John’s Revelation Unveiled – Part 2

Barnes says: "John meant to describe what occurred in the World at the time when the True Church seemed to be about to extend itself over the Earth  and when that prosperity was checked by the rise of the Papal Power…. The woman is driven for 1260 years into the Wilderness and nourished there…. I regard this therefore as referring to the time of the rise of the Papacy."

                                                                                                                                                                                      (3) the Ancient Babylonian Empire, 625-539 B.C. (cf. Isa. ch. 13 to Dan. ch. 5);  (4) the Ancient Medo-Persian Empire, 550-331 B.C. (cf. Isa. ch. 41 to Mal. ch. 4);  (5) the Ancient Grecian Empire, 336-64 B.C. (cf. Dan. chs. 2 & 7 to 8 and 10 & 11);  (6) the Ancient Roman Empire, 338 B.C. in Rome or 64 B.C. in Palestine, down to A.D. 321 (cf. Dan. chs. 7 & 9 & 11 to 12; Mt. chs. 24; Rev. chs. 1 & 12:13f & esp. 13:1f & 17:10's "one is [now]"); and  (7) the Papal Romish Empire, A.D. 606-???? (cf. Rev. 13:11f cf. 17:10's " and the other has not yet come": i.e., "not yet" at the time John wrote this). The seven different forms of Ancient Roman Government are: Monarchy, Consulate, Dictatorship, Decemvirate; Tribunate; Military, and Emperorship. The so-called seven "Kings" or Emperors of Pagan Rome, are very problematic. Sulla's Roman Republic fell in B.C. 70. After Pompey conquered Palestine in B.C. 63, Julius Caesar ruled first as the last consul and then as a would-be Emperor from B.C. 59-44 (cf. Dan. 11:36-42). Thereafter there was no "King" or Emperor until the emergence of Octavian as Caesar Augustus in B.C. 37 – A.D. 14 (cf. Dan. 11:41,45 & Lk. 2:1f). He was then followed by Tiberius Caesar, A.D. 14-37 (cf. Lk. 3:1); Caligula, A.D. 37-41 (cf. Acts 11:11,28); Claudius, A.D. 41-54 (cf. Acts 18:2); Caesar Nero, A.D. 54-68 (cf. Phil. 4:22 & II Tim. 4:6-8 & probably too Rev. 1:9f); Galba (A.D. 68-69); Otho (Jan. to Apr. 69 A.D.); Vitellius (Apr. to late 69 A.D.); Vespasian, late 69-79 A.D.; his son Titus, 79-81 A.D. (cf. Mt. 24:15-28); and Domitian (81-96 A.D.); etc. See the ca. 69-140 A.D. Suetonius's standard history The Twelve Caesars. If this count of seven "Kings" or Emperors of Roman begins with Julius Caesar, the seventh Roman Emperor would have been Galba. On the other hand, if one starts the count of Roman Emperors from Christ's death and resurrection and ascension, the seventh "King" or Emperor would be Vitellius. Either way, that would still harmonize with a 69 A.D. date for the Book of Revelation. Whether the seven "Kings" or "Kingdoms" or Empires or Emperors are taken to refer to the Ancient World Empires or to the first seven Emperors specifically of Rome, the seven "Kings" or "Heads" certainly seem to be viewed not contemporaneously but successively. See Rev. 13:1-3 & 17:8-11 cf. nn. 497 & 590-594. The Geneva Bible (at Rev. 13:1 cf. 12:3) interprets these seven heads as representing Rome, her seven hills, and her Post-Neronian Emperors. The Dordt Dutch Bible (at Rev. 12:3 & 13:1 & 17:9f) regards the heads as seven hills and seven forms of government in or from Rome. Similarly: Bishop Thomas Newton; Priestley; the D'Oyly & Mant Bible; the Columbia Family Bible; and the Cottage Bible. B.H. Carroll regards the Heads as seven ancient Empires; the seventh as Pagan Rome; and the eighth as Papal Romanism. Even the Scofield Bible (at Rev. 12:3 and at ch. 17) regards this as "apostate Christendom headed up under the Papacy and…the Beast's confederated Empire…viz. Rome" and as "a confederate ten-Kingdom Empire covering the sphere of authority of ancient Rome." And the Holy Bible Pilgrim Edition alias the New Scofield Bible (1948) at Rev. 17:9 & 13:3 points out that "Rome the capital of the Beast's Empire is built on seven mountains" which "also picture seven Kings or seven forms of government in the Roman Empire. At the time John was writing, five of these had already come and passed away, one was ruling, and the last had not yet come…. The Roman Empire came to an end and its parts became separate Kingdoms." 497 Rev. 12:3 cf. and contrast with 13:1 & 13:11-12 & Dan. 7:7f,19-25.

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