with the world-powers, which should resist, and sometimes hinder its progress, would be unfolded in such a manner as to make it fitting that some indication be given as to what the future of the church should be. Thus it comes about that the last of the sacred books — the consummating pages of Inspiration — takes the form of prophecy. And so while to Peter was assigned preeminently the organizing, and to Paul the teaching function, to John was assigned that of the prophet of the New Dispensation.

Of all the apostles — not excepting Paul himself— John was that one on every account best suited to the Apocalyptic office which thus fell to him. As we study this final book of the New Testament revelation; as we enter into its spirit; and especially as we observe in what prominence the person of the glorified Jesus comes forth into the field of view — we realize the fitness of that selection which makes the Beloved Disciple the recipient of these divine communications, and the medium through which they should be transmitted to the church of all the future ages. No one of the whole number — as his Gospel and Epistles testify when compared with other writings of the New Testament, rose so easily to the plane of those revelations which exhibit the person of the Son in his divine oneness with the Father, and in which all spiritual realities stand forth, less as doctrinal media through which to grasp eternal things, than as the eternal things themselves. No one of them could say with such truth as himself: "Truly, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 John i. 3); it is he that we find saying: "The Life was manifested, and we have seen it and bear witness, and show unto you that Eternal Life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us " (1 John i. 2). John entered, as none of his brethren did or could, into the spiritual arcana of the New Dispensation, and was prepared by his very mental constitution, still more by his peculiar spiritual attainments, for the wonderful visions in which a Revelation, in form and substance so transcendent, was to be made.

Over the question whether the Apostle John was indeed the author of this book, there has been much controversy. Two facts in this connection are significant:(1) that his authorship was first questioned through what Carpenter, in Ellicott's Commentary, terms "doctrinal prejudice"; (2) that, as is agreed on all hands, the oldest and earliest witnesses testify to the Johannean authorship, beginning with Justin Martyr, about the middle of the Second Century, and coming down to the middle of the Third. At the date last given, an active controversy was in progress between two schools of Scripture interpretation — one of these carrying the allegorical, the other the literal, method to an extreme. By the latter school, passages, especially in the Apocalypse, referring to the millennium, has been taken in a grossly literal and material sense, giving offense to those better instructed and more judicious. Dionysius of Alexandria, who belonged to the former school — the allegorical — in opposing these views, was much disturbed by the use made of the Apocalypse; and not satisfied with showing that the Chiliastic teachings which he combated were a perversion of the teaching of this book, he went so far as to question the apostolical authority of the book itself. He admitted it to be the work of some " holy and inspired man "; but denied that he was an apostle. It was at this time (about A. D. 247), and under these circumstances, that the Johannean authorship of the book was first called in question, at least in any reputable quarter.

The later objections to the Johannean authorship of the Apocalypse, originate in much the same way as the earlier ones, and proceed upon very much the same grounds. "Doctrinal prejudice" predisposed to a hostile view of the question — the Christology of this book, perhaps, so distinct and emphatic in its recognition of our Lord's divinity, offending one class; while its millenarian teachings were equally offensive to others. The critical tendencies and methods, also, of the present age, find in the book a peculiar opportunity. Its character and structure are remarkable. In its style, it bears some features of singular contrast with other writings of the same apostle. It is difficult of consistent interpretation, and has so often been used in support of wild theories as to fulfillments of prophecy, that some of the discredit justly suffered by them reacts upon the authority so unjustifiably quoted in their behalf From all this it has resulted that first the inspiration, and then as involved in this, the apostolical authorship, of the book have been denied; meanwhile even some, who would allow it a certain measure of canonical authority, are unwilling to admit that it was written by the Beloved Disciple himself The subject cannot be treated at large, here. Briefly we touch upon the evidences sustaining the view so long, and still held by the great body of instructed Christians, classifying them as follows:

I. External Evidences.

(a) The testimony of Christian writers nearest in point of time to the date of the book itself— such as Justin Martyr, A. D. 96 (?)-166; Melito of Sardis, died 171; Theophilus of Antioch, died 180; Irenaeus, 140-202; Tertullian, 160-220; Clement of Alexandria, 160-215; Origen, 185-253. All these are express in their testimony to the fact that John wrote the Apocalypse. Though Eusebius, the historian, treats the point as undetermined, he does so in the face of these testimonies; while writers subsequent to his date, such as Basil the Great, Athanasius, Ambrose, Cyprian. Augustine, Jerome, so far from sharing in his doubt, constantly quote the book as written by the Apostle John. Such a concurrence of testimony on the part of those in a position to determine a question of this sort, and in every other way deserving of credit, could be set aside only by opposing evidence of the most conclusive kind.

(b) The only other theory as to the writer in whose behalf the authorship of the book may be claimed, deserving of notice, is that which assigns it to a person of whom very little is known, named John the Presbyter. He is mentioned by Papias, in a passage of doubtful import, not as making him the author of the Revelation, but as one of those to whom he represents himself as applying for information upon subjects of Christian teaching. Eusebius also mentions a report that at Ephesus there were two monuments, each bearing the name of John, the one being taken for that of John the Apostle, the other for that of John the Presbyter. Jerome, however, referring to the same tradition, adds that some in his time were of the opinion that the two monuments were memorials of the same person — Johannis Evanglist — "John the Evangelist. " In a word, the very identity of the second John — John the Presbyter — is so doubtful, and there is such an utter lack of indication that, even if this person ever existed, he was capable of writing such a book as the Revelation, that the naming of him in this connection seems like the desperate expedient of the mere controversialist.

II. Internal Evidences.

(a) Of these should be mentioned: first, the fact that the author of the book names himself John. In four places he does this (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8). The manner in which the name is introduced in these places implies (1) that it was a name well known, and the identity of the writer sure to be recognized by those to whom the book was originally addressed; (2) that his relation to the Seven Churches named in the early part of the book was such as to make him a suitable medium for communication to them in that tone of authority and admonition which he employs. It is known that the Apostle John spent the closing years of his life among the churches of Asia Minor, and that he held amongst them a position wholly consistent with the attitude toward them that he here assumes; (3) in the third mention of his own name by the author of the book (1:9), one is reminded of those words of the Lord to John, with his brother James (Mark 10:38, 39), while they are at the same time in eminent keeping with what is known of the tender, sympathizing, and fraternal spirit of the Apostle John; (4) Prof. Stuart calls attention to the similarity, in language and tone, between the allusion to himself by the writer of the Revelation in chapter 22:8, and a like all vision in the Gospel by John, 21:24, as having struck him "with great force." In the latter place we read: "This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things", in the former: "And I, John, saw these things and heard them. " In every one of these instances, therefore, it may be claimed that the mention made of himself by the writer, is in perfect consistence with the theory that he is none other than the Apostle John.

