Poole on Revelation 9:6: The Flight of Death from the Sufferers

Verse 6:[1] And in those days (Job 3:21; Is. 2:19; Jer. 8:3; Rev. 6:16) shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.


[Men shall seek (or, wish for[2] [Grotius]) death] Because of the most grievous famine (Grotius), because of the highest anxiety (Durham), or anguish (Ribera), so that they might be freed from such evils (Gagnæus). That sting, therefore, will drive them mad, etc. (Pareus).


[And they shall not find it] As in Job 3:21. No one will be willing to kill them. Cyprian,[3] To those wishing to die it was not permitted to be killed.[4] Pliny, So many times was death invoked[5] (Grotius).


[And they shall desire to die, etc.] The same thing twice, after the fashion of the Hebrews, to signify the vehemence of the desire. In the place of φεύξεται, will flee, in a manuscript it is φεύγει, flees,[6] as if in the present (Grotius).


Shall men seek death: The calamities of those days shall be so great, that men shall be weary of their lives.

[1] Greek: καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ζητήσουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι τὸν θάνατον, καὶ οὐχ εὑρήσουσιν αὐτόν· καὶ ἐπιθυμήσουσιν ἀποθανεῖν, καὶ φεύξεται ὁ θάνατος ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν. [2] Greek: ζητήσουσιν. [3] Cyprian (died 258) served as Bishop of Carthage. He is noted for his refusal to readmit into the Church those who had “lapsed” under persecution. [4]Epistle 56. [5]Natural History 7:51. [6]Φεύξεται is the reading in the majority of Byzantine manuscripts; φεύγει is favored in Codex Alexandrinus and a few Byzantine manuscripts.

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