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5 Οἱ λοιποὶ τῶν νεκρῶν οὐκ ἔζησαν ἄχρι τελεσθῇ τὰ χίλια ἔτη.
Αὕτη ἡ ἀνάστασις ἡ πρώτη. 6° Μακάριος καὶ ἅγιος ὁ ἔχων μέρος ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῇ πρώτῃ· ἐπὶ τούτων ὁ θάνατος ὁ δεύτερος οὐκ ἔχει ἐξουσίαν· ἀλλὰ
Tua per vestigia mandas
Socium crucis ire latronem (the penitent thief);
Via lucida jam Paradisi.-Prudentius (Cath. x. 153). This true Scriptural and Catholic doctrine has been happily embodied by the Church of England in her Office for the Burial of the Dead. "Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of those that depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the righteous, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity," &c.
· ἔζησαν χίλια ἔτη] They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The souls of the Martyrs lived after their death, before the resurrection of their bodies. Indeed, they attained new life by death. The souls of holy men are not separated from communion with the Church, after their dissolution from the body. The faithful are members of Christ's mystical body after their death. They are born by death: therefore we read, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, even from that time, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours" (Rev. xiv. 13). Therefore even now they reign with Christ, and "made to sit in heavenly places with Him," Eph. i. 20;
rection of the body, which is the second Resurrection, is precisely similar to that in our Blessed Lord's Discourse, John v. 24—29, which affords the best commentary on this text. See the note there.
αὕτη ἡ ἀνάστασις ἡ πρώτη] This is the first Resurrection. He is speaking of the soul (see v. 4). Every soul which is united to Christ, Who is the Resurrection and the Life, rises from death and lives.
St. John here mentions the souls of the Martyrs only, because they especially reign when they die, in that they have fought for the truth even unto death. S. Augustine (de Civ. Dei, xx. 9). But, as the ancient Expositors observe, this Scripture is consolatory to all. "I am the Resurrection and the Life (saith Christ); he that believeth in Me, though he die (kav arоlávy), yet shall he live; and he that liveth and believeth on Me shall never die" (John xi. 25, 26). "If a Man keep my saying he shall never taste of death (John viii. 51), he has passed from death unto life" (John v. 24. Cp. John iii. 16; vi. 40. 47); and every faithful Christian is a Martyr, or Witness, of Christ.
This first Resurrection is begun in Baptism, and it is continued through life, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, and by the daily exercise of Repentance, by which the soul rises more and more "from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness' (Office for the Burial of the Dead). Thus, while "the outer man perisheth, the inner man is renewed day by day" (2 Cor. iv. 16).
It is well called the first Resurrection, because it is prior and preparatory to the second Resurrection-that of the body, from the grave to glory. The first Resurrection is the Resurrection of the soul from death, into a life of grace on Earth, and of bliss in Paradise.
In the Sacrament of Baptism we, who before were dead in sin, became dead to sin (Eph. ii. 1. Rom. vi. 2); and we renounced the Devil, and began our Martyrdom to Christ by professing our belief in Him; and we died to the old Adam, and were born into Christ, and were made sons of God by adoption in Him. Therefore Baptism is called in Scripture a Resurrection. "Buried with Him in Baptism, wherein ye are risen with Him through faith in the operation of God" (Col. ii. 12. Rom. vi. 4). "Reckon ye yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. vi. 11. Cp. Gal. ii. 19. 1 Thess. v. 10. See further below, v. 6. "This is the first Resurrection."
The second Resurrection is the Resurrection of the Body, and its reunion with the Soul, for a glorious immortality in Heaven.
5. oi λomol vwv veкpwv] The rest of the dead lived not-that is, they remained dead, they did not receive life, till the thousand years should have been finished. On this use of the word (âv, to receive life, see the parallel passage, John v. 25, oi àkovσavtes Shoorra; and on the sense of Teλeσon, see Winer, § 41, p. 266. Elz, has de after of here, but this is not in the best MSS. and Editions.
6. μaкápios] Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first Resurrection.
Observe the combination here of Blessedness with Holiness. Blessed and holy is he who hath part in holy Baptism—that is, who duly estimates, and rightly uses, the spiritual graces therein bestowed-he is blessed. Blessed is he, because he is holy. Blessed is he, because he has been made a member of Him Who is the Holy One of God. Blessed is he, because he has risen from the death of sin: he is risen with Christ, and seeks those things which are above (Col. iii. 1). "He that hath this hope in Christ, purifieth himself even as He is pure" (1 John iii. 3). For He says to all His Members, "Be ye holy, for I am holy (1 Pet. i. 16). Therefore blessed and holy is he who hath part in the first Resurrection; but he who is unholy and accursed hath his part in the second death. Cp. v. 14.
After the crisis of the last struggle, they will revive "to shame and contempt" (Dan. xii. 2) at the General Resurrection. See Andreas here, in Catenâ, p. 472. Elz. has ȧvé(noav &xpi, and so Griesb., Scholz; but A, B, and many Cursives and Versions, have (noav, and so Lachm., Tisch.