(b) The light in which John exhibits Christ in this book — its Christology — ^is an important point of internal evidence. The expression, for example, in 1:1, "which God gave unto him," Christ, harmonizes with the general teaching of John's Gospel as to our Lord's divinity, where, as Hengstenberg says, the apostle "constantly makes statements which imply that the Son has everything that the Father has, and yet has nothing but what he has received of the Father." Stuart, taking the same view in general, mentions as an important point of internal evidence, " the Christology of the Apocalypse in respect to the dependence of the Saviour on God the Father, for his doctrines and instructions," as being "strikingly in unison with that of John." Having compared the words, "which God gave unto him," with such passages in the Gospel as 17:7,8; 6:19,20; 7:16, he adds: "Elsewhere in the New Testament different modes of expressing this relation may be found; but they are unfrequent, and wanting in the special resemblance here indicated."

(c) The use of the term Logos as indicative of a person, and as a distinctive title of our Lord. This usage occurs nowhere in the New Testament, save in the Gospel by John, in his first Epistle, and in the Apocalypse. As Stuart says, "it seems to be purely Johannean."

(d) Among resemblances between the Apocalypse and the Gospel by John, which may be viewed as in some sense casual, and still for that reason all the more noticeable, is the circumstance that while John is the only one of the evangelists who, in the history of our Lord's crucifixion, mentions the fact that his side was pierced with a spear, we find in the Revelation an allusion to the same circumstance at 1:7 — "they also which pierced him." Those who have treated the two passages critically, call attention also to the fact that the Greek word used, both in the Gospel and the Revelation, for "pierced," is different from that in the Septuagint Version of the prophet Zechariah (12:10), which in the Gospel is mentioned as fulfilled in the incident described. The Septuagint translators use one word (κατορχέομαι), and the author of the Gospel and the Revelation another (ἐκκεντέω). This difference on the one hand and identity on the other, in the use of words to express the same idea, is regarded as pointing to identity of authorship in the case of the two books last mentioned.

(e) It is in the Gospel of John that Jesus is pointed out as "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." No other of the evangelists gives him this title. In the Revelation it is so given no less than twenty-two times. This free use of the symbol seems highly consistent with the marked and emphatic manner in which, twice in the same chapter (John 1:29, 36), the same writer records the testimony of John the Baptist concerning the Messiah: "Behold the Lamb of God! "

(f) Other points of evidence might be named, in the verbal usage of the Revelation, as compared with other writings of the Apostle John. These, however, require for their adequate presentation a more critical treatment than will be practicable here.


We present above, all that our limits will allow, in support of the commonly received opinion, that the writer of the Fourth Gospel, of the Epistles of John, and of the Apocalypse, is one and the same person; though at different periods in his life, with widely different surroundings and mental conditions. A point of difficulty is suggested as regards the language and literary style. How the three causes just named may influence the style of a writer, might be illustrated at length. Our own literature presents many and striking examples. Whatever difficulties, therefore, we encounter in studying the language of those parts of the New Testament attributed to John, the Beloved Disciple and Apostle, though they may appear great, they are not, we think, insurmountable, and may be intelligently explained by a suitable regard to the points above mentioned.

A word will be in place here respecting the nature of the linguistic difficulties. The Greek scholar, in reading the Fourth Gospel, finds it written in tolerably good Greek, with comparatively few departures from the literary language of the time; but on turning to the Apocalypse, he is at once struck with ungrammatical constructions, more numerous and more marked than in any other part of the New Testament. Those which we have noticed most frequently are a neglect of the ordinary rules of agreement, and the repetition of the personal, after the relative pronoun, in the manner of Hebrew writers.

By the side of this difficulty, which we shall frequently attempt to account for, and more than counterbalancing it in our judgment, we will mention one point that we have not seen presented elsewhere. The young scholar finds all the writings attributed to John very easy Greek. He can in the same time and with the same effort, "get out" a much longer lesson, so as to recite it {satisfactorily, in the Apocalypse, or the Fourth Gospel, or in the Epistles of John, than in any other part of the New Testament. The contrast in this one respect to the style of Paul, or of Peter, or of Jude, is most remarkable, and is something which the young student, comparatively unfamiliar with Greek, can appreciate even better perhaps than the most profound Greek scholar. This undoubted fact must be owing to the structure of the language; and marks it, not only as peculiar, but also as similar.

Granting, therefore, that there is a similarity in this one respect, at least, in all the writings commonly attributed to the Apostle John, we next inquire. Is there any possible way, any rational method of accounting for the irregularities in the style of the Apocalypse? The comparison which we now make, with a view to this question, will be, as is usual, between the Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse. Supposing the Gospel to have been written about 78 A. D., and the Apocalypse about 95 or 96 A. D. (the dates more commonly given), we have an interval of seventeen or eighteen years. The Gospel was probably written before the vigor of manhood had at all abated, and while the writer was surrounded with a Greek -speaking population. It was perfectly natural that the Gospel should be composed with care, with patient thought, and in tolerably correct Greek, such as the writer daily heard around him. The Apocalypse, on the other hand, seems to have been composed in extreme old age, in the rapture of ecstatic visions, and in a desolate island. Circumstances and states of mind differing more widely can hardly be imagined. It was natural that the man of advanced years should revert in some respects to the dialect of his youth, to the inaccurate Greek which he must often have heard and spoken in his native Galilee. A similar phenomenon is often witnessed, if we mistake not, in old age. It was also natural that the gorgeous visions which passed vividly and rapidly before him, filling him with rapture, should give to his style a peculiar form and coloring, which did not appear when the writer was in a more calm and deliberate frame of mind. These two considerations, both separately and in combination, do not seem to have been sufficiently weighed. They are to us a satisfactory explanation of the differences in language between the earliest and the latest writings of John the Apostle.

