Introduction to Hosea

Hosea

Almost a thousand years before the coming of the Savior, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the prophet foretold the end of sacrificial offerings and of the priesthood of Aaron (Hos. 3:4-5), and that the knowledge of the True God would spread through all the earth (Hos. 2:20-23). Hosea spoke also about Christ, how He would return from out of Egypt (Hos. 11:1; compare Mt. 2:15), that He would be resurrected on the third day (Hos. 6 and especially Hos.6:2; compare with 1 Cor.15:4), and that He would conquer death (Hos.13-14. Compare 1 Cor.15:54-55).

Hosea is the first of the twelve prophets in the Book of the Twelve. The Book of the Twelve Prophets was originally on one parchment roll because of the brevity of the text, and together formed one Book of the 24 Books of Hebrew Scripture. The Book of the Twelve follows the writings of the four Major Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. All together the 16 prophets are called the Latter Prophets, as they began writing after the Division of the United Kingdom of Israel.

Hosea – הוֹשֵׁעַ – parallels his own tragic marriage to his unfaithful wife Gomer (Chapters 1-3) to that of the covenant between God and Israel (Chapters 4-14).

Our commentary this week is taken from the Bible Commentary by Adam Clarke (1762–1832), a British Methodist minister and theologian. It is interesting sometimes to get a historical perspective on some of the more difficult or controversial topics in the Bible, and there are few more “difficult” than Hosea.

The rabbins say that Bura was his father, who is mentioned in the Chronicles, and was prince of the tribe of Reuben at the time when Tiglath-pileser carried some of the tribes of Israel into captivity. But if it be so, Hosea must be said to be of the tribe of Reuben; and a native of Beelmeon, beyond Jordan. This prophet lived in the kingdom of Samaria; and his prophecies for the most part have a view to this state, though there are likewise some particular things which concern the kingdom of Judah.

We read, in the introduction to his prophecy that he prophesied under the kings of Judah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, and under Jeroboam II., king of Israel. If he prophesied in the reign of all these princes, he must have lived a very long time; for there are a hundred and twelve years from the beginning of Uzziah‘s reign to the end of Hezekiah‘s reign.

He foretells that the people of Judah should still continue some time in their country after the captivity of the ten tribes; but that after this they themselves should likewise be carried captives beyond the Euphrates.

The children of this faithless woman are children of prostitution, since they imitate the idolatry of their mother. God gives these children the names of Jezreel, God will disperse; Lo-rechamah, or Without mercy; and Lo-ammi, Thou art no longer my people; to show, –

1.That God was going to revenge upon the house of Jehu, king of Israel, the sins which he had committed at Jezreel, when he usurped the kingdom of the ten tribes.

2.That the Lord would treat his idolatrous and sinful people without mercy.

3.That he would reject them, and no more look upon them as his people.

Order and Time in Which the Twelve Minor Prophets Flourished

1. Jonah Prophesied between 823 B.C. and 783 B.C. in the reign of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. See 2 Kings 14:25.

2. Amos prophesied from about 823 B.C. to about 785 B.C. in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah, and in that of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. See Amos 1:1.

3. Hosea flourished from about 809 B.C. to about 698 B.C., in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in that of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. See Hosea 1:1. [But see the observations above)

4. Micah flourished between 757 B.C. and 698 B.C., in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. See Micah 1:1.

5. Nahum is supposed to have prophesied between 720 B.C. and 698 B.C., in the reign of Hezekiah.

6. Joel is supposed to have prophesied between 697 B.C. and 660 B.C., in the reign of Manasseh.

7. Zephaniah prophesied between 640 B.C. and 609 B.C., in the reign of Josiah. See Zephaniah 1:1.

8. Habakkuk is thought to have prophesied between 606 B.C. and 598 B.C., in the reign of Jehoiakim.

9. Obadiah prophesied soon after 587 B.C., between the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and the destruction of the Edomites by the same prince.
10. Haggai prophesied about 520 B.C. after the return from Babylon. See Haggai 1:1.
11. Zechariah prophesied from 520 B.C. to about 518 B.C.; and was contemporary with Haggai. See Zechariah 1:1.

