Hear The Thunder – See The Lightning Striking? Part 2

Fill up your lamp with lots of oil. Be ready at all times for when it goes dark, you will need your lamp full!

In part 1 we began our look at the Geneva Bible Commentary of the scriptures and the added history that great work entailed of their times. In part 2 we continue with the commentary from the Geneva Bible beginning with their views on the Beast in Revelation Chapter 13 and other selected chapters.  As stated in Part 1, whether you agree or disagree with the commentary, I found it revealing as to the events the translators laid out and their viewpoints on the succession of what has unfolded in the times from the days of the Apostles up unto their writing.

The history that is shared is valuable to our understanding of what had happened in the past as today we have so many false tales of how things were and so many things have either been hidden from us or skewed.

The Geneva Bible is regaining its prominence among Christians for both being a valuable record of history and of the scriptures. We who cherish the truth in the word of God and seek understanding of what passages mean are grateful to each brave soul who risked their life, many being martyred for their work, to bring the original manuscripts of the apostles to the world. That task was divine, and not for the faint of heart. Their work is cherished and blessed and rings out as a testimony among God’s most faithful and noble servants giving their lives to bring this and future generations the most precious Word of God, the same as the apostles and first followers of the way gave theirs.

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Revelation 13 Verse 1

13:1 {23} And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and {1} saw a beast rise up {2} out of the sea, having seven heads and {3} ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, {4} and upon his heads {5} the name of blasphemy. (23) That is, as a mighty tempest he poured out on the whole world (whose prince he is) to raise the floods and provoke the nations, that they might with their furious bellows toss up and down, driven here and there, and finally destroy the Church of Christ with its holy members. But the providence of God resisted his attempt, that he might save the Church of the Gentiles, yet tender and green. The rest of this story of the dragon is excellently presented by the apostle John later in Revelation 20:1-15 . For here the dragon endeavouring to do wickedness, was by God cast into prison.

(1) The apostle having declared the forming of the Christian Church, and the state of the Church from which ours takes her beginning, now goes to the story of the progress of it, as is shown in the beginning of the former chapter. This history of the progress of the Church and the battles of it, is recorded in this chapter, but distinctly in two parts, one is of the civil Roman Empire, Revelation 13:1-10 . Another of the ecclesiastic or prophetic body, there to the end of the chapter. In the first part these things are shown: First the state of the Empire, in Revelation 13:1-4 then the acts of it in Revelation 13:5-7 after the effect: which is exceedingly great glory Revelation 13:8 . Last of all is commended the use: and the instruction of the godly against the evils that shall come from the same in Revelation 13:9-10 . The history of the state, contains a most ample description of the beast, first entire in Revelation 13:1-2 and then restored after harm, Revelation 13:3-4 .

(2) On the sand where the devil stood practicing new tempests against the Church, in the verse next before going: at which time the Empire of Rome was endangered by domestic dissensions and was mightily tossed, having ever and again new heads, and new emperors. See Revelation 17:8

(3) Having the same instruments of power, providence, and most expert government which the dragon is said to have had, in Revelation 12:3 .

(4) We read in Revelation 12:3 that the dragon had seven crowns set upon seven heads because the thief claims to be proper lord and prince of the world, but this beast is said to have ten crowns, set on several, not heads but horns: because the beast is obligated to the dragon for all; Revelation 13:2 and does not otherwise reign, then by law of subjection given by him, namely that he employ his horns against the Church of God. The speech is taken from the ancient custom and form of dealing in such ease: by which they that were absolute kings did wear the diadem on their heads: but their vassals and such as reigned by grace from them, wore the same on their hoods: for so they might commodiously lay down their diadems when they came into the presence of their sovereigns, as also the elders are said, when they adored God which sat upon the throne, to have cast down their crowns before him in Revelation 4:10

(5) Contrary to that which God of old commanded should be written in the head piece of the high Priest, that is, “Sanctitas Jehova”, Holiness unto the Lord. The name of blasphemy imposed by the dragon, is that which Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He sits as God and boasts himself to be God” For this name of blasphemy both the Roman Emperors did then challenge to themselves, as Suetonius and Dion do report of Caigula and Domitian: and after them the popes of Rome professed the same of themselves, when they challenged to themselves sovereignty in holy things of which kind of sayings the sixth book of the Decretals, the Clementines, and the Extravagants, are very full.

For these men were not content with that which Anglicus wrote in his Poetria, (the beginning of which is “Papa stupor mundi” The pope is the wonder of the world) “Nec Deus es, nec homo, sed neuter es inter utrungue.” Thou art not God, nor art thou man, but neuter mixed of both: as the gloss witnesses on the sixth book: But they were bold to take to themselves the very name of God, and to accept it given of other: according as almost a hundred and twenty years since there was made for Sixtus the fourth, when he should first enter into Rome in his papal dignity, a Pageant of triumph, and cunningly fixed upon the gate of the city he should enter at, having written upon it this blasphemous verse: “Oraclo vocis mundi moderaris habenas, Et merito in terrs crederis esse Deus.” That is, By oracle of thine own voice, the world thou governest all, And worthily a God on earth men think and do thee call. These and six hundred the like who can impute to that modesty by which good men of old would have themselves called the servants of the servants of God? Verily either this is a name of blasphemy, or there is none at all.

