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martyrs : whose ashes, as of acceptable self-devoted holocausts, mixed with those of the great propitiatory burnt-offering, had long been accumulating (under this Angel's charge, it is to be supposed) beside the Apocalyptic altar. Already early in the drama a voice had been heard by St. John from the souls of witnesses slain for Christ beneath the altar, “ Lord, how long dost thou not avenge our blood on those that dwell on the earth :" and it was then said that they were to wait for this avenging, till a second and additional band of martyrs had been completed in number, besides themselves." As late as the third Vial a cry from the same point indicated, that not the full predicted vengeance, but only a preliminary judgment, had then begun. Now however, (and perhaps with some last notable act of martyrdom marking the epoch,) the cry of this Angel issuing forth from the interior of, or hollow beneath the altar, proclaimed that their number was completed, -their moment of full avenging come ;—the asserted power of the two witnesses to bring down fire from heaven against their injurers to consume them," about to be fearfully illustrated before the world ;- and the earth to disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain.4
As to the remaining particulars of the figuration, we may observe in passing, that the gathering of the vine's clusters by the Angel's sharp pruning-hook, and the casting them into the wine-press of the wrath of God, seemed to indicate acts preparatory to the winepresstreading ;. the former, perhaps, meaning some signal separation, by sharp judgments, of Antichrist's members from those of Christ; the latter, the over-ruling of their own wicked wills, and of the plans of the evil spirits ?
Apoc. vi. 11. See Vol. i. p. 200, &c. ? Apoc. xvi. 7: where the text of Scholz and Griesbach is remarkable, nkova TA Ovoiasnpis deyoutos, implying a voice from within or underneath the altar; especially as compared with the phraseology here used of the angel, et nadev er τα θυσιαςηριου. .
3 Apoc. xi. 5. See Vol. ii. p. 205.
Á So Daubuz and others. 6 Compare Acts ii. 23 ; Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken ;" &c.
i I mean the three spirits like frogs, that gathered the kings of the earth to Armageddon. Apoc. xvi. 14, 16,
4 Isa. xxvi. 21.
possessing them, to accomplish the gathering of the antichristian body to the fated field of vengeance.—What the locality of that field we may perhaps better conjecture after comparing some other prophecies ; so as will be done at the end of the Chapter on Daniel next following. Two things seem clear about it :- 1st, that the treadingfloor, as all admit, can scarce be different from the Armageddon of the other series of Apocalyptic prophecy :-2nd, that its description here as “ without the city,” (a figure in itself very appropriate, let me observe, as both the king's and other wine-presses of old were actually situated outside the walls of Jerusalem,') is a characteristic that agrees well with that prediction in Apoc. xix, which represents the Beast and his adherents as slain by Christ after the destruction of Babylon, the great city, and consequently away from it.-As to the inference drawn by many commentators, from the circumstance of blood being said to flow out from this wine-press for 1600 furlongs, up to the horses' bridles, and 1 600 furlongs being also about the length of the Holy Land, from Dan to Beersheba,—I say as to their inference from these premises to the effect of the whole length of that Holy Land being the destined field of slaughter,3 it seems to me hardly warranted by the prophetic language. For the number 1600 is, as sundry patristic as well as other expositors have observed, a square number. * And both the circumstance of wine-fats, -square it might be, or of other shape,-dug in the earth or rock, being a constant appendage of the natural wine-press,5
"So Daubuz. In Zechariah's prophetic description of the re-habitation of Jerusalem in its fullest ancient extent, it is said, “The land shall be inhabited from the tower of Hananeel to the king's wine-presses." Zech. xiv. 10. On which phrase Kimchi says, “The threshing-floor and the wine-press."
. Noted by Jerome ad Dardan.- Pliny makes the length of Palestine to be 189 miles. Nat. Hist. v. 13.
3 So Fuller in his Pisgah, literally, and others after him.-Daubuz adopts their view as to its being the measure of Palestine ; but applies it figuratively, as signifying the length of the ystical apostate Israel; i. e. the whole territorial extent of Antichristendom.- Mede suggests the fact of 1600 stadia being the length also of the States of the Church in Italy, from Rome to Verona; and so Faber.
4 "Quadratum satis amplum." Vitringa, after the old interpreters Victori. nus, Tichonius, Primasius.
* See A. Clarke on Isa. v. 2, "He made a uine-press in it,” or rather wine.
and that of their being expressly mentioned in the parallel figurative prophecy of Joel, (“Come, get you down, for the press' is full, the fats” overflow, for their wickedness is great,") concur to make it probable that in the Apocalyptic picture this appendage of the wine-fat was not wanting, and that the 1600 furlongs expressed its square. Supposing which to be the case, the depth of blood mentioned might be that in the wine-fat ;---a uniform depth, and one guaged easily, and as usual whereas, on the hypothesis of a stream of 1600 furlongs in length, it is hard to conceive how the depth should not vary, but be still up to the horses' bridles throughout the length of the 1600 furlongs. Indeed I doubt the words admitting that sense.:-— What the square intended, if such it be, is a little dubious. If we take the number 1600 as the square of 40, then the area will be one of 5 miles to a side, equal to 25 square miles. If, on the other hand, the 1600 furlongs be explained to give the circuit of the square, 400 to each side, then the square area will be vastly greater, being one, not of 5 miles to each side, but 50. Even on the smaller scale the figure fat ; Hebr. 27. The Septuagint rendering of the word is here apoanziov, but in four other places more properly ónonnulov ; viz. Isa. xvi. 10, Joel iii. 13, Hag. ii. 16, and Zech. xiv. 10. The wine-press itself, Clarke observes, (in Latin the torcular or calcatorium) is in Hebr. called Na, or 17779. Near it was the lacus ; (Columella xii. 18. 3, Ovid. Fast. iv. 888;) a large open place, or vessel, which by a conduit received the sweet (or blood of the grape) from the wine-press; and which in hot countries was often dug under ground, or out of the rock, for coolness, that the heat might not cause too great a fermentation in it. --The Greek word anyos is used alike for either. See Schleusner on the word.