12. Malachi is generally believed to have prophesied about 436 B.C.

The verb to return – שׁוּב or “shuv” is recorded in Hosea 3:5, 6:1, 12:6, 14:1, and 14:2, calling upon Israel to return to the Lord…which makes sense of the scripture “draw close to God THEN he will draw close to us as individuals.” [James 4:8]

The Gospel of Matthew 2:15 refers to Hosea 11:1 in a direct quotation, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” And St. Paul cites Hosea 2:1 and 2:25 (1:10 and 2:23 in this English translation) in Romans 9:25-26 concerning God’s free election, and Hosea 13:14 in First Corinthians 15:54-55 in a different way, that of the ultimate victory of life over death in the resurrection of the body through Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.

Jezreel, Hosea’s first born…the Valley of Jezreel is also the same as the Valley of Megiddo; also known as Plain of Esdraelon. As a rule of thumb and logistics, this valley has historically been the pathway of invading armies. This will be true in End Time during the Battle of Armageddon [Revelation 14-16].This is why in End Times, those who align against Jerusalem (50 miles to the south) will assemble in Megiddo. This is also why Daniel’s prophecies of wars between the Kings of the north and the Kings of the south need to pass through Northern Israel; a place where large masses of military forces and equipment could be moved. In reality, this valley is a bridge passage between Europe, Africa, and Asia.

In was on the plains of Jezreel that Jehu’s army defeated the armies of Jezebel (2 Kings 9), beginning a bloodbath in the Northern Kingdom that would have consequences for years (cf. Hos 1:4-5).   And it was at Megiddo that King Josiah was killed in a fateful attempt to block Egyptian armies from using the pass to march north to lend aid to Assyrian armies trapped by the Babylonians (2 Kings 23:29).

NOTE: Within the territory of the tribe of Ephraim, the children of Israel brought the Tabernacle (Josh. 18:1), Making Shiloh a religious center for the Israelites even before Jerusalem

Farmland in the valley of Jezreel.

The path to the mound has a beautiful view of the valley where one of the most colorful stories in the Bible took place – the summer grape-harvest festival when the daughters of Shiloh came out dancing and the men of Benjamin sought brides from among them (Judges 21:15-23).  

But its modern-day beauty hides a bloody and violent history.

Here Jezreel’s rulers killed Ahab’s 70 sons, put their heads in baskets, and brought them to Jehu (2 Kings 10:1–11). Queen Jezebel murdered Naboth in his own vineyard in Jezreel (1 Kings 21:1–23) and later died after being thrown from a palace and devoured by dogs. Pharaoh Neco killed King Josiah in the Jezreel Valley (2 Kings 23:30).

To date and according to history, there have been no less than 34 battles in this valley. Four of these recorded battles were from the Crusades in the 12th century; Napoleon Bonaparte crushed the Ottomans in 1799. One major and remaining world-ending battle remains to be fought in this same Valley; i.e. Armageddon.

The Book of Hosea was a severe warning to the northern kingdom against the growing idolatry being practiced there; the book was a dramatic call to repentance. Christians extend the analogy of Hosea to Christ and the church: Christ the husband, his church the bride. Christians see in this book a comparable call to the church not to forsake the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians also take the buying back of Gomer as the redemptive qualities of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Hosea lived in the tragic final days of the northern kingdom, during which six kings (following Jeroboam II) reigned within 25 years (2Ki 15:817:6). Four (Zechariah, Shallum, Pekahiah, Pekah) were murdered by their successors while in office, and one (Hoshea) was captured in battle; only one (Menahem) was succeeded on the throne by his son. These kings, given to Israel by God “in anger” and taken away “in wrath” (13:11), floated away “like a twig on the surface of the waters” (10:7). “Bloodshed” followed “bloodshed” (4:2). Assyria was expanding westward, and Menahem accepted that world power as overlord and paid tribute (2Ki 15:19-20). But shortly afterward, in 733 b.c., Israel was dismembered by Assyria because of the intrigue of Pekah (who had gained Israel’s throne by killing Pekahiah, Menahem’s son and successor). Only the territories of Ephraim and western Manasseh were left to the king of Israel. Then, because of the disloyalty of Hoshea (Pekah’s successor), Samaria was captured and its people exiled in 722-721, bringing the northern kingdom to an end.

