Revelation 12:8
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
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(8) And prevailed not . . .—Better, And their power failed them, and not even was place for them found any more in the heaven. The result of the war was the dragon’s defeat. The whole power of the evil hosts failed them. There is an inherent weakness in evil: a spot which may be touched whereupon all its vaunted strength withers. So complete was the overthrow, that even their place knew them no more. “I went by, and, lo! he was gone; I sought him, but he could nowhere be found.”

12:7-11 The attempts of the dragon proved unsuccessful against the church, and fatal to his own interests. The seat of this war was in heaven; in the church of Christ, the kingdom of heaven on earth. The parties were Christ, the great Angel of the covenant, and his faithful followers; and Satan and his instruments. The strength of the church is in having the Lord Jesus for the Captain of their salvation. Pagan idolatry, which was the worship of devils, was cast out of the empire by the spreading of Christianity. The salvation and strength of the church, are only to be ascribed to the King and Head of the church. The conquered enemy hates the presence of God, yet he is willing to appear there, to accuse the people of God. Let us take heed that we give him no cause to accuse us; and that, when we have sinned, we go before the Lord, condemn ourselves, and commit our cause to Christ as our Advocate. The servants of God overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb, as the cause. By the word of their testimony: the powerful preaching of the gospel is mighty, through God, to pull down strong holds. By their courage and patience in sufferings: they loved not their lives so well but they could lay them down in Christ's cause. These were the warriors and the weapons by which Christianity overthrew the power of pagan idolatry; and if Christians had continued to fight with these weapons, and such as these, their victories would have been more numerous and glorious, and the effects more lasting. The redeemed overcame by a simple reliance on the blood of Christ, as the only ground of their hopes. In this we must be like them. We must not blend any thing else with this.And prevailed not - Satan and his angels failed in their purpose.

Neither was their place found any more in heaven - They were cast out, and were seen there no more. The idea is, that they were defeated and driven away, though for a time they were suffered to carry on the warfare elsewhere.

8. prevailed not—A and Coptic read, "He prevailed not." But B and C read as English Version.

neither—A, B, and C read, "not even" (Greek, "oude"): a climax. Not only did they not prevail, but not even their place was found any more in heaven. There are four gradations in the ever deeper downfall of Satan: (1) He is deprived of his heavenly excellency, though having still access to heaven as man's accuser, up to Christ's first coming. As heaven was not fully yet opened to man (Joh 3:13), so it was not yet shut against Satan and his demons. The Old Testament dispensation could not overcome him. (2) From Christ, down to the millennium, he is judicially cast out of heaven as the accuser of the elect, and shortly before the millennium loses his power against Israel, and has sentence of expulsion fully executed on him and his by Michael. His rage on earth is consequently the greater, his power being concentrated on it, especially towards the end, when "he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Re 12:12). (3) He is bound during the millennium (Re 20:1-3). (4) After having been loosed for a while, he is cast for ever into the lake of fire.

The pagans were at length routed in this battle; the Christians overcame them by the preaching of the gospel, and by their faith and patience; and paganism found no place within the same territories where the church was. This was fulfilled in the time of Constantine the Great, who altered the face of the Roman empire; and more eminently in the time of Theodosius, about the year 380. And prevailed not,.... That is, the dragon, or the devil, and his angels, prevailed not against Michael and his angels; but, on the other hand, were conquered by them, as the above tyrants were by Constantine and Theodosius: some copies read in the singular number, "and he prevailed not", as the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; and other copies in the plural number, "they prevailed not": and as the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions:

neither was their place found any more in heaven; in the Roman empire; or "his place", as some copies and versions: this was the time of the judgment of the world, or of the empire as Pagan; Satan the prince of the world, who had long governed in it, was now cast out of all power and authority in it, and all the idol gods in whom he was worshipped, with all the idolatrous priests; nor were there any more any Heathen emperors, for after Constantine's time there was only Julian the apostate, and who reigned but a little while; and after Theodosius, who cleared the empire of Paganism, there never was any, and there is reason to believe there never will be.

{15} And prevailed not; neither was their {a} place found any more in heaven.

(15) The description of the victory, by the denying of the thing in this verse, and by affirming the opposite in Re 12:9. As Satan gained nothing in heaven, but was by the power of God thrown down into the world of which he is the prince, Christ himself and his elect members standing still by the throne of God.

(a) They were cast out so, that they were never seen any more in heaven.

Revelation 12:8. Properly, after the full contents of the subject ὁ δρ. καὶ οἱ ἄγγ. αὐτοῦ have preceded, the plur. form ἴσχυσαν[3096] is now introduced, although the sing. ἐπολέμησε (Revelation 12:7) stood in express relation only to the chief subject ὁ δράκων. The sense of the καὶ οὐκ ἔσχυσαν is like the Heb. phrase לא יָכֹל, Genesis 32:26;[3097] Psalm 13:5;[3098] Genesis 30:8 :[3099] “They could not prevail.”

