1. As it was your desire, my beloved brother Theophilus, to be thoroughly informed on those topics which I put summarily before you, I have thought it

 2. For as the blessed prophets were made, so to speak, eyes for us, they foresaw through faith the mysteries of the word, and became ministers of thes

 3. Do you wish then to know in what manner the Word of God, who was again the Son of God, as He was of old the Word, communicated His revelations to t

 4. For whereas the Word of God was without flesh, He took upon Himself the holy flesh by the holy Virgin, and prepared a robe which He wove for Himsel

 5. But as time now presses for the consideration of the question immediately in hand, and as what has been already said in the introduction with regar

 6. Now, as our Lord Jesus Christ, who is also God, was prophesied of under the figure of a lion, on account of His royalty and glory, in the same way

 7. Now the blessed Jacob speaks to the following effect in his benedictions, testifying prophetically of our Lord and Saviour: “Judah, let thy brethre

 8. Knowing, then, as I do, how to explain these things in detail, I deem it right at present to quote the words themselves. But since the expressions

 9. And in saying, “A ruler shall not depart from Judah, nor a leader from his thighs, until he come for whom it is reserved and he shall be the expec

 10. “Binding his ass to a vine:” that means that He unites His people of the circumcision with His own calling (vocation). For He was the vine.   “And

 11. “He shall wash his garment in wine,” that is, according to that voice of His Father which came down by the Holy Ghost at the Jordan. “And his clot

 12. “His eyes gladsome with wine.” And what are the eyes of Christ but the blessed prophets, who foresaw in the Spirit, and announced beforehand, the

 13. And in saying, “And his teeth (shall be) whiter than milk,” he referred to the commandments that proceed from the holy mouth of Christ, and which

 14. Thus did the Scriptures preach before-time of this lion and lion’s whelp. And in like manner also we find it written regarding Antichrist. For Mos

 15. That it is in reality out of the tribe of Dan, then, that that tyrant and king, that dread judge, that son of the devil, is destined to spring and

 16. But Isaiah also speaks thus:  “And it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He wi

 17. And again he says in another place: “How hath the exactor ceased, and how hath the oppressor ceased! God hath broken the yoke of the rulers of sin

 18. Ezekiel also speaks of him to the same effect, thus: “Thus saith the Lord God, Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am God, I s

 19. These words then being thus presented, let us observe somewhat in detail what Daniel says in his visions. For in distinguishing the kingdoms that

 20. Now if we set Daniel’s own visions also side by side with this, we shall have one exposition to give of the two together, and shall (be able to) s

 21. “I beheld till the thrones were set, and the Ancient of days did sit: and His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool:

 22. “I saw in the night vision, and, behold, one like the Son of man was coming with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and was br

 23. Now since these things, spoken as they are with a mystical meaning, may seem to some hard to understand, we shall keep back nothing fitted to impa

 24. Then, after the lioness, he sees a “second beast like a bear,” and that denoted the Persians. For after the Babylonians, the Persians held the sov

 25. Then he says: “A fourth beast, dreadful and terrible it had iron teeth and claws of brass.” And who are these but the Romans? which (kingdom) is

 26. After a little space the stone will come from heaven which smites the image and breaks it in pieces, and subverts all the kingdoms, and gives the

 27. As these things, then, are in the future, and as the ten toes of the image are equivalent to (so many) democracies, and the ten horns of the fourt

 28. The golden head of the image and the lioness denoted the Babylonians the shoulders and arms of silver, and the bear, represented the Persians and

 29. These things, beloved, we impart to you with fear, and yet readily, on account of the love of Christ, which surpasseth all. For if the blessed pro

 30. Come, then, O blessed Isaiah arise, tell us clearly what thou didst prophesy with respect to the mighty Babylon. For thou didst speak also of Jer

 31. Which of you, then, shall I esteem more than thee? Yet Jeremiah, too, is stoned. But if I should esteem Jeremiah most, yet Daniel too has his test

 32. Speak with me, O blessed Daniel.  Give me full assurance, I beseech thee. Thou dost prophesy concerning the lioness in Babylon for thou wast a ca