Verse 2

13:2 And the beast which I saw was like {6} unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: {7} and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. (6) Swift as the leopard, easily grabbing all things, as the bear does with his foot, and tearing and devouring all things with the mouth as a lion does. (7) That is, he lent the same power to the beast to use, when he perceived that he could not escape, but must be taken by the hand of the angel, and cast into the bottomless pit; Revelation 20:1-15 yet he did abandon the same power completely from himself, but that he might use it as long as he could.

Verse 3

13:3 {8} And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. (8) This is the other place that pertains to the description of the beast of Rome: that besides that natural dignity, and breadth of the Roman Empire, which was eluded to in the two former verses, there was added this also as miraculous, that one head was wounded as it were to death, and was healed again as from heaven, in the sight of all men. This head was Nero the Emperor, in whom the race of the Caesars fell from imperial dignity, and the government of the commonwealth was translated to others: in whose hands the Empire was so cured and recovered to health, as he seemed to all so much the more deeply rooted and grounded fast, than ever before.

Hence follows those effects, which are next spoken of: First an admiration of certain power, as it were, sacred and divine, sustaining the Empire and governing it: Secondly, the obedience and submission of the whole earth, in this verse: Thirdly, the adoration of the dragon, and most wicked worshipping of devils confirmed by the Roman Emperors: Lastly, the adoration of the beast himself, who grew into so great estimation, as that both the name and worship of a God was given to him, Revelation 13:4 . Now there were two causes which brought in the minds of men this religion: the show of excellency, which brings with it reverence: and the show of power invincible, which brings fear. Who is like (say they) to the beast? Who shall be able to fight with him?

Verse 5

13:5 {9} And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him {10} to continue forty [and] two months. (9) The second part containing a history of the acts of the beast, as I said see Geneva “Revelation 13:1“. The history of them is concluded in two points: the beginning, and the manner of them. The beginning is the gift of the dragon, who put and inspired into the beast both his impiety against the godly and those that were of the household of faith, in Revelation 13:5 The manner of the acts or actions done, is of two sorts, both impious in mind, and blasphemous in speech against God, his Church and the godly in Revelation 13:6 and also most cruel and injurious in deeds, even such as were done of most raging enemies, and of most insolent and proud conquerors in Revelation 13:7

(10) Namely his actions, and manner of dealing. As concerning those two and forty months, I have spoken of them before. See Geneva “Revelation 12:6

Verse 6

13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, {11} and his tabernacle, {12} and them that dwell in heaven. (11) That is, the holy Church, the true house of the living God. (12) That is, the godly who as a group hid themselves from his cruelty. For this bloody beast charged those holy souls falsely with innumerable accusations for the name of Christ as we read in Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Arnobius, Minutius, Eusebius, Augustine and others: whose example the latter times followed most diligently, in destroying the flock of Christ: and we in our own memory have found by experience, to our incredible grief. Concerning heaven, see in Revelation 11:12.

Verse 8

13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, {13} whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (13) That is, such as are not from everlasting elected in Christ Jesus. For this is that Lamb slain; Revelation 5:6 . These words I do with Aretas, distinguish in this manner: whose names are not written from the laying of the foundation of the world, in the book of Life, of the Lamb slain. This distinction is confirmed by a similar verse in Revelation 17:8 .

Verse 9

13:9 {14} If any man have an ear, let him hear. (14) The conclusion of this speech of the first beast, consisting of two parts, an exhortation to attentive audience, in this verse: and a foretelling, which partly contains threatenings against the wicked and partly comfort for those who in patience and faith shall wait for that glorious coming of our Lord and Saviour Christ; Revelation 13:10

Verse 11

13:11 {15} And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; {16} and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. (15) The second part of the vision, concerning the ecclesiastical dominion, which in Rome succeeded that which was politic, and is in the power of the corporation of false prophets and of the forgers of false doctrine. Therefore the same beast, and the body or corporation is called a false prophet by John; Revelation 16:13Revelation 19:20 . The form of this beast is first described in this verse, then his acts in the verses following: and the whole speech is concluded in the last verse. This beast is by his breed, a son of the earth (as they say) obscurely born, and little by little creeping up out of his abject estate.

(16) That is, in show he resembled the Lamb (for what is more mild or more humble then to be the servant of the servants of God?} but indeed he played the part of the dragon, and of the wolf; Matthew 7:15 . For even Satan changes himself into an angel of light; 2 Corinthians 11:14 and what should his honest disciples and servants do?

Verse 12

13:12 {17} And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein {18} to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (17) The history of the acts of this beast contains in sum three things, hypocrisy, the witness of miracles and tyranny: of which the first is noted in this verse, the second in the three verses following: the third in the sixteenth and seventeenth verses. His hypocrisy is most full of lies, by which he abuses both the former beast and the whole world: in that though he has by his cunning, as it were by line, made of the former beast a most miserable skeleton or anatomy, usurped all his authority to himself and most impudently exercises the same in the sight and view of him: yet he carries himself so as if he honoured him with most high honour, and did truly cause him to be reverenced by all men.

(18) For to this beast of Rome, which of civil Empire is made an ecclesiastical hierarchy, are given divine honours, and divine authority so far, as he is believed to be above the scriptures, which the gloss upon the Decretals declares by this devilish verse. “Articulos solvit, synodumque facit generalem” That is, “He changes the Articles of faith, and gives authority to general Councils.” Which is spoken of the papal power. So the beast is by birth, foundation, feat, and finally substance, one: only the Pope has altered the form and manner of it, being himself the head both of that tyrannical empire, and also of the false prophets: for the empire has he taken to himself, and to it added this cunning device. Now these words, “whose deadly wound was cured” are put here for distinction sake, as also sometimes afterwards: that even at that time the godly readers of this prophecy might by this sign be brought to see the thing as present: as if it were said, that they might adore this very empire that now is, whose head we have seen in our own memory to have been cut off, and to be cured again.

