Table of Contents

Notes on Revelation

Miscellaneous

3 Adar, 5761
February 26, 2001


The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible (1747):

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

from him which is, and which was, and which is to come: So the Jews explain this name in #Ex 3:14;

Says R. Isaac, the holy blessed God said to Moses, Say unto them, I am he that was, and I am he that now is, and I am he that is to come, wherefore hyh) is written three times {a}.

And such a periphrasis of God is frequent in their writings {b}.

{a} Shemot Rabba, sect. 3. fol. 73. 2.
{b} Targum. Jon. in Deut. xxxii. 39. Zohar in Exod. fol. 59. 3. & in Numb. fol. 97. 4. & 106. 2. Seder Tephillot, fol. 205. 1. Ed. Basil. fol. 2. 2. Ed. Amsterd.


Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

and washed us from our sins in his own blood: the priests were always washed, before they performed their service, as such {n}.

{n} Misn. Yoma, c. 3. sect. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.


Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

And hath made us kings and priests: reference seems to be had to #Ex 19:6: "and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests"; which the Jerusalem Targum renders, "ye shall be unto me kings and priests"; and so the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel paraphrases it thus, "and ye shall be before me kings crowned with a crown, and priests ministering." Hence it is a common saying with the Jews, that all Israelites are the sons of kings

It is R. Simeon, who maintained: All Israel are royal children. (Soncino Talmud - Mas. Shabbath 67a)

Abaye said: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, R. Simeon, R. Ishmael, and R. Akiba, all hold that all Israel are royal children. (Soncino Talmud - Mas. Shabbath 128a)

and sometimes their doctors are called "kings of the law": and they ascribe the same thing to the word of the Lord as is here attributed to Jesus Christ: so the Targum of Jonathan on #De 28:13 paraphrases the words;

the word of the Lord shall appoint or constitute you kings, and not private persons.

Likewise they say

that even a Gentile, if he studies in the law, is "as an high priest" {b}.

{a} Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 1. 2. Vid. Jarchium in. Psal. lxviii. 14.
{b}T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 38. 1.


Revelation 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

clothed with a garment down to the foot: it seems rather to design a priestly robe; the robe of the ephod wore by the high priest is called by this name in the Septuagint version of #Ex 28:4,31; and so it is by Josephus {a}, who speaking of the hyacinthine tunic, or robe of blue, says, this is "a garment down to the foot," which in our language is called "Meeir"; rather it should be "Meil," which is its Hebrew name; and so this robe is expressed by the same word here, used by Philo the Jew {b}, and by Jerom {c}; so Maimonides {d} says, the length of his garment was to the top of his heel: and in the habit of a priest did Christ now appear; and so he is described in his priestly office, in the midst of his churches, having made atonement for their sins by the sacrifice of himself; and now as their high priest had entered into the holiest of all with his own blood and righteousness; bore their names on his breastplate, appeared in the presence of God on their account, and ever lived to make intercession for them:

and girt about the paps with a golden girdle; as the high priest was with the girdle of the ephod, which was made of gold, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, #Ex 28:8; and with which the priests were girt about the paps, or breast, as Christ is here described: it is said of the priests in #Eze 44:18, "they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat"; which some render "in sweating places": and so some Jewish writers interpret it, which will serve to illustrate the present place;

says R. Abai, (upon citing #Eze 44:18) they do not gird themselves in the place in which they sweat; according to the tradition, when they gird themselves they do not gird neither below their loins, nor above their arm holes, but over against their arm holes; {e}

the gloss says, upon their ribs, against their arm pit, that is, about their breast, or paps; and which is still more plainly expressed by the Targum on the above place, which paraphrases it thus,

they shall not gird about their loins, but they shall gird about their heart.

So Josephus {f} says, the high priest's garment was girt about the breast, a little below the arm holes.

{a} Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 4.
{b}De Vita Mosis, l. 3. p. 671.
{c} Ad Fabiolam. fol. 19. H.
{d} Cele Hamikash, c. 8. sect. 17.
{e}T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 18. 2. & 19. 1. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 74. 2. Vid. Jarchi & Kimchi in Ezek. xliv. 18.
{f} Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 2.


Revelation 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire: It is said of Augustus Caesar, that he had fiery eyes (Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 8. p. 13. 55.).


Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

And he had in his right hand seven stars: nor was it unusual with the Jews to compare good men to stars, and to the seven stars. The Targumist {a} says, the seven lamps in the candlestick answer to the seven stars to which the righteous are like.

and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: this may mean the judiciary sentence of Christ upon the wicked, which will be a fighting against them, and a smiting of the nations of the world; see #Re 2:16 19:15 Ps 149:6; which the Jews interpret of the law {b}:

and his countenance [was] as the sun shineth in his strength: at noonday; such was the countenance of Christ at his transfiguration, #Mt 17:2; and designs here the manifestation of himself in the glories of his person, and in the riches of his grace; who is the sun of righteousness that arises upon his people with light, heat, joy, and comfort; see the phrase in #Jud 5:31, which the Jewish writers understand of the strength of the sun both in the summer solstice, and in the middle of the day, or at noon, at which time its heat is strongest, and it usually shines brightest; the design of the metaphor is to set forth the glory and majesty of Christ.

{a} Jonathan ben Uzziel in Exod. xl. 4.
{b} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 95. 4. & 131. 1.


Revelation 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

I am the first and the last: a way of speaking used by God when he is about to comfort his people, and remove their fears; see #Isa 41:4 44:6 48:12; and is used by Christ for the same purpose here; and so is a proof of his true and proper deity, and is expressive of his eternity, and also of his dignity and excellency: he is the first and last in divine predestination, in the covenant of grace, in creation, in the business of salvation, and in his church, by whom, and for whom, are all things in it; he is the head of the body, the Son over his own house, and the firstborn among many brethren; and so the Alexandrian copy read, here, "the firstborn and the last". "The first," is a name of the Messiah with the Jews {a}.

{a} T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 5. 1. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 63. fol. 55. 2. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 30. fol. 171. 2. & Tzeror Hammor, fol. 71. 4.


Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee: So the Jews represent God saying, concerning their fathers, "Abraham," &c. I have something against them" (Pesikta Rabbati apud Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 60. 4.).


Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

and do the first works: of faith and love, with the like zeal and fervour, which will show the repentance to be sincere and genuine; so the Arabic version reads, "and exercise the former works, to wit, charity" or "love". The Jews have a saying,

if a man repents, do not say to him, "remember thy first works"; {a}

which they seem to understand of evil works; but former good works are to be remembered and done, to show the truth of repentance for evil ones.

{a} Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 4. sect. 10.


Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

shall not be hurt of the second death: by which is meant eternal death, in distinction from a corporeal and temporal one; and lies in a destruction of both body and soul in hell, and in an everlasting separation from God, and a continual sense of divine wrath; but of this the saints shall never be hurt, they are ordained to eternal life; this is secured for them in Christ, and he has it in his hands for them, and will give it to them. The phrase is Jewish, and is opposed to the first death, or the death of the body; which is the effect of sin, and is appointed of God, and which the people of God die as well as others; but the second death is peculiar to wicked men. So the Jerusalem Targum on #De 33:6; paraphrases those words, "let Reuben live, and not die," thus;

let Reuben live in this world, and not die by the second death, with which the wicked die in the world to come.

Of which sense of the text and phrase Epiphanius makes mention {a}. See the same phrase in the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel, in #Isa 22:14 65:6,15; and in #Jer 51:39,57; and in Philo the Jew {b}.

{a} Contr. Haeres. Haeres. 9.
{b} De Praemiis & Poenis, p. 921.


Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

will I give to eat of the hidden manna: in opposition to eating things sacrificed to idols, refused by him. The allusion is to the manna which the Israelites ate of in the wilderness, which may be called "hidden": either because they knew not what it was, when they first saw it; or because it was laid up in a golden pot, and put in the most holy place, where it was secret, and none but the high priest could see it, and who entered there but once a year: or rather, because it was at first, hidden under the dew; for according to the account the Jews give of it, a dew first fell upon the ground, then the manna upon that, and then another dew upon the manna; so that there was a dew under it, and a dew over it; insomuch that it was as if it was laid up, they say, in a box or chests {a}; and they supposed the manna had respect to things future {b} and do expect it in the times of the Messiah. They say {c}, as the first, so the last Redeemer will cause manna to descend from heaven; and the clouds are by them reckoned the mills which will grind manna for the righteous in the world to come {d}: yea, they speak {e} of "hidden manna," as the food of the righteous, the very phrase here used.

{a} T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 75. 2. Jarchi in Exod. xvi. 13, 14. Mitzvot Tora, pr. affirm. 30.
{b} Tzeror Hammor, fol. 38. 4.
{c} Midrash Shirhashirim, fol. 11. 2. Midrash Ruth, fol. 33. 2. & Midrash Kohelet, fol. 63. 2. Pesikta in Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 75. 4.
{d} Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Numb. fol. 96. 2. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 68. 4. {e} Zohar in Numb. fol. 88. 1.


Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication: so the Jews (Juchasin, fol. 7. 1.) say of the old world, that God gave them "space to repent," but they repented not, as here.


Revelation 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

for I have not found thy works perfect before God: It is an observation of a Jewish writer {a}, that

if one departs from an evil way, and does not do that which is good, he does not make his work perfect, and he is not pronounced blessed.

{a} R. David Kimchi in Psal. i. 2.


Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

Which have not defiled their garments: the Ethiopic version adds, "with a woman," the woman Jezebel. Among the Jews {a}, if a priest's garments were spotted or defiled, he might not minister; if he did, his service was rejected.

And they shall walk with me in white: White raiment was used among the Romans as a token of joy at festivals, and on birthdays, and at weddings, and such like times.

For they are worthy: The Jews have a saying somewhat like this {b};

they that walk with God in their lifetime, are worthy to walk with him after their death;

In the Apocrypha we read:

Take thy number, O Sion, and shut up those of thine that are clothed in white, which have fulfilled the law of the Lord.(2 Esdras 2:40)

This clause is left out in the Ethiopic version.

{a} T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 35. 1.
{b} Tzeror Hammor, fol. 10. 3.


Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

He that openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man openeth: A like phrase is in the Talmud {a}, "when he shuts again, there is none that opens".

{a} T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 44. 2. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 70. 3.


Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

These things saith the Amen: The word "Amen" is the name of a divine Person with the Jews, and it seems the second Person; for so on those words in #Pr 8:30; "then was I by him as one brought up with him," they observe {a}, do not read "Amon," the word there used, but "Amen"; and, a little after, "Amen," they say, is the "notaricon," or sign of "God the faithful King"; they make {b} "Amen" to be one of the names of the second "Sephira," or number in the Cabalistic tree, by whom the second Person in the Godhead seems to be designed: and they say {c}, that the word "Amen," by gematry (or numerically) answers to the two names "Jehovah, Adonai."

The faithful and true witness: the same character is given to the Logos, or Word of the Lord, by the Targumist in #Jer 42:5, let the Word of the Lord be to us "for a true and faithful witness"; the very phrase here used.

The beginning of the creation of God: The phrase is Jewish, and it is a title the Jews give to Metatron, by whom they sometimes mean the Messiah; so those words in #Ge 24:2, and Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, they paraphrase thus {d};

"and Abraham said unto his servant," this is Metatron, (or the Mediator,) the servant of God, "the eldest of his house"; for he is "the beginning of the creation of God," who rules over all that he has; for to him the holy blessed God has given the government of all his hosts.

