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THE Prospectus of the following' work announced it as intended 'for popular
use' ; a description, to which, it is presumed, in a good degree, it has
well conformed. This form of speech was deemed equivalent to, ' mere English
readers.' The design was to serve hereby, the ends of those who were unable
to seek for scripture-truth at its fountain-head, or to derive directly the
light, which foreign critics have shed upon its pages. But to insure this
result, somewhat of cooperation is necessary in the reader. By the word
popular, was not meant, a work level to the lowest measure of understanding
or attainments ; a book, which might, like any English volume, be read right
onward, without interruption or delay ; read, not studied ; and in which,
every thing was found prepared to the hands of the most indolent reader.
This would certainly have been an egregious mistake. Those who cannot so far
task their patience and industry, as to seek out and compare the scripture
references with which this work abounds, will find it, not an unprofitable
purchase, perhaps, wholly ; but certainly, abridged of half its value.
There is no fondness, it is hoped, manifest in the present work, for
far-fetched or figurative interpretations. Where the literal or popular
sense has been discarded, it has been not from vanity, but from conviction.
There are few instances (as it is pleasant, in review, to see) of such
explications, to which the above disadvantage (ifit can be so called) is not
compensated by the respectable patrons, which are subjoined. There are few,
which, so far as authorities can go, have not as good a title to adoption,
as their opposiles ; or, to command respect, where they fail to secure
assent. Those eminent lights of biblical learning, in the early period of
the Reformation, who were critics of no party, and whose names give place to
none, are found repeatedly on the side of what is, in our day, the obnoxious
They were (by general admission], the obsequious imitators of Beza in their
own work, whose single authority sometimes outweighed in the scale, that of
the learned world beside ; and engrafted on the stock of his doctrinal
prejudices, which they partook, local and temporary ones of their own. In
connexion with the charge of igtiorance, it is well to add the remark of a
biblical orthodox friend, (than whom no one has for years been more
assiduously occupied in these studies), That the authors of our version
seem often not to have looked into their grammar or lexicon, and (in despite
of the professipns of their title-page), to be little else than the
Translators from Translators. Even where they appear to be exempt from this
censure, praise is not to be inferred, as a necessary consequence. The
leading, characteristic fault (if any such) of this version, is its
servility to the letter of the Greek. Doubtless, there is an opposite error;
and into this, Wakefield not unfrequently falls. But the process of our Trs.
would seem literally to have been, (let not this he thought caricature)
duly to seek out, in the lexicon,each word of the original, and to place,
after the manner of the type, the first meanings there found, side by side,
till the sentence was complete. What result the aggregate might show, as to
construction or sense, this they left to those who came after them, as
being no part of their province. That variety of meanings, which the most
esteemed philologists and critics now sanction, as deducible from the same
word, was clearly very foreign from their thoughts ; and perhaps (in their
reverence for God's word) they might deem all exercise of the judgment on
the literal result from a Greek passage, criminal ; even so much as was
necessary to shape it into propriety and sense.*
Scattered parts there may be, which do not depend upon the general theory,
assumed ; hut these are too few, to make it worth while to give to the whole
book, the same distinct and regular notice, as to the other books of the N.
T. It may be remarked further, that in the view of many respectable writers,
the Revelation (or, Apocalypse) is a series of yet unaccomplished prophecies
; a good reason surely, if this view be probable, for leaving ils solution
to time. Those readers, whose curiosity prompts them to know more of this
remarkable production, are referred to the works of Eichhorn, Newton,
Lowrnan, Croly, and Woodhouse.
Matthew 8:"32. They went into the herd of swine : " not into the bodies of the animals, for how with the natural sight could demons be seen to enter thus ? But the sense is this : these raving men rushed down the fields upon the swine, and drove them headlong into the sea. What the maniacs said and did, is ascribed indiscriminately to them or the supposed demons." Rosenmuller. Dr. Lardner favours also this view. The objection to it, which is most insisted upon, is, that it was impossible for two men, however fierce, to put so vast a herd of swine as two thousand into motion in an instant, and to cause them all to rush with violence down a precipice into the sea ; swine, contrary to the nature of most other animals, running different ways, when they are driven : further, that it was next to impossible, that these two men should overcome all those who tended the swine ; especially, as in order to compassthe herd, they must have separated from each other; and in fine, that had they under the influence of their disorder, driven the swine into the sea, it is strange that they did not follow them there.
