Revelation 17:17
For God has put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) For God hath put . . .—Better, For God gave it into their hearts to do his mind, and (to do) one mind, and to give their kingdom, &c. The kings give their kingdom to the wild beast; their authority and might is used for him, whether in making war upon the Lamb (Revelation 17:14) or in casting down the harlot. In these enterprises they act unitedly; there is given to them to make “one mind.” But they are only carrying out the righteous will of God; God wills that the harlot shall fall; and even in their war upon the Lamb, they are but preparing for the crisis when the foes of the righteous King shall fall (Revelation 19:19). Thus does the wrath of man ever turn to God’s praise.

17:15-18 God so ruled the hearts of these kings, by his power over them, and by his providence, that they did those things, without intending it, which he purposed and foretold. They shall see their folly, and how they have been bewitched and enslaved by the harlot, and be made instruments in her destruction. She was that great city which reigned over the kings of the earth, when John had this vision; and every one knows Rome to be that city. Believers will be received to the glory of the Lord, when wicked men will be destroyed in a most awful manner; their joining together in sin, will be turned to hatred and rage, and they will eagerly assist in tormenting each other. But the Lord's portion is his people; his counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure, to his glory, and the happiness of all his servants.For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will - That is, in regard to the destruction of this mighty power. They would be employed as his agents in bringing about his designs. Kings and princes are under the control of God, and, whatever may be their own designs, they are in fact employed to accomplish his purposes, and are instruments in his hands. See the notes on Isaiah 10:7. Compare Psalm 76:10.

And to agree - See Revelation 17:13. That is, they act harmoniously in their support of this power, and so they will in its final destruction.

And give their kingdom unto the beast - See the notes at Revelation 17:13.

Until the words of God shall be fulfilled - Not forever; not as a permanent arrangement. God has fixed a limit to the existence of this power. When his purposes are accomplished, these kingdoms will withdraw their support, and this mighty power will fall to rise no more.

17. hath put—the prophetical past tense for the future.

fulfil—Greek, "do," or "accomplish." The Greek, "poiesai," is distinct from that which is translated, "fulfilled," Greek, "telesthesontai," below.

his will—Greek, "his mind," or purpose; while they think only of doing their own purpose.

to agree—literally, "to do" (or accomplish) one mind" or "purpose." A and Vulgate omit this clause, but B supports it.

the words of God—foretelling the rise and downfall of the beast; Greek, "hoi logoi," in A, B, and Andreas. English Version reading is Greek, "ta rhemata," which is not well supported. No mere articulate utterances, but the efficient words of Him who is the Word: Greek, "logos."

fulfilled—(Re 10:7).

For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will; that is, what he hath determined shall be done; not what he commandeth men to do, or approveth their doing of; his permissive will.

And to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast; for God puts malice against himself and his Son into the hearts of none, which is the cause of any persons’ assisting the beast.

Until the words of God shall be fulfilled; nor shall they do this any longer than till the forty-two months be expired, which he by his word hath declared he hath allowed to these mongrel Gentiles, to tread down the outward court: but till that time be expired, these kingdoms will agree to give their power to the beast, whom about the expiration of that time they shall hate, and help to destroy. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will,.... By doing the preceding things to the whore of Rome, whose destruction is according to the will of God; it is his approving will, what he likes of, and will be well pleased with; it is his will of command, what he will order to be done, Revelation 18:6 and it is his determining will, his will of purpose, his decree, what he has resolved shall be done; he has fixed the time of her reign, and longer than that she shall not continue: and these kings, in destroying her, will not do so much their own will, as the will of God, and God will put it into their hearts to do it; he will work in them both to will and to do; he will fill them with hatred to her; he will incline their minds to do the above things, as it will be in the power of their hands to do them; he who has the hearts of all men, and even of kings in his hands, and can turn them as rivers of water, will move them hereunto, Proverbs 21:1 he that turned the hearts of the Egyptians to hate his people Israel, Psalm 105:25 will turn the hearts of these kings to hate the whore, and do unto her as is here predicted; and the same God will do this, who has, on the other hand, already put into their hearts to do the following things:

and to agree: this clause is wanting in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin version, and is the same with that of having one mind, Revelation 17:13 that is, being of the same religion; God giving them up to a reprobate mind, to believe a lie, that they might be damned; which must be understood not of the same individuals, but of their predecessors; unless this is to be interpreted of their agreeing together against the whore, to pull her down, and set up the pure worship and service of God; for this is a blessing of grace from God, who gives his people one heart and one way, that they may fear him, Jeremiah 32:39 but the former sense seems best, since it follows,

and give their kingdom unto the beast; the eighth king, and seventh head, the pope of Rome; to whom they have given their power and strength in things civil and ecclesiastical, their wealth and riches; and have received their crowns from him, and have held their kingdoms by him, and become tributary to him: and this is done, and will be,

