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The Beast in Jerusalem

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By large-hammer - Posted on 27 November 2003

by Marcus Booker
"When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and over come them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified." Rev 11:7-8"When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and over come them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified." Rev 11:7-8In this text, the beast is in Jerusalem. Of course, Roman power also stood within Jerusalem. However, the form of the argument in relation to other texts and history points to a Jewish beast.

First of all, let's compare the above text to Luke's Acts of the Apostles. In Acts, Stephen gives testimony of Jesus Christ, for which reason the Jews stoned him. It says...

"Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud proclamation over him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison."

Now read Revelation again:

"When they have finished their testimony [when Stephen and those who followed after him finished their testimony],

the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and over come them and kill them [a great persecution will afterward arise, they will ravage the church, enter house after house, and drag off men and women].

And their dead bodies will lie [unless some devout men come along to bury them]

in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified [in Jerusalem].

Revelation also says, "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction."

Compare this text's promise of destruction to 1 Thessalonians:

"For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost."

1 Thess also says, "Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" [the classic statement of the false prophets of old--Jer 6:13-14] then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape."

2 Thessalonians seems to speak of the beast and the false prophet:

The man of lawlessness is called also the "son of destruction."

It is said that he "opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God" [compare this to the image of the beast that must be worshipped--Rev 13:4,14]

It then says, "Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of his coming" [compare to Rev 19:20, those who "were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse..."]

It goes on to describe the culprit as "the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders." [compare to Rev 13:2 where the beast receives its authority from the serpent. Also compare with Rev 13:14; 16:14; 19:20 where the false prophet performs "signs"]

Who was responsible for the great persecution?

Paul, in his allegory, says "as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the spirit, so it is now also."

Yet in his allegory he contrasts two covenants and the children of two covenants. The children of the one, born for slavery from Mount Sinai and corresponding to the "present Jerusalem" persecuted the free children born of the Jerusalem that is free. There is, of course, no mention of Rome.

John's Gospel also seems to downplay Rome. Jesus omits any reference to it (as a persecuting body) when he says, "They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the father or me. But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour [of destruction] comes, you may remember that I told you of them."

So...with all of this background and history, why do people still identify the beast as Roman?

There are several reason:

1. A traditional interpretation of Revelation [if there be such a thing] identifies the Harlot as Rome, with its reference to seven hills. Indeed, the letter says "the seven heads are seven hills on which the woman is sitting; also they are seven kings..." Moreover, some have taken "Babylon," in both Revelation and in Peter's Epistle, to refer to Rome (according to some Jewish historical usage).

However, it has been well established that the harlot is Jerusalem, which also calls into question the identity of the beast. Indeed, if the harlot can be said to sit on seven hills (and still be Jerusalem), how does the seven hills and seven heads of the beast demand a Roman interpretation? The problem, exegetically, is that people get bogged down trying to identify seven or eight kings, or ten kings, or three kings who have fallen, or seven hills, etc. They let the uncertain and dubious overshadow the plain and straightforward. They also neglect the poetic/symbolic language of the text (at least at these parts).

2. A second reason that the beast has been viewed as Rome, historically, has been because of so-called historicist and futurist views. Some early exegetes saw the demise of the Roman empire predicted; they separated the epistle from its historical significance to seven real churches in Asia Minor. They also cast aside the imminency language so prevalent in the writing. Leading up to and during the Protestant Reformation, the same approach became popular to implicate the Romish Papacy. It was, for their time, a convenient means by which they could justify a break with Rome (along with other reasons). The interpretation was convenient, but it was anti-historical and on shaky ground grammatically.

3. Another reason the beast is seen as Rome concerns the interpretation of Daniel. Many have assumed two things about Daniel's fourth beast. They assume identity (not likeness) between the two. Also, they assume that the fourth beast is a literal world power (and not primarily a spiritual powerhouse and obstacle to God's people). However, I will not here discuss this point further. Nevertheless, I will affirm that Rome fits neither in Daniel (as the fourth beast) nor in Revelation (as the beast).

