2 Thessalonians 2:4
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
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(4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself.—The original continues a quasi-substantival form:—“the opposer and exalter of himself”—well-known descriptions (doubtless) of the Antichrist; several of the details are drawn directly from the description of Antiochus in Daniel 11. Being merely descriptive epithets, we are not at liberty to press the present tense, and say that the Man of Sin was already thus acting at the time St. Paul wrote. The word for “the opposer,” or “adversary,” is a pretty close rendering of the name “Satan,” and passed, in ecclesiastical Greek into a synonym for it. The acts here attributed to the Man of Sin are peculiarly Satanic. (Comp. Isaiah 14:12-14; 2Timothy 3:6.) Of course, however, we must not confound Satan himself with his human minister.

Above all that is called God.—The translation here is not quite exact. The word “above” in the original is compounded with “exalteth”; it should be, and super-exalteth, or exhalteth himself above measure (2Corinthians 12:7, where the same compound is used) against every God so called. Probably the clause “against every God” is to be taken only with “super-exalteth “; the description “who opposeth” stands absolutely: it is one characteristic of the Man of Sin to be always in opposition, and to have concord with no one. “Every God so called” includes the false gods with the true God (comp. 1Corinthians 8:5): true or false, it matters not to jealous Antichrist, who would have nothing worshipped but himself. This explains the addition of the little clause, “or that is worshipped.” Many things received religious homage from men without being called gods; and the original word (sebasma) may perhaps be designed to hint at one such worship, viz., the worship of the Augustus (Sebastos). It would be far-fetched, however, to see in this a direct prophecy of conflict between Antichrist and the Civil Power; although it must be admitted that even the word “gods” is sometimes used of secular rulers (e.g., Psalm 82:1-6; John 10:34), in which sense some take it here.

So that he as God.—The words “as God” are not part of the original text, and should be struck out. In several other points, however, our version does not bring out the profanity of the act as clearly as the Greek. Literally it would be, “so as to seat himself in the shrine of God, showing himself off that he is God.” The “himself” brings out the spontaneous arrogancy of the deed; the Man of Sin does not merely yield to servile flatterers. The “sitting” is not in the tense of habitual custom, but indicates one expressive act of taking possession. The “in” (literally, into) brings out the idea of actual intrusion; while the word for “temple” is not the general name for the whole group of buildings with their courts, but the sacred house itself: it is the word which would describe the Holy and Holy of Holies (see Matthew 23:35; Matthew 27:5; Matthew 27:51; Acts 17:4) of the Jewish temple; and probably it is the Mercy Seat that supplies the image to St. Paul’s mind (Psalm 99:1).

The temple of God.—Though the image is drawn from the Jewish temple, we may say with some confidence that St. Paul did not expect the Antichrist as a prose fact to take his seat in that edifice. Neither is the metaphor to be pressed into a mere synonym of “the Church” (1Corinthians 3:17). The words, so far need not necessarily mean that the Man of Sin will make special claims upon the Christian community as such. Rather, the whole phrase, “taking his seat in the temple of God,” is a poetical or prophetical description of usurping divine prerogatives generally: not the prerogatives of the true God alone, but whatever prerogatives have been offered to anything “called God.” Though the prophecy might be fulfilled without any symbolical act (e.g., of assuming any material throne), yet the spontaneousness (“himself ) and the openness (“showing himself”) seem so essentially parts of the prophecy as of necessity to imply that the Man of Sin will make formal claim to occupy that central seat in men’s minds and aspirations which is acknowledged to be due to God alone. The formal making of this claim seems to be identical with the apocalypse of the Man of Sin, the act by which he is manifested or revealed.

Shewing himself.—Or, thus showing himself off. It does not mean that he makes any attempt to prove that he is God; the word only carries on the pictorial representation of the Man of Sin enthroning himself upon the Mercy Seat, and by that act of session parading his pretended divinity. As has been said, the performance of a typical act is not of vital consequence to the accomplishment of the prophecy (as, e.g., Zechariah 9:9 might have been truly accomplished without the literal riding of Matthew 21:7), though there are few great movements which do not express themselves in outward typical acts; but these words show that (unless St. Paul was mistaken) an explicit claim will be made for submission, like that of creature to Creator. Even if the “Man of Sin” only signifies a tendency, not a person, yet this “exhibition of himself as God” would hardly be satisfied by a social concession, however widespread, to a general spirit of (say) fleshly luxury or atheistic intellectualism, without the claims of these ideals being eo nomine put forward and consciously admitted. But it is hard to believe that anything avowedly atheistic would be spoken of as explicitly claiming or receiving divine honours. It seems, therefore, most probable that the great Apostasy will not become avowedly atheistic, but will be an apostasy (so to speak) within the Church, and that the Man of Sin, who heads that Apostasy, will make especial claim upon the Christian Church to accord consciously the very honours which she pays to the living God.

2:1-4 If errors arise among Christians, we should set them right; and good men will be careful to suppress errors which rise from mistaking their words and actions. We have a cunning adversary, who watches to do mischief, and will promote errors, even by the words of Scripture. Whatever uncertainty we are in, or whatever mistakes may arise about the time of Christ's coming, that coming itself is certain. This has been the faith and hope of all Christians, in all ages of the church; it was the faith and hope of the Old Testament saints. All believers shall be gathered together to Christ, to be with him, and to be happy in his presence for ever. We should firmly believe the second coming of Christ; but there was danger lest the Thessalonians, being mistaken as to the time, should question the truth or certainty of the thing itself. False doctrines are like the winds that toss the water to and fro; and they unsettle the minds of men, which are as unstable as water. It is enough for us to know that our Lord will come, and will gather all his saints unto him. A reason why they should not expect the coming of Christ, as at hand, is given. There would be a general falling away first, such as would occasion the rise of antichrist, that man of sin. There have been great disputes who or what is intended by this man of sin and son of perdition. The man of sin not only practises wickedness, but also promotes and commands sin and wickedness in others; and is the son of perdition, because he is devoted to certain destruction, and is the instrument to destroy many others, both in soul and body. As God was in the temple of old, and worshipped there, and is in and with his church now; so the antichrist here mentioned, is a usurper of God's authority in the Christian church, who claims Divine honours.Who opposeth - That is, he is distinguished as an opposer of the great system which God has revealed for human salvation, and of those who would serve God in purity in the gospel of his Son. No Protestant will doubt that this has been the character of the papacy. The opposition of the general system to the gospel; the persecution of Wycliffe, of John Huss, of Jerome of Prague, of the Waldenses and the Reformers; the Inquisition, the cruelties in the reign of Mary (Queen of Scots), and the massacre of Bartholomew in France, are obvious illustrations of this.