Theological Theme and Message

The first part of the book (chs. 13) narrates the family life of Hosea as a symbol (similar to the symbolism in the lives of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel) to convey the message the prophet had from the Lord for his people. God ordered Hosea to marry an adulterous wife, Gomer, and their three children were each given a symbolic name representing part of the ominous message. Ch. 2 alternates between Hosea’s relation to Gomer and its symbolic representation of God’s relation to Israel. The children are told to drive the unfaithful mother out of the house; but it was her reform, not her riddance, that was sought. The prophet was ordered to continue loving her, and he took her back and kept her in isolation for a while (ch. 3). The affair graphically represents the Lord’s relation to the Israelites (cf. 2:4,9,18), who had been disloyal to him by worshiping Canaanite deities as the source of their abundance. Israel was to go through a period of exile (cf. 7:16; 9:3,6,17; 11:5). But the Lord still loved his covenant people and longed to take them back, just as Hosea took back Gomer. This return is described with imagery recalling the exodus from Egypt and settlement in Canaan (cf. 1:11; 2:14-23; 3:5; 11:10-11; 14:4-7). Hosea saw Israel’s past experiences with the Lord as the fundamental pattern, or type, of God’s future dealings with his people.

The second part of the book (chs. 414) gives the details of Israel’s involvement in Canaanite religion, but a systematic outline of the material is difficult. Like other prophetic books, Hosea issued a call to repentance. Israel’s alternative to destruction was to forsake her idols and return to the Lord (chs. 6; 14). Information gleaned from materials discovered at Ugarit (dating from the 15th century b.c.) enables us to know more clearly the religious practices against which Hosea protested.

Hosea saw the failure to acknowledge God (4:1,6; 8:2-3; 13:4) as Israel’s basic problem. God’s relation to Israel was that of love (2:19; 4:1; 6:6; 10:12; 12:6). The intimacy of the covenant relationship between God and Israel, illustrated in the first part of the book by the husband-wife relationship, is later amplified by the father-child relationship (11:1-4). Disloyalty to God was spiritual adultery (4:13-14; 5:4; 9:1; cf. Jer 3; see note on Ex 34:15). Israel had turned to Baal worship and had sacrificed at the pagan high places, which included associating with the sacred prostitutes at the sanctuaries (4:14) and worshiping the calf images at Samaria (8:5; 10:5-6; 13:2). There was also international intrigue (5:13; 7:8-11) and materialism. Yet despite God’s condemnation and the harshness of language with which the unavoidable judgment was announced, the major purpose of the book is to proclaim God’s compassion and covenant love that cannot — finally — let Israel go

The book of Hosea has at least two perplexing problems. The first concerns the nature of the story told in chs. 13 and the character of Gomer. While some interpreters have thought the story to be merely an allegory of the relation between God and Israel, others claim, more plausibly, that the story is to be taken literally. Among the latter, some insist that Gomer was faithful at first and later became unfaithful, others that she was unfaithful even before the marriage.

The second problem of the book is the relation of ch. 3 to ch. 1. Despite the fact that no children are mentioned in ch. 3, some interpreters claim that the two chapters are different accounts of the same episode. The traditional interpretation, however, is more likely, namely, that ch. 3 is a sequel to ch. 1 — i.e., after Gomer proved unfaithful, Hosea was instructed to take her back.

8. Undying Love— The Story of Hosea and Gomer

The calendar on the wall indicated that it was about 760 years before Jesus was born. Jeroboam II was on the throne of the northern kingdom of Israel, and his military exploits had extended Israel’s borders farther than they had been since the days of Solomon’s glorious kingdom. Tribute money from subject nations was pouring into the treasury at the capital city of Samaria, and the people of Israel were enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity.

As is often the case, with prosperity came moral and spiritual degeneration. Secularism and materialism captured the hearts of the people and sin ran rampant. The list reads like twentieth-century America: swearing, lying, killing, stealing, adultery, drunkenness, perversion, perjury, deceit, and oppression, to name but a few. But the thing that grieved the heart of God more than anything else was the sin of idolatry (Hos. 4:12, 13; 13:2).

