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Salvation and judgment in history from the throne of god and of the little lamb

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Job 1:19 the mighty wind out of the desert that struck Job’s home, destroying all his sons and daughters;
Job 27:20-23, a wind that sweeps away the wealthy;
Isaish 29:6, YHWH will come in judgment with windstorm and tempest, in His judgment on Ariel / Jerusalem;
Isaiah 66:15, “See, YHWH is coming with fire, and His chariots are like a whirlwind; He will bring down His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire”;

Jeremiah 4:11-13, “At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, ‘A scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward My people, but not to winnow or cleanse; a wind too strong for that comes from Me. Now I pronounce My judgments against them...Look! He advances like the clouds, his chariots come like a whirlwind, his horses are swifter than eagles”–a description of the Babylonian forces attacking Jerusa-lem;
Jeremiah 49:36-38, “I will bring against Elam the four winds from the four quarters of the heavens; I will scatter them to the four winds, and there will not be a nation where Elam’s exiles do not go. I will shatter Elam before their foes, before those who seek their lives; I will bring disaster upon them, even My fierce anger, declares YHWH, I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them”;
Ezekiel 13:13, “...In My wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in My anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground, so that its foundations will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it, and you will know that I am YHWH”;
Daniel 2:35, “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold (which represented successive kingdoms) were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a

trace...”; 7:2, the four winds of heaven churn up the great sea from which arose four beasts;

Hosea 4:19, ‘A whirlwind will sweep them (the Israelites) away...”; 8:7, “They sow the wind, and they will reap the whirlwind”; 13:15, “...An east wind from YHWH will come, blowing in from the desert...His storehouse will be plundered of all its treasures” (all of this a description of the coming destruction of Northern Israel by the Assyrians in 722 /21 B.C.);
Nahum 1:3, “YHWH...will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirl-wind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of His feet”–predicting the destruction of Nineveh;
Zechariah 7:14, “I (YHWH) scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations”; 9:14, “YHWH will appear over them; His arrow will flash like lightning. YHWH will sound the trumpet; He will march in the storms of the south”--as He comes to save His flock.
We read these passages, and are reminded how modern Americans claim that God had nothing to do with hurricanes such as Andrew in Miami, Florida, or Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Such a denial would never occur to the biblical writers, who see the hand of God in everything that happens. What do you think?

751 The 3rd person singular, aorist passive indicative verb avpecwri,sqh, apechoristhe, means “it was separated,” or “it was split.” Aune comments that “this meaning does not fit the simile of a book rolling up. The verb is best understood in this context as meaning ‘to move away from a normal location, with the implication of disappearing’ in the sense that the heaven could no longer be seen...Then the simile of a scroll rolled up makes sense, since it can be understood as lying open for reading and then snapping together quickly like a window shade.” (P. 385)
This verb occurs only 3 times in the Greek Bible: Ezekiel 43:21 (meaning in an area separated from the temple); Acts 15:39 (Paul and Barnabas “parted company,” “were separated”) and here, Revelation 6:14, where it evidently means “was split apart.”


The present passive accusative participle ἑλισσόμενον, helissomenon, “being rolled up,” is changed to its nominative form e`lisso,menoj, helissomenos, by Sinaiticus, Minuscule 1854, and the Majority Text (K). This makes the participle agree with the preceding ouvrano,j, ouranos, “heaven,” instead of bibli,on, biblion, “little scroll.” Does John mean “the heavens being rolled up,” or “the little scroll being rolled up”? The variant reading chooses the former; the original text chooses the former.
Compare footnote 750, where this same kind of imagery is used in Isaiah 34’s description of the divine destruction of Edom: “All the stars of the heavens will be dis-solved and the sky rolled up like a scroll...” Swete comments that "The expanse of heaven...was seen to crack and part, the divided portions curling up and forming a roll on either hand." (P. 93)
Aune comments that “The metaphor of the most stable features of the world, such as mountains, islands, and coastlands, ‘shaken’ and ‘moved’ occurs in contexts of a divine theophany or divine judgment (Judges 5:5 (the mountains quaked before YHWH, the One of Sinai); Psalms 18:7 (Greek, 17:7; see verses 7-15 in Hebrew, 8-16 in Greek); 46:2-3; Isaiah 5:25 (when YHWH is angry, the mountains shake); 54:10; 64:1; Jeremiah 4:24 (mountains quaking, hills swaying); Ezekiel 26:18 (coastlands tremble, islands are terrified); 38:20 (mountains are overturned, cliffs crumble, at YHWH’s presence); Micah 1:4 (mountains melt, valleys split apart); Nahum 1:5 (rocks are shattered before Him); Habbakuk 3:6 (earth shakes, nations tremble, mountains crumble, hills collapse) and Zechariah 14:4 (the Mount of Olives split in two, with half moving north, the other half moving south).” (P. 416)
Of course, this language is to be understood symbolically, not literally, for the earth continues to exist in the continuation of John’s visions–which would be impossible if the heavens were gone. What do you think?

