beast of the Papacy and resigns its throne to the rising Antichrist giving opportunity for the rise of the ten horns as European king 5 ( <661301>Revelation 13:1-3). The second commencement, adding the seventy-five supplementary years of <271212>Daniel 12:12 [1335-1260 = 75], is A. D. 606, when the Emperor Phocas acknowledges the primacy of Rome and the ten horns, or kings, now diademed, submit to the Papacy ( <661712>Revelation 17:12, 13). The first ending point is A.D.1791, when the French Revolution struck the first blow at the independence of the Pope [531 + 1260 = 1791]. The second ending point is A.D. 1866, when the temporal power of the Pope was abolished at the unification of the kingdom of Italy [606 + 1260 = 1866]. Elliott regards the two-horned beast ( <661311>Revelation 13:11) as representing the Papal Clergy and the image of the beast ( <661314>Revelation 13:14, 15) as representing the Papal Councils.
Unlike Hengstenberg and Alford, who consider the seals, trumpets and vials as synchronological, Elliott makes the seven trumpets to be an unfolding of the seventh seal and the seven vials to be an unfolding of the seventh trumpet. Like other advocates of the pre-millennial advent of Christ, Elliott regards the four chief signs of Christ?s near approach as being
(1) the decay of the Turkish Empire (the drying up of the river Euphrates, <661612> Revelation 16:12),
(2) the Pope?s loss of temporal power (the destruction of Babylon, <661719> Revelation 17:19),
(3) the conversion of the Jews and their return to their own land (Ezekiel 37; <451112> Romans 11:12-15, 25-27. On this last, see Meyer),
(4) the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and the conversion of the Gentiles (the way of the kings of the East ? Revelations 16:12; the fullness of the Gentiles ? <451125>Romans 11:25) .
Elliott?s whole scheme, however, is vitiated by the fact that he wrongly assumes the book of Revelation to have been written under Domitian (94 or 96), instead of under Nero (67 or 68). His terminus a quo is therefore incorrect, and his interpretation of chapters 5-9 is rendered very precarious. The year 1866, moreover, should have been the time of the end and so the terminus ad quem seems to be clearly misunderstood, unless, indeed, the seventy-five supplementary years of Daniel are to be added to 1668. We regard the failure of this most ingenious scheme of apocalyptic interpretation as a practical demonstration that a clear understanding of the meaning of prophecy is, before the event, impossible.
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