Outline

  • Superscription (1:1)
  • The Unfaithful Wife and the Faithful Husband (1:2;3:5)
  • The Children as Signs (1:2;2:1)
  • The Unfaithful Wife (2:2-23)
    1. The Lord’s judgment of Israel (2:2-13)
    2. The Lord’s restoration of Israel (2:14-23)
  • The Faithful Husband (ch. 3)
  • The Unfaithful Nation and the Faithful God (chs. 414)
  • Israel’s Unfaithfulness (4:1;6:3)
    1. The general charge (4:1-3)
    2. The cause declared and the results described (4:4-19)
    3. A special message to the people and leaders (ch. 5)
    4. The people’s sorrowful plea (6:1-3)
  • Israel’s Punishment (6:4;10:15)
    1. The case stated (6:4;7:16)
    2. The judgment pronounced (chs. 89)
    3. Summary and appeal (ch. 10)
  • The Lord’s Faithful Love (chs. 1114)
    1. The Lord’s fatherly love (11:1-11)
    2. Israel’s punishment for unfaithfulness (11:12;13:16)
    3. Israel’s restoration after repentance (ch. 14

Revelation Chapter 16

Check out the overview by clicking on link below:

Power Point Presentation for Chapter 16

Dr. jStarkIt is difficult to write on something that so many other scholars and want-to-be teachers have already covered in so many different formats. The FACTS don’t change. Bible content is something that cannot be copyrighted. Just like the free will of man to accept or deny the existence of a God supreme, it cannot be outlawed. Simple example in America: To pass a law about discrimination in any form does not eliminate it. This country (2016) is more polarized today than it was just 8 years ago. We can probably go back to the Civil War and see very similar hate, choosing of sides, difference of opinion in neighborhoods and a cluster of houses in a common section of almost any town feeling they are not a neighborhood-in-common.

I state the above as we close in on the end of our Revelation study. This is precisely what the Apostle John and many other bible prophets and authors of books in the bible have said for 3,000 years. They go into much greater detail, but without knowledge, how can one prepare for End Time? Simple answer… they can’t! This however does not mean End Time will also not come. It simply means that millions will lose his or her opportunity to survive it and spend eternity in a much more preferred place than hell.

Revelation 16

A voice from out of the heavenly temple commands the 7 angels to “go their way and pour out the vials of God’s wrath upon the earth and mankind”. Note that John hears the command that all 7 angels are told to GO! Not go #1; then go #2 and so forth. There is an order or sequence but no timing is evidenced. Since all 7 are told to go with ONE COMMAND, it is highly unlikely that there is a span of much, if any time between the pouring out of the wrath bowls of God. [suggested insight follows later]

The sequence is as follows:

  1. Bowl #1 is great sores upon man (and woman) if they have worshiped the beast, his image or taken the mark of the beast.
  2. *Bowl #2 is God’s wrath on the sea. We are not told if this includes lakes, ponds, or oceans. The Greek word used here is Thalassa. Thayer and Strong point out that this is a term usually indicating the Red or Mediterranean Seas. Since Thalassa is a prolonged form of halce, which means “salt” it would be unwise to conclude it does not include the great oceans and gulfs.
  3. *Bowl #3 is when and where the rivers, streams, springs are included in God’s wrath. The third angel pours out his bowl upon these waters.

    *a word of caution… some bible translations say “the waters turned to blood like a dead man.” Young’s Literal Translation from 1898 says “blood.” We do not know if this analogy is a comparison of similarities or the actual thing. It is not important to know which as all translations worth any study say that all living creatures within these waters die.

At this point there is a short interlude as an angel “in charge of the waters” points out (v5) that God is justified in doing this to his creation. He explains that man has shed the blood of God’s followers and “deserves” the same treatment. Then in verse 7 a voice from the alter seconds this proclamation made by the angel of the waters. The obvious…this is at the end of the Great Tribulation Period of 7 years.

