1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles

Song of Songs



1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy

1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John

Revelation 1-11
Revelation 12-22

Chapter 12

Re 12:1

12:1 And {1} there appeared a great wonder in heaven; {2} a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

      (1) Until now it has been the general prophecy, comprehended in two parts, as I showed in Re 11:1-19 . Now will be declared the first part of this prophecy, in this and the next chapter and the latter part in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth chapters. To the first part, which is about the conflicting or militant Church belong two things. The beginning and the progress of the same in conflicts and Christian combats. Of which two the beginning of the Church is described in this chapter, and the progress of it in the chapter following. The beginning of the Christian Church we define as the first moment of the conception of Christ, until the time in which this church was weaned and taken away from the breast or milk of her mother: which is the time when the Church of the Jews with their city and temple was overthrown by the judgment of God. So we have in this chapter the story of 69 years and upwards. There are three parts to this chapter. The first, is the history of the conception and pregnancy in Re 12:1-4 . The second, a history of the birth from Re 12:5-12 . The third is about the woman who gave birth, to the end of the chapter. These several parts each have their conflicts. Therefore in the first part are two verses: and another of the lying in wait of the dragon against the child about to be born, in the next two verses. In the first point are these things, the description of the mother Re 12:1 and the pains of childbirth in Re 12:2 all shown to John from heaven.
      (2) A type of the true holy Church which was at that time in the Jewish nation. This Church (as is the state of the Catholic church) did in itself shine with glory given by God, immutable and unchangeable, and possessed the kingdom of heaven as the heir of it.

Re 12:2

12:2 And {3} she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

      (3) For this is the barren woman who had not given birth; Isa 45:1, Ga 4:27 . She cried out with good cause, and was tormented at that time, when in the judgment of all she seemed near to death, about to die because of her weakness and poverty.

Re 12:3

12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; {4} and behold a great red dragon, having {5} seven heads and ten {6} horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

      (4) That is the devil or Satan, see Re 12:9 , mighty, angry and full of wrath.
      (5) By this to withstand those seven churches spoken of, that is, the catholic church, and that with kingly objects and tyrannical magnificence: signified by the crowns set on his heads, as if they belonged to him by the proper right, without controversy: as also he boasted to Christ; See Mt 4:9 Re 13:1 .
      (6) More than the horns of the Lamb, or than the churches are: so well equipped does the tyrant brag himself to be, to do all manner of wickedness.

Re 12:4

12:4 (7) And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon (8) stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for {9} to devour her child as soon as it was born.

      (7) After the description of Satan follows this action, that is, his battle with the Church partly to that which is visible, in which the wheat is mingled with the chaff, and the good fish with that which is evil: its good part, though in appearance it shined as the stars shine in heaven, he is said to thrust down out of heaven, and to pervert: for if it were possible he would pervert even the elect Mt 24:24 and partly to the elect members of the holy catholic church in the second part of this verse. Many therefore of the members of this visible Church (says John) he overthrew and triumphed on them.
      (8) He withstood that elect Church of the Jews which was now ready to bring forth the Christian Church and watched for her to give birth. For the whole Church, and whole body is compared to a woman: and a part of the Church to that which is brought forth, as we have noted in So 7:6 .
      (9) Christ mystical (as they call him) that is, the whole Church, consists of the person of Christ as the head and of the body united to it by the Spirit, so is the name of Christ taken on 1Co 12:12 .

Re 12:5

12:5 {10} And she brought forth a man {11} child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne.

      (10) The second history of this Church delivered of child: in which first the consideration of the child born, and of the mother, is described in two verses Re 12:6 : secondly the battle of the dragon against the young child, and the victory obtained against him in the three verses following Re 12:7-9 : last of all is sung a song of victory, to Re 12:10-12 . Now John in consideration of the child born, notes two things: for he describes him, and his station or place in this verse.
      (11) That is Christ the head of the Church joined with his Church (the beginning root and foundation of which is the same Christ) endued with kingly power and taken up into heaven out of the jaws of Satan (who as a serpent did bite him on the cross) that sitting on the heavenly throne, he might reign over all.

Re 12:6

12:6 {12} And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that {13} they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.

      (12) The Church of Christ which was of the Jews, after his ascension into heaven, hid itself in the world as in a wilderness, trusting only in the defence of God, as Luke witnesses in Acts.
      (13) Namely the apostles and servants of God ordained to feed with the word of life, the Church collected both of the Jews and Gentiles unless any man will take the word "alerent" impersonally after the use of the Hebrews, instead of "aleretur" but I like the first better. For he has respect to those two prophets, of whom Revelation 11:3 speaks. As for the meaning of the 1290 days, see the same verse Geneva (7) "Re 11:3".

Re 12:7

12:7 And there was war in heaven: {14} Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

      (14) Christ is the Prince of angels and head of the Church, who bears that iron rod Re 12:5 . Also see Geneva "Da 12:1". In this verse a description of the battle and of the victory in the two verses following Re 12:8,9 . The psalmist noted this battle as did Paul; Ps 68:9 Eph 4:8 Co 2:15 .

Re 12:8

12:8 {15} And prevailed not; neither was their {a} place found any more in heaven.

      (15) The description of the victory, by the denying of the thing in this verse, and by affirming the opposite in Re 12:9 . As Satan gained nothing in heaven, but was by the power of God thrown down into the world of which he is the prince, Christ himself and his elect members standing still by the throne of God.
      (a) They were cast out so, that they were never seen any more in heaven.

Re 12:10

12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, {16} Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

      (16) The song of victory or triumph containing first, a proposition of the glory of God and of Christ shown in that victory: secondly, it contains a reason for the same proposition, taken from the effects, as the enemy is overcome in battle, in this verse, and the godly are made conquerors (and more than conquerors) Ro 8:37 . Thirdly a conclusion, in which is an exhortation to the angels, and to the saints: and to the word, a prophecy of great misery, and of destruction obtained by the devil against mankind, since he himself will soon be miserable Re 12:12 .

Re 12:11

12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they {b} loved not their lives unto the death.

      (b) He is said in the Hebrew tongue, to love his life, who values his life more than anything else: and on the other side, he is said not to love his life, who does not hesitate to risk it, if need requires it.

Re 12:13

12:13 And when {17} the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].

      (17) The third part: a history of the woman delivered, consisting of two parts, the present battle of Satan against the Christian Church of the Jewish nation, in Re 12:13-16 : and the battle intended against the Church of the Gentiles, which is called holy by reason of the gospel of Christ in Re 12:17 .

Re 12:14

12:14 {18} And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her {c} place, where she is nourished for a {19} time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

      (18) That is, being strengthened with divine power: and taught by oracle, she fled swiftly from the assault of the devil, and from the common destruction of Jerusalem and went into a solitary city beyond Jordan called Pella as Eusebius tells in the first chapter of the third book of his ecclesiastical history: where God had commanded her by revelation.
      (c) Into the place God had prepared for her.
      (19) That is, for three and a half years: so the same speech is taken in see Geneva (q) "Da 7:25". This space of time is reckoned in manner from that last and most grievous rebellion of the Jews, to the destruction of the city and temple,for their defection or falling away, began in the twelfth year of Nero, before the beginning of which many signs and predictions were shown from heaven, as Josephus wrote, lib.7, chap.12, and Hegesippus lib.5, chap.44, among which this is very memorable. In the feast of Pentecost not only a great sound and noise was heard in the Temple, but also a voice was heard by many out of the Sanctuary which cried out to all, Let us depart from here. Now three and a half years after this defection by the Jews began, and those wonders happened, the city was taken by force, the temple overthrown, and the place forsaken by God: and the length of time John noted in this place.

Re 12:15

12:15 {20} And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

      (20) That is, he inflamed the Romans and the nations that in persecuting the Jewish people with cruel arms, they might at the same time invade the Church of Christ, now departed from Jerusalem and out of Judea. For it is a normal thing in scripture, that the raging tumults of the nations should be compared to waters.

Re 12:16

12:16 {21} And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

      (21) That is, there was offered in their place other Jews, to the Romans and nations raging against that people: and it came to pass by this that the Church of God was saved entirely from that violence, that most raging flood of persecution which the dragon vomited out being completely exhausted in the destroying of those other Jews.

Re 12:17

12:17 {22} And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

      (22) Being set on fire by this means, he began to be more mad, and because he perceived that his purpose against the Christian Church of the Jewish remnant was come to nothing, he resolved to fall on her seed, that is, the Church of the Gentiles, gathered by God and the holy members of the church. This is that other part, as is said in Re 12:13 in which the purpose of Satan is shown in Re 12:17 and his attempt, in Re 13:1 .

Chapter 13

Re 13:1

13:1 {23} And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and {1} saw a beast rise up {2} out of the sea, having seven heads and {3} ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, {4} and upon his heads {5} the name of blasphemy.

