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Poole on Revelation 6:7: The Fourth Seal, Part 1

Verse 7:[1] And when he had opened the fourth seal, (Rev. 4:7) I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

[Of the fourth living Creature] That is, of the Eagle (Menochius, similarly Ribera, Pareus, Piscator, Menochius, Cluverus), Revelation 4:7 (Menochius), which is keen-sighted (Pareus, Ribera, Cluverus), and is making for the heights (Cluverus), and thence swooping down for prey (Ribera), with great swiftness (Pareus, thus Cluverus). It signifies, either, 1. that these calamities are coming from above (Pareus): or, 2. what virtues would be especially necessary at that time (Durham, similarly Cluverus), but also common in the Ministers of the Gospel; namely, learning and insight (Durham), and flight straight unto the heavenlies (Cluverus, similarly Durham). The station of this living Creature [in the camps of Israel] was on the North: by which it is demonstrated that the commencement of the Seal is to be derived from an Emperor rising there, that is, Maximinus, reared up as a Thracian of the North (Mede’s Works 551). Others: I think that this is James, called the brother of the Lord,[2] who predicts diseases, James 1:10, 11, even indeed to rich men, whom the costliness of provisions injures less (Grotius).


The fourth beast:The beast mentioned Revelation 4:7, that had the face of a flying eagle, inviteth John to attend to the opening of the fourth seal, that is, the revelation of the counsels of God, as to what should happen to the church (within the Roman empire) in the fourth period, which is conceived to have begun with Maximinus, about the year 237, and to have ended with the reign of Dioclesian, AD 294.

[1] Greek: Καὶ ὅτε ἤνοιξε τὴν σφραγῖδα τὴν τετάρτην, ἤκουσα φωνὴν τοῦ τετάρτου ζώου λέγουσαν, Ἔρχου καὶ βλέπε. [2] Galatians 1:19.

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