We might also note that the first three bowls of judgement are similar to judgements one and six cast on Egypt at the time of the Israeli bondage in that country. Even though these Egyptian plagues were limited to Egypt, we do know what these “plagues” were limited to in durations. This may only be studied speculation, but it gives us some insight as to the possible duration of each plague in Revelation: The first Egyptian plague lasted for 7 days (Ex 7:25), the 9th Egyptian plague lasted for 3 days (Ex 10:21-23), and the 10th was for one night, beginning at midnight (Ex 12:29-31); all within a given week. This may be helpful to those who want a duration number or some possibilities given for the plagues in Revelation. For some reasonable speculation on days of duration, go to http://www.jesusalive.cc/ques219.htm.scorchingsun

  1. Bowl #4 is the sun scorching those on earth (this does not include anyone who has not worshiped the beast, his image, and/or taken the mark of the beast. One must speculate that the turning of waters into a blood-like substance is not a permanent plague. Mankind would die after a few days of no water. Add the 4th plague of a scorching sun to no available water and mankind would fall like flies in a very short period of time.

We hasten to add another note for the reader. Verse 9 states flat out that men cursed God and refuse to repent or recognize Him for who and what He was, is, (and at this point in Revelation) is to very soon come. It appears there is room for men to repent or at least give God recognition for who He is. Not to keep adding Greek to this blog, but sometimes it helps our understanding of scripture. The word “repent” in verse 9 is metanoeō in the Greek. This means to “change one’s mind.” However, we must recall what Revelation 14:9-11 states. If someone repents at this point, it could be suggested that their eternal punishment from the “books that will be opened” [Revelation 2012] could be lessened. However, changing one’s mind does not mean changing one’s heart. One can begrudgingly accept a previously denied fact but still not embrace it.

  1. This is a turning point for Satan, the beast, and his false prophet. Up to this point the false trinity may have escaped the plagues on earth and man. But, plague #5 is pointed… God’s wrath is turned upon the kingdom of the beast. There will be total darkness and an unspecified pain poured out on the throne of the beast and his kingdom. People will finally see that the false-god isn’t even able to prevent or immunize itself against these judgments. What a Day That Will Be!
  2. Now to set the possible stage for the fulfillment of Plague or curse #6. We have the angel of vial #6 drying up the Euphrates. We know that this is already happening. Type drying of the Euphrates River into your search engine and read it from secular sources. There are multiple events happening at this time. Let’s briefly look at a few of them.dryingupriver
    1. Water has by now become very scarce due to the plagues. It may even replace the demand for oil by that time. There already is and has been a short supply of drining water in the Middle East; even during the time of Jacob.
    2. Putin and Netanyahu have recently agreed to a joint venture in developing oil and gas reserves found in Israel.
    3. The most recent world class oil reserve has been found in Har Megiddo; i.e. Armageddon territory; 55 miles north of Jerusalem.
    4. When oil reserves are threatened, armies converge to protect or steal it.. Examples? The Kuwaiti war with Saddam; Iraqi War; WWII… *(See the asterisk paragraph below)
    5. When water becomes totally scarce the Aswan Dam in Egypt will become a terrorist target. If breached or destroyed, this will fulfill the prophecy of Ezekiel 29:9.
    6. The dams in Jordan, Russia, Syria, Turkey…; King Hussein of Jordan has said “the volatile issue of water could drive the region to war. (See Matthew 24:22)
    7. UN Secretary-General Bhoutros-Ghali, while he was still Egypt’s foreign minister, said, “The next war in the Middle East will be fought over water, not politics.”
    8. Ironic as it may sound, the Persians defeated the Babylonians by diverting and drying up the river waters to Babylon back in 539 B.C.. Is this a preview of the fall of the Revelation Babylon???

*There needs to be something that calls these armies together at Har Megiddo; 55 miles north of Jerusalem. We are not without strong compelling attractions to this Valley of Jezreel in northern Israel AKA, Har Megiddo. Here are a few:

  1. Daniel 11 prophecies battles between the King of the North (probably the anti-Christ) and the king of the South (probably Muslim nations who refuse the anti-Christ as their master.) In their final battle they meet at Har Megiddo.
  2. In order to protect its oil rights in Israel and as agreed upon between Putin and Netanyahu (2016), Russia marches in to fend off destruction of their oil rights only recently discovered. See Daniel 11:44.
  3. A dry Euphrates River allows the king(s) of the East cross over and to get into the battle to either prevent a mutual destruction or to make sure it gets its fair-share of booty after the fight (war)
  4. Why would they gather to do battle? Revelation 16:13; it is all God arranged.

