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fruit (Psa. 80: 8-19). The vine of Sodom, the degenerate plant of a strange vine, to
which Israel approximated in the apostasy, was the vine of the earth. Sodom and
Babylon are included under this figure. The vine of the earth becomes ripe, iniquity
reaches its height. The Man of Sin ascends the throne of Deity, and the sharp sickle is
thrust in and the vintage gathered. This vine has not yielded that wine which rejoices the
heart of God and man, but the intoxicating wine of Babylon that has sent the nations
"mad drunk" (Jer. 51: 7). Now the clusters are cast into the winepress of the wrath of God,
and the awful result is expressed in the words:--
"And blood came forth out of the winepress even to the bridles of the horses, a
thousand six hundred furlongs" (Rev. 14: 20).
The sixth vial leads to Armageddon (16: 12-16). The actual treading of the winepress
takes place at the riding forth from heaven of Christ as the Word of God, the King of
kings and the Lord of lords. As a result of the battle which then ensues, the birds that fly
in mid-heaven are called to partake of the great supper of God, when they shall eat the
flesh of kings, officers and mighty men, horse and rider (19: 11-21).
The distance, 1,600 furlongs, cannot be spiritualized; it stands as an actual
measurement and indicates some feature of importance. The furlong is the Roman
Stadium, which is about 202 English yards. 1,600 stadia, therefore, represent about
183 English miles. What tract of land can this point to? The southern extremity of
Palestine was Kadesh-barnea (Numb. 34:), the northern boundary, Mount Hermon
(see note in Companion Bible to Numb 34: 7). Kitto's Cyclopoedia reads as follows:--
"The length, from Mount Hermon in the north, to which the territory of Manasseh
beyond Jordan extended (Josh. 13: 11), to Kadesh-barnea in the south, to which the
territory of Judah reached was 180 miles."
The 1,600 furlongs give, practically, the extreme measurement north to south of the
land of Israel. The whole of the land will be drenched with blood. Just how all will take
place we do not know, and we are thankful that such details do not belong to our sphere.
The cry goes up from beneath the altar:--
"How long dost Thou not avenge our blood?" (6: 10).
When the day of vengeance sets in, the second vial of wrath turns the sea into blood
(16: 3), the third vial turns the rivers and fountains into the same. The cry goes up at
"They have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to
drink; for they are worthy" (Rev. 16: 6).
The woman, Babylon, is discovered "drunken with the blood of the saints and with the
blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (17: 6), and in Babylon was found "the blood of prophets,
and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth" (18: 24).
The nations by their policy, their social developments, their science and their
religions, are heading straight for this awful end. The wrath of God is terrible beyond