PMW 2021-045 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The seventh trumpet in Revelation marks a dramatic moment in the flow of visions. And it makes a fascinating point (as often in Revelation) by means of heavenly praise. This portion of Revelation reads (in part):
The phrase’s phrasing
“Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever. And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” (Rev. 11:15–18).
Of particular concern when approaching Revelation from the preterist perspective is the phrase: “Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged.” I believe this is associated with the destruction of the temple in AD 70.
The Beast of Revelation
by Ken Gentry
A popularly written antidote to dispensational sensationalism and newspaper exegesis. Convincing biblical and historical evidence showing that the Beast was the Roman Emperor Nero Caesar, the first civil persecutor of the Church. The second half of the book shows Revelation’s date of writing, proving its composition as prior to the Fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. A thought-provoking treatment of a fascinating and confusing topic.
For more study materials, go to: KennethGentry.com
I will consider this intriguing statement in two articles. In this first one I will provide my interpretation. In the next article I will consider Greg K. Beale’s powerful challenge to this view.
The phrase’s function
The phrase “the time came for the dead to be judged” [krithēnai, aor. inf.] (11:18b) is effectively an imprecatory prayer calling down judgment on God’s enemies. With many commentators, Kistemaker (344) sees the dead as encompassing “all those who have died” / “all people.” Though this is perhaps the majority view, I believe a strong case may be made against it, and for a more narrow and more contextually relevant view.
The “dead” being “judged” (krinō) here probably refers to the first-century martyrs slain by the Jews. Those martyrs are being vindicated. In Rev “the dead” can mean either believers (14:13; and probably 1:5) or unbelievers (20:5, 12).
The relevant portion of the elders’ praise of God may be translated: “And the nations were wrathful, that is [kai], your wrath came; that is [kai], the time of the dead to be vindicated.” The two instances of kai are both epexegetical of the phrase: “the nations were wrathful.” That is, “the time for the dead (the martyred servants of God) to be vindicated has come, and this is announced with hymnic celebration” (Musvosvi 169). Moses Stuart (2:243) agrees: “the martyrs, are to be vindicated,” i.e., the martyrs of 6:9–11.
The term krinō can be used of “the judgment of God . . . resulting in the vindication of the innocent . . . and the punishment of the guilty” (BAGD 452). We can see clear examples of this in the LXX at 2Sa 18:19; Ps 10:18; 26:1; 43:1; Isa 1:17. Similarly, the OT outlook is such that “when the Israelite prays to Yahweh to ‘judge’ him, it is as if he says ‘uphold my rights for me! help me!’” (Nielsen 76).
Blessed Is He Who Reads: A Primer on the Book of Revelation
By Larry E. Ball
A basic survey of Revelation from the preterist perspective.
It sees John as focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.
For more Christian studies see: www.KennethGentry.com
Thus, the elders in heaven declare that the time has come to fulfill the prayers of the martyred saints mentioned in Rev: those who are pleading for God’s wrath against his and their enemies (6:10; 8:3–4; cp. Lk 18:7–8). As with Jesus (Mt 23:35–36) and Paul (1Th 2:14–17), Rev relates Israel’s destruction not only to Christ’s crucifixion, but to his saints’ persecution (16:6; 17:6; 18:20, 24), both of which are instigated by the Jews. After all, the resurrected Lord confronts Paul while he is persecuting the church (Ac 9:1–2), and warns him that the persecution of the saints is the persecution of him: “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (Ac 9:5). As Jesus teaches, whoever does anything to or for his people, does it to or for him (Mt 25:45). This is just as Jesus warns his disciples: “if they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (Jn 15:20b).
But this is a minority view. Able scholars such as G. K. Beale reject it on several grounds. I will present, consider, and respond to Beale’s objections in my next article (unless the Rapture comes between now and then).
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