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Verse 13

13:13 {19} And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,(19) The second point of the things done by the beast, is the credit of great wonders or miracles, and pertaining to the strengthening of this impiety: of which signs some were given from above, as it is said, that fire was sent down from heaven by false sorcery, in this verse. Others were shown here below in the sight of the beast, to establish idolatry, and deceive souls: which part John sets forth, beginning (as they say) at that which is last, in this manner: First, the effect is declared in these words, “He deceives the inhabitants of the earth”.

Secondly, the common manner of working, in two sorts: one of miracles, “for the signs which were given him to do in the presence of the beast”, the other of the words added to the signs, and teaching the idolatry by those signs “saying to the inhabitants of the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which etc.” Thirdly, a special manner is declared, “That it is given to him to put life into the image of the beast” and that such a type of quickening, that the same both speaks by answer to those that ask counsel of it, and also pronounces death against all those that do not obey nor worship it: all things which oftentimes by false miracles through the procurement and inspiration of the devil, have been effected and wrought in images. The histories of the papists are full of examples of such miracles, the most of them false, many also done by the devil in images, as of old in the serpent; Genesis 3:5 . By which example is confirmed, not the authority of the beast, but the truth of God and these prophecies.

Verse 14

13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an {20} image to the {21} beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (20) That is, images, by “enallage” or change of the number: for the worship of them ever since the second Council of Nicea, has been ordained in the Church by public credit and authority, contrary to the Law of God.

(21) In the Greek the word is in the Dative case, as much to say, as to the worship, honour and obeying of the beast: for by this maintenance of images, this pseudo-prophetical beast mightily profits the beast of Rome, of whom long ago he received them. Wherefore the same is hereafter fittingly called the image of the beast, for images have their beginning from the beast, and have their form or manner from the will of the beast, and have their end and use fixed in the profit and commodity of the beast.

Verse 15

13:15 {22} And he had power to give {a} life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (22) The papists books are full of these miracles of the images of the beast, (that is, which the beast ordained to establish idolatry) which miraculously speak, and give judgment, or rather astonishingly, by the fraud of the false prophets. (a) To give life, as Jannes and Jambres imitated the miracles that Moses did.

Verse 16

13:16 {23} And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive {24} a {b} mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: (23) The third point is a cruel exercise of power, as was said before, usurped over men, in this verse: and over their goods and actions, in the next verse. For he is said, to bring on all persons a cruel slavery, that as bondslaves they might serve the beast. Also he is said to exercise over all their goods and actions, an abuse of indulgences and dispensations (as they term them) among their friends and against others, to use most violent prohibitions, and to curse, even in natural and civil, private and public contracts, in which all good faith ought to have place.

(24) That is their consecrated oil, by which in the ordinance (as they call it) of confirmation, they make servants for themselves, the persons and doings of men, signing them in their forehead and hands. They make the sign left by Christ, see Revelation 7:3 and the ordinance of baptism useless. For whom Christ has joined to himself as signified by baptism this beast challenges with his greasy consecrated oil, which he does not hesitate to prefer over baptism, both in authority and value. (b) The mark of the name of the beast.

Verse 17               

13:17 And that no man might {25} buy or sell, save he that had the {26} mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (25) That is, have any trade or dealings with men, but only those who have this annointing and consecration of Clearkely shaving of the head, as they call it, read Gratian “de Consecratione, distincione tertia.c.omnes.cap spiritus, etc.” of these matters.

(26) Here the false prophets require three things, set down in the order of their greatness, a character, a name, and the number of the name. The meaning is, that man that does not have their first annointing and clerical shaving of the head: secondly holy orders, by which is communicated the name of the beast: or finally has not attained that high degree of pontifical knowledge, and of the law (as they call it) canonical, and has not made up in account and cast the number of the mysteries of it: for in these things consists the number of the name of the beast. This is excellently set forth in the next verse.

Verse 18

13:18 {27} Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the {28} number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six. (27) That is, in this number of the beast consists that popish wisdom, which to them seems the greatest of all others. In these words John expounds the saying that went before the number of the beast, what it has above his distinctive mark and his name. These things, says John, the mark and the name of the beast, is wisdom: that is, only the wise and such as have understanding, can come by that number: for they who would attain it must be knowledgeable doctors, as the words following declare.

(28) How great and of what denomination this number of the beast is by which the beast accounts his wisdom, John declares in these words, “Do you demand how great it is?” It is so great, that it occupies the whole man: he is always learning, and never comes to the knowledge of it: he must be a man in deed that does attain to it. You ask what denomination it is? Truly it is six throughout, all the parts of it in their denominations (as they term them) it stands of six by units, tens, hundreds, etc. There is not one part in the pontifical learning and order, which is not either referred to the head, the top of it, or contained in the same: so fitly do all things in this hierarchy agree with one another, and with their head.

Therefore that cruel beast Boniface the eighth, does commend by the number of six those Decretals which he perfected: in the sixth book. “Which book (he says) being to be added to five other books of the same volume of Decretals, we thought good to name Sextum the sixth: that the same volume by addition of it, containing a senary, or the number of six books (which is a number perfect) may yield a perfect form of managing all things, and perfect discipline of behaviour.” Here therefore is the number of the beast, who empowers from himself all his parts, and brings them all back to himself by his discipline in most wise and cunning manner. If any man desires more of this, let him read the gloss on that place.