We mention one consideration more, which might lead one to expect a new and peculiar style in the Apocalypse. The subject-matter is new; differing widely from that of any other book of the New Testament. It more nearly resembles portions of the Old Testament. While therefore we find many words and expressions in the Apocalypse that remind us of the other writings of John, it is not strange that we discover much in the phraseology that is new, with Hebraisms originating in the fact that so often the visions and imagery of the ancient Hebrew prophets are reproduced in his own.

If, then, these four points — difference of age of the writer, difference of surroundings, difference of mental conditions, and difference of subject-matter — if all these are properly weighed, we need not be surprised at the discovery of some marked differences of style and of language; and that they would be just what we find them seems natural.


The place where the book was written is sufficiently indicated by the author himself — "the isle that is called Patmos" (1:9). "Patmos, now called Patina and Patmosa, is a rocky island in the Ægean Sea, situated not far from the coast, to the south of Ephesus, a short distance from Samos. It is little more than one huge rock projecting out of the sea; and at the time of the apostle's exile was probably without inhabitants, unless it might be other prisoners, and those who had charge of the place as a prison." — (Macdonald.)

The date of the authorship is a question of more difficulty. Upon this point, only two theories will need to be noticed here:(1) That which fixes this date near the end of the reign of the Emperor Domitian, about A. D. 95, or A. D. 96; and (2) that which places it in the reign of Nero, about A. D. 68. This latter date would make the writing of the Revelation precede the destruction of Jerusalem, an event that occurred A. D. 70. An important question of interpretation thus becomes involved in that of the time at which the book was written. Stuart, with others, adopting the historical method of treating the symbolism of the book, makes an important portion of it — chapters 5-11. — relate to the overthrow of Jerusalem, the final destruction of the Jewish State, and the close of the Judaic Dispensation. To this theory it becomes necessary, of course, that the writing of the book should antedate these events; and as it is agreed that the exile to Patmos occurred under the reign of a persecuting emperor, that of Nero is fixed upon.

The limits necessary to be observed in this Introduction will allow us, in speaking of these two theories, to notice only the chief points of evidence touching the question in hand.

I. It is natural to revert, first of all, to such witness as may be found on the part of those who were in a position to have personal knowledge upon this subject. Of this — ^the testimony of early Christian writers — there is not much of a specific kind; and even this appears to rest mainly upon a single passage of one writer — Irenaeus. But Irenaeus is very explicit, to the effect that " the Apocalypse was seen not long ago; but nearly in our own time, near the end of the reign of Domitian." Irenaeus, as a disciple of Polycarp, who was himself a disciple of John,, was in a position to be well informed upon a subject of this kind. Other writers near the time of Irenaeus, make similar statements, following, apparently, the authority of Irenaeus himself. Various attempts are made to explain away this passage in Irenaeus; to invalidate its authority, as itself founded — so these writers claim — upon a doubtful tradition, or as susceptible, in some parts of it, of a different rendering. After careful study of the argument, we find ourselves unconvinced, that by any such means the testimony in question can be set aside, or substantially shaken.

II. The argument in favor of the earlier date (A. D. 68, or at some time under the reign of Nero), rests, apart from its criticism of reasons given for the later one, largely upon passages in the Apocalypse itself, which are supposed to demand for their exposition a date for the writing preceding that of the destruction of Jerusalem. It is quite clear that the interpretation cannot be allowed to fix the date, and then the date to determine the interpretation. That method of reasoning cannot, of course, be admitted in any case. The objections to this date are such as follow:

(1) The positive testimony of the early Christian writers, who name Domitian as the emperor under whose reign the persecution occurred in which John was exiled to Patmos, and the Revelation was written.

(2) The lack of historical evidence, that the persecution under Nero reached so far as to Asia Minor; or, indeed, was felt beyond Rome itself Numerous passages in the Revelation imply that it was written at a time when bloody persecutions of the Christians widely prevailed, as was the case under Domitian, but not under Nero; while the exile of the writer himself to Patmos, which may well have occurred under Domitian, is not likely, for the reason named, to have done so under Nero.

(3) The condition of the Seven Churches of Asia to whom the epistles in the opening chapters of the book are addressed, make it seem impossible that the date of the writing should have been so early, Hengstenberg justly regards this evidence as decisive. If the Revelation was written in the time of Nero, not above six or seven years can have elapsed since the writing of the Epistle to the Ephesians by Paul. What the condition of the church was at that time, may be inferred from the tone of this epistle. Is it conceivable that in so short a space of time so great a change can have taken place? The condition of all these seven churches, unless it should be that of Philadelphia, is such as could occur only after the lapse of a considerable period, when the influence of the personal apostolic ministry had in some degree declined, when the false teachers, such as the Nicolaitanes, had crept in, and when an insidious spirit of worldliness had corrupted the original simplicity and purity. If we fix the date of these seven epistles toward the end of Domitian's reign, some thirty years will have passed since the founding of the churches in Asia Minor; an interval sufficient, but only sufficient, for the development of such changes as the whole record implies.

The various theories that assign for John's exile and the writing of the book other dates, such as the reign of Claudius, that of Gralba, or that of Trajan, need not be discussed here. We may close what we have to say on this point with the words of Alford: "We have a constant and unswerving tradition that St. John's exile took place, and the Apocalypse was written, towards the end of Domitian's reign. With this tradition, as has been often observed, the circumstances seem to agree very well. We have no evidence that the first, or Neronic, persecution extended beyond Rome, or found vent in condemnation to exile. Whereas, in regard to the second, we know that both these were the case. . . . These things then being considered — the decisive testimony of primitive tradition, and the failure of all attempts to set it aside, the internal evidence furnished by the book itself, and equal failure of all attempts by an unwarrantable interpretation to raise up counter evidence — I have no hesitation in believing with the ancient Fathers and most competent witnesses, that the Apocalypse was written near the end of the reign of Domitian, i. e., about the year 95 or 96 A. D."


