PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY › Forums › Forum › Does Revelation 16:1 Imply that the Beast is Not Rome?
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May 13, 2017 at 5:16 am #8888adminKeymaster
In Revelation 16:1 reads, “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” Throughout this commentary I explain how the earth signifies Israel and sea, Rome: In the Bible “Earth” Signifies the Specific Land Addressed While “Sea” Symbolizes Foreign Nations. If the seven angels are told to pour out their bowls on the earth representing Israel, then why does one of the angels pour out his bowl on the throne of the beast? Does this imply that the beast must be Israel? I do not believe so. It is interesting to note that although all the angels are told to pour out their bowls on the earth only the first angel complies. The second angel pours out his bowl on the sea (v. 3). The third angel pours out his bowl on the “rivers and springs of water” (v. 4). The forth angel pours out his bowl on the sun (v. 8); the fifth angel, on “the throne of the beast” (v. 10); the sixth, on the Euphrates (v. 12); and the seven angel pours out his bowl on the air (v. 17). Since only one angel seems to comply with the order from the temple, perhaps the intention of the voice from the temple in v. 1 is that regardless of where the angels pour their bowls that Israel, the earth, is still punished? As I explain in this commentary each of the plagues did, in fact, affect Israel during the Jewish War. But what about the fifth bowl? Revelation 16:10 reads, “The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness.” Notice that the fifth angel pours out his bowl on the throne of the beast probably signifying the emperor or Rome itself but notice that it is the beast’s kingdom that was plunged into darkness. Israel was a Roman province and is therefore part of the kingdom of the beast and though Rome certainly received the brunt of the punishment of the fifth bowl having been afflicted unusually harshly from A.D. 68 to 69 during the year of the four Caesars, the reverberations of this affliction also spread as far as Israel. Though Rome withdrew its assault on Israel in order to lick its wounds shortly after the death of Nero which triggered the following year of civil war, Israel and especially Jerusalem had no peace. After the Romans withdrew from Jerusalem Josephus says that civil war raged in the city and the zealots turned their swords away from the Romans and drove them into each other and a three-way civil war not unlike the three-way civil war in Rome between Galba, Otho and Vitellius ensued. Thus just like all the other bowls which were poured out on the earth, sea, rivers, sun, and air ultimately resulted in the affliction of Israel, the fifth bowl poured on the beast though focusing its just punishment on Rome also ultimately resulted in similar affliction in Israel.
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