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Poole on Revelation 9:12: An Interlude

Verse 12:[1] (Rev. 8:13) One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

[One woe has passed] Not with respect to fulfillment (for at that time these calamities were future), but with respect to the vision and description (Pareus). Finally that rapacity of the Zealots ceased, after five months, with the coming of Titus, as we said previously (Grotius). It is said that one woe has passed and another comes, more specifically, as they are described here, not however with respect to the event in time (Forbes); as if this woe would altogether cease before the beginning of the next (Forbes, similarly Durham), and it would not at all be contemporaneous with the former (Durham), as it is sufficiently proven from the end of the chapter, where, after the description of the sixth Trumpet (Forbes), the obstinacy and impenitence of men in the Antichristian idol-mania is declared (Forbes, similarly Durham), which was brought in under the fifth Trumpet: but this is to be understood in such a way that the Description of the first woe has passed, a typical description of the second follows: or, it denotes the priority of the beginning, inasmuch as the fifth precedes the sixth, as the cause of it (Durham). Therefore, the first woe lasts for the entire time of the second, but the second begins immediately after the manifest beginnings of the first, with God thus punishing sin with sin. Moreover, as a certain woe is not said to have come before it has grown unto a great height, or at least unto a notable degree; so when the subsequent evil will have reached to such a height that with respect to that the preceding is not to such an extent felt, then the first is said to have passed (Forbes).

[Two woes] That is, two sorts of plagues (Tirinus, similarly Lyra), of Siege and of Overthrow (Grotius).

One woe is past, etc.: One period of time is over, in which God hath plagued the world with a very great judgment; but there are two more to come, which will be equally, if not more, calamitous.

[1] Greek: ἡ οὐαὶ ἡ μία ἀπῆλθεν· ἰδού, ἔρχονται ἔτι δύο οὐαὶ μετὰ ταῦτα.

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