The solution of Farmer, who exhibits these objections, supposes the madness with which the men wereaffected, to be transferred to the swine. His remarks are worthy of being given at length. " Possession and madness were supposed to bear to each other the relation of cause and effect, and accordingly to commence and cease together. When demons were supposed to enter any creature, he immediately grew mad ; whenthey departed, this disorder was removed. When therefore, it is said in the case under consideration, that the demons went out of the madmen, and entered the swine ; the evangelists, their language being interpreted agreeably to the popular opinion on which it is founded, must mean, that the madmen in consequence of the departureof the demons, were cured, and restored to their right mind ; and that the swine in consequence of the demons entering them, were infected with rage and madness ;the cure of the former, and the madness of thelatter, being the very ground on which it was concluded that the demons had quitted one and taken possession of the other. It is imported too in this, that the men were cured before the swine were disordered, otherwise the demons would not be spoken of, as passing out of the former into the latter." (pp. 14,15)
Matthew 10 "23. Till the Son of man be come : Le Clerc supposes that this coming, in the present instance, can only well be referred to the destruction of the Jewish state and of Jerusalem ; and so also Whitby. Grotius would understand it of the full effusion of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost ; while Priestley, less naturally and probably than either, applies it to Christ's second coming, to raise the dead and judge the world. For this explication, he assigns no reasons." (p. 18)
Matthew 10:"32. Either in this age or that which is to come : Wakefield's Tr. He adds, " though the Christian be a dispensation of mercy, this sin shall no more be forgiven by the law of the gospel, than it is by the law of Moses, under which the punishment was death. (Levit. xxiv. 16)." By others, these phrases are considered as an expressive mode of affirming that it can never be forgiven ; as Kuinoel and Whitby." (p. 21)
Matthew 12:"45. When the unclean spirit &c. : Priestley thinks "that by this parable, our Lord describes changes in the state of the Jewish nation ; which, greatly corrupted before the Babylonish captivity, had been reformed by calamity, but afterwards sunk into greater depravity than ever, for which they were doomed to severer judgments, and of longer continuance." (p. 21)
Matthew 16: "28. Coming to his kingdom : so Wakefield. " Or, coming to reign, meaning probably till they shall see the Christian religion established in the world." Mss. Notes. See Note on Ch. x. 7- This coming of Christ, however, is very variously understood. Hammond refers it to the great destruction of Jerusalem (as in Matt. xxiv. 3) ; Whitby, to the last day, from the similarity of the language used, to that of Matt. xxv. 31; 2 Thes. i. 7 ; Matt. xiii. 41. Grotius supposes it to signify the first manifestation of Christ's power, by his resurrection, ascension, and sending the Holy Spirit, which our Lord declares would speedily take place. It is the common opinion of critics, that in the minds of the disciples, the destruction of the Jewish state and the final judgment were frequently conjoined, from the near resemblance in the language used by our Saviour, in respect to both. " (p. 28)
21:"18 Let no fruit grow on thee: " This
was probably a fig- tree on the public road, and therefore no individual
property ; and as with the prophets in the O. T., it was usual to teach by
actions as well as by words, so our Saviour, who often chose to express
himself by parables and symbols, took this opportunity to show in the case
of a fig-tree, what fate the Jewish nation in general, who had been
unfruitful under such cultivation, had to expect." Priestley." (p. 39)
3. What shall be the sign of thy coming:
"Our Lord here commences that most remarkable prophecy concerning the utter
demolition of the temple and the dispersion of the Jews, as to be
accomplished in that generation, when there was far from being any
appearance of such an event. The Jews were then at peace with the Romans,
with whom they could have no prospect of successfully contending ; or if
they should have revolted and been subdued, there was no example in all the
Roman conquests of so utter a devastation as that predicted. It is
remarkable that almost every country flourished under the Roman government
more than they had done under their own ; so that it was in general a
blessing to the world. Least of all was it probable that any conqueror would
wish to destroy so fine a building as the temple. And history assures
us, that Titus, the Roman general, did use his utmost efforts, but in vain,
to preserve it." Priestley.
24:"5. Shall come in my name : C.