753 The feminine singular noun ν­σος, nesos, “island,” is changed to bouno,j, bounos, “hill,” or “mound” by Sinaiticus. This variant reading does not change the meaning of Revelation.

754 Again, this kind of language is characteristic of biblical descriptions of occurrences in history, especially in the day of YHWH, that day the past, present, and future, when YHWH comes in judgment and deliverance. See the following passages:
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, and the mountains quake with their surging." (Psalm 46:1-3)
"Look! YHWH is coming...The mountains melt beneath Him, and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope!" (Micah 1:3a, 4, predicting a coming divine judgment against Samaria and Jerusalem, a prediction fulfilled in the destruction of Samaria in 721 B.C. and the destruction of Jerusalem in 587-86 B.C.)
"YHWH is a jealous and avenging God; YHWH takes vengeance and is filled with wrath...His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebukes the sea and dries it up; He makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel (mountains) wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade. The mountains quake before Him, and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at His presence, the world and all who live in

it." (Nahum 1:2, 3b-5, in a prediction of the coming of destruction upon Nineveh which came through its destruction in 612 B.C.)

"He stood, and shook the earth; He looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled, and the age-old hills collapsed...You split the earth with rivers; the mountains saw you and writhed." (Habakkuk 3:6, 9b-10a, in a prediction of the coming destruction of Judah in 587-86 B.C.)
Hough comments on this description in Revelation 6 that, "It is the complete breakdown of everything upon which humanity had depended...Life is lived in constant dependence upon the stability of the cosmic environment. The sun giving heat and light, the moon shining with silvery grace at night, the stars piercing the darkened sky with points of light, are symbols and more than symbols of the stability of that nature in relation to which we live our life. The sky and the mountains and the islands keep constant appointments with [humanity]. And in the frame of this stability [humanity] can live [its] life. But the wickedness of [humanity] has robbed them of the right to the cooperation of nature as they live their lives...” (Pp. 569-70)
What this vision pictures is the imagery of the day of YHWH that has become the imagery of the day of God and of the Little Lamb--that eternal day on which creation is reversed, and nature itself returns to chaos, revolting against humanity's rejection of its rightful Creator!

755 Aune comments that “The term cili,arcoi, chiliarchoi, ‘chiliarchs,’ refers to military officials in charge of 1,000 troops and so can be translated by ‘commanding officers’ or ‘generals.’” (P. 386)

756 The word-order of the phrase, χιλίαρχοι καὶ οἱ πλούσιοι, chiliarchoi kai hoi plousioi, “rulers of thousands and the wealthy,” is reversed to read πλούσιοι καὶ οἱ χιλίαρχοι, “wealthy and the rulers of thousands,” by the Majority Text (A). The change in word-order makes no difference for the meaning of Revelation.

757 The phrase καὶ οἱ ἰσχυροι, kai hoi ischuroi, kai hoi ischuroi kai hoi ischuroi, “and the strong ones,” is omitted by Minuscule 1 and some other Greek manuscripts.


The adjective pa/j, pas, “every” is interpolated at this point in the text by a corrector of Sinaiticus, the Majority Text (A), the Bohairic Coptic (see Sinaiticus for the skipping of this word because of similar endings). The variant reading does not change the meaning of Revelation.

759 We have remarked more than once how for Revelation the number seven has special symbolical meaning--indicating fullness or completeness. Here John mentions seven classes of people, probably meaning "all" people, every class of people who live upon earth. He names (1) earthly kings; (2) great people; (3) rulers of thousands; (4) the wealthy; (5) the strong; (6) every slave; and (7) every free person.
Swete comments that "Seven conditions of life are named, covering the whole fabric of society from the Emperor down to the meanest slave...The Caesars are in view here, but not exclusively; of the other persons in authority who are named the megista/nej, megistanes (magistratus) are the civil officials (e.g. the persecuting proconsuls), while the cili,arcoi chiliarchoi (tribuni) are the military authorities...Not only officials will be terror-struck by the signs of the approaching end [we say, the approaching day of the Little Lamb], but all classes of society; wealth and physical strength will afford no security... Slaves and free--the contrast indicates the deepest of class-distinctions in ancient life--will be huddled together in the frantic attempt to escape." (P. 94)