The transition here from the Spiritual Resurrection of the soul, which is the first Resurrection, to that of the General Resur
Wisely therefore has the Church connected the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. v. 1) as a Gospel, with a declaration of the felicity of the Saints in the Epistle (from Rev. vii. 2) on the festival of All Saints. None can attain to the glory of the one, without the graces of the other.
El TоÚTV] over these the second death hath no power. See the remarks of Bp. Andrewes (on John xx. 23, Serm. iv. p. 83). "The Scripture maketh mention of a first and
second death, and, from those, of a first and second Resurrection. Both expressly set down in one verse; 'Happy is he that hath his part in the first resurrection, for over such the second death hath no power' (Rev. xx. 6). Christ truly is the Saviour of the whole man, both soul and body, from the first and second death; but beginning first with the first, that is with sin, the death of the soul, and the rising from it. So is the method of Divinity prescribed by Himself (Matt. xxiii. 26); first, to cleanse that which is within-the soul; then that which is without-the
body. He that hath his part in the first resurrection' shall
not fail of it in the second.'
"The first resurrection' then from sin is it which our Saviour Christ goeth about (in John xx. 23), whereto there is no less power required than a Divine power. For look, what power is necessary to raise the dead body out of the dust, the very same every way is requisite to raise the dead soul out of sin. For which cause the Remission of sins is an article of faith, no less than the Resurrection of the body. For in very deed, a Resurrection it is, and so it is termed no less than that" (Bp. Andrewes). "We are passed from death unto life," says St. John (1 John iii. 14), speaking of those who are born again; and this new birth is the same that he calls the first Resurrection (Rev. xx. 6. Abp. Leighton on 1 Pet. ii. 1, 2).
We here read, that over these the second death hath no power. It has power therefore on the others, concerning whom he had just said that they live not till the thousand years shall be finished inasmuch as in all that interval of time, which is thus designated, whatsoever life any of these may have in the body, he never lived in the soul, being dead in sin: and so never had any part in the first resurrection, and therefore he will have a part in the second death. S. Augustine (de Civ. Dei, xx. 9).
ἔσονται ἱερεῖς τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, καὶ βασιλεύσουσι μετ ̓ αὐτοῦ χίλια ἔτη.
oovrai iepeis] They will be priests of God and Christ. This is not said only of Bishops and Presbyters, who are properly called Priests in the Church (says Augustine), but as we are all called Christians, on account of the mystical unction (chrisma) that we have from Christ, the Anointed of God, so, in a certain sense, all are Priests, because we are all members of the One Great High Priest. Wherefore the Apostle says, "Ye are a holy people, a royal priesthood" (1 Pet. ii. 9). And thus St. John briefly intimates that Christ is God: for he says that they are priests of God and of Christ, that is, of the Father and of the Son. S. Augustine (de Civ. Dei, xx. 10).
A just observation certainly; for no one can be a priest to a man; and the Apostle would not have thus joined Christ with God, if Christ were not God.
Baoiλevoovo] they will reign with Christ a thousand years. The Alexandrine MS. has the present tense here, BaorAevous, they are reigning: this is observable, and confirms the opinion that St. John is speaking of a period which had commenced when he was writing.
Dr. Lightfoot, Harmony on Rev. xx. and Sermons, vol. ii. p. 1055, and p. 117, and p. 1233, says (on Rev. xx.), "This Twentieth Chapter containeth a brief view of all the times from the rising of the Gospel to the end of the world."
On the doctrine of a MILLENNIUM.
The foregoing verses of this chapter have been understood by some to intimate, that Christ will come from heaven, at His next appearance, in order to raise the Saints from their graves, and in order to reign with them upon earth for a Thousand years.
This is commonly called the doctrine of a MILLENNIUM; and they who hold it are called Chiliasts, from the xíλia erŋ here mentioned, or Millenarians.
But this doctrine of a personal appearance of Christ, for a reign with His Saints upon earth, for a period of a thousand years, is inconsistent with the language of the APOCALYPSE in particular, and with the general doctrine of HOLY SCRIPTURE, and with the teaching of the Catholic Church.
(1) The Millenarians suppose, that the Saints will be raised with their bodies to reign with Christ upon earth, and they ground that notion on this passage of the Apocalypse.
But the Resurrection, of which the Apocalypse here speaks, is not a Resurrection of bodies, but of souls (see v. 4, "I saw the souls").
(2) The Millenarians suppose that the Saints,--and only the Saints, will be raised in a bodily Resurrection to live and reign with Christ on earth for a thousand years; and that Christ's kingdom will be established in a state of great glory and felicity upon earth for that time.
But the Apocalypse reveals a state of great impiety on earth, at the end of the millennial period; and it displays a general insurrection and open rebellion against Christ in the four quarters of the world at that time (v. 8). Such a state of things would be unaccountable, if Christ's dominion had been established upon earth for a thousand years; and if the Saints-and the Saints only-had been living and reigning upon earth for that time.
(3) The Millenarians suppose the absence of pain and sorrow during the millennial period; but the Apocalypse declares the continuance of pain and sorrow even to the end (see xxi. 4).
