Challoner commentary

Apocalypse / Revelation 13 : 18

Six hundred sixty-six

The numeral letters of his name shall make up this number.

Apocalypse / Revelation 14 : 8

Babylon

By Babylon may be very probably signified all the wicked world in general, which God will punish, and destroy after the short time of this mortal lifeor it may signify every great city wherein enormous sins and abominations are daily committed; and that when the measure of its iniquities is full, the punishments due to its crimes are poured on it. It may also be some city of the description in the text, that will exist, and be destroyed, as here described, towards the end of the world.

Apocalypse / Revelation 14 : 13

Die in the Lord

It is understood of the martyrs who die for the Lord.

Apocalypse / Revelation 16 : 16

Armagedon

That is, the hill of robbers.

Apocalypse / Revelation 17 : 5

A mystery

That is, a secret; because what follows of the name and title of the great harlot is to be taken in a mystical sense.

Apocalypse / Revelation 17 : 5

Babylon

Either the city of the devil in general; or, if this place be to be understood of any particular city, pagan Rome, which then and for three hundred years persecuted the church; and was the principal seat both of empire and idolatry.

Apocalypse / Revelation 17 : 8

The beast which thou sawest

This beast which supports Babylon, may signify the power of the devilwhich was and is not, being much limited by the coming of Christ, but shall again exert itself under Antichrist. The seven heads of this beast are seven mountains or empires, instruments of his tyranny; of which five were then fallen. (See chap. 13. 1, and below, ver. 10.) The beast itself is said to be the eighth, and is of the seven; because they all act under the devil, and by his instigation, so that his power is in them all, yet so as to make up, as it were, an eighth empire, distinct from them all.

Apocalypse / Revelation 17 : 12

Ten kings

Ten lesser kingdoms, enemies also of the church of Christwhich, nevertheless, shall be made instruments of the justice of God for the punishment of Babylon. Some understand this of the Goths, Vandals, Huns, and other barbarous nations, that destroyed the empire of Rome.

Apocalypse / Revelation 19 : 10

I fell down before

St. Augustine (lib. 20, contra Faust, c. 21) is of opinion, that this angel appeared in so glorious a manner, that St. John took him to be God; and therefore would have given him divine honour had not the angel stopped him, by telling him he was but his fellow servant. St. Gregory (Hom. 8, in Evang.) rather thinks that the veneration offered by St. John, was not divine honour, or indeed any other than what might lawfully be given; but was nevertheless refused by the angel, in consideration of the dignity to which our human nature had been raised, by the incarnation of the Son of God, and the dignity of St. John, an apostle, prophet, and martyr.

Apocalypse / Revelation 20 : 2

Bound him

The power of Satan has been very much limited by the passion of Christfor a thousand years; that is, for the whole time of the New Testament; but especially from the time of the destruction of Babylon or pagan Rome, till the new efforts of Gog and Magog against the church, towards the end of the world. During which time the souls of the martyrs and saints live and reign with Christ in heaven, in the first resurrection, which is that of the soul to the life of glory; as the second resurrection will be that of the body, at the day of the general judgment.

Apocalypse / Revelation 21 : 1

The first heaven and the first earth was gone

being changed, not as to their substance, but in their qualities.

Apocalypse / Revelation 21 : 17

The measure of a man,

i. e. According to the measure of men, and used by the angel. This seems to be the true meaning of these words.

Apocalypse / Revelation 22 : 10

For the time is at hand

That is, when compared to eternity, all time and temporal things vanish, and are but of short duration. As to the time when the chief predictions should come to pass, we have no certainty, as appears by the different opinions, both of the ancient fathers and late interpreters. Many think that most things set down from the 4 th chapter to the end, will not be fulfilled till a little time before the end of the world. Others are of opinion, that a great part of them, and particularly the fall of the wicked Babylon, happened at the destruction of paganism, by the destruction of heathen Rome, and its persecuting heathen emperors. Of these interpretations, see Aleazar, in his long commentary; see the learned Bossnet, bishop of Meaux, in his treatise on this Book; and P. Alleman, in his notes on the same Apocalypse, tom. 12, who in his Preface says, that this, in a great measure, may be now looked upon as the opinion followed by the learned men. In fine, others think that St. John's design was in a mystical way, by metaphors and allegories, to represent the attempts and persecutions of the wicked against the servants of God, the punishments that should in a short time fall upon Babylon, that is, upon all the wicked in generalthe eternal happiness and reward, which God had reserved for the pious inhabitants of Jerusalem, that is, for his faithful servants, after their short trials and the tribulations of this mortal life. In the mean time we meet with many profitable instructions and admonitions, which we may easily enough understandbut we have no certainty when we apply these predictions to particular eventsfor as St. Jerome takes notice, the Apocalypse has as many mysteries as words, or rather mysteries in every word. Apocalypsis Joannis tot habet Sacramenta quot verba-- parum dixi, in verbis singulis multiplices latent intelligentiae. Ep. ad Paulin, t. 4. p. 574. Edit. Benedict.

Apocalypse / Revelation 22 : 11

Let him hurt still

It is not an exhortation, or license to go on in sin; but an intimation, that how far soever the wicked may proceed, their progress shall quickly end, and then they must expect to meet with proportionable punishments.