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The Explanation Of The Apocalypse

v. 1. trumpets (multitudes). These things the Church now says in part, but will say perfectly when the separation has taken place, and when it has been more openly avenged.

2. corrupted. He relates two actions of the harlot, namely, that she corrupted herself with the bad, and persecuted the good; and in these two, I suppose, he comprehends all the crimes of the wicked.

3. Alleluia. The Church extols the Lord for His judgments with unceasing love. For Alleluia signifies, “Praise ye the Lord.” Lastly, the Psalms which have for the beginning, “Praise ye the Lord,” begin in the Hebrew with Alleluia.

rises up. “Rises up,” he says, not “will rise up.” But Babylon always goes into perdition, and is in part already burning, while Jerusalem passes into paradise, as the Lord manifests in the poor man and the rich.

4. worshipped. The Church worships God, not with the service of the lips alone, but with the sweetness of the highest devotion.

Amen; Alleluia. Although these words can be interpreted, for they are translated, as I said, “to the faith,” or “truth,” and “praise of the Lord,” yet in reverence for their sacredness the authority of the original language is preserved to them. For the Church also continually sings Alleluia on the Lord’s day, and the whole period of the fifty days, because of the hope of the resurrection, which is to be in praise of the Lord.

5. Praise ye. Seeing he commands this to be done, and mentions that it was done, he indicates, that the praise of the elect servants was approved. “Small,” he says, “and great,” for slightness of understanding does not harm, where heart and tongue are filled with the praise of the Lord.

6. trumpet. (multitude.) Great is the voice of those who sing, great the devotion of heart. For with a manifold repetition of praise it celebrates at once the fall of the ungodly, and the eternal glory of the Lord and His own.

7 marriage. It is the marriage of the Lamb, when the Church is to be united unto the Lord in the marriage-chamber of the heavenly kingdom.

ready. By always insisting on works of righteousness, she has shewn herself worthy of the spiritual feast and the everlasting kingdom. It may also be taken in accordance with the parable of the Gospel, which relates, that on the bridegroom’s coming, “the virgins arise and trim their lamps,” that is, reckon with themselves their works, for which they expect to receive eternal blessedness.

8. arrayed. It was given to her to be arrayed in her own deeds. But on the contrary, they who according to Isaiah “weave a spider’s web,” will not be clothed with their own works. For their works are unprofitable works.

9. supper. He relates that they are called not to dinner, but to supper, because assuredly the banquet at the end of the day is a supper. Accordingly, they who come to the refection of heavenly contemplation, when the time of the present life is ended, are called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb.

true. That is, the things will assuredly come to pass which I have announced as future.

10. fellowservant. He had said above, “I am the first and the last.” He shews, therefore, that the angel was sent as a figure of the Lord and the Church. In the same manner he also says at the end, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you in the churches.”

testimony. After that the Lord Jesus Christ raised the person of man, which He assumed, above the heavens, the angel feared to be worshipped by man, namely, as worshipping the God-man above himself. Yet we read of this having been done before the Incarnation of the Lord by men, and not in any wise forbidden by the angels.

prophecy. For whatever the Spirit of prophecy said, is the testimony of Jesus, Who receives testimony from the law and the prophets. Do not thou, then, worship me, he says, as God, seeing that I have come to bear testimony to His powers. Thus far concerning the fall of Babylon, henceforth concerning the future glory of Jerusalem.

11. White. The Lord, “Who is the way, the truth, and the life.,” and to Whom it is said by the prophet, “Because thou hast wrought wonderful things, the faithful counsels of old, Amen,” ascends upon a white, that is, an immaculate body, to vanquish the powers of the air.

judge. He judges, as the King of ages. He makes war, because in His members He Himself of His compassion always contends.