(4) The Millenarians suppose that Christ will come down from heaven to raise the bodies of His Saints, in order that He may reign here with them where they are; but the Apocalypse declares that the souls of His Saints are raised, that they may reign with Him where He is. The Millenarians bring down Christ to men: the Apocalypse raises men to Christ.
Their opinion is also at variance with the doctrine taught in other parts of HOLY SCRIPTURE.
(5) The Millenarians suppose that the bodies of Saints will be raised a thousand years before the Last Day.
But Christ Himself affirms in HOLY SCRIPTURE that they who believe in Him will be raised at the LAST DAY (John vi. 39).
(6) The Millenarians suppose that when Christ next appears, He will not come for the purpose of judging the world, but of reigning upon earth.
But Christ Himself has declared in Holy Scripture, that when He next comes, it will be in order to raise all men, and to judge them all; "and that the Saints will be caught up in the clouds into the air, to meet the Lord, and so be ever with the Lord." See John v. 28, 29. Matt. xvi. 27. Cp. 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. 2 Thess. i. 7. 2 Tim. iv. 1. And the Apocalypse declares, that when Christ cometh with the clouds, "every eye shall see Him" (i. 7).
(7) The Millenarians suppose that a thousand years will pass away after Christ's next appearing; and that Satan will be loosed after those thousand years, and that after a general wicked rebel. lion against Christ, then the Wicked will rise from the grave, and the Universal Judgment will take place.
But, if the Righteous had been already raised visibly in their bodies, and had already reigned with Christ in person for a thousand years upon earth, the Day of Resurrection and of Judgment would be of little concern to them; their condition would have been already declared; and the future Resurrection and Judgment would have lost in great measure the character of Universality ascribed to it in Holy Writ. And if the Wicked are not to live till after the loosing of Satan, and the impious insurrection of godless multitudes against Christ (v. 8), we must suppose that many of the risen Saints of Christ, who have reigned with Him during the Millennium, will rise up in rebellion against Him!
(8) The Millenarians presume that the Day of Judgment cannot come till after a thousand years from the binding of Satan, which they suppose to be still future; and that it will come in a short time after the expiration of those thousand years. But Christ Himself declares in the Apocalypse that He comes quickly, as a thief (Rev. iii. 11; xvi. 15), and the whole tenour of Holy Scripture teaches that the Day of Judgment will be sudden and unexpected, and that it is our duty to be ever watching, for "we know not the day nor the hour when our Lord will come" (Matt. xxiv. 42. Cp. Acts i. 7).
(9) The Millenarians disparage the blessed work which Christ has already performed in His Death, Passion, Resur rection, and sending the Holy Ghost; and they depreciate the efficacy of Christ's Mission at His first Advent, by which He bound Satan, and has enabled every faithful Christian to over. come him; see above, on v. 1, p. 265.
(10) Lastly, the Millenarians suppose that Christ will leave His heavenly Throne of Glory, in order to come and reign for a thousand years with men upon this low and little Earth.
But, after the sublime Visions of the Apocalypse, where Christ is revealed as adored by Myriads of Angels in heaven, such a notion as this seems to be inconsistent with the revela tions of this sublime book, and to be derogatory to the dignity of Christ, as displayed therein, and in other parts of Holy Scripture. Christ has ascended into heaven, and He there sitteth in glory till He makes all His foes His footstool (see Ps. cx. 1. Matt. xxii. 44. 1 Cor. xv. 25), and He has declared, that when He next appears, it will not be for the sake of reigning a thousand years upon earth, but for the sake of executing judgment on all His enemies, especially upon Satan, and of raising all men from their graves, and of rewarding His faithful servants with heavenly joys. On such grounds as these we feel constrained to reject the doctrine of a Millennium, or of a personal reign of Christ upon earth with His Saints for a thousand years.
The interpretation given of these verses (1-6) in the foregoing notes is that which has been adopted by the best Expositors of the Western and Eastern Churches from the days of S. Augustine to those of Bp. Andrewes. See S. Augustine, de Civ. Dei xx. 7-9. Andreas, in Bibl. P. Max. v. p. 626. Cassiodorus in Apocalyp. p. 239. Primasius, B. P. M. x. 329. Haymo, ad loc. Ambrosius Ansbertus, B. P. M. p. 620. Bede, p. 429. Bp. Andrewes c. Bellarmine, c. 10, and Sermons; see vol. ii. pp. 199. 237. 402, and vol. iii. 48, on John xx. 17, and vol. v. 83, on John xx. 23, and vol. v. 298. Bp. Hall, on the Revelation, p. 921. Abp. Leighton, on 1 Pet. ii. 2.
It is observable that this Exposition was adopted after a careful scrutiny of the opinions of some who supposed that this chapter describes a personal reign of Christ on earth with the Saints for a thousand years before the general Resurrection.