V. or, will assume my character : Campbell's Tr. He adds, " that to come in
Saying, I am Christ: Theudas, Simon Magus, and others mentioned in the Acts or by Josephus, are supposed to be here alluded to. The last historian mentions, " that the time of the advent of their King Messiah prevailed with many to set up for kings." Some are specified by name. (pp. 48)
6. Shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars: " There were great convulsions in the Roman Empire previous to the revolt of the Jews. But the reference more probably is to insurrections in Palestine." Priestley. Kenrick, who accords with the above, mentions, that when the Emperor Caligula 'ordered his statue to be placed in the temple of Jerusalem, six years after the death of Christ, the Jews furiously resisted it, and the command to carry it into effect, created so strong an expectation of hostilities, that the inhabitants left their lands uncultivated. The seasonable death of the Emperor prevented matters from coming to extremity." (pp. 48)
24:"7. There shall be famines and
earthquakes in divers places : See the prophecy of Agabus, Acts xi. 28.
24:"8. The beginnings of sorrows :
" the first calamities of the Jews under Caligula and Claudius, were not
24:"12. The love of many shall wax cold : C. V. Wakefield supplies alter many of my disciples." (pp. 49)
14. Shall be preached in all the world : " That is, in all the Roman empire." Priestley ; and so Kenrick. " The original word does not by any means denote the whole inhabited globe, but sometimes the Roman empire (as Luke ii. 1), and sometimes a large part of that empire, and primarily, Judea (as Acts xi. 28)." Ros. This limitation of the sense is required too by the obvious truth of history ; and thus the language of Paul is to be understood, (Rom. i. 8, x. 13 ; Col. i. 6, 23)." (p. 49)
15. The abomination of desolation : C. V. or, the abomination which desolateth, according to our common idiom, as Campbell observes. On the Roman ensigns which are, thus denoted, were sculptured the images of the Gods and the Caesars, which as they were objects of adoration to the soldiers, were detestable in the eyes of the Jews. Comp. Dan. ix. 27; Luke xxi. 20, where the same terms are employed. Thus Tertullian, Grotius, and most critics. In the holy place : " Not in the temple ; for that could not happen by the presence of armies, till the immediate destruction of it ; but in the circuit ofthe holy city." Grotius and Whitby. Campbell renders, on holy ground. (Whoso readeth &c. : Campbell gives this parenthesis, as an insertion of Matthew, who wrote about the time when these things began to be realized and wished to quicken the attention of the reader to this prophecy, (Reader, attend) So also Kenrick and Priestley consider it." (p. 49)
24:"17- Let him which is upon the
house-top: "The houses in Judea were flat roofed, and the roof used for
walking and retirement. Some persons think that ' the sparrow on the
house-top ' in the Psalms, alludes to this solitary exercise." Hammond."
20. "That your flight be not in the winter, nor on the Sabbath-day : C. V. Be not in rainy weather, nor on a sabbatical year : Wakefield's Tr. Josephus, he thinks, represents that event as happening on a sabbatical year. Hammond accords with this translation. Assuming the C. V. as correct, the first difficulty (that from the winter) arose from the impassable roads, the shortness of the days, and the severity of the weather ; the last, from the superstitious regard of the Jews for the Sabbath-day ; the allowed journey on which, did not exceed two miles. So Grotius, Kenrick, and others." (p. 50)
"21. As was not from the beginning of
the world to this time &c. : " This is an hyperbolical expression to
denote any thing extreme, rather than strictly importing that no future
calamity should compare with it. Similar force of language is found, Joel
ii. 2 ; Exod. x, 14." Whitby. " This is best restricted to the history of
that people; among whom these
"22. But for the elect's sake: By the elect here may be meant either the Jewish nation styled so commonly, God's chosen people (Isa. xlv. 4), for whose sake those calamitous days were brought to a close, that so a remnant might be left to fulfil the future purposes of God's providence : or, on the other hand, the term may refer to the christians, as Le Clerc, and Whitby suppose, who are thus designated in the N. T. as the Jews were in the O. T. In this last sense the word seems to be used a little below, v. 24.
Those days shall be shortend; " The Sicarii, or bands of assassins, and afterwards the Zealots, committed such devastations that Vespasian hastened the preparations of the siege to save the remnant of the people." Grotius." (p. 51)
24:28. "Wheresoever the carcase is &c. : i. e. " the Roman armies will detect and subdue all opposition, as easy as the eagle finds and seizes its prey. Here may also be another allusion to the figure of eagles in the Roman standards." Priestley." (pp. 50-51)
29. Shall the sun be darkened and the moon &c. : By these expressive images, the prophets were wont to depict the subversion of cities and states, as well as of the Jewish state, civil and ecclesiastical. See Isa. xiii. 10, xxiv. 23. So Ezekiel of the destruction of Egypt. Joy and prosperity are prefigured, on the other hand, by an increase of light in the sun and moon (Isa. xxx. 26). The origin of this use of language is obvious enough ; for as the sun and moon are the highest sources of physical benefit to mankind, the darkness of these luminaries is a fit emblem of any signal calamity. Kenrick, Le Clerc &c" (p. 51)
30. The sign of the son of man who is in heaven : That is, the evidences that he is in heaven, or in his exalted state of glory and power ; such as are these signal retributions on his enemies. So Hammond, and Le Clerc. Both these writers however, suppose with Priestly, that vvs. 29, 30, 31, in a sublimer and figurative sense, relate to the final advent.