And exalteth himself above all that is called God - That is, whether among the pagans or the Jews; above a false God, or the true God. This could be true only of one who set aside the divine laws; who undertook to legislate where God only has a right to legislate, and whose legislation was contrary to that of God. Any claim of a dominion over conscience; or any arrangement to set aside the divine laws, and to render them nugatory, would correspond with what is implied in this description. It cannot be supposed that any one would openly claim to be superior to God, but the sense must be, that the enactments and ordinances of the "man of sin" would pertain to the province in which God only can legislate, and that the ordinances made by him would be such as to render nugatory the divine laws, by appointing others in their place. No one can reasonably doubt that all that is here affirmed may be found in the claims of the Pope of Rome. The assumptions of the papacy have related to the following things:

(1) To authority above all the inferior orders of the priesthood - above all pastors, bishops, and primates.

(2) authority above all kings and emperors, "deposing some, and advancing others, obliging them to prostrate themselves before him, to kiss his toe, to hold his stirrup, to wait barefooted at his gate, treading even upon the neck, and kicking off the imperial crown with his foot" - Newton. Thus, Gregory VII made Henry IV wait barefooted at his gate. Thus, Alexander III trod upon the neck of Alexander I. Thus, Celestin kicked off the imperial crown of Henry VI. Thus, the right was claimed, and asserted, of laying nations under interdict, of deposing kings, and of absolving their subjects from their oaths of allegiance. And thus the Pope claimed the right over all unknown lands that might be discovered by Columbus, and apportioned the New World as he pleased - in all these things claiming prerogatives which can pertain only to God.

(3) to authority over the conscience, in matters which can pertain only to God himself, and where he only can legislate. Thus, it has been, and is, one of the claims set up for the Pope that he is infallible. Thus, he "forbids what God has commanded," as the marriage of the clergy, communion in both kinds, the use of the Scriptures for the common people. Thus, he has set aside the second commandment by the appointment of image-worship; and thus he claims the power of the forgiveness of sins. Multitudes of things which Christ allows his people are forbidden by the papacy, and many things are enjoined, or allowed, directly contrary to the divine legislation.

Or that is worshipped - σέβασμα sebasma. This word means "an object of worship;" see Acts 17:3, where it is rendered devotions. It may be applied to the worship of a pagan divinity, or of the true God. "It may refer to a person, an idol, or a place. Probably Paul refers here to the heroes and other subordinate divinities of the heathen mythology" - Oldshausen. No one can doubt that the Pope has claimed higher honors, as the vicegerent of Christ, than was ever rendered in the ancient "hero worship."

So that he, as God - That is, claiming the honors due to God. This expression would not imply that he actually claimed to be the true God, but only that he sits in the temple, and manifests himself as if he were God. He claims such honors and such reverence as the true God would if he should appear in human form. It should be observed here, however, that there is much reason to doubt the genuineness of this phrase - "as God" - ὡς Θεον hōs Theon. Mill supposes that it was inserted from the context. It is marked with an asterisk in the Vulgate, the Coptic, and the Syriac, and is omitted by many of the fathers; see Mill and Wetstein. It is rejected by Griesbach and Lachmann, and marked as doubtful by Hahn. It is defended, however, by Matthaei, Koppe, Knapp, and Schott. The sense is not materially affected whether it be regarded as genuine or not.

Sitteth in the temple of God - That is, in the Christian church. It is by no means necessary to understand this of the temple at Jerusalem, which was standing at the time this Epistle was written, because:

(1) the phrase "the temple of God" is several times used with reference to the Christian church, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21; Revelation 3:12; and,

(2) the temple was the proper symbol of the church, and an apostle trained amidst the Hebrew institutions would naturally speak of the church as the temple of God. The temple at Jerusalem was regarded as the peculiar dwelling-place of God on earth. When the Christian church was founded, it was spoken of as the peculiar dwelling-place of God; see the passages referred to above. He dwelt among His people. He was with them, and walked with them, and manifested himself among them - as he had done in the ancient temple. The usage in the New Testament would not lead us to restrict this language to an edifice, or a "church," as the word is now commonly used, but rather to suppose that it denotes the church as a society, and the idea is, that the Antichrist here referred to would present himself in the midst of that church as claiming the honors due to God alone. In the temple at Jerusalem, God himself presided. There he gave laws to his people; there he manifested himself as God; and there he was worshipped. The reign of the "man of sin" would be as if he should sit there. In the Christian church he would usurp the place which God had occupied in the temple. He would claim divine attributes and homage. He would give laws and responses as God did there. He would be regarded as the head of all ecclesiastical power; the source from which all authority emanated; the same in the Christian church which God himself was in the temple. This does not then refer primarily to the Pope as sitting in any particular church on any particular occasion, but to his claiming in the Church of Christ the authority and homage which God had in the temple at Jerusalem. In whatever place, whether in a cathedral or elsewhere, this authority should be exercised, all that the language here conveys would be fulfilled. No one can fail to see that the authority claimed by the Pope of Rome, meets the full force of the language used here by the apostle.

Showing himself that he is God - This does not necessarily mean that he actually, in so many words, claimed to be God; but that he usurped the place of God, and claimed the prerogatives of God. If the names of God are given to him, or are claimed by him; if he receives the honors due to God; if he asserts a dominion like that of God, then all that the language fairly implies will be fulfilled. The following expressions, applied to the Pope of Rome by Catholic writers, without any rebuke from the papacy, will show how entirely applicable this is to the pretended Head of the Church. He has been styled "Our Lord God the Pope; another God upon earth; king of kings and lord of lords. The same is the dominion of God and the Pope. To believe that our Lord God the Pope might not decree as he decreed is heresy. The power of the Pope is greater than all created power, and extends itself to things celestial, terrestrial, and infernal. The Pope doeth whatsoever he listeth, even things unlawful, and is more than God;" see the authority for these extraordinary declarations in Dr. Newton book on the Prophecies, Dissertations xxii. How can it be doubted that the reference here is to the papacy? Language could not be plainer, and it is not possible to conceive that anything can ever occur which would furnish a more manifest fulfillment of this prophecy. Indeed, interpreted by the claims of the papacy, it stands among the very clearest of all the predictions in the Sacred Scriptures.