That opinion undoubtedly was entertained by some pious and learned men in ancient times. It was held by Papias (see Euseb. iii. 39. Hieron. Scr. Eccl. c. 18), Irenæus (v. 33, 34), Tertullian (c. Marcion. iii. 24), Justin Martyr (c. Tryphon. c. 80), and some few more.
But it was afterwards sifted by others, especially by Origen (de Princip. ii. 11. 2, and 6, and Prolog. in Cantica), Dionysius of Alexandria (Euseb. vii. 24, 25), S. Ephraim (iii. p. 449), S. Gregory Nazianzen (Orat. li. and hi.), S. Jerome (in Esaiam, xxx. and liv. lxv. and in Ezek. xxxviii. Epist. 150), and S. Augustine (de Civ. Dei xx. 7).
The language of Andreas, Bishop of Cappadocia, in the sixth century, stating the opinion of the Millenarians, and declaratory
* Καὶ ὅταν τελεσθῇ τὰ χίλια ἔτη, λυθήσεται ὁ Σατανᾶς ἐκ τῆς φυλακῆς αὐτοῦ,
& 39. 1.
8' καὶ ἐξελεύσεται πλανῆσαι τὰ ἔθνη τὰ ἐν ταῖς τέσσαρσι γωνίαις τῆς γῆς, τὸν [ Ezek. 38. 2. Γὼγ καὶ τὸν Μαγώγ, συναγαγεῖν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν πόλεμον, ὧν ὁ ἀριθμὸς αὐτῶν ch. 16. 14. ὡς ἡ ἄμμος τῆς θαλάσσης.
of the doctrine of the Church, in this respect, is very clear and explicit. Bibl. Patrum Max. tom. v. p. 627. Primam ex mortuis Resurrectionem solis sanctis propriam futuram dixerunt (Millenarii); quo nimirum in hac crassa et caliginosâ terrâ, in quâ illustria fortitudinis et patientiæ specimina ediderant, Mille annis gloriâ et honore potiantur; post hoc autem tempus elapsum universalem omnium, hoc est non justorum tantum, verum etiam peccatorum, Resurrectionem fore. Sed ECCLESIA neutrum horum recipit: ὅτι οὐδὲν τούτων ἡ Ἐκκλησία δέδεκται, περιττόν éoTi Kal λével, says Arethas, p. 816. Cp. Catena, ed. Cramer, pp. 469-472. 566--569.
The result of the examination of the opinion of the Millenarians was, that after the fifth century hardly any writer of credit can be cited as holding the notion of a personal reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years, or as supposing that such an opinion could be deduced from the Apocalypse.
The opinion of the Millenarians, or Chiliasts, as they were called, was censured in ancient times as erroneous. See S. Augustine de Hæres. c. 8. Philastr. de Hæres. 59, who says, "Haresis est Chilionetitarum, id est Millenariorum, quæ docet ita, cùm venerit Christus de cœlo, mille anni erunt iterum nobis
ad carnaliter vivendum," &c. It is condemned by the Church in the Athanasian Creed, where it is said, that at "Christ's Coming all men will rise with their bodies." The evidence on this subject may be seen in Tillemont, art. Millénaires, ii. p. 140. Hist. Eccles. liv. iii. c. 15. Ecclesiæ sensus (says Cornelius à Lapide ad Apoc. xx.) "Millenariorum sententiam reprobat; unde jam evanuisse videtur." Cf. Baron, Annal. ad An. 303, n. 127. "Je ne scay point" (says Tillemont, Hist. Eccl. art. Papias, ii. p. 140) "qu'on trouve qu'il y ait eu des Millénaires depuis S. Jerome et S. Augustin, de sorte que si quelques uns en ont conservé les sentiments, cela n'a fait aucun éclat considérable.” And Dr. Isaac Barrow (Sermon xxviii, vol. v. p. 27, ed. Oxf. 1818) classes the doctrine of the Millennium among "notions not certain or not true, in which they who entertain them followed some conceits once passable among divers, but not built on any sure foundation, and which were anciently in great vogue, but are now discarded." See also Dr. Hammond ad Rev. xx. 7: "Though some were otherwise minded, yet was this doctrine of the Chiliasts condemned by the Church, and since that time all were accounted hereticks who maintained it."
The opinion of the Millenarians was also condemned both by the Lutherans and Calvinists of the sixteenth century. See the Augsburgh Confession (A.D. 1530), pars i. art. xvii. p. 14, ed. Hase. Lips. 1837. The original words "damnant alios, qui nunc spargunt Judaicas opiniones, quòd ante resurrectionem mortuorum pii regnum mundi occupaturi sint." Melanchthon (de furoribus et deliriis Anabaptistarum), tom. i. "Anabaptistæ affirmant oportere ante novissimum diem in terris regnum Christi tale existere in quo pii dominentur."