Then shall all the tribes of the earth : C. V. or, of the land, i. e. of Judea : Campbell. So Wakefield, Kenrick, and Le Clerc." (p. 52)
34. "This generation shall not pass : Kenrick, with others, considers this text as decisive evidence that the preceding prophecy, in its literal application solely referred to the destruction of Jerusalem." (p. 52)
36,37 "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also &c. : " That is, there will be the same security and unconcern about the coming of the Son of man among the Jews, as there was in the antideluvian world about the deluge." Keurick. " (p. 52)
Matthew 26: "64. The Son of man sitting
on the right hand of power : This language' very nearly corresponds to
that, Ch. xxiv.30, and like that, describes the approaching doom of
Jerusalem." (p. 56)
Luke 17:22. "One of the days of the Son of man: Hammond applies this to the Pharisees, in the destruction of Jerusalem, as wishing for one of the opportunities of mercy they now rejected. Le Clerc, taking the phrase in this last sense, contrasts it however with the display of visible power and splendor, just alluded to; and in their anxiety to witness and enjoy which, they did not value the other." (p. 123)
Luke 17:26, 27. As it was in the days of Noah : See Notes on Matt. xxiv. 36, 38. 31. Which shall be upon the house top : See Notes on Matt. xxiv. 17, 18. 34-36. The one shall be taken and the other left : " That is, meaning a signal interposition for the preservation of the christians, at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem." Pearce." (p. 123)
Luke 23:31. "If they do these things in a green tree, &c. : " This was a Hebrew proverb, in which the worthy and the pious answered to the green flourishing tree ; and corrupt men to the dry. See Ezek. xvii. 24 ; Ps. i. 3. The sense, therefore, is, if I, an innocent man, encounter such indignities and cruelties, with how much heavier evils' will those who are reprobate, as the Jews, be visited." Kuinoel ; and also, Hammond and Priestley. Wakefield applies the two states of the tree, to the Jewish nation. " If there be such lamentation now, while your condition is green and flourishing, what will it be when it withers, and is brought to ruin." With this, the general notion of Le Clerc coincides, '' The condition of the Jews is bad at present ; what will it be, when they take up arms." (p. 134)
John 12: 31. "Now is the judgment of this world:
C. V., or, must this world be judged: Campbell, i. e. the time is near when
the unbelieving Jews will incur punishment." Imp. V., and Pearce. Newcome
also cites, to show that the world is often used of the Jewish state and
dispensation in Gal. iv. 3 ; Eph. ii. 2 ; Col. ii. 8, 20. See Ns. on Luke
ii. 2 ; Matt. xxiv. 14, 30.
"John 16:9-11. He will convince the world, i. e. numbers of the Jews ; making them to see, as they did not before, their sin in rejecting me. He will make my righteousness or innocence clearly to appear, through these miraculous powers, the effusion of which follows my ascension. He will cause it to be owned, that there is a just judge of the world, who will punish those who oppose his designs ; exemplified in the ruin of the Jewish state, for their crime, in my crucifixion. So, Kenrick, Priestley, Pearce and others." (p. 207)
John 21:22, 23. "Tarry till I come : " By which coming of Christ, is clearly meant, the destruction of Jerusalem. (See N. on Matt. xxiv. 3.) This event took place A. D. 70, and John survived it about thirty years." Hammond ; and so, Lightfoot, Le Clerc, Kenrick, &c. Many of the early Christians understood by Christ's coming, the final judgment ; and from this error, derived another ; viz. that of supposing, most strangely, that John was to live till this event." (p. 220)
Acts 3:19 "Times of refreshing shall come: "These are thought to refer to the ease and security which the Jewish converts to the faith of J. would enjoy, when the persecution of their countrymen was checked by the destruction of the Jewish state and city." Kenrick ; and so, Hammond. Comp. Luke xxi. 28. Whitby, with the ancients, inclines to refer it to the second advent of J., and to the rest of heaven, which would follow, 2 Thess. i. 6-8. Ros. says, " that it may be applied not only to this, but to spiritual blessings of all sorts, enjoyed by christians in this or a future life."