The various theories of interpretation adopted in the exposition of the Apocalypse may be classed as principally three. As Auberlen states them, these are:(1) "The church -historical view," which "regards the Revelation as a prophetic compendium of church history, and supposes that the exalted Saviour has revealed therein the chief events of all centuries of the Christian era, in detail, and with chronological accuracy." (2) "The second view is peculiar to those circles of modem German theology who deny the genuineness of Daniel. They start with a conception of prophecy which excludes a real beholding of the future, revealed by God. Hence they limit the view of John, as well as that of Daniel, to his contemporary history.... This exegetical view is generally accompanied by the critical view, that the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse cannot be by the same author." (3) The third view starts from a belief in real predictions. It does not even deny the possibility of prophecies so minute and special as the interpreters belonging to the first class find in the Apocalypse; but it denies " that the New Testament Apocalypse, as it lies before us, de facto, is or was intended to be a detailed history of the future. "

These general schemes of interpretation are, of course, variously modified in the hands of different writers. Bengel, for example, with whom the first, or "church-historical" view originated, carries chronological calculations to an extreme, leading the way in those interpretations that claim to find exact explanations of Apocalyptic numbers, and even fix the dates of events yet future. Elliott, in "Horæ Apocalypticæ,'' employs the same general method, but dwells less upon efforts to determine with exactness questions of " times and seasons, " and differs from Bengel, at many points, in the historical events he selects as fulfillments of Apocalyptic traditions. Gaussen and Barnes follow Elliott in many things; but differ from him as to some of the methods proposed for bringing the history and the prophecy into unison. The "church-historical " method was, at one time, the favorite one with writers upon this book. The often arbitrary manner, however, in which expositors have chosen out of the history the events to be claimed as fulfilling the prophecy, and the many instances in which interpretations before the event, based upon chronological computations, have failed of support in the event itself, have cast much discredit upon it, and have placed it, in the view of many at least, in the category of conjectures, or as mere exploits of human ingenuity.

The second general method of interpretation needs only a bare mention here. It is thoroughly rationalistic, unscriptural, and self-destructive. Surely, nothing can be less "rational" than to expound a "revelation " as revealing only that which history has already recorded — a " prophecy " as being no prophecy at all! Besides that this theory, whether applied to Daniel or the Revelation, creates far more difficulties than it removes.

The latest results of careful, scholarly study of this subject, seem, for the most part, to favor the third method of interpretation noticed above. This theory recognizes, without reserve, the prophetical character of the Apocalypse. It views the book as a "revelation," in prophetic form, of the purpose of God, as respects both the Church of Jesus Christ and the world in which it abides, from the opening of the Christian Dispensation to its very close. In this general and large sense, it is therefore " church-historical. " But it does not attempt details of the kind so often found impracticable and delusive. The actors on the great Apocalyptic scene it views more as powers and principles, than as individuals, and traces fulfillments, therefore, more in the line of great movements, than in that of special events. The unfolding and application of this method of interpretation in the exposition which follows must, for the most part, be left to appear in the exposition itself A few chief points only can be indicated here.

As all writers upon the Apocalypse, so far as we know, are agreed, the outline study of the book finds its contents falling naturally into three main divisions. The first is introductory, and embraces the three first chapters. This includes the exordium proper, and those letters or messages to the Seven Churches, which, while supplying a basis to what follows, are suited to prepare the reader of every age for the mingled admonition and encouragement of the succeeding visions. With the fourth chapter, the more strictly Apocalyptic portion of the book begins. To the end of the eleventh chapter, in a series of striking pictures, future things in their relation to the Kingdom of God in this world are set forth, in a way to forewarn the church in each age of the testing trials that are coming, and at the same time to show how God is "for" it, in judgment* visited upon a persecuting and ungodly world, and in the final complete triumph, when the kingdoms of this world finally "become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. " With the twelfth chapter another series of visions opens, in which the same general scene is presented; but at new points of view, and in a new aspect. It begins with the very opening of the Dispensation — the birth of the man-child. Consistently with this feature at the beginning, it personifies, under a new system of imagery, the forces entering into the gi'cat spiritual contest, running through centuries, with such variety of awful vicissitude, to the end of time. This division of the book closes with the nineteenth chapter. The twentieth chapter may be treated as transitional. In it " the mystery of God " is finally finished, and " the time of the end" comes. From the beginning of the twenty-first chapter to the close of the book, the final happy condition of the redeemed is set forth, under a vivid symbolism, which might almost be said to exhaust the capabilities of even inspired imagination

In connection with the general view of the method of interpretation followed in our exposition, a variety of special questions arise, which, however, our space will not allow us to consider now. We leave them, therefore, for particular examination in our treatment of the text.


The symbolism of the Apocalypse we regard as susceptible of a classification which may shed light upon its exposition. This classification is based upon the outline view of the book already indicated. Passing by the Introduction, when we come to the first series of visions (ch. 4-11), we find upon examination that while, as in those which follow, there is a reproduction of the symbolism used in Old Testament prophecy, it is that symbolism as it occurs in a particular connection. Even the opening of this part of the Revelation, its Theophany — its sublime description of that manifestation of God which the seer beholds through the open door of heaven — is strictly in keeping with that found in the opening chapters of Ezekiel, and which introduces the long array of God's judgments, alike in punishment of his people's degeneracy, and in the destruction of their enemies. The symbolism that follows, as foreshadowing the retributive dispensations coming upon the apostate church and the ungodly world, is almost a reproduction of that in Ezekiel and in Joel. Compare, for example, Rev. 6:4-6, with Ezek. 4:9-1 7, where the symbols representative of famine are used; also. Rev. 6:8, 9, with Ezek. 5:10-13, where pestilence is threatened and described. Then, where the locusts are introduced in Revelation, with other attendant judgments and miseries, the reader recognizes, at once, the imagery already made familiar in the prophecy of Joel. In the description of the Two Witnesses, distinct reference is made to that passage in Zechariah which speaks of Joshua the high-priest, and Zerubbabel the civil governor, as representing the spiritual order of the Judaic Dispensation, on the one hand, and its secular order upon the other, symbolized in the candlesticks and the olive trees, "standing before the God of the earth." The measurement of the Temple, in Rev. 11, reminds us at once of a like representation of the Jewish polity found in Ezekiel; while the direct and specific mention of "the great city, where also our Lord was crucified" (Rev. 11:8), in a yet more pointed way indicates that the symbolism in this part of the book follows a line of representation having reference to the kingdom of God in its Judaico-Christian conception. In other words, we view this part of the prophecy as representing the church, in its general idea as the kingdom, under that view which Paul, in some of his epistles, makes so prominent, viz., as the true Israel. A marked indication of this is the sealing of the "hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of Israel," described in the seventh chapter.

