Of the Measure of the Interior Court by the Reed of God, with the Snares of the Seven-headed Dragon, and his Battle with Michael concerning the Birth of the Child.
These are the nearest antecedents of contemporary events; the battle of the dragon and the birth of the child, with the habitation of the woman in the wilderness, and the rise of the ten-horned beast. The interior court, (for what is said of the temple of God, of the altar of incense, and of the priests worshipping there according to custom, is a periphrasis of this expression,) to the exterior court, or that of the people, where the nations are represented to have been unjustly and unlawfully housed as in a stable.
To prove this: In the first place, both the delivery of the woman, and the battle of the dragon with Michael, impinge on the same termination, viz. the flight of the woman into the wilderness, which is said to have followed next to the act of both: For the woman, as soon as she had brought forth a son, |fled into the wilderness,| there to be nourished for 1260 days. In like manner, when the dragon was cast out, the woman |fled into the wilderness, there to be nourished from the face of the serpent, for a time, and times, and half a time.| These two things, therefore, as you see, the title of the synchronism combines into one, as visions of the same time and subject, completely connected, and which it is unnecessary to separate in this investigation. Moreover, that battle in which Michael conquered the dragon, immediately preceded the restoration of the seven-headed or ten-horned beast; for the dragon, as soon as he was cast out into the earth, |standing on the sand of the sea shore, delivers up for the future his office, that is, his authority, his throne, and great power, to the beast emerging from thence;| and (as the Complutensian edition renders it, together with Irenæus) |one of his heads, as it were, wounded to death, whose wounds being cured, all the world followed the beast, wondering.|
And thus far the matter is plain and obvious; but of the antecedence of the interior to the outer court, (which alone remains to the completion of the synchronism,) the mode of proof is a little more difficult, because the subject has long been otherwise understood, and is therefore impeded by prejudices.
The inner court, in consequence of the structure of the temple, precedes the outer court in situation and order, as being nearest to the throne of God, or to Nao, the head of the whole structure. Therefore, if things should be significant of different times, (for it is not a novelty that order of situation should denote order of time, as in the statue which Nebuchadnezzar dreamt he saw,) then it is agreeable to reason that the indicated time of the interior court should be prior to the indicated time of the exterior.
Now that there is an indication of different times relative to the courts, and consequently that the indication of the interior court is more ancient, and prior to the other, I thus farther demonstrate. Because this vision of the measurement of the court of the temple and altar, or of the inner court, is the beginning of a repeated prophecy, which, indeed, (as will soon be more fully shown,) rehearses from the beginning, and as it were above, the times of the prophecy of the seals, whose commencement no one can have doubted, must be sought for from that epoch of the apocalyptical period. |You must prophesy| (says he) |again,| (thus he explains the symbol of the eaten book) |before many people, and nations, and tongues, and kings.| |Palin,| that is, in a renewed order of the times of which he had before prophesied. But he begins from the measurement of the temple and altar of incense, and of those who worshipped there. If, then, the vision concerning the delivery of the woman, and the battle of the dragon, (which is itself a part of this repeated prophecy), ascend to the very commencement of the period or apocalyptical time, even so far, that the Apocalypse has nothing more ancient, or that deduces its origin from a higher source, (and this will appear, both from the nature of the circumstance, the birth of a child, and from synchronisms already confirmed, and to be still farther confirmed,) why should not the beginning of the same prophecy and the first of all the visions, with still greater probability, be presumed to ascend as far? But the months of the outer court cannot reach so high, as they are wholly contemporary with the ten-horned beast: therefore, it is very evident to me, that the times of the inner and measured court not only precede the months of the outer and unmeasured one, but ought to be derived from the origin of the repeated prophecy, as well as the vision of the birth of the child, and of the dragon.
Now, these three events -- the habitation of the woman in the wilderness, the ten-horned beast, and the outer court trodden down by the Gentiles, appear to be contemporary from the first synchronism: therefore the times of the inner court measured, and the delivery of the woman, together with the wiles of the dragon, and the battle with Michael, being the nearest antecedents of those contemporary events, must contemporize with one another. Q. E. D.