{a} Zohar in Deut. fol. 121. 4. so in T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 119. 2. & Sanhedrin, fol. 111. 1. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 46. 1.
{b} Cabal. Denud. par. 2. p. 7.
{c} Lex. Cabal. p. 130. & Baal Hatturim in Deut. xxviii. 15.
{d} Lex. Cabal. p. 130. & Baal Hatturim in Deut. xxviii. 15.


Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Because thou sayest, I am rich: In worldly goods, which occasioned her lukewarmness, as riches often do, and her vanity, pride, and arrogance, afterwards expressed. Laodicea was a very rich city, and so will be this church state, through the accession of kings and princes, and great men of the earth unto it, in the former period: riches seldom do any good to the churches of Christ, they did not in Constantine's time; and it seems that even at the close of the spiritual reign of Christ they will be of bad consequence, since they will usher in the Laodicean church state: or her meaning is, that she was rich in spiritual things; not in grace, but in external gifts, which still remained, upon the very great pouring forth of the Spirit in the last church state; and in good works, on which she too much trusted for salvation, placing her righteousness in them: she is one whom the Jews {a} call "rich in the law":

and poor: not in purse, nor in spirit, nor with respect to outward afflictions, nor as to her church state, but in a spiritual sense; one whom the Jews call {b} "poor in the law";

{a} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 106. 2.
{b} Vajikra Rabba, sect. 34. fol. 173. 4. vid. Targum in Cant. viii. 9.


Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

and anoint thine eyes with eye salve: The Jews have adopted the very Greek word here used into their language, and apply it to the law; says R. Chija {a}, speaking of the law,

"It is a salve for the eye," a plaster for a wound, &c. it is a salve for the eyes, as is written #Ps 19:8.

{a} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 96. 3. Debarim Rabba, sect. 8. fol. 243. 3. & Vajikra Rabba, sect. 12. fol. 155. 3.


Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

and the first voice which I heard [was], as it were, of a trumpet talking with me: this voice is not called the first voice with respect to any other voices that were to follow; but it designs the former voice, the voice that John heard behind him, when he saw the first vision; and this, as that, was clear, loud, and sonorous as a trumpet, so that he thoroughly heard, and rightly understood what was said; it was the same Person that made the following representation of things as did then, even he who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord Jesus Christ, the author of the whole revelation; the "first" is left out in the Arabic version: the allusion is to the blowing of trumpets at the opening of the door of the temple;

every day there were one and twenty soundings of a trumpet in the temple, three "at the opening of the doors," and nine at the daily morning sacrifice, and nine at the daily evening sacrifice {a}.

And one of them was called the great door of the temple; and he that slew the daily sacrifice, did not slay till he heard the sound of that door when it was opened {b}; so here at the opening of the door in heaven, in the church, of which the temple was a type, the voice of the Son of God is heard as the sound of a trumpet, talking loudly and familiarly to John:

{a} Misn. Succa, c. 5. sect. 5.
{b} Misn. Tamid, c. 3. sect. 7.


Revelation 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper: For the brightness, glory, and majesty of his countenance, and for his being light itself, clothed with it, and dwelling in it; see #Re 21:11,18,19; and for the various perfections of his nature, as eternity, infinity, immutability, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, wisdom, power, goodness, truth, love, grace, and mercy; for the jasper, at least one sort of them, is of various colours, and spotted with divers spots; that which is most valued is the green, spotted with red or purple {a}: hence this stone, which is the twelfth in the high priest's breastplate, and on which the name of "Benjamin" was written, is called, by the Chaldee paraphrase of Onkelos on #Ex 28:20, "Pantere," and of ben Uzziel, on the same place, "Apanturin," and on #So 5:14, "Apantor," because some are variegated and spotted like panthers.

And a sardine stone: the same with the "Sardius": and so read here the Alexandrian copy, the Syriac and Arabic versions, as in #Re 21:20, and in #Ex 28:17 on which Reuben's name was written; this is of a red, or blood colour as its name Md), in Hebrew, shows, and the same that is called a cornelian; and is expressive of the fiery indignation of God whose fury is poured out like fire, and who nakedly and absolutely considered, is a consuming fire to the wicked, his enemies, and the enemies of his church and people. Some jaspers being white and sky coloured and the white colour being most agreeable to deity, as Cicero says {b}, and the sardine being red, and a gem of the ruby kind make up the description of the church's beloved; #So 5:10; and may denote in general his purity, glory, and excellency, and in particular good will to his people, and wrath to his enemies. And to the comfort of the former it is added,

in sight like unto an emerald: it is reported of Nero {c}, that he could see in his emerald the combat of the gladiators in the theatre; in the covenant of grace, as in a glass, may be seen the glory of all the three Persons in the Godhead, for it is ordered in all things for the glory of each Person; as also all the perfections of the divine nature; here God appears abundant in goodness and truth; here mercy and truth meet together; and righteousness and peace kiss each other: to which may be added, that the emerald is said {d} to help and refresh the memory; now though God stands in no need of any thing to bring things to his remembrance, yet such is his condescension to men, that he sets the rainbow in the cloud, to look at, that he might remember his everlasting covenant; and so he allows his people to put him in remembrance, by making mention of the covenant of grace, and pleading the promises of it. The Alexandrian copy and the Ethiopic version, instead of iriV, "a rainbow," read iereiV, "priests".

{a} Albert. Magn. de Reb. Metall. l. 2. c. 8. Ruaeus de Gemmis, l. 2. c. 1.
{b} De Legibus, l. 2.
{c} Ruaeus de Gemmis, l. 2. c. 4.
{d} Ruaeus, ib. & Albert. Magn. de Reb. Metall. l. 2. c. 17.


Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

And round about the throne [were] four and twenty seats: In a semicircular form, as the rainbow also was; the thrones in the above form, came to both ends, or sides of it; just as when the sanhedrim, or great court of judicature among the Jews say {a}, the "Nasi," or prince, sat in the uppermost seat, at his right hand was "Ab beth din," or the father or the sanhedrim, and at his left hand a doctor or wise man, and all the rest of the members sat in a semicircular form upon seats before them, so that they could see them all; and to this the allusion might be thought to be, did their numbers agree, but in the great sanhedrim there were seventy one, and the lesser twenty three, which last comes very near the number here;

{a} Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 4. sect. 3. & Maimon. Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 1. sect. 3.


Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

And before the throne [there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: By which is meant, not heaven, nor the souls of the blessed there, nor the multitude of the holy angels, nor the first converts to Christianity at Jerusalem; for those that got the victory over the beast are said to stand upon this sea, #Re 15:2, which these senses, especially the three last, will by no means admit of. Some by it understand the world, which may be compared to a "sea," for the multitude of people in it, as many waters in this book signify people and nations, #Re 17:15; and to a sea of glass, which is brittle, for the frailty and transitoriness of the world, of the fashion of it, and of men and things in it; and to the clear "crystal," because all things in it are open and manifest to the omniscient eye of God; but the world, and men of it, used not to be compared to a still and quiet sea, as this is, but to one disturbed and troubled by winds and tempests, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, #Isa 57:20. Others think the ordinance of baptism is designed, of which the Red sea, through which the Israelites passed under the cloud, was an emblem; and which may be compared to a "sea of glass," for its transparency, it clearly expressing the sufferings, burial, and resurrection of Christ; and to crystal, for its purity; and to all this for its cleansing nature, as it leads unto the blood of Christ; and its being before the throne may denote its being the way of entrance into the Gospel church. Others think the blood of Christ is meant, in allusion to the brazen sea in the tabernacle, which was made of the looking glasses the women brought, and for the priests to wash in, before they entered on business, #Ex 30:18 38:8, and to the molten sea in the temple, which was for the same purpose, #1Ki 7:23. Christ's blood is the fountain opened to wash in for sin, and may be compared to a sea for its abundant efficacy in cleansing from all sin; and it is this which makes way to the throne, and to him that sits on it; and is a special privilege enjoyed by those who come to Mount Zion, or into a Gospel church state; there is always this laver to wash their garments in, and make them white: though this sea, being of glass, seems not so much designed to wash in; and therefore rather I think by it is meant the Gospel, compared to a "sea" for the deep things of God and mysteries of grace which are in it; to a sea of "glass," because in it is beheld, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, of his person, office, and righteousness, as well as many other wondrous things; and to one like "crystal," for the clearness, perspicuity, and evidence of the truths contained in it; and to a, fixed, still; and quiet sea, because it is the Gospel of peace, love, grace, and mercy, and brings peace, joy, and tranquillity to troubled minds, when the law works wrath: but here are no tossing, foaming, raging waves of wrath, and fury, but all smooth, stable, solid, tranquil, and quiet. And this is said to be before the throne, where the rainbow of the covenant is, of which the Gospel is a transcript; and where the four and twenty elders, or members of churches be, for their delight and comfort; and where the seven spirits of God are, to furnish men with gifts to preach it; and where the four living creatures, or ministers of the word, have their place, who officiate in it. Agreeably to this figurative way of speaking, the Jews call {p} the law "the sea of the law," and the "sea of wisdom"; and frequently give the characters of such and such a doctor, as being very expert and conversant "in the sea of the Talmud," or "doctrine" {q}. The Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, read, "there was as a sea of glass," somewhat that looked like one. The word "glass" is left out in the Ethiopic version, but very aptly is it so described, the colour of the sea being sometimes green like that of glass.

And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [were] four beasts: or "living creatures," as the word may be better rendered, agreeably to #Eze 1:5, to which reference is here had; and by whom are meant not the angels, though there are many things which agree with them; they are said to be the "four spirits" of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth, #Zec 6:5. They may be rightly called living creatures, since they live a most happy life in heaven; their situation is before the throne, and in the presence of God; and their being so sedulous, diligent, and watchful in doing the will of God, may be signified by their being "full of eyes behind, and before, and within"; their strength may be fitly expressed by "the lion"; their indefatigableness in the service of God, by "the ox": their wisdom, prudence, and knowledge, by "the face of a man"; and their swiftness in obeying the divine commands by "the flying eagle"; their number of wings agrees with that of the seraphim in #Isa 6:2; to which the allusion seems to be; and their work, in continually ascribing glory to God, suits with them: to which may be added, that the Jews often speak of four angels "round about his throne," that is, the throne of God; whose names are Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael; the three first they place in this manner, Michael at his right hand, Uriel at his left, and Gabriel before him {r}. Sometimes thus, Michael on his right hand, Gabriel on his left, Uriel before him, and Raphael behind him, and the holy blessed God in the middle; and they are expressly called {s} by them the four living creatures, meaning in Ezekiel's vision; and they make mention of the intellectual living creatures which are "round about the throne" {t}.

{p} Zohar in Numb. fol. 90. 3. & 92. 1. & in Lev. fol. 24. 3. & in Deut. fol. 118. 4. Tikkune Zohar apud Rittangel. not. in Jetzira, p. 133, 134.
{q} Ganz. Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 46. 2. & 47. 1, 2.
{r} Bemidbar Rabba, sect 2. fol. 179. 1. Vid. Pirke Eliezer, c. 4.
{s} Zohar in Numb. fol. 91. 3.
{t} Raya Mehimna in Zohar in ib. fol. 95. 4.


Revelation 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

and cast their crowns before the throne: Something like this the Jews relate of the family above; they say,

when the holy blessed God ascends the glorious "throne of judgment," the whole family above tremble; and when they see the holy blessed God "they take their crowns from off their heads"--and pray and seek mercy for Israel; and immediately he ascends the "throne of mercy" {w}.''

