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Friedrich Gotthold Hartwig
"the first who suggested the idea of the Apocalypse being a drama"
"The case is similar with regard to the visions of the first part till ch. xi. end, where, from ch. vi. and onward, the seven seals of the book of the future are opened; and, from ch. viii. onwards, what is shut up in the contents of the seventh seal is gradually brought to light at the trumpeting of the seven angels. These, too, are for the most part plagues which shall be poured out upon the earth, and therefore we cannot but expect them to be plagues preceding the appearing of the Lord, i.e. such as, according to the purport of the book, would appear shortly. But it is a question who is to be smitten by these plagues; and how they are related to the time of the seer. Here many interpreters are of opinion that the visions all refer to Judaism and Jerusalem; not merely such interpreters as Abauzit, Hartwig, Herder, &c., who even in the second part understand Jerusalem by Babylon, but also those who interpret them rightly of Rome, as, for example, Eichhorn. The contents of these visions are referred to events and relations which immediately preceded the destruction of Jerusalem at the time of the Jewish-Roman war, whether they be taken as prophetic indications of the same; or, with Eichhorn, as poetical representations of occurrences which the seer lived to see. The latter is decidedly false. Ch. xi. has given occasion for referring the whole to the destruction of the Jewish land, and particularly of Jerusalem. Here, undoubtedly, Jerusalem and a divine punishment to be inflicted on it are expressly mentioned. But the manner in which they are spoken of clearly shows that the Temple and city still existed at the time of the vision." (Lectures of the Apocalypse, p. 106)
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