In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong
Meaning either the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, quick and powerful, and sharper than a twoedged sword, ( Ephesians 6:17 ) ( Hebrews 4:12 ) or else some sore judgment of God: some understand it of the Medes and Persians, by whom the Lord would destroy the Babylonish monarchy; or rather it is the great power of God, or his judiciary sentence, and the execution of it, the same with the twoedged sword, which proceeds out of the mouth of the Word of God, by which the antichristian kings and their armies will be slain, ( Revelation 19:15 Revelation 19:21 ) : shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent F9, even leviathan
that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that [is] in the
by which are meant, not literally creatures so called, though the Talmud F11 interprets them of the whales, the leviathan male and female; but mystically earthly princes and potentates, for their great power and authority, their cruelty and voraciousness, their craft and cunning; so the Targum and Aben Ezra interpret them of the kings of the earth; and are to be understood either of distinct persons, or countries they rule over: some think three are pointed at, as the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Edomites, or Romans, so Jarchi; or the Greeks, Turks, and Indians, as Kimchi. The Targum is,
``he shall punish the king who is magnified as Pharaoh the first, and the king that is exalted as Sennacherib the second, and shall slay the king that is strong as the dragon (or whale) that is in the sea.''Some are of opinion that only one person or kingdom is here meant, either the king of Egypt, compared to such a sea monster, because of the river Nile, that watered his country; see ( Ezekiel 29:3 ) ( 32:2 ) others, the king of Babylon, which city was situated by the river Euphrates, and is described as dwelling on many waters, ( Jeremiah 51:13 ) and others the king of Tyre, which was situated in the sea; it seems most likely that all tyrannical oppressors and cruel persecutors of the church are intended, who shall be destroyed; and particularly Rome Pagan, signified by a red dragon, ( Revelation 12:3 ) and Rome Papal, by a beast the dragon gave his power to, which rose out of the sea, and by another out of the earth, which spoke like a dragon, ( Revelation 13:1 Revelation 13:2 Revelation 13:11 ) both the eastern and western antichrists may be included; the eastern antichrist, the Turk, whose dominions are large, like the waters of the sea; and the western antichrist, the whore of Rome, described as sitting on many waters, ( Revelation 17:1 ) both which are comparable to serpents and dragons for their cruelty and poison; moreover, Satan, at the head of all these, called the dragon, the old serpent, and devil, must be taken into the account, who is the last enemy that will be destroyed; he will be taken and bound a thousand years, and then, being loosed, will be retaken, and cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and false prophet be, ( Revelation 20:1 Revelation 20:2 Revelation 20:10 ) . Kimchi thinks this prophecy belongs to the times of Gog and Magog.
F9 Or boom, or bar-serpent, "serpentem vectem", V. L. and Montanus; the same, as the Bishop of Bergen thinks, with the "soeormen", or sea snake, which often lies stretched out before a creek, like a boom, to block up the passage; and is soon bent, in a curve, in folds, and is soon again in a straight line, like a pole or beam; see his History of Norway, p. 206, 207.
F11 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 74. 2.