And such like actions have been done by kings and princes to one another, in token of subjection. Thus Tigranes, king of Armenia, fell down at the feet of Pompey, and cast his crown from his head, which Pompey replaced; and having commanded him certain things, ordered him to enjoy his kingdoms {x}: so Herod meeting Augustus Caesar at Rhode, when he entered the city took off his crown, and after a speech made to him, with which Caesar was pleased, he set it on him again {y}.

{w} Raziel, fol. 45. 2.
{x} Cicero, Orat. pro Sextio. p. 904.
{y} Joseph. Autiqu. l. 15. c. 6. sect. 6, 7.


Revelation 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?: There seems to be an allusion to the president of the temple calling to the priests under him, to attend to the several parts of service assigned them, saying unto them "whosoever is worthy, let him" do so and so {c}.

{c} Misna Tamid, c. 1. sect. 4. & c. 5. sect. 4. 5.


Revelation 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

neither under the earth: the dead buried there, good or bad; which may be said agreeably to the notions of the ancient Jews, who believed the immortality of souls, and that they were rewarded or punished "under the earth," according to their virtue or vice in life {d}: or the devils in hell; or whoever on the earth are influenced by them, as magicians, sorcerers, soothsayers, and necromancers:

{d} Joseph. Antiqu. l. 18. c. 1. sect 3.


Revelation 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon: the phrase of being worthy to look on it seems to be Jewish; of the book of the generation of Adam, #Ge 5:1, the Jews say {e} that

it descended to the first man, and by it he knew the wisdom which is above; and this book came to the sons of God, the wise men of the age "whoever is worthy to look in it," knows by it the wisdom which is from above.

The whole verse is left out in the Alexandrian copy; and the phrase, "to read," is neither in the Vulgate Latin, nor in any of the Oriental versions.

{e} Zohar in Gen. fol. 28. 2.


Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

behold the lion of the tribe of Judah: by whom is meant Christ, who, according to the flesh, was to come of the tribe of Judah; and certain it is, that our Lord sprang from thence: and he is said to be the lion of that tribe, in allusion to the prophecy concerning Judah in #Ge 49:9, where he is said to be a lion, an old lion stooping down and couching, and on whose standard was the figure of a lion. Christ may be compared to one, because of his great strength, he being the mighty God, the able Saviour, and strong Redeemer, and protector of his church and people, and the avenger of their enemies; and because of his courage and intrepidity when he engaged with Satan, and his principalities and powers, when he bore the sins of his people, sustained his Father's wrath, and the terrors of death set themselves in array against him; and because of the fierceness of his wrath, and fury against the wicked, and for his generosity and lenity towards those that stoop unto him, and obey him. So the Jews say {f}, that

of Messiah, the son of David, who comes forth from Judah, is it said, #Ge 49:9, "Judah is a lion's whelp";

and a little after, Messiah, the son of David, who is "a lion," shall be on his right hand, and Messiah, the son of Joseph, who is an ox, on his left hand; so the word of the Lord frequently, in the Chaldee paraphrase, is said to be a lion {g}.

{f} Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Exod. fol. 49. 3, 4.
{g} Targum in Hos. v. 14. & xi. 10. & xiii. 7.


Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints: this is said in allusion to the golden censers full of incense, which ascended upwards, and was of a sweet smell; the vessels on the shewbread table, in which incense was put, are by Josephus {h} called "golden vials," as here; his words are, upon the loaves were put two "golden vials," full of incense: it may be observed, that the Jews sometimes represent prayer in such like figures as here;

prayer (they say) ascends with those spices which are mentioned in #So 4:14; and at the time that prayer ascends it is perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, and of this the holy blessed God asks, "who is this that comes up," &c. {i} #So 3:6;

and they say, prayer is greater than all offerings {k}. See #Re 8:3.

{h} Antiqu. l. 3. c. 6. sect. 6.
{i} Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Exod. fol. 48. 3.
{k} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 40. 3.


Revelation 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

round about the throne: were near to God, stood before him, behind his face, hearkened to his voice, and observed his orders: so with the Jews, the four angels, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael, are said {l} to be "round about his throne," the throne of God: it follows here,

and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands: that is, an innumerable company of them; a like number is mentioned in #Da 7:10 to which this seems to refer; see #Ps 68:17. The Jews speak of nine hundred and six thousand millions of ministering angels, that stand constantly before the Lord {m}.

{l} Bemidbar Rabba sect. 2. fol. 179. 1.
{m} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 69. 1.


Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

one of the four beasts saying, come and see: observe and take notice of the following hieroglyphic, representing the success of the Gospel ministry "come and see," is a phrase often used by the Jews, to stir up attention to what is about to be said; The phrase "come, see," is often used in the book of Zohar {q}: so it is, and likewise "come and see," in the Talmudic writings {r}.

{q} In Gen. fol. 13. 1. & 14. 3. & 16. 1, 2. & in Exod. fol. 83. 4. & passim.
{r} T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 8. 1. & 23. 2. & 24. 1. Kiddushin, fol. 20. 1. & 33. 1. & Sota, fol. 5. 1, 2. & passim.


Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

And I saw, and behold a white horse: white horses were used in triumphs, in token of victory {n}; a white horse, in a dream, is a good sign with the Jews {o}; and Astrampsychus says {p}, a vision of white horses is an apparition of angels; and so one of those angels which the Jews suppose to have the care of men, and the preservation of them, is said {q} to ride by him, and at his right hand, upon a white horse; but the rider here is not an angel, but the head of all principality and power:

{n} Victor Aurel. de Viris Illustr. in Fur Camill.
{o} T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 93. 1.
{p} In Oneiro Criticis, apud Mede.
{q} Shaare Zion, fol. 102. 2.


Revelation 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

and [see] that thou hurt not the oil and wine: signifying that this scarcity should fall not upon the superfluities, such as oil and wine, which may be spared, and men can live without; but upon the necessities of life, particularly bread: some render the words, "and be not unjust in the oil and wine"; and so think they refer to the laws of the Roman emperors, in relation to wine and oil, and to the just execution of them, that there might be plenty of them; and others understand them in an allegorical sense, of the principal doctrines of the Gospel, comparable to oil and wine, and which Christ takes care of, that they shall not be hurt and destroyed by heretics and false teachers, even when they prevail the most, and bring on a famine of the word, and when the church is blackened and darkened with them; and indeed these may much better be applied to the Gospel, than, as they are by the Jews, to the law; who frequently say {h} that the law is called "oil," and speak of hrwt lv hnyy, "the wine of the law" {i}:

{h} Tzeror Hammor, fol. 85. 3. & 96. 1. & 97. 4. & 104. 1. & 105. 2. & 137. 2, 3.
{i} Zohar in Exod. fol. 51. 3. & in Deut. fol. 115. 3. Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Numb. fol. 94. 3. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 5. 3. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 64. 4.


Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

and his name that sat on him was Death: not Satan, who has the power of death, but death itself; who is represented as a person, as he elsewhere is, sometimes as a king, #Ro 5:14; and as an enemy, #1Co 15:25; see #Isa 28:15; and this was a very ancient way of speaking of death among the Heathens; in the theology of the Phoenicians, according to Sanchoniathon {k}, who wrote before the Trojan wars, a son of Saturn by Rhea was called Muth, whom the Phoenicians sometimes called Death, and sometimes Pluto; which is manifestly the same with the Hebrew word for "death";

and with death: that is, with the pestilence, which, by the Targumist {q}, and other Jewish writers {r}, is commonly called "death," because it sweeps away and carries off such large numbers with it:

and with the beasts of the earth: by which many of the Christians were destroyed in the persecutions of those times; and is also one of God's four judgments, and which goes about with the sword, famine, and pestilence, #Eze 14:21, and may be literally understood of destruction by wild beasts, as Arnobius, who lived at this time, observes {w}; or allegorically, of men comparable to wild beasts, as Herod is called a fox, and Nero a lion; and such savage creatures were most of the Roman emperors, and particularly the thirty tyrants under Gallienus: so the Targum on #Jer 3:12; interprets "the beasts of the field," "the kings of the nations." The Alexandrian copy reads, "and upon the fourth part of the beasts," as if the power of death reached to them as well as to men. Under this seal all the judgments of God on Rome Pagan meet together; and it is observable that Maximinus, a Roman emperor, and one of the last of the Pagans, boasted, that for worshipping of the gods, and persecuting Of the Christians, neither pestilence, famine, nor war, were in his times, when on a sudden all these three came together at once {x};

{k} Apud Euseb. Prepar. Evangel. l. 2. p. 38.
{q} Targum in 1 Chron. xxi. 12, 14, 17. & in 2 Chron. vi. 28. & xx. 9.
{r} T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 8. 2. & Sanhedrin, fol. 29. 1.
{w} Adv. Gentes, l. 1. p. 13.
{x} Euseb. l. 9. c. 8.


Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain: "the souls of them that are slain," is a phrase used by Jewish writers {a}, and who have a notion that the souls of those that are slain are kept in certain palaces, under the care of one appointed by God {b}: and these were seen "under the altar"; either this is said in allusion to the blood of the sacrifices, which was poured out at the bottom of the altar, #Le 4:7 5:9, in which the life and soul of the creature is; or because that martyrdom is a sacrifice of men's lives, and an offering of them in the cause of God and truth, #Php 2:17 2Ti 4:7; or with some reference to a common notion of the Jews, that the souls of the righteous are treasured up under the throne of glory {c} they have also a saying, everyone that is buried in the land of Israel is as if he was buried "under the altar" {d}; for they think that being buried there expiates their sins {e}; to which they add, that whoever is buried "under the altar," is as if he was buried under the throne of glory {f}; yea, they talk of an altar above, upon which Michael the high priest causes the souls of the righteous to ascend {g}.

{a} Tosaphta in Zohar in Exod. fol. 79. 4.
{b} Shaare Ora, fol. 31. 2.
{c} T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 152. 2. Zohar in Numb. fol. 39. 4. Abot R. Nathan, c. 12. Raziel, fol. 39. 1. Caphtor, fol. 15. 2. & 112. 2. Nismat Chayim, fol. 16. 2.
{d} T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 111. 1.
{e} Maimon. Hilchot. Melacim, c. 5. sect. 11.
{f} Abot R. Nathan, c. 26.
{g} Tzeror Hammor, fol. 85. 3.


Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

And the sun came black as sackcloth of hair: which is made of black hairs; see #Isa 50:3; as when eclipsed. The sun was the chief deity worshipped by the Heathens, under various names, and this becoming black, may design the removing of their principal gods from their honour and glory, or the downfall of idolatry, which the Jews {k} call "the sun of idolatry," which they suppose is meant in #So 1:6. And Satan, the god of this world, who was worshipped in different forms, now fell, as Lucifer, the son of the morning, and as lightning from heaven, and was cast down from all his dignity, influence, and power, to the earth; for the casting out of the red dragon, the old serpent, and Satan, after his combat with Michael and his angels, in #Re 12:3,7-9, refers to this very time; likewise the chief magistrate, the Heathen Roman emperor, may be included; and it is remarkable, that Dioclesian the emperor, who had now retired from the imperial government, and was under a cloud, under disgrace, and in distress, had, in the zenith of his glory, caused himself to be worshipped as a god, and as the brother of the sun and moon.

{k} Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 6. 2.


Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree: Four angels are mentioned, in allusion to the four spirits of the heavens, in #Zec 6:5; and though the earth is not a plain square with angles, but round and globular, yet it is said to have four corners, with respect to the four points of the heavens; and though there is but one wind, which blows sometimes one way, and sometimes another, yet four are named with regard to the above points, east, west, north, and south, from whence it blows. These are commonly called "the four winds of heaven," #Da 8:8 11:4; but here, of the earth, as in the Targum on #Isa 11:12, and he shall bring near the captivity of Judah "from the four winds of the earth". This mystical way of speaking seems to agree with the notions of the Jews, who speak of angels standing at the gates of the four winds, "and the keys of the wind in their hands," whose names they give us {x}; and make mention of "the angels of the wind" {y}; and the Magi among the Persians call the angel of the wind "Bad," or "Badran" {z}.

{x} Raziel, fol. 36. 1. 2.
{y} Targum in 1 Reg. xix. 11.
{z} Hyde, Hist. Relig. Pers. c. 12.


Revelation 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

Having the seal of the living God: The Jews speak {a} of the east gate of one of the palaces they suppose above, which they say is shut all the six days, and on the sabbath day is opened, and the governor of this palace has two ministers, one on his right hand, and one on his left, and two seals in their hands "the seal of life," and the seal of death, and all the books of the world, before them; and, some are sealed to life, and some to death, with which this passage may be compared. They speak also of an angel that presides at the eastern part of the heavens, who receives the prayers of the Israelites, whose name they call "Gazardia" {b}, as this same angel is said to offer up the prayers of the saints, #Re 8:3.

{a} Zohar in Exod. fol. 100. 1.
{b} Zohar in Exod. fol. 79. 2.


Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

and palms in their hands: or branches of palm trees, as in #Joh 12:13 as an emblem of their uprightness and faithfulness, which they had shown in the cause of Christ, even unto death, the palm tree being a very upright tree, #Jer 10:5 So 7:7; or of their bearing up under a variety of pressures and afflictions, by which they were not cast down and destroyed, but bravely stood up under them, and were now come out of them; the palm tree being of such a nature, as is reported, that the more weight is hung upon it, the higher it rises, and the straighter it grows; see #Ps 92:12; and chiefly as an emblem of victory and triumph over their enemies, as sin, Satan, the world and death, which they had been struggling with, in a state of imperfection, but were now more than conquerors over them; the palm tree is well known to be a token of victory. So Philo the Jew {f} says, the palm tree is "a symbol of victory". Conquerors used to carry palm tree branches in their hands {g}: those who conquered in the combats and plays among the Greeks, used not only to have crowns of palm trees given them, but carried branches of it in their hands {h}; as did also the Romans in their triumphs; yea, they sometimes wore "toga palmata," a garment with the figures of palm trees on it, which were interwoven in it {i}: and hence here palms are mentioned along with white garments; and some have been tempted to render the words thus, "clothed with white robes," and "palms on their sides"; that is, on the sides of their robes {k}. The medal which was struck by Titus Vespasian, at the taking of Jerusalem, had on it a palm tree, and a captive woman sitting under it, with this inscription on it, "Judaea capta," Judea is taken. And when our Lord rode in triumph to Jerusalem, the people met him with branches of palm trees in their hands, and cried, Hosanna to him. So the Jews, at the feast of tabernacles, which they kept in commemoration of their having dwelt in tents in the wilderness, carried "Lulabs," or palm tree branches, in their hands, in token of joy, #Le 23:40; and in like manner, these being come out of the wilderness of the world, and the tabernacle of God being among them, express their joy in this way.

{f} Allegor. l. 2. p. 74.
{g} A. Gell. Noctes Attic. l. 3. c. 6. Sueton. in Caio, c. 32.
{h} Pausan. Arcadica, l. 8. p. 532. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 5. c. 8. & l. 6. c. 19.
{i} Isidor. Hispalens. Origen. l. 19. c. 24. p. 168.
{k} Vid. Lydium de re Militare, l. 6. c. 3. p. 225.


Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour: not in the third heaven, the seat of the divine Being, of angels and glorified saints, where are hallelujahs without intermission; but in the church, which is oftentimes signified by heaven in this book, and where now the throne of God was placed: nor is this silence the sum of this seal, or the only thing in it; for it includes the preparation of the seven angels to take their trumpets, though none of them were sounded during this period. This space of time some think refers to the time which elapsed, while the angel, who had incense given him to offer it with the prayers of saints, did so, and took fire off the altar with his censer, and cast it on the earth: and while the seven angels had their trumpets given them, and they were preparing to sound. Others are of opinion that this was only a pause, a breathing time for John between the former visions and seals, and the following; nothing being said or done, or anything exhibited to him during this interval; but he was at leisure to reflect on what he had seen, and to prepare for what was to come. Others understand it of the amazement of the saints at the judgments of God, which were coming upon the Christian empire, and of their quiet and silent preparations for these troubles and combats, both within and without, they were to be exercised with; see #Zec 2:13. The allusion is, as in the whole of the following vision of the angel at the altar, to the offering of incense; at which time the people were removed from the temple, from between the porch and altar {l}, to some more distant place; and the priest was alone while he offered incense, and then prayed a short prayer, that the people might not be affrighted lest he should be dead {m}: and who in the mean while were praying in a silent, manner without; see #Lu 1:9,10; hence the Jews say {n}, that the offering of incense atones for an ill tongue, for it is a thing that is introduced "silently," and it atones for what is done silently, such as whisperings, backbitings, &c. and they call {o} silence the best of spices, even of those of which the sweet incense was made.

{l} T. Tab. Yoma, fol. 44. 1. Maimon. Hilchot Tamidin, c. 3. sect. 3.
{m} Misn. Yoma, c. 5. sect. 1.
{n} T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 44. 1. & Zebachim, fol. 88. 2.
{o} T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 18. 1.


Revelation 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets

which stood before God: the allusion is to the two priests standing at the table of fat, with two silver trumpets in their hands, with which they blew, and another struck the cymbal, and the Levites sung, which was always done at the time of the daily sacrifice {p}:

and to them were given seven trumpets: Here is manifestly an allusion to the priests and Levites blowing their trumpets at the close of the daily sacrifice, and at the offering of incense {q} as before observed.

{p} Misn. Tamid. c. 7. sect. 3.
{q} Maimon. Hilch. Tamidin, c. 6. sect. 5.


Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

And another angel came: The Ethiopic version adds, "from the east," as in #Re 7:2; pointing to the same angel, and who is intended: for not a created angel, as Gabriel, or any other, is meant; nor any mere man, Yet neither of those, but Christ himself, the Angel of the covenant, and of God's presence, is here intended, who appeared in an angelic form; so the high priest in the day of atonement was called {r}, "an angel," or messenger, to which the allusion is;

and stood at the altar: "the altar" may design the altar of burnt offering from whence the coals were taken in the censer; and the "golden altar" the altar of incense where the coals being brought the incense was put upon them, and offered; and here he "stood" as everyone concerned in the service of the sanctuary did {s}:

having a golden censer: the Ethiopic version adds, "of fire." In the daily service the priest used a silver censer, but on the day of atonement a golden one {t}; though at the daily sacrifice there was a vessel used, like to a large golden bushel, in which was a smaller vessel full of incense {u}, and may be what is here designed:

and there was given unto him much incense: this is an allusion either to the many spices used in the composition of the incense, see #Ex 30:34; the Jews say {w}, that eleven sorts of spices were ordered to Moses, and the wise men have added three more, in all fourteen; or to the priest's handfuls of incense, which he took and brought within the vail on the day of atonement, #Le 16:12; and which were added to, and were over and above the quantity used every day {x}; and even in the daily service the pot of incense was not only filled, but "heaped up" {y}; in the daily offering of the incense, one took the incense and gave it into the hand of his friend, or the priest that was next him; and if he wanted instruction how to offer it, he taught him, nor might anyone offer incense until the president bid him {z}; to which there seems to be an allusion here: now the end of this was,

that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne: The Jews often speak of an angel, whose name is Sandalphon, who is appointed over the prayers of the righteous, and takes them and presents them to God {a}: and the heretic Elxai, who was originally a Jew, talked of the holy angels of prayer {b}: so the Jews say, that God "by," or "through his Word," receives the prayers of Israel, and has mercy on them {c}. In the Greek text it is, "that he should give," &c. that is, the "incense," agreeably to the Hebrew phrase in #Nu 16:47, and elsewhere.

{r} Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 5.
{s} Maimon. Biath. Hamikdash, c. 5. sect. 17.
{t} Yoma, c. 4. sect. 4.
{u} Misn. Tamid. c. 5. sect. 4.
{w} Maimon. Cele Hamikdash, c. 2. sect. 1, 2.
{x} Yoma, c. 5. sect. 1. & T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 47. 1.
{y} Misn. Tamid. c. 5. sect. 4.
{z} Misn. Tamid. c. 6. sect. 3. Maimon. Tamidin, c. 3. sect. 8, 9.
{a} Zohar in Gen. fol. 97. 2. & in Exod. fol. 99. 1. Shemot Rabba, sect. 21. fol. 106. 2.
{b} Epiphan. Contr. Haeres. l. 1. Haeres. 19.
{c} Targum in Hos. xiv. 8.


Revelation 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.

And the smoke of the incense For the incense being put, as it was used to be, upon burning coals of fire, caused a smoke to arise like a cloud, #Le 16:13 Eze 8:11; so that the whole house, or temple, was filled with it {d}:

{d} Misn. Yoma, c. 5. sect. 1.


Revelation 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

and filled it with fire of the altar: of burnt offering, for upon that, and not upon the altar of incense, fire was; the allusion is to the priest

that was worthy to use a censer {e}; who took a silver censer, and went to the top of the altar (of burnt offering), and having removed the coals there, and there took them in his censer, and went down and emptied them into a golden one, and there was scattered from it about a kab of coals;

for the golden one held a kab less than the silver one {f};

{e} Misn. Tamid. c. 5. sect. 5.
{f} Vid. Misn. Yoma, c. 4. sect. 4.


Revelation 8:7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

and the third part of trees were burnt up; by which seem to be meant people of the higher rank, the richer sort of people, who suffered much in these calamities; see #Isa 2:13 Zec 11:2; yea, princes, nobles, and rulers, both civil and ecclesiastical, who suffered much at this time, as Jerom, who was then living, testifies; and so "trees" are interpreted of kings, rulers, and governors, by the Targum on #Isa 2:13 Zec 11:1,2; "the trees of the field," in #Isa 55:12; are interpreted of kingdoms {l}: the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read before this clause, "and the third part of the earth was burnt";

{l} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 50. 1


Revelation 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

and the third part of the sun was smitten and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars, so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise: The phrase of smiting the sun, moon, and stars, is Jewish; for the Jews express the eclipses of the luminaries in this way, and say {y} that when the luminaries "are smitten," it is an ill omen; when "the sun is smitten," it is an ill sign to the nations of the world; and when "the moon is smitten," it is a bad omen to the nations of Israel {z} and so the phrase, "the day shone not," is also Jewish; it is said {a} of some Rabbins, that they sat and studied in the law "until the day shone"; and when "the day shone," they rose up and went on their way.

{y} Jarchi in Gen. 1. 14.
{z} T. Bab. Succa, fol. 29. 1. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 62. 1.
{a} Zohar in Deut. fol. 113. 3.


Revelation 10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

lifted up his hand to heaven: the Oriental versions read, "his right hand"; and so some copies, and the Complutensian edition: the man clothed in linen, #Da 12:6,7, who is the same with the angel here, held up both his hands; the lifting up of the hand was a gesture used in swearing: see #Ge 14:22; so the Jews say {o}, "the right hand," or by the right hand "this is an oath," according to #Da 12:7; or whether the right hand or the left, is an oath, according to #Isa 62:8.