When we come to the second division in our analysis of the book (ch. 12-19), we notice a remarkable change in the character of the symbolism. The likeness to Old Testament symbolism is retained, but to this, as we find it in another of the Old Testament books — the Book of Daniel. The imagery used by him to represent certain great world-powers, in their nature, action, and destiny, is again used by John in his picture of like things and like events. It is a change in the symbolism corresponding to the change in the point of view. There is a succession of "beasts" combining in themselves attributes of those most ferocious, and seeking, as is their nature, to waste, consume, and destroy; yet, as it is represented in Daniel, themselves consumed and destroyed in the end. The representation of organized antichristian powers as "Babylon," recalls the very scene of Daniel's own visions and prophecies, while the angelic ministries used remind us of that which he himself enjoyed. The conception of the church as a woman in heaven clothed with the sun, symbolizing the Kingdom of God, and the man-child to whom she gives birth, recalls Daniel's " one like the Son of man," who "came with the clouds of heaven." Under this symbolism, as a whole, we seem to have presented the Kingdom of God in its more direct conflict with the power of the world; a more distinct personification of those forces that stand arrayed against each other during the whole period of gospel propagation — spiritual, heavenly, gracious upon the one hand; worldly, devilish, destructive on the other — and a more decided and express indication of the essential character of each.

In the concluding chapters of the book (21, 22), the imagery carries us back to the first chapters of the Old Testament, and to the beginning of things in this world, as if to make more vivid the truth that, in making "all things new," the Redeemer follows the pattern of that which, as Creator, he originally framed. There are " new heavens " and "a new earth"; not as the old, but a heaven and an earth "wherein dwelleth righteousness." There is a paradise, after the similitude of the original one; only in this the garden becomes a city. It is no longer open to invasion, as the first Eden was; but has walls and gates for defence; and into it shall enter no manner of abomination, nor anything that "loveth and maketh a lie." Through this city flows the River of Life, and in the midst of the broad street of the city is the Tree of Life. Thus is the old restored in the new — restored in myriad-fold splendor, beauty, and delight; and so as to be thenceforth forever secure.

Any discussion in detail of Apocalyptic symbolism, including that of Apocalyptic numbers, will be best reserved for the exposition.


As John is the prophet of the New Dispensation, so the book we are to study is its prophecy. Whatever of this nature appears in earlier parts of the New Testament is mostly what we may venture to term prophetic glimpses. It comes into the narrative or the discussion as incidental, rather than as composing the main subject. This is true even of those remarkable predictions of our Lord in the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth of Matthew. These are given in answer to an inquiry of the disciples; and while they are not, indeed, to be treated as merely casual utterances, but weighty announcements as to things even now future — some of them — deserving the most reverent and thoughtful study; yet it is made plain in many ways, there and elsewhere in the record, that our Lord did not appear as a prophet, in the sense of having it for his peculiar office to declare things to come. Indeed, he more than once checked his disciples when they sought to gain from him something of that knowledge of the future which it is so natural for men to desire. The day and the hour, the "times and seasons," especially, he treated as things not within the province of his personal ministry; and indeed only announced those coming events that stood in some such relation to the purpose of that ministry as made their announcement not only suitable, but necessary.

In the preaching and the epistolary writing of the apostles, a like thing appears. There is a certain reserve apparent in the allusions made to future things as revealed by the Spiiit of inspiration. The language used is general, and to some extent vague, while the prophetic utterance is evidently made, at all, only with reference to the general purpose in view in the passage where it occurs. The mention made by Paul of the "mystery of iniquity " and the " Man of Sin "; to the coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the dead; and by Peter to the melting of the elements, the passing away of the heavens, and the new heavens and new earth, may be quoted as examples. It seems clear that all fullness of New Testament prophecy, not only in details, but in general outline, was left to be the subject of that one of these writings in which the whole Book of divine records and revelations should have its consummation and completion.

It is further to be noticed that the prophecy in this book is Apocalyptic. Between that which is Apocalyptic and that which is simply prophetic, a distinction is to be made. When we speak of prophecy, we allude to the disclosure of what is future more upon its human side. It is the utterance of the prophet. Apocalypse — the uncovering of that which is hidden — or revelation — is a divine act. The revealing element is in both; only in the one it is the utterance of the revelation that is chiefly implied; in the other its communication to the prophet himself. In the book before us, the divine side of prophecy is peculiarly manifest. It is the divine disclosure of divine purpose; the unsealing of the Book of the divine purpose by a divine hand: "the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John." The human instrument in its record here, is almost lost in the grandeur of that which he has. to disclose. We see him as if rapt away amidst the wonders of the transcendent vision, and even his voice is to us like that of one speaking from behind a veil, or lost in the clouds.


Prophecy seems to be, in part, a response to that in man which prompts the desire for a knowledge of the future. This, as is well known, has sometimes led to results highly pernicious in their nature, offering opportunity for those who trade upon the credulity of mankind, and inducing the resort to means more than questionable for penetrating the veil that hangs between the future and the present. In itself, no doubt, the tendency is a right one, for the very reason that it belongs so much to the essential nature of man. We are therefore not surprised to find the Spirit of inspiration addressing it in the interest of what most deeply concerns alike the individual and the race.

But this, of course, does not explain the whole purpose of Scripture prophecy in general, or of this one now before us in particular. It would further seem to be appropriate to the very nature of a collection of inspired writings, that it should include accredited predictions of future things. Having their ultimate source in that Infinite Mind to which the future is as the present, it might well be presumed that the scope of such writings would partake somewhat of the character of the mind that inspired them, and be accredited as thus inspired by the very fact that they prove their independence of limitations that affect all human productions. Thus the writing, when in the event prediction reaches its fulfillment, becomes its own ample witness, the Author of the Bible revealing himself in his word, as the Author of nature in his works.

A moment's further reflection suggests how incomplete and, in a sense, unsatisfactory a book like the Bible would be without this feature. Its subject may, in the most general way, be said to be the Kingdom of God in the world. That kingdom in its own nature embraces for its period the entire history of the human race. It is well nigh inconceivable that the account of it given through inspiration should be limited to any section of this period, or alone specially adapted to the men of that generation to which it is first of all given. It is not enough that it is a history or a body of doctrine. The very essential purpose of it requires that it should still look forward from the point of view of any one age, however far down the stream of time that age may be, and still have something to disclose, appealing to hope and desire; something future, to which the people of the covenant may still look as a coming glory or a coming struggle. Having that feature in the measure in which we find it there, the Bible is an inspiration to one age in the same way that it is to another; its riches of impulse and admonition and encouragement being as exhaustless as its riches of instruction and reproof and present comfort.

