This note represents a part of a series of articles written to defend 2 significant points in the understanding of the book of Revelation.
1. The book’s intended audience was Jewish.
2. The book was written before AD70.
We have already addressed various chapters and issues before and we stopped at chapter 5.
This morning I was to show you how the following verses actually unfolded during the Jewish wars when Nero dispatched Vespasian and Titus with a purpose of destroying Jerusalem.
I want us to see that the tribulation is not worldwide but a localized event. Knowing these facts will help us interpret and understand the later chapters as being about Jerusalem and not about a worldwide domination of the antichrist.
Let’s start with the verses.
I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.”
It is pertinent for us to note in my previous article, I stated the opening of these seals took place on the cross and these seals were the seals which were concealed at the time of Daniel.
Hence the opening of the seals would correspond with events within the period 30-70 AD
Hence the motions of the horsemen are clear.
“The experienced and unassuming general Vespasian was given the task of crushing the rebellion in Judaea province. His son Titus was appointed as second-in-command.” Jewish Wars/Wikipedia
Vespasian was the horseman that was given a crown. He was a man with no royal blood and the senate and the people made him Caesar. He was the first. He was “given” a crown.
“While Vespasian besieged Jerusalem during the Jewish rebellion, emperor Nero committed suicide and plunged Rome into a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho perished in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in April 69.
The Roman legions of Roman Egypt and Judaea reacted by declaring Vespasian, their commander, emperor on 1 July 69.
In his bid for imperial power, Vespasian joined forces with Mucianus, the governor of Syria, and Primus, a general in Pannonia, leaving his son Titus to command the besieging forces at Jerusalem.” Vespasian/Wikipidea
Titus his son was the Red horse rider. He carried his father’s mission and massacre over a million Jews. Hence bloodshed was his colour.
Titus caused Jerusalem to be surrounded by a 4th wall and lay siege in Jerusalem. They was no supply of food into Jerusalem.
“Titus began his siege a few days before Passover, surrounding the city, with three legions (V Macedonica, XII Fulminata, XV Apollinaris) on the western side and a fourth (X Fretensis) on the Mount of Olives to the east.
If the reference in his Jewish War at 6:421 is to Titus’ siege, though difficulties exist with its interpretation, then at the time, according to Josephus, Jerusalem was thronged with many people who had come to celebrate Passover.
The thrust of the siege began in the west at the Third Wall, north of the Jaffa Gate. By May, this was breached and the Second Wall also was taken shortly afterwards, leaving the defenders in possession of the Temple and the upper and lower city.
The Jewish defenders were split into factions: John of Gischala’s group murdered another faction leader, Eleazar ben Simon, whose men were entrenched in the forecourts of the Temple.
The enmities between John of Gischala and Simon bar Giora were papered over only when the Roman siege engineers began to erect ramparts.
Titus then had a wall built to girdle the city in order to starve out the population more effectively.
After several failed attempts to breach or scale the walls of the Fortress of Antonia, the Romans finally launched a secret attack, overwhelming the sleeping Zealots and taking the fortress by late July.”
Supplies became scarce and as such prices soared.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Finally where there’s hunger and famine people died in Jerusalem. Josephus speaks about about a woman eating her child.
“Among the residents of the region beyond Jordan was a woman called Mary, daughter of Eleazar, of the village of Bethezuba (the name means “House of Hyssop”).
She was well off, and of good family, and had fled to Jerusalem with her relatives, where she became involved with the siege.
Most of the property she had packed up and brought with her from Peraea had been plundered by the tyrants [Simon and John, leaders of the Jewish war-effort], and the rest of her treasure, together with such foods as she had been able to procure, was being carried by their henchmen in their daily raids.
In her bitter resentment the poor woman cursed and abused these extortioners, and this incensed them against her. However, no one put her to death either from exasperation or pity.
She grew weary of trying to find food for her kinsfolk. In any case, it was by now impossible to get any, wherever you tried. Famine gnawed at her vitals, and the fire of rage was ever fiercer than famine. So, driven by fury and want, she committed a crime against nature.
Seizing her child, an infant at the breast, she cried, “My poor baby, why should I keep you alive in this world of war and famine?
Even if we live till the Romans come, they will make slaves of us; and anyway, hunger will get us before slavery does; and the rebels are crueler than both.
Come, be food for me, and an avenging fury to the rebels, and a tale of cold horror to the world to complete the monstrous agony of the Jews.”
With these words she killed her son, roasted the body, swallowed half of it, and stored the rest in a safe place.
But the rebels were on her at once, smelling roasted meat, and threatening to kill her instantly if she did not produce it.
She assured them she had saved them a share, and revealed the remains of her child. Seized with horror and stupefaction, they stood paralyzed at the sight.
But she said, “This is my own child, and my own handiwork. Eat, for I have eaten already. Do not show yourselves weaker than a woman, or more pitiful than a mother. But if you have pious scruples, and shrink away from human sacrifice, then what I have eaten can count as your share, and I will eat what is left as well.”
At that they slunk away, trembling, not daring to eat, although they were reluctant to yield even this food to the mother. The whole city soon rang with the abomination. When people heard of it, they shuddered, as though they had done it themselves.”
Jesus said “Pray that you don’t get pregnant in those days”
Hence death and disease fill the land.
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
The people mentioned in the 5th seal are mentioned by Jesus in his time.
See the similarity.
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Now look at what Jesus said about HIS time.
Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
Now you will see Jesus indicating the time and location as to when and where it will happen in the next verses.
Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.
In his generation and in Jerusalem.
Hence, it is very clear the events in Revelation is clearly attributable to Jerusalem.
I will be doing a further note tomorrow on the 6th seal hereafter.
I hope by now you are now beginning to see that John’s Babylon is very much the great city Jerusalem.