760 Aune comments that “During times of invasion or siege, residents of cities and towns would often flee to the mountainous regions to hide from their enemies (Judges 6:2; 1 Samuel 14:11; Job 30:6; Ezekiel 33:27; Jeremiah 16:16; 49:30...) This is precisely the advice give to those living in Jerusalem during the time of [extreme] stress (Mark 13:14; Matthew 24:16; Luke 21:21). In the Old Testament, the major reason for fleeing from the presence of God is to avoid judgment (Genesis 19:17; Zechariah 14:5).” (Pp. 419-20)

761 Aune comments that “While li,qoj, lithos, refers to separate pieces of stone or rock,

or stone as a substance, pe,tra, petra refers to bedrock (sometimes covered with a thin

layer of soil) or to exposed out-croppings of rock such as precipices and cliffs...Here the plural term pe,tra, petra, must refer to cliffs, rocky ridges, or precipices.” (P. 386)
He also comments on p. 391 that “The continued existence of the caves, rocks, and mountains indicates that cosmic destruction is not in view.”

762 The aorist imperative verb κρύψατε, krupsate, “hide (us)!” is changed the future form, kru,yete, krupsete, “you will hide,” by Sinaiticus. It is changed to the imperative verb

kalu,yate, kalupsate, “cover (us)!” by Minuscule 2329. The variant readings do not change the meaning of Revelation.

763 In 1 Samuel 13:5-6 we are told that "The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore [an obvious hyperbole / exaggeration]. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. When the men of Israel saw that their situation was critical

and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns."

In the day of YHWH that Hosea predicted, and that actually came upon the Kingdom of Northern Israel in 722 / 21 B.C., there is language that is very similar to that of Revelation 6: "Samaria and its king will float away like a twig on the surface of the waters. The high places of wickedness will be destroyed--it is the missing-of-the-mark of Israel. Thorns and thistles will grow up and cover their altars. Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Cover us!’ and to the hills, ‘Fall on us!’” (Hosea 10:7-8)
Isaiah 2, in its description of the day of YHWH, says the following: "So humanity will be brought low and mankind humbled--do not forgive them. Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of YHWH and the splendor of His majesty! The eyes of the arrogant person will be humbled and the pride of people will be brought low; YHWH alone will be exalted on that day. YHWH of the heavenly armies has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship, and every trading ship and every stately vessel. The arrogance of humanity will be brought low and the pride of people humbled; YHWH alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear. People will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of YHWH and the splendor of His majesty, when He rises to shake the earth. In that day people will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship. They will flee to the caverns in the rocks, and to the overhanging crags from dread of YHWH and the splendor of His majesty, when He rises to shake the earth." (Isaiah 2:9-21)
It is clear from a study of these passages from the Jewish Bible that John's vision is deeply rooted in their language, and in their varied ways of depicting the day of YHWH that has come so many times in the history of peoples and cities and nations and the world, and that constantly threatens the ungodly and proud in every present time, and that can be trusted to be the fact of all our futures.
See the phrase to.n po,lemon th/j h`me,raj th/j mega,lhj tou/ qeou/ tou/ pantokra,toroj, ton polemon tes hemeras tes megales tou theou tou pantokratoros, literally, “the war of the day, the great one, of the God the Almighty,” in Revelation 16:14, and compare Luke 23:30, where Jesus predicts the use of this same kind of language in the coming destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
R. H. Charles comments that all of these cosmic phenomena that have just been mentioned by John "Are not to be taken in their full literal significance. This is manifest from the fact that after the stars of heaven had fallen, the heaven been removed as a scroll, and every mountain and island had been removed out of their places, the kings of the earth and the mighty, the bond and the free, could hardly be described as hiding themselves in the caves and rocks of the earth and imploring the mountains to fall upon them.” (P. 179)
Hough comments on this, that "The friendly universe turns ferocious and hostile. Proud [humans] suddenly realize that their world has turned against them. The mighty leaders of [humanity] find their authority gone, their power dissipated, the distinctions of their proud life without meaning, and the very basis of existence disintegrating." (P. 570)

764 The genitive phrase τοØ θρόνου, tou thronou, “(of) the throne,” is changed to read the dative form tw|/ qro,nw|, to throno, “(on) the throne,” by Minuscule 2351 and the Majority Text (K). The variant reading reflects a difference in opinion by later copyists as to whether the preposition evpi,, epi should take the genitive noun, or the dative, a notoriously difficult matter in Greek grammar. The difference in reading does not change the meaning of Revelation.

