Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Revelation 6 – The Seals and The Dragon

Again lets open today’s lesson in reverse order. You can listen to Max McLean read here.

Revelation 6 begins with the opening of the seals and ends with another powerful statement of the power of God’s wrath.

Revelation 6:1  And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

Rev 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Thus begins the portion of the book that so many identify as it’s main characteristic. Yet we are not yet half way into the revelation about the dragon and the two beasts, which everybody try’s to interpret. And only a quarter of the way through the book.

Rev 12:3  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

Rev 12:4  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

We will leave that for a future discussion, though if one is curious you can gain a good historical understand through Pastor Dilday’s sermons about the seals beginning at: Sunday 05/20/2012 on Sermon Audio. He stopped teaching before chapter 12 so you will have to wait on the last half of the book until he completes it some day a few years from now.

The First Seal, Part 1

Pastor Steven Dilday | Revelation

Also check the reading starting on page 27 of E.B. Elliot

BTW It’s in a different context but I’ve noticed that the Word “Dragon” has come up the past few days in our readings so I looked up it’s usage.

We first saw it in our Psalms readings but there are multiple usages in the prophets, and a total of 34 verse in all. Here is John Gill’s commentary on just two verses. This might not be the interpretation your pastor would give today.

Psalms 44:19  Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.

Isaiah 27:1  In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Psalms 44:19

Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons,…. Where men, comparable to dragons or their poison and cruelty, dwell; particularly in Rome, and the Roman jurisdiction, both Pagan and Papal, the seat of Satan the great red dragon, and of his wretched brood and offspring, the beast, to whom he has given his power; here the saints and followers of Christ have been sorely afflicted and persecuted, and yet have held fast the name of Christ, and not denied his faith; see Rev 2:13; the wilderness is the habitation of dragons; and this is the name of the place where the church is said to be in the times of the Papacy, and where she is fed and preserved for a time, and times, and half a time, Rev 12:6;

and covered us with the shadow of death; as the former phrase denotes the cruelty of the enemies of Christ’s church and people, this their dismal afflictions and forlorn state and condition; see Psa 23:4, Isa 9:2; and may have some respect to the darkness of Popery, when it was at the height, and the church of Christ was covered with it, there being very little appearances and breakings forth of Gospel light any where. According to Arama, the “place of dragons” denotes the captivity of Egypt, which is the great dragon; and the “shadow of death”, he says, was

Isaiah 27:1

In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword,…. Meaning either the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, quick and powerful, and sharper than a twoedged sword, Eph 6:17 or else some sore judgment of God: some understand it of the Medes and Persians, by whom the Lord would destroy the Babylonish monarchy; or rather it is the great power of God, or his judiciary sentence, and the execution of it, the same with the twoedged sword, which proceeds out of the mouth of the Word of God, by which the antichristian kings and their armies will be slain, Rev 19:15,

shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent (i), even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea; by which are meant, not literally creatures so called, though the Talmud (k) interprets them of the whales, the leviathan male and female; but mystically earthly princes and potentates, for their great power and authority, their cruelty and voraciousness, their craft and cunning; so the Targum and Aben Ezra interpret them of the kings of the earth; and are to be understood either of distinct persons, or countries they rule over: some think three are pointed at, as the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Edomites, or Romans, so Jarchi; or the Greeks, Turks, and Indians, as Kimchi. The Targum is,

“he shall punish the king who is magnified as Pharaoh the first, and the king that is exalted as Sennacherib the second, and shall slay the king that is strong as the dragon (or whale) that is in the sea.”

Some are of opinion that only one person or kingdom is here meant, either the king of Egypt, compared to such a sea monster, because of the river Nile, that watered his country; see Eze 29:3 others, the king of Babylon, which city was situated by the river Euphrates, and is described as dwelling on many waters, Jer 51:13 and others the king of Tyre, which was situated in the sea; it seems most likely that all tyrannical oppressors and cruel persecutors of the church are intended, who shall be destroyed; and particularly Rome Pagan, signified by a red dragon, Rev 12:3 and Rome Papal, by a beast the dragon gave his power to, which rose out of the sea, and by another out of the earth, which spoke like a dragon, Rev 13:1 both the eastern and western antichrists may be included; the eastern antichrist, the Turk, whose dominions are large, like the waters of the sea; and the western antichrist, the whore of Rome, described as sitting on many waters, Rev 17:1 both which are comparable to serpents and dragons for their cruelty and poison; moreover, Satan, at the head of all these, called the dragon, the old serpent, and devil, must be taken into the account, who is the last enemy that will be destroyed; he will be taken and bound a thousand years, and then, being loosed, will be retaken, and cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and false prophet be, Rev 20:1. Kimchi thinks this prophecy belongs to the times of Gog and Magog.

(i) Or boom, or bar-serpent, “serpentem vectem”, V. L. and Montanus; the same, as the Bishop of Bergen thinks, with the “soeormen”, or sea snake, which often lies stretched out before a creek, like a boom, to block up the passage; and is soon bent, in a curve, in folds, and is soon again in a straight line, like a pole or beam; see his History of Norway, p. 206, 207. (k) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 74. 2.

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