The two most learned Lutherans, Martin Chemnitzius and John Gerhard, speak in similar terms of Millenarianism. See Chemnitz. de Lect. Patrum, Loc. Com. ed. 1690, p. 2, where he calls "opinio Chiliastica" error in fundamento." an The words of Gerhard may be seen in his Loci Theolog. ix. p. 322. Chiliasm was also confuted by Osiander contra Puccium, Tubing. 1593, and by Cramer de Regno Christi, p. ii. c. 4. Calvin (Inst. iii. xxv. 5, p. 177, ed. Tholuck, 1835) says, "Chiliastarum commentum puerilius est, quàm ut refutatione vel indigeat vel dignum sit. Nec illis suffragatur Apocalypsis (xx. 1), ex quâ errori suo colorem induxisse certum est,"
follows: "He (Christ) ascended into heaven, and sittéth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and from thence shall come again, at the end of the world, to judge the quick and the dead."
These expressions are irreconcileable with the opinion of the Millenarians, that the purpose of Christ's next appearance from Heaven will not be to raise the dead from their graves, and to judge the quick and dead, but to reign in person upon earth with His Saints for a thousand years before the General Resurrection and the Day of Judgment.
The history of Millenarian opinions has been written by Corodi, Geschichte des Chiliasmus, Zurich, 1781, 3 vols. See also Gieseler, Church History, §§ 52. 63. 66, and the Bampton Lectures of the Rt. Rev. S. Waldegrave, D.D., Bishop of Car. lisle. Lond. 1855.
7-10. Kal Öтav Teλeσ011]. And when the thousand years shall have been finished, Satan will be loosed out of his prison; and shall go forth to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
And they went upon the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them, And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where both the Beast and the False Prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
This Vision pre-announces that before the close of the Christian dispensation, under which we now live, a great and final struggle between good and evil will ensue. Our Lord Himself had predicted this, by comparing the Days before His Coming to the Days of Noah (Matt. xxiv. 37), and of Lot (Luke xvii. 28), and to the Days before the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. xxiv. 3-35); and by asking this question, "When the Son of Man (Luke xviii. 8.) cometh, shall He find the faith on earth?
Millenarianism was also condemned in one of the Articles of the Church of England, A.D. 1552. See Dr. Cardwell, Synod. i. p. 17. The Church of England also rejects this opinion in the IVth of her XXXIX Articles, where she says that "Christ ascended into heaven and there sitteth until He return," not, for a personal reign during a Millennium on earth, but in order "to judge all men, at the Last Day." Similarly in her Collect for Advent she teaches her people to pray, "that at the Last Day, when Christ shall come again in His glorious Majesty to judge the quick and dead, we may rise to the life immortal." And, in the Order for the Burial of the Dead, she prays that Christ would "shortly accomplish the number of His elect, and hasten His kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of God's holy name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss in body and soul in His eternal and everlasting glory." The judgment of the Church of England in this matter is also further pronounced in the words of the Creed inserted in her Baptismal Office, as
S. Augustine inquires whether it is to be supposed that the Saints will cease to reign when the Devil is loosed (de Civ. Dei, xx. 13). To which question he replies in the negative. It is indeed said that Satan will be bound for a thousand years, and it is added that he will afterwards be bound for a little while. And it is also said that the Saints will reign a thousand years, but it is not said that they will cease to reign, when the thousand years are past. The fact that they reign with Christ is a pledge of the endurance of their reign; for His " Kingdom is that which will never be destroyed" (Dan. ii. 44). Indeed, as Christ's promise to them that he would be with them until the end of the world
(Matt. xxviii. 20), and that some who stood there would not taste of death until they saw the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom, did not imply that He would ever desert His Disciples, or that they who stood by Him would ever taste of death, but the reverse (see on Matt. xvi. 28); so the promise of a reign with Christ for a thousand years does not imply any cessation of that reign on the expiration of that period, but rather an increase of glory after it. And it is probable (as Augustine observes) that the final struggle will be as brief as it is fierce; and that it will suddenly be terminated by the appearance of Christ coming to Judgment. On those modes of expression, compare note above on Matt. i. 25.
v. 8. The words τέσσαρσι γωνίαις τῆς γῆς, literally, four corners of the earth, are rightly rendered "four quarters of the earth" in the English Authorized Version. This is the sense of the word ywvía in 1 Sam. xiv. 38; it signifies all within the four corners (cp. above, vii. 1), and corresponds to wλáτos, breadth, in v. 9. See Hengstenberg here. This phrase pre-announces a great gathering and general Insurrection against Christ, as indeed is declared by the additional assertion that their number will be
as the sand of the sea.
The Nations called Gog and Magog are representatives of the enemies of God. Magog was the second son of Japheth (Gen. x. 2), the father of the Gentiles, as distinguished from the race of Shem; and Gog is called in Ezekiel the chief Prince of Meshech and Tubal, who are also of the race of Japheth (Gen. x. 2). In the prophecy of Ezekiel (xxxviii. xxxix.), which is continued and consummated in this Vision of the Apocalypse, other Nations are represented as allied with Gog against Israel (xxxviii. 5-23; xxxix. 1-5); and with Magog (xxxix. 6). The battle is then described, and the defeat and burial of Gog and his multitude (xxxix. 11-16), and the sacrifice of God's enemies (vv. 17, 18),
g Dan, 7. 11. ch. 19. 20.