      (23) That is, as a mighty tempest he poured out on the whole world (whose prince he is) to raise the floods and provoke the nations, that they might with their furious bellows toss up and down, driven here and there, and finally destroy the Church of Christ with its holy members. But the providence of God resisted his attempt, that he might save the Church of the Gentiles, yet tender and green. The rest of this story of the dragon is excellently presented by the apostle John later in Re 20:1-15 . For here the dragon endeavouring to do wickedness, was by God cast into prison.
      (1) The apostle having declared the forming of the Christian Church, and the state of the Church from which ours takes her beginning, now goes to the story of the progress of it, as is shown in the beginning of the former chapter. This history of the progress of the Church and the battles of it, is recorded in this chapter, but distinctly in two parts, one is of the civil Roman Empire, Re 13:1-10 . Another of the ecclesiastic or prophetic body, there to the end of the chapter. In the first part these things are shown: First the state of the Empire, in Re 13:1-4 then the acts of it in Re 13:5-7 after the effect: which is exceedingly great glory Re 13:8 . Last of all is commended the use: and the instruction of the godly against the evils that shall come from the same in Re 13:9,10 . The history of the state, contains a most ample description of the beast, first entire in Re 13:1,2 and then restored after harm, Re 13:3,4 .
      (2) On the sand where the devil stood practising new tempests against the Church, in the verse next before going: at which time the Empire of Rome was endangered by domestic dissensions and was mightily tossed, having ever and again new heads, and new emperors. See Re 17:8
      (3) Having the same instruments of power, providence, and most expert government which the dragon is said to have had, in Re 12:3 .
      (4) We read in Re 12:3 that the dragon had seven crowns set upon seven heads because the thief claims to be proper lord and prince of the world, but this beast is said to have ten crowns, set on several, not heads but horns: because the beast is obligated to the dragon for all; Re 13:2 and does not otherwise reign, then by law of subjection given by him, namely that he employ his horns against the Church of God. The speech is taken from the ancient custom and form of dealing in such ease: by which they that were absolute kings did wear the diadem on their heads: but their vassals and such as reigned by grace from them, wore the same on their hoods: for so they might commodiously lay down their diadems when they came into the presence of their sovereigns, as also the elders are said, when they adored God which sat upon the throne, to have cast down their crowns before him in Re 4:10
      (5) Contrary to that which God of old commanded should be written in the head piece of the high Priest, that is, "Sanctitas Jehova", Holiness unto the Lord. The name of blasphemy imposed by the dragon, is that which Paul says in 2Th 2:4 "He sits as God and boasts himself to be God" For this name of blasphemy both the Roman Emperors did then challenge to themselves, as Suetonius and Dion do report of Caigula and Domitian: and after them the popes of Rome professed the same of themselves, when they challenged to themselves sovereignty in holy things of which kind of sayings the sixth book of the Decretals, the Clementines, and the Extravagants, are very full. For these men were not content with that which Anglicus wrote in his Poetria, (the beginning of which is "Papa stupor mundi" The pope is the wonder of the world) "Nec Deus es, nec homo, sed neuter es inter utrungue." Thou art not God, nor art thou man, but neuter mixed of both: as the gloss witnesses on the sixth book: But they were bold to take to themselves the very name of God, and to accept it given of other: according as almost a hundred and twenty years since there was made for Sixtus the fourth, when he should first enter into Rome in his papal dignity, a Pageant of triumph, and cunningly fixed upon the gate of the city he should enter at, having written upon it this blasphemous verse: "Oraclo vocis mundi moderaris habenas, Et merito in terrs crederis esse Deus." That is, By oracle of thine own voice, the world thou governest all, And worthily a God on earth men think and do thee call. These and six hundred the like who can impute to that modesty by which good men of old would have themselves called the servants of the servants of God? Verily either this is a name of blasphemy, or there is none at all.

Re 13:2

13:2 And the beast which I saw was like {6} unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: {7} and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

      (6) Swift as the leopard, easily grabbing all things, as the bear does with his foot, and tearing and devouring all things with the mouth as a lion does.
      (7) That is, he lent the same power to the beast to use, when he perceived that he could not escape, but must be taken by the hand of the angel, and cast into the bottomless pit; Re 20:1-15 yet he did abandon the same power completely from himself, but that he might use it as long as he could.

Re 13:3

13:3 {8} And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

      (8) This is the other place that pertains to the description of the beast of Rome: that besides that natural dignity, and breadth of the Roman Empire, which was eluded to in the two former verses, there was added this also as miraculous, that one head was wounded as it were to death, and was healed again as from heaven, in the sight of all men. This head was Nero the Emperor, in whom the race of the Caesars fell from imperial dignity, and the government of the commonwealth was translated to others: in whose hands the Empire was so cured and recovered to health, as he seemed to all so much the more deeply rooted and grounded fast, than ever before. Hence follows those effects, which are next spoken of: First an admiration of certain power, as it were, sacred and divine, sustaining the Empire and governing it: Secondly, the obedience and submission of the whole earth, in this verse: Thirdly, the adoration of the dragon, and most wicked worshipping of devils confirmed by the Roman Emperors: Lastly, the adoration of the beast himself, who grew into so great estimation, as that both the name and worship of a God was given to him, Re 13:4 . Now there were two causes which brought in the minds of men this religion: the show of excellency, which brings with it reverence: and the show of power invincible, which brings fear. Who is like (say they) to the beast? Who shall be able to fight with him

Re 13:5

13:5 {9} And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him {10} to continue forty [and] two months.

      (9) The second part containing a history of the acts of the beast, as I said see Geneva "Re 13:1". The history of them is concluded in two points: the beginning, and the manner of them. The beginning is the gift of the dragon, who put and inspired into the beast both his impiety against the godly and those that were of the household of faith, in Re 13:5 The manner of the acts or actions done, is of two sorts, both impious in mind, and blasphemous in speech against God, his Church and the godly in Re 13:6 and also most cruel and injurious in deeds, even such as were done of most raging enemies, and of most insolent and proud conquerors in Re 13:7
      (10) Namely his actions, and manner of dealing. As concerning those two and forty months, I have spoken of them before. See Geneva "Re 12:6"

Re 13:6

13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, {11} and his tabernacle, {12} and them that dwell in heaven.

      (11) That is, the holy Church, the true house of the living God.
      (12) That is, the godly who as a group hid themselves from his cruelty. For this bloody beast charged those holy souls falsely with innumerable accusations for the name of Christ as we read in Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Arnobius, Minutius, Eusebius, Augustine and others: whose example the latter times followed most diligently, in destroying the flock of Christ: and we in our own memory have found by experience, to our incredible grief. Concerning heaven, see in Re 11:12

Re 13:8

13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, {13} whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

      (13) That is, such as are not from everlasting elected in Christ Jesus. For this is that Lamb slain; Re 5:6 . These words I do with Aretas, distinguish in this manner: whose names are not written from the laying of the foundation of the world, in the book of Life, of the Lamb slain. This distinction is confirmed by a similar verse in Re 17:8 .

Re 13:9

13:9 {14} If any man have an ear, let him hear.

      (14) The conclusion of this speech of the first beast, consisting of two parts, an exhortation to attentive audience, in this verse: and a foretelling, which partly contains threatenings against the wicked and partly comfort for those who in patience and faith shall wait for that glorious coming of our Lord and Saviour Christ; Re 13:10

Re 13:11

13:11 {15} And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; {16} and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

      (15) The second part of the vision, concerning the ecclesiastical dominion, which in Rome succeeded that which was politic, and is in the power of the corporation of false prophets and of the forgers of false doctrine. Therefore the same beast, and the body or corporation is called a false prophet by John; Re 16:13,19:20 . The form of this beast is first described in this verse, then his acts in the verses following: and the whole speech is concluded in the last verse. This beast is by his breed, a son of the earth (as they say) obscurely born, and little by little creeping up out of his abject estate.
      (16) That is, in show he resembled the Lamb (for what is more mild or more humble then to be the servant of the servants of God?} but indeed he played the part of the dragon, and of the wolf; Mt 7:15 . For even Satan changes himself into an angel of light; 2Co 11:14 and what should his honest disciples and servants do

Re 13:12

13:12 {17} And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein {18} to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

      (17) The history of the acts of this beast contains in sum three things, hypocrisy, the witness of miracles and tyranny: of which the first is noted in this verse, the second in the three verses following: the third in the sixteenth and seventeenth verses. His hypocrisy is most full of lies, by which he abuses both the former beast and the whole world: in that though he has by his cunning, as it were by line, made of the former beast a most miserable skeleton or anatomy, usurped all his authority to himself and most impudently exercises the same in the sight and view of him: yet he carries himself so as if he honoured him with most high honour, and did truly cause him to be reverenced by all men.
      (18) For to this beast of Rome, which of civil Empire is made an ecclesiastical hierarchy, are given divine honours, and divine authority so far, as he is believed to be above the scriptures, which the gloss upon the Decretals declares by this devilish verse. "Articulos solvit, synodumque facit generalem" That is, "He changes the Articles of faith, and gives authority to general Councils."
      Which is spoken of the papal power. So the beast is by birth, foundation, feat, and finally substance, one: only the Pope has altered the form and manner of it, being himself the head both of that tyrannical empire, and also of the false prophets: for the empire has he taken to himself, and to it added this cunning device. Now these words, "whose deadly wound was cured" are put here for distinction sake, as also sometimes afterwards: that even at that time the godly readers of this prophecy might by this sign be brought to see the thing as present: as if it were said, that they might adore this very empire that now is, whose head we have seen in our own memory to have been cut off, and to be cured again.

Re 13:13

13:13 {19} And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

      (19) The second point of the things done by the beast, is the credit of great wonders or miracles, and pertaining to the strengthening of this impiety: of which signs some were given from above, as it is said, that fire was sent down from heaven by false sorcery, in this verse. Others were shown here below in the sight of the beast, to establish idolatry, and deceive souls: which part John sets forth, beginning (as they say) at that which is last, in this manner: First, the effect is declared in these words, "He deceives the inhabitants of the earth". Secondly, the common manner of working, in two sorts: one of miracles, "for the signs which were given him to do in the presence of the beast", the other of the words added to the signs, and teaching the idolatry by those signs "saying to the inhabitants of the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which etc." Thirdly, a special manner is declared, "That it is given to him to put life into the image of the beast" and that such a type of quickening, that the same both speaks by answer to those that ask counsel of it, and also pronounces death against all those that do not obey nor worship it: all things which oftentimes by false miracles through the procurement and inspiration of the devil, have been effected and wrought in images. The histories of the papists are full of examples of such miracles, the most of them false, many also done by the devil in images, as of old in the serpent; Ge 3:5 . By which example is confirmed, not the authority of the beast, but the truth of God and these prophecies.

Re 13:14

13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an {20} image to the {21} beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

      (20) That is, images, by "enallage" or change of the number: for the worship of them ever since the second Council of Nicea, has been ordained in the Church by public credit and authority, contrary to the Law of God.
      (21) In the Greek the word is in the Dative case, as much to say, as to the worship, honour and obeying of the beast: for by this maintenance of images, this pseudo-prophetical beast mightily profits the beast of Rome, of whom long ago he received them. Wherefore the same is hereafter fittingly called the image of the beast, for images have their beginning from the beast, and have their form or manner from the will of the beast, and have their end and use fixed in the profit and commodity of the beast.

