Rise and Shine (Bold Pilgrim)
DESCRIPTION: "Good morning, brother pilgrim, sir, pray tell to me your name, And where it is you're going to...." The other says his feet are shod with gospel peace, he carries a sword to fight his way into Canaan, his name is Apollyon. The singer refuses to join him
AUTHOR: D. Tucker (according to Boswell/Wolfe)
EARLIEST DATE: 1883 (Marshall W. Taylor, _A Collection of Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies_, acording to Boswell/Wolfe)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad battle
FOUND IN: US(Ap)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Boswell/Wolfe 102, pp. 156-158, "Bold Pilgrim" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: I have to suspect that there is some confusion in the text collected by Boswell, because the third verse refers to the enemy (Apollyon) wearing Gospel peace but fighting his way into Canaan. It would make much more sense for the singer, not Apollyon, to be wearing the shoes of gospel peace.
The reference is clearly to the "whole armor of God," mentioned in Ephesians 6:11-13, which allows the wearer to "stand against the wiles of the devil." As part of this armor, the readers are told in 6:15,to have "the gospel of peace" as shoes on their feet.
The claim that the whole world belongs to Apollyon is reminiscent of the Temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4 and parallels -- not that the Devil offers Jesus "all the kingdoms of the earth" in that passage.
The name "Apollyon" for the Devil is attested in the Bible, although rare. The name means "destroyer," and is found only in Revelation 9:11, as an equivalent of Hebrew "Abaddon," which comes from a word for to perish or be lost and is used in the Old Testament as a name for the land of the dead. Although in early Hebrew usage the name seems to have been ethically neutral, it eventually came to mean a place where sinners are punished (InterpDict, p. 3). Ford, p. 145, observes that Abaddon is "personified in Job 28:22" but has little to say about the usage in the Apocalypse.
HastingsDict, p. 44, says that "As an angel Apollyon seems to have been regarded as equivalent to Asmodeus, king of demons, in Judaistic mythology, but our data are too few to warrant precise statements." In any case, the composer of this would be unlikely to know that. NicollEtAl, volume V, p. 408, suggests that the name "Apollyon" was a "gibe at Apollo... both Caligula and Nero aped the deity of Apollo." Again, however, the composer likely would not have known this.
Kiddle, p. 159, while acknowledging the possible connection with Apollo, thinks the author of the Apocalypse used the name "Apollyon" because it is linked to the word for destruction.
My collection of conservative Bible commentaries is not large, but Unger, p. 856, connects "Apollyon" with the mini-apocalypse of 2 Thess. 2:7-12. There are a few Greek parallels based on the word "destruction"; I doubt they would occur to someone working only with the King James Bible.
But why did the composer use "Apollyon" rather than "Satan" or "The Adversary" or some other such name? I can only suggest that the songwriter suffered from the same sort of love of obscurity that we find in the original author of the Apocalypse. This is typical of those who pay particular attention to this book that just barely managed to work its way into the Christian canon. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
- Ford: J. Massyngberde Ford, Revelation (being volume 38 of the Anchor Bible), Doubleday, 1975
- HastingsDict: James Hastings et al, editors, Dictionary of the Bible, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1947
- InterpretersDict: [George Arthur Buttrick et al, editor], The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, four volumes, 1962 (a fifth supplementary volume was published later)
- Kiddle: Martin Kiddle (assisted by M. K. Ross), The Revelation of St. John (being a volume in the Moffatt New Testament commentary), Harper and Brothers (no copyright listed but the preface is dated 1940)
- NicollEtAll: W. Robertson Nicoll, editor, The Expositor's Greek Testament, (no date listed but probably from the 1890s; I use the 1951 Eerdmans reprint)
- Unger: Merill F. Unger, Unger's Bible Handbook Moody, 1966 (I use the 1983 paperback edition)
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