4. A fourth reason is that much of Christian culture has reacted so strongly against anti-semitism, that it has instead identified the principle adversaries against the early church as Rome (all the while downplaying Jewish opposition). The early Christian persecution is often seen as an insane rampage by Caligula or Nero against Christians (who challenged the Roman state and power). The ordeals against lions and bears in the arenas become, in the minds of some people, the picture of Christian persecution. Unlike in the Scriptures, Jewish opposition and murder of Christians is curiously absent. Yet in the text itself, the casting from the synagogues, the handing up to authorities, the chasing from city to city, the stoning, the throwing into prison, the persecution in general, was from the Jews. The Scriptures do not talk of emperors or arenas. Rome is almost a refuge, a protection. It provides law and order for Christians and keeps them from the muderous hands of their countrymen. Roman citizenship, to Paul, was a great blessing; it certainly was not the mark of the beast. He appeals to the emperor, who he thinks will be more just than the locals (who would have him done away in a heartbeat). The apostles also encouraged obedience to Roman authority and the payment of taxes. Rome, when it did act against Christians, often did so reluctantly or to appease the overwhelming mobs of Jews crying for blood. Pilate, for his part, was ready to release Jesus. He found no crime. He [personally] wanted to have him released. So...Rome is in many ways a very bad candidate for being the beast, especially since it was not destroyed "soon" after the writing of Revelation.

Marcus J. Booker

Roger's picture

Marcus,

Surely the fourth beast in Daniel 2 is indeed Rome.

"Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break **all these** in pieces. Daniel 2:40

Who are the "all these" in this verse? Grammatically it would seem to point to the previous kingdoms already identified as Babylon, etc. Surely little Israel didn't crushed and break Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece.

Also, when did the people of the earth (peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations) celebrate and send gifts to each other after the beast killed the two prophets who tormented them? (Rev. 11:9-10)

Rev 13:3 says "And the **whole earth** was amazed and followed after the beast;"
Was this fulfilled in the first century? Did the folks in China at that time follow after Israel?

Rev 13:4 states ""Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?"
Was Rome at the time unable to wage war against Israel?

How figurative do we need to become to make this fit into first century Israel?

Roger

RevelationMan's picture

Is it possible that there are two beasts in Revelation 13? The beast of the sea (Gentiles) being Rome & the beast of the earth (Israel) being Israel. I agree that the beast of Revelation 11 is Israel. And I do think that the 4th kingdom in Daniel 2 is Rome. It follows sequentially in the line of world empires and the description is pretty indicative of the Roman empire. I do agree that the Harlot/Prostitute (chapter 17) is Israel. However, I believe the city on the seven hills with the 10 horns is still describing Roman Emperors, the 6th of which was Nero, & the 10 horns are the 10 provinces of Rome. If not, then who are the beast & ten horns that hate the woman & destroy her (17:16-18)? The 8th emperor who resurrects Rome is Vespacian. It's all in my book, "A Personal Revelation".

Eric Fugett

large-hammer's picture

RevelationMan,

You said, "I agree that the beast in Revelation 11 is Israel." Do you?

I'm glad. But Revelation 11 says, "When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them." Notice that it's the beast that comes from the abyss, from the sea--in Rev 11.

Yet you just said in your comment that the beast of the sea is Rome (and the beast of the earth Israel).

You're noticeably confused--which is okay. We've all been confused about this book. But...we must be methodical and consistent in straightening it all out. May God bless you in that endeavor my friend.

Marcus

RevelationMan's picture

I am not trying to offend but to explain. Also, you did not answer my question about the identity of the beast & the 10 horns who hate the harlot/prostitute. Here are the two words used, one for abyss & the other for sea. Greek clears up some of the confusion. And you're right, we've all been confused about this stuff at some point or another.

Abyss
Abussos from GSN0001 (as a negative particle) and a variation of GSN1037; depthless, i.e. (specially) (infernal) "abyss":

KJV--deep, (bottomless) pit.