& 14, 10, 11.
h 2 Pet. 3. 10.
i Exod. 32. 32. Ps. 62. 13.
& 69. 29.
Jer. 17. 10.
& 32. 19.
Matt. 16. 27.
& 14. 12.
1 Cor. 3. 8.
2 Cor. 5. 10. Gal. 6. 5. Phil. 4. 3. ch. 2. 23.
4 3 5 4 13. 8.
9 Καὶ ἀνέβησαν ἐπὶ τὸ πλάτος τῆς γῆς, καὶ ἐκύκλευσαν τὴν παρεμβολὴν τῶν ἁγίων, καὶ τὴν πόλιν τὴν ἠγαπημένην· 8 καὶ κατέβη πῦρ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ κατέφαγεν αὐτούς· 10 καὶ ὁ Διάβολος ὁ πλανῶν αὐτοὺς ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ θείου, ὅπου καὶ τὸ θηρίον καὶ ὁ ψευδοπροφήτης, καὶ βασανισθή. σονται ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.
11 * Καὶ εἶδον θρόνον μέγαν λευκὸν, καὶ τὸν καθήμενον ἐπ ̓ αὐτοῦ· οὗ ἀπὸ τοῦ προσώπου ἔφυγεν ἡ γῆ καὶ ὁ οὐρανὸς, καὶ τόπος οὐχ εὑρέθη αὐτοῖς.
12 · Καὶ εἶδον τοὺς νεκροὺς, τοὺς μεγάλους καὶ τοὺς μικροὺς, ἑστῶτας ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου· καὶ βιβλία ἠνοίχθησαν· καὶ ἄλλο βιβλίον ἠνοίχθη, ὅ ἐστι τῆς ζωῆς· καὶ ἐκρίθησαν οἱ νεκροὶ ἐκ τῶν γεγραμμένων ἐν τοῖς βιβλίοις, κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν.
13 Καὶ ἔδωκεν ἡ θάλασσα τοὺς νεκροὺς τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ, καὶ ὁ Θάνατος καὶ ὁ Αιδης. ἔδωκαν τοὺς νεκροὺς τοὺς ἐν αὐτοῖς· καὶ ἐκρίθησαν ἕκαστος κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν. 14 * Καὶ ὁ Θάνατος καὶ ὁ ̔́Αιδης ἐβλήθησαν εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ κι cor. 13. 26, πυρός· οὗτος ὁ θάνατος ὁ δεύτερός ἐστι, ἡ λίμνη τοῦ πυρός. 15 Καὶ εἴ τις οὐχ εὑρέθη ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ τῆς ζωῆς γεγραμμένος, ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρός.
& 21. 27. & 22. 12.
a Isa. 65. 17. & 66. 22.
2 Pet. 3. 13.
ΧΧΙ. 1" Καὶ εἶδον οὐρανὸν καινὸν καὶ γῆν καινήν· ὁ γὰρ πρῶτος οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ πρώτη γῆ ἀπῆλθον, καὶ ἡ θάλασσα οὐκ ἔστιν ἔτι.
and the full and final triumph of His cause, and the sanctification and glorification of His people.
It appears from that prophecy, that the names Gog and Magog are used here to signify generally the earthly powers leagued together under the banner of Satan, and opposed to God and the Christian Israel, and the heavenly Jerusalem. This is clear from the fact that they are described as existing in the four quarters of the earth, and as going over the breadth of the earth, and as being as the sand of the sea (vv. 8, 9).
The defeat and burial of Gog and his hosts in the Vision of Ezekiel, is explained by this Vision of the Apocalypse to be prophetical of the overthrow of Satan and all his Confederates, and of their condemnation to the Lake of fire.
Here then is a prophecy of the final Persecution, which will precede Christ's coming to Judgment. Then will be a general struggle between the City of God and the City of the Evil One. 10. ὁ Διάβολος] The Devil who deceiveth them was cast into the Lake of fire. Satan rises in rebellion against God, in order to fall to a lower depth, after each successive insurrection. He rose against God in heaven, and was cast down from heaven into earth (xii. 9). He rose against God in earth, and has been cast into the abyss (xx. 1-3). He will hereafter be loosed from the abyss (xx. 7; cp. Isa. li. 10), and will rise and excite many to He will then be consigned to a desperate rebellion against God. a lower gulf, even to the lake of fire, from which there will be no egress. The more fiercely Satan rages against Christ, the more fearful will be his ruin.
In reviewing the preceding portion of this chapter, we see a brief summary of what has been done by Christ for His Church,
from His Incarnation to the End of Time.
We see that Christ
came from heaven to bind Satan; that He did bind him; and gave men power to overcome him; that He made them partners of His triumph and inheritors of His glory.
Here we see an answer to the objection that might otherwise have been raised, from a consideration of the afflictions of the Church, revealed in the Apocalypse. Her sufferings were her path to glory. The Death of the faithful was their gate to Life. Nothing can harm them; they are enthroned with Christ.
We here recognize also the important truth, that the punishment of the wicked is not due to any want of love in Christ, but to their own sins, which loose Satan against them.
