By the word of their testimony: the powerful preaching of the gospel is mighty, through God, to pull down strong holds. 27, Colossians 107:"And God cast out Samael and his troops from the place of their holiness.". As in pain to bring forth a holy family; desirous that the conviction of sinners might end in their conversion. They were so because it was the Roman monarchy, in its seventh Draconic form of government, which was dismembered by the barbarians. There mention is made of his being found no longer in heaven, or on the throne of the Roman empire, here he is entirely cast out from all offices of trust in the empire; his religion is first only tolerated, and then totally abolished, by the imperial power. But ungodly men, for their worldly interests, protected the church amidst these tumults, and the overthrow of the empire did not help the cause of idolatry. Caesaris vexilla linquunt, eligunt Signum Crucis. By their courage and patience in sufferings: they loved not their lives so well but they could lay them down in Christ's cause. © 2020 Christianity.com. (7-12) The dragon persecutes the church. (Read Revelation 12:7-11) The attempts of the dragon proved unsuccessful against the church, and fatal to his own interests. He is filled with fury , because he knows that his time is short." i., in principio) in words to the following effect: "The city of Rome was originally governed by kings. * [12:1–14:20] This central section of Revelation portrays the power of evil, represented by a dragon, in opposition to God and his people. The consular power of the military tribunes; It is singular that commentators in general, in their citation of this passage, have taken no notice of the triumvirate, a form of government evidently as distinct from any of the others as kings are from consuls, or consuls from emperors. And a great sign was seen in heaven: a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; (Revelation 12:1) But the subtle design which the serpent or dragon had in view, when he vomited out of his mouth a flood of waters, was most providentially frustrated; for: -. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And by the word of their testimony - By constantly testifying against the errors and follies of mankind. Here, the main instrument of that persecution is revealed: the government … And I heard a loud voice, saying, - Now is come salvation, etc. - By the terms Devil and Satan mentioned in this verse, Pareus, Faber, and many other commentators, understand literally the great spiritual enemy of mankind. "It is very remarkable," as Bishop Newton observes, "that Constantine himself, and the Christians of his time, describe his conquests under the image of a dragon, as if they had understood that this prophecy had received its accomplishment in him. The dragon's persecution of the woman and her seed, Revelation 12:13-17 b. See Eusebius de Vita Constantini, lib. - This is a song of triumph of the Christian Church over the heathen idolatry, and is very expressive of the great joy of the Christians upon this most stupendous event. - Yalcut Chadash, fol. (14-17). Hence began what is termed the tenth and last general persecution, which was the most severe of all, and continued nearly ten years; (see Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History of the Third Century); and as it was the Divine pleasure that, at this time, a great deliverer should be raised up in behalf of his suffering people, the woman, or Christian Church, is very appropriately represented as overtaken with the pangs of labor, and ready to be delivered. And her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne - A succession of Christian emperors was raised up to the Church; for the Roman throne, as Bishop Newton observes, is here called the throne of God, because there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. There was war in heaven - In the same treatise, fol. "They leave the ensigns of Caesar; they choose the standard of the cross; and instead of the dragon flags which they carried, moved about with the wind, they bring forward the illustrious wood that subdued the dragon.". Paganism received several mortal strokes in the time of Constantine and his sons Constans and Constantius. Introduction. Daniel 12:3. The accuser of our brethren - There is scarcely any thing more common in the rabbinical writings than Satan as the accuser of the Israelites. And the dragon stood before the woman, etc. Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Revelation 12 ← Back to Matthew Henry's Bio & Resources. Chapter 12 is another inset chapter, in which John sees another wondrous vision. 87, 2, on Exodus 14:7, Pharaoh took six hundred chariots, we have these words: "There was war among those above and among those below, והמלחמה היתה חזקה בשמים vehammilchamaĥ hayethah chazakah bashshamayim, and there was great war in heaven." As drawing with his tail a third part of the stars in heaven, and casting them down to the earth; persecuting and seducing the ministers and teachers. Many were the snares that, according to Eusebius, were laid for him by Maximin and Galerius: he relates the frequent and dangerous enterprises to which they urged him, with the design that he might lose his life. And her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne - In Yalcut Rubeni are these words: "Rachael, the niece of Methusala, was pregnant, and ready to be delivered in Egypt. 12:1-2 The Bible portrays the great controversy between Christ and Satan in terms of three characters: the Dragon, the Woman, and the Man Child. In this we must be like them. The man child mentioned in this verse is the dynasty of Christians emperors, beginning with Constantine's public acknowledgment of his belief in the divinity of the Christian religion, which happened in the latter part of a.d. 312, after the defeat of the Emperor Maxentius. "Every day, except the day of expiation Satan is the accuser of men." Lond. Chapter 12: The Woman in the Wilderness "1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:" A "great wonder in heaven" (12:1) appears. