Chap. clxvii. From the Writings of the Indians, Persians, and Egyptians.
The sun relates, in interpretation, to the person of the king, and the moon to the person of the prince, who is second to the king: Venus to the person of the empress, or Augusta, and also the other largest stars to the greatest persons about the king. While I am collecting these things, I am almost induced to think, that the famous title of Sapor, king of the Persians, in his letters delivered to the emperor Constantius, (Sapor, king of kings, partner of the stars, brother of the sun and moon, to Constantius Cesar, my brother, greeting,) which Ammianus Marcellinus attributes to Persian pride, was no other than the vernacular style of the nation, arising from images of this kind; which ought to appear less wonderful to any one, since we see even our own heralds, in publishing the arms of emperors and kings, apply to them the names of the sun and moon, and of the other planets. Hither, likewise, may be referred Jacob's interpretation of the dream of Joseph, his son, of the sun and moon, and eleven stars, making obeisance to him, which he immediately, as by no means ignorant of the parables of the east, applies to his own family, interpreting the sun and moon of himself and his wife, as king and queen; the stars, of his sons, as the nobles of the family, Gen. c. xxxvii. v.10. But let us return to our Achmet, for be proceeds in the same chapter.
If any one has thought that he saw the sun in the heaven deprived of light and rays, calamity and disgrace appertain to the person of the king.
If the sun has appeared to be in eclipse, that portends affliction and war to the king.
If any one has thought he saw the sun covered with a cloud, the king will fall into distress and diseases, by way of occultation.
If any one has seen the sun, and moon, and stars, collected together without light; if he is of the number of grandees, he absolutely approaches to ruin, on account of that darkness; if he is king surrounded by all, he shall be sought out in battle, and shall fall into great affliction.
Chap. clxviii. Of the Observations of the Persians and Egyptians.
If any one has imagined he saw the stars possessed of very little light, cast down, scattered and obscured, this vision is to be referred to the calamity of the nobles, opulent men, and to the presidents of the king.
The sixth seal being finished, we should proceed forthwith in order to the seventh, (big as it is with its sevenfold plague,) as what coheres with the sixth in an immediate connexion. But the Holy Spirit, by a sure suggestion, has led to the delay of our progress for a little while, until it has placed before our eyes the state of an assembly contemporizing with it, which was to be safe under its plagues, and was also to survive them.
Let us then hold the torch of interpretation, in the first place, to that vision, as far as we are able, and then we will continue the order of the seals which we have begun.