I am not ignorant that other interpretations are given in this place; but I thought it my duty, with the good favour of all, and without the offence of any, to propound my opinion in this point. For this cause especially, since it seemed to me neither profitable, nor likely to be true, that the number of the beast, or the name of the beast should be taken as the common interpreters take it. This number of the beast teaches, gives out, imprints, as a public mark of those who are his, and esteems that mark above all others, as the mark of those whom he loves best. Now those other expositions seem to be far removed from this property and condition of that number: whether you respect the name Latinus, or Titan, or any other. For these the beast does not teach, nor give forth, nor imprint, but most diligently forbids to be taught, and audaciously denies: he does not approve them, but reproves them: and hates those that think so of this number, with a hatred greater then that of Vatinius.

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Revelation 16 Verse 1

16:1 And {1} I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. (1) In the former chapter was set down the preparation to the work of God: here is delivered the execution of it. In this discourse of the execution, is a general commandment, in this verse, then a particular recital in order of the execution done by every of the seven angels, in the rest of the chapter. This special execution against Antichrist and his crew does in manner agree to that which was generally done on the whole world, chapters eight and nine and belongs (if my conjecture fail me not) to the same time. Yet in here they differ from one another, that this was particularly effected on the princes and ringleaders of the wickedness of the world, the other generally against the whole world being wicked. Therefore these judgments are more grievous than those.

Verse 2

16:2 {2} And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the {3} mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image. (2) The history of the first angel, whose plague on the earth is described almost in the same words with that sixth plague of the Egyptians in Exodus 9:9 . But it does signify a spiritual vicar, and that torture or butchery of conscience seared with a hot iron, which accuses the ungodly within, and both by truth of the word (the light of which God has now so long shown forth) and by bitterness stirs up and forces out the sword of God’s wrath. (3) See Revelation 13:16

16:3 {4} And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it {a} became as the blood of a dead [man]: and every living soul died in the sea. (4) The history of the second angel, who troubles and molests the seas, that he may stir up the conscience of men sleeping in their wickedness; Revelation 8:8 . (a) It became as the blood of a dead [man]: and every living soul died in the sea.was turned into rotten and filthy blood, such as is in dead bodies.

Verse 4          

16:4 {5} And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. (5) The story of the third angel striking the rivers, in this verse, who proclaiming the justice of God, commends the same by a grave comparison of the sins of men, with the punishment of God: which is common to this place, and that which went before. Wherefore also this praising is attributed to the angel of the waters, a name common to the second and third angels, according as both of them are said to be sent against the waters, though the one of the sea, the other of the rivers, in Revelation 16:5-6.

Verse 8

16:8 {7} And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. (7) The story of the fourth angel, who throws the plague on the heavens and on the sun, of which Luke notes the effects in Lu 21:26 . The one peculiar, that it shall scorch men with heat in this verse. The other proceeding accidentally from the former, that their fury shall so much more be enraged against God in Revelation 16:9 , when yet (O wonderful mercy and patience of God) all other creatures are first stricken often and grievously by the hand of God before mankind, by whom he is provoked: as the things before declare.

Verse 10

16:10 {8} And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, (8) The story of the first angel, who strikes the kingdom of the beast with two plagues abroad the darkness, with biles and distresses most grievous, throughout his whole kingdom that by this he might wound the conscience of the wicked, and punish the perverse obstinacy of the idolaters: of which arose perturbation, and thence a furious indignation and desperate madness, raging against God and hurtful to itself.

Verse 12

16:12 {9} And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river {10} Euphrates; and {11} the water thereof was dried up, {12} that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. (9) The story of the sixth angel, divided into his act, and the event of it. The act is, that the angel cast out of his mouth the plague of a most glowing heat, in which even the greatest floods, and which most were accustomed to swell and overflow (as Euphrates) were dried up, by the counsel of God in this verse. The event is, that the madness with which the wicked are enraged that they may scorn the judgments of God, and abuse them furiously to serve their own turn, and to the executing of their own wicked outrage.

(10) The bound of the spiritual Babylon, and to the fortresses of the same Revelation 9:14 . (11) So the Church of the ungodly, and kingdom of the beast is said to be left naked, all the defenses of it in which they put their trust, being taken away from it. (12) That is, that even they who dwell further off, may with more convenience make haste to the sacrifice, which the Lord has appointed.

Verse 13

16:13 And I saw {13} three unclean spirits {14} like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the {15} dragon, and out of the mouth of the {16} beast, and out of the mouth of the {17} false prophet. (13) That is, every one of them focus their whole force, and conspired that by wonders, word and work they might bring into the same destruction all kings, princes and potentates of the world, cursedly bewitched by them by their spirits, and teachers of the vanity and impunity of the beast that committed fornication with the kings of the earth. This is a good description of our times. (14) Croaking with all importunity and continually day and night provoking and calling forth to arms, as the trumpets and furies of wars, as is declared in Revelation 16:14 . (15) That is, the devil; Revelation 12:3 (16) See Revelation 13:1 . (17) That is, of that other beast; Revelation 13:11 , for so he is called also in Revelation 19:20Revelation 20:10 .

Verse 15

16:15 {18} Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. (18) A parenthesis for admonition, in which God warns his holy servants, who rest in the expectation of Christ, always to think of his coming, and to look to themselves, that they be not shamefully made naked and circumvented of these unclean spirits, and so they be miserable unprepared at the coming of the Lord; Matthew 24:29Matthew 25:13 .

