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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 13

Section 1 Subsection 6

The Beast




A Beast," says Daubuz, "is the symbol of a tyrannical, usurping power or monarchy, that destroys its neighbors or subjects, and preys upon all about it, and persecutes the church of God?

"The four beasts in Dan. 7:3, are explained in ver. 7, of four kings or kingdoms, as the word king is interpreted, ver. 23.

"In several other places of Scripture wild beasts are the symbol of tyrannical powers; as in Ezek. 34:28, and Jer. 12:9, where the beasts of the field are explained by the Targum, of the kings of the heathen and their armies.

"Among profane authors, the comparison of cruel governors to savage beasts, is obvious. And Horace calls the Roman People a many-headed beast - Lib. 1, Ep. 1 ver. 76. And as for the Oneiro critics, wild beasts are generally the symbols of enemies, whose malice and power is to be judged of in proportion to the nature and magnitude of the wild beasts they are represented by. 'As a roaring lion and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people"' (Prov. 28:15).

Upon the principle of this proverb the beasts of the apocalypse are symbolical of wicked rulers. They are "dreadful and terrible" to the choicest of mankind; for it is written, "the beast that ascendeth out of the abyss," said the Spirit, "will make war upon my two witnesses, and will overcome them, and kill them" (Apoc. 11:7); and the same thing is affirmed of the beast of the sea in ch. 13:7, as, "and it was given unto him to make war with the Saints, and to overcome them;" but in relation to these, which he overcomes, or treads them, as the Holy City, under foot, it does not say that he kills them as he killed the witnesses. Truly, as a roaring lion and a ranging bear," have these apocalyptic beasts been to the poor saints and witnesses over whom they have tyrannized for ages.

The general description of this symbolized dominion is, that it has seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten diadems, and upon his head the Name of Blasphemy." These are few words, but they comprehend much of an interesting and important character. I shall take them in their order, and proceed to treat therefore of The Seven Heads of the Beast.




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