until the words of God shall be fulfilled; concerning the afflictions of his church and people, and the reign of antichrist, for the space of forty and two months, Revelation 11:2 all which while they are fulfilling the secret will of God, unknown to them, and yet act against his revealed will, and break his commands; just as the Jews, ignorant of the prophecies of the Old Testament, fulfilled them in condemning Christ, Acts 13:27. That God should put it into the hearts of these kings to fulfil his will, in destroying the whore of Rome, is easily received; but there seems some difficulty that he should put it into their hearts to agree and give their kingdom to the beast, which was sinful: now this he did, not by infusing sin into them, which is contrary to his pure and holy nature; but by leaving them, and giving them up to their own hearts' lusts; stirring up, and moving upon their minds, and directing the motions of it, to such and such objects, which they readily and voluntarily fell in with; and yet the concern of God herein does not, nor do his decrees about sin infringe the liberty of the will in acting, or excuse the sinfulness of the action, or make God the author of sin; as the instances of selling of Joseph by his brethren, and the crucifixion of Christ by the Jews, show.

{34} For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

(34) A reason rendered from the chief efficient cause, which is the providence of God, by which alone John by inversion of order affirms to have come to pass, both that the kings should execute on the harlot that which pleased God, and which he declared in the verse before: and also that by one consent and counsel, they should give their kingdom to the beast, etc. Re 17:13,14 for as these being blinded have before depended on the call of the beast that lifts up the harlot, so it is said, that afterward it shall come to pass, that they shall turn back, and shall fall away from her, when their hearts shall be turned into better state by the grace and mercy of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 17:17. The remarkable unanimity and obedience of the usurping vassals, which welds them into an avenging instrument, can only be explained on supernatural grounds. A divine overruling controls all political movements (cf. Revelation 11:2, Revelation 13:5; Revelation 13:7), according to the determioism of apocalyptic tradition (Baldensperger, 58 f.). The irony of the situation is that the tools of providence are destroyed, after they have unconsciously served their purpose (as in Isaiah 10:12 f.). The Imperial power, hitherto the usual support of Rome, is to prove her deadly foe; John’s stern philosophy is that one partner in this hateful union is employed to ruin the other. Not long before this prophecy appeared, Vitellius and Vespasian in the person of their partisans had ravaged Rome in the near future Nero’s allies were to fight, like Corio-lanus, against their “cankered country, with the spleen of all the under-fiends”.—μίαν κ.τ.λ. The same tradition, on a simpler scale, appears in 4 Esd. 13:33, 34 where, at the revelation of God’s Son, “every man shall leave his own land and their battles against one another; and a countless multitude shall assemble together, desiring to come and fight against him”. The dualism of God and Satan is not absolute; even the latter’s manœuvres are made to subserve some providential design.17. For God hath put in their hearts &c.] The very same “judicial blindness” is spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:11.

to agree] Lit., to make, (or come to,) one mind, (or one will): cf. Revelation 17:13.

and give their kingdom unto the beast] He therefore, though a representative of the Roman Empire, will not fall with the city of Rome: on the contrary, in the last days of the latter he will have appeared as its enemy. The gradual divorce of the Empire from the City, by Diocletian, Constantine, Charlemagne, the mediæval German Emperors, Charles V., Francis II., Napoleon, William, is significant as providing precedents for what Antichrist will do: though of course it would be absurd and unjust to think of all these as actuated by his spirit.Revelation 17:17. Τὴν γνώμην αὐτοῦ, his will) namely, of the beast. The expression, γνώμη Θεοῦ, occurs Ezra 6:14; but here John expresses, τὴν γνώμην τοῦ θηρίου, the will of the beast, against the whore.—καὶ ποιῆσαι μίαν γνώμην) See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage.[193] A twofold point of importance is recorded; first, that the ten horns fulfil the will of the beast; and secondly, that they in concert with one another fulfil one will, namely, concerning the delivering up of their kingdom to the beast alone.[194]

[193] A Vulg. omit this clause: so Lachm. B supports it: so Tisch.—E.

[194] ἡ ἔχουσα, having) This at that very time, in which desolation threatens the whore, is to be taken for the present time.—V. g.Verse 17. - For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled; God did put... to do his mind, and to come to one mind (Revised Version). "His mind" is thought by Bengel, De Wette, and Dusterdieck to signify the beast's mind. Others understand God's mind. In either ease the general sense is plain. While the world power is apparently performing the will of the beast, God is working above all; only by his permission can anything be done (cf. the "it was given" of Revelation 13.). The "words of God" are his denunciations against those who trust to the world (cf. Ezekiel 16:37, quoted on ver. 16). Hath put (ἔδωκεν)

Rev., with stricter rendering of the aorist, did put. Lit., did give.

To fulfill His will (ποιῆσαι τὴν γνώμην αὐτοῦ)

See on Revelation 17:13. Rev., more literally, to do his mind.

To agree (ποιήσαι μίαν γνώμην)

Lit., to make one mind. Rev., come to one mind.

The words (τὰ ῥήματα)

But read οἱ λόγοι the prophetic words. For the distinction, see on Luke 1:37.

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