Consistently with this view of Scripture prophecy in general, we think it sufficient to say of the Apocalypse in particular, that it is a foreshowing of the fortunes of the Christian church, viewed as the spiritual Kingdom of God, during the ages of its militant state; to which is superadded a prophetic glimpse of that final triumphant and perfect state which comes in the restoration of all things. Its purpose must be to forewarn upon the one hand, to inspirit and sustain with courage upon the other. These ends it has served efficiently, during the centuries of the Christian Dispensation thus far, and these ends it still continues to serve. But to this may be added the fact that scarcely any one of the sacred writings has answered the end alike of intellectual and spiritual inspiration so fully as the Apocalypse; and this also we must presume to have been contemplated in it. The book is a wonderful one, even for those who deny its prophetic character: a marvelous creation of imaginative genius, even were it this alone. But it has commended itself as more than this to so many superior minds, has supplied such impulse to inquiry, and inspired so much of elevating and quickening study, that it may truly be said, in its intellectual and spiritual influence, to crown and consummate those Scriptures, all of which have been in the world such an element of both spiritual and intellectual power.

"To show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass. . . . Blessed," indeed, " is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. "


If any one theme can be named as the absorbing and comprehensive one in this book, it must be given to us in the words (1:7), "Behold, he cometh with clouds." With this announcement the book opens. With the Lord's own declaration, "Behold, 1 come quickly " (22:7), and the response of his servant, " Even so, come, Lord Jesus," the book closes. The Dispensation whose events and issues the book in the main prophetically traces, so far from being a final one, is but preparatory to that which is final. Of this fact, indications appear everywhere in the book itself, down to its closing chapters. The scene presented is not that of a final condition, settled and permanent, but a broken and changeful one; a theatre upon which warring forces meet, a vast stage of human history crowded with actors and issues, while in some of the changes of the tremendous drama, heaven itself seems in suspense as to what the final act shall be. The souls of martyred ones under the altar, through many centuries of ordeal, are crying, "How long! Lord?" while it is only in the finishing of "the mystery of God " that any final answer is given.

All this indicates a continual looking forward; the attitude is one of expectation; only as this consummation is reached is the key to the mysteries of divine providence at last found. And that consummation reaches its climax in the personal coming of the Lord. Now, the crucial point in the interpretation of this book is, for these reasons, that which concerns this second personal advent, more especially in its relation to that peculiar and significant feature of the whole prophecy — the millennium. This is not the place to set forth the reasons which influence us in placing this personal second advent after the millennium, rather than before. It must suffice, here, to simply announce the fact that our convictions, after careful study of the prophecy, compel this conclusion. The grounds upon which these convictions rest will appear in the proper place. For the present, we simply declare our acquiescence in that view of this second coming of our Lord which makes it the great event of the future; which regards it as bearing a relation to all that is now passing, and is yet to come in the present Dispensation, no less vital than the first advent bore to the four thousand years of human history that preceded it; and which claims that only as this event is set in its true relations, can this consummating Book of the New Testament be adequately understood or explained.


A phrase rich in significance occurs at ch. 10:7, in this book — "the mystery of God-'' ".'n the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then is finished the mystery of God, according to the good tidings which he declared to his servants, the prophets" (Revised Version). This "mystery of God" may, in general, be said to be the subject of the book. One finds in it, indeed, when carefully studied, what seems like a gathering up, in brief and sublime summary, of the whole of that inspired prophecy, the details of which we find sown all through the earlier books of Scripture. It is a panoramic exhibition of the divine procedure in dealing with the church and the world. It is human history at the point of view of the Kingdom of God in its origin its ordeal, its progress, its consummation.

Of course, a group of visions and allegories cannot be subjected to processes of logical analysis as other writings may. It is only after much study of such that the adjusting principle begins to disclose itself, and only after the details have been in some degree understood, that the general system in which these appear in orderly arrangement is even suspected. If we proceed to state, here, our own impressions as to the adjusting principle and the general system of the Apocalypse, as it appears to us after much study of it, verse by verse and chapter by chapter, we keep in mind the fact that very many such have been already proposed; and that if others have failed to grasp the idea of this difficult writing, so also may we.

Assuming that what we term the adjusting principle in this remarkable series of visions and allegories is as we have stated — a comprehensive disclosure under prophetic forms, of that " mystery of God " which is the substance of " the good tidings " declared "to his servants the prophets" — we find the subject of the book falling naturally into four general divisions.

I. The first is the origin, or beginning, of that Kingdom of God which is the central and regulating fact in the annals of our race. This is given to us, consistently with the general character of the book, under the forms of symbol and allegory. That in the history of this spiritual Kingdom of God which antedates Christianity is brought to view in the theophany that forms the subject of the fourth chapter. The King is there seen enthroned. The encircling Elders, on their four and twenty subordinate thrones, represent at once that ancient divine order which anticipated and foreshadowed the gospel, and the later and consummating one seen in the Church of the Lord Jesus. The four living creatures — symbols of the sentient creation — represent, in the vision, the fact that this Kingdom of God comprehends all being, while in those acts of adoration and worship in which they join with the elders, they recognize the supremacy of the enthroned One, and the universality of his reign. In the midst of these stands the Lamb, "as it had been slain," receiving the sealed book, and alone, in all the universe, found worthy to " open the book and loose the seals thereof "; symbolizing the central place filled in all history, sacred and secular, by the fact of redemption, and also the truth that the key to all history is the incarnation, the death, the resurrection, and the ascension of the Son of God. We shall have frequent occasion to observe how in all the succession of visions, the many and striking changes of scene throughout the Apocalyptic drama, these several features of the theophany remain as fixed elements. He "that sitteth upon the throne," the Lamb, the elders, and the living creatures, from time to time re-appear, as if to remind us how this fact of the Kingdom of God — the reign in righteousness of the Righteous King — is to be everywhere kept in view.