4. Da 11:36, 37 is here referred to. The words used there as to Antiochus Epiphanes, Paul implies, shall even be more applicable to the man of sin, who is the New Testament actual Antichrist, as Antiochus was the Old Testament typical Antichrist. The previous world kingdoms had each one extraordinary person as its representative head and embodiment (thus Babylon had Nebuchadnezzar, Da 2:38, end; Medo-Persia had Cyrus; Greece had Alexander, and Antiochus Epiphanes, the forerunner of Antichrist); so the fourth and last world kingdom, under which we now live, shall have one final head, the concentrated embodiment of all the sin and lawless iniquity which have been in pagan and papal Rome. Rome's final phase will probably be an unholy alliance between idolatrous superstition and godless infidelity.

Who opposeth and exalteth himself—There is but one Greek article to both participles, implying that the reason why he opposeth himself is in order that he may exalt himself above, &c. Alford takes the former clause absolutely, "He that withstands (Christ)," that is, Antichrist (1Jo 2:18). As at the conclusion of the Old Testament period, Israel apostate allied itself with the heathen world power against Jesus and His apostles (Lu 23:12; and at Thessalonica, Ac 17:5-9), and was in righteous retribution punished by the instrumentality of the world power itself (Jerusalem being destroyed by Rome), Da 9:26, 27; so the degenerate Church (become an "harlot"), allying itself with the godless world power (the "beast" of Revelation) against vital religion (that is, the harlot sitting on the beast), shall be judged by that world power which shall be finally embodied in Antichrist (Zec 13:8, 9; 14:2; Re 17:16, 17). In this early Epistle, the apostate Jewish Church as the harlot, and pagan Rome as the beast, form the historical background on which Paul draws his prophetic sketch of the apostasy. In the Pastoral Epistles, which were later, this prophecy appears in connection with Gnosticism, which had at that time infected the Church. The harlot (the apostate Church) is first to be judged by the beast (the world power) and its kings (Re 17:16); and afterwards the beasts and their allies (with the personal Antichrist at their head, who seems to rise after the judgment on the harlot, or apostate Church) shall be judged by the coming of Jesus Himself (Re 19:20). Anti-Christian tendencies produce different Antichrists: these separate Antichrists shall hereafter find their consummation in an individual exceeding them all in the intensity of his evil character [Auberlen]. But judgment soon overtakes him. He is necessarily a child of death, immediately after his ascent as the beast out of the bottomless pit going into perdition (Re 17:8, 11). Idolatry of self, spiritual pride, and rebellion against God, are his characteristics; as Christ-worship, humility, and dependence on God, characterize Christianity. He not merely assumes Christ's character (as the "false Christs," Mt 24:24), but "opposes" Christ. The Greek implies one situated on an opposite side (compare 1Jo 2:22; 2Jo 7). One who, on the destruction of every religion, shall seek to establish his own throne, and for God's great truth, "God is man," to substitute his own lie, "Man is God" [Trench].

above all that is called God—(1Co 8:5). The Pope (for instance, Clement VI) has even commanded the angels to admit into Paradise, without the alleged pains of purgatory, certain souls. But still this is only a foreshadowing of the Antichrist, who will not, as the Pope, act in God's name, but against God.

or that is worshipped—Rome here again gives a presage of Antichrist. The Greek is Sebasma; and Sebastus is the Greek for Augustus, who was worshipped as the secular ruler and divine vicegerent. The papacy has risen on the overthrow of Cæsar's power. Antichrist shall exalt himself above every object of worship, whether on earth as the Cæsar, or in heaven as God. The various prefigurations of Antichrist, Rome, Napoleon, and modern infidel secularism, contain only some, not all, his characteristics. It is the union of all in some one person that shall form the full Antichrist, as the union in one Person, Jesus, of all the types and prophecies constituted the full Christ [Olshausen].

in the temple of God … that he is God—"He will reign a time, times, and half a time" (Da 7:25), that is, three and a half years, and will sit in the temple at Jerusalem: then the Lord shall come from heaven and cast him into the take of fire and shall bring to the saints the times of their reigning, the seventh day of hallowed rest, and give to Abraham the promised inheritance" [Irenæus, Against Heresies, 30.4].

showing himself—with blasphemous and arrogant DISPLAY (compare a type, Ac 12:21-23). The earliest Fathers unanimously looked for a personal Antichrist. Two objections exist to Romanism being regarded the Antichrist, though probably Romanism will leave its culmination in him: (1) So far is Romanism from opposing all that is called God, that adoration of gods and lords many (the Virgin Mary and saints) is a leading feature in it; (2) the papacy has existed for more than twelve centuries, and yet Christ is not come, whereas the prophecy regards the final Antichrist as short-lived, and soon going to perdition through the coming of Christ (Re 17:8, 11). Gregory the Great declared against the patriarch of Constantinople, that whosoever should assume the title of "universal bishop" would be "the forerunner of Antichrist." The papacy fulfilled this his undesigned prophecy. The Pope has been called by his followers, "Our Lord God the Pope"; and at his inauguration in St. Peter's, seated in his chair upon the high altar, which is treated as his footstool, he has vividly foreshadowed him who "exalteth himself above all that is called God." An objection fatal to interpreting the temple of God here as the Church (1Co 3:16, 17; 6:19) is, the apostle would never designate the apostate anti-Christian Church "the temple of God." It is likely that, as Messiah was revealed among the Jews at Jerusalem, so Antimessiah shall appear among them when restored to their own land, and after they have rebuilt their temple at Jerusalem. Thus Da 11:41, 45 (see on [2451]Da 11:41; [2452]Da 11:45), corresponds, "He shall enter the glorious land (Judea), and he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces between the seas in the glorious holy mountain"; and then (Da 12:1) "Michael, the great prince, shall stand up" to deliver God's people. Compare Note, see on [2453]Da 9:26, 27. Also the king of Assyria, type of Antichrist (Isa 14:12-14). "Lucifer" (a title of Messiah, assumed by Antichrist, Re 22:16); "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God." "I will sit upon the mount of the congregation (that is, God's place of meeting His people of old, the temple), in the sides of the north (Ps 48:2); I will be like the Most High." Re 11:1, 2, "The temple of God … the holy city" (namely, Jerusalem, Mt 4:5), compare Ps 68:18, 29, referring to a period since Christ's ascension, therefore not yet fulfilled (Isa 2:1-3; Eze 40:1-44:31; Zec 14:16-20; Mal 3:1). "In the temple of God," implies that it an internal, not an external, enemy which shall assail the Church. Antichrist shall, the first three and a half years of the prophetical week, keep the covenant, then break it and usurp divine honors in the midst of the week. Some think Antichrist will be a Jew. At all events he will, "by flatteries," bring many, not only of the Gentiles, but also of "the tribes" of Israel (so the Greek for "kindreds," Re 11:8, 9), to own him as their long-looked-for Messiah, in the same "city where our Lord was crucified." "Sitteth" here implies his occupying the place of power and majesty in opposition to Him who "sitteth on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb 1:3), and who shall come to "sit" there where the usurper had sat (Mt 26:64). See on [2454]Da 9:27; Re 11:2, 3, 9, 11. Compare Eze 38:2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, as to Tyre, the type of Antichrist, characterized by similar blasphemous arrogance.