ΟὐΔῈ ΤΌΠΟς ΕὙΡΈΘΗ ΑὐΤῶΝ ἝΤΙ ῈΝ Τῷ ΟὐΡΑΝῷ. The ΟὐΔΈ[3100] puts a second negative expression by the side of and opposite to the first, so that the meaning of the connection can be explained: Not only the dragon and his angels could not prevail, but he could no longer maintain his place in heaven: he is conquered in heaven and cast out of heaven. This idea Hengstenb. himself indicates in an entirely rationalistic way, by explaining, according to the accepted fundamental statement: “Every thing mighty is placed in heaven,”[3101] as follows: “That Satan could not maintain himself in heaven, simply means that his power is broken,—broken, according to Revelation 12:11, by the blood of Christ, whereby the forgiveness of sins is obtained, and thus his most dangerous weapon is wrested from Satan.” On the other hand, a preposterous dogmatizing on this verse appears in Hofm., Ebrard, and Auberlen, who here find the presupposition, that until then,[3102] Satan with his angels have actually had their place in heaven, make a comparison with the coming-forth of Satan in Job 1, as though it were an historical fact, and, at the same time, explain from Zechariah 3, that the business of Satan in heaven is that of accusing. But this idea, impossible in itself[3103] to considerate Christian feeling, is gathered from the text only by the ascription of objective reality to that which is indeed improperly regarded a pure fiction,[3104] yet to which only the reality of the vision belongs. The real truth on which the visionary contemplation of the discomfiture of the dragon, after the withdrawal of the Messianic child, depends, is—as may be explained from Revelation 12:10, but in no way from Revelation 12:11[3105]—the Christian fundamental doctrine of the conquest of Satan and his kingdom by Christ, the Redeemer and Lord of the kingdom of heaven; but the subject treated in this passage (as also in Revelation 12:3-6) is no doctrinal definition, but only the illustration, extending to the deepest foundation, of the rage of the arch-fiend against believers. Against them he turns (Revelation 12:17 sqq.), after he has pursued in vain the Lord himself (Revelation 12:4 sqq.) and the woman; the earth becomes the theatre of his wrath, after he has been cast thither from heaven, and that, too, as one vanquished, so that even believers can overcome the already overcome enemy, let him rage as he may. The description, Revelation 12:7-8 (and 9), portrays an actual, historical or superhistorical, fact, past or entirely future, which was revealed to John by his vision, no more than Revelation 12:3-6 describe actual facts as such; but also in this passage the form of the vision in the mind of the seer seems to be morally conditioned by his remembrance of the fact, firmly established in biblical revelation, of the overthrow of the fallen angels. In itself, and as such, this fact has nothing to do with the present connection; but in the mind of the seer, the particular conception which he here expresses clothes itself in the form of that fact.[See Note LXVIII. (b), p. 359.]

[3096] Cf., directly afterwards, τόπος


[3097] LXX.: οὑ δύναται πρὸς αὐτόν.

[3098] LXX.: ἵσχυσα πρὸς αὐτόν.

[3099] LXX.: καὶ ἡδυνάσθην.

[3100] So Winer also (pp. 457, 572) writes.

[3101] Cf. Isaiah 14:12.

[3102] Until the ascension of Christ (Revelation 12:5). Auberlen: During “the entire world-period.” Ebrard.

[3103] Which, especially in Ebrard, appears utterly inconceivable.

[3104] Against Heinr. and other rationalists.

[3105] Against Hengstenb.Revelation 12:8. Οὐκ ἴσχυσεναὐτῷ) Others read, οὐκ ἴσχυσαν, οὐδὲ τόπος εὑρέθη αὐτῶν.[126] If the plural number were correct, it would be ΟὐΔῈ ΤΌΠΟς ΕὙΡΈΘΗ ΑὐΤΟῖς (not ΑΥΤῶΝ), as it is expressed in Revelation 20:11; Daniel 2:35, also Job 16:18. Victorinus also has, and there was not found FOR HIM (not, OF THEM) a place in heaven. And Cassiod. in his Complex., The Dragon being cast headlong to the earth, was overthrown, so that he no longer HAD the place of blessedness. The explanation of Andreas likewise speaks of the dragon only, and not of his angels. In which point of view almost all the testimonies for the plural are set aside. The style of the Apocalypse usually attributes the good which is done, or the adversity which happens to the prince or leading person concerned, in the singular number, rather than to those whom he has for his subjects. This is the case in this passage also; for in Revelation 12:7, in the battle, the dragon is described at first alone, and then the same with his angels. Afterwards this book makes mention of the dragon only; wherefore the angels of the dragon, where occasion requires it, will have to be understood from this passage. The simple verb, ἰσχύειν, for which Pricæus would prefer ΚΑΤΙΣΧΎΕΙΝ, is used in this passage, as in the Septuagint, Psalms 13(12):5; Daniel 7:21, ἸΣΧΎΕΙΝ ΠΡΌς ΤΙΝΑ.—ἘΝ Τῷ ΟὐΡΑΝῷ, in heaven) in which, all along from the triumph of Christ up to the time then present, he had accused the brethren of the dwellers in heaven, Revelation 12:10. Comp. Revelation 12:12. The earth is included in the heaven: not the opposite.

[126] A Memph. read ἴσχυσεν. But BC Vulg. Syr. ἴσχυσαν. ABC Vulg. Syr. read αὐτῶν; but Memph. αὐτῷ.—E.Prevailed (ἴσχυσαν)

See on Luke 14:30; see on Luke 16:3; see on James 5:16.

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