« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
A VOCABULARY OF SCRIPTURE SYMBOLS.
ABADDON. This name, which is primarily given to the Devil or Satan, is also appropriated, as a
symbol, to Mahomet, and the Khalifs, his successors :- “They had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name, in the Hebrew tongue, is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon," Rev. ix. 11. How appropriate the symbol is, may be seen in the following passage from Gibbon: “ The sword, says Mahomet, is the key of heaven and of hell; a drop of blood shed in the cause of God, a night spent in arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting or prayer; whosoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven ; at the day of battle his wounds shall be resplendent as vermilion, and odoriferous as musk; and the loss of his limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels, and of cherubim.”
Abomination of desolation, the Roman armies : “But when ye shall see the abomination of desola
tion, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let him that readeth understand), then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains," Mark xiii. 14, compared with Luke xxi. 20, 21 : “And when ye shall see Jerusalem 'compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh ; then let them which are in Judea, flee to the mountains.”
Adultery, apostasy, idolatry: “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel
committed adultery, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce ; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks," Jer. Üï. 8, 9. “I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem ! wilt not thou be made clean? when shall it once be ?" chap. xiii. 27; see also Ezek. xvi. 32, 33, 37, 43.; Rev. ï. 22.
Adulteress, or Harlot, an apostate church: “How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full
of judgment; righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers," Isai. i. 21. “But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas,” Matt. xii. 39. See also Jer. iii. 9. See further on Harlot.
Air, the world, the seat of Satan, or the jurisdiction of evil spirits, Eph. ii. 2; Rev. ix. 2, xvi. 17;
comp. John xii. 31. For another import of the symbol, see Headen.
Angel, a messenger, or agent, sometimes an inferior ruling power. See the Book of Revelation, passim, especially chap. xiv. 6, ix. 14: also 2 Sam. ii. 5, xi. 19, 22, 23, 25; Prov. xiii. 17, in Hebrew : and Mati. xi. 10; Mark i. 2; Luke vii. 27; James ii. 25, in Greek.
Angel of a church, the bishop or pastor, Rev. ii, 1, &c.
Ange at the altar, an ecclesiastical minister, Rev. viii. 3, 5, &c.
Angel of the bottomless pit : the same as Abaddon, which see.
The four angels bound in the great river Euphrates, represent the four dynasties or peoples of Turks,
(1) The Seljukians; (2) The Atabeks; The Kharismians ; (4) The Ottomans, in possession of the prætorian Prefecture of the East; see Gibbon, vol. x., chap. lvii. ; vol. xi., chap. lix.
The other angels mentioned in the Apocalypse are sufficiently characterized by the agencies in which they are employed.
Apollyon. See Abaddon.
Ark. As the temple represents the Christian church, it seems fitting to understand the ark of the
testimony (Rev. xi. 19) as symbolizing Christ, whose power and grace are here predicted as becoming extraordinarily manifested.
Arm, strength, power, authority, Exod. xv. 16; Ps. Ixxi. 18, xcviii. 1; Jer. xvii. 5; 1 Sam. ii. 31.
Arm, making it bare, preparing for action, or exerting great power, Isai. lii. 10.
Babylon, the Church of Rome, Rev. xiv. 8, xvi. 19, xvii. 5, xviii. 10, 21. That this is a correct
interpretation of the symbol, is evident from chap. xvii. 18, where it is said that the rooman (which is the symbol of a church] of ver. 5, there called “ Babylon the Great,” “reigned over the Kings of the earth :”—a thing which can be affirmed of no other corrupt church.
Balance, a well-known symbol of justice and equity, Job xxxi. 6; Ps. lxii. 9; Prov. xvi. 11.
Balance, a, in connexion with the other symbols of the following passage, denotes scarcity, famine,
Rev. vi. 5.
Baldness, distress, humiliation : “Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the
remnant of their valley,” Jer. xlvii. 5; comp. with Zech. ix. 5, “ Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.”
Bear. See Beast 1.