A further description of this man of sin, by his opposition and exaltation.

Who opposeth; or, o antikeimenov, the opposer; or rather, opposing, expressed in the participle of the present tense, denoting a continued act, or that which he bends himself strongly to. But against what? The same that he exalteth himself above, as some conceive; but the grammar will not well admit that sense, and we should not so restrain it; and therefore we will take the word indefinitely, as expressed in the text. But we may well conceive, it is Christ himself whom he opposeth; as his name given him by the apostle John doth evidence, when he is called antichrist, or the antichrist, one that is against Christ; not that he openly and professedly opposeth him, but as Judas kissed his Master, and betrayed him: see those that have written of antichrist, as Philip Nicholas, Whitaker, Danaeuns, Chamier, Moulin, Junius, &c. It is iniquity in a mystery. He serveth Christ, but it is to serve himself upon him. He acknowledgeth him in all his offices, and yet doth virtually deny and oppose him in them all: called antichrist, as opposite to the unction of Christ: Christ signifies anointed, and so he opposeth him in the offices to which he is anointed, while he owns his natures. He professeth himself a "servant of the servants of God," and yet persecutes, curseth, proscribes, and killeth them, opposing Christ in his members. He maketh war with the saints, Revelation 13:7. He hath two horus like a lamb, and speaks as a dragon, 2 Thessalonians 2:11; speaks lies in hypocrisy, 1 Timothy 4:2. And then he is described by his exaltation; uperairomenov, exalted, which is well supplied, he exalteth himself: it is not from God. He

exalteth himself, or lifteth himself,

above all that is called God, though not really and essentially God. The apostle well knew that in the Old Testament magistrates were called gods, Psalm 82:1,6; and 1 Corinthians 8:5: There be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth. Magistrates and rulers are of several degrees; some inferior, some superior; some supreme, as kings and emperors; but he exalteth himself above them all, and that not only in spirituals, by excommunications, but in civils, by deposing kings, disposing kingdoms, yea, making emperors to wait at his gate, hold his stirrup, prostrate themselves to kiss his toe, and then to tread upon their neck, as Alexander the Third did to Frederic Barbarossa; and this not condemned as the extravagancy of some particular persons, but allowed and justified by the doctrine and doctors of the Romish Church. And Bellarmine, de Rom. Pont. lib. 5. c. 8, gives it as the reason why the pope would not come to the council of Nice, lest if the emperor should come thither he should attempt to sit above him. So that by these two words in the text, the apostle describes him both in his enmity and pride, opposition and exaltation. Observe, first: He assumeth to himself a higher power than those that are only called gods; theirs is human, his is Divine; theirs on the bodies or estates of men, his over the conscience; theirs only to the living, his to men’s souls after death. Next, he makes himself like God, and is

as God, as the king of old Babylon said, I will be like the Most High, Isaiah 14:14. As God’s residence of old was in the temple of Jerusalem, so he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God: not that temple that was built by Solomon, and afterwards rebuilt, and to be built again, as the popish doctors speak: for it is now destroyed, and if it be built again by this man of sin, as they say, at his coming, would the apostle call that

the temple of God? 2 Corinthians 6:16 Revelation 3:12, &c. But it is a spiritual temple, as the church is called, 1 Corinthians 3:16,17. So Augustine, Jerome, Hilary, Chrysostom, understand it. And he is said here to sit, to have here his cathedra. The apostle speaks of him as a bishop, whose episcopal see is called a seat, or cathedra; and here he sitteth as God: the popish writers give the pope that and suchlike titles, Dominus Deus noster Papa, Idem est Dominium Dei et Papae, Tu es alter Deus in Terra, " Thou art another God on earth." Concil. Later. sess. 4. And as God he maketh laws to bind the conscience, and dispenseth with laws natural and moral; pardons sin as he pleaseth, past, present, and to come; can deliver souls out of purgatory, and translate them to heaven: so that this man of sin is not to be looked for among the Turks, pagans, or infidels. He

sitteth in the temple, the church, of God; not that it can be the true church where he thus sitteth and acteth, but rather the synagogue of Satan; but that which he calleth so, and which beareth that name, and which before the falling away was really so, Romans 1:8. As Jerusalem is called the holy city after it had lost its holiness, Matthew 4:5; and the faithful city, when become an harlot, Isaiah 1:21; and Mount Tabor a holy mount, 2 Peter 1:18; because once so: or called so according to men’s opinion; as idols, that are nothing, are yet called gods, 2 Chronicles 28:23 1 Corinthians 8:5. Some read the words, eiv ton naon, in templum Dei, as we say, in amicum, i.e. velut amicus, he sitteth for the temple of God, as if he himself was the temple and church of God. So Aug. de Civ. Dei, lib. 20. c. 19. And so some of our protestant writers, applying it to the pope, who, as the head of the church, hath the whole church virtually in himself, and doth exercise all church power.

