Loosening of the Sixth Seal Signifying the Upcoming Plagues at the End of Time
Some took all these things to mean the siege of Vespasian, each of these things mentioned having been understood figuratively. It seems to us that here a shift has taken place beginning from the time of persecutions to the time before the arrival of the pseudo-Christ, during which so many afflictions were prophesied to come, and perhaps the people, being practiced in these afflictions, did not renounce the punishments brought upon them by the Antichrist, of which sort as we have never known. The earthquake, which we often find in the Scriptures, certainly (represents) a change. For the once more I will shake signifies the change of the things being shaken, as the Apostle says. And in the Old (Testament) it is said, concerning the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt, the earth was shaken and the heavens dripped. The darkening of the sun, and the moon without light and blood-like, shows those who are unenlightened overtaken by divine wrath — for thus many times the blessed Cyril also interpreted these things in this manner — the falling of the stars as it already has been written about the ones deceived by Antiochus, (means)also the falling of those who think they are luminaries in the world who bend the knee to created things; as the Lord says, Even the chosen will be deceived, if possible, by the magnitude of the affliction. For perhaps on account of this also the fig tree is taken as an example of this, like the unripe fruits which had not yet suffered burning temptations and hâve not yet been sweetened by grace, in which, shaken by diabolical winds, (the fig tree) is thrown down. For in two (ways) we hâve seen this, taken in a good (way) and a bad (way) shown in the two baskets of Jeremiah of the useful figs and the bad figs, and also from the fig tree dried up by Christ and the one referred to in the Canticle. Whether these will happen perceptibly when Christ the Judge will come in glory, would be known by him who holds the secret treasures of wisdom and Knowledge.