Beast (reild], a tyrannical, usurping power, Jer. xii. 9; Ezek. xxxiv. 28; Dan. vii. 3, comp. with ver
. 17, 23. The character of the power may be judged of by the nature of the beast employed as the
symbol ; thus :1. The bear is a fierce, savage, and greedy animal, and was therefore employed to represent the
Medo-Persian empire, Dan. vii. 5. 2. The leopard, being swift and ferocious, was chosen to symbolize the Macedonian or Grecian
empire, Dan. vii. 6. And it is by no means improbable, that the spotted skin of this animal might have some reference to the various nations by whose aid Alexander became the conqueror
of the world. 3. The lion is a noble and not ungenerous animal, possessed of great strength, valour, and celerity
, and, was therefore a fit representative of the Babylonian monarchy, Dan. vii. 4. In this passage he has the wings of an eagle, more fully to represent the swiftness of the conquests of Babylon, and the protection which it afforded to other nations, in addition to the extent of
its wealth and honour. 4. A beast, dreadful and terrible
, and strong exceedingly; a compound of the worst properties of the lion, the bear, and the leopard, having “great iron teeth,” tearing and rending asunder its prey, and, like a savage beast, when more than satisfied, trampling the residue under its feet, is
adopted to symbolize the Roman empire, Dan. vii. 7. 5. The beast of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, &c. (Rev.
xiii. 1), is a symbol, probably, of the seven successive divisions of the universal empire. It will be seen from ver. 2, that it was composed of the symbols of the four empires of Daniel
, above noticed. There can be little doubt that, as the seven churches symbolize the universal church, so this seven-headed beast symbolizes all the kingdoms of this world, which are subject
to “the prince of the power of the air,” the “god of this world, that ruleth in the children of disobedience." The beast-worldly splendour and earthly glory—is “worshipped by all those whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” Rev. xiii. 8.
Bed, to be cast into, tribulation, anguish, Ps. xli. 3; Rev. ii. 22,
Bind, to, to restrain, to subdue: “To bind his princes at his pleasure,” Ps. cv. 22. “ Or else how
can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man ? and then he will spoil his house,” Matt. xü. 29. See also Rev. ix. 14, xx. 2.
Birds of prey, ravaging and destroying armies : “ Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the
birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour,” Jer. xii. 9. “ Then will I leave thee upon the land, I will cast thee forth upon
open field, and will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain upon thee, and I will fill the beasts of the whole earth with thee,” Ezek. xxxii. 4. “ And thou, Son of Man, thus saith the Lord God, Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, assemble yourselves and come, gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood," chap. xxxix. 17. “ And I saw an angel standing in the sun ; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may cat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great," Rev. xix. 17, 18.
Bitter, Bitterness, affliction, wretchedness; Exod. i. 14; Jer. ix. 15; Rev. x. 10.
Black, Blackness, affliction, disaster, anguish : “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard
the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo, a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood,” Rev. vi. 5, 12. See also Isa. I. 3.
Blood, slaughter, mortality ; Ezek. xiv. 19; xxxï. 6; Rev. viii. 8; xi. 6; xvi. 3.
Book, a, or Roll, is generally employed to symbolize the order or exactitude of the divine decrees,
as they affect the church and the world : “ And when I looked, behold, a hand was sent unto me; and lo, a roll of a book was therein. And he spread it before me: and it was written within and without : and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe,” Ezek. ii. 9, 10; see also Rev. v. 1, &c. Being written within and without denotes the plenitude or fulness of its details. A sealed book denotes one the contents of which are not revealed (Dan. xii. 4; Rev. v. 1, x. 4);
and an open book is, of course, the reverse of this, i. e., a revelation of the divine purposes, Rev. v. 2, 5, comp. with ch. vi. I, &c.
Boro, a, power, strength: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts : Behold, I will break the bow of Elam,
the chief of their might,” Jer. xlix. 35. “And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel,” Hos. i. 5. “And I saw, and behold, a white horse ; and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer," Rev. vi. 2.
Brass, strength, stability : “ For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the gates of iron in
sunder,” Ps. cvii. 16. See also Isa. xlv. 2. In Dan. ii. 39, it symbolizes the kingdom of Alexander.
Bride, the, the church of Christ ; Rev. xxi. 2, 9; xxii. 17.