12 eyes. He sometimes calls the precepts, sometimes the Spirit, the eyes of the Lord. He says, “Thy word, O Lord, is a lantern unto my feet,” and of the Spirit, “I have come to send a fire upon the earth.”

diadems, (crowns). In Him, in Whom we shall do mighty things, the multitude of the saints is said to have the ornament of a crown.

name. “No one knows but He Himself,” he says, because all the Church is in Him. For the perfect knowledge of the Word of God is manifested to those who have obtained to be the body of Christ and His members. In the same manner the Lord says, “No one has ascended up to heaven, but He Who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, Who is in heaven.”

13. vesture. The vesture of Christ ought to be understood according to the place. Here, accordingly, it appears to indicate the very act of the Passion, so that in the white horse is designated the immaculate birth, in the vesture stained with blood, the innocent death.

The Word. Because the same Who appeared for a time as a man of suffering, “in the beginning was God with God.” He is called the Word, because nothing in His nature was visible, nor corporeal; or, because the Father made all things by Him, the perfect knowledge of Whose nature, as he says above, is known to Himself alone, and to the Father. For, “the peace of God passeth all understanding;” that is, the peace by which God Himself was reconciled unto Himself, exceeds the wisdom of any creature, whether human or angelic, for “Of his wisdom there is no number.” For when it is said, “And he, to whom the Son will reveal,” that is, the Father and the Son, “knows,” this has respect to the capacity of the creature.

14. armies. That is to say, the Church in white bodies imitated Him. For because of the intensity of its conflict, it rightly receives the name of an army.

linen. This he himself explained above to be “the righteousness of saints;” as it is said by the Psalmist, “Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness.”

15. sword. So also Isaiah says, “And he hath set my mouth as a sharp sword;” and the Apostle, “And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”

winepress. It is even so. For now also He treads until He tread without the city.

16. Name. This is the Name, which no one of the proud knows. But it is written on the Church, “not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God,” that is to say, “on the tables of the heart.” For by the thigh is designated the posterity of seed. Therefore Abraham also, in order that his posterity might not be mixed with aliens, made use of his thigh for a third testimony between himself and his servant. And of this also the Apostle, as it were raising up seed to a brother who has died, says, “In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.” It may also be understood, that the Church by serving reigns in Christ, and has lordship over lords. The same Name is also inscribed on the vesture, because by the mystery of the Nativity, and the act of the Passion, His majesty and kingdom are revealed to us. In that which follows, he explains what the appearance of the King and of the army signifies, namely, the glory of the last conflict, and of the kingdom which succeeds to it.

17. sun. That is, preaching in the Church, which shines the more brightly, and thunders forth the more freely, the more it is oppressed.

birds. He calls the saints birds, as passing their life in heaven. For “wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together;” and as bringing them together into one body, he had said, “flying in the midst of heaven;”

Come. Come, he says, ye who hunger and thirst after righteousness, to the banquet of the kingdom to come, when, the fierceness of the proud repressed, ye shall be satisfied with the light of divine justice.

18. sit. I suppose that these are the horsemen whom, at the opening of the seals, he had described as having come against the white horse of the Lord.

19. beast. He explains in what manner the supper of the Lord was prepared, namely, in that the devil fought against the Church, and was vanquished.

20. both. He appears to signify, that the devil and Antichrist are to be visited with so much greater a punishment than the rest of men and demons, as it is more grievous to be burned alive with flames of brimstone, than to die quickly, and be slain with the stroke of a sword; unless, perhaps, he intends that the divine attention was directed to them first. For “he who does not believe is already judged;” whether thou understand Antichrist to be intended by the false prophet, or heretics, for not one of mortal men sins more obstinately than heretics, who after they have known Christ, deny Him.

21. filled. “If the righteous shall even now rejoice when he seeth the vengeance” upon the wicked, how much more then, when in the presence of the Judge Himself, he will be made one spirit with Him. The birds may also be understood to be evil spirits, who will be satiated from their destruction. Tichonius expounds this supper as follows: “In all time the Church devours the flesh of its enemies, while it is devoured by them. But in the resurrection it will be satiated, as avenged for their carnal work.

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