Plague #7:

Cataclysmic events such as islands disappear, mountains collapse and are no more, Jerusalem rises up to a high altitude as the waters from under soon-to-be Throne of God in Jerusalem begin to flow both toward the Jordan River and to the Mediterranean Sea. Jesus Christ sets foot on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem. Zechariah (14) tells us that the place of Jesus’ return to earth will not be Zion, Illinois, but the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel. The city of Jerusalem is divided into three parts. The armies gathered in plague #6 march on Jerusalem and are judged by Jesus. Babylon the Great, city or an institutional power, is destroyed as announced by an angel in Revelation 14:8 and again in Revelation 18:21. Great and fiery hail falls from the heavens. This hail from heaven has similarities to the Exodus account of plague #7 on Egypt recorded in Exodus 19:13-35. Is it a coincident for us to overlook the fact that this hail in Revelation is plague #7, just as it was in Egypt; i.e. #7?

Much of these plague events and event to follow occur simultaneously and/or in rapid succession. These events continue to be recorded by John in the next couple of chapters in Revelation.

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army [Revelation 19:19; NIV]

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 REVIEW QUESTIONS

1) What are the main points of this chapter?

– The pronouncement (1)

– The seven bowls of wrath (2-21)

2) What did a loud voice from the temple say to seven angels? (1)

– “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth”

3) Upon what was the first bowl poured out?  What happened? (2)

– The earth; foul and loathsome sores came upon those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image

4) Upon what was the second bowl poured out?  What happened? (3)

– The sea; it became blood as of a dead man; every living creature in the sea died

5) Upon what was the third bowl poured out?  What happened? (4)

– The rivers and springs of water; they became blood

6) Why did the angel of the waters proclaim God’s judgments as just?

(5-6)

– Because they had shed the blood of saints and prophets

7) Upon what was the fourth bowl poured out?  What happened? (8-9)

– On the sun; men were scorched with great heat

8) Despite these judgments, how did men respond? (9)

– They blasphemed the name of God, and did not repent and give God glory

9) Upon what was the fifth bowl poured out?  What happened? (10)

– On the throne of the beast; his kingdom became full of darkness, and people gnawed their tongues because of the pain

10) What again is said about the response to these judgments? (11)

– They blasphemed God because of their sores and pain, and did not repent of their deeds

11) Upon what was the sixth bowl poured out?  What happened? (12)

– On the river Euphrates; it was dried up, so the way of the kings from the east might be prepared

12) What did John see next? (13)

– Three unclean spirits like frogs coming of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet

13) What were these, and what was their mission? (14)

– Spirits of demons, performing great signs

– To gather the kings of the earth to the battle of the great day of God Almighty

14) What warning and beatitude did Jesus give at this point? (15)

– Behold, I am coming as a thief

– Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame

15) Where were the kings of the earth gathered? (16)

– To the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon

16) Upon what was the seventh bowl poured out?  What happened? (17)

– The air; a loud voice from the temple of heaven, from the throne, proclaimed, “It is done!”

17) What then occurred? (18-21)

– There were noises, thunderings, lightnings, a mighty earthquake

– The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell

– Great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath

– Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found

– Great hail from heaven fell upon men

18) How did people respond to the plague of the hail? (21)

– They blasphemed God, because the plague was exceedingly great

 

Revelation 12 (Part 1 of 2)

Author’s Note: Rather than do a verse-by-verse discussion of chapter 12, as can be found in so many commentaries and web sites, we will discuss the implications and try to clarify some of the misunderstandings adding to our reader’s knowledge of the truth.

The last book of the Bible - RevelationsDoes this chapter belong in the Book of Revelation? At first glance or even with additional reads it doesn’t seem to fit. Revelation is written mostly in a sequential or chronological order, but reminders and additional prophecy is added to enhance one’s understanding. Chapter 12 seems out of place when read in the vein of Revelation content. However, there is a very good reason or two this chapter belongs right where it is found. Later in another post, we will explain why chapters 12, 13, and 14 are one basic thought.

Setting: We have a woman, new born child and dragon. They are signs to John appearing in heaven. This means they are signs outside the realm of simple earthly issues. Therefore we need to look beyond the earth and events here on earth, at the same time assess their application to things of End Time; in actuality, the beginning of a NEW time. This is the Book of Revelation. Let’s first look at a few passages of scripture as backdrop to this rather odd or seemingly out of place chapter.