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. The servants of God overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb, as the cause. And as each prophetic year contains three hundred and sixty days, so three years and a half will contain precisely twelve hundred and sixty days. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels. Machiavel and Bishop Lloyd enumerate the horns of the dragon thus: 8. 101, 3. - The apparent repetition here of what is said in Revelation 12:6 has induced Bishop Newton to consider the former passage as introduced by way of prolepsis or anticipation; for, says he, the woman did not fly into the wilderness till several years after the conversion of Constantine. 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. ... Next commentary: The Dragon's Departure to the Sea . And it is evident that nothing less than the dismemberment of the Roman empire, and its division into ten independent kingdoms, can be intended by the angel's interpretation just quoted. 129, 2, are these words; "If a man observes the precepts, and is a son of the law, and lives a holy life, then Satan stands and accuses him.". 1809, "a man was called to fix upon the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most calamitous and afflicted, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Theodosius the Great to the establishment of the Lombards in Italy, a period of one hundred and seventy-six years. ", And she brought forth a man child - The Christian Church, when her full time came, obtained a deliverer, who, in the course of the Divine providence, was destined: -. The moon is the less light, ruling over the night, and deriving all its illumination from the sun; in like manner the Jewish dispensation was the bright moonlight night of the world, and possessed a portion of the glorious light of the Gospel. Having seven heads - As the dragon is an emblem of the heathen Roman power, its heads must denote heathen forms of government. The wonderful success of Constantine over all his enemies, and his final triumph over Licinius, correspond exactly to the symbolical language in this verse. The parties were Christ, the great Angel of the covenant, and his faithful followers; and Satan and his instruments. And the dragon fought and his angels - Or ministers. Revelation 12:1-17. The dictatorship was only occasionally appointed; neither did the decemviral power last above two years; and the consular power of the military tribunes was not of long continuance. (1) A great sign appeared in heaven: (2) a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under here feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and (3) she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Commentary on Revelation 12:7-11. Thus the heathen Imperial government is doubly represented, first, by one of the seven draconic heads, to show that it was one of those seven heathen forms of government which have been successively at the head of the Roman state; and secondly, by the dragon's tail, because it was the last of those seven. They trod upon her, and the child came out of her bowels, and lay under the bed; Michael descended, and took him up to the throne of glory. We must not understand the phrase flying into her place of her removing from one part of the habitable world into another, but of her speedy declension from a state of great prosperity to a forlorn and desolate condition. 31, fol. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. It is true these savage nations were much more intent upon the acquisition of wealth and dominion than upon the propagation or support of the pagan superstitions, nor did their cruelty and opposition to the Christians arise from any religious principle, or from an enthusiastic desire to ruin the cause of Christianity; it was merely by the Instigation of the pagans who remained yet in the empire, that they were excited to treat with such severity and violence the followers of Christ." Revelation commentary: chapter 12 - the dragon and the man child. Constantine added to the other Roman ensigns the labarum, or standard of the cross, and constituted it the principal standard of the Christian Roman empire. But the Roman empire was not divided into several independent kingdoms till a considerable time after it became Christian. And they loved not their lives unto the death - They regarded not their present temporal estate, but even gladly delivered up their lives to the fury of their persecutors, and thus sealed the truth of what they spake with their blood. VERSE BY VERSE COMMENTARY ON THE REVELATION "A TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST" by Tony Garland. The strength of the church is in having the Lord Jesus for the Captain of their salvation. Revelation 12:1-17. ben David, in Chasad Shimuel, calls סמאל וחיילותיו Samael vechayilothaiv, "Samael and his troops;" fol. In the Old Testament, empire. 164. Upon the head of the woman is: -. In Sohar Exod., fol. c. 3, and Socratis Hist. The moon was under her feet; she was superior to the reflected and feebler light of the revelation made by Moses. ", To be carried away of the flood - Entirely swept away from the face of the earth. The words of the prophecy are very remarkable. Chapter 12. "The holy blessed God said to the seventy princes of the world, Have ye seen him who always accuses my children?" The heathen power is called that old serpent which deceived the whole world, from its subtlety against the Christians, and its causing the whole Roman world, as far as it was in its power, to embrace the absurdities of paganism. Being faithful to God and Christ, in doctrine, worship, and practice, exposes to the rage of Satan; and will do so till the last enemy shall be destroyed.