 33. After this again thou hast told me of the beast dreadful and terrible. “It had iron teeth and claws of brass: it devoured and brake in pieces, and

 34. But as the task before us was to speak of the harlot, be thou with us, O blessed Isaiah. Let us mark what thou sayest about Babylon. “Come down, s

 35. “I was wroth with my people I have polluted mine inheritance, I have given them into thine hand: and thou didst show them no mercy but upon the

 36. For he sees, when in the isle Patmos, a revelation of awful mysteries, which he recounts freely, and makes known to others. Tell me, blessed John,

 37. “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great a

 38. “And here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen

 39. “And he saith to me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten hor

 40. “After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mighti

 41. “Reward her even as she rewarded (you), and double unto her double, according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double.

 42. “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye angels, and apostles, and prophets for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone lik

 43. With respect, then, to the particular judgment in the torments that are to come upon it in the last times by the hand of the tyrants who shall ari

 44. For as two advents of our Lord and Saviour are indicated in the Scriptures, the one being His first advent in the flesh, which took place without

 45.  He, on hearing the salutation addressed to Elisabeth, leaped with joy in his mother’s womb, recognising God the Word conceived in the womb of the

 46. But since the Saviour was the beginning of the resurrection of all men, it was meet that the Lord alone should rise from the dead, by whom too the

 47. For John says, “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcl

 48. But as it is incumbent on us to discuss this matter of the beast more exactly, and in particular the question how the Holy Spirit has also mystica

 49. By the beast, then, coming up out of the earth, he means the kingdom of Antichrist and by the two horns he means him and the false prophet after

 50. But now we shall speak of what is before us. For such measures will he, too, devise, seeking to afflict the saints in every way. For the prophet a

 51. But not to confine ourselves to these words and arguments alone, for the purpose of convincing those who love to study the oracles of God, we shal

 52. In those times, then, he shall arise and meet them. And when he has overmastered three horns out of the ten in the array of war, and has rooted th

 53. These things, then, shall be in the future, beloved and when the three horns are cut off, he will begin to show himself as God, as Ezekiel has sa

 54. As his tribe, then, and his manifestation, and his destruction, have been set forth in these words, and as his name has also been indicated mystic

 55. It will not be detrimental, therefore, to the course of our present argument, if we explain the art of that creature, and show that the prophet ha

 56. He then, having gathered to himself the unbelieving everywhere throughout the world, comes at their call to persecute the saints, their enemies an

 57. By the unrighteous judge, who fears not God, neither regards man, he means without doubt Antichrist, as he is a son of the devil and a vessel of S

 58. And in like manner Moses, knowing beforehand that the people would reject and disown the true Saviour of the world, and take part with error, and

 59. But we who hope for the Son of God are persecuted and trodden down by those unbelievers. For the wings of the vessels are the churches and the se

 60. Now, concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary, John also speaks thus: “And I saw a great

 61. By the woman then clothed with the sun,” he meant most manifestly the Church, endued with the Father’s word, whose brightness is above the sun. An

 62. The Lord also says, “When ye shall see the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand), then let them wh

 63. And the blessed Apostle Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, says: “Now we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, a

 64. These things, then, being to come to pass, beloved, and the one week being divided into two parts, and the abomination of desolation being manifes

 65. Moreover, concerning the resurrection and the kingdom of the saints, Daniel says, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall aris

 66. Concerning the resurrection of the righteous, Paul also speaks thus in writing to the Thessalonians:  “We would not have you to be ignorant concer