765 What is new in the author of Revelation's depiction of the "day of YHWH" is that now it is the day of God and of the Little Lamb who sits at YHWH's right hand; together, they come on that great day, to deliver the suffering people of God, and to bring the judgment of divine wrath upon the wicked oppressors!
The view of the risen Lord (Little Lamb) that is given in Revelation is nothing short of that described in the Nicene creed, which confesses Jesus as "Very God."
Swete comments that "What sinners dread most is not death, but the revealed Presence of God...The Apocalyptist foresees the same shrinking from the sight of God in the last generation of mankind which Genesis attributes to the parents of the race [Genesis 3:8]. (P. 94) But where in Revelation does such a phrase as “the last generation of mankind” appear? It does not! Instead, in the final chapter of Revelation, the heavenly Jerusalem comes down to earth, and the leaves of its trees of life are “for the healing of the nations”! Revelation is not nearly so pessimistic as many of its interpreters are!
Hough comments that "...More dreadful than the awful breaking apart of the universe is the sense that the One on the ultimate throne and the Lamb who had been

slain have come at last in a terrible judgment...Any fate is better than the confronting of the fury of the wrath of God.” (P. 569)

We believe that coming in judgment occurred in the fall of the oppressive emperors of Rome, and then the destruction of the Roman Empire. We also believe that the same judgment has come again and again in history, as oppressive dictators and regimes such as Hitler’s Third Reich, and the Soviet Union, have been subjected to destruction, in the same manner as were the oppressive cities and empires throughout the Jewish Bible. And the world today and tomorrow is threatened with that same coming of the day of God and the Little Lamb, if we practice the same kind of self-deification and refuse to accept the truth of God and the Little Lamb. It is a “day” that is eternal–it has occurred in the past, it is occurring in the present, and it will happen in the future. What do you think?

766 The genitive plural pronoun, αὐτäν, auton, “Their,” is read by Sinaiticus, Ephraemi Rescriptus, Minuscules 1611, 1854, 2053, 2329, 2344, a few other Greek manuscripts, the entire Latin tradition and the Syriac tradition. It is changed to the genitive singular pronoun auvtou/, autou, “His,” by Alexandrinus, the Majority Text, a few manuscripts of the Sahidic Coptic, the Bohairic Coptic and Primasius (who died about 567 A.D.).

767 There are a number of passages in the Jewish Bible that describe the day of YHWH as a day of His anger:
"...They will forsake Me, and break the covenant I made with them. On that day, I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide My face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day they will ask, 'Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?' And I will certainly hide My face on that day, because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods." (Deuteronomy 31:16b-18)
"See, the day of YHWH is coming--a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger--to make the land desolate and destroy missers-of-the-mark within it." (Isaiah 13:9)
“Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of YHWH of armies, in the day of His burning anger." (Isaiah 13:13)
"...Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that YHWH brought on me in the day of His fierce anger?" (Lamentations 1:12b)
"How YHWH has covered the Daughter of Zion with the cloud of His anger! He has hurled down the splendor of Israel from heaven to earth; He has not remembered His footstool in the day of His anger." (Lamentations 2:1)
"Young and old lie together in the dust of the streets; my young men and maidens have fallen by the sword. You [YHWH] have slain them in the day of Your anger; You [YHWH] have slaughtered them without pity. As You summon to a feast day, so You summoned against me terrors on every side. In the day of YHWH's anger no one escaped or survived; those I cared for and reared, my enemy has destroyed." (Lamentations 2:21-22; the entirety of Lamentations has to do with the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians)
"Gather together, gather together, O shameful nation, before the appointed time arrives and that day sweeps on like chaff, before the fierce anger of YHWH comes upon you...Seek YHWH, all you humble people of the land, you who do what He commands. Seek right relationships, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of YHWH's anger.” (Zephaniah 2:1-3)
"Therefore wait for Me, declares YHWH, for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms, and to pour out My wrath on

them--all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of My jealous anger." (Zephaniah 3:8)

The phrase τ­ς ὀργ­ς αὐτäν, tes orges auton, “of Their wrath,” used here in Reve-lation 6:17, means "that of Their anger (indignation, wrath)." The noun ovrgh,, orge is used to describe a "thrusting and upsurging" force from deep within the human personality, that impulsively drives to action. It is a powerful inner passion.
In ancient Greece it was sometimes thought to be the characteristic of a ruler who of necessity avenged injustice. But in later Greek thought, as influenced by the philosophers, ovrgh,, orge began to be described as an element that must be conquered and controlled. Both Plato and Aristotle saw anger as natural to human beings, and as being an essential for any great undertaking, especially militarily, but still as needing to be controlled by reason. But the later Stoic philosophers looked upon ovrgh,,
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