Revelation 13:7
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
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(7) And it was given . . .—Better, He makes war with the saints, and conquers them. This, too, is said to be “given him.” The conquest is not a conquest of their fidelity; it is rather that the beast so far succeeds that they must suffer or submit. The saints seem to be single handed; for there was given him authority over every tribe, and people, and tongues, and nations. Nor does his success end here; the next verse shows us how completely earth is at his feet.

13:1-10 The apostle, standing on the shore, saw a savage beast rise out of the sea; a tyrannical, idolatrous, persecuting power, springing up out of the troubles which took place. It was a frightful monster! It appears to mean that worldly, oppressing dominion, which for many ages, even from the times of the Babylonish captivity, had been hostile to the church. The first beast then began to oppress and persecute the righteous for righteousness' sake, but they suffered most under the fourth beast of Daniel, (the Roman empire,) which has afflicted the saints with many cruel persecutions. The source of its power was the dragon. It was set up by the devil, and supported by him. The wounding the head may be the abolishing pagan idolatry; and the healing of the wound, introducing popish idolatry, the same in substance, only in a new dress, but which as effectually answers the devil's design. The world admired its power, policy and success. They paid honour and subjection to the devil and his instruments. It exercised infernal power and policy, requiring men to render that honour to creatures which belongs to God alone. Yet the devil's power and success are limited. Christ has a chosen remnant, redeemed by his blood, recorded in his book, sealed by his Spirit; and though the devil and antichrist may overcome the body, and take away the natural life, they cannot conquer the soul, nor prevail with true believers to forsake their Saviour, and join his enemies. Perseverance in the faith of the gospel and true worship of God, in this great hour of trial and temptation, which would deceive all but the elect, is the character of those registered in the book of life. This powerful motive and encouragement to constancy, is the great design of the whole Revelation.And it was given unto him - By the same power that taught him to blaspheme God and his church. See the notes on Revelation 13:2, Revelation 13:5.

To make war with the saints - See this fully illustrated in the notes on the parallel passage in Daniel 7:21, and at the end of that chapter, (f).

And to overcome them - In those wars. This was abundantly fulfilled in the wars with the Waldenses, the Albigenses, and the other sincere followers of the Saviour in the time of the papal persecutions. The language used here is the same as what is found in Daniel 7:21; "The same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them." See the notes on that passage.

And power was given him - See the notes on Revelation 13:2.

Over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations - For the meaning of these words see the notes on Revelation 7:9. The meaning here is, that this dominion was set up over the world. Compare Daniel 7:25. The fact that so large a portion of the kingdoms of the earth was under the influence of the papacy, and sustained it, and the claim which it set up to universal dominion, and to the right of deposing kings and giving away kingdoms, corresponds entirely with the language used here.

7. power—Greek, "authority."

all kindreds … tongues … nations—Greek, "every tribe … tongue … nation." A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, Andreas, and Primasius add "and people," after "tribe" or "kindred."

God showeth John, that after antichrist had gone on blaspheming the name, and tabernacle, and saints of God, some years, the devil should influence him also

to make war against God’s holy ones, and he would suffer him

to overcome them; and he should have a

power over all the nations of that part of the world, where God had his church. This was eminently fulfilled after the year 1200, when the doctrine of transubstantiation was established. The Inquisition was set up in Spain, 1206; the number of those murdered by it was exceeding great. But yet this was too slow a work, the pope quickly raised vast armies against the Albigenses, first under the conduct of his legate, then of Simon de Montford. Perionius (one of their own) saith, that more than a million were slain in these wars of these poor people, merely for not complying with the Church of Rome in her apostacy. But what were these to those slain in the valleys of Piedmont, Provence, Calabria, Alsatia, Bohemia, before the year 1517, when the Reformation began in Germany? What slaughters have been since made in Germany, Hungary, Flanders, Ireland, &c., every one knows. The latter clause was eminently verified until the year 1517, there being no nation in Europe but was subject to the pope of Rome, so as he had a

power over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. The poor Albigenses thought themselves concerned in this prophecy; for when the popish general, Simon de Montford, had made a vast slaughter of them, and the archbishop of Tholouse interceded for those that survived, upon condition that they would embrace the Romish faith, they boldly refused, sending the archbishop word, that they were the overcome servants of Jesus Christ; and all died comforting themselves with the prophecy of this text.