Re 13:15

13:15 {22} And he had power to give {a} life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

      (22) The papists books are full of these miracles of the images of the beast, (that is, which the beast ordained to establish idolatry) which miraculously speak, and give judgment, or rather astonishingly, by the fraud of the false prophets.
      (a) To give life, as Jannes and Jambres imitated the miracles that Moses did.

Re 13:16

13:16 {23} And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive {24} a {b} mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

      (23) The third point is a cruel exercise of power, as was said before, usurped over men, in this verse: and over their goods and actions, in the next verse. For he is said, to bring on all persons a cruel slavery, that as bondslaves they might serve the beast. Also he is said to exercise over all their goods and actions, an abuse of indulgences and dispensations (as they term them) among their friends and against others, to use most violent prohibitions, and to curse, even in natural and civil, private and public contracts, in which all good faith ought to have place.
      (24) That is their consecrated oil, by which in the ordinance
      (as they call it) of confirmation, they make servants for themselves, the persons and doings of men, signing them in their forehead and hands. They make the sign left by Christ, see Re 7:3 and the ordinance of baptism useless. For whom Christ has joined to himself as signified by baptism this beast challenges with his greasy consecrated oil, which he does not hesitate to prefer over baptism, both in authority and value.
      (b) The mark of the name of the beast.

Re 13:17

13:17 And that no man might {25} buy or sell, save he that had the {26} mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

      (25) That is, have any trade or dealings with men, but only those who have this annointing and consecration of Clearkely shaving of the head, as they call it, read Gratian "de Consecratione, distincione tertia.c.omnes.cap spiritus, etc." of these matters.
      (26) Here the false prophets require three things, set down in the order of their greatness, a character, a name, and the number of the name. The meaning is, that man that does not have their first annointing and clerical shaving of the head: secondly holy orders, by which is communicated the name of the beast: or finally has not attained that high degree of pontifical knowledge, and of the law (as they call it) canonical, and has not made up in account and cast the number of the mysteries of it: for in these things consists the number of the name of the beast. This is excellently set forth in the next verse.

Re 13:18

13:18 {27} Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the {28} number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.

      (27) That is, in this number of the beast consists that popish wisdom, which to them seems the greatest of all others. In these words John expounds the saying that went before the number of the beast, what it has above his distinctive mark and his name. These things, says John, the mark and the name of the beast, is wisdom: that is, only the wise and such as have understanding, can come by that number: for they who would attain it must be knowledgeable doctors, as the words following declare.
      (28) How great and of what denomination this number of the beast is by which the beast accounts his wisdom, John declares in these words, "Do you demand how great it is" It is so great, that it occupies the whole man: he is always learning, and never comes to the knowledge of it: he must be a man in deed that does attain to it. You ask what denomination it is? Truly it is six throughout, all the parts of it in their denominations (as they term them) it stands of six by units, tens, hundreds, etc. There is not one part in the pontifical learning and order, which is not either referred to the head, the top of it, or contained in the same: so fitly do all things in this hierarchy agree with one another, and with their head. Therefore that cruel beast Boniface the eighth, does commend by the number of six those Decretals which he perfected: in the sixth book. "Which book (he says) being to be added to five other books of the same volume of Decretals, we thought good to name Sextum the sixth: that the same volume by addition of it, containing a senary, or the number of six books (which is a number perfect) may yield a perfect form of managing all things, and perfect discipline of behaviour." Here therefore is the number of the beast, who empowers from himself all his parts, and brings them all back to himself by his discipline in most wise and cunning manner. If any man desires more of this, let him read the gloss on that place. I am not ignorant that other interpretations are given in this place; but I thought it my duty, with the good favour of all, and without the offence of any, to propound my opinion in this point. For this cause especially, since it seemed to me neither profitable, nor likely to be true, that the number of the beast, or the name of the beast should be taken as the common interpreters take it. This number of the beast teaches, gives out, imprints, as a public mark of those who are his, and esteems that mark above all others, as the mark of those whom he loves best. Now those other expositions seem to be far removed from this property and condition of that number: whether you respect the name Latinus, or Titan, or any other. For these the beast does not teach, nor give forth, nor imprint, but most diligently forbids to be taught, and audaciously denies: he does not approve them, but reproves them: and hates those that think so of this number, with a hatred greater then that of Vatinius.

Chapter 14

Re 14:1

14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb {1} stood on the mount Sion, and with him {2} an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father's {3} name written in their foreheads.

      (1) The history of the Church of Christ being finished for more than a 1300 years at which time Boniface the eighth lived as has been said: there remains the rest of the history of the conflicting or militant church, from there to the time of the last victory in three chapters. For first of all, as the foundation of the whole history, is described the standing of the Lamb with his army and retinue in five verses, after his worthy acts which he has done and yet does in most mighty manner, while he overthrows Antichrist with the spirit of his mouth, in the rest of this chapter and in the two following. To the description of the Lamb, are propounded three things: his situation, place and attendance: for the rest are expounded in the former visions, especially in the fifth chapter.
      (2) Prepared to do his office see Ac 7:56 , in the midst of the church, which mount Zion pictured before.
      (3) This retinue of the Lamb is described first by divine mark
      (as before in) Re 7:2 in this verse. Then by divine occupation, in that every one in his retinue most earnestly and sweetly Re 14:2 glorify the Lamb with a special song before God and his elect angels. Flesh and blood cannot hear this song, nor understand, Re 14:3 . Lastly by their deeds done before, and their sanctification in that they were virgins, pure from spiritual and bodily fornication, that is, from impiety and unrighteousness. They followed the Lamb as a guide to all goodness, cleaved to him and are holy to him, as by grace redeemed by him. In truth and simplicity of Christ they have exercised all these things, sanctimony of life, the guidance of the Lamb, a thankful remembrance of redemption by him and finally (to conclude in a word) they are blameless before the Lord, Re 14:4,5 .

Re 14:6

14:6 {4} And I saw {5} another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

      (4) The other part (as I said in the first verse) see Geneva "Re 14:1" is of the acts of the Lamb, the manner of which is delivered in two sorts, of his speech and of his facts. His speeches are set forth to Re 14:7-13 , and his facts to the sixteenth chapter. In the speech of the Lamb, which is the word of the Gospel, are taught in this place these things: The service of the godly consisting inwardly of reverence towards God, and outwardly of the glorifying of him: the visible sign of which is adoration Re 14:7 . The overthrowing of wicked Babylon, Re 14:8 and the fall of every one of the ungodly who worship the beast, Re 14:9,10,11 . Finally the state of the holy servants of God both present, Re 14:12 and to come, most blessed, according to the promise of God in Re 14:13 .
      (5) This angel is a type or figure of the good and faithful servants of God, whom God especially from the time of Boniface the eighth has raised up to the proclaiming of the gospel of Christ, both by preaching and by writing. So God first, near the time of the same Boniface, used Peter Cassiodorus an Italian: after, Arnold "de villa nova", a Frenchman, then Occam, dante, Petrarch, after the "Johannes de rupe casa", a Franciscan: after again, John Wycliff an Englishman, and so continually one or another to the restoring of the truth, and enlarging of his Church.

Re 14:7

14:7 {6} Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

      (6) That is, Babylon is destroyed by the sentence and judgment of God: the execution of which John describes in chapter 18. This voice of the ministers of Christ has continued since the time that Babylon (which is Rome) has by deliberate counsel and malice questioned the light of the gospel offered from God.

Re 14:8

14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the {a} wrath of her fornication.

      (a) Of her fornication, by which God was provoked to wrath.

Re 14:9

14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, {7} If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

      (7) That is, will not worship God alone, but will transfer his divine honour to this beast, whether he do it with his heart, or counterfeiting in show. "For he (says Christ) that denies me before men, him will I deny before my Father and his angels" Mt 10:32 . This is the voice of the holy ministry, which at this time is used of the holy and faithful servants of God. For having now sufficiently found out the public obstinacy of Babylon, they no longer work to speak out against the same: but to save some particular members by terror (as Jude speaks) and to pluck them out of the flame: or else lead them away by vehement commiseration of their state, they set before them eternal death into which they rush unaware, unless they return to God in time, but the godly who are of their own flock, they exhort to patience, obedience and faith to others.

Re 14:12

14:12 {8} Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

      (8) The patience, sanctification and justification by faith: the results of which are rest, happiness and eternal glory in the heavenly fellowship of God and his angels.

Re 14:13

14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die {b} in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their {c} works do follow them.

      (b) That is, for the Lord.
      (c) By works, is meant the reward which follows good works.

Re 14:14

14:14 {9} And I looked, and behold a {10} white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, {11} having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a {12} sharp sickle.

      (9) The second part of this chapter as I said see Geneva "Re 14:1", of the actions of Christ in overthrowing Antichrist and his church by the Spirit of his divine mouth. Seeing that having been called back by word both publicly and privately to his duty and admonished of his certain ruin, he does not cease to maintain and protect his own adherents, that they may serve him: and to afflict the godly with most barbarous persecutions. Of those things which Christ does, there are two forms: one common or general in the rest of this chapter another specific against that savage and rebellious beast and his worshippers in chapter fifteen and sixteen. The common form is the calamity of wars, spread abroad through the whole earth, and filling all things with blood and without respect of any person. This is figured or shadowed in two types, of the harvest and vintage. Have you seen how since the time that the light of the gospel began to shine out, and since prophecy or preaching by the grace of God was raised up again, horrible wars have been kindled in the world? how much human flesh has been thrown to the earth by this divine reaping? how much blood (alas for woe) has overflown for these 100 years almost? all history cries out, and our age (if ever before) is now in horror by reason of the rage of the sickle which Antichrist calls for. In this place is the first type, that is of the harvest.
      (10) Declaring his fierceness by his colour, like that which is in the white or milk circle of heaven
      (11) As one that shall reign from God, and occupy the place of Christ in this miserable execution.
      (12) That is, a most fit and convenient instrument of execution, destroying all by showing and thrusting through: for who may stand against God

Re 14:15

14:15 {13} And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

      (13) Christ gives a commandment in this verse, and the angel executes it in Re 14:16 .

