Revealing Revelation – Head to the Hills

20Feb11

Revelation 6:15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, [16] calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, [17] for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand

Sometimes as we walk through these very symbolic passage we will note that they often have a literal interpretation, especially when it describes how man, especially the Jews in the first century, responded to the promise of the tribulation.

Remember at this point John is seeing things that were going to soon take place. One of those things he is witness to is the response from those to whom this judgment tribulation is directed. Like the Egyptians many Jews, especially those zealots who had taken over the city in it’s latter days, still violently rejected their salvation, though many common citizens did embrace the Messiah as history attest to.

But before proceeding with some historical information it is important to note how this passage, just like the previous few verses, can be traced to the Olivet Discourse. And again, as has been shown over and over again here, the Olivet Discourse clearly dealt with events related to the first century destruction of the city and Temple. Note this passage from Luke and compare to the Revelation passage above.

Luke 23:30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’

This parallel should not be missed. Not only that, as we will see from Josephus, history bears this out.

Josephus in his Wars – describing the War of the Jews – notes the last hope of the zealots and tyrants and those who supported them, “was in the caves and caverns underground.” There hope was to hide from the Romans and once the Romans had destroyed the city and left, would come out from hiding.

Note the last line from this passage that follows and remember that Josephus was not a Christian, but rather a Jewish Roman who sided with Rome and nothing to do with his Jewish ancestry. He finishes this segment by stating, “This was no better than a dream of theirs: for they were not able to lie hid either from God or from the Romans.”

Other passages from Jospehus also describe the fruitless result of hiding in the hills and caves as many Jews were slaughtered attempting to escape and hide. This actually also included a time when the Romans found several hiding in underground cavern and determined to break up the ground above them and have the ground cave in on them!

At this point there is a break in the section regarding the seals as we will next be introduced to the famous 144,000.

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