Showing himself that he is God; not saying it with his mouth, as CEcumenius saith, but making such a show before men; though Bellarmine interprets it of an open boasting and vaunting himself to be God, which, saith he, the pope doth not; but by pretended miracles, signs, and wonders, by pardons, indulgences, canonizing saints, dominion over princes and kingdoms, he shows himself as a God before men, and claimns a power to be judged of no man, and to be judge of all men. A seculari potestate non solvi posse nec ligari pontificem, quem constat a Constantino Deum appellatum, cum nee Deum ab hominibus judicari manifestum sit. Decret. distinct. 96. c. 7. Yea, lastly, he exalteth himself above God himself, when he maketh the Scriptures to derive their authority more from the pope’s canonizing, than God himself; and without it no man is bound to believe them. Decret. lib. 2 Tit 23 Again: If the pope should err by commanding vice and forbidding virtue, the church was bound to believe vice to be good and virtue to be evil. Bellarm. lib. 4. de Summo Pont. c. 5. And it is frequent among their divines and canonists to say, that the pope can dispense against the apostles and the Old Testament, and the Scriptures are inferior to his decrees, and without the authority of the church are a nose of wax, paper, and parchment, &c.; so that upon the whole, as John’s disciples asked concerning Christ: Art thou he that should come, or must we look for another? So, may we not say to the pope concerning antichrist: Art thou he, &c.? I will speak boldly, either there is no antichrist, or the bishop of Rome is he. Chamier. 1.16. c. 8.

Who opposeth,.... Or is an opposer, an adversary of Christ, the antichrist; who opposes him in his kingly office, styling himself the head and spouse of the church, assuming to himself all power in heaven and in earth, taking upon him to dispense with the laws of Christ, and to make new ones; who opposes him in his priestly office, by pretending to offer him up again in the sacrifice of the mass, and by making angels and saints departed, intercessors and advocates; and also in his prophetic office, by teaching for doctrines the commandments of men, and setting up unwritten traditions before the word of God, requiring the worshipping of images, angels, and saints, when Christ requires that the Lord God only should be worshipped and served; and by introducing the doctrine of works and of merit instead of grace, and with a multitude of other things, in which he most manifestly appears to be diametrically opposite and contrary to Christ:

and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. The Syriac version renders the last clause, "and religion"; and the Greek word does signify religion, worship, or devotion, as it is translated, in Acts 17:23 but here the act of worship is put for the object, and is rightly rendered, "or that which is worshipped"; as it is in the Vulgate Latin version, and in the Arabic version, "or that which is to be worshipped"; and it was usual with the Jews to call God the object of worship, by the name of worship itself, and by which they used to swear: it is said (c) of R. Benjamin the just, that he was appointed over the alms chest; one time a woman came to him and said, Rabbi, relieve me; he replied to her, "by the worship" (that is, by God who is worshipped) there is nothing in the alms chest: and elsewhere (d) it is said by one, concerning two that were fatherless, for whom the collectors of alms gathered, "by the worship", they go before my daughter: and a little after, "by the worship", these things are holy to thee; where the gloss says, it is an oath: and so here the word is to be understood of Deity itself; and the meaning is, that antichrist would exalt himself above all the gods of the Gentiles, who are only nominally, and not by nature, gods; to these were ascribed, some one thing, to some another; one had the government of heaven, another of hell, another of the seas, and an other of the winds, &c. but this haughty creature antichrist assumes to himself all power, both in heaven, earth, and hell. Angels are sometimes called gods, Psalm 8:4 because they are sent of God, and sometimes represent him; the popes of Rome have exalted themselves above these; Pope Clement VI. proclaimed a jubilee, and promised forgiveness of sins to all that should come to Rome; and in his bull for it says, that

"if any that was confessed should die by the way, he should be free from all his sins; "and we do command the angels", that they take such a soul out of purgatory entirely absolved, and introduce it into the glory of paradise:''

and in a manuscript in the library at Helmsted are these words,

"we command the angels that they carry such a soul into Abraham's bosom, as soon as it has left the body:''

kings and civil magistrates are called gods, Psalm 82:6 and this monster of iniquity and firstborn of Satan, the popes of Rome, have exalted themselves above these; they have not only took upon them to excommunicate emperors and kings, but to depose them, and take away their crowns from them, and give their kingdoms to others, and absolve their subjects from allegiance and fidelity to them; an emperor has held a pope's stirrup while he alighted from his horse, and was severely reprimanded for holding the left instead of the right stirrup; and the same emperor held another pope's stirrup while he got on his horse, and who set his foot upon his neck when he absolved him, being before excommunicated by him, using these words in Psalm 91:13 "thou shall tread upon the lion", &c. An emperor and an empress waited at a pope's gates three days barefoot; another emperor and empress were crowned by the Pope with his feet; he took the crown with his feet, and, they bowing down, put it upon their heads, and then kicked it off; and one of our own kings resigned his crown and the ensigns of his royalty to the Pope's legate, who kept them five days; and when he offered a sum of money to the legate as an earnest of his subjection, to show his master's grandeur, he spurned at it; a king was thrown under a pope's table to lick the bones like a dog, while he was eating: so truly has this passage had its accomplishment in that impious and insolent set of men. Rome is by the Jewish (e) writers called "Magdiel", which signifies "magnifying itself"; the reason is, "because it magnifies itself" above all these (f); that is, above all kingdoms and states: but what is worse, and most dreadfully blasphemous, follows,

so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God; not in the temple of Jerusalem, which was to be destroyed and never to be rebuilt more, and was destroyed before this man of sin was revealed; but in the church of God, so called, 1 Corinthians 3:16 the Ethiopic version renders it, "in the house of God"; for antichrist rose up out of, and in the midst of the church; and it was a true church in which he first appeared, and over which he usurped power and authority; though it has been so corrupted by him, as now to be only nominally so; here he sits, and has homage done him by his creatures, as if he was a god, and is not only styled Christ's vicar, but a god on earth, and our Lord God the Pope; so in the triumphal arch at the entry of Pope Sixtus IV, these lines were put, "oraculo vocis, mundi moderaris habenas, et merito in terris crederis esse Dens"; the sense is, that he governed the world by his word, and was deservedly believed to be God on earth; and their canon law (g) says,