Re 14:17

14:17 {14} And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

      (14) The other type (as I said in) see Geneva "Re 14:14" is the vintage: the manner of which is the same as that which went before, except for this, that the grape gathering is more exact in seeking out everything, then is the harvest labour. This is therefore a more grievous judgment, both because it succeeds the other, and because it is executed with great diligence.

Re 14:20

14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, {15} and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.

      (15) That is, overflowed very deep, and very far and wide: the speech is exaggeration to signify the greatness of the slaughter. These are those pleasant fruits truly, of the contempt of Christ, and desiring of Antichrist rather than him, which the miserable, mad and blind world reaps at this time.

Chapter 15

Re 15:1

15:1 And {1} I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven {2} angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

      (1) This is that other passage of the acts of Christ, as I noted before see Geneva "Re 14:14". Now therefore is shown a singular work of the judgment of God belonging to the overthrow of Antichrist and his forces, of which divine work the preparation is described in this chapter: and the execution in the next. The preparation is first set down generally and in type in this verse: and is after particularly set forth in the rest of the chapter.
      (2) Of which Re 8:9 in sending forth the plagues of the world: for even these plagues do for the most part agree with those.

Re 15:2

15:2 {3} And I saw {4} as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and {5} them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [and] over the number of his name, {6} stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

      (3) There are two parts of the narration: one, the confession of the saints glorifying God, when they saw that preparation of the judgments of God, to Re 15:3,4 , another the vocation, instruction, and confirmation of those instruments which God has ordained for the execution of his judgments, in Re 15:5-8 .
      (4) This part of the vision alludes to the sea or large vessel or brass, in which the priests washed themselves in the entrance of the temple: for in the entrance of the heavenly temple (as it is called) in Re 15:5 , is said to have been a sea of glass, most luminous and clear to the commodity of choice mixed with fire, that is, as containing the treasury of the judgments of God, which he brings forth and dispenses according to his own pleasure: for out of the former, the priests were cleansed of old: and out of this the ungodly are destroyed now in Re 4:6 .
      (5) That is, the godly martyrs of Christ, who shall remain faithful even in miracles to that beast; see Re 13:17, 14:9,10
      (6) Glorifying God, from the particular observation of the weapons and instruments of God's wrath, floating in the sea of glass.

Re 15:3

15:3 And they sing {7} the song of Moses the {a} servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, {8} Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy {b} ways, thou King of saints.

      (7) That song of triumph, which is Ex 15:2 .
      (a) So is Moses called for honour's sake, as it is set forth in De 34:10 .
      (8) This song has two parts: one a confession, both particular, in this verse, and general, in the beginning of the next verse Re 15:4 , another, a narration of causes belonging to the confession, of which one kind is eternal in itself, and most present to the godly, in that God is both holy and alone God: another kind is future and to come, in that the elect taken out of the Gentiles (that is, out of the wicked ones and unbelieving: as in Re 11:2 were to be brought to the same state of happiness, by the magnificence of the judgment of God, in Re 15:4 .
      (b) Thy doings.

Re 15:5

15:5 {9} And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

      (9) The second part of the narration (as was noted in) see Geneva (4) "Re 15:2" in which first the authority of the whole argument and matter is figured by a forerunning type of a temple opened in heaven, as in Re 11:19 namely that all those things are divine and of God, that proceed from thence in this verse. Secondly, the administers or executors, come out of the Temple in Re 15:6 . Thirdly, they are furnished with instruments of the judgments of God, and weapons fit for the manner of the same judgments; Re 15:7 . Finally, they are confirmed by testimony of the visible glory of God, in Re 15:8 . A similar testimony to which was exhibited of old in the law; Ex 40:34 .

Re 15:6

15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the {10} seven plagues, clothed in {11} pure and white linen, and having their breasts {12} girded with golden girdles.

      (10) That is, commandments to inflict those seven plagues, by way of metonymy.
      (11) Which was in old time a sign of the kingly or princely dignity.
      (12) This girding was a sign of diligence, and the girdle of gold was a sign of sincerity and trustworthiness in taking in charge the commandments of God.

Re 15:7

15:7 And one of the {13} four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

      (13) Of these before Re 4:7 .

Re 15:8

15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; {14} and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

      (14) None of those seven angels could return, till he had performed fully the charge committed to him, according to the decree of God.

Chapter 16

Re 16:1

16:1 And {1} I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

      (1) In the former chapter was set down the preparation to the work of God: here is delivered the execution of it. In this discourse of the execution, is a general commandment, in this verse, then a particular recital in order of the execution done by every of the seven angels, in the rest of the chapter. This special execution against Antichrist and his crew does in manner agree to that which was generally done on the whole world, chapters eight and nine and belongs (if my conjecture fail me not) to the same time. Yet in here they differ from one another, that this was particularly effected on the princes and ringleaders of the wickedness of the world, the other generally against the whole world being wicked. Therefore these judgments are more grievous than those.

Re 16:2

16:2 {2} And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the {3} mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image.

      (2) The history of the first angel, whose plague on the earth is described almost in the same words with that sixth plague of the Egyptians in Ex 9:9 . But it does signify a spiritual vicar, and that torture or butchery of conscience seared with a hot iron, which accuses the ungodly within, and both by truth of the word (the light of which God has now so long shown forth) and by bitterness stirs up and forces out the sword of God's wrath.
      (3) See Re 13:16

Re 16:3

16:3 {4} And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it {a} became as the blood of a dead [man]: and every living soul died in the sea.

      (4) The history of the second angel, who troubles and molests the seas, that he may stir up the conscience of men sleeping in their wickedness; Re 8:8 .
      (a) It was turned into rotten and filthy blood, such as is in dead bodies.

Re 16:4

16:4 {5} And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

      (5) The story of the third angel striking the rivers, in this verse, who proclaiming the justice of God, commends the same by a grave comparison of the sins of men, with the punishment of God: which is common to this place, and that which went before. Wherefore also this praising is attributed to the angel of the waters, a name common to the second and third angels, according as both of them are said to be sent against the waters, though the one of the sea, the other of the rivers, in Re 16:5,6 .

Re 16:7

16:7 {6} And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous [are] thy judgments.

      (6) A confirmation of the praise before going out of the sanctuary of God, whether immediately by Christ, or by some one of his angels, for Christ also is called another angel; Re 3:8,7:2,12:1

Re 16:8

16:8 {7} And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

      (7) The story of the fourth angel, who throws the plague on the heavens and on the sun, of which Luke notes the effects in Lu 21:26 . The one peculiar, that it shall scorch men with heat in this verse. The other proceeding accidentally from the former, that their fury shall so much more be enraged against God in Re 16:9 , when yet (O wonderful mercy and patience of God) all other creatures are first stricken often and grievously by the hand of God before mankind, by whom he is provoked: as the things before declare.

Re 16:10

16:10 {8} And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,

      (8) The story of the first angel, who strikes the kingdom of the beast with two plagues abroad the darkness, with biles and distresses most grievous, throughout his whole kingdom that by this he might wound the conscience of the wicked, and punish the perverse obstinacy of the idolaters: of which arose perturbation, and thence a furious indignation and desperate madness, raging against God and hurtful to itself.

Re 16:12

16:12 {9} And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river {10} Euphrates; and {11} the water thereof was dried up, {12} that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

      (9) The story of the sixth angel, divided into his act, and the event of it. The act is, that the angel cast out of his mouth the plague of a most glowing heat, in which even the greatest floods, and which most were accustomed to swell and overflow (as Euphrates) were dried up, by the counsel of God in this verse. The event is, that the madness with which the wicked are enraged that they may scorn the judgments of God, and abuse them furiously to serve their own turn, and to the executing of their own wicked outrage.
      (10) The bound of the spiritual Babylon, and to the fortresses of the same Re 9:14 .
      (11) So the Church of the ungodly, and kingdom of the beast is said to be left naked, all the defences of it in which they put their trust, being taken away from it.
      (12) That is, that even they who dwell further off, may with more convenience make haste to the sacrifice, which the Lord has appointed.

Re 16:13

16:13 And I saw {13} three unclean spirits {14} like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the {15} dragon, and out of the mouth of the {16} beast, and out of the mouth of the {17} false prophet.

      (13) That is, every one of them focus their whole force, and conspired that by wonders, word and work they might bring into the same destruction all kings, princes and potentates of the world, cursedly bewitched by them by their spirits, and teachers of the vanity and impunity of the beast that committed fornication with the kings of the earth. This is a good description of our times.
      (14) Croaking with all importunity and continually day and night provoking and calling forth to arms, as the trumpets and furies of wars, as is declared in Re 16:14 .
      (15) That is, the devil; Re 12:3
      (16) See Re 13:1 .
      (17) That is, of that other beast; Re 13:11 , for so he is called also in Re 19:20,20:10 .

Re 16:15

16:15 {18} Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

      (18) A parenthesis for admonition, in which God warns his holy servants, who rest in the expectation of Christ, always to think of his coming, and to look to themselves, that they be not shamefully made naked and circumvented of these unclean spirits, and so they be miserable unprepared at the coming of the Lord; Mt 24:29,25:13 .

Re 16:16

16:16 {19} And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue {20} Armageddon.

