Revelation 12:9 per Adam Clarke
That old serpent - The rabbins speak much of this being, sometimes under the notion of yetser hara , the evil principle, and sometimes Samael.
He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him - This is very like a saying in the book Bahir, in Sohar Gen., fol. 27, col. 107: "And God cast out Samael and his troops from the place of their holiness."
Revelation 12:9 per John Edward Clarke
And the great dragon was cast out, etc. - By the terms Devil and Satan mentioned in this verse, Pareus, Faber, and many other commentators, understand literally the great spiritual enemy of mankind. But this view of the passage cannot be correct, from the circumstance that it is the dragon which is thus called. Now, if by the dragon be meant the devil, then use are necessarily led to this conclusion, that the great apostate spirit is a monster, having seven heads and ten horns; and also that he has a tail, with which he drags after him the third part of the stars of heaven. The appellations, old serpent, devil, and Satan, must, therefore, be understood figuratively. The heathen power is called that old serpent which deceived the whole world, from its subtlety against the Christians, and its causing the whole Roman world, as far as it was in its power, to embrace the absurdities of paganism. It is called the devil, from its continual false accusations and slanders against the true worshippers of God, for the devil is a liar from the beginning; and it is also called Satan, , which is a Hebrew word signifying an adversary, from its frequent persecutions of the Christian Church. The dragon and his angels are said to be cast out, which is more than was said in the preceding verse. There mention is made of his being found no longer in heaven, or on the throne of the Roman empire, here he is entirely cast out from all offices of trust in the empire; his religion is first only tolerated, and then totally abolished, by the imperial power. This great event was not the work of a reign; it took up many years, for it had to contend with the deep-rooted prejudices of the heathen, who to the very last endeavored to uphold their declining superstition. Paganism received several mortal strokes in the time of Constantine and his sons Constans and Constantius. It was farther reduced by the great zeal of Jovian, Valentinian, and Valens; and was finally suppressed by the edicts of Gratian, Theodosius I., and his successors. It was not till a.d. 388 that Rome itself, the residence of the emperor, was generally reformed from the absurdities of paganism; but the total suppression of paganism soon followed the conversion of the metropolitan city, and about a.d. 395 the dragon may be considered, in an eminent sense, to have been cast into the earth, that is, into a state of utter subjection to the ruling dynasty of Christian emperors.
Other Adam Clarke entries containing Revelation 12:9:
1 Timothy 3:7
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