"it is clearly enough shown, that the Pope cannot be loosed or bound by any secular power; since it is evident that he is called God by that pious prince, Constantine, and it is manifest that God cannot be judged by men:''

and Pope John 22 is expressly called (h) "our Lord God the Pope": the Ethiopic version reads, "he shall say to all, I am the Lord God"; see Ezekiel 28:2, the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin version, leave out the phrase, "as God", but the Syriac retains it: however, the same blasphemy is expressed in the next clause,

shewing himself that he is God; by usurping a power over the consciences and souls of men; by dispensing with the laws of God and man; by assuming to himself all power in heaven and in earth; by taking upon him to open and shut the gates of heaven at pleasure; and by pardoning sin, which none but God can do; this is the mouth speaking blasphemies, Revelation 13:5.

(c) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 11. 1.((d) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 24. 1.((e) Jarchi in Genesis 36.43. (f) Abarbinel in Dan. fol. 42. 3.((g) Gratian. Decret. dist. 96. can. "satis". (h) Extrarag. "cum inter".

Who opposeth and {f} exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; {4} so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

(f) All men know who he is that says he can shut up heaven and open it at his pleasure, and takes upon himself to be lord and master above all kings and princes, before whom kings and princes fall down and worship, honouring that antichrist as a god.

(4) He foretells that the antichrist (that is, whoever he is that will occupy that seat that falls away from God) will not reign outside of the Church, but in the very bosom of the Church.

2 Thessalonians 2:4. Ὁ ἀντικείμενος] is not to be united by zeugma with ὑπεραιρόμενος, so that out of ἐπὶ πάντα κ.τ.λ. the dative παντὶ λεγομένῳ Θεῷ ἢ σεβάσματι is to be taken (Benson, Koppe, Krause, Rosenmüller, Flat, Pelt, Bloomfield, Hofmann, Riggenbach), but is absolute, in the sense of a substantive—the opposer. It has been erroneously maintained by Pelt, that the article being only put once necessitates the assumption of a zeugma. But all that follows from the single insertion of the article is only that the two statements, ἀντικεῖσθαι and ὑπεραίρεσθαι, must contain something related to each other, which is summed up in a common general idea. This general idea is extremely evident from what follows. Accordingly, the person of whom Paul speaks was designated according to his internal nature by ὁ ἄνθρωπος τῆς ἁμαρτίας, then characterized according to his ultimate fate by ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, and now—whilst Paul in his delineation takes a step backward (comp. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 and 2 Thessalonians 2:9)—the mode and manner of his public external appearance and conduct is described.

But if ὁ ἀντικείμενος denotes simply and absolutely the opposer, the question is asked, whom does he oppose? Baumgarten and Michaelis erroneously answer: the human race; for this interpretation has no point of contact in the context, and would explain away the form so definitely brought before us by Paul by a vague generality. De Wette and others more definitely answer: God and Christ. And certainly the description that immediately follows shows that the opposer opposes himself in the highest degree to God. But this fact does not justify such a wide meaning, if another is opposed to it in the context. Now the context specially points to the opposer of Christ (thus Heydenreich, Schott, and Kern). For the man of sin stands in the closest and strictest parallelism with Christ. He is the forerunner of Christ’s advent, and has, as the caricature of Christ, like Him an advent and a manifestation: he raises the power of evil, which exalts itself in a hostile manner against Christ and His kingdom, to the highest point; his working is diametrically the opposite of the working of Christ, and it is Christ’s appearance which destroys him. Accordingly, the opponent can be none other than the Antichrist (ὁ ἀντίχριστος, 1 John 2:18). This Antichrist is not the devil himself (Pelagius and others), for he is distinguished from him (2 Thessalonians 2:9); but according to 2 Thessalonians 2:9 he is an instrument of the devil.

In καὶ ὑπεραιρόμενος κ.τ.λ. he is further described as he who, in frivolous arrogance, exalts himself above all that is called God. With this description the delineation of Antiochus Epiphanes, in Daniel 11:36-37, was before the mind of the apostle, where it is said: καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς ὑψωθήσεται καὶ μεγαλυνβήσεται ἐπὶ πάντα Θεόν, καὶ λαλήσει ὑπέρογκακαὶ ἐπὶ πάντας θεοὺς τῶν πατέρων αὐτοῦ οὐ συνήσεικαὶ ἐπὶ πᾶν Θεὸν οὐ συνήσει, ὅτι ἐπὶ πάντας μεγαλυνθήσεται Comp. Daniel 7:25 : καὶ λόγους πρὸς τὸν ὕψιστον λαλήσει.

ἐπὶ πάντα λεγόμενον Θεόν] includes the true God as well as the false gods worshipped by the heathen; but λεγόμενον is a natural addition from Christian caution, as πάντα Θεόν would have been a senseless and indeed blasphemous expression for a Christian.

ἢ σέβασμα] serves for a generalization of the idea Θεόν. Accordingly the meaning is: or whatever else is an object of adoration, sc. of divine adoration (= numen).

ὥστε κ.τ.λ.] The arrogant wickedness of Antichrist proceeds so far that he claims divine adoration for himself.

καθίσαι] intransitive, seats himself; accordingly not αὑτόν (Grotius, Koppe, Pelt), but αὐτόν is to be written. αὐτόν is placed for the sake of emphasis: he, who has lost all reverence for the divine, in whose form he wishes to appear.

ὁ ναὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ] is not, as Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Calvin, Musculus, Hunnius, Estius, Lucius and Andrew Osiander, Aretius, Vorstius, Calixt, Calovius, Wolf, Benson, Moldenhauer, Bolten, and others, also Heydenreich, Pelt, Olshausen, Bloomfield, Alford, Bisping, and Hilgenfeld (l.c. p. 253) assume, a figurative representation of the Christian church, but, on account of the definite expression καθίσαι, cannot be otherwise understood than in its proper sense. But on account of the repetition of the article can only one definite temple of one definite true God—that is, the temple of Jerusalem—be meant (Grotius, Clericus, Schöttgen, Whitby, Kern, de Wette, Wieseler, v. Döllinger, l.c. p. 282).[45]

ἀποδεικνύντα ἑαυτὸν ὅτι ἘΣΤῚΝ ΘΕΌς] exhibiting himself that he is a god, i.e. whilst he not only actually takes possession of the temple of the only true God as his own, as a dwelling-place belonging to him, but also publicly predicates of himself divine dignity, and accordingly requires to be adored. The interpretation of Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, and others, also Heydenreich, Schott, Olshausen, de Wette, Bisping, and Riggenbach: “who shows himself or seeks to show himself as a god by deceitful miracles” (2 Thessalonians 2:9), agrees not with the preceding καθίσαι.