      (19) Namely the angel, who according to the commandment of God, was to do sacrifice: nonetheless that those impure spirits do the same wickedly, as servants not to God, but to the beast that has seven heads.
      (20) That is, (to say nothing of other expositions) the mountain itself, or mountain places of Megiddon. Now it is certain by the Holy Scripture, that Megiddon is a city and territory in the tribe of Manasseh, bordering on Issachar and Asher, and was made famous by the lamentable overthrow of king Josias; 2Ch 35:22, Zec 12:11 . In this mountain country God says by figure or type that the kings of the people who serve the beast shall meet together; because the Gentiles did always cast that lamentable overthrow in the teeth of the Church of the Jews, to their great reproach and therefore were persuaded that that place should be most fortunate to them (as they speak) and unfortunate to the godly. But God here pronounces, that that reproach of the Church and confidence of the ungodly, shall by himself be taken away, in the same place where the nations persuaded themselves, they should mightily exult and triumph against God and his Church.

Re 16:17

16:17 {21} And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the {22} air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from {23} the throne, saying, {24} It is done.

      (21) The story of the seventh angel to the end of the chapter, in which first is shown by sign and speech, the argument of this plague, in this verse: and then is declare the execution of it in the verses following.
      (22) From whence he might move the heaven above, and the earth beneath.
      (23) That is, from him that sits on the throne, by metonymy.
      (24) That is, Babylon is undone, as is shown in Re 16:19 and in the chapters following. For the first onset (as I might say) of this denunciation, is described in this chapter: and the last containing a perfect victory, is described in those that follow.

Re 16:18

16:18 {25} And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great.

      (25) Now is declared the execution (as is said) in Re 16:17 and the things that shall last come to pass in heaven and in earth before the overthrow of the beast of Babylon: both generally in Re 16:18 and particularly in the cursed city, and such as have any familiarity with it, in the last verses.

Re 16:19

16:19 {26} And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations {27} fell: and great {28} Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

      (26) The seat or standing place of Antichrist.
      (27) Of all who cleave to Antichrist and fight against Christ.
      (28) That harlot, of whom in the next chapter following. Now this phrase "to come into remembrance" is from the Hebrew language, borrowed from men, and attributed to God.

Re 16:20

16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains {29} were not {b} found.

      (29) That is, were seen no more, or were no more extant. A borrowed Hebraism.
      (b) Literally "appeared not"; Ge 5:24

Re 16:21

16:21 {30} And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a {c} talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

      (30) The manner of the particular execution, most evidently testifying the wrath of God by the original and greatness of it: the event of which is the same with that which is in Re 9:12 and that which has been mentioned in this chapter, from the execution of the fourth angel till now, that is to say, an incorrigible pertinency of the world in their rebellion, and a heart that cannot repent; Re 16:9,10 .
      (c) About the weight of a talent, and a talent was sixty pounds, that is, six hundred groats, by which is signified a marvellous and strange weight.

Chapter 17

Re 17:1

17:1 And {1} there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto {2} thee the {a} judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

      (1) The state of the Church militant being declared, now follows the state of the church overcoming and getting victory, as I showed before in the beginning of the tenth chapter. This state is set forth in four chapters. As in the place before I noted, that in that history the order of time was not always exactly observed so the same is to be understood in this history, that it is distinguished according to the people of which it speaks, and that the stories of the people are observed in the time of it. For first is delivered the story of Babylon destroyed in this and the next chapter (for this Babylon out of all doubt, shall perish before the two beasts and the dragon). Secondly, is delivered the destruction of both the two beasts, chapter nineteen and lastly of the dragon, chapter eighteen. In the story of the spiritual Babylon, are distinctly set forth the state of it in this chapter, and the overthrow done from the first argument, consisting of the particular calling of the prophet (as often before) and a general proposition.
      (2) That is, that damnable harlot, by a figure of speech called "hyppalage". For John as yet had not seen her. Although another interpretation may be thought of, yet I like this better.
      (a) The sentence that is pronounce against this harlot.

Re 17:3

17:3 {3} So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a {b} scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

      (3) Henceforth is propounded the type of Babylon, and the state of it, in four verses. After, a declaration of the type, in the rest of this chapter. In the type are described two things, the beast (of whom chapter thirteen speaks), in this verse and the woman that sits on the beast in Re 17:4-6 . The beast in process of time has gotten somewhat more than was expressed in the former vision. First in that it is not read before that he was apparelled in scarlet, a robe imperial and of triumph. Secondly, in that this is full of names of blasphemy: the other carried the name of blasphemy only in his heads. So God teaches that this beast is much increased in impiety and injustice and does in this last age, triumph in both these more insolently and proudly then ever before.
      (b) A scarlet colour, that is, with a red and purple garment: and surely it was not without cause the romish clergy were so much delighted with this colour.

Re 17:4

17:4 And {4} the woman was arrayed {5} in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having {6} a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

      (4) That harlot, the spiritual Babylon, which is Rome. She is described by her attire, profession, and deeds.
      (5) In attire most glorious, triumphant, most rich, and most gorgeous.
      (6) In profession the nourisher of all, in this verse and teaching her mysteries to all, Re 17:5 setting forth all things most magnificently: but indeed fatally besetting miserable men with her cup, and brings upon them a deadly giddiness.

Re 17:5

17:5 {7} And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, {8} BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

      (7) Deceiving with the title of religion, and public inscription of mystery: which the beast in times past did not bear.
      (8) An exposition: in which John declares what manner of woman this is.

Re 17:6

17:6 {9} And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: {10} and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

      (9) In manner of deeds: She is red with blood, and sheds it most licentiously, and therefore is coloured with the blood of the saints, as on the contrary part, Christ is set forth imbued with the blood of her enemies; Isa 63:1 .
      (10) A passage to the second part of this chapter, by occasion given of John, as the words of the angel do show in the next verse.

Re 17:7

17:7 {11} And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

      (11) The second part or place as I said in See Geneva "Re 17:1". The narration of the vision promised in the verse following. Now there is delivered first a narration of the beast and his story, to verse fourteen. After, of the harlot, to the end of the chapter.

Re 17:8

17:8 {12} The beast that thou sawest {13} was, and is not; and {14} shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, {15} when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

      (12) The story of the beast has a triple description of him. The first is a distinction of this beast from all that ever have been at any time: which distinction is contained in this verse: The second is a delineation or painting out of the beast by things present, by which he might even at that time be known by the godly: and this delineation is according to his heads in Re 17:12-14 . This beast is that empire of Rome, of which I spoke in see Geneva (15) "Re 13:11" according to the mutations and changes of which then had already happened, the Holy Spirit has distinguished and set out the same. The apostle distinguishes this beast from all others in these words "the beast which thou saw, was and is not." For so I expound the words of the apostle for the evidence's sake, as I will further declare in the notes following.
      (13) The meaning is, that beast which you saw before in Re 13:1 and which you have now seen, was (was I say) from Julius Caesar in respect to beginning, rising up, station, glory, dominion, manner and family, from the house of Julius: and yet is not now the same, if you look to the house and family: for the dominion of this family was translated to another, after the death of Nero from that other to a third, from a third to a fourth, and so on, was varied and altered by innumerable changes. Finally, the Empire is one, as it were one beast: but exceedingly varied by kindreds, families, and persons. It was therefore (says John) in the kindred or house of Julius: and now it is not in that kindred, but translated to another.
      (14) As if he should say, "Also this same that is, shall shortly not be: but shall ascend out of the depth, or out of the sea" (as was said) in Re 13:1 that is, shall be a new stock from among the nations without difference and shall in the same state go to into destruction, or run and perish: and so shall successively new princes or emperors come and go, arise and fall, the body of the beast remaining still, but tossed with many frequent alterations, as no man can but marvel that this beast was able to stand and hold out, in so many mutations, verily no empire that ever was tossed with so many changes, and as it were with so many tempests of the sea, ever continued so long.

Re 17:9

17:9 {16} And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The {c} seven heads {17} are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

      (16) An exhortation preparing for the readers in the same argument, as that of Christ "He that hath ears to hear let him hear". I would rather read in this passage "Let there be here a mind, etc". So the angel passes to the second place of this description.
      (c) Children know what the seven hilled city is, which is so much spoken of, and where of Virgil thus reports, "And compasses seven towers in one wall", that city it is, which when John wrote these things, had rule over the kings of the earth. It was and is not, and yet it remains to this day, but it is declining to destruction.
      (17) This is the description of the beast by things present (as I said before) by which John endeavoured to describe the same, that he might be both known of the godly in that age, and be further observed and marked of posterity afterwards. This delineation has one tip, that is, his heads, but a double description or application of the type: one permanent, from the nature itself, the other changeable, by the working of men. The description permanent, is by the seven hills, in this verse, the other that flees, is from the seven kings, Re 17:10,11 . Here it is worthy to be observed, that one type has sometime two or more applications, as seems good to the Holy Spirit to express, either one thing by various types, or various things by one type. So I noted before of the seven spirits in see Geneva "Re 1:4". Now this woman that sits on seven hills, is the city of Rome, called in times past by the Greeks, "upon a hill" i. of seven tops or crests and by Varro, "septiceps" i. of her seven heads (as here) of seven heads, and by others, "septem collis" i. standing upon seven hills.

Re 17:10

17:10 {18} And there are seven kings: {19} five are fallen, {20} and one is, {21} [and] the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

      (18) The beginning of these kings or emperors is almost the same as the beginning of the Church of Christ, which I showed before in see Geneva (2) "Re 11:1". Namely from the 25th year after the passion of Christ, at which time the temple and church of the Jews was overthrown. In this year it came to pass by the providence of God, that that saying "The beast was, and is not" was fulfilled before the destruction of the Jews immediately following, came to pass. That was 809 years from the building of the city of Rome at which time John counted the emperors who had been, when he wrote these things, and foretells two others next to come: and with this purpose, that when this particular prediction of things to come should take effect, the truth of all other predictions in the Church, might be the more confirmed. God in ancient times mentioned this sign in the Law and Jeremiah confirmed it in De 18:1-22, Jer 28:8 .
      (19) Whose names are these: the first, Servius Sulpitius Galba, who was the seventh emperor of the people of Rome, the second Marcus Salvius Otho, the third Avlus Vitellius, the fourth, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the fifth, Titus Vespasianus his son, of his own name.
      (20) Flavius Domitian, son of the first Vespasian. For in the latter end of his days John wrote these things, as witnesses Irenaus; Lib. 5 adversus hareses.
      (21) Nerua, The empire being now translated from the family of Flavius. This man reigned only one year, four months and nine days, as the history writers tell.