Sea
Thalassa probably prolonged from GSN0251; the sea (genitive case or specially):

KJV--sea.

Eric Fugett

large-hammer's picture

RevelationMan,

Note verse 8 of ch 17. Verse 8 shows that the beast in chapter 17 is the beast that "shall ascend out of the abyss." This is also the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns, as shown by reading all of chapter 17. Yet the beast in chapter 11 is also the one that "ascends out of the abyss." Of course, you said that chapter 11's beast (from the abyss) is Israel. Yet you identify the seven heads and ten horns of chapter 17's beast (from the abyss) as Roman. [Are you suggesting two distinct abysses? Or are both from the same abyss?]

[Note also that this 10-horned beast in Revelation is patterned off of Daniel's fourth beast, which is also 10-horned].

Because you have not squared these things together, I don't yet owe an answer as to who or what the seven heads and ten horns are. Of course, I will tell you and show you that they are not Roman.

If the "abyss" refers to the sea, then the (from the abyss) beast in Rev 17 who turns against the harlot is the beast from the sea. Of course, the beast in Rev 11 would also be the beast from the sea (because it too came from the abyss). Yet you said that Rev 11's beast was Israel and that the beast from the sea is Rome.

If the "abyss" refers to the land and its depths, then the beast in Rev 17 who turns against the harlot (and with the 7 heads and 10 horns) is Israel. Indeed, you said that the beast from the land is Israel.

In either case it's not Rome.

Here's Rev 17:

Rev 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

Rev 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Rev 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Rev 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Rev 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Rev 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Rev 17:9 And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

Rev 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, [and] the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Rev 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Rev 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

Rev 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

RevelationMan's picture

Since both Rome & Israel persecute the Christians, is it unreasonable to believe that both activities spring from demonic involvement? I apologize for not making this point more clear to begin with. As I pointed out earlier, there are two different Greek words for Abyss & sea. I also stated in an earlier reply, that I do believe the beast of Daniel is Rome.

Now we agree that the prostitute is Israel. Who else could commit adultery against God other than Israel (as Hosea makes very clear)? We also know that Titus & the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem. Therefore, would it not make sense for Rome to be the beast in chapter 17?

In one of my articles, I had to admit that I was wrong about the date for Herod's eclipse in discussing the date for the birth of Jesus. As a result of that, I found the true date for the eclipse based on Josephus & the Talmud. I guess what I am trying to say is to be open to the input form others. You yourself said that you found trouble with chapter 17, verses 16-17.

By the way, my name is Eric. I appreciate your hard work & study. As you pointed out, we are all still trying to figure this stuff out.

Eric Fugett

large-hammer's picture

Eric,

Here's another one:
Here's another instance of Hebrew parallelism showing sea and abyss to be equivalent:

Job 28:

But where can wisdom be found?
Where is the source of understanding?

No one knows its value,
and it can't be found in the land of the living

The deep (abussos in LXX) says, 'it isn't in me'
and the sea says, 'it isn't with me'

It can't be obtained with gold
nor can silver be weighed out to buy it
----------------

Now here you might say that "silver" and "gold" are not the same thing. True. However, for the poetic purpose, they are mutually complementary and are functionally equivalent; they are both media of exchange, and for that purpose, they are synonymous and even interchangeable.

"Wisdom" and "understanding" may not be identical, but they are two facets to one thing. Likewise, they are basically interchangeable (with respect to the poetic purpose).

Marcus

RevelationMan's picture

Why are all of your examples taken from the Old Testament? Because in the New Testament, there are two different words used for Abyss & sea. I haven't checked into this but isn't this similar to the Sheol, grave, Hades, Gehanna arguments in that concepts are given to relate to the Greek audience?

Eric Fugett

large-hammer's picture

Eric,

I'm not disputing that there are two different words used for "abyss" and "sea" (in both the LXX and in the apostles' writing). Yet you seem to be suggesting that because there are two different words used that the two convey entirely dissimilar meanings.