2 3 The expression in the original is εξηλθεν αιμα εκ της ληνου αχρι των χαλινων των ίππων απο ταδιων χιλιων εξακοσιων. . And the parallel passage adduced to justify this use of the ano, is John xi. 18, “ Bethany was nigh Jerusalem, ás ano saðW BEKATENTE, about fifteen furlongs off.” To which we may add John xxi. 8; and also Arrian; Υπερκειται δε αυτης απο τριων ημερων πολις Σαση, και μετ' αλλας εννεα ημερας Aφαρ. But this is the distance of an extreme point. And were the analogy of these passages followed, the rendering here would be, “At the distance of 1600 stadia from the wine-press the blood was up to the horses' bridles :"-in which case how infinitely deeper must it have been at the wine-press itself !
4 This idea of the square I have not seen elsewhere. And I ought to offer some parallel passage to justify it :-some one where a numeral of measure, without the word square added, does yet mean square measure : which however I cannot recollect
* So the old expositors mentioned, as before observed, by Vitringa. Quater enim quadrigenti,” says Tichonius, sunt 1600."
would indicate tremendous slaughter.'— Its executor we are told in another Apocalyptic prophecy is to be the WORD OF GOD, the LORD JESUS. For he it is that is there described as treading the wine-press of the wrath of God; being the Omega, as well as Alpha, of the judgments of the consummation. With which other description of the great winepress-treading the present is connected not otherwise only, and by general resemblance of the main subject, but also by that singular standard of measure, “ up to the horses' bridles." For it indicates horses and horsemen to be present on the scene of slaughter ; the same fact that appears prominently also in the picture of the winepress-treading described in Apoc. xix : this latter being executed on “them that sate on horses,” among others in the Beast's army,3 by Him that sat on the white horse ; and with his saints, -themselves on white horses likewise, -following him.*
So ends the briefer sketch first given to St. John in the rapid concluding evolution of the writing without on the Apocalyptic scroll : the same of which the chief object was a supplementary prefigurative description of the BeasT FROM THE ABYSS. In resuming however the original and fuller series of prefigurations, a much fuller revelation was made of its deeply interesting subjects ; to the which we must now turn.
§ 2.—THE FULLER APOCALYPTIC PREFIGURATION OF
THINGS YET FUTURE, DOWN TO THE WINEPRESSTREADING BEFORE THE MILLENNIUM.
In the Part within-written of the Apocalyptic scroll,
It would be a winefat of the size of ancient Rome or modern London.
? Apoc. xix. 15. 3 Jb. 18;" that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and of captains, and of horses, and of them that sit on them."
4 Ib. 11, 14. • 1 subjoin the Apocalyptic passage about to be commented on, Apoc. xvi. 17–21.
containing its chief and fullest series of visions, the prefigurations, up to the end of chap. xvi, were thus seen to proceed.
1. After the vision of the three spirits like frogs issuing forth “ to gather the kings of the earth to the war of the great day of God Almighty,” and the warning voice from heaven, “Behold I come as a thief,”—of both which I spoke in my last chapter, as probably even now fulfilling, -after this, I say, and a further notice' (probably anticipative”) of the three spirits effecting their object so far as to gather these kings to a place called in Hebrew Armageddon,-i. e. The Mountain of Gathering, Mountain of Destruction, or Mountain of Delights, as Grotius, Vitringa, and Brightman respectively explain it, all with reference to its probable Hebrew etymology,'
17. "And the seventh Angel poured out his Vial upon the air : and there came a great voice from the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18. And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders : and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth,such an earthquake,t so great. 19. And the great city was divided into three parts : and the cities of the nations $ fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20. And every island fled away; and the mountains were not found. 21. And there fell || upon men great hail out of heaven; every stone about a talent's weight. And the men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."
1" And they gathered them together to a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” Apoc. xvi. 16.—The nominative to ournyayev (gathered them) is evidently the tpa avevuara (three spirits), spoken of in the verse but one preceding as the gatherers; according to the well-known rule of Greek grammar (which rule however some commentators, as well as our English translators, have overlooked) of a neuter noun plural requiring a verb in the singular.
2 As it is agreed on all hands that the war or battle of Armageddon must be considered as taking place under the seventh Vial, and constituting the conflict immediately prior to the judgment of the consummation, the notice here made must either be anticipative, or the els construed in the sense of towards, so as in Apoc. xii. 6. See my Vol. iii. p. 35, Note 1,
3 Both Grotius and Vitringu derive it from 75T, a mountain, and 772 which signifies alike to destroy and to collect ; the former as in Dan. iv. 14, 23, in the Chaldee, the latter as in Micah v. 1. Of these meetings Grotius adopts the one for his etymology of Armngedilon, Vitringa the other. Brightman derives
The reading of Scholz, Griesbach and Tregelles is ETI TOV aepa. † di av@gw for perhaps the men: so verse 21.
Η τηλικουτος. $ Twelvwv a word used vii. 9, x. 11, xiv. 6, &c, where it may probably have a meaning extending beyond the Roman world; as well as xi. 2, 9, and xvii, 15, where it seems used restrictedly of the Latinized Christians of the Popedom.
|| Literally, there falls ; KataBaiver.