This is the moral to be derived from the first part of this chapter. Having taught us this lesson, St. John takes a step which he has not taken before. He passes from Time into Eternity. He sees the Throne of JUDGMENT set, and the Books opened, and the Dead raised and judged. He reveals the Heavenly City. Thus he displays the immensity of God's love to man, and the greatness of His power; and the severity of His justice, and awakens the fears, and excites the courage, and stimulates the faith, and quickens the hope of Christians in every age.
The GENERAL RESURRECTION and LAST JUDGMENT. 11-15. καὶ εἶδον ] And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away : and no place was found for them.
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, stand before the throne: and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the Dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and Death and Hades delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
And Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
In v. 12 the article Toùs has been restored by the recent editors; and μεγάλους has been placed before μικρούς. No one is so great or so small as to escape the Judgment to come.
Elz. has Θεοῦ, of God; but θρόνου has been rightly adopted by the most recent Editors from A, B, and most ancient Versions. The Son of Man is the Judge (John v. 22). It is before His Throne that all must appear (2 Cor. v. 10). In vv. 13 and 14 the English Version has hell for aons. See above, i. 18; vi. 8; and compare 1 Cor. xv. 55.
"O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of
“ Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not Thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, Thou most worthy Judge Eternal, suffer us not at our last hour for any pains of death to fall from Thee. Amen."
CH. XXI.] The heavenly bliss and GLORY of the RIGHTEOUS;
18. καὶ εἶδον] And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth passed away: and the sea
is no more.
And the holy city, new Jerusalem, I saw coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, their God. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither sorrow, nor crying, nor pain: for the former things passed away.
And He that sitteth upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He saith, Write: for these sayings are faithful and true. And He said unto me, They are done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life
Gal. 4. 26.
ch. 3. 12.
2 Καὶ τὴν πόλιν τὴν ἁγίαν, Ἱερουσαλὴμ καινὴν, εἶδον καταβαίνουσαν ἐκ τοῦ b 2 Cor. 11. 2. οὐρανοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἡτοιμασμένην ὡς νύμφην κεκοσμημένην τῷ ἀνδρὶ αὐτῆς· τα 10. 3° καὶ ἤκουσα φωνῆς μεγάλης ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ λεγούσης, Ἰδοὺ, ἡ σκηνὴ τοῦ Θεοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, καὶ σκηνώσει μετ ̓ αὐτῶν· καὶ αὐτοὶ λαὸς Ε. 3. 7. αὐτοῦ ἔσονται, καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ Θεὸς μετ ̓ αὐτῶν ἔσται αὐτῶν Θεός· 4 4 καὶ a Isa. 25, 8. ἐξαλείψει πᾶν δάκρυον ἀπὸ τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν· καὶ ὁ θάνατος οὐκ αr. 13. 26, 54. ἔσται ἔτι, οὔτε πένθος οὔτε κραυγὴ οὔτε πόνος οὐκ ἔσται ἔτι, ὅτι τὰ πρῶτα ἀπῆλθεν.
5* Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ καθήμενος ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ, Ἰδοὺ, καινὰ ποιῶ πάντα. Καὶ λέγει· Γράψον, ὅτι οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί εἰσι. 6' Καὶ εἶπέ μοι, Γέγοναν, ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ ̓Αλφα καὶ τὸ Ω, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος. Ἐγὼ τῷ διψῶντι δώσω αὐτῷ ἐκ τῆς πηγῆς τοῦ ὕδατος τῆς ζωῆς δωρεάν 7 ε ὁ νικῶν κληρονο μήσει ταῦτα, καὶ ἔσομαι αὐτῷ Θεὸς, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται μοι υἱός· 8 * τοῖς δὲ δειλοῖς καὶ ἀπίστοις, καὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς καὶ ἐβδελυγμένοις, καὶ φονεῦσι καὶ πόρνοις, φαρμακοῖς καὶ εἰδωλολάτραις, καὶ πᾶσι τοῖς ψευδέσι, τὸ μέρος αὐτῶν ἐν λίμνῃ τῇ καιομένῃ πυρὶ καὶ θείῳ, ὅ ἐστι ὁ θάνατος ὁ δεύτερος.
& 35. 16.
ch. 7. 17.
e Isa. 43. 19.
& 41. 4. &
& 55. 1.
& 7. 37.
Zech. 8. 8. Heb. 8. 10. 1 h 1 Cor. 6. 9.
τ 5 21
Eph. 5. 5.
Heb. 12. 14. ch. 20. 14, 15. & 22. 15.
freely. He that overcometh shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and sinners, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. S. Irenæus (v. 35. 2) quotes these verses from v. 1 to v. 6. In v. 3 he has peoples in the plural, and so A, and some Cursives. In v. 1 Elz. has παρῆλθε: but ἀπῆλθον or ἀπῆλθαν, they passed away, is the reading of the best MSS.