Deuteronomy 7:6 (The New Living Translation)

“For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.”

We might add to this that such a designation as HIS PEOPLE out of all the people on earth is why anti-Semitism has been around since Israelis have been around. Their troubles began in Egypt when the “Shepherd Kings” took the *Pharaoh ship of (lower) **Egypt. These foreign Pharaohs are those who “did not know Joseph”

Exodus 1:8]. “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” (NASB)

*To paraphrase Wikipedia… some time before 1650 BCE the arrival of the *Hyksos led to the end of the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt. *Shepherd Kings.

**It was not unusual for there to be two Egyptian Pharaohs in power at the same time; one in the north [lower Egypt] and one in the south [upper Egypt]; i.e. two kingdoms; the upper and the lower. Since Egypt is south of the equator, Lower Egypt borders the Mediterranean Sea nearest the Equator; Upper Egypt is closer to the Sudan, perhaps best identified as Thebes. This is sometimes difficult to understand for those of us who live north of the equator.

Valley of MegiddoThe Bible tells us that in End Time armed forces gather at Har Megiddo (Armageddon; i.e. the Valley of Jezreel sometimes call Esdraelon). The actual fighting will be 55 miles south of this area in Jerusalem; i.e. the Valley of Jehoshaphat. As of the last week in February, 2016, it is reported out of Israel that there is a possible joint effort between Israel and Russia to drill for what might be a world class oil field in the Har Megeddo area. I report… you conclude. A future article in this website will address the possibilities and their fit with the Bible and End Time. Perhaps I won’t need to report as the news channels will cover it for us. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3346302/posts

Back to our discussion topic: At times it can be a bit difficult to grasp the combined meanings of Revelation 12 and Daniel 7 but here is an attempt. To the Point:

In Daniel we find four beasts rising from the sea (of people) but in Revelation we find but one beast with multiple heads, 10 horns and crowns. To see that there is a direct connection one must go to Revelation 13:1-2 where John visualizes Daniel’s beasts, now as ONE creature; part leopard, feet of a bear, mouth of a lion together with 10 horns… (ESV) And to it [singular] the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.”

Leopard? Bear? Lion? That is only three. What happened to the fourth beast of Daniel? Look back at Daniel 7. We see that the fourth beast is not given an animal identity; only that it differs (Daniel 7:7d) from the other three and is more powerful. A few verses later in Daniel we read that Christ arrives to claim his throne. The fourth beast, unlike the other beasts, is probably Satan himself.

Revelation 20:2 tells us that eventually Satan is bound for a 1,000 years and his power stripped. This leaves the other kings/crowns of the other three creatures without power. Daniel 7:12 says… “As for the other three beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives are prolonged for a season and a time” [ESV]. Why Jesus gives these three enemies of his additional time is an enigma. Any opinion at this point is just that… an opinion.

*Revelation 12:9… and the great dragon is cast out (of heaven), that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceives the whole world; he is cast out [of heaven] into the earth… (v12) beware or woe to the inhabitants of the earth…” [emphasis mine].

PS: there are at least four times where the bible records that Satan is defeated by God.

  1. When he rebelled against God in Heaven but still has access to the Throne of God to complain about the faults, flaws and sins of Christians. Revelation 12:10
  2. When he is hurled down from heaven and can no longer approach the Throne of God. Revelation 12:10b
  3. When Christ returns to the Mt of Olives and establishes His kingdom rule over all of the nations. Revelation 20:1-3; Zechariah 14:4
  4. When Satan is defeated at the end of the 1,000 reign of God’s Kingdom on earth and he is judged then cast into the Lake of Fire that has been reserved for him, the beast, and the false prophet. Revelation 20:10

In verse 13 of chapter 12, we finally get back to the woman who brought forth the man child, the dragon, and the persecution. What eliminates the possibility that it is now the church itself being persecuted? The church has been persecuted since its origination under Roman rule following the crucifixion of Jesus almost 2,000 years ago. This is nothing new to John, the author of Revelation. What he sees is something new, not ancient or status quo.

