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Summary: They are of their father the devil; they are influenced by him, he works through them to accomplish his objectives, and leads them captive at his will; they do his lusts, and are murderers and liars, and false teachers, like him.

Book of Revelation

By: Tom Lowe Date: 4/21/17

Lesson: IV.B.7: Sixth bowl(Revelation 16:12-16)

Revelation 16:12-16 (KJV)

12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Commentary

12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates;”

[Some believe this clause which pertains to the river Euphrates is not to be taken literally.] “The great river Euphrates” ran through Mesopotamia and Chaldea, and by the walls of Babylon; but, the drying up of it to make way for the Jews in the eastern parts of the world, to pass into their own land, and possess it should not be taken literally for the following reasons:

1. It is not to be taken literally, since a miracle will be created for them, which is similar to when they came out of Egypt, by dividing the Red Sea for them to walk safely to the other side; and like when they entered into the land of Canaan by laying the waters of the Jordan River in heaps, so that they passed over on dry land; which seems to be the sense of the passage in Isaiah 11:15{1], which some interpret as God smiting the river Euphrates. The river Nile in Egypt, however, is probably the focus here.

2. It is not to be taken literally, because it does not appear that there is a significant number of Jews beyond the river Euphrates; the far greater number of them is in the western and northern parts of the eastern territory; so that there will be no need for the drying up of this river for their passage into their own land;

3. It is not to be taken literally, for if there were any Jews in those parts, can any reason be given for why they would be called the “kings of the east,” since wherever they are, they are a poor contemptible people, and have not had any royalty among them for many hundreds of years.

4. It is not to be taken literally, nor can that river be considered much of a hindrance, even if all other impediments were removed, nor can drying it do much to facilitate their passage to Judea.

5. It is not to be taken literally; for this vial, like the rest, is a plague on antichrist, in some part of the antichristian federation; which, if that is not intended here, it is nowhere in the account of this vial, and therefore this must be understood supernaturally.

There is no doubt that there is an allusion to the draining of this river at the taking of Babylon by Cyrus, according to how it is predicted in prophecy (Isaiah 44:27) who, making sluices and drains, turned the river another direction, and marched through it with his army, and surprised and easily took the city, while Belshazzar and his nobles were indulging themselves in rioting and drunkenness, as Daniel relates (Daniel 5:1).

“…and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.”

That is, “the water thereof was dried up” as the result of pouring out the vial. There is an allusion here, undoubtedly, to the dividing of the waters of the Red Sea, so that the children of Israel could escape the Egyptians (Exodus 14:21-22{3]). This clause has been interpreted in more than one way, but the one I will use is given most often. In it, the Euphrates is represented as a barrier to prevent the passage of “the kings of the East,” on their way to the West for some purpose not yet specified. The Euphrates is thought to be a symbol of the seat of power of Israel’s enemies, which means that “that power” is a hindrance to the progress of “the kings of the east,” and that in some way that hindrance is to be removed. However it is done, it will be as if the waters of a complete unfordable river were dried up in order to provide a safe and easy passage through.

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