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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 13 - Verse 11

Verse 11. And I beheld another beast. Compare See Barnes "Re 13:1".

This was so distinct from the first that its characteristics could be described, though, there was, in many points, a strong resemblance between them. The relations between the two will be more fully indicated in the Notes.

Coming up out of the earth. Prof. Stuart renders this, "ascending from the land." The former was represented as rising up out of the sea, (Re 13:1;) indicating that the power was to rise from a perturbed or unsettled state of affairs—like the ocean. This, from that which was more settled and stable—as the land is more firm than the waters. It may not be necessary to carry out this image; but the natural idea as applied to the two forms of the Roman power supposed to be here referred to, would be that the former—the secular power that sustained the Papacy—rose out of the agitated state of the nations in the invasions of the Northern hordes, and the convulsions and revolutions of the falling empire of Rome; and that the latter, the spiritual power itself —represented by the beast coming up from the land—grew up under the more settled and stable order of things. It was comparatively calm in its origin, and had less the appearance of a frightful monster rising up from the agitated ocean. Compare See Barnes "Re 13:1".

 

And he had two horns like a lamb. In some respects he resembled a lamb; that is, he seemed to be a mild, gentle, inoffensive animal. It is hardly necessary to say that this is a most striking representation of the actual manner in which the power of the Papacy has always been put forth—putting on the apparent gentleness of the lamb; or laying claim to great meekness and humility, even when deposing kings, and giving away crowns, and driving thousands to the stake, or throwing them into the dungeons of the Inquisition.

And he spake as a dragon. See Barnes on "Re 12:3".

The meaning here is, that he spake in a harsh, haughty, proud, arrogant tone—as we should suppose a dragon would if he had the power of utterance. The general sense is, that while this "beast" had, in one respect—in its resemblance to a lamb—the appearance of great gentleness, meekness, and kindness, it had, in another respect, a haughty, imperious, and arrogant spirit. How appropriate this is, as a symbol, to represent the Papacy, considered as a spiritual power, it is unnecessary to say. It will be admitted, whatever may be thought of the design of this symbol, that if it was in fact intended to refer to the Papacy, a more appropriate one could not have been chosen.

{d} "another beast" Re 11:7

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