Verse 16

16:16 {19} And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue {20} Armageddon. (19) Namely the angel, who according to the commandment of God, was to do sacrifice: nonetheless that those impure spirits do the same wickedly, as servants not to God, but to the beast that has seven heads.

(20) That is, (to say nothing of other expositions) the mountain itself, or mountain places of Megiddon. Now it is certain by the Holy Scripture, that Megiddon is a city and territory in the tribe of Manasseh, bordering on Issachar and Asher, and was made famous by the lamentable overthrow of king Josias; 2 Chronicles 35:22Zechariah 12:11 . In this mountain country God says by figure or type that the kings of the people who serve the beast shall meet together; because the Gentiles did always cast that lamentable overthrow in the teeth of the Church of the Jews, to their great reproach and therefore were persuaded that that place should be most fortunate to them (as they speak) and unfortunate to the godly. But God here pronounces, that that reproach of the Church and confidence of the ungodly, shall by himself be taken away, in the same place where the nations persuaded themselves, they should mightily exult and triumph against God and his Church.

Verse 17

16:17 {21} And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the {22} air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from {23} the throne, saying, {24} It is done. (21) The story of the seventh angel to the end of the chapter, in which first is shown by sign and speech, the argument of this plague, in this verse: and then is declare the execution of it in the verses following. (22) From whence he might move the heaven above, and the earth beneath. (23) That is, from him that sits on the throne, by metonymy. (24) That is, Babylon is undone, as is shown in Revelation 16:19 and in the chapters following. For the first onset (as I might say) of this denunciation, is described in this chapter: and the last containing a perfect victory, is described in those that follow.

Verse 18

16:18 {25} And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great. (25) Now is declared the execution (as is said) in Revelation 16:17 and the things that shall last come to pass in heaven and in earth before the overthrow of the beast of Babylon: both generally in Revelation 16:18 and particularly in the cursed city, and such as have any familiarity with it, in the last verses.

Verse 19

16:19 {26} And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations {27} fell: and great {28} Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. (26) The seat or standing place of Antichrist. (27) Of all who cleave to Antichrist and fight against Christ. (28) That harlot, of whom in the next chapter following. Now this phrase “to come into remembrance” is from the Hebrew language, borrowed from men, and attributed to God.

Verse 20

16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains {29} were not {b} found. (29) That is, were seen no more, or were no more extant. A borrowed Hebraism. (b) Literally “appeared not”; Genesis 5:24

Verse 21

16:21 {30} And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a {c} talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. (30) The manner of the particular execution, most evidently testifying the wrath of God by the original and greatness of it: the event of which is the same with that which is in Revelation 9:12 and that which has been mentioned in this chapter, from the execution of the fourth angel till now, that is to say, an incorrigible pertinency of the world in their rebellion, and a heart that cannot repent; Revelation 16:9-10 . c) About the weight of a talent, and a talent was sixty pounds, that is, six hundred groats, by which is signified a marvelous and strange weight.

Verse 1

17:1 And {1} there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto {2} thee the {a} judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:(1) The state of the Church militant being declared, now follows the state of the church overcoming and getting victory, as I showed before in the beginning of the tenth chapter. This state is set forth in four chapters. As in the place before I noted, that in that history the order of time was not always exactly observed so the same is to be understood in this history, that it is distinguished according to the people of which it speaks, and that the stories of the people are observed in the time of it. For first is delivered the story of Babylon destroyed in this and the next chapter (for this Babylon out of all doubt, shall perish before the two beasts and the dragon). Secondly, is delivered the destruction of both the two beasts, chapter nineteen and lastly of the dragon, chapter eighteen. In the story of the spiritual Babylon, are distinctly set forth the state of it in this chapter, and the overthrow done from the first argument, consisting of the particular calling of the prophet (as often before) and a general proposition.

(2) That is, that damnable harlot, by a figure of speech called “hyppalage”. For John as yet had not seen her. Although another interpretation may be thought of, yet I like this better. (a) The sentence that is pronounce against this harlot.

Verse 3

17:3 {3} So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a {b} scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

(3) Henceforth is propounded the type of Babylon, and the state of it, in four verses. After, a declaration of the type, in the rest of this chapter. In the type are described two things, the beast (of whom chapter thirteen speaks), in this verse and the woman that sits on the beast in Revelation 17:4-6 . The beast in process of time has gotten somewhat more than was expressed in the former vision. First in that it is not read before that he was apparelled in scarlet, a robe imperial and of triumph. Secondly, in that this is full of names of blasphemy: the other carried the name of blasphemy only in his heads. So God teaches that this beast is much increased in impiety and injustice and does in this last age, triumph in both these more insolently and proudly then ever before. (b) A scarlet color, that is, with a red and purple garment: and surely it was not without cause the romish clergy were so much delighted with this color.

Verse 4

17:4 And {4} the woman was arrayed {5} in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having {6} a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:(4) That harlot, the spiritual Babylon, which is Rome. She is described by her attire, profession, and deeds. (5) In attire most glorious, triumphant, most rich, and most gorgeous. (6) In profession the nourisher of all, in this verse and teaching her mysteries to all, Revelation 17:5 setting forth all things most magnificently: but indeed fatally besetting miserable men with her cup, and brings upon them a deadly giddiness.

17:5 {7} And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, {8} BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (7) Deceiving with the title of religion, and public inscription of mystery: which the beast in times past did not bear. (8) An exposition: in which John declares what manner of woman this is.