As for abussos, I used the older writings because (other than in Revelation), it is not much used by the apostles. Paul uses it in Romans, and there may be some other cases out there. I have no problem using the newer writings. It's just that John was more likely drawing upon the old writings rather than upon the contemporary ones.

Marcus

RevelationMan's picture

The Greek word "abussos" is used to convey a different concept from "sea" in the New Testament. You are right there are only 2 incidents of it outside of Revelation & it only occurs in Revelation chapters 9, 11, 17, & 20. While "thalassa" the Greek word for "sea" is all over the New Testament. That is the point that I am trying to make with regard to the use of the two words.

You still have not answered my question about the identity of the beast & horn who hate the harlot/prostitute. If they are not representative of Rome, which destroyed Jerusalem, then what do they represent?

Eric Fugett

large-hammer's picture

The identity of the beast & horn who hate the harlot?

Have I not already answered it?

Since I prefer to have people arrive at their own conclusions, here's a hint:

And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?

Marcus

RevelationMan's picture

I guess we can agree to disagree over that explanation for the beast & 10 horns of chapter 17 & the beast of the sea in chapter 13.

Eric Fugett

large-hammer's picture

Hi Eric. [It's better than calling you RevelationMan].

I'm not particularly open-minded. However, I really am open in many ways. People may talk at length if what they say doesn't provide new evidence or arguments that truly challenge the status quo that I have adopted. I may never listen to them (though they may babble forever). However, the moment they say anything (even something small) that I perceive seriously to challenge the truth, as I have come to know it, my ears perk up. I'll hang on their every word. That's my idea of being open. A Dispensationalist, for instance, may blab and blab. I don't pay attention. But...I pay attention enough to be attuned to any good points he may make (if he makes any). My ears are a filter. They prevent junk from coming through and are always open to the good stuff.

You mentioned that in the Greek tongue there are two words for abyss and for sea. I've been examining the usage. Actually, I went through my Concordance to the LXX and examined every single usage of abussos in the LXX. Almost every instance plainly used abussos in conjunction with the sea or with water. Sometimes it applied to the waters underneath the earth. Once it was used as the abode of the dead. Of course, another use, in Ezekiel, was similar, and it linked abussos to the sea. In one case, it was used simply for the open space (or open countryside). Yet I went through Gen, Deut, Psalms, Prov, Ezek, Habakkuk, Amos, Job, etc. etc.

Actually, the term "abyss" is oftentimes used synonymously with "sea."

The near middle eastern people often used a form of poetry called parallelism. One manifestation of this form consists of a series of twin lines, such as:

A
B

A
B

The second line adds depth and dimension to the overall thought, and the two complete one another (much like two eyes add depth to vision).

Sometimes B seems to almost restate A in different words. Because of this tendency, it can be shown that abyss was oftentimes used as sea.

Notice the parallelism in the two psalms below. In each set of two lines, the A and B are synonymous. Also notice "sea" and "abussos."

Here's the first one:

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep (abussos) into storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the LORD ;
let all the people of the world revere him.

For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.

The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.

A different psalm:

He threatened the Red Sea; it dried up
and he led them through the deep (abussos) as through the desert.

He saved them from the hand of the foe;
he saved them from the grip of the enemy.

Anyway, I hope that I have not been offensive in my approach Eric. I am a little bit of a stone wall. Yet I have good reason to be. Assaults come from every side.

Yes...sea and abyss are different words. But "foe" and "enemy" above are different too. Yet they communicate the same thing.

We can discuss the word "abussos" more if you want to do that.

Marcus

large-hammer's picture

Roger,

I can understand your differing perspective. Most people have been taught (or assume) that Rome is the fourth kingdom. As a matter of fact, a bible that I was reading the other day, divided the writing into subheadings. And, of course, when it spoke of the fourth kingdom, the heading was "Rome." The interpretation was given.