[45] Schrader certainly finds in ὁ ναός a heathen temple; and by the addition τοῦ Θεοῦ its interior is denoted, the place where the god had its seat!

4. who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped] Better, as in R. V. he that opposeth, &c.; for this is a third and distinct designation of the personality in question. Also against, in place of above. And the comma after “God” in A.V. should be cancelled; the phrase object-of-worship (a single word in the Greek, found also in Acts 17:23) extends the idea of God to include everything religious: comp. 1 Corinthians 8:5, “There are that are called gods … gods many and lords many.” The Man of Lawlessness embodies not merely an Anti-christian, but an Anti-theistic revolt. His aim will be to abolish religion in every existing form. This is made still clearer by the next clause.

“He that opposeth” renders the Greek word elsewhere translated the adversary, and is the equivalent of the Hebrew Satan (1 Thessalonians 2:18, see note); so that the Lawless One bears the name of him “after” whose “working” he will come (2 Thessalonians 2:9). He will be, therefore, in the most absolute sense, the enemy of God, concentrating in himself all that in human life and history is hostile and repugnant to the Divine nature.

For exalteth himself comp. 2 Corinthians 12:7, where the same compound verb is twice used, and is rendered “exalted-above-measure.” The above description recalls the language of Daniel 8:25; Daniel 11:36-37, concerning the great enemy and persecutor of the Church delineated in that prophecy: “He shall magnify himself in his heart; … he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes … He shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods … Neither shall he regard the god of his fathers, … nor any god; for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Comp. the similar language of Ezekiel 28:2, respecting the worldly pride of Tyre.) St Paul takes up and carries forward this O.T. prediction; and as the figure sketched in the Book of Daniel found its proximate realisation in the heathen tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes, who defiled the Temple at Jerusalem and attempted to crush the Jewish religion, it is along the same line that we must look for the accomplishment of this prophecy. In the words that follow we are carried, however, beyond the horizon of the Book of Daniel.

so that he as God sitteth, &c.] Omit as God (R. V.) More lit., in the Greek order, so that he in the temple of God takes his seat, showing off himself, to the effect that he is God.

So that the Man of Lawlessness will not only seek to abolish Divine worship, but will substitute for it the worship of himself (see the passages quoted from Daniel, p. 144), declaring his rule the supreme power and exhibiting his person to receive in place of Almighty God the reverence of mankind. Such atheism is, after all, but egotism full-blown, the kind of egotism to which men are tempted who have great power over the minds of their fellows.

The deification of the Roman Emperors suggested this trait of the description. Never has the world witnessed so blasphemous a usurpation, and so abject a prostration of the human spirit as the Cæsar-worship of St Paul’s time—the only real religion now left to Rome. This passage reflects the horror inspired by it in the mind of the Apostle. So far-reaching was the impression produced by the Emperor-worship, that Tacitus represents the German barbarians as speaking in ridicule of ille inter numina dicatus Augustus—“Augustus, forsooth, enrolled amongst the gods!” (Annals, I. 59). The destructive effect which this cultus had on what remained of natural religion in the rites of Paganism is indicated by the pregnant words of Tacitus (Annals, I. 10): Nihil deorum honoribus relictum, cum se templis et effigie numinum per flamines et sacerdotes coli vellet—“The gods were stripped of their honours, when he (Augustus) consented to be worshipped with temples and statues as a deity, with flamens and with priests.” Compare the words of Suetonius referring to Julius Cæsar, with whom the deification of the dead Cæsars began: “Omnia simul ei divina atque humana decreverat (senatus) … Periit sexto et quinquagesimo aetatis anno atque in deorum numerum relatus est, non ore modo decernentium, sed et persuasione volgi” (De vita Caesarum, I. 84, 88). The unconscious irony of the last sentence is finely pointed by the exclamation ascribed to the dying Emperor Vespasian (VIII. 23): Vae, puto deus fio!—“Woe’s me! I think I am turning god!” The shout of the Greek populace at Cæsarea, hailing “the voice” of Herod Agrippa as that “of a god and not of a man,” indicates the lengths to which a corrupt and servile heathenism was prepared to go in this direction (Acts 12:20-24). Deep and wide-spread was the execration caused by the attempt of the mad Emperor Caius (Caligula), in the year 40, to place his statue in the Jewish Temple, an attempt only frustrated by the perpetrator’s death. This was a typical event, showing of what the intoxication of supreme power might make a man capable. It was but the last of many similar outrages on “every so-called god.” Amongst other monstrous profanities of Caligula, Suetonius relates (IV. 22) that he transported the statue of Olympian Jupiter to Rome, and put his own head upon it in place of the god’s! Also, that he built his palace up to the Temple of the ancient Roman gods. Castor and Pollux, making of it a kind of vestibule, where he exhibited himself standing between their twin godships for the adoration of those who entered. Even this, as Olshausen remarks, was “modesty” compared to what the Apostle ascribes to Antichrist. The very name Sebastos, the Greek rendering of the Imperial title Augustus—to which Divus was added at death—signifying “the one to be worshipped” (comp. sebasma, “object-of-worship, in the previous clause), was an offence to the religious mind. In later times the offering of incense to the deity of the Emperor became the crucial test of fidelity to Christ. Cœsar or Christ was the martyr’s alternative.