In so far as the origin of this Kingdom concerns Christianity, it is brought to view at three points in the succession of the visions:(1) In the opening of the first seal (ch. 6:1,2); (2) in the sounding of the first trumpet (ch. 8:7); (3) in the appearance of the woman, "clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" (ch. 12:1, 2). In the first of these, the Kingdom of God, or Christianity, is seen in its opening, triumphant era; in the second, those providences are indicated which signalized that era, more especially in the dispersion of the Jewish nation, the destruction of their city, and the passing away of the former Dispensation; in the third, we have presented the incarnation, the birth of the man-child, in whom, as "ruling the nations," the might and the dominion under this new order should centre, and by him in subsequent history be exercised.

II. Next is the ordeal. Like everything else in this world, the Kingdom of God must have its ordeal, and demonstrate its right of recognition in all that it claims to be. The ordeal, in this case, embraces centuries, and is fierce and testing beyond all previous example. The experiences of ancient Israel in Egypt and in the wilderness were but a shadow of those which were to be the lot of the anti-typical Israel, the church of the Lord Jesus, in the centuries of its own hot ordeal. This ordeal is set forth in three ways:(1) Under the second, third, fourth, and fifth seals, the special features being the out- break of Pagan hostility (the second seal, ch. 6:4), the mischiefs of the Antichristian Apostasy (third seal, 6:5), and persecution in its Pagan form (fourth and fifth seals, 6:7-10); the whole ending in the fall of Paganism, and its burial under the ruins of the Roman Empire itself (sixth seal, 6; 12-17), (2) Under the trumpets, which bring to view events occurring upon a wide theatre, and exhibiting the Kingdom of God in respect to what is more exterior, and concerned more with its general fortunes: the first trumpet exhibiting under striking imagery the providential events which signalized the beginning of this long history (ch. 8:7); the second trumpet, the fall of the Roman Empire, with its consequences as affecting the national life of Christendom (ch. 8:8, 9); the third and fourth, those effects of the Apostasy which were seen in the general condition of nominal Christendom, especially in the failure of Christian knowledge, and the prevalence of false teaching, with its consequent ignorance and superstition (ch. 8:10-12); the fifth, the opening of the abyss and the issuing forth of Satanic influence and agency, filling Christendom with violence, crime, and misery — the terrible centuries of the Dark Ages (ch. 9:1-12); and the sixth, the prevalence of desolating wars, more especially the assault upon apostolic Christendom by the Saracens. (3) Antichrist in his manifestation as the wild beast out of the sea, or the hostile world-power, imperial and other, in all ages (ch. 13:1-10); and the wild beast out of the earth, corrupt and oppressive ecclesiasticism (ch. 13:11-18), known also as the false prophet — false teaching in religion and the various forms of infidelity, having, more or less, their root in such teachings, or taking occasion from it to "deceive the nations." In all these forms the ordeal is exhibited under imagery intense and vivid to the last degree. The tenth and eleventh chapters are interposed with a view to show how in the midst of all God preserves to himself a " remnant," a "church in the wilderness," a seed for the harvest of a better era. A like truth is symbolized in the sealing of the servants of God.

III. This better era appears to be signalized by the appearance of the strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud, a rainbow upon his head, his face shining as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire (ch. 10:1, 2). He holds in his hand a little book, open, the symbol of a restored gospel and of a rapidly approaching consummation. He announces the speedy sounding of the seventh trumpet, and the finishing of the mystery of God — the fulfillment of prophecy and promise in respect to ultimate victories of the Kingdom of God. Like things are signalized by the resurrection of the slain witnesses (ch. 11:11-13), and their ascension into heaven; also by the angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to the whole world (ch. 14:6-7), by the proclamation of the fall of Babylon, and by the choruses of heavenly praise (ch. 11:15-18; 15:3, 4).

IV. The fourth general division is that of the consummation. It is heralded by the outpouring of the vials, with "the seven last plagues"; by the fall of Babylon, or the Papal Antichrist; the Beast, or Antichrist in its manifestation as a hostile world-power; and the False Prophet, or falsehood and deception, misleading and ruining the souls of men. Then comes the binding of the Dragon, or Satan (ch. 20:1-3), the full establishment of the Kingdom during the millennial period (ch. 20:4); to be followed, at the end of the thousand years, by the ultimate victory over Satan and his host, the coming of the Son of man, the great white throne, the general resurrection, the final judgment, the new heavens and the new earth.

We offer this as what seems to us an analysis of the contents of this difficult book, which may afford some general idea of the arrangement into which, upon careful study, its several parts appear to fall.



Ver. 1-3. The Prologue.

Ver. 4-8. The Salutation.

Ver. 9-20. The Vision of the Lord.



1. To the Church in Ephesus.

Ver. 1. Inscription.

Ver. 2, 3. Commendation.

Ver. 4-6. Reproof and Admonition.

Ver. 7. Promise and Encouragement.

2. To the Church in Smyrna.

Ver. 8. Inscription.

Ver. 9, 10. Commendation and Assurance.

Ver. 11. Promise.

3. To the Church in Pergamos.

Ver. 12. Inscription.

Ver. 13. Commendation.

Ver. 14-16. Reproof and Warning.

Ver. 17. Promise.

4. To the Church in Thyatira.

Ver. 18. Inscription.

Ver. 19. Commendation.

Ver. 20-23. Reproof and Threatening.

Ver. 24-29. Promise.



5. To the Church in Sardis.

Ver. 1. Inscription.

Ver. 1-3. Admonition.

Ver. 4-6. Promise.

6. To the Church in Philadelphia.

Ver. 7. Inscription.

Ver. 8-13. Commendation and Promise.

7. To the Church in Laodicea.

Ver. 14. Inscription.

Ver. 15-19. Admonition.

Ver. 20-22. Promise.



Ver. 1-3. The Vision of God.

Ver. 4. The Four and Twenty Elders — Representing the Kingdom of God as (1) Judaic; (2) Christian.

Ver. 5. The Throne and the Lamps of Fire.

Ver. 6-8. The Crystal Sea and the Four Living Creatures — Representing (1) Righteousness and Purity of the Divine Government; (2) its Comprehension of the Sentient Creation.

Ver. 8-11. Worship of the Creatures and the Redeemed.



Ver. 1-4. The Book — Who is Worthy to Open It?

Ver. 5-7. The Lamb in the Midst of the Throne.

Ver. 8-10. The New Song.

Ver. 11-14. The Angelic Response and the Chorus of Creation.



Ver. 1-8. The First Four Seals.

(1) The White Horse and its Rider — Opening Era of Christianity.

