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



Chapter 14

Section 13.

The Bridles of the Horses


The winepress of Divine wrath is trodden "without the City." That is, the fearful judgments to be manifested will not be confined to the Ten-Streeted Babylon, which is geographically bounded by the Rhine, the Danube, and the Euphrates, the English Channel, and the Atlantic. There are extensive regions beyond, or "without," these limits, equally obnoxious to the "fierceness and wrath of Almighty God". "Without the City" there is Germany, in its largest sense, styled by Ezekiel "Magog", upon which, saith Adonai Yahweh, "I will send a fire". This Magog, or land of Gog, will include Prussia, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Russia, and Poland.  "Without the City" also are "them that dwell carelessly in the isles", among whom the fire is to be sent also. These isles will include the dorninions of Great Britain, that may not obey the proclamation in midheaven commanding obedience to the King of Israel. "Without the City" also there are Canada and its sister provinces the United States, Mexico, all South America, the Chinese Empire, Central Asia, Persia, Arabia, Abyssinia, and Egypt. All these countries, which include what Daniel styles, "the Rest of the Beasts," in ch. 7:12, the Lion, the Bear, and the Leopard, are all to be visited with "the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God;" which results in "taking away their dominion," though not in extinguishing their political existence, which continues "for a season and a time," or 1000 years. All these are "cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God," when, having destroyed the Great City of Ten Kingdoms, in its threefold dominion of the Seventh Vial, they are trodden in the judgments of the winepress "without the City"

The reader may easily conceive what an immense shedding of blood is implied by such a vintage as this. It is "the supper of the great God" prepared for the fowls of the heaven, who fill themselves with "the flesh of horses, and of them that sit upon them". The phrase "oceans of blood;" as expressive of the quantity shed in these extensive warlike operations of the Saints, or Angel of the Sickle, would hardly be an exaggeration. The blood which flows from the down-trodden armies of the nations, is represented as ascending to "the bridles of the horses for a thousand six hundred furlongs". This taken literally, would be about five feet deep, and two hundred miles long; but how broad we are left to imagine. But, as the literal is only symbolical of the real in this most ingeniously~devised prophecy, we need only inquire, what is signified by the phrase "came Out of the winepress even unto the bridles of their horses". The winepress judgments being identical with "the Supper of the Great God," which consummates the binding of the Dragon in the abyss, the terms of the one are expletive of the terms of the other. Hence, the more concise phrase, "the bridles of the horses," is interpreted by the words in ch. 19:18, "the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them" - of them that hold the bridle. Thus the word bridle comes to represent the rider of the horse. Blood does not flow from the horses only; but the fierceness of the wrath falls also upon the bridle-men, or "bridles," who govern and maneuver them in battle; it comes even unto them.

The armies within and "without the city" have large cavalry contingents, in which the kings and mighty of the nations pride themselves greatly. The governments, however, "without the city" can bring more cavalry into the field than those within it. In the constitution of the Asiatic armies it so preponderates as to be a characteristic. This is illustrated in ch. 9:16. But "a horse is a vain thing for safety; neither shall he deliver any by his great strength" (Psa. 33:17). This will be found to be true in the time of this terrible vintage. When Judah and Israel, as the Angel's Sickle, shall tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle, because Yahweh is with them, the riders on horses, the bridles, shall be ashamed (Zech. 10:5). "In that day, saith Yahweh, I will smite every horse with terror, and his rider with madness, . . . and every horse of the peoples with blindness" (ch. 12:4). "With thee, 0 Israel, I will break in pieces the horse and his rider" (Jer. 51:21): "and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother" (Hag. 2:22). What a terrible visitation will this be upon a cavalry force --- the horses all terror-stricken, and therefore wild and utterly unmanageable; rushing against and kicking each other in fury and blindness! This alone would be fearful; but the horror is increased by the multitude of mounted and dismounted bridlemen in the melee, being all smitten with madness; so that "the bridles of the horses" are useless in their hands. In this way, the fierceness and wrath of the Deity comes out even to the bridles of the horses. What is not consummated by this mutually destructive mass of infuriate flesh, Israel will be on hand to finish. As the fowls of the heaven, they will devour them; and their sword will be filled with their flesh.


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