And then shall that wicked be revealed
That lawless one, who sets himself above the laws of God and man, and dispenses with them at pleasure, who judges all men, but is judged by no man; as he was in his ecclesiastical power, when Phocas, who murdered the Emperor Mauritius, granted to Boniface III. to be called universal bishop; and in his civil power in succeeding popes, who took upon them the power over kings and emperors, to crown, depose, and excommunicate at pleasure:
whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth:
that is, the "Lord Jesus", as the Alexandrian copy, and Vulgate Latin version read; and the Syriac version, "our Lord Jesus": who is Lord of lords, and God over all; and so able to do what he is here said he shall do: and which he will do
with the Spirit of his mouth;
meaning either the Holy Spirit, the third person which proceeds from him, as in ( Psalms 33:6 ) , and so the Ethiopic version, "whom the Spirit of our Lord Jesus shall cast out"; Christ will by his Spirit blow a blast upon antichrist and his kingdom, which he shall never recover again, but ever after consume and waste away: or else by his spirit is meant his Gospel; the Scriptures in general are the breath of God, being divinely inspired by him, and are the sword of the Spirit, the twoedged sword of law and Gospel, which proceeds out of Christ's mouth; the Gospel contains the words of Christ, which are spirit and life; these come out of his mouth, and are sharper than any twoedged sword; and as hereby sinners are cut to the heart, hewn and slain, convicted and converted, so by this likewise antichrist will be consumed, and is consuming; for this phrase denotes the beginning of his destruction, which took place at the time of the reformation by the preaching of the Gospel by Luther and others; by which this man of sin received his deadly wound, and has been in a consumption ever since, and is sensibly wasting in his power and glory every day, and will ere long come to utter destruction:
and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming;
either in a spiritual way, when he shall come in his spiritual kingdom and glory, by the light of his Gospel and the illuminations of his Spirit; when at eventide it shall be light; when he the sun of righteousness shall arise; when latter day light and glory shall appear, and latter day darkness, the gross darkness of Popery, Paganism, and Judaism, which cover the people, shall, be removed, and antichrist in every form shall disappear: or in a personal manner, when he shall come to judge the quick and dead, which will be in flaming fire and great glory; and then will antichrist and his followers, the beast and those that have worshipped him, be cast with the devil and the false prophet into the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; and this will be the last and utter end of him. In this passage there is a manifest reference to ( Isaiah 11:4 ) , "with the breath of his mouth shall he slay the wicked": which the Targumist paraphrases,
``with the words of his lips he shall slay (aeyvr owlymra) , "Armillus the wicked":''and which the Jews say will be done by the Messiah at his coming;
``for so F9 (say they) that phrase in ( Deuteronomy 22:8 ) "if a man fall from thence", has respect to Armillus the wicked, who at the coming of our Messiah will be slain, as it is said in ( Isaiah 11:4 ) ''This Armillus, the Jews say F11, is the head of all idolatry, the tenth king who shall reign at Rome, the city of Satan; that he shall rise up after Gog and Magog, and shall go up to Jerusalem, and slay Messiah ben Joseph, and shall himself be slain by Messiah the son of David; yea, they say expressly F12, it is the same whom the Gentiles call antichrist: it is the same with Romulus the first king of the Romans, and designs a Roman, the Roman antichrist; and it may be observed, that the Targumist interprets "the breath of his mouth", by his word; and so says another of their writers F13,
``the meaning is by the word of his lips, for the word goes out of the mouth with the vapour and breath:''such an expression as this is said F14 to be used by Moses, when he was bid by God to answer the angels who objected to his having the law given him;
``I am afraid (says he) they will slay (or burn me), (Mhypbv lbhb) , "with the breath of their mouth":''much more may this be feared from the breath of Christ's mouth.
F9 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 148. 2.
F11 Apud Buxtorf. Lex. Talmud. col. 221, 222, 223.
F12 Abkath Rochel, par. 1. sign. 7. p. 52.
F13 In Ohel Moed. fol. 19. 1.
F14 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 88. 2.