Verse 6

17:6 {9} And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: {10} and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (9) In manner of deeds: She is red with blood, and sheds it most licentiously, and therefore is coloured with the blood of the saints, as on the contrary part, Christ is set forth imbued with the blood of her enemies; Isaiah 63:1 . (10) A passage to the second part of this chapter, by occasion given of John, as the words of the angel do show in the next verse.

Verse 7

17:7 {11} And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. (11) The second part or place as I said in See Geneva “Revelation 17:1“. The narration of the vision promised in the verse following. Now there is delivered first a narration of the beast and his story, to verse fourteen. After, of the harlot, to the end of the chapter.

Verse 8

17:8 {12} The beast that thou sawest {13} was, and is not; and {14} shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, {15} when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

(12) The story of the beast has a triple description of him. The first is a distinction of this beast from all that ever have been at any time: which distinction is contained in this verse: The second is a delineation or painting out of the beast by things present, by which he might even at that time be known by the godly: and this delineation is according to his heads in Revelation 17:12-14 . This beast is that empire of Rome, of which I spoke in see Geneva (15) “Revelation 13:11” according to the mutations and changes of which then had already happened, the Holy Spirit has distinguished and set out the same. The apostle distinguishes this beast from all others in these words “the beast which thou saw, was and is not.” For so I expound the words of the apostle for the evidence’s sake, as I will further declare in the notes following.

(13) The meaning is, that beast which you saw before in Revelation 13:1 and which you have now seen, was (was I say) from Julius Caesar in respect to beginning, rising up, station, glory, dominion, manner and family, from the house of Julius: and yet is not now the same, if you look to the house and family: for the dominion of this family was translated to another, after the death of Nero from that other to a third, from a third to a fourth, and so on, was varied and altered by innumerable changes. Finally, the Empire is one, as it were one beast: but exceedingly varied by kindreds, families, and persons. It was therefore (says John) in the kindred or house of Julius: and now it is not in that kindred, but translated to another.

(14) As if he should say, “Also this same that is, shall shortly not be: but shall ascend out of the depth, or out of the sea” (as was said) in Revelation 13:1 that is, shall be a new stock from among the nations without difference and shall in the same state go to into destruction, or run and perish: and so shall successively new princes or emperors come and go, arise and fall, the body of the beast remaining still, but tossed with many frequent alterations, as no man can but marvel that this beast was able to stand and hold out, in so many mutations, verily no empire that ever was tossed with so many changes, and as it were with so many tempests of the sea, ever continued so long.

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Verse 9

17:9 {16} And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The {c} seven heads {17} are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. (16) An exhortation preparing for the readers in the same argument, as that of Christ “He that hath ears to hear let him hear”. I would rather read in this passage “Let there be here a mind, etc”. So the angel passes to the second place of this description. (c) Children know what the seven hilled city is, which is so much spoken of, and where of Virgil thus reports, “And compasses seven towers in one wall”, that city it is, which when John wrote these things, had rule over the kings of the earth. It was and is not, and yet it remains to this day, but it is declining to destruction.

(17) This is the description of the beast by things present (as I said before) by which John endeavoured to describe the same, that he might be both known of the godly in that age, and be further observed and marked of posterity afterwards. This delineation has one tip, that is, his heads, but a double description or application of the type: one permanent, from the nature itself, the other changeable, by the working of men. The description permanent, is by the seven hills, in this verse, the other that flees, is from the seven kings, Revelation 17:10-11 . Here it is worthy to be observed, that one type has sometime two or more applications, as seems good to the Holy Spirit to express, either one thing by various types, or various things by one type. So I noted before of the seven spirits in see Geneva “Revelation 1:4“. Now this woman that sits on seven hills, is the city of Rome, called in times past by the Greeks, “upon a hill” i. of seven tops or crests and by Varro, “septiceps” i. of her seven heads (as here) of seven heads, and by others, “septem collis” i. standing upon seven hills.

Verse 13

17:13 {29} These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. (29) That is, by consent and agreement, that they may conspire with the beast, and depend on his call. Their story is divided into three parts, counsels, acts, and events. The counsellors some of them consist in communicating of judgments and affections: and some in communicating of power, which they are said to have given to this beast, in this verse.

Verse 14

17:14 These shall make war with the {30} Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful. (30) With Christ and his Church, as the reason following declares, and here are mentioned the facts and events which followed for Christ’s sake, and for the grace of God the Father towards those that are elected, called, and are his faithful ones in Christ.

Verse 17

17:17 {34} For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. (34) A reason rendered from the chief efficient cause, which is the providence of God, by which alone John by inversion of order affirms to have come to pass, both that the kings should execute on the harlot that which pleased God, and which he declared in the verse before: and also that by one consent and counsel, they should give their kingdom to the beast, etc. Revelation 17:13-14 for as these being blinded have before depended on the call of the beast that lifts up the harlot, so it is said, that afterward it shall come to pass, that they shall turn back, and shall fall away from her, when their hearts shall be turned into better state by the grace and mercy of God.

Verse 18

17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that {35} great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. (35) That is, Rome that great city, or only city (as Justinian calls it) the king and head of which was then the emperor, but now the pope, since the condition of the beast was changed.

