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Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Genesis Overview



The series (first three εἰς, last four ἐπὶ) of these plagues as usual consists of four and three; the former, as in the seals, affecting earth (i.e., votaries of the Imperial cultus), sea, waters, and the sun. The special object of the writer in this passage (i.e., to introduce the doom of Rome and the worshippers of the Emperor) leads him to vary the materials drawn from the Egyptian plagues which had been already used in the corresponding series of the trumpet-visions (8–9.) by defining precisely the victims of the first plague as worshippers of the Beast, by substituting the throne and realm of the Beast in the fifth plague for mankind in general, in the sixth by connecting the Parthian invasion with the Beast itself, in the seventh by introducing Rome’s fall among the physical disasters, and in the prologue by making the plagues come from God’s initiative without intercession (as Revelation 8:3 f.). How far these new touches are original or due to the influence of current traditions no longer extant, it is impossible to determine. This series of plagues is simply a free adaptation, with modifications and applications, of that in 8–9.; the prophet wishes to emphasise, by the genuinely Semitic method of recapitulation (cf. Genesis 41:32; Psalms 62:11, etc.), the sure and speedy approach of judgment.


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Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Genesis:4 Overview". The Expositor's Greek Testament. 1897-1910.

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