 67. These things, then, I have set shortly before thee, O Theophilus, drawing them from Scripture itself ,

49. By the beast, then, coming up out of the earth, he means the kingdom of Antichrist; and by the two horns he means him and the false prophet after him.109    The text is simply καὶ τὸν μετ᾽ αὐτόν = the false prophet after him. Gudius and Combefisius propose as above, καὶ αὐτόν τε καὶ τὸν μετ᾽ αὐτόν, or μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ = him and the false prophet with him. And in speaking of “the horns being like a lamb,” he means that he will make himself like the Son of God, and set himself forward as king. And the terms, “he spake like a dragon,” mean that he is a deceiver, and not truthful. And the words, “he exercised all the power of the first beast before him, and caused the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed,” signify that, after the manner of the law of Augustus, by whom the empire of Rome was established, he too will rule and govern, sanctioning everything by it, and taking greater glory to himself. For this is the fourth beast, whose head was wounded and healed again, in its being broken up or even dishonoured, and partitioned into four crowns; and he then (Antichrist) shall with knavish skill heal it, as it were, and restore it. For this is what is meant by the prophet when he says, “He will give life unto the image, and the image of the beast will speak.” For he will act with vigour again, and prove strong by reason of the laws established by him; and he will cause all those who will not worship the image of the beast to be put to death. Here the faith and the patience of the saints will appear, for he says: “And he will cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead; that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” For, being full of guile, and exalting himself against the servants of God, with the wish to afflict them and persecute them out of the world, because they give not glory to him, he will order incense-pans110    πυρεῖα = censers, incense-pans, or sacrificial tripods. This offering of incense was a test very commonly proposed by the pagans to those whose religion they suspected. to be set up by all everywhere, that no man among the saints may be able to buy or sell without first sacrificing; for this is what is meant by the mark received upon the right hand. And the word—“in their forehead”—indicates that all are crowned, and put on a crown of fire, and not of life, but of death. For in this wise, too, did Antiochus Epiphanes the king of Syria, the descendant of Alexander of Macedon, devise measures against the Jews. He, too, in the exaltation of his heart, issued a decree in those times, that “all should set up shrines before their doors, and sacrifice, and that they should march in procession to the honour of Dionysus, waving chaplets of ivy;” and that those who refused obedience should be put to death by strangulation and torture. But he also met his due recompense at the hand of the Lord, the righteous Judge and all-searching God; for he died eaten up of worms. And if one desires to inquire into that more accurately, he will find it recorded in the books of the Maccabees.111    [Not referred to as Scripture, but as authentic history.]