When he speaks of “the temple of God,” without other qualification, St Paul appears to refer to the existing Temple of Jerusalem (comp. Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11, cited by our Lord in Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14). Attempts have been made to show that the Apostle’s words were literally fulfilled by certain outrages committed by Nero or Vespasian upon the sacred building. This does not seem to us clearly made out; and it will be evident from what has been said, that even the worst of the Roman Emperors was only a type, or adumbration of the Antichrist. The Jewish Temple being still, while it stood, God’s holy place, St Paul naturally associates with it this crowning act of profanation. But we have learnt from 1 Thessalonians 2:16 that he believed national Judaism to be immediately coming to an end; and its Temple was the type and representative of all places consecrated to the worship of the true God. The great Usurper who claims for himself that he “is God,” appropriates consequently the sanctuaries of religion and prostitutes them to his own worship. “Within the temple of God—not in Jerusalem alone,” says Chrysostom, “but in every church.”

2 Thessalonians 2:4. Ὁ ἀντικείμενος, κ.τ.λ., who opposeth, etc.) The two preceding names correspond by direct antithesis to the name of Jesus. What follows correspond by antithesis to the majesty of Christ. So Daniel 11:36, et seqq.: Καί ὑψωθήσεται καὶ μεγαλυνθήσεται ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐπὶ πάντα θεὸν καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν Θεὸν τῶν θεῶν, καὶ λαλήσει ὑπέρογκα, And the king shall be exalted and be magnified above every god, and against the God of gods, and shall speak high-swelling words. This then is what Paul means to say: The day of Christ does not come, unless the prediction of Daniel given in these words concerning Antiochus be so fulfilled (in the Man of Sin), that it shall even be more applicable to the Man of Sin, who corresponds to Antiochus, and is worse than he; comp. on Revelation 13:1, Thes. 7. § Non momentanea, etc., “It was not by an instantaneous transformation that the Pope passed,” etc., at the end. These two words, () ἀντικείμενος καὶ ὑπεραιρόμενος [“who opposeth and exalteth himself”], stand under the one article: for it is for this reason he opposes himself, in order that he may exalt himself. He exalts himself in heart, tongue, style, and deeds, by himself and by his adherents.—ἐπὶ πάντα λεγόμενον θεὀν ἢ σέβασμα, above all that is called god or is worshipped) Angels are wont to be (sometimes) called gods, as are also men who possess great authority, 1 Corinthians 8:5. Above every such god, the Iniquitous one [Wicked] will exalt himself: σέβασμα is, that which is worshipped; and the Roman Emperor is distinguished by the peculiar title, ὁ Σεβαστὸς, Augustus, Acts 25:21. Therefore the majesty and power of Cæsar, which are most conspicuous at Rome, constitute the principal σέβασμα, object of worship, on the earth. Now the Iniquitous one [Wicked] exalts himself so, as that he not only arrogates to himself greater power and worship than any one who is called god or is worshipped possesses, but also so as that every one who is called god or is worshipped is forced to be subject to him, i.e. on the earth, or is feigned to be so, so for as the inhabitants of heaven are concerned. Clement VI., in his Bull concerning the jubilee, commanded the angels of paradise to introduce the souls of those that died on their journey, being entirely set free from purgatory, into the glory of paradise.—ὥστε, κ.τ.λ., so that, etc.) Comprehending the spiritual and civil power, and in both cases the highest degree of power.—εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, in the temple of God) in that temple of God which is mentioned, Revelation 11:1. For in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 of that passage this adversary is the subject of discussion.—καθίσαι, sitteth) by virtue of his authority.[15]—ἀποδεικνύντα ἑαυτὸν, declaring himself [“showing himself”]) ἀποδείκνυμι, to mark out, to designate, to declare. Herodian uses more than once the phrase, ἀποδειξαι Καίσαρα, to name, or declare the Cœsar.—ὄτι ἔστι Θεὸς, that he is God) The strong asseveration of the Iniquitous one [‘Wicked’] concerning himself is here expressed. He will not say, that he is very God, the Creator of heaven and earth, but still, that he is a god superior to any other that is called god.

[15] For the marg. of both Ed., as well as the Germ. Vers., intimate that the words ὡς θεὸν before καθίσαι should not be considered as a various reading, but should be retained.—E. B.

ABD(Δ) corrected, f Vulg., Orig. 1, 424d, 669a, Iren. Memph. and Theb. Versions, omit ὡς θεὸν; Rec. Text reads ὡς θεὸν, with Syr. and later Syr. Versions, and, according to Tisch., with G. But Lachm. quotes Gg for ἵνα θεόν.—ED.

Verse 4. - Who opposeth; or, the opposer, taken substantively. The object of opposition is not so much believers, as Christ; he is antichrist, the opponent of Christ. And yet antichrist is not Satan, the great adversary (1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:10), for he is expressly distinguished from him (2 Thessalonians 2:9), but the instrument of Satan. As Satan entered into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition, so does he take possession of the man of sin. And exalteth himself above; or rather, against, in a hostile manner. All that is called God; not only against all the false gods of the heathen, but also against the true God (comp. Daniel 7:25; Daniel 11:36). Or that is worshipped; that is an object of worship. The same word that is used in Acts 17:23, "As I passed by and beheld your devotions" - the objects of your worship. So that he as God. The words "as God" are to be omitted, as not found in the best manuscripts. Sitteth in the temple of God. According to some, the temple of Jerusalem (De Wette, Lunemann, Eadie), either as it then existed or as restored according to the prophecy of Ezekiel But it appears more correct to refer the expression metaphorically to the Christian Church. It is a favourite metaphor of Paul to compare believers in particular, or the Church in general, to the temple of God (comp. 1 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:20-22). Showing - exhibiting - himself that he is God. His sitting in the temple of God was an assertion of his divinity; he claimed to be regarded and worshipped as God. This was the crowning act of his impiety; not only, like the Roman emperors, he demanded to be worshipped as one of many gods, but he claimed to himself the prerogative of the Godhead, not only to the exclusion of the false gods of heathenism, but even of the tree God. 2 Thessalonians 2:4That is called God (λεγόμενον θεὸν)

Above the true God and the false gods. The opposer claims divine honors for himself.

That is worshipped (σέβασμα)

An object of adoration, including things as well as persons. Only here and Acts 17:23 on which see note under devotions.

Temple of God

According to some, a figure of the Christian Church. Others, the temple of Jerusalem.

Shewing (ἀποδεικνύντα)

Publicly asserting divine dignity. Rev. setting himself forth as God.

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