Anyway, the way Daniel treats these kingdoms (and their power and prowess) is not as world-powers but as persecutors of God's true people, his faithful ones. Babylon is terrible to God's people, Medo-Persia subdues Babylon in this respect and takes over. Greece then takes the kingdom. And finally, there is a fourth persector. The warfare is a spiritual battle primarily, as evidenced by the involvement of Michael, who fights against the angels of the adversaries.

The wicked among Israel and Judah itself as shown to be the chief enemies of the remnant of God's people (from within Israel and Judah also). These are those who stand in the way of the nation's restoration/resurrection, their return from exile, and the reuniting of the nations (and the ratification of a new covenant). Unlike the prophet Ezekiel, he speaks of two resurrections (one also for the wicked).

John, in Revelation, applies the same idea to the opposition from within the household of God.

Anyway, what people tend to do is take what they think "makes sense" and go with it. They see words like "iron" and "god of strongholds" etc. etc. and they think that Rome is a good fit; it makes sense. However, Rome is not at all a good fit. The language all around is aimed toward those inside, not outside, the covenant. That's what I briefly discuss in my article "Israel and Judah: Chief Subject of Daniel's Visions." It was Israel and Judah who relied upon a god of strongholds, who did abomination, who desecrated the sanctuary and polluted it. It was them who did violence to the covenant and forsook it. It was them who went after strange gods, precious stones, gold, silver, etc. It was them who relied upon Egypt. They were the divided kingdom, north and south. They were the ones who mixed their holy seed with the seed of men. The language points so strongly toward them that I am amazed the people miss it.

As for when people celebrated and sent each other gifts, that was when men like Paul, in his former life, rejoiced over the killing of Christians.

As for the "whole earth" being amazed, it doesn't say "whole planet." Earth can mean planet...but it more often doesn't indicate "the globe" but a section of land (large or small). The Jews in that time, according to normal apostolic use of language, were dispersed throughout the whole world. So too had the gospel been proclaimed throughout the whole world, according to Paul. That was the normal language for them.

As for waging war against the beast, it's not temporaral warfare, with carnal weapons. It's spiritual warfare. John is expressing the difficulty in fighting against the opposition (such as Pharisees and Sadducees).

As for how figurative we need to become, that depends on context and precedent and normal expectations in the language. Some figures and symbols are standard--such as "whore".

Figures aren't bad. I don't want to try, against the grain, to make anything fit when it doesn't fit. I also don't want to interpret figuratively what is literal. Nor, for that matter, do I want to interpret literally what is figurative. Rome, in so many ways, just simply does not fit. From what I can tell, it takes a major stretch to make Rome fit. I don't see any such stretch AT ALL with regard to unfaithful Israel and Judah. It is, as far as I'm concerned, a perfect fit.

Marcus Booker

large-hammer's picture

Spiderich,

I was aware of what you were saying. I read an article by Martin that was posted on this site in Sept.

I commented that it was an interesting idea, but I wanted some references. I'd still like to know his sources.

Marcus

spiderich's picture

Hi, Marcus could you please read my reply dated Dec 1/03 17:02:13 PST? It's directly above this comment. It's a reply to your response of my initial comment.
I find your arguments persuasive, and I'm merely suggesting that the possibility of Jerusalem actually sitting on seven hills (if true) could "seal" your argument, so to speak.

Richard G

spiderich's picture

Hi again, Marcus,

I only mentioned Martin because that was the 1st Google find.

I recently went to the 4th page on Google and found a reference to J.S. Russell on preteristarchive.com! Check out the section on his book "The Parousia" on that site, and click on the 'afterword'. Half-way down is 'Jerusalem A Seven Hilled City'. He mentions a book called "Palestine Explored" by {Rev.) James Neil.
So, I did another Google search (this time for "Palestine Explored" and found www.centuryone.com/explored.html. You may find this interesting.

Richard G.

large-hammer's picture

Richard,

Yes...this is interesting (especially for a late 19th century work).

