And the second angel sounded
and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the
by which is meant not the devil, as some think; called a "mountain" from his height of pride, a great one from his might and power, and a "burning" one from his great wrath and malice against Christ, his Gospel, and his people; and who may be said to be "cast into the sea" of this world, and the men of it, whom he instigates against the saints, and who are like a troubled sea that cannot rest: but rather some heresy, and, as some have thought, the Macedonian heresy, which was levelled against the deity of the Holy Spirit, as was the Arian heresy against the deity of the Son; the abettors of which looked big, and were supported by power, and showed great zeal for religion, and pretended to great light and knowledge; and which heresy much affected the sea of pure doctrine, particularly the third part of doctrine, in which the third Person, the Spirit of God, is more especially concerned; and was of so pernicious a nature, as to kill many that professed the Gospel, and had a name to live, and destroy many particular churches, comparable to ships; but, as before, it is best to understand this of another incursion of the Goths into the Roman empire, and of the effects of it; and it seems to have respect to the taking and sacking of Rome by Alaricus, king of the West Goths, in the year 410, or 412 F13. Rome is very fitly represented by a great mountain, as kingdoms and cities sometimes are; see ( Zechariah 4:7 ) ( Isaiah 13:2 ) ; seeing it was built on seven mountains; and its being taken and burnt by Alaricus is aptly expressed by a burning mountain, as the destruction of Babylon, which is another name for Rome, is by a burnt mountain in ( Jeremiah 51:25 ) ; the "sea" into which this was cast may signify the great number of people and nations within its jurisdiction which suffered, and were thrown into confusion at this time; so distresses and calamities in nations are expressed by a like figure in ( Psalms 46:2 ) ;
and the third part of the sea became blood;
that is, a third part of the jurisdiction of Rome, signified by the sea, see ( Jeremiah 51:36 ) ; was afflicted with wars and bloodshed by this same sort of people; for while these things were done in Italy, a like calamity fell on France and Spain; the Alans, Vandals, and Sueves, having depopulated France, passed over the Pyraenean mountains, and seized on Spain; the Vandals and Sueves on Gallaecia; the Alans on Portugal; and the Silingi, which was another sort of Vandals, invaded Andalusia F14; the Goths under Ataulphus entered France, and the Burgundians seized that part of it next the Rhine F15: see ( Exodus 7:20 Exodus 7:21 ) .
F13 Cassiodor Chronicon in Honor. & Theodos. 43. Petav. ib. p. 276. Hist. Eccl. Magdeburg. cent. ib. p. 872. Vid. Hieron. ad Gaudentium, fol. 34. M.
F14 Cassiodor. ib. Petav. ib.
F15 Cassiodor. Chronicon. ib.