Acts 3:21. "Times of restitution of all things : "C. V. or, of the completion of all things, which God had spoken, &c. : Kenrick ; " i. e. in the subversion of the Jewish city and polity. The phrase coming of Christ, is, in the N. T., applied not only to his personal appearance, but to any special display of divine power in his favor, or on his account ; and eminently, to this event." See N's. on Matt. xxiv. Pearce also considers this phrase, and that just noticed, (vs. 19,) to mean the same thing ; though what this is, he does not very precisely define. Newcome's comment, which is very similar to that of P., seems to give the sense of both, " when all things shall be disposed, ordered, settled in a perfect state ; from their present imperfect one." Priestley and Whitby, on the other hand, apply this to the general resurrection, or the end of time. Since the world began: or, from the beginning : or, the most ancient times : Ros., VVakefield, Kenrick. See N's. on Luke i. 70 ; Matt. xxiv. 3." (pp. 227, 228)
Acts 6:14. "Shall destroy this place, &c. : " He had probably spoken of the destruction of the temple ; which J. had foretold to his disciples ; involving with it, the cessation of the ceremonial law." Pearce." (p. 223)
Romans 13:11. Now is our salvation nearer, &c. : " i. e. the second coming of J., to raise the dead, and reward the just; which the primitive Chs., and perhaps the Aps. themselves, expected to take place in a very few years, and before the generation then living, became extinct." Grotius. Locke. Taylor repels this explanation, * and remarks, "that Paul had no such belief, is almost put beyond dispute, from 2 Thess. ii. 1. He there rectifies the mistake of the Thessalonians, who had been led by his former Ep. (v. 2-4) into the same error with Mr. Locke. Those expressions which represent our L.'s coming as at hand, as drawing nigh, &c., are otherwise to be interpreted, viz. This coming coincides, to each man, with the time of his death : for then certainly, our Cn. course of duties, sufferings, watchings, &c. ends." Hammond and Whitby understand this salvation to mean, deliverance from the persecution of hostile Jews, by the fall of Jerusalem. McKnight's comment is less natural than any : " We ought the rather, to lay aside all indolence in the discharge of Cn. duty, as the G. is so much better understood by us than at first."
"Romans 16:20. Shall bruise Satan : " i. e. bad man ; the persecuting Jews and Judaizers being here meant." Newcome. So, Whitby. Grotius, &c. &c., who add, " that the bruising under their feet, must then designate the fall of Jerusalem and the entire dispersion of the Jews ; this Ep. being written within eight years of the breaking out of the Jewish war." (Annotation, p. 328)
I Corinthians 2:6. "Howebeit, we speak wisdom, &c. : " Howbeit, that which we preach is wisdom, and known to be so, among those that are thoroughly instructed in the Cn. religion." Locke's par. Of this world: or, of this age: Locke. Pearce. Whitby. L. observes, " that this phrase seems to him, to signify commonly, if nnt always, in the N. T., that state which men, whether Jews or Gentiles, were in during the Mosaic economy, as contra-distinguished to the G. economy or state, which is commonly called the world [age] to come that come to nought : i. e. who are vanishing. The Jewish rulers (comp. vs. 8) and their very constitution itself, were upon the poinT of being abolished and swept away." Locke's par." (p. 331)
Phil. 4:5. The Lord is at hand: "Coming for the subversion of Jerusalem, and your deliverance from persecution. See 1 Pet. iv. 7 ; James iv. 9." Whitby, Harwood, &c. Grotius refers it, however, to " the final coming of our S., to judge the world ; believed by them to be just at hand.'' See N., Rom. xiii. 11. (p. 446)
II Thess. 2: "A falling away first : i.e. a great defection or aposta- cy. Benson, Priestley, Harwood, &c., with Bp. Newton, Bp. Kurd, and the majority of protestant critics, apply this noted passage to the rise and power of the Romish church, which was a monstrous defection from pure Ctny. " Man of sin and man of perdition are Hebraisms," says Benson, " to denote an eminently notorious and wicked man, who shall perish with a great and signal destruction.' " * The Papists seek to evade this application of the passage by urging, that the epithets being in the singular number, only one person can be meant by them. This, however, is easily disproved from the scripture-use in many other examples ; as the adversary, the deceiver, the antichrist, &c. ; terms which describe a number, and therefore may here denote a spiritual