(2) The Red Horse and Rider — Outbreak of Opposition and Violence.

(3) The Black Horse and Rider — Famine of the Word.

(4) The Pale Horse and Rider — Persecution.

Ver. 9-11. The Fifth Seal — The Souls Under the Altar; Delay of Providential Vindication Symbolized.

Ver. 12-17. The Sixth Seal — The Great Earthquake; National Convulsion, with Dismay of Rulers and People.



Ver. 1. The Angels of the Winds. — Symbols of God's Restraining Providence.

Ver. 2, 3. Another Angel, Having the Seal of the Living God. The Sealing a Sign of Preservation Amidst the Ordeal.

Ver. 4-8. The Number of the Sealed.

Ver. 9-17. The Great Multitude and their Chorus of Praise.



Ver. 1. Opening of the Seventh Seal.

Ver. 2-6. The Trumpet Angels — Fire from the Altar of Incense Cast into the Earth.

Ver. 7. The First Trumpet Sounds — Hail and Fire Mingled with Blood; Providential Portents at the Opening of the Christian Dispensation.

Ver. 8, 9. The Second Trumpet Sounds — A Burning Mountain Cast into the Sea; Overthrow of Pagan Imperialism.

Ver. 10, 11. The Third Trumpet Sounds — The Falling Star; Christian Apostasy.

Ver. 12. The Fourth Trumpet Sounds — The Sun and Stars Darkened; Results of the Apostasy in False Teaching and Hierarchical Usurpation.

Ver. 13. The Three Woe-Trumpets Announced.



Ver. 1-12. The Fifth Trumpet Sounds — The Angel of the Kt, Satan; Locusts Out of the Pit — Satanic Influence and Agency.

Ver. 13-21. The Sixth Trumpet Sounds — The Four Euphrates Angels Loosed; Armies of Horsemen, Destructive Wars in Punishment of Apostasy.



Ver. 1-7. The Angel — Angel of the Covenant.

Ver. 8-11. The Little Book. A Recovered Gospel, Prophecy of the Consummation.



Ver. 1, 2. Measurement of the Temple — The True Church, Separate and Safe.

Ver. 3-13. The Two Witnesses — Adequate Christian Testimony in Time of Persecution.

Ver. 14-19. The Seventh Trumpet Sounds — End of the Ordeal- Era of Gospel Progress and Triumph.



The Vision Reverts to ''The Beginning of the Gospel."

Ver. 1-6. The Woman and the Dragon. — The Church as Mother of the Man-child; Satan as the Dragon, Persecution of the Church.

Ver. 7-12. Michael and the Dragon. — War in Heaven; Symbolizing the Victories of Redemption.

Ver. 13-17. The Flight of the Woman. — Wilderness State of the True Church.





Ver. 1-10. The Wild Beast Out of the Sea — Antichrist as a Hostile World-Power.

Ver. 11-18. The Wild Beast Out of the Earth — Antichrist as Corrupt and Oppressive Ecclesiasticism.





Ver. 1-5. The Lamb on Mount Zion. With Him the Redeemed Multitude. Result of the Pending Conflict Anticipated.

Ver. 6-1 2. Angelic Proclamations. The Gospel Angel Flying in Mid-Heaven. The " Second Angel " Announcing the Fall of Babylon. The " Third Angel " Proclaiming the Doom of the Adherents of Antichrist.

Ver. 13. A Voice from Heaven. The Blessed Dead.

Ver. 14-20. The Harvest and the Vintage.



Ver. 1-4. The Sea of Glass, the Redeemed Company, and the New Song.

Ver. 5-8. The Angels of the Vials — Ministers of Judgment in the World's Last Ages.





Ver. 1, 2. The Fourth Vial Poured Out into the Earth — God's Judgment upon Corrupt Ecclesiasticism.

Ver. 3. The Second Vial Poured Out into the Sea — God's Judgment upon Corrupt and Hostile Nationalities.

Ver. 4-7. The Third Vial Poured into the Rivers and Fountains — Corruption of the Sources of Intellectual, Moral, and National Life — Depraved Tendencies and Effects Overruled as Punishment.

Ver. 8, 9. The Fourth Vial Poured upon the Sun — Perversions of Revealed Truth through Fanaticism and Infidelity.

Ver. 10, 11. The Fifth Vial Poured upon the Seat of the Beast — Visitations upon Antichrist.

Ver. 12-16. The Sixth Vial Poured upon the River Euphrates. Hostile Influences Let Loose. Unclean Spirits of Antichristian Malice.

Ver. 17-21. The Seventh Vial Poured into the Air — Confusions and Tumults of the Last Times.





Ver. 1-7. The Woman and the Beast — Apostate Christianity Sustained by Anitichristian Powers.

Ver. 8-18. Angelic Exposition of the Vision.



Ver. 1-3. Angelic Proclamation — Babylon's Doom Announced.

Ver. 4-8. The Voice from Heaven — " Come out of Her, my People."

Ver. 9, 10. Lament of the Kings.

Ver. 11-16. Lament of the Merchants.

Ver. 17-19, Lament of the Shipmasters.

Ver. 21-24. The Stone Cast into the Sea — "Thus with Violence shall that Great City Babylon be Thrown Down."



Ver. 1-4. A Song of Deliverance — Celebrating the Judgment of Babylon.

Ver. 5-10. A Heavenly Chorus. All the Servants of God, Angels and Redeemed Spirits, Rejoice in his Righteous Sovereignty. They Welcome the Marriage of the Lamb.

Ver. 11-16. The Conquering Word. Consummating Triumph of the Gospel.

Ver. 17-21. Final Doom of Antichrist.



Ver. 1-3. The Binding of the Dragon — Satan and Satanic Agency Omnipotently Restrained.

Ver. 4. The Millennial Reign. The Kingdom of God in its Consummation of Power and Blessing.


Ver. 7-10. The Loosing of Satan and the Final Overthrow.

Ver. 11-15. General Resurrection and Last Judgment.



Ver. 1. The New Heaven and New Earth.

Ver. 2-4. New Jerusalem. The Tabernacle of God with Men.

Ver. 5-8. The Life Eternal and the Second Death.

Ver. 9-27. The Holy City Described.



Ver. 1, 2. The River and the Tree of Life.

Ver. 3-5. Security and Felicity.

Ver. 6-20. The Epilogue.

Ver. 21. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all Amen."