Spiritual Summary of REVELATION 13    previous  -  next  -  text  -  details  -  Revelation  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

In this chapter the dragon continues to be treated of, and the doctrine and faith which is meant by it is described; what its quality is with the laity, and afterwards what its quality is with the clergy: by "the beast coming up out of the sea," that doctrine and faith with the laity is described (verses 1-10); and by "the beast out of the earth," the same with the clergy (verses 11-17): lastly, concerning the falsification of the truth of the Word by the latter (verse 18).

Ver. 1. "And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea," signifies the laity in the churches of the Reformed, who are principled in the doctrine and faith of the dragon concerning God and salvation: "Having seven heads," signifies insanity arising from mere falsities: "And ten horns," signifies much power: "And upon his horns ten diadems," signifies the power of falsifying many truths of the Word: "And upon his heads the name of blasphemy," signifies denial of the Lord’s Divine Human, and doctrine of the church not drawn from the Word, but from self-derived intelligence.

Ver. 2. "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard," signifies a heresy destructive of the church because derived from truths of the Word falsified: "And his feet like a bear‘s," signifies full of fallacies from the literal sense of the Word read but not understood: "And his mouth as the mouth of a lion," signifies reasonings from falsities as if from truths: "And the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority," signifies that this heresy prevails and reigns in consequence of its reception by the laity.

Ver. 3. "And I saw one of his heads as if wounded to death," signifies that the doctrine of faith alone does not accord with the Word, in which works are so often enjoined: "And the stroke of his death was healed," signifies the remedy applied on this account: "And the whole earth wondered after the beast," signifies that then this doctrine and faith was gladly received.

Ver. 4. "And they adored the dragon which gave authority to the beast," signifies the acknowledgment that it is such as is laid down by the leaders and teachers, who have established its authority on the reception they have procured for it among the community at large: "And they adored the beast," signifies the acknowledgment on the part of the community, that it is holy truth: "Saying, who is like unto the beast, who is able to fight with him?" signifies the excellence of that doctrine, because it cannot be contradicted by anyone.

Ver. 5. "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies," signifies that it teaches what is evil and false: "And there was given unto him authority to work forty-two months," signifies the liberty of teaching and doing the evils and falsities of that doctrine, even to the end of that church and the beginning of the new.

Ver. 6. "And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name," signifies their sayings, which are scandals against the Essential Divinity and Divine Human of the Lord, and at the same time against every thing relating to the church derived from the Word, whereby the Lord is worshiped: "And His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven," signifies scandals against the Lord’s celestial kingdom and against heaven.

Ver. 7. "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them," signifies that they have impugned the Divine truths of the Word, and cast them down to the ground: "And there was given him authority over every tribe and tongue and nation," signifies consequent dominion over all things of the church, both as to its doctrine and as to its life.

Ver. 8. "And all that dwell on the earth shall adore him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb," signifies that all acknowledged that heretical doctrine as holy in the church, except those who believed in the Lord: "Slain from the foundation of the world," signifies the Lord‘s Divine Human not acknowledged from the first establishment of the church.

Ver. 9. "If anyone hath an ear let him hear," signifies that they should attend to this who desire to attain wisdom. Ver. 10. "If anyone shall lead into captivity he shall go into captivity," signifies that he who by means of this heretical doctrine misleads others from believing well and living well, will himself be drawn into hell by his own evils and falsities: "If anyone shall kill with the sword he must be killed with the sword," signifies that he who by means of falsities destroys the soul of another, is himself destroyed by falsities, and perishes: "Here is the patience and the faith of the saints," signifies that the man of the Lord’s New Church, by temptations from such things, is explored as to the quality of his life and faith.

Ver. 11. "And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth," signifies the clergy who are principled in the doctrine and faith of the dragon concerning God and salvation: "And he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon," signifies that what they say, teach, and write is from the Word, as though it were the Lord‘s Divine truth, and yet it is truth falsified.

Ver. 12. "And he exerciseth all the authority of the first beast before him," signifies that they confirmed these tenets, which thence derive their authority: "And he causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to adore the first beast whose stroke of his death was healed," signifies that from their being received by the community at large, it is established and confirmed that they ought to be acknowledged and held sacred in the church.

Ver. 13. "And he doeth great signs," signifies testifications that the things they teach are true, although they are false: "So that he also maketh fire to come down from heaven unto the earth before men," signifies attestations that their falsities are truths.

Ver. 14. "And he seduceth them that dwell upon the earth, on account of the signs, which were given him to do before the beast," signifies that by their testifications and attestations they lead the men of the church into errors: "Saying to them that dwell upon the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which hath the stroke of a sword and did live," signifies that they induce the men of the church to receive for doctrine, that faith is the only medium of salvation, for the reasons already mentioned. Ver. 15. "And it was given unto him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast may both speak," signifies that it was permitted them to confirm that doctrine by means of the Word, whereby it does as it were receive life when it is taught: "And cause that as many as do not adore the image of the beast should be killed," signifies that they denounce damnation against those who do not acknowledge their doctrine of faith to be the holy doctrine of the church.

Ver. 16. "And he causeth all, both the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond," signifies all in that church, whatsoever may be their condition, learning, and intelligence: "That he should give them a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads," signifies that no one is acknowledged to be a Reformed Christian unless he receives that doctrine in faith and love.

Ver. 17. "And that no one could buy or sell, if he hath not the mark or the name of the boast, or the number of his name," signifies that it is not lawful for anyone to teach from the Word, unless he acknowledges it, and swears to the belief and love thereof, or to something which amounts to the same.

Ver. 18. "Here is wisdom," signifies that it is the part of a wise man, from what had been said and explained in this chapter, to see and understand the nature of the doctrine and faith of the clergy respecting God and salvation: "He that hath intelligence let him count the number of the boast," signifies that he who is in illumination from the Lord, may know the nature and quality of the proofs they produce from the Word in confirmation of that doctrine and faith: "For it is the number of a man," signifies the quality of the Word and thence of the church: "And his number is six hundred sixty-six," signifies this quality, that all the truth of the Word is falsified by them.

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