{o} T. Bab. Nazir, fol. 3. 2. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 58. 1.


Revelation 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

And if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed: The Jews express the doctrines and traditions of their Rabbins, delivered from one to another, by fire, proceeding out of their mouths; who say {r},

Rab sat before Rabbi, and "there went forth sparks of fire from the mouth of Rab," into the mouth of Rabbi, and from the mouth of Rabbi, into the mouth of Rab;

which the gloss explains of their communicating their doctrines and traditions to one another.

{r} T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 137. 2. Juchasin, fol. 113. 2.


Revelation 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves: There may be an allusion, in this space of time, to the time that Antiochus, called Epiphanes, held Jerusalem in his hands, after he had conquered it, which was just three years and six months {s}, during which time he spoiled the temple, and caused the daily sacrifice to cease: this term of time is much spoken of by the Jews; so long they say Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, and likewise Vespasian, and also three years and a half Adrian besieged Bither {t}.

{s} Joseph de Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 7.
{t} Echa Rabbati, fol. 43. 4. & 46. 3. & 48. 1. & 52. 2. & 58. 3. T. Hieros. Taanith, fol. 68. 4. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 93. 1.


Revelation 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

the spirit of life from God entered into them: this phrase is expressive of a resurrection the Jews frequently call the general resurrection "a quickening," and have the very phrase here used; for, speaking of the resurrection, they say {u} "the spirit of life" does not dwell but in the holy land.

{u} Zohar in Gen. fol. 79. 3.


Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: the ark was a chest, in which the covenant or tables of the law were put; upon it was the mercy seat, and over that the cherubim of glory, shadowing it; between which were the seat of the divine Majesty; this ark stood in the holy of holies, and was seen only by the high priest once a year, and was covered with a covering vail, #Nu 4:5; it was wanting in the second temple; to this the allusion is here.

The ark of the covenant was wanting in the second temple, is generally agreed {b}; but who took it away, where it was put, or what became of it various are the sentiments of the Jewish writers: some say {c}, it was carried away by Nebuchadnezzar into Babylon, and is meant by the goodly vessels of the house of the Lord, #2Ch 36:10 others say {d}, that Jeremiah the prophet took it, and hid it in a cave on Mount Nebo; but the more generally received opinion is, that it was hid by King Josiah in some hidden and deep place, which Solomon had built for that purpose under ground, knowing, that the temple would be destroyed {e}; and it is often said, that it was hid under the pavement of a room in the temple, called "the wood room" {f}.

{b} T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 27. 2. & Yoma, fol. 21. 2. Menasseh ben Israel Concil. in Gen. qu. 41. Kimchi in Hagg. i. 8.
{c} T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 53. 2. Seder Olam Rabba, c. 25. T. Hieros. Shekalim, fol. 49. 3.
{d} Joseph ben Gorion, l. 1. c. 17. 2 Maccab. ii. 4, 5.
{e} T. Hieros. Sota, fol. 22. 3. T. Bab. Ceritot, fol. 5. 2. Maimon. Beth Habbechira, c. 4. sect. 1.
{f} Misn. Shekalim, c. 6. sect. 1, 2. T. Hieros. Shekalim, fol. 49. 3. T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 54. 1.


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

and behold a great red dragon: so Pharaoh king of Egypt, and other cruel and persecuting monarchs and states, are called dragons in Scripture, #Isa 27:1 51:9 Eze 29:3; all which places the Targum interprets of "a king," and particularly of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and a "red" one, because of the blood of the saints shed in it, by which it became of this colour; suitable to the character and bloody practices of the old serpent the devil, by whom it was influenced, who was a murderer from the beginning; and agreeably to one of the names by which the Jews {x} frequently call the Roman empire Edom, the name Esau had from the red pottage he sold his birthright for, and who himself was born red, #Ge 25:29,30; it seems there were red dragons; Homer {y} says of the dragon, that it is red upon its back:

having seven heads, and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads: the "seven heads" of the Roman empire either design the seven mountains, or hills, on which Rome, the metropolis of the empire, was built, as the seven heads of the beast on which the woman drunk with the blood of the saints sat, are explained in #Re 17:9; or rather the seven forms of government which successively should obtain in the empire, as kings, consuls, decemvirs, dictators, tribunes, emperors, and popes; hence these heads are said to have "seven crowns" upon them, as expressive of the imperial power and dignity which were in them, and exercised by them: Mr. Daubuz thinks seven capital cities in the Roman empire are meant, as Rome, Carthage, Aege, Antiochia, Augustodunum, Alexandria, and Constantinople; and nothing is more common than to call chief cities the heads of the countries they belong unto, as Damascus the head of Syria, and Samaria the head of Ephraim, #Isa 7:8,9. Pliny {z} calls Babylon the head of Chaldea; and Cornelius Nepos says {a} of Thebes, that it was the head of all Greece; and Syracuse is by Florus {b} called the head of Sicily, as Rome is in Livy {c}, and other writers, the head of the world: and by the "ten horns" are meant either the ten kingdoms which should hereafter arise out of the Roman empire, and whose kings should give their kingdoms to the beast; or the ten Roman emperors, the persecutors of the Christians; or rather the ten provinces, or jurisdictions, which the empire was divided into while Pagan: Brightman out of Strabo has shown, that in the times of Augustus Caesar the Roman empire was distributed into two parts, the one was more immediately under the care of the emperor, and the other was governed by deputies; and each were divided into ten provinces; that which the emperor held consisted of Africa, France, Britain, Germany, Dacia with Mysia and Thracia, Cappadocia, Armenia, Syria, Palestine with Judea and Egypt, in all ten; and that part which was governed by deputies were the outermost Spain, and the isles by it, the innermost Spain, &c. Sardinia with Corsica, Sicily, Illyricum with Epirus, Macedonia, Achaia, Crete with Cyreniaca, Cyprus, Bithynia with Propontis; so that the Roman Pagan empire, as under the dominion of Satan, is manifestly designed by the dragon thus described. The Jews {d} speak of ten horns which the Israelites had, which when they sinned were taken from them, as it is written, #La 2:3, and were given to the nations of the world, according to #Da 7:20; "and of the ten horns that were in his head," &c.

{x} Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. Rab. in voce Mda.
{y} Iliad. 2. l. 308.
{z} Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 26.
{a} In Vita Epaminond. l. 15. c. 10.
{b} Hist. Roman. l. 2. c. 6.
{c} Hist. l. 21. c. 30.
{d} Echa Rabbati, fol. 53. 2, 3.


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

And there was war in heaven: the phrase of war in heaven is not unknown to the Jews; they say {i} when Pharaoh pursued after Israel, there was war above and below, and there was a very fierce war "in heaven":

Michael and his angels fought against the dragon: the Jews seem to imagine as if the angels were ranged under several heads and governors, of whom they make Michael to be one; for they say {k},

when the holy blessed God descended on Mount Sinai, several companies of angels descended with him, "Michael and his company," and Gabriel and his company:

"so kings armies," in #Ps 68:12; are by them interpreted of "kings of angels"; and it is asked who are these? and the answer is, Michael and Gabriel {l}.

{i} Shaare Ora, fol. 26. 4.
{k} Debarim, Rabba, fol. 237. 4.
{l} Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 14. 3. & 26. 3.


Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

And the great dragon was cast out: it is observable that Constantine himself speaks of "the dragon" being removed from the government of the commonwealth by the providence of God, and by the ministry, or means of him {m}; and he had his own effigies on a table placed before the porch of his palace, with the cross over his head, and a dragon under his feet thrust through with darts, and falling headlong {n};

the old serpent: it is very usual with the Jews to call the devil "the old serpent" {o}; wherefore John uses this phrase as a known one, to explain who was meant by the great dragon:

which deceiveth the whole world: so the Jews say {p} of the old serpent, that "he deceives the whole world"; and so he deceived and corrupted the old world before the flood; and so he seduces every age and generation of men in the world;

{m} Euseb. de Vita Constantini, l. 2. c. 46.
{n} Ib. l. 3. c. 3.
{o} T. Bab. Sota, fol. 9. 2. & Sanhedrin, fol. 29. 1. Imre Binah in Zohar in Gen. fol. 3. 1. & 15. 2. & passim, Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Exod. fol. 50. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 7. 3. & 8. 2. & 26. 3. & 46. 1. & Caphtor, fol. 101. 2.
{p} Tzeror Hammor, fol. 13. 3.


Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 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.

for the accuser of our brethren is cast down: this is a name frequently given to Satan by the Jews, and have adopted into their language the very Greek word {q} that is here used; and often say of him that he accuses Israel, and particularly that he accuses Israel above, that is, in heaven; and that he stands and {r}, "continually accuses them," the very phrase used in the next clause: when Israel came out of Egypt, they say {s} the angel Samael (the devil) stood and accused them; the first day of the month Tisri, according to them {t}, is appointed a day for blowing of trumpets, to confound Satan, who comes to accuse at that time; so they say {u} that Satan stood and accused Abraham, and others; and indeed he was an accuser from the beginning, both of God to men, and of men to God;

{q} Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 11. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
{r} Shaare Ora, fol. 21. 4. & 24. 2.
{s} Shemot Rabba, sect. 21. fol. 106. 4.
{t} Targum Jon. in Numb. xxix. 1.
{u} Zohar in Numb. fol. 107. 2.


Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

and saw a beast rise up out of the sea: this beast is said to "rise up out of the sea"; either out of the abyss, the bottomless pit of hell, see #Re 11:7 17:8; or out of the sea of this world, and the wicked in it, who are like a troubled sea that cannot rest; or out of the floods of errors and heresies, by which this man of sin was conceived and cherished, and a way was paved for his open rising and appearance in the world; or rather, since waters design, in this book, nations, people, and tongues, see #Re 17:15; and the four beasts in Daniel are said to rise out of the sea, #Re 7:2; and a multitude of people are compared to the waves of the sea, #Eze 26:3; see also #Isa 17:12 57:20, where the Jewish writers say {b}, the nations are compared to the sea, as Israel to the sand,

{b} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 41. 4. & 55. 2. & 63. 3.


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

whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world: Something like this the Jews say {e} of the Messiah upon #Ge 49:11,

he washed "from the day that the world was created"; who is he? this is the King Messiah.--It is written #Ge 1:2; "and the Spirit of God," &c. This is the Spirit of the King Messiah; and from the day that the world was created; he washed his garments in wine;

which the Jewish writers {f} understand of blood, which for its redness is like to wine; though they interpret it of the blood of the slain, with which the garments of the Messiah will be stained.

{e} Zohar in Gen. fol. 128. 2, 3.
{f} Targum Jon. & Jerus. & Aben Ezra in Gen. xlix. 11.


Revelation 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: The Jews {g} have a saying, that

captivity comes into the world for idolatry, uncleanness, and murder;

which three things are notorious in the Romish antichrist: and in the same treatise they say {h}, that the sword, the next judgment mentioned, comes into the world for delay of justice, and the perversion of it.

{g} Pirke Abot, c. 5. sect. 9.
{h} Ib. sect. 8.


Revelation 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

and no man could learn that song but the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth: The Jews speak of a new song, which the angels have never used {m};

it is said, #Ps 98:1; "sing unto the Lord a new song"; a new song, for there is an old song; but this song is what the angels never praised him with, and therefore it is new;
{m} Zohar in Numb. fol. 70. 4.