Re 17:11

17:11 {22} And the beast that was, and is not, even he is {23} the eighth, and is {24} of the seven, {25} and goeth into perdition.

      (22) This is spoken by synecdoche, as if to say, as that head of the beast which was and is not, because it is cut off, and Nerua in so short time extinguished. How many heads there were, so many beasts there seemed to be in one. See a similar speech in Re 13:3 .
      (23) Nerua Traianus, who in various respects is called here the seventh and the eighth.
      (24) Though in number and order of succession he is the eighth yet he is counted with one of these heads, because Nerua and he were one head. For this man obtained authority together with Nerua and was Consul with him, when Nerua died.
      (25) Namely, to persecute the Churches of Christ, as history agrees, and I have briefly noted see Geneva "Re 2:10".

Re 17:12

17:12 {26} And the ten horns which thou sawest are {27} ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings {28} one hour with the beast.

      (26) The third place of this description, as I said in see Geneva "Re 17:8" is a prophetical prediction of things to come, which the beast should do, as in the words following John does not obscurely signify, saying, "which have not yet received the kingdom, etc". For there is an antithesis or opposition between these kings, and those that went before. First the persons are described in this verse, then their deeds, in the two verses following.
      (27) That is, arising with their kingdoms out of that Roman beast: at such time as that political empire began to fall by the plotting of the popes.
      (28) Namely, with that second beast, whom we called before a false prophet, who ascending out of the earth, got to himself all the authority and power of the first beast, and exercised the same before his face, as was said in Re 14:11,12 . For when the political empire of the west began to bow downwards, there arose those ten kings, and the second beast took the opportunity offered to usurp for himself all the power of the former beast. These kings long ago, many have numbered and described to be ten, and a great part of the events plainly testifies the same in this our age.

Re 17:13

17:13 {29} These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

      (29) That is, by consent and agreement, that they may conspire with the beast, and depend on his call. Their story is divided into three parts, counsels, acts, and events. The counsellors some of them consist in communicating of judgments and affections: and some in communicating of power, which they are said to have given to this beast, in this verse.

Re 17:14

17:14 These shall make war with the {30} Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

      (30) With Christ and his Church, as the reason following declares, and here are mentioned the facts and events which followed for Christ's sake, and for the grace of God the Father towards those that are elected, called, and are his faithful ones in Christ.

Re 17:15

17:15 {31} And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, {32} are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

      (31) This is the other part of the narration, as I said in see Geneva "Re 17:7" belonging to the harlot, showed in the vision, Re 17:3 . In this history of the harlot, these three things are distinctly propounded, what is her magnificence, in this verse, what is her fall, and by whom it shall happen to her, in Re 17:16,17 : and lastly, who that harlot is, in Re 17:18 . This passage which by order of nature should have been the first, is therefore made the last, because it was more fit to be joined with the next chapter.
      (32) That is, as changing and variable as the waters. Upon this foundation sits this harlot as queen, a vain person, on that which is vain.

Re 17:16

17:16 And the ten {33} horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

      (33) The ten kings, as Re 17:12 . The accomplishment of this fact and event is daily increased in this our age by the singular providence and most mighty government of God. Therefore the facts are propounded in this verse, and the cause of them in the verses following.

Re 17:17

17:17 {34} For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

      (34) A reason rendered from the chief efficient cause, which is the providence of God, by which alone John by inversion of order affirms to have come to pass, both that the kings should execute on the harlot that which pleased God, and which he declared in the verse before: and also that by one consent and counsel, they should give their kingdom to the beast, etc. Re 17:13,14 for as these being blinded have before depended on the call of the beast that lifts up the harlot, so it is said, that afterward it shall come to pass, that they shall turn back, and shall fall away from her, when their hearts shall be turned into better state by the grace and mercy of God.

Re 17:18

17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that {35} great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

      (35) That is, Rome that great city, or only city (as Justinian calls it) the king and head of which was then the emperor, but now the pope, since the condition of the beast was changed.

Chapter 18

Re 18:1

18:1 And {1} after these things I saw another {2} angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

      (1) The second passage (as I said before) see Geneva "Re 17:1" of the history of Babylon, is of the woeful fall and ruin of that whore of Babylon. This historical prediction concerning her, is threefold. The first a plain and simple foretelling of her ruin, in three verses Re 18:2,3 . The second a figurative prediction by the circumstances, from there to Re 18:4-20 . The third, a confirmation of the same by sign or wonder, to the end of the chapter Re 18:21-24 .
      (2) Either Christ the eternal word of God the Father (as often elsewhere) or a created angel, and one deputed to this service, but thoroughly provided with greatness of power, and with light of glory, as the ensign of power.

Re 18:2

18:2 {3} And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

      (3) The prediction of her ruin, containing both the fall of Babylon, in this verse, and the cause of it uttered by way of allegory concerning her spiritual and carnal wickedness, that is, her most great impiety and injustice, in Re 18:3 . Her fall is first declared by the angel, and then the greatness of it is shown here, by the events when he says it shall be the seat and habitation of devils, of wild beasts, and of cursed souls, as in Isa 13:21 and often elsewhere.

Re 18:4

18:4 {4} And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, {5} Come out of her, my people, that ye {6} be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

      (4) The second prediction, which is of the circumstances of the ruin of Babylon: of these there are two types: one going before it, as beforehand the godly are delivered, to the ninth verse Re 18:5-9 : the other following on her ruin, namely the lamentation of the wicked, and rejoicing of the godly, to the twentieth verse Re 18:10-20 .
      (5) Two circumstance going before the ruin, are commanded in this place: one is that the godly depart out of Babylon: as I mentioned in chapter twelve to have been done in time past, before the destruction of Jerusalem: this charge is given here and in the next verse. The other is, that every one of them occupy themselves in their own place, in executing the judgment of God, as it was commanded of the Levites in Ex 32:27 and that they sanctify their hands to the Lord.
      (6) Of this commandment there are two causes: to avoid the contamination of sin and to shun the participation of those punishments that belong to it.

Re 18:5

18:5 For her sins have {a} reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

      (a) He uses a word which signifies the following of sins one after another, and rising one of another in such sort, that they grow at length to such a heap, that they come up even to heaven.

Re 18:6

18:6 {7} Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

      (7) The provocation of the godly, and the commandment of executing the judgment of God, stand on three causes which are here expressed: the unjust wickedness of the whore of Babylon, in this verse, her cursed pride opposing itself against God, which is the fountain of all evil actions, Re 18:7 and her most just damnation by the sentence of God, Re 18:8 .

Re 18:7

18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith {b} in her heart, I sit a queen, and am {c} no widow, and shall {d} see no sorrow.

      (b) With herself.
      (c) I am full of people and mighty.
      (d) I shall taste of none.

Re 18:8

18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in {e} one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong [is] the Lord God who judgeth her.

      (e) Shortly, and at one instant.

Re 18:9

18:9 And {8} the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

      (8) The circumstances following the fall of Babylon, or the consequences of it (as I distinguished them in) see Geneva "Re 18:4" are two. Namely the lamentation of the wicked to Re 18:5-19 and the rejoicing of the godly in Re 18:20 . This sorrowful lamentation, according to those that lament, has three parts: the first of which is the mourning of the kings and mighty men of the earth, Re 18:9,10 : The second is, the lamentation of the merchants that trade by land, to the sixteenth verse: Re 18:11-16 . The third is, the wailing of those that trade by sea, in Re 18:16-18 . In each of those the cause and manner of their mourning is described in order, according to the condition of those that mourn, with observation of that which best agrees to them.

Re 18:11

18:11 {9} And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

      (9) The lamentation of those that trade by land, as I distinguished before.

Re 18:14

18:14 {10} And the {f} fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

      (10) An apostrophe, or turning of the speech by imitation, used for more vehemence, as if those merchants, as mourners, should in passionate speech speak to Babylon, though now utterly fallen and overthrown; Isa 13:9 and in many other places.
      (f) By this is meant that season which is before the fall of the leaf, at which time fruit ripens, and the word signifies such fruits as are longed for.

Re 18:17

18:17 {11} For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

      (11) The manner of mourning used by them that trade by sea.

Re 18:20

18:20 Rejoice over her, {12} [thou] heaven, and [ye] holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

      (12) The other consequence on the ruin of Babylon, is the exultation or rejoicing of the godly in heaven and in earth as was noted in this verse.

Re 18:21

18:21 {13} And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast [it] into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

      (13) The third prediction, as I said see Geneva "Re 18:1" based on a sign, and the interpretation of it: the interpretation of it is in two sorts, first by a simple proposal of the thing itself, in this verse, and then by declaration of the events, in the verses following.

Re 18:22

18:22 {14} And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft [he be], shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

      (14) The events are two, and one of them opposite to the other for amplification sake. There shall be no mirth nor joy at all in Babylon, he says in this and the next verse, Re 18:23 but heavy and lamentable things, from the bloody slaughters of the righteous and the vengeance of God coming on it for this.

Re 18:24

18:24 And in her was found the {15} blood of prophets, {16} and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

      (15) That is shed by bloody massacres, and calling for vengeance.
      (16) That is, proved and found out, as if God had appointed a just inquiry concerning the impiety, unnaturalness and injustice of these men.