Observe the aorist here (ἀπῆλθον), and in v. 4; it describes the suddenness with which all the pomp and power, all the grandeur and glory, and all the pain and sorrow, of this lower world, will disappear and glide away, like a dream when one awaketh. (Ps. lxxiii. 19.) Cp. note on James i. 11.
See also the remarkable parallel in 2 Cor. v. 17, εἴ τις ἐν Χριστῷ, καινὴ κτίσις, τὰ ἀρχαῖα παρῆλθεν (observe the aorist, as here), ἰδοὺ γέγονε καινὰ τὰ πάντα. Regeneration began in the first resurrection, which is Baptism (xx. 5), and will be consummated in the second Resurrection to heavenly and eternal glory, both in body and soul.
ἡ θάλασσα] The sea exists no more ; the restless, troubled element of worldly pride and tumultuous rebellion, and confusion, and anarchy, has no longer any being.
On this meaning of the word sea in the Apocalypse, see above, viii. 8, 9; xiii. 1; cp. Ps. lxv. 7, "the noise of the waves, and the madness of the people ;” and Isa. Ivii. 20, “ The wicked are like the troubled sea:" and Luke xxi. 25, "on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.” "He designates by the name of sea," says Bede, "the troublous life of this world, which will then be over."
2. Ιερουσαλὴμ καινήν] new Jerusalem. Observe the Hebrew form of the name Jerusalem, a form never used by St. John in the narrative of his Gospel, where he always uses the Greek form Ἱεροσόλυμα, indicating that the literal City had been, as it were, then made like a Gentile City by its sins, especially by its rejection of Christ and His Apostles.
In a similar spirit he uses the word of 'lovdaîoi, "the Jews," in his Gospel, as opponents of Christ. See above, Introduction to the Gospel of St. John, p. 268.
But in his Apocalypse he never uses the Greek form Ιεροσόλυμα, but always the Hebrew form Ἱερουσαλήμ, and by it he describes the Church glorified. His design is to Christianize Hebrew names and ideas, and to show that they have their consummation in the Gospel and Church of Christ.
On the same principle, he never applies the word Jew, in the Apocalypse, to designate the literal Israel, but he employs it to characterize the true worshippers of Jesus Christ. See ii. 9; iii. 9. Thus the figurative style of St. John's Apocalypse is exhibited in striking contrast to the historical diction of his Gospel.
Thus also he ministers comfort to the true Israelites, by declaring to them, that though the literal Jerusalem is now trodden under foot by the Gentiles, yet they themselves have a Heavenly city; and that more than all the glories of the ancient Sion are perpetuated in the new Jerusalem. See above, Introduction, pp. 144, 145.
The most learned among the ancient Jews had some presen. timents of this Apocalyptic Vision. They were familiar with the name heavenly Jerusalem," and believed it to be the archetype of what they saw in the literal Sion, its Temple, and its Ritual. They regarded them as the shadow of heavenly things” (Heb. viii. 5). This opinion had been authorized by the Hebrew Scriptures. God said to Moses, "See thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the Mount." The sayings of the Hebrew doctors on this subject may be seen in the treatise of Schoettgen, de Hierosolyma Caelesti, pp. 12051248, of his Hora Hebraicæ, 1733.
καταβαίνουσαν] coming down. The new Jerusalem descends from out of heaven; all her graces are from above. She is described here as a Bride adorned for her own husband, and is thus contrasted with Babylon, the Harlot Church, adorned for another, not her husband, and which is seated on the Beast which rises out of the troubled element (v. 1), the sea. See xiii. 1.
3. ἰδοὺ, ἡ σκηνή] Behold the Tabernacle of God is with men. The types of the itinerant Tabernacle in the Wilderness, the figurative ritual and festal joys of the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated in the Literal Jerusalem, will be consummated in the heavenly Jerusalem. This realization began, when the Son of God came down from heaven and tabernacled (ἐσκήνωσεν) in our flesh (John i. 14). They will be consummated in the new Jerusalem, as had been pre-announced in the Sixth Seal: the language of which supplies the best exposition of the present Vision. See vii. 15-17, and the notes there.
4. τὰ πρῶτα ἀπῆλθεν] the former things passed away. They all vanished at once; suddenly, like a vapour, or "like a tale that is told." Ps. xc. 9. See above, v. 1.
6. γέγοναν] they are done. The divine promises and judgments are now accomplished. Cp. yéyove, xvi. 17. Elz. has γέγονε here; but γέγοναν is in A and Iren@us; and so Lach.,
8. τοῖς δειλοῖς] the fearful and unbelieving : joined together, because he, who does not believe in God's promises, fears to encounter the battle for God, and therefore the fearful are contrasted with those who overcome.
καὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς] and sinners : not in Elz., but in B and in more than thirty Cursive MSS., and in the Syriac and Arabic Versions, and in Andreas and Catena. The word was not likely to be inserted by a Copyist; and it seems to have a special meaning, as intimating the important truth, that not only παρά βασις, or transgression of written law, but ἁμαρτία also, or sin against any law-whether natural and unwritten law, or positive and written law-will be a subject for cognizance and condemnation at the Great Day. See Rom. ii. 14-16.