tyranny exercised by a succession of men. Thus, Benson and McKnight. Eminent critics there are, however, who resolve and apply this prophecy wholly otherwise : some of them, curiously enough. Hammond takes Gnosticism (see marg.N., page 269) to be the grand 'apostacy,' and Simon Magus, the ' man of sin' ; Grotius refers the latter term to Caligula, explaining the ' apostacy,' of the wickedness and impiety of his reign ; and Wetstein found a key to it, in another point of the Roman history. Lastly, Le Clerc, Whitby, and Ros. refer ' the day of the Lord' to the destruction of Jerusalem ; the ' apostacy' to the revolt of the Jews; the 'man of sin' to the false prophets and Messiahs who urged them on to revolt, and to the zealots in particular (see N., Luke vi. 15). He who ' restrained the apostacy' may have been the emperor Claudius, during whose reign, the Jews remained quiet." (p. 466)
James 5:3. "Ye have heaped treasure : The Syriac Tr., which Wakefield follows, connects as it were fire with this sentence, Ye have laid up treasures to be as fire unto you, in the last day 1st ; Whitby, and McKnight render, Ye have treasured up (viz. misery) for the last days, i. e. against the destruction of your country, which is at hand. 4. The Lord of sabaoth : or, of hosts : as most Trs. So, Rom. ix. 29. 5. In a day of slaughter : or, u As on a festival-day r, i. e. when animals were liberally sacrificed.'' Grotius. Beza. Benson. 6. The just: By which term, most critics understand Jesus Christ to be meant, of whom the same is used, Acts iii. 14, vii. 52, xxii. 14. McKnight, Wakefield, and Imp. V., tr. accordingly, The just one. Le Clerc, Benson, and Ros. interpret the just or righteous man, as a general expression ; meaning, those Cns. who were the subjects of Jewish persecution." (p. 530)
8. The coming of the Lord : Priestley is perhaps alone, in referring this to the final judgment. (See N. Rom. xiii. 11.) Ros. seems to understand it of 'the time of death' ; but interpreters, most generally, of the destruction of Jerusalem. "" (p. 530)
9. Grudge not one against another : Doddridge,
Benson, and Beza, tr. this, Groan not secretly against each other, " i. e.
as expressing hereby, a suppressed impatience." Schleusner explains it, '
to spread unfavorable reports.' Newcome trs., Grieve not for one another,
i. e. the afflictions you mutually suffer." Lest ye be condemned : i. e.
Lest God punish you. "' (p. 530)
II Peter 3:7- "The heavens and the earth reserved unto
fire : This is commonly interpreted of the consummation of all things ;
Benson refers to the Stoics and other heathen philosophers, and also to some
of the Greek and Roman poets, to show that an opinion existed among them,
that the world was to be destroyed by fire. Yet there are those, who take
this figuratively, (l.) Priestley says, " As the world was once destroyed by
a flood, there is no reason to believe that it will always retain its
present state. It may therefore be destroyed by fire, or any other means.
But the ap.'s language in this place, is probably figurative, and only
descriptive of those great changes which will precede the second coming of
Christ, and the commencement of his proper kingdom." (2) Hammond, Wetstein,
Cave, and Lightfoot, also take it figuratively ; but refer it to the
destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish state. In the prophetical language
of the Old Testament, future events are prefigured in a similar manner, by
convulsions in the whole system of nature. [These critics apply, of course,
the coming, spoken of, vs. 4, to the subversion of the Jewish state, [as
does Harwood] ; this phrase and the day of the Lord having generally in the
IS". T., as H. thinks, this application.] (Comp. Isa. xxxiv. 4; Ezek. xxxii.
7 ; Joel ii. 10, 30, 31 ; Haggai ii. 6 ; also Matt. ch. xxiv.) See Ns., Heb.
xii. 26 ; Luke xxi. 25.
I John 2:18 "The last time: " viz. of the Jewish commonwealth." Grotius and critics generally. Antichrist : This word strictly signifies, ' in place of Christ,' i. e. a false Christ. " We may infer that hereby were meant those false teachers who were foretold by our L. (Matt. xxiv.) to arise about the time of the fall of Jerusalem, and who were now gone abroad. When John mentions these teachers collectively, he calls them, Antichrist, (singular uum- ber,) as Paul in a like manner, uses the expression, The man of sin. (See N., 2 Thes. ii. 3.) But when John speaks of these teachers as individuals, he calls them, many." Benson. Doddridge takes them to have been apostates from Ctny. (See vs. 19.) (p. 550)
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