Chapter 19

Re 19:1

19:1 And {1} after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, {a} {2} Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

      (1) This chapter has in summary two parts, one transitory or of passage to the things that follow, to the tenth verse, Re 19:2-10 , another historical of the victory of Christ over both the beasts, to the end of the chapter Re 19:11-21 , which I said was the second history of this argument, Re 17:1 . The transition has two places, one of praising God for the overthrow done to Babylon in Re 19:4 : and another likewise of praise and prophecy, for the coming of Christ to his kingdom, and his most royal marriage with his Church, thence to the tenth verse Re 19:5-10 . The former praise has three parts, distinguished after the ancient manner of those that sing: an invitation in Re 19:1,2 , a response or answer in Re 19:3 , and a close or joining together in harmony in Re 19:4 , all which I thought good of purpose to distinguish in this place, lest any man should with Porphyrius, or other like dogs, object to John, or the heavenly Church, a childish and idle repetition of speech.
      (a) Praise the Lord.
      (2) The proposition of praise with exhortation in this verse, and the cause of it in Re 19:2 .

Re 19:3

19:3 And again they said, {3} Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

      (3) The song of the Antiphony or response, containing an amplification of the praise of God, from the continuous and certain testimony of his divine judgment as was done at Sodom and Gomorrah, Ge 19:1-38 .

Re 19:5

19:5 {4} And a voice came out of the {5} throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

      (4) The second place of praise, as I said see Geneva "Re 19:1" which first is commanded by God in this verse: and then is in most ample manner pronounced by the creatures, both because they see that kingdom of Christ to come, which they desire, Re 19:6 and also because they see the Church is called forth to be brought home to the house of her husband by holy marriage, to the fellowship of his kingdom, Re 19:7,8 . Therefore John is commanded to write in a book the acclamation together with a divine testimony, Re 19:9 .
      (5) Out of the temple from God as in Re 11:19 .

Re 19:6

19:6 And I heard {6} as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

      (6) Outside the temple in heaven.

Re 19:7

19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath {7} made herself ready.

      (7) Namely, to that holy marriage, both herself in person in this verse, and also provided by her spouse with marriage gifts princely and divine, is adorned and prepared in the next verse.

Re 19:8

19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in {8} fine linen, clean and white: for the fine {9} linen is the {b} righteousness of saints.

      (8) As an ensign of kingly and priestly dignity, which Christ bestows on us in Re 1:6 .
      (9) This is a gift given by the husband for marriage sake, and a most choice ornament which Christ gave to us, as to his spouse.
      (b) Good works which are lively testimonies of faith.

Re 19:9

19:9 {10} And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

      (10) Namely the angel, as it appears by the next verse.

Re 19:10

19:10 {11} And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the {c}testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of {d} Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

      (11) The particular history of this verse is brought in by occasion, and as it were besides the purpose that John might make a public example of his own infirmity and of the modest sanctimony of the angel, who both renounced for himself the divine honours, and recalled all the servants of God, to the worship of him alone: as also Re 22:8 .
      (c) Who are commanded to bear witness of Jesus.
      (d) For Jesus is the mark that all the prophecies shoot at.

Re 19:11

19:11 {12} And I saw {13} heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

      (12) The second part of this chapter (as I said in) see Geneva "Re 19:1" is of the victory gained by Christ against both the beasts: in which first Christ is described as one ready to fight, to the sixteenth verse Re 19:12-16 , then the battle is shown to begin, there to the eighteenth verse Re 19:17,18 , lastly is set forth the victory, to the end the chapter Re 19:19-21 . In this place the most excellent properties of Christ as our heavenly judge and avenger shine forth, according to his person, company, effects and names.
      (13) Properties belonging to his person, that he is heavenly, judge, faithful, true, just, in this verse, knowing all things, ruling over all, to be known by no one, Re 19:12 , the triumpher and in essence, the Word of God, in Re 19:13 .

Re 19:14

19:14 {14} And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

      (14) The company or retinue of Christ, holy, innumerable, heavenly, judicial, royal and pure.

Re 19:15

19:15 {15} And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

      (15) The effects of Christ prepared to fight, that with his mouth he strikes the Gentiles, rules and destroys.

Re 19:16

19:16 {16} And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

      (16) The name agreeing to Christ according to the former qualities, expressed after the manner of the Hebrews.

Re 19:17

19:17 {17} And I saw an angel standing in the {18} sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the {19} midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

      (17) The second part, as I said in see Geneva "Re 19:11". A reproachful calling forth of his enemies into battle: in which not themselves (for why should they be called forth by the king of the world, or provoked being his subjects? for that is not comely) but in their hearing, the birds of the air are called to eat their carcasses.
      (18) That is, openly, and in sight of all, as in Nu 25:4, 2Sa 12:11 .
      (19) That is, through this inferior heaven, and which is nearer to us: a Hebrew phrase.

Re 19:19

19:19 {20} And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

      (20) The third part (as was said in) Re 19:11 by the victory obtained by Christ. Two things pertain to this: his fighting with the beast and his forces, in this verse: and the event most magnificent, described after the manner of men, in the verses following. All these things are plain.

Re 19:20

19:20 And the beast {21} was taken, and with him {22} the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

      (21) Namely, that beast with seven heads; Re 13:1, 17:3 .
      (22) That is, that beast with two heads; Re 13:11, 16:14 .

Chapter 20

Re 20:1

20:1 And {1} I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key {2} of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

      (1) Now follows the third part of the prophetic history, which is of the victory by which Christ overcame the dragon, as I noted in Re 7:1 . This part must necessarily be joined with the end of the twelfth chapter and be applied to the correct understanding of it. This chapter has two parts, one of the dragon overcome, to Re 20:2-10 : the other of the resurrection and last judgment to Re 20:11-15 . The story of the dragon is twofold: First of the first victory, after which he was bound by Christ, to the sixth verse Re 20:1-6 . The second is of the last victory, by which he has thrown down into everlasting punishment, there to the fifteenth verse Re 20:7-15 . This first history happened in the first time of the Christian Church, when the dragon thrown down from heaven by Christ, went about to molest the new birth of the Church in the earth, Re 12:17,18:1 . For which cause I gave warning, that this story of the dragon must be joined to that passage.
      (2) That is, of hell, where God threw the angels who had sinned, and bound them in chains of darkness to be kept till damnation, 2Pe 2:4

Re 20:2

20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him {3} a thousand years,

      (3) The first of which (continuing this history with the end of the second chapter) in the 36 years from the passion of Christ, when the Church of the Jews being overthrown, Satan attempted to invade the Christian church gathered from the Gentiles, and to destroy part of her seed, Re 12:17 . The thousandth year falls precisely on the times of that wicked Hildebrand, who was called Gregory the seventh, a most damnable necromancer and sorcerer, whom Satan used as an instrument when he was loosed out of bonds, from then on to annoy the saints of God with most cruel persecutions, and the whole world with dissentions, and most bloody wars: as Benno the Cardinal reports at large. This is the first victory gained over the dragon in the earth.

Re 20:3

20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations {4} no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed {5} a little season.

      (4) Namely, with that public and violent deceit which he attempted before in chapter 12 and which after a thousand years (alas for woe!) he most mightily achieved in the Christian world.
      (5) Which being once expired, the second battle and victory shall be; Re 20:7,8 .

Re 20:4

20:4 {6} And I saw {a} thrones, and they sat upon them, and {7} judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were {8} beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which {9} had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

      (6) A description of the common state of the Church of Christ in earth in that space of a thousand years, during which the devil was in bonds; in which first the authority, life, and common honour of the godly, is declared, Re 20:4 . Secondly, newness of life is preached to others by the gospel after that time; Re 20:5 . Finally, he concludes with promises, Re 20:6 .
      (a) For judgment was committed to them, as to members joined to the head: not that Christ's office was given over to them.
      (7) This was a type of the authority of the good and faithful servants of God in the Church, taken from the manner of men.
      (8) Of the martyrs, who suffered in those first times.
      (9) Of the martyrs who suffered after both the beasts were now risen up, chapter 15. For there, these things are expounded.

Re 20:5

20:5 {10} But the rest of the dead {11} lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.

      (10) Whoever shall lie dead in sin, and not know the truth of God.
      (11) They shall not be renewed with newness of the life by the enlightening of the gospel of the glory of Christ. For this is the first resurrection, by which souls of the dead do rise from their death. In the second resurrection their bodies shall rise again.

Re 20:6

20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the {12} second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, {13} and shall reign with him a thousand years.

      (12) That by this both body and soul, that is, the whole man is condemned and delivered to eternal death; Re 2:11 .
      (13) A return to the intended history, by resuming the words which are in the end of the fourth verse Re 20:4 .

Re 20:7

20:7 {14} And when the {15} thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

      (14) The second history, of the latter victory of Christ, as was said in Re 20:1 . In which are summarily described the work, overthrow, and eternal punishment of Satan.
      (15) Of which I spoke. See Geneva "Re 20:2" Then there will be given to him liberty to rage against the Church, and to molest the saints for the sins of men: to whom the faithful shall have associated themselves more then was fitting, tasting with them of their impurity of doctrine and life.

Re 20:8

20:8 {16} And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.

      (16) The work or act of Satan (which is the first part, as I distinguished in the verse before) to deceive the whole world, even to the uttermost nations of it: to arm them against the people of God, in this verse and to besiege and oppress the Church, with his whole strength, in the verse following.

Re 20:9

20:9 And they went up on the {b} breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and {17} fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

      (b) As if he said, in so much that the whole face of the earth, however great it is, was filled.
      (17) The wrath of God, consuming the adversaries, and overthrowing all their enterprises; He 10:27 . This is the second part mentioned see Geneva "Re 20:7", in the overthrow of Satan.

Re 20:10

20:10 {18} And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

      (18) The third part, eternal destruction against those that are overcome: as I noted in the same place.

Re 20:11

20:11 {19} And I saw a great {20} white throne, and him that sat on it, {21} from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

      (19) The second part of this chapter, in which the judge is described in this verse, and the last judgment in the verse following.
      (20) That is, a tribunal seat most princelike and glorious: for so does the Greek word signify.
      (21) That is, Christ, before whom when he comes to judgment, heaven and earth shall perish for the greatness of his majesty; 2Pe 3:7,10 .

