World Wide Study Bible

Study

a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
14But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

Select a resource above

14. were given—by God's determinate appointment, not by human chances (Ac 9:11).

twoGreek, "the two wings of the great eagle." Alluding to Ex 19:4: proving that the Old Testament Church, as well as the New Testament Church, is included in "the woman." All believers are included (Isa 40:30, 31). The great eagle is the world power; in Eze 17:3, 7, Babylon and Egypt: in early Church history, Rome, whose standard was the eagle, turned by God's providence from being hostile into a protector of the Christian Church. As "wings" express remote parts of the earth, the two wings may here mean the east and west divisions of the Roman empire.

wilderness—the land of the heathen, the Gentiles: in contrast to Canaan, the pleasant and glorious land. God dwells in the glorious land; demons (the rulers of the heathen world, Re 9:20; 1Co 10:20), in the wilderness. Hence Babylon is called the desert of the sea, Isa 21:1-10 (referred to also in Re 14:8; 18:2). Heathendom, in its essential nature, being without God, is a desolate wilderness. Thus, the woman's flight into the wilderness is the passing of the kingdom of God from the Jews to be among the Gentiles (typified by Mary's flight with her child from Judea into Egypt). The eagle flight is from Egypt into the wilderness. The Egypt meant is virtually stated (Re 11:8) to be Jerusalem, which has become spiritually so by crucifying our Lord. Out of her the New Testament Church flees, as the Old Testament Church out of the literal Egypt; and as the true Church subsequently is called to flee out of Babylon (the woman become an harlot, that is, the Church become apostate) [Auberlen].

her place—the chief seat of the then world empire, Rome. The Acts of the Apostles describe the passing of the Church from Jerusalem to Rome. The Roman protection was the eagle wing which often shielded Paul, the great instrument of this transmigration, and Christianity, from Jewish opponents who stirred up the heathen mobs. By degrees the Church had "her place" more and more secure, until, under Constantine, the empire became Christian. Still, all this Church-historical period is regarded as a wilderness time, wherein the Church is in part protected, in part oppressed, by the world power, until just before the end the enmity of the world power under Satan shall break out against the Church worse than ever. As Israel was in the wilderness forty years, and had forty-two stages in her journey, so the Church for forty-two months, three and a half years or times [literally, seasons, used for years in Hellenistic Greek (Moeris, the Atticist), Greek, "kairous," Da 7:25; 12:7], or 1260 days (Re 12:6) between the overthrow of Jerusalem and the coming again of Christ, shall be a wilderness sojourner before she reaches her millennial rest (answering to Canaan of old). It is possible that, besides this Church-historical fulfilment, there may be also an ulterior and narrower fulfilment in the restoration of Israel to Palestine, Antichrist for seven times (short periods analogical to the longer ones) having power there, for the former three and a half times keeping covenant with the Jews, then breaking it in the midst of the week, and the mass of the nation fleeing by a second Exodus into the wilderness, while a remnant remains in the land exposed to a fearful persecution (the "144,000 sealed of Israel," Re 7:1-8; 14:1, standing with the Lamb, after the conflict is over, on Mount Zion: "the first-fruits" of a large company to be gathered to Him) [De Burgh]. These details are very conjectural. In Da 7:25; 12:7, the subject, as perhaps here, is the time of Israel's calamity. That seven times do not necessarily mean seven years, in which each day is a year, that is, 2520 years, appears from Nebuchadnezzar's seven times (Da 4:23), answering to Antichrist, the beast's duration.




Advertisements