Revelation says: for the woman was given two wings of a great eagle that she may fly into Egypt, right? NO! Mary, Joseph and Jesus fled to Egypt right after Jesus was born and only for about two years; not the wilderness. Revelation says “that she may flee to the Wilderness where her every need will be provided.” This also occurred when the children of Israel fled Egypt (Book of Exodus), the rule of the Hyksos Pharaohs in Lower Egypt, and after their 400 year captivity and slavery. The church is not even mentioned yet suggested. This is about Jerusalem, Christ on his throne in Jerusalem, and Israel. This is about Israel (the woman) where she is nourished for a time, times and half a time (3 ½ years); the second half of Daniel’s 70th week [Daniel 9]. This is about God’s chosen people… Israel.

A recent thought per Armageddon… the recently discovered [2016] and significant oil rights in Har Megiddo… Israel, along with Russia’s assistance at drilling gives Russia a vested interest and reason to control or prevent a clash between the King of the North and the King of the South in this area. The problem is that this section of Golan Heights is still recognized as “in Syria.” Israel has never annexed it since taking back control of it in 1973; 40 plus years ago.

Let me quote something that Don Koenig wrote per part of his discussion on Revelation 12:

Genesis 37:9,10… Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me. But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?”

Jacob (Israel) probably rebuked Joseph because Joseph was arrogant and he misunderstood. The dream was not just prophetic about what would happen in his life. Jacob and Rachel never bowed in worship to Joseph. Rachel died long before Joseph became a ruler in Egypt. The dream was a similitude of Joseph representing the Messiah that would come.

http://www.thepropheticyears.com/The%20book%20of%20Revelation/Revelation%20Chapter%2012.htm

This closely reflects or has a parallel to what John witnessed on the Island of Patmos while writing Revelation 12. The sun, moon and stars in obeisance. In Revelation we have the stars in a crown on the head of a woman. Some theologians and commentaries identify the stars as the Tribes of Israel, some the Disciples of Christ, others really stretch imagination to its limits making their ignorance or denominational patriotism known per their opinions on chapter 12. The differences are also obvious. The woman flees from a great dragon, she is in hiding protected by God for 1,230 days; 3 ½ years, and she is in the wilderness, not Egypt.

What also stands out is the specific mention of 3 ½ years. The Children of Israel wandered for almost *39 years in the Wilderness. However, they were protected, they had provisions of manna and quail, and there were enemies all around them who sought their demise.

*Before being condemned by their God to wander in the Wilderness, Israel had already spent 1 year trying to get into the Promised Land. 40 – 1 = 39 years

The application is not clear but Revelation 4:1 and 11:19 have similarities. 4:1 states “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven!…” Revelation 11:19 states “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened,…” [ESV]. Both regard heaven being open and the Temple in heaven being open.

The Stars being swept from heaven by the dragon’s tail [1/3 of them] are the angels of rebellion who sided with Lucifer/Satan. There may also be a tie between their fall from heaven and the meteorite shower of the heavens collapsing onto earth as read in Revelation 6:13, Joel 2:10 and Mark 13:25. It is obvious to even Satan that when he is finally denied access to heaven after his second war with Michael and the other 2/3s of the heavenly angels he is defeated. Now he reverts to trying to deny the remaining humans on earth a chance to confess Christ. He does this by causing great slaughters of mankind; wars and rumors of wars; man killing off mankind. As the Bible states in verse 12b of Revelation 12… “…for he knows his time is short.”

Author’s Note: The quote from Revelation 12:12 about Satan knowing his time is short, is amazingly underscored by Daniel 12:12… “Blessed is the one who waits and reaches the end of the 1,335 days” (1,260 plus 75 days) This 1,335 will be explained in a later article. However, the fact that both of these assurances, one of Satan being very angry (disparate) and the other of the hope to hold on are found in a chapter 12 and a verse 12; both end of time books. Hmmm?

By the way, the sea to which Revelation 12:12 refers is “the sea of people” remaining on earth. There is little justification for it to be anything else. Just like the waters in the “flood of water” from the mouth of Satan attempting to destroy “the woman” (Israel) found in Revelation 12:15 is an army of very significant size.

Revelation 12 (Part 2) coming soon.miniJim