Revelation 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 wrath of her fornication.

saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city: Rome is called Babel in some ancient writings of the Jews {o}, where some copies read "Babel," others read "Rome"; and Tertullian, who wrote long before the appearance of the Romish antichrist, says {p}, with our John, Babylon is a figure of the Roman city:

{o} Zohar in Numb. fol. 103. 4. & Raya Mchimna, apud ib. in Exod. fol. 49. 3.
{p} Adv. Judaeos, c. 9. & Adv. Marcion. l. 3. c. 13.


Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God: see #Jer 25:15 Job 21:20 so "the wine of wrath," is a phrase used by the Jews {q}:

{q} Zohar in Gen. fol. 51. 4.


Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: so it is used by Jewish writers: hence we read of "the smoke of hell" {r}, with which the eyes of the wicked will be filled in the world to come:

and they have no rest, day nor night; the fire of divine wrath which tortures them is never quenched, and the worm of conscience which gnaws them never dies: this is directly contrary to a notion of the Jews, that the wicked in hell have rest sometimes; they talk of angels blowing away the smoke from them, so that they have rest an hour and a half; and which they say they have three times a day, and whenever Israel says Amen, let his great name be blessed {s}; and particularly that hell fire never burns on the sabbath day, nor does the smoke of it ascend then, and that the wicked have always rest on that days {t}; though sometimes they contradict themselves, and say they never have any rest {u}, which is the truth:

{r} Targum in Psal. xxxvii. 20. T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 75. 1. Caphtor, fol. 109. 1.
{s} Zohar in Gen. fol. 47. 4.
{t} Zohar in Exod. fol. 36. 4. & in Lev. fol. 45. 3. & in Deut. fol. 115. 3. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 65. 2. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 149. 1. Nishmat Chayim, fol. 39. 1.
{u} Zohar in Exod. fol. 62. 3. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 152. 2.


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

and their works do follow them: This is directly opposite to the notions of the Jews, who say, that when a man departs this life, his works "go before him," and say unto him, thou hast done so and so, in such a place, and on such a day {w}; and that whoever does a good work in this world, it shall "go before him" in the world to come {x}; and so they {y} represent good works as saying to a man when he is about to die,

go in peace; before thou gettest thither, we will go before thee, as it is said, #Isa 48:8 "thy righteousness shall go before thee".

Sometimes they say {z}, they go along with him at the time of a man's departure: neither gold, nor silver, nor precious stones and pearls accompany him, but the law and good works, as it is said, #Pr 6:22 "when thou goest it shall lead thee," &c.

{w} T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 11. 1.
{x} T. Bab. Sota, fol. 3. 2. & Avoda Zara, fol. 5. 1. & Nishmat Chayim, fol. 21. 1.
{y} Pirke Eliezer, c. 34. & Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 55. 4.
{z} Pirke Abot, c. 6. sect. 9.


Revelation 14:15 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.

for the harvest of the earth is ripe: There seems to be some reference to #Joe 3:13 "put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe": the Jewish doctors ask {b}, to whom is this said? R. Phineas, in the name of R. Hilkiah, says "to the angels"; so the mighty ones, in #Re 14:11 are by Kimchi interpreted of the angels.

{b} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 92. 1.


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

Even unto the horses' bridles, for the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs: In like manner the Jews express a great slaughter of men; so of the slaughter at Bither, by Adrian, they say {e}, they went on slaying "until a horse plunged in blood up to his nostrils," and the blood ran four miles into the sea; which is not to be understood literally, but as expressing a prodigious effusion of blood: and as to

the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs: perhaps there may be an allusion to the measure of the land of Israel, and the common notion of it among the Jews, who make it to be the square of four hundred parsoe {f}: hence they often speak of the land of Israel shaking and moving four hundred "parsoe," upon some extraordinary occasions {g}; and a "parsa" contained four miles {h}, so that four hundred "parsoe" made a thousand and six hundred miles; and if miles and furlongs are the same, in which sense only the land of Israel could be so large, here is the exact space; for Jerom {i}, who was an inhabitant of it, says, it was scarce 160 miles in length, to which agrees R. Menachem {k}; and it may be observed, that the Arabic version renders the words, "by the space of a thousand and six hundred miles." The Ethiopic version, very wrongly, reads, "sixteen furlongs".

{e} T. Hieros. Taanioth, fol. 69. 1.
{f} T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 28. 1. Gloss. in ib.
{g} T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 3. 1. & Bava Kama, fol. 82. 2. & Menachot, fol. 64. 2.
{h} T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 92. 2. Gloss. in ib.
{i} Ad Dardanum, fol. 22. 1. Tom. 3.
{k} In Gen. fol. 60.


Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God: The Jews have a notion, that the very song of Moses itself will be sung in the world to come, in the days of the Messiah; for they say, there are in it the times of the Messiah, and of Gog and Magog, and of the resurrection of the dead, and the world to come {l}. And this song was sung by the Levites in the daily service {m}.

{l} Zohar in Exod. fol. 23. 2. & 24. 3, 4. & 25. 2. & T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 91. 2.
{m} Maimon. Tamidim, c. 6. sect. 9.


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

gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever: the wrath of God is signified by a wine cup of fury, #Jer 25:15 and that destruction, and those plagues which God designed to bring upon Pharaoh, are by Jonathan ben Uzziel, in his Targum on #Ge 40:12 called "a vial of wrath," which he should drink of: and in the pouring out of there seven vials, there is in some of them a manifest allusion to the plagues of Egypt. So the cup of trembling, in #Isa 51:17 is by the Targumists called "a vial," and also "the cup of fury," #Isa 51:22 and that these vials were not small narrow mouthed vessels, but large broad mouthed ones, and more properly basins or bowls, is manifest from the use of the word with Jewish writers. The dishes on which the loaves of the shewbread were set, each of which loaves was ten hands breadth long, and five broad {q}, are by the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem on #Ex 25:29 Nu 4:7 called "vials"; and so the chargers offered at the dedication of the tabernacle, #Nu 7:13,84,85 are, by the same, rendered vials, which weighed 130 shekels; and so the silver bowl they offered, is, by Josephus {r}, called a vial: the bowls in #Am 6:6 are, by the Targum there, said to be "silver vials." The lordly dish brought by Jael to Sisera, #Jud 5:25 the Targum calls the vial of the mighty ones; and the earthen vessels used at the trial of the suspected wife, and at the cleansing of the leper, are both by Jewish writers said to be "vials" {s}.

{q} Misn. Menachot, c. 11. sect. 4, 5.
{r} Antiqu. l. 3. c. 8. sect. 10.
{s} Misn. Sota, c. 2. sect. 2. Joseph Antiqu. l. 3. c. 11. sect. 6. Misn. Negaim, c. 10. sect. 1.


Revelation 16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.

And I heard the angel of the waters say: So we read in Jewish writings {t} of an angel that was "the prince of the sea," and of angels that were over the waters, and others over fire {u}; though here is designed not one of the "angels of the water," that presided ove the waters, as another over fire; Dr. Lightfoot thinks, and that not without reason, that since these angels appeared in the garb of priests, #Re 15:6 and since there was a priest appointed to take care of the wells, and fountains, and ditches about Jerusalem, that the people might have water at the feasts {w}, there is an allusion to him; and certain it is that there was such an officer; there was one Nechoniah, who was over the fountains and ditches {x}; and in the same office was Nicodemon ben Gorion {y}, thought to be the Nicodemus mentioned in the New Testament.

{t} T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 68. 3.
{u} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 58. 4. par. 2. fol. 167. 4.
{w} Maimon, Cele Hamikdash, c. 7. sect. 15.
{x} Misn. Shekalim, c. 5. sect. 1.
{y} Abot R. Nathan, c. 5. fol. 3. 2.


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

that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared: Philo the Jew {z} has some expressions illustrating the literal sense of this, where he speaks of a Roman army on the banks of Euphrates, which kept the passage of "the eastern kings."

{z} De Legat. ad Caium, p. 1022.


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

lest he walk naked: {b}, "naked of the commandments," or good works, according to the Jewish phrase; having lost, or dropped his conversation garments:

and they see his shame: see #Mt 22:12,13 the allusion is to the burning of the garments of those priests who were found asleep when upon their watch in the temple: the account that is given is this {c};

the man of the mountain of the house (the governor of the temple) goes round all the wards (every night) with burning torches before him; and in every ward where the person does not stand upon his feet, the man of the mountain of the house says to him, peace be to thee; if he finds he is asleep, he strikes him with his staff, and he has power to burn his clothes; and they say (in Jerusalem) what voice is that in the court? (it is answered) the voice of a Levite beaten, and his clothes burnt, because he slept in the time of his watch; R. Eliezer ben Jacob says, once they found my mother's brother asleep, and they burnt his clothes:

now imagine with what shame the poor Levite so served must appear the next morning among his brethren, with his clothes burnt, and he naked; and with greater shame and confusions must he appear at the last day that is destitute of the righteousness of Christ.

{b} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 91. 3.
{c} Misna Middot, c. 1. sect. 2. T. Bab. Tamid, fol. 27. 2. & 28. 1. Maimon. Beth Habbechira, c. 8. sect. 10. & Cele Hamikdash, c. 7. sect. 4.


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

And the great city was divided into three parts: the Jews {e} have a prophecy, that upon an appearance of a star at Rome, which they suppose will be when the Messiah comes, the three upper walls of that city will fall, and the great temple, or church (St. Peter's), will fall, and the governor of that city (the pope) will die:

{e} Zohar in Numb. fol. 86. 1.


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

every stone about the weight of a talent: which is threescore pound weight, a prodigious weight indeed for a single hailstone! such hail stones were never known to fall; the largest I have read of is what Caspar Wesserus assured Mr. Broughton of, at Zurich, which being brought from a field afar off, to the consul, and so must melt in carriage, yet weighed a pound. It may be said of this hail storm, as of the earthquake in a preceding verse, that it will be such as never was since men were upon earth; and denotes the sore, heavy, and even intolerable judgments of God upon the antichristian party: God's judgments are sometimes signified by hail storms, #Isa 30:26-30 and particularly the judgments upon Gog and Magog, #Eze 38:22 which may respect the same as here: the Jews {g} now expect a great hail in the times of Gog and Magog:

{g} Shemot Rabba, sect. 12. fol. 99. 1.


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

and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast: as purple and scarlet are the colours of garments wore by the pope, and cardinals, hence the woman in the next verse is said to be "arrayed in purple and scarlet colour," so even the very beasts on which they rode were covered with scarlet. Platina {h} says that Pope Paul the Second

ordered by a public decree, on pain or punishment, that no man should wear a scarlet cap but cardinals; to whom also, in the first year of his popedom, he gave cloth of the same colour, to put upon their horses and mules when they rode; and besides, would have put into the decree, that the cardinals' hats should be of scarlet silk:

upon which Du Maulin {i} makes this remark;

Pope Paul the Second was the first that gave scarlet to the cardinals, as well for themselves as for their mules, to the end that this prophecy, which agreeth in general with the see of Rome, might likewise appertain particularly to everyone of the pillars of the said see, which is to be set upon a "scarlet coloured beast".

{h} De Vitis Pontiticum, p. 312.
{i} Defence of the Catholic Faith, &c. c. 3. p. 38.


