|We begin with a
comparison of the first trumpet and the first seal. Both are said to fall “on the earth.” Thus, if we take the historicist view, they
should fall on the same place -- Rome.
Many futurist commentators hold to this as well.
|The word for “sores”
has some familiar uses:
|• It is the word used
for the sixth plague on the Egyptians in the time of the Exodus.
|• It is also the
“tumor” of the Philistines when they captured the ark. (One commentator -- Wilcox -- asks us to
picture the frantic humor of the Philistines trying to get the ark out of
|• It is the “boil” of
little difficulty with this passage.
Lindsey and Smith see radiation sickness (quite plausible); McGee sees germ warfare.
this in the sense of a “moral ulcer.”
Recall that the timing must be about 1793, and the answer leaps out of
the history books: the Reign of Terror
of the French Revolution.
|This brings an
important point. All these judgments
are upon those who would recognize themselves as being in “Christian”
civilization. If this view is correct,
we see a change in cause. Pagan Rome
fought back with demon worship (and lost).
Political Rome fought back with armies (and lost). Papal Rome now is under attack not so much
by armies but by ideas -- a thought which will crescendo in the historicist
view. It deserves a thought in the
other views as well.
|It is entirely
likely that the blossoming of the historicist theory in the 19th century owes
much not only to Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire but
also to the French Revolution -- which provided the events in this section.