Of the Woman driven into the Wilderness.
Of the Seven-Headed Beast restored.
Of the Outer Court trodden down by the Gentiles.
Of the Witnesses on Earth prophesying in Sackcloth.
IT is from hence that I begin, and my first synchronism shall be that of the remarkable quaternion of prophecies displayed in equal intervals of time. First, Of the woman living in the wilderness for a time, times, and a half, or (as it is there more fully expressed) for 1260 days. Secondly, Of the seven-headed beast restored, and endued with power for forty-two months. Thirdly, Of the exterior court (or of the Holy City) trodden down by the Gentiles for the same number of months. Fourthly, and lastly, Of the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth for 1260 days.
The truth of this synchronism is almost evident of itself, and seems capable of being confirmed, as it generally is, by the very equality of the periods; for a time, times, and half a time, i. e. three years and a half (as appears from the collation of the 6th verse with the 14th of chapter xii.), make up forty-two months, and forty-two months 1260 days.
But because it does not necessarily follow, (though in visions presented at the same time it is extremely probable) that equal times are also synchronic, since equality does not prevent some things being prior, and some subsequent to others, the character of equality will not be adapted to compel reluctant assent; I will search, therefore, for characters elsewhere, from which I may put an end to the matter by clear and irrefragable demonstration.
Of the Beast and the Woman.
The times of the beast and of the woman residing in the wilderness, begin from one and the same point; namely, from the red dragon's being conquered, and cast out on the earth. As therefore they are equal, they must of necessity run together through the whole period, and at length complete their course together. That the times of each commence from the same point or terminus, is evident from the 12th chapter; since as soon as the dragon is cast out by Michael, the woman flies from his face into the wilderness, and the dragon being angry, that he had in vain attempted to overwhelm her, as she was departing thither, went to make war on the remnant of her seed, with those whom she was about to bring forth in the wilderness , and standing on the sand of the sea, he delivered to the ten-horned beast ascending from thence, his power, and his throne, and great authority.
Of the Beast and the Prophecy of the Witnesses.
The times of the beast and of the prophecy of the witnesses being also equal, finish together at the end of the sixth trumpet. It is manifest that they began together, and were contemporary through the whole intervening space.
Now that the times of the beast, and of the witnesses of God prophesying in sackcloth finish at the end of the sixth trumpet, is clear from v.14. c. xi., where not only both the ascent of the witnesses into heaven (which is the termination of this mourning prophecy), but the great earthquake (by which the royal city is thrown down, and the kingdom of the beast destroyed), is marked out by the point of time at which the second woe (or sixth trumpet) is past, and the third woe (or seventh trumpet) is immediately about to commence. For in that moment of time, the witnesses, whom the beast risen out of the abyss had killed, as they were just about to finish their testimony (for that is the meaning of hotan telesosi), being divinely revived, ascended into heaven. And in the same hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and then it came to pass, at the sound of the seventh trumpet, that the kingdoms of this world became the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ.
Of the Witnesses and Court (or Holy City) occupied by the Gentiles.
It is plain that the times of the witnesses and of the court (or Holy City) occupied by the Gentiles, are contemporary, from the meaning of the text, c. xi. v.2, 3. as from the wrath of the Gentiles, who are thrust out at the beginning of the seventh trumpet; that is, at the end of the sixth, when the days of the witnesses likewise expire, as has just been shown. For the nations or Gentiles, who at v.18. are said to be inflamed with anger at the sound of the seventh trumpet, are no other than those, who for the whole forty-two months had trodden down the outer court of the temple; that is, the Holy City, and who are now, on that account, about to be destroyed by the wrath of God.
This synchronism is not wont to be called in question by any one that I know or recollect.
Of the Witnesses, Court, Beast, and Woman.
If the treading down of the court and Holy City be contemporary with the prophecy of the witnesses, it will be contemporary likewise with the beast with whom the witnesses contemporize, and therefore with the woman in the wilderness also, with whom the beast contemporizes. So that the woman in the wilderness, the dominion of the beast, the conculcation of the Holy City, and the prophecy of the witnesses, all synchronize with one another.