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

are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues: it is an eastern way of speaking, and is particularly used to express the various kingdoms, and infinite number of people belonging to the Babylonish monarchy, which was an emblem of the antichristian state, #Da 3:4,7,29 4:1 and these are compared to waters, to many waters; which phrase sometimes is used for the sea, #Ps 107:23 because of the vast numbers of them; so the Jews {w} interpret many waters, in #So 8:7 of all people, and of the kings of the earth, and of the nations of the world; and they say, that many waters never signify any other than all the nations, and those that are appointed over them {x}. So, "he drew me out of many waters," #Ps 18:16 is by the Targum on the place explained, he delivered me from many people. And so #Ps 46:4 is paraphrased by the Targumist;

people, "as rivers," and their streams, shall come, and make glad the city of the Lord;

see the Targum on #Isa 8:7 and in #Eze 32:2 where it is observed kingdoms are compared to waters {y}.

{w} Targum in Cant. viii. 7. Shirhashirim Rabba fol. 26. 1.
{x} Zohar in Gen. fol. 51. 3. & Raya Mehimna in ib. & in Numb. fol. 105. 3. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 179. 4.
{y} Yaikut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 93. 2.


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

and she shall be utterly burnt with fire: The Jews have a notion, that, at the coming of the Messiah, Rome will be burnt {a}, as Sodom has been; you will find, say they {b}, that of Sodom and of that kingdom (Rome, of which they are speaking, and which they afterwards call the fourth kingdom), it is decreed concerning them both, that they "should be burnt with fire"; of Sodom, #Ge 19:24 and of the fourth kingdom (Rome), #Isa 34:9.

{a} Zohar in Gen. fol. 74. 3. & in Numb. fol. 86. 1.
{b} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 48. 2.


Revelation 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

saying, alas! alas! that great city Babylon! that mighty city!: it will aggravate their sorrow, when they reflect upon the former grandeur, magnificence, power, and authority, of the city and see of Rome, so often called in this book the great city; and so it is by other writers; the Jews call it so: they say {c}, when the Messiah comes,

the kings of the world shall be gathered to "the great city" of Rome; and the holy blessed God will cast upon them fire and hail, and great hail stones, (with which compare #Re 16:21), and they shall perish from the world, except those kings that do not come there.

It is common with the Jewish writers to call the Roman empire Edom; and Magdiel, one of the dukes of Edom, #Ge 36:43 who has his name from "greatness," is interpreted by one of their commentators {d} of Rome; the reason of which, another of them says {e}, is because Rome is become great above all kingdoms: the mount of Esau in #Ob 1:21 is interpreted "that great city" of Esau, which is Rome {f}, and the same epithet it has in the Talmud {g}; and Porphyry calls it "that great city," without making mention of its name, as here; so among the Latins {h}, "Magnoe spes altera" Romae:

{c} Zohar in Gen. fol. 74. 3.
{d} Jarchi in Gen. xxxvi. 43.
{e} Abarbinel in Dan. fol. 42. 3.
{f} Jarchi in Obadiah, ver. 21.
{g} T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 21. 2.
{h} Servius in Virgil, Eclog. 6. p. 67.


Revelation 18:13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense: &c.] Things for delight and pleasure, for the gratifying of the senses; cinnamon, and odours were used for perfuming, #Pr 7:17 anointing with oil was used at feasts, #Ps 23:5 and "frankincense," or censings, at banquets, and for the regaling of persons after food {k}: these customs obtained among the eastern people. Tyre had its merchants for these things, #Eze 27:19,22 and Mr. Brightman thinks Italy is Rome's merchant in these, which it fetches from Greece, Arabia, and Egypt; it may be these rather respect the ecclesiastical use of them; "cinnamon, odours," and "frankincense," may signify the perfumings and censings used in churches, or the burning incense in imitation of the sweet incense under the law; and "ointments" may denote their chrism, or anointing with oil at baptism, imagining that Christ was anointed with material oil at his baptism, whereas it was with the Holy Ghost: moreover, these things may be mystically understood, "cinnamon" being used by harlots in perfuming their bed, #Pr 7:17 may intend the stews and brothel houses erected at Rome, and licensed by authority, each whore paying so much per week; the revenues of which would sometimes yearly amount to twenty thousand ducats: "ointments" may be understood of chrism in baptism, and extreme unction at death: "odours" and "frankincense" may mean their prayers and pater nosters, their prayers for the dead, which were never made without the pence; hence that proverbial expression, no pence, no pater noster.

{k} Misn. Beracot, c. 6. sect. 6.


Revelation 18:17 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,

For in one hour so great riches is come to nought: the Jews have a saying {l}, that if ten kabs of riches descend into the world, the ancient Romans take nine of them, and the other the whole world:

{l} T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 49. 2.


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

saying Alleluia: an Hebrew word, which signifies "praise ye the Lord." The Jews say {n}, that the book of Psalms consists of ten sorts of songs, but Hallelujah is the greatest of them, because it comprehends the name (Jehovah) and praise in one word:

{n} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 89. 1. T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 117. 1.


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

and her smoke rose up for ever and ever; they repeated their hallelujah, or gave one spiritual "huzza" more at the burning of Rome, and this followed: or the words may be rendered, "for her smoke rose," &c. and so are a reason for the second "hallelujah": it looks as if Rome, like another Sodom and Gomorrah, would sink into a sulphurous burning lake, and continue so: respect is had to the everlasting punishment of antichrist and his followers in hell, and to the everlasting burnings that will follow Rome's temporal destruction, which was an example and symbol of the vengeance of eternal fire; see #Re 14:11 so the Jews {o} say of the burning of Rome, that its fire shall not be quenched for ever, and that "its smoke shall rise up for."

{o} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 48. 2.


Revelation 19:6 And I heard 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.

saying, Alleluia: or praise ye the Lord; they will call upon one another to celebrate the praises of God, on account of the above things, in the same manner, and using the same word the people in heaven, and the four and twenty elders and four living creatures, do; and this is the fourth time the word is used in this context, and confirms the observation that has been made, that this vision refers to the conversion of the Jews, which will quickly follow the destruction of Rome: and the Jews themselves have a notion, that when Rome is destroyed the Messiah will come; and so he will in his spiritual reign. They say {o},

our redemption will be immediately upon the destruction of Rome.

And again {p},

the root of our redemption depends upon the destruction of Rome.
{o} Tzeror Hammor, fol. 148. 1.
{p} Tzeror Hammor, fol. 163. 4.


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

for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints: or "righteousnesses"; so the Jews use the word in the plural number: the Targumist on #Zec 3:4 paraphrases the text, "I will clothe thee" "with righteousnesses" {r}; upon which words Jarchi has this note,

change of beautiful garments is all one as if it had been said "righteousnesses": and because sin is like to filthy garments, righteousness is like to garments beautiful and white.

{r} See Isa. lxi. 10. & Targum in Hos. x. 12.


Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which 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.

and reigned with Christ a thousand years: It is an observation of the Jewish Rabbins {x}, that the day in #Ge 2:17 is the day of the holy blessed God (i.e. a thousand years), and therefore the first Adam did not perfect, or fill up his day, for there wanted seventy years of it: and it is a notion that prevails with them, that the days of the Messiah will be a thousand years {y}; and so they will be at his second coming, but not at his first, which they vainly expect, it being past: and also they say {z}, that in these thousand years God will renew his world, and that then the righteous will be raised, and no more return to dust; which agrees with John's new heaven and new earth during this state, and with the first resurrection: and so Jerom, who was conversant with the Rabbins, says {a} that the Jews expect a thousand years' reign.

{x} Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 5. fol. 185. 4. vid. Jacchiad. in Dan. vii. 25.
{y} Midrash Tillim, fol. 4. 2.
{z} T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 93. 1, 2. & Gloss. in ib. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 42. 1. & 49. 3. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 150. 2.
{a} Comment. in Zach. xiv. 16, 18.


Revelation 20:8 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.

Gog and Magog: the Jews {b} speak of a Gog and Magog, that will come up against Jerusalem in the days of the Messiah, whom they still expect, by whom they shall be destroyed:

{b} Targum in Cant. viii. 4. & Targum Hieros. in Numb. xi. 26.


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

And they went up on the breadth of the earth: Either the whole earth, in the several parts of which they will be raised; or the land of Israel, where Christ and his people will be; and so the wicked being raised, will come up from the several parts of the world, and spread themselves over the holy land; just as Gog and Magog are said to cover the land of Israel, as a cloud, #Eze 38:16 and it may be observed, that the very phrase of "the breadth of thy land," is used of Immanuel's land, or the land of Israel, in #Isa 8:8

and compassed the camp of the saints about: the allusion is to the encampment of the children of Israel in the wilderness, about the tabernacle, which was in the midst of them, #Nu 2:2 &c. afterwards the city of Jerusalem itself was called a camp, and answered in all respects to the camp in the wilderness {f}, to which the reference is in #Heb 13:11-13 and which serves to illustrate the passage here,

and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them: the allusion is to the fire sent upon Gog and Magog, and to the burning of their weapons, in #Eze 38:22 39:6,9,10 and so the Jews {g} say of their Gog and Magog, that

they shall be killed with the burning of the soul, with a flame of fire, which shall come from under the throne of glory.

{f} T. Bab Zebachim, fol. 116. 2. Maimon. Hilch. Beth Habbechirah, c. 7. sect. 11.
{g} Targum Jon. in Numb. xi. 26.


Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

was cast into the lake of fire: where are the devil, beast, and false prophet, #Re 19:20 20:10. It is a saying of R. Isaac {m},

woe to the wicked, who are not written "in the book," for they shall perish in hell for ever and ever:

and in the Targum on #Eze 13:9 it is said of the false prophets,

``that "in the writing of eternal life" (or in the book of eternal life), which is written for the righteous of the house of Israel, they shall not be written.

There seems to be some allusion in the phrase used here, and in the preceding verse, and elsewhere in this book, to the lake Asphaltites, a sulphurous lake, where Sodom and Gomorrah stood, which the Jews call the salt sea, or the bituminous lake; and whatsoever was useless, or rejected, or abominable, or accursed, they used to say, to show their rejection and detestation of it, let it be cast into the sea of salt, or the bituminous lake; thus, for instance,

any vessels that had on them the image of the sun, or of the moon, or of a dragon, "let them cast them into the salt sea," or bituminous lake {n}.

{m} Tosaphta in Zohar in Gen. fol. 78. 2.
{n} T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 42. 2. Vid. ib. fol. 49. 1. &. 53. 1. & 71. 2. & Nazir, fol. 24. 2. & 26. 1, 2. Bava Metzia, fol. 52. 2. Temura, fol. 22. 2. & Meila, fol. 9. 2. & 10. 1.


Revelation 21:1 And 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.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: So the Jews speak of new heavens, as "renewed" ones, which are the secrets of sublime wisdom {o}: and they say {p}, that the holy blessed God will renew his world a thousand years, and that in the seventh millennium there will be new heavens and a new earth {q}:

{o} Zohar in Gen. fol. 5. 2. vid. Kimchi in lsa. lvi. 6.
{p} T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 92. 2. & Gloss. in ib. Zohar in Gen. fol. 69. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 150. 2.
{q} Zohar in Gen. fol. 35. 3.