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,.... The remnant of the woman's seed, Revelation 12:17, whom God has set apart for himself, Christ has cleansed from sin by his blood, and the Holy Spirit has sanctified by his grace; and who under the influence of it live holy lives and conversations; against such Satan always bore an enmity; and it is an aggravation of the wickedness of the Romish antichrist, that he makes war with such, which he is stirred up to by Satan, with a malicious intent, and is permitted by God for the trial of the faith and patience of his people: this war of antichrist, with the saints, may be understood not merely spiritually, of his anathemas, excommunications, bulls, and the like, but literally, of his drawing the temporal sword against them; see Revelation 13:10; and bringing of armies against them, and fighting pitched battles; and it is thought there may be a special regard had to his war with the Waldenses and Albigenses, in which war it is said that a million were slain; and may take in all his ways and methods of destroying the saints, by the bloody Inquisition, murders, massacres, and punishments of all sorts; and also his last war with the two witnesses, in which they will be slain, which is yet to come, Revelation 11:7;

and to overcome them: not so as to submit to him, and to forsake the doctrines and ordinances of Christ, but by killing them; and who, by dying in the faith and cause of Christ, overcome Satan, get the victory over the world, and antichrist, and are more than conquerors through him that has loved them.

And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations; in the Roman empire, which wondered after him, and worshipped him, and over whom he has reigned, and has exercised both a temporal and spiritual jurisdiction; see Revelation 17:15.

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Revelation 13:7. In Enoch xlvi. 7 the rulers and kings “make themselves masters of the stars of heaven [i.e., the righteous], and raise their hands against the Most High”. The beast’s world-wide authority goes back to the dragon’s commission (2) but ultimately to divine permission (so in 5). There is a providence higher even than the beast.

7. And it was given unto him … to overcome them] There is considerable authority for the omission of this clause: but the omission is no doubt merely accidental—it was left out in one or more very early copies, because scribes passed from one clause beginning “and there was given unto him” to another. For the sense cf. Daniel 7:21 and ch. Revelation 11:7 : the latter proves that “the Saints” (i.e. the holy people of God) are to be understood as Christians, not as Israelites.

over all kindreds &c.] Lit., over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation. The Devil gives to Antichrist what he offered to Christ, St Luke 4:6.

Revelation 13:7. Πόλεμον ποιῆσαι μετὰ τῶν ἁγίων, to make war with the saints) Daniel 7:21, עבדא קרב עם קדושין, LXX., ἐποίει πόλεμον μετὰ τῶν ἁγίων. Thus πόλεμον ποιεῖν, Revelation 12:17; Revelation 19:19, and the LXX. often for עשה מלחמה. I. C. Becman, in his Dissertation respecting the justice of the arms of Cevennes, p. 33, rightly refers this war with the saints to the Crusades against the Waldenses.—πᾶσαν, every) The law of the Roman Pontiffs prevailed over a greater portion of the earth, than that of the Emperors: Greg. vii. lib. 2, Ep. 75.

Verse 7. - And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. This clause is omitted in A, C, P, and some others. So in Daniel 7:21, "The same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High." And in Revelation 11:7, "The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them [the two witnesses], and shall overcome them, and kill them." Overcome; that is, apparently; so far as is seen by the world. In the same way the world overcame Christ; but by his death came victory. So in Revelation 2:10 the Church at Smyrna is encouraged by the words, "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer... be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations; over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation. Λαόν "people," is inserted in every manuscript except a few cursives. The fourfold enumeration, applied to the earth, denotes the universal character of the description (cf. the four living beings, Revelation 4:6. Also Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 11:9; Revelation 14:6). The same classification is adopted in the song of the redeemed (Revelation 5:9), which may be contrasted with this passage. Although the power of Satan extends to every section of the nations of the earth, yet men are not irrevocably delivered into his hand. From every part of mankind men are also redeemed. Revelation 13:7The saints (τῶν ἁγίων)

See on Acts 26:10.

All kindreds (πᾶσαν φυλὴν)

Rev., more literally and correctly, every tribe. See on Revelation 1:7; see on Revelation 5:9. After tribe insert καὶ λαὸν and people. See on 1 Peter 2:9.

Nation (ἔθνος)

See on 1 Peter 2:9.

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