Page images




The text of the original, according to our English authorized translation, is divided into Parts and Sections, with a view to a more complete arrangement and illustration of the Prophecies.




The Title, or Inscription, of the Book.

CHAP. i. ver. 1-3.

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass ; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John ;

2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

The greater part of the commentators have either entirely disregarded, or very little noticed the three first chapters. In these, as the production of a divine interpreter, I expected to find such specimens of the symbols and language of the Apocalypse, as might materially lead to the interpretation of the remainder. I studied them accordingly, as the means of obtaining a safe Clavis Apocalyptica, and was not disappointed.

Ver. 1. The Revelation.] The word αποκαλυψις, , although without the prepositive article, is not improperly translated THE Revelation; because the titles of books, in the Greek language, are commonly expressed without the article.—See Bishop MidDLETON on the Greek Article, Luke i. 1.

Things which must shortly come to pass.] The meaning of this cannot be, that the events foretold in this revelation, should all of them be completed within a short time and compass; for we know that more than seventeen hundred years have passed away since this prophecy was delivered, and that as yet only a small part of it is fulfilled. It may also be observed, that the same words, á del yevkodai ev taxel, are repeated at the close of the work, (ch. xxii. 6.) with reference to a new heaven and new earth, after this world has passed away. The meaning, therefore, seems to be, (as set forth by able commentators, Grotius, Vitringa, Mede, and Daubuz,) that the events predicted shall begin to take place soon, and follow each other in regular succession, till the time of the end. But in this, and such like expressions, which occur frequently in scripture, a warning seems to be addressed to every human creature individually, that the great day of consummation is at hand. For whatever may be its distance, measured by time and years, it presses close upon every individual; the day of whose death will bring him before his Judge. “ Behold I come quickly, Ev taxat, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be,” (ch. xxii. 12, 20;) and accordingly, in the third verse of this first chapter, the blessing is pronounced upon, and the warning addressed to, individuals. « Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein ; 1 for the time is at hand;" that time, when the Son of God, having obtained the victory over his opponents, and finally subdued our last enemy, Death, shall come in the clouds of heaven, as represented in the seventh verse of this chapter, to pass final sentence upon all men.

1 Not the words, as in our received translation, but the things commanded, ta yeypajueva.

« PreviousContinue »