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

new Jerusalem: the church of God, both in the Old and New Testament, is often called Jerusalem, to which its name, which signifies the vision of peace, agrees; it was the city of the great King, whither the tribes went up to worship; it was a free city, and a fortified one: the Gospel church state in its imperfection is called the heavenly Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem above, which is free, and the mother of all; and here the church in its perfect state is called the new Jerusalem, where will be complete peace and prosperity; and which is called new, because it has its seat in the new heaven and new earth: the inhabitants of which will appear in their new and shining robes of immortality and glory; and to distinguish it from the old Jerusalem, and even from the former state of the church; for this will be "the third time" that Jerusalem will be built, as say the Jews, namely, in the time of the King Messiah {r}:

coming down from God out of heaven: and this is

the building which the Jews say God will prepare for the Jerusalem which is above "to descend into" {s}:

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband: Christ is the husband, or bridegroom, and the church is his spouse, and bride; and in these characters they will both appear at this time, when the marriage between them will be consummated: and the church may be said to be prepared as such, when all the elect of God are gathered in, the number of the saints is perfected; when the good work of grace is finished in them all, and they are all arrayed in the righteousness of Christ: and to be "adorned," when not only they are clothed with the robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation, and are beautified with the graces of the Spirit, but also with the bright robes of immortality and glory. The phrase is Jewish, and is to be read exactly as here in the book of Zohar {t}.

{r} Zohar in Gen. fol. 126. 4.
{s} Ib. fol. 103. 4.
{t} Zohar in Gen. fol. 53. 2.


Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

and there shall be no more death: So the Jews say {u}, "there is no death in the world to come"; good is laid up for the righteous in the world to come, and with them is no death {x}; and after the resurrection the body is perfect, and shall never after taste the taste of death {y}.

{u} Echa Rabbati, fol. 48. 2. & Midrash Kohelet, fol. 61. 2.
{x} Maimon. Teshuva, c. 8. sect. 1.
{y} Midrash Hanneelam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 70. 1.


Revelation 21:5 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

behold, I make all things new: The Jews say {z}, that the holy blessed God will make ten things new in the future state, or world to come; the first is, he will enlighten the world; (See #Re 21:11,23) the second is, he will bring living water out of Jerusalem; (see #Re 21:6) the third is, he will make trees to bring forth their fruit every month; (see #Re 22:2) and the fourth is, all the waste places shall be built, even Sodom and Gomorrha; the fifth is, Jerusalem shall be built with sapphire stone; (see #Re 21:19) the sixth is, the cow and the bear shall feed; the seventh is, a covenant shall be made between Israel, and the beasts, fowls, and creeping things; the eighth is, there shall be no more weeping and howling in the world; the ninth is, there shall be no more death in the world; the tenth is, there shall no more be sighing, and groaning, and sorrow in the world; see #Re 21:4.

{z} Shemot Rabba, sect. 15. fol. 101. 3


Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: The Jews {a} speak of several distinct places in hell, for several sorts of sinners, as particularly for sabbath breakers, adulterers, and liars; and say of the wicked, that when he is condemned he shall take "his part" in hell {b};

{a} Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Lev. fol. 7. 2.
{b} T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 15. 1.


Revelation 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

And at the gates twelve angels: The Jews speak of "princes," being appointed over the gates of heaven, east, west, north, and south, with the keys in their hands, whose names they give us {f}.

And names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: In like manner the Jews {g} make mention of a court of the Lord,

which has twelve gates, according to the computation of the tribes of Israel; on one gate is written Reuben, on another is written Simeon; and so all the tribes of Israel are written on those gates; in the time they go up to appear before the Lord of the world, whoever goes up to this gate, (on which the tribe of Reuben is written,)if he is of the tribe of Reuben they open to him, (and receive him,)if not they cast him without; and so of all whom they do not receive; they open to none but to him who is of that tribe, or whose name is written on the gate.

{f} Raziel, fol. 35. 2.
{g} Zohar in Numb. fol. 70. 4.


Revelation 21:16 And the city lieth 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.

And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: or fifteen hundred miles; a monstrously large city indeed! such an one as never was upon earth. The Jews {h} say of Jerusalem, that in time to come it shall be so enlarged, as to reach to the gates of Damascus, yea, to the throne of glory.

The length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal. A perfectly uniform state! according to the Ethiopic version, it is in length twelve thousand furlongs, and every measure equal, so that it is so many furlongs in length, breadth, and height.

{h} Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 24. 1.


Revelation 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

The twelfth, an amethyst: a stone of a violet colour, bordering on purple: it has been thought a preservative from drunkenness, from whence it seems to have its name. On this stone was written the name of Gad. Agreeably to this account of John's, the Jews speak {n} of the tabernacle above being built on twelve precious stones; and sometimes they say {o}, that the holy blessed God will found Jerusalem with ten kind of precious stones, and which they mention, and several of which are the same with these.

{n} Zohar in Gen. fol. 17. 2. & in Exod. fol. 65. 4.
{o} Abkath Rocel, p. 150. Vid. Zohar in Exod. fol. 96. 3.


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

Every several gate was of one pearl: The Jews say {q}, that the holy blessed God will bring precious stones and "pearls" of thirty cubits by thirty, &c. and place them "in the gates of Jerusalem," as it is said, #Isa 54:12: and L'Empereur {r} makes mention of an ancient commentary on #Ps 87:1 which says, that the holy blessed God will make a gate at the east (of the temple), and in it two doors, each of one pearl. So R. Joshua ben Levi says {s}, that there are in paradise two gates of agates or diamonds; some render the word rubies.

And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass: So the Jews say {t} of paradise, that the ground is paved with precious stones, the lustre of which may be compared to the light of burning torches.

{q} T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 100. 1. & Bava Bathra, fol. 75. 1. & Yalkut, par. 2. fol. 54. 1.
{r} Misn. Middot, c. 4. sect. 2. Vid. Yalkut Simconi, par. 2. fol. 54. 1.
{s} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 1. fol. 7. 1.
{t} Sepher. Avodah Hakkodesh, fol. 46. 1.


Revelation 21:23 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.

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: The Jews say {u}, the orb of the sun is in this world; and the gloss adds, but not in the future state, for the lights shall be renewed: and they further say {w}, as here, that

in the world to come, "Israel will have no need of the light of the sun, nor of the light of the moon," neither by day nor by night,

as they say {x}, the Israelites had not in the wilderness. So they represent the Lord speaking to Moses, and saying {y},

thy days shall cease, but thy light shall not cease; for thou shall have no need for ever of the light of the sun, nor of the light of the moon, and of the stars.

For the glory of God did lighten it: the Shekinah, or glorious presence of God, which filled the temple of Solomon, and shone round about the shepherds at the incarnation of Christ; with the presence of God, who is light itself, which will be enjoyed in a much more glorious manner, will the church now be enlightened; and this will be an everlasting light unto her: and the Lamb is the light thereof; in whose light they will see the face of God, and see God face to face; they will see Christ as he is, and behold his glory; and look upon the angels, those glorious forms of light, and all the glorified saints, and know and converse with each other; and they will look into, and clearly discern all the mysteries and doctrines of grace, and all the various scenes of Providence, which will all be opened and laid before them. And this light will be always without any change and variation; which is no small part of the commendation of this city, which is the inheritance of the saints in light. So the holy blessed God is said by the Jews {z} to be "the light of Jerusalem"; he is the light of the new Jerusalem; see #Isa 60:19,20 and the light of, the world to come is, by {a} them, called "the great light".

{u} T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 101. 1.
{w} Raziel, fol. 17. 2.
{x} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 57. 2.
{y} Petirat Moseh, fol. 23. 2.
{z} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 57. 2. & 98. 1.
{a} Ben Gorion apud Aben Ezram in Psal. xlix. 19.


Revelation 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

shall walk in the light of it, which is Christ: The Jews say {b}, that Jerusalem, in time to come, will be made a lamp to the nations of the world "and they shall walk in its light," or by the light of it, which is the sense of #Isa 60:3 "the Gentiles shall come to thy light"; see #Isa 9:1,3

{b} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 56. 3.


Revelation 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

for there shall be no night there: this is a reason given why it is before said the gates shall not be shut by day, since it is unusual to shut gates in the day, unless in time of war, because there will be no night in this city, and so no need of ever shutting the gates; the night time being the season for thieves and robbers, and for enemies to make their incursions, and to surprise: but here will be no night; either literally, times and seasons, as measured by the revolutions of the sun and moon, will be no more, they will not have the use they have; at least this city will stand in no need of them. The Jews say {c}, that the world to come will be "all day."

{c} Bereshit Rabba, sect. 91. fol. 79. 4.


Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

or maketh a lie: It is by the Jews observed {d}, that

the Jerusalem of the world to come is not as the Jerusalem of this world; the Jerusalem of this world, whoever would go up to it (or enter into it) might; but that of the world to come "none may go up to it (or enter into it) but those who are prepared," or appointed for it.

{d} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 75. 2.


Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

and on either side of the river was there the tree of life: So the Jews say {e}, that the tree of life is in the midst of paradise, and its body covers all the garden; and that there is in it five hundred thousand different tastes; and that there is no likeness and smell like it. By the tree of life is meant not the Gospel, nor godliness, nor eternal life, nor any other of the divine Persons, but Christ, who is the author of life, natural, spiritual, and eternal; and its situation between the street of the city, where the saints commune and converse together, and the river of God's everlasting love, which in this state will appear in its fulness and glory, shows that Christ will be seen and enjoyed by all in the most delightful and comfortable manner that can be wished for:

and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations: The Jews interpret the passage in #Eze 47:12 to which this refers, of future time, or the world to come {f}; and speak of various trees and herbs of great fragrancy and medicinal virtues, which grow quite round on the sides of a laver that stands in paradise {g}.

{e} Yalkut Simeoni, par. 1. fol. 7. 1.
{f} Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 19. 1.
{g} Sepher Avodah Hakkodesh, fol. 46. 1.


Revelation 22:11 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.

And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: With these sayings may be compared some expressions of the Jewish doctors {h}, as the sense of #Le 11:43,44

if a man defiles himself a little, they defile him much; the gloss on it is, they let, or suffer him to be more defiled; if below, they defile him above; if in this world, they defile him in the world to come; if a man sanctifies himself a little, they sanctify him much; if below, they sanctify him above; if in this world, they sanctify him in the world to come.

{h} T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 39. 1.


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

And may enter in through the gates into the city: Frequent mention is made of the gates of this city in the book of Zohar; and, says R. Isaac {i},

when the soul "is fit" (or worthy, or has a right) "to enter through the gates of Jerusalem" that is above, Michael the great prince goes with it, who anticipates for it the peace of the ministering angels, wondering at him, and inquiring concerning it, saying, "who is this that comes out of the wilderness," &c. #So 3:6.

{i} Medrash Haneelam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 77. 1.


Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

For without are dogs: The Jews say {k},

when a man dies, if he be worthy (or righteous) he descends in the likeness of a lion to receive "his" soul, but if not, in the likeness of "a dog," concerning which David says, #Ps 22:20.

{k} Raya Mchimna in Zohar in Numb. fol. 95. 2.


Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

and let him that is athirst come: to speak in the language of the Jews, who use like phrases with this, who hunger "and thirst to drink living water" {m}, as appears by what follows:

and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely: the Jews are wont to express themselves, when they would signify the liberty that might be used, or the free way in which anything might be taken, particularly when speaking of the law, and the things of it "whosoever has a mind to take, let him come and take," as it is said, #Isa 55:1 "ho, everyone that thirsteth," &c. {n} that is, he is free to take, he is welcome to it; which passage referred to, is thus paraphrased by the Targumist "whosoever "will" learn, let him come and learn, &c.

{m} Raziel, fol. 31. 2.
{n} Abot R. Nathan, c. 4l. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 79. 4. & 82. 4. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 54. 3. & 100. 2.


Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

and from the things which are written in this book: The Jews say of their Talmud, that nothing is to be added to it, or diminished from it {o}.

{o} Ganz. Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 34. 1.


Moza

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