Victorinus: In Apocalypsin (8.1-3)

[8.1] For we also read in the Gospel that the prayers of the Church are sent from heaven by an angel, and they are taken up by a holy angel against the outpouring of wrath and the darkness of the kingdom of Antichrist. For he says: Pray that you might not fall into temptation. For there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world; and except the Lord shortens those days, there would not be any flesh saved upon the earth. Therefore, He will send these seven great Archangels for the piercing of the kingdom of Antichrist. For as He also says in the Gospel: Then the Son of Man will send His messengers, and they will gather His chosen ones from the four winds, from the end of heaven to its (other) end. And he says before: then there will be peace in the earth, when seven shepherds will arise in it, and eight attacks (lit. ‘bites’) of men, and they will encircle Assur, that is, Antichrist, in the ditch of Nebroth: in the damnation of the devil. And Ecclesiastes similarly says: When the guardians of the house will be moved. For the Lord Himself says thus: When the workers come to him and say to him: ‘Lord, have we not sowed good seed in your field? So, from where are the weeds there?’ He answered them: ‘An enemy has done this.’ To whom they say: ‘Do you want us to go and remove that?’ He says to them: ‘No, leave them together so they are growing until the harvest. And at that time,’ He says, I will say to the harvesters to collect the weeds and throw them in the fire, and to lay up the wheat in the granaries. This Apocalypse shows these harvesters and shepherds and workers to be the Archangels.

[8.2] And the trumpet is the word of power. And it may be repeating by the bowls, not as though it was said twice, but because what will happen only once, it is decreed by God that it will be, therefore it is said twice. Accordingly, whatever was said in the trumpets less, it was said in the bowls more. Neither (should you be) regarding the order of sayings, because the sevenfold Holy Spirit, where He hurries through to the final times and the end, returns back to the same time and adds to what little He said. Nor (should you be) seeking order in the Apocalypse, for that is also false prophecy; rather be seeking the meaning. They are, therefore, those things which are written in the trumpets and the bowls, either destructions by plagues sent out into the world, or the insanity of Antichrist himself, or the decline of peoples, or different kinds of plagues, or the hope in the Kingdom of the saints, or the ruin of cities, or the ruin of Babylon, that is, the city of the Romans.

[8.3] An eagle flying in the midst of heaven: the Holy Spirit is indicated, testifying by the two prophets to threaten plagues of great wrath, if in any way, even in the final time, anyone may still be saved.

[There is no chapter 9 in Victorinus’ version of the commentary.]

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