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Revelation 18 Verse 1

18:1 And {1} after these things I saw another {2} angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. (1) The second passage (as I said before) see Geneva “Revelation 17:1” of the history of Babylon, is of the woeful fall and ruin of that whore of Babylon. This historical prediction concerning her, is threefold. The first a plain and simple foretelling of her ruin, in three verses Revelation 18:2-3 . The second a figurative prediction by the circumstances, from there to Revelation 18:4-20 . The third, a confirmation of the same by sign or wonder, to the end of the chapter Revelation 18:21-24 . (2) Either Christ the eternal word of God the Father (as often elsewhere) or a created angel, and one deputed to this service, but thoroughly provided with greatness of power, and with light of glory, as the ensign of power.

18:2 {3} And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. (3) The prediction of her ruin, containing both the fall of Babylon, in this verse, and the cause of it uttered by way of allegory concerning her spiritual and carnal wickedness, that is, her most great impiety and injustice, in Revelation 18:3. Her fall is first declared by the angel, and then the greatness of it is shown here, by the events when he says it shall be the seat and habitation of devils, of wild beasts, and of cursed souls, as in Isaiah 13:21 and often elsewhere.

18:4 {4} And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, {5} Come out of her, my people, that ye {6} be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (4) The second prediction, which is of the circumstances of the ruin of Babylon: of these there are two types: one going before it, as beforehand the godly are delivered, to the ninth verse Revelation 18:5-9 : the other following on her ruin, namely the lamentation of the wicked, and rejoicing of the godly, to the twentieth verse Revelation 18:10-20 . (5) Two circumstance going before the ruin, are commanded in this place: one is that the godly depart out of Babylon: as I mentioned in chapter twelve to have been done in time past, before the destruction of Jerusalem: this charge is given here and in the next verse. The other is, that every one of them occupy themselves in their own place, in executing the judgment of God, as it was commanded of the Levites in Exodus 32:27 and that they sanctify their hands to the Lord. (6) Of this commandment there are two causes: to avoid the contamination of sin and to shun the participation of those punishments that belong to it.

18:5 For her sins have {a} reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. (a) He uses a word which signifies the following of sins one after another, and rising one of another in such sort, that they grow at length to such a heap, that they come up even to heaven.

18:6 {7} Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. (7) The provocation of the godly, and the commandment of executing the judgment of God, stand on three causes which are here expressed: the unjust wickedness of the whore of Babylon, in this verse, her cursed pride opposing itself against God, which is the fountain of all evil actions, Revelation 18:7 and her most just damnation by the sentence of God, Revelation 18:8 .

18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith {b} in her heart, I sit a queen, and am {c} no widow, and shall {d} see no sorrow. (b) With herself. (c) I am full of people and mighty. (d) I shall taste of none.

18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in {e} one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong [is] the Lord God who judgeth her. (e) Shortly, and at one instant.

18:9 And {8} the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, (8) The circumstances following the fall of Babylon, or the consequences of it (as I distinguished them in) see Geneva “Revelation 18:4” are two. Namely the lamentation of the wicked to Revelation 18:5-19 and the rejoicing of the godly in Revelation 18:20 . This sorrowful lamentation, according to those that lament, has three parts: the first of which is the mourning of the kings and mighty men of the earth, Revelation 18:9-10 : The second is, the lamentation of the merchants that trade by land, to the sixteenth verse: Revelation 18:11-16 . The third is, the wailing of those that trade by sea, in Revelation 18:16-18 . In each of those the cause and manner of their mourning is described in order, according to the condition of those that mourn, with observation of that which best agrees to them.

18:11 {9} And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: (9) The lamentation of those that trade by land, as I distinguished before.

18:14 {10} And the {f} fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. (10) An apostrophe, or turning of the speech by imitation, used for more vehemence, as if those merchants, as mourners, should in passionate speech speak to Babylon, though now utterly fallen and overthrown; Isaiah 13:9 and in many other places. (f) By this is meant that season which is before the fall of the leaf, at which time fruit ripens, and the word signifies such fruits as are longed for.

18:17 {11} For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, (11) The manner of mourning used by them that trade by sea.

18:20 Rejoice over her, {12} [thou] heaven, and [ye] holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. (12) The other consequence on the ruin of Babylon, is the exultation or rejoicing of the godly in heaven and in earth as was noted in this verse.

18:21 {13} And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast [it] into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. (13) The third prediction, as I said see Geneva “Revelation 18:1” based on a sign, and the interpretation of it: the interpretation of it is in two sorts, first by a simple proposal of the thing itself, in this verse, and then by declaration of the events, in the verses following.

18:22 {14} And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft [he be], shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; (14) The events are two, and one of them opposite to the other for amplification sake. There shall be no mirth nor joy at all in Babylon, he says in this and the next verse, Revelation 18:23 but heavy and lamentable things, from the bloody slaughters of the righteous and the vengeance of God coming on it for this.

18:24 And in her was found the {15} blood of prophets, {16} and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. (15) That is shed by bloody massacres, and calling for vengeance. (16) That is, proved and found out, as if God had appointed a just inquiry concerning the impiety, unnaturalness and injustice of these men.

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Revelation 19 Verse 1

19:1 And {1} after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, {a} {2} Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

  1. This chapter has in summary two parts, one transitory or of passage to the things that follow, to the tenth verse, Revelation 19:2-10 , another historical of the victory of Christ over both the beasts, to the end of the chapter Revelation 19:11-21 , which I said was the second history of this argument, Revelation 17:1 . The transition has two places, one of praising God for the overthrow done to Babylon in Revelation 19:4 : and another likewise of praise and prophecy, for the coming of Christ to his kingdom, and his most royal marriage with his Church, thence to the tenth verse Revelation 19:5-10 . The former praise has three parts, distinguished after the ancient manner of those that sing: an invitation in Revelation 19:1-2 , a response or answer in Revelation 19:3 , and a close or joining together in harmony in Revelation 19:4 , all which I thought good of purpose to distinguish in this place, lest any man should with Porphyrius, or other like dogs, object to John, or the heavenly Church, a childish and idle repetition of speech. (a) Praise the Lord.