Re 20:12

20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before {22} God; and the {23} books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] {24} of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

      (22) That is, Christ the judge; 2Co 5:10 .
      (23) As it were, his books of reckoning or accounts, that is, the testimony of our conscience, and of our works, which by no means can be avoided.
      (24) The book of the eternal decree of God, in which God the Father has elected in Christ according to the good pleasure of his will, those that shall be heirs of life. This also is spoken according to the manner of men.

Re 20:13

20:13 {25} And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

      (25) This is a reply or an answer to an objection: for some man will say, "But they are dead, whom the sea, death and the grave has consumed, how shall they appear before the judge" John answers, by resurrection from death, where all things (however repugnant) shall minister and serve at the commandment of God, as in Da 12:1,2 .

Re 20:14

20:14 {26} And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

      (26) The last enemy which is death shall be abolished by Christ
      (that he may no more make any attempt against us) 1Co 15:16 and death shall feed on the reprobate in hell for evermore, according to the righteous judgment of God, in the next verse Re 20:15 .

Chapter 21

Re 21:1

21:1 And {1} I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

      (1) Now follows the second part of the history prophetic of the future estate of the Church in heaven after the last judgment, to Re 21:2 - Re 22:5 . In this are two things briefly declared. The station, seat, or place of it, Re 21:1 . Then her state and condition, in the verses following. Before the state of the Church described, is set down the state of the whole world, that there shall be a new heaven, and a new earth; Isa 65:17, 66:22, 2Pe 3:13 and this is the seat or place of the Church, in which righteousness shall dwell.

Re 21:2

21:2 {2} And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

      (2) The state of this glorious Church is first described generally to Re 21:3-8 , and then specially and by parts, in the verses following. The general description consists in a vision shown afar off, Re 21:2 and in speech spoken from heaven. In the general these things are common, that the Church is holy, new, the workmanship of God, heavenly, most glorious, the spouse of Christ, and partaker of his glory in this verse.

Re 21:3

21:3 {3} And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

      (3) The Church is described by the speech, first of an angel, in two verses, then by God himself, in four verses. The angel's speech describes the glory of the Church, by the most intimate communion with God, by giving of all manner of good things according to the covenant, in this verse: and by removing or putting away of all evil things, in the verse following Re 21:4 .

Re 21:5

21:5 {4} And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

      (4) In the speech of God himself describing the Church, is first an introduction, or entrance. Then follows a magnificent description of the Church, by the present and future good things of the same, in three verses following Re 21:6-8 . In the introduction God challenges to himself the restoring of all the creatures, Re 21:1 and witnesses the calling of John to the writing of these things, in this verse.

Re 21:6

21:6 And he said unto me, {5} It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

      (5) The description of the Church is in three parts, by the abolishing of old things, by the being of present things in God, that is, of things eternal: and by the giving of all good things with the godly. If so be they shall contend manfully; Re 21:7 . But the reprobate are excluded from there; Re 21:8 .

Re 21:8

21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their {a} part in the lake which burneth with fire and

      (a) Their lot, and inheritance as it were.

Re 21:9

21:9 {6} And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

      (6) A transition to the describing of the heavenly Church, by the express calling of John in this verse, and his enrapturing by the Spirit, in confirmation of the truth of God in the verse following.

Re 21:10

21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and {7} high mountain, and shewed me {8} that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

      (7) He means the place and stately seat of the Church, foreshadowed in a mountain.
      (8) A type of that Church which is one, ample, or catholic, holy celestial, built by God, in this verse: and glorious in the verse following Re 21:11 . This type propounded generally, is particularly declared; Re 21:12 .

Re 21:12

21:12 {9} And had a wall great and high, [and] had {10} twelve gates, and at the gates {11} twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

      (9) A particular description of the celestial Church, first, by its essential parts, compared to a city down to verse 22, Re 21:12-22 . Secondly, from the outside, to the end of the chapter Re 21:23-27 . Thirdly, by the effects, in the beginning of the next chapter, the essential parts are noted the matter and the form in the whole work: of these the superstructure and foundation of the wall are entire parts (as they use to be called) which parts are first described in figure, to the 14th verse afterwards more exactly.
      (10) According to the number of the tribes. For here the outward part is attributed to the Old Testament, and the foundation of the New Testament.
      (11) He means the prophets, who are the messengers of God, and watchmen of the Church.

Re 21:14

21:14 And the wall of the city had {12} twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

      (12) That is, foundation stones, according to the number of the gates, as is shown in Re 21:19 .

Re 21:15

21:15 {13} And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

      (13) A transition to a more exquisite description of the parts of the Church, by finding out its size, by the angel that measured them.

Re 21:16

21:16 {14} And the city lieth {b} foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

      (14) The measure and form most equal, in two verses.
      (b) A foursquare figure has equal sides, and outright corners, and therefore the Greeks call by this name those things that are steady, and of continuance and perfect.

Re 21:17

21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred [and] forty [and] four cubits, [according to] the measure of a man, that is, of the {c} angel.

      (c) He adds this, because the angel had the shape of a man.

Re 21:18

21:18 {15} And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass.

      (15) The matter most precious and glittering, which the presence of God makes most glorious.

Re 21:21

21:21 And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the {d} street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

      (d) By street, he means the broadest place of the city.

Re 21:23

21:23 {16} And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof.

      (16) The second form of particular description (as I said) see Geneva "Re 21:12" from exterior and outward actions which are these, light from God himself, to this verse glory from men, Re 21:24 . Finally such truth and incorruption of glory Re 21:26 as can bear and abide with it, nothing that is inglorious, Re 21:27 .

Chapter 22

Re 22:1

22:1 And {1} he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

      (1) Here is absolved and finished the description of the celestial Church (as I showed before) see Geneva "Re 21:12" by the effects in Re 22:5 , and then this book is concluded in the rest of the chapter. The effects proceeding from God, who dwells in the Church, are these: the everlasting grace of God, in this verse, the eternal life of the godly, as in Re 2:7 the eternal fruits which the godly bring forth to God, themselves and others, Re 22:2 , freedom and immunity from all evil, God himself taking pleasure in his servants, and they likewise in their God, Re 22:3 . The beholding and sight of God, and sealing of the faithful from all eternity, Re 22:4 the light of God and an everlasting kingdom and glory, Re 22:5 .

Re 22:6

22:6 {2} And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

      (2) This whole book is concluded and made up by a confirmation, and a salutation. The confirmation has three parts: the words of the angel Re 22:15 , the words of Christ, Re 22:16,17 and the supplication made by John from divine authority, Re 22:18-20 . By the speech of the angel this prophecy is confirmed to Re 22:7,8 , and then he speaks of the use of this book in the verses following. The prophecy is first confirmed by the angel from the nature of it, that it is faithful and true: Secondly, from the nature of the efficient cause, both principal, which is God, and instrumental, which is the angel in this verse. Thirdly, from the promises of God concerning his coming to effect all these things, and concerning our salvation; Re 22:7 . Fourthly, from the testification of John himself; Re 22:8 . The rest of the speech of the angel rending to the same end, John interrupted or broke off by his unadvised act of worshipping him, in the same verse, which the angel forbidding, teaches him that adoration must be given not to him, but only to God, as for himself, that he is of such nature and office, as he may not be adored: which thing also was in like manner done; Re 19:10 .

Re 22:10

22:10 {3} And he saith unto me, {4} Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

      (3) The angel returns to his former speech: in which he teaches to use of this book both towards ourselves, in this and the next verse: and in respect of God for declaration of his truth, there to the fifteenth verse Re 22:11-15 .
      (4) That is, propound this prophecy openly to all and conceal no part of it. The contrary to that which is commanded in Isa 8:16, Da 8:26 .

Re 22:11

22:11 {5} He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

      (5) An objection anticipated, but there will be some that will use this occasion for evil, and will wrest this scripture to their own destruction, as Peter says. What then? says the angel, the mysteries of God must not be concealed, which it has pleased him to communicate to us. Let them be harmful to others, let such be more and more vile in themselves, whom this scripture does not please: yet others will be further conformed to righteousness by this, and true holiness. The care and reformation of these may not be neglected, because of the voluntary and malicious offence of others.

Re 22:12

22:12 {6} And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

      (6) The second part belonging to the use of this book, as I said see Geneva "Re 22:10". Also (says God by the angel) though there should be no use of this book to men: yet it shall be of this use to me, that it is a witness of my truth to my glory, who will come shortly, to give and execute just judgment, in this verse; who have taught that all these things have their being in me, Re 22:13 , and have pronounced blessedness to my servants in the Church, Re 22:14 and reprobation to the ungodly Re 22:15 .

Re 22:14

22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, {7} that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

      (7) The blessedness of the godly set down by their title and interest there: and their fruit in the same.

Re 22:16

22:16 {8} I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.

      (8) The second passage of confirmation (as I said) is the speech of Christ ratifying the vocation of John, and the authority of his calling and testimony, both from the condition of his own person being God and man, in whom all the promises of God are Yea and Amen; 2Co 1:20 and also from the testimony of other people, by the acclamation of the Holy Spirit, who here is an honourable assistant of the marriage of the Church as the spouse: and of each of the godly as members; and finally from the thing present, that of their own knowledge and accord, they are called forth to the participation of the good things of God; Ge 22:17 .

Re 22:18

22:18 {9} For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

      (9) The supplication of John (which is the third part of the confirmation) joined with a curse of abhorrence, to preserve the truth of this book entire and uncorrupted in two verses.

Re 22:20

22:20 {10} He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

      (10) A divine confirmation or sealing of the supplication first from Christ affirming the same and denouncing his coming against all those that will put their sacrilegious hands here: then from John himself, who by a most holy prayer calls Christ to take vengeance on them.

Re 22:21

22:21 {11} The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.

      (11) The apostolic salutation, which is the other part of the conclusion, as I said see Geneva Re "22:6" and is the end of almost every epistle; which we wish to the Church, and to all the holy and elect members of it, in Christ Jesus our Lord, until his coming to judgment "Come Lord Jesus" and do it. Amen, again Amen.

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