[49] τὸ μὲν οὖν ”θηρίον τὸ ἀναβαῖνον ἐκ τῆς γῆς” τὴν βασιλείαν τὴν τοῦ ἀντιχρίστου ἐσομένην λέγει, τὰ δὲ δύο κέρατα αὐτὸν καὶ τὸν μετ' αὐτοῦ ψευδοπροφήτην. τὸ δὲ εἰπεῖν „τὰ δύο κέρατα αὐτοῦ ὅμοια ἀρνίῳ„, ὅτι ἐξομοιοῦσθαι θέλει τῷ υἱῷ τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ αὐτὸς ἑαυτὸν βασιλέα ἐπιδεικνύων. τὸ δὲ εἰπεῖν ”ἐλάλει ὡς δράκων”, ὅτι πλάνος ἐστὶ καὶ οὐκ ἀληθής. τὸ δὲ „καὶ τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πρώτου θηρίου πᾶσαν ἐποίει καὶ ποιεῖ τὴν γῆν καὶ τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ κατοικοῦντας, ἵνα προσκυνήσωσι τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον, οὗ ἐθεραπεύθη ἡ πληγὴ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ„ τοῦτο σημαίνει, ὅτι κατὰ τὸν Αὐγούστου νόμον, ἀφ' οὗ καὶ ἡ βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων συνέστη, οὕτω καὶ αὐτὸς κελεύσει καὶ διατάξει, κυρῶν ἅπαντα, διὰ τούτου δόξαν ἑαυτῷ πλείονα περιποιούμενος. τοῦτο γάρ ἐστι τὸ θηρίον τὸ τέταρτον, οὗ ἐπλήγη ἡ κεφαλὴ καὶ πάλιν ἐθεραπεύθη διὰ τὸ καταλυθῆναι αὐτὴν καὶ ἀτιμασθῆναι καὶ εἰς δέκα διαδήματα ἀναλυθῆναι, ὥστε πανοῦργος ὢν ὡς περιθεραπεύσειν αὐτὴν καὶ ἀνανεώσειν. τοῦτο γάρ ἐστι τὸ εἰρημένον ὑπὸ τοῦ προφήτου, ὅτι ”δώσει πνεῦμα τῇ εἰκόνι καὶ λαλήσει ἡ εἰκὼν τοῦ θηρίου”: ἐνεργήσει γὰρ καὶ ἰσχύσει πάλιν διὰ τῶν ὑπ' αὐτοῦ ὁριζομένων νόμων, καὶ ποιήσει ὅσοι ἂν μὴ προσκυνήσωσι τῇ εἰκόνι τοῦ θηρίου ἀποκτανθῶσιν. „ὧδε ἡ πίστις καὶ ἡ ὑπομονὴ τῶν ἁγίων„ φανήσεται. φησὶ γὰρ ”καὶ ποιεῖ πάντας, τοὺς μικροὺς καὶ τοὺς μεγάλους καὶ τοὺς πλουσίους καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς καὶ τοὺς ἐλευθέρους καὶ τοὺς δούλους, ἵνα δῶσιν αὐτοῖς χάραγμα ἐπὶ τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῶν τῆς δεξιᾶς ἢ ἐπὶ τὸ μέτωπον, ἵνα μή τις δύναται ἀγοράσαι μήτε πωλῆσαι εἰ μὴ ὁ ἔχων τὸ χάραγμα ἢ τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ.” δόλιος γὰρ ὢν καὶ ἐπαιρόμενος κατὰ τῶν δούλων τοῦ θεοῦ, βουλόμενος ἐκθλίβειν καὶ ἐκδιώκειν αὐτοὺς ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου διὰ τὸ μὴ διδόναι αὐτοὺς αὐτῷ δόξαν, κελεύει πάντας πανταχοῦ θυμιατήρια τιθέναι, ἵνα μή τις δύνηται τῶν ἁγίων μήτε ἀγοράσαι μήτε πωλῆσαι, ἐὰν μὴ πρῶτον ἐπιθύσῃ. τοῦτο γάρ ἐστι „τὸ χάραγμα τὸ ἐπὶ τῆς χειρὸς τῆς δεξιᾶς„ διδόμενον. τὸ δὲ ”ἐπὶ τὸ μέτωπον” εἰπεῖν, ἵνα πάντες ὦσιν ἐστεφανωμένοι, πύρινον καὶ οὐ ζωῆς ἀλλὰ θανάτου στέφανον μεθ' ἑαυτῶν περιφέροντες. οὕτω γὰρ ἐτεχνάσατο κατὰ τῶν Ἰουδαίων καὶ Ἀντίοχος ὁ Ἐπιφανὴς ὁ τῆς Συρίας γενόμενος βασιλεύς, ὢν ἐκ γένους Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ Μακεδόνος. καὶ γὰρ αὐτὸς τοῖς τότε καιροῖς ἐπαρθεὶς τῇ καρδίᾳ ἔγραψε ψήφισμα βωμοὺς πρὸ τῶν θυρῶν τιθέντας ἅπαντας ἐπιθύειν, καὶ κισσοὺς ἐστεφανωμένους πομπεύειν τῷ Διονύσῳ, τοὺς δὲ μὴ βουλομένους ὑποτάσσεσθαι, τούτους μετὰ σπλαγχνισμῶν καὶ ἑτασμῶν καὶ βασάνων ἀναιρεῖσθαι. ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτὸς τὴν ἀνταξίαν παρὰ τοῦ κυρίου καὶ δικαιοκρίτου καὶ παντεπόπτου θεοῦ ἔλαβεν, ὁμοίως βάσανον: γενόμενος γὰρ σκωληκόβρωτος μετήλλαξε τὸν βίον. καὶ ταῦτα μὲν εἴ τις βούλοιτο λεπτομερῶς ἐνιστορῆσαι, σεσήμανται ἐν τοῖς μακκαβαίοις.