(2) The proposition of praise with exhortation in this verse, and the cause of it in Revelation 19:2 .

19:3 And again they said, {3} Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. (3) The song of the Antiphony or response, containing an amplification of the praise of God, from the continuous and certain testimony of his divine judgment as was done at Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19:1-38 .

19:5 {4} And a voice came out of the {5} throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. (4) The second place of praise, as I said see Geneva “Revelation 19:1” which first is commanded by God in this verse: and then is in most ample manner pronounced by the creatures, both because they see that kingdom of Christ to come, which they desire, Revelation 19:6 and also because they see the Church is called forth to be brought home to the house of her husband by holy marriage, to the fellowship of his kingdom, Revelation 19:7-8 . Therefore John is commanded to write in a book the acclamation together with a divine testimony, Revelation 19:9 . (5) Out of the temple from God as in Revelation 11:19 .

19:6 And I heard {6} as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (6) Outside the temple in heaven.

19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath {7} made herself ready. (7) Namely, to that holy marriage, both herself in person in this verse, and also provided by her spouse with marriage gifts princely and divine, is adorned and prepared in the next verse.

19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in {8} fine linen, clean and white: for the fine {9} linen is the {b} righteousness of saints. (8) As an ensign of kingly and priestly dignity, which Christ bestows on us in Revelation 1:6 . (9) This is a gift given by the husband for marriage sake, and a most choice ornament which Christ gave to us, as to his spouse. (b) Good works which are lively testimonies of faith.

19:9 {10} And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (10) Namely the angel, as it appears by the next verse.

19:10 {11} And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the {c}testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of {d} Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (11) The particular history of this verse is brought in by occasion, and as it were besides the purpose that John might make a public example of his own infirmity and of the modest sanctimony of the angel, who both renounced for himself the divine honours, and recalled all the servants of God, to the worship of him alone: as also Revelation 22:8 . (c) Who are commanded to bear witness of Jesus. (d) For Jesus is the mark that all the prophecies shoot at.

19:11 {12} And I saw {13} heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (12) The second part of this chapter (as I said in) see Geneva “Revelation 19:1” is of the victory gained by Christ against both the beasts: in which first Christ is described as one ready to fight, to the sixteenth verse Revelation 19:12-16 , then the battle is shown to begin, there to the eighteenth verse Revelation 19:17-18 , lastly is set forth the victory, to the end the chapter Revelation 19:19-21 . In this place the most excellent properties of Christ as our heavenly judge and avenger shine forth, according to his person, company, effects and names.

(13) Properties belonging to his person, that he is heavenly, judge, faithful, true, just, in this verse, knowing all things, ruling over all, to be known by no one, Revelation 19:12 , the triumpher and in essence, the Word of God, in Revelation 19:13 .

19:14 {14} And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (14) The company or retinue of Christ, holy, innumerable, heavenly, judicial, royal and pure.

Here is a link to the Geneva Bible Commentary. Revelation 1 – Geneva Study Bible – Bible Commentaries – StudyLight.org

This report is just a pinch of what is within the Geneva Bible. The Bible contains the full Bible translation, and includes side bar commentary as well as other sections with commentary on a variety of Biblical topics. There is also a glossary of additional information, to me it is like an encyclopedia of Bible meanings, references and amazing names of people, places, the Temple customs, sacred vessels, and things pertaining to those who participated in the writing of the Geneva Bible. It is definitely a good study tool. I now also understand very well why the Catholic Church and State heads were so angry at those who dared to write such things. It truly did shake up the sleeping congregation. What are some of your thoughts?

The commentary is the heart felt interpretations of the men at the time of the reformation. I wondered how they would see things had they had the rest of the history that has lapsed since they wrote their perceptions up to this day?

I imagine they would have adjusted a few things. I found their comments very interesting and still weighing them out knowing some things I believe are a bit different. I also found some answers to other question I had. As we all will look at the commentary with our own eyes and ears, let us also ask the Holy Spirit to see what we are to see and hear what we are to hear.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway for me was in the obedience and commitment these ones had to serve the Lord. That spoke loudly to me. It reminded me that in seeking truth and serving God our love grows deeper and that is what we should focus on the most in all of our lives. Being ready and doing the Lord’s work in all that we do is the easiest thing for a believer to say that they desire and are committed to. What is hard is actually doing that in this upside down world in the flesh.

We do well to take all things before the Holy Spirit and heed what the Holy Spirit shows us and go where we are led. Let no man or woman or “it” interpret for you. “It” being any whisper in your head that pops up to tempt you. Take what is taught and ask the Lord about all things concerning interpretations to see if it is true or not, or for you or not? Seek the truth in all that is placed in your path.

Remember also, God works in mysterious ways to get each person to be their best. Sometimes the fire is very hot in the refining process of becoming that gold that you are to be for the Lord. Be patient with yourself as the Lord is patient with you. He will show you everything you need to know as you are ready to see it. Just keep seeking.



By Dianne Marshall

I don't sleep I write! Author, Graphic Artist, Researcher and lover of the truth.

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