New American Standard Bible
And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
King James Bible
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Darby Bible Translation
And it was given to it to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should also speak, and should cause that as many as should not do homage to the image of the beast should be killed.
World English Bible
It was given to him to give breath to it, to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as wouldn't worship the image of the beast to be killed.
Young's Literal Translation
and there was given to it to give a spirit to the image of the beast, that also the image of the beast may speak, and that it may cause as many as shall not bow before the image of the beast, that they may be killed.
Revelation 13:15 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast - That is, that image of the beast would be naturally powerless, or would have no life in itself. The second beast, however, had power to impart life to it, so that it would be invested with authority, and would exercise that authority in the manner specified. If this refers, as is supposed, to the Roman civil power - the power of the empire restored - it would find a fulfillment in some act of the papacy by which the empire that resembled in the extent of its jurisdiction, and in its general character, the former Roman empire, received some vivifying impulse, or was invested with new power. That is, it would have power conferred on it through the papacy which it would not have in itself, and which would confirm its jurisdiction. How far events actually occurred corresponding with this, will be considered in the notes at the close of this verse.
That the image of the beast should both speak - Should give signs of life; should issue authoritative commands. The speaking here referred to pertains to what is immediately specified, in issuing a command that they who "would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
And cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast - Would not honor it, or acknowledge its authority. The "worship" here referred to is civil, not religious homage. See the notes on Revelation 13:4. The meaning is, that what is here called the "image of the beast" had power given it, by its connection with the second "beast," to set up its jurisdiction over people, and to secure their allegiance on pain of death. The power by which this was done was derived from the second beast; the obedience and homage demanded was of the most entire and submissive character; the nature of the government was in a high degree arbitrary; and the penalty enforced for refusing this homage was death. The facts that we are to look for in the fulfillment of this are:
(1) that the Roman imperial power was about to expire - as if wounded to death by the sword;
(2) that this was revived in the form of what is here called the "image of the beast" - that is, in a form closely resembling the former power;
(3) that this was done by the agency of the papal power, represented by the second beast;
(4) that the effect of this was to set up over people a wide-extended secular jurisdiction, of a most arbitrary and absolute kind, where the penalty of disobedience to its laws was death, and where the infliction of this was, in fact, to be traced to the influence of the second beast - that is, the papal spiritual power.
The question now is, whether facts occurred that corresponded with this emblematic representation. Now, as to the leading fact, the decline of the Roman imperial power - the fatal wound inflicted on that by the "sword" - there can be no doubt. In the time of "Augustulus," as above stated, it had become practically extinct - "wounded as it were to death," and so wounded that it would never have been revived again had it not been for some foreign influence. It is true also, that, when the papacy arose, the necessity was felt of allying itself with some wide extended civil or secular dominion, that might be under its own control, and that would maintain its spiritual authority. It is true, also, that the empire was revived - the very "image" or copy, so far as it could be, of the former Roman power, in the time of Charlemagne, and that the power which was wielded in what was called the "empire," was what was, in a great measure, derived from the papacy, and was designed to sustain the papacy, and was actually employed for that purpose. These are the main facts, I suppose, which are here referred to, and a few extracts from Mr. Gibbon will show with what propriety and accuracy the symbols here employed were used, on the supposition that this was the designed reference:
(a) The rise, or restoration of this imperial power in the time and the person of Charlemagne. Mr. Gibbon says (3:342), "It was after the Nicene synod, and under the reign of the pious Irene, that the popes consummated the separation of Rome and Italy (from the Eastern empire) by the translation of the empire to the less orthodox Charlemagne. They were compelled to choose between the rival nations; religion was not the sole motive of their choice; and while they dissembled the failings of their friends, they beheld with reluctance and suspicion the Catholic virtues of their foes. The difference of language and manners had perpetuated the enmity of the two capitals (Rome and Constantinople); and they were alienated from each other by the hostile opposition of seventy years. In that schism the Romans had tasted of freedom, and the popes of sovereignty; their submission would have exposed them to the revenge of a jealous tyrant, and the revolution of Italy had betrayed the impotence as well as the tyranny of the Byzantine court."
Mr. Gibbon then proceeds to state reasons why Charlemagne was selected as the one who was to be placed at the head of the revived imperial power, and then adds (p. 343), "The title of patrician was below the merit and greatness of Charlemagne; and it was only by reviving the "Western empire" that they could pay their obligations, or secure their establishment. By this decisive measure they would finally eradicate the claims of the Greeks; from the debasement of a provincial town the majesty of Rome would be restored; the Latin Christians would be united, under a supreme head, in their ancient metropolis; "and the conquerors of the West would receive their crown from the successors of Peter. The Roman church would acquire a zealous and respectable advocate"; and under the shadow of the Carlovingian power, the bishop might exercise, with honor and safety, the government of the city." All this seems as if it were a designed commentary on such expressions as these: "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed," "saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword, and did live; and he had power to give life unto the image of the beast," etc.
(b) Its extent. It is said Revelation 13:12, "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." Compare Revelation 13:14-15. That is, the extent of the jurisdiction of the revived power, or the restored empire, would be as great as it was before the wound was inflicted. Of the extent of the restored empire under Charlemagne, Mr. Gibbon has given a full account, iii. pp. 546-549. The passage is too long to be copied here in full, and a summary of it only can be given. He says, "The empire was not unworthy of its title; and some of the fairest kingdoms of Europe were the patrimony or conquest of a prince who reigned at the same time in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Hungary.
I. The Roman province of Gaul had been transformed into the name and monarchy of France, etc.
II. The Saracens had been expelled from France by the grandfather and father of Charlemagne, but they still possessed the greatest part of Spain, from the rock of Gibraltar to the Pyrenees. Amidst their civil divisions, an Arabian emir of Saragossa implored his protection in the diet of Paderborn. Charlemagne undertook the expedition, restored the emir, and, without distinction of faith, impartially crushed the resistance of the Christians, and rewarded the obedience and service of the Muslims. In his absence he instituted the Spanish March, which extended from the Pyrenees to the river Ebro: Barcelona was the residence of the French governor; he possessed the counties of Rousillon and Catalonia; and the infant kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon were subject to his jurisdiction.
III. As king of the Lombards, and patrician of Rome, he reigned over the greatest part of Italy, a tract of a thousand miles from the Alps to the borders of Calabria, etc.
LibraryGuelf and Ghibelline. (ii)
[Sidenote: Honorius III (1216-27) and the Crusade.] The bull of summons to the Lateran Council of 1215 mentions as the two great desires of the Pope's heart the recovery of the Holy Land and the reformation of the Church Universal; and it is made clear that the various measures of reform to be placed before the General Council are intended to bring Christian princes and peoples, both clergy and laity, into the frame of mind for sending aid to Palestine. Moreover, at the Council it was agreed that …
D. J. Medley—The Church and the Empire
The Fifth vision "On Earth"
The First vision "On Earth"
Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.
He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,
"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.
And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
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