"Mount Zion sometimes stands for the one hill on the south-western quarter of Jerusalem, now partly within and partly without the walls, which in ancient times, however, entirely encircled its summit; and sometimes for the whole site of the city, consisting of the seven hills on which it was situated, namely, Mount Zion, Mount Acra, Mount Ophel, Mount Moriah, Mount Gareb, and Mount Goath."

"The Holy City, on its seven closely-clustered but well-defined hills, is surrounded by deep narrow valleys, which make the ascent to the gates toilsome on every side but the north-west."

And here's something I found on another site, referencing an 8th Century work:

"This fact was well recognized in Jewish circles. In the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer, an eighth century midrashic narrative (section 10), the writer mentioned without commentary (showing that the understanding was well known and required no defense) that "Jerusalem is situated on seven hills" (recorded in The Book of Legends, edited by Bialik and Ravnitzky, p. 371, paragraph 111)."

I'd like to see some of this original source documentation. It seems likely that the designation of "seven-hilled city" refers to any ancient capital, any sacred and especially important city. The mistake of some people may have been to view Rome as the seven-hilled city, as if to the exclusion of Jerusalem (and other cities) who shared the description. The significance of seven hills, to these ancients, may have been lost on us. But...it requires more study I think.

Thanks for the contribution.

Marcus

spiderich's picture

Hi, Marcus. I haven't yet read your other articles concerning the interpretation of 1st century Jerusalem as the beast, but I will read them. However, are you aware that Jerusalem itself is supposed to sit on seven hills? I used Google to search for "Jerusalem seven hills", and up popped many results. One of the 1st results was Ernest L. Martin's website at askelm.com/prophecy/p000201.htm.
What do you think?

spiderich's picture

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spiderich's picture

Hi, Marcus. I haven't yet read your other articles concerning the interpretation of 1st century Jerusalem as the beast, but I will read them. However, are you aware that Jerusalem itself is supposed to sit on seven hills? I used Google to search for "Jerusalem seven hills", and up popped many results. One of the 1st results was Ernest L. Martin's website at askelm.com/prophecy/p000201.htm.
What do you think?

Seeker55's picture

Great article! Thanks. You've brought out many interesting points that are so often overlooked. I have been thinking for a while now that the beast must be Jewish not Roman. But, still didn't have any explanation for many scriptures, especially Daniel.
You said;

Another reason the beast is seen as Rome concerns the interpretation of Daniel. Many have assumed two things about Daniel's fourth beast. They assume identity (not likeness) between the two. Also, they assume that the fourth beast is a literal world power (and not primarily a spiritual powerhouse and obstacle to God's people). However, I will not here discuss this point further. Nevertheless, I will affirm that Rome fits neither in Daniel (as the fourth beast) nor in Revelation (as the beast). end quote

Can you explain how you view Daniel's beast? I am becoming more and more convinced that the beast is Jewish and not Roman, but this is the main obstacle I have with the beast being Jewish. Daniel's beast seem to describe literal world powers, and I can't get past this.
Thanks for your insight!

large-hammer's picture

Seeker55,

It's funny what you said. For me, I started to first see Daniel's fourth beast differently, which affected how I viewed Revelation. In other words, it was the other way around in my case.

Anyway, an brief introduction to this idea, as it pertains to Daniel, may be found in an article that I wrote called, "Israel and Judah: Chief Subject of Daniel's Visions." It's on this website under my columns. Just click on my name, and you'll get to it.

I also wrote a commentary on [parts of] Daniel, but my views have changed somewhat since its composition. Nevertheless, it's still good material to show grammatically and historically that Daniel [in his fourth component] is referring to rebels from inside the covenant (not outside of it, as the Romans would be). This commentary amounts to about 100 pages. I think it's kind of dry reading, and I would do it differently next time. But...if you want to get deeper into the grammatical reasons why I identify the fourth beast as I do, it'll be of great help. I think I refer to the website where you can find the commentary in the shorter article.

Marcus

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