Commentary on the Apocalypse

Commentary on the Apocalypse

Translated by JOHN N. SUGGIT
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 228
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  • Book Info
    Commentary on the Apocalypse
    Book Description:

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    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1635-5
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    John Suggit
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. 3-16)

    Although there is still considerable doubt about the identity and date of Oecumenius, it is certain that his commentary is the first Greek commentary on the book of Revelation, which was later used by Andreas in the beginning of the seventh century and by Arethas in the tenth century.¹ It is therefore of considerable interest and importance not only for helping to establish the text of Revelation, but more importantly as exemplifying methods of interpretation which may lead readers to appreciate Oecumenius’s valiant attempt to make sense of the most difficult book of the New Testament. His efforts, and those...

      (pp. 19-34)

      All scripture is inspired by God and profitable,” a sacred text said somewhere.¹ For it was by the Spirit that all those who proclaimed to us the saving gospel—prophets, apostles, and evangelists—were given wisdom. But blessed John was certainly holier than all other preachers and more spiritual than any other spiritual person. For he was “lying on the breast”² of the Lord, and evoking through his kisses more abundant grace of the Spirit. That is why he was also called “son of thunder.”³ For he boomed out under heaven with his divine teachings. (2) So his present treatise,...

      (pp. 35-48)

      The first task of my argument and commentary is completed. My next aim must be to describe the exhortations addressed to the churches. The first enjoins him to write to the church in Ephesus as presiding over the rest of Asia, saying thus:

      2. To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: Thus says he who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: (2) “I know your works, your toil, and your patient endurance, and that you cannot bear evil men but have tested those who call themselves...

      (pp. 49-63)

      I have described in the second chapter all the prophecies that he has decreed to be sent round to the six cities, to the churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia. Now this is what must be written to Laodicea:

      2. And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation: (2) I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold. (3)...

      (pp. 64-78)

      So then when all of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth had been unable to find a way to open the scroll¹ or to look upon it, as the previous visions showed, only Christ, the Son of God, who on our account has been born like us while remaining what he was, took the scroll.

      2. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sing...

      (pp. 79-94)

      The events which the account described were shown to the blessed evangelist concerning those of the blood of Israel who had been sealed and were therefore saved, and who later also became believers. But in order that there should not be anything deficient in the Revelation, the divine oracle also shows him the countless myriads of the nations who later hastened to join the faith. These are they who are around the Lord and stand by the divine throne. (2) For since the Lord has not yet been described in the introduction to the Revelation as being present at his...

      (pp. 95-109)

      In the present chapter blessed John continues to explain to us the events after the sixth angel had blown his trumpet, all of which I have not discussed fully in a single chapter, as I saw the fifth chapter being lengthily prolonged. What other event does he write about?

      2. And I saw a mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. (2) He had in his hand a miniature open scroll. And he set his right foot...

      (pp. 110-122)

      After partly completing the vision of our universal lady, the holy ever-virgin Mary, Mother of God, he proceeds to give us another vision, saying,

      2. And another portent appeared in heaven; see, a great red serpent, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. (2) His tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them down to the earth. And the serpent stood in front of the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; (3) she brought forth a male...

      (pp. 123-139)

      After many digressions and after reverting from these starting points to previous beginnings, he came to the serious business. This was to explain to us the facts about the impious and abominable Antichrist. So it is he who is now brought into the forefront; see what he says about him:

      2. Then I saw another beast rising up from the earth; it had two horns like a lamb, and it spoke like a serpent. (2) It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and compels the earth and its inhabitants to worship the first beast, whose...

      (pp. 140-154)

      The three bowls poured out by the three angels accomplished what I have already described. We must now consider what the fourth and fifth have done.

      2. The fourth angel, he says, poured out his bowl on the sun, and his task was to scorch human beings with fire, (2) and they were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues, and they did not repent and give him glory. (3) The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was put in...

      (pp. 155-170)

      The account in the Revelation is still concerned with Rome. In describing her very great and dramatic change the account continues to dwell on it. So what does it say?

      2. And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning, (2) as they stand afar off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, Babylon, you mighty city! In one hour has your judgment come.” (3) And the merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning...

      (pp. 171-188)

      The revelation continues in the same pattern. For he says,

      2. Then I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was committed to them; and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. This is the first resurrection. (2–3) Blessed and holy is the one who has a share in...

      (pp. 189-204)

      The blessed evangelist’s account continues with the holy, heavenly Jerusalem, describing its size, measurement, decoration, and the rest of its situation. He says,

      2. And he who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and wall. (2) The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its breadth, and its height is the same; and he measured the city with his rod as twelve thousand stadia; its length and breadth and height are equal. (3) He also measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits by a man’s measure, that is,...