Category Archives: Israel

REVELATION & THE EARTH DWELLERS (4)

ancient-jews-jerusalemPMW 2022-068 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the fourth and final article in a series exploring the meaning of “those who dwell on the earth” in Revelation. I am arguing that “earth” should be translated “Land” (i.e., of Israel), and that the phrase refers to the Jews in Israel. So let’s continue!

We find the second clear reference in our text in 6:10. Here we read: “They cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth [tōn katoikountōn epi tēs gēs]?’” (6:10). That the Land-dweller phrase clearly applies to Jews in Israel appears on the following evidence. Continue reading

REVELATION & THE EARTH DWELLERS (3)

key-of-davidPMW 2022-067 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Revelation we have an interesting phrase that occurs time and again, and which plays an important role in John’s apocalyptic drama. This is the third in a four-part series analyzing the phrase and its significance for the redemptive-historical preterist view of Revelation that I hold.

So, now let’s continue by considering the issue in Revelation itself, as we look at:

The “Land-dwellers” in Revelation

Of the twelve appearances of linked with katoikia, four of them quite clearly refer to the Jews in the Land of Israel (3:10; 6:10; 11:10 [2x]), two of them (13:7–8 and 14:6) seem strongly to refer to Israel, and two (17:2, 8) could very well do so. The remaining four references could go either way, but in light of the clearer allusions and John’s using the phrase as a recurring technical designation, they surely designate the same people. Continue reading

REVELATION & THE EARTH DWELLERS (2)

dead-seaPMW 2022-066 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second article in a four-part series on an important recurring phrase in Revelation, generally translated “those who dwell on the earth.” I am arguing that it should be translated “those who dwell in the Land,” i.e., of Israel. For brevity I translate the whole phrase as “Land-dwellers.” In this article I will begin with:

“The Land” in Revelation

Before discussing the Land in Rev I would remind the reader of Rev’s strongly Judaic character. As I argue in the Introduction (as per most commentators) Rev is wholly saturated with OT allusions, strongly expressed in terms of Hebraic syntactical peculiarities, and brightly colored by Judaic images. John also presents his work as a forensic drama wherein he is presenting a covenant lawsuit from God. All of this prepares us for recognizing the possible use of the Land as an important image in this remarkable work and the Land-dwellers as the recipients of most of its judgments. Continue reading

REVELATION’S “MANY WATERS” AND JERUSALEM (2)

PMW 2022-060 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second and final part of a brief series arguing that the “many waters” of Rev. 17:1, 15 refer to Jerusalem’s influence over the diaspora Jews, many of whom were proselyte from the nations.

My second observation regarding the Babylonian-harlot’s sitting on many waters represents Jerusalem’s political influence exercised by means of the diaspora — particularly against Christians —- which is exerted throughout the empire and among the “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” (17:15).

Remembering the Jewish danger to Christians (Rev. 2:9; 3:9; cp. Acts 4:3; 5:18; 8:3; 9:2; 12:4; 18:6; 22:4; 24:27; 26:10; Rom 15:31; 2 Cor. 11:24; 1 Thess. 2:14-17; Heb. 10:33-34) and the role of the martyrs in Rev (Rev. 6:9-10; see also: Rev 1:9; 2:9-10; 3:9-10; 11:7-8, 11-13, 18; 12:10; 13:10; 14:11-13; 16:5-6; 17:6; 18:20, 24; 19:2; 20:4, 6), this is a quite significant implication of John’s image. After all, we discover “the common reflection of Jewish opposition in the NT writings” (Rick Van de Water, “Reconsidering the Beast from the Sea (Rev 13.1),” 248). Continue reading

DISPENSATIONALISM, ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH

Jews rulePMW 2022-035 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Classic dispensationalism has virtually disappeared among academics. Replacing it today is “progressive dispensationalism.” But though the head has died, the body yet liveth. In the lives of untold millions of unthinking Christians. Therefore, it is important to rebut the system in order to make the case for postmillennialism. This is another installment in my critique of dispensational errors.

House and Ice (Dominion Theology, 29, cp. 166) are correct to point out that “Reconstructionists appropriate for the church (seen as the new Israel) the material blessings for obedience–and curses for disobedience–originally promised by God to defunct national Israel.” How they could possibly set this forth as a “Reconstructionist” distinctive is beyond us, however. The dispensational view is the one with the distinctive element! Continue reading

THE NT & ISRAEL’S FAILURE

PMW 2018-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As John writes the Book of Revelation, Israel has been a part of the Roman regime for almost a century. As such she enjoyed special leagues of “friendship and mutual alliance” which began with Julius Caesar (Jos. Ant. 14:10:1 §185). Her love for Caesar was so great that after he was murdered, Jews wept for many nights at the site of his cremation (Suetonius, Jul. 84:5). Josephus, a priestly member of the Jewish aristocracy, praises Julius and records many of the treaties with the Jews which were established by Caesar and later Roman authorities (Ant. 14:10:2-25 §190-267). He then declares: “there are many such decrees of the senate and imperators of the Romans and those different from these before us” (Ant. 14:10:26).

Israel engages these alignments despite her OT prophets condemning unholy alliances as harlotry (e.g., Hos 7:11). As we read in Rev 13, the exercise of the Land beast’s authority is “in his [the Roman emperor’s] presence” (13:1a). Later in Rev 17 we see Israel’s alliance symbolized by a harlot engaged in a drunken sexual orgy with the sea beast. Continue reading

SATAN’S “SYNAGOGUE” IN REVELATION

Syn SatanPMW 2021-094 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Rev 2:9 (cp. 3:9) we read Jesus saying to Pergamum: “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” Evangelical commentator Ramsey Michaels argues that the false Jews of “the synagogue of Satan” are actually non-Jews, just like the “false apostles” in the letter to the church at Ephesus were not actual apostles. In fact, this is the majority view among Rev commentators.

Against this position I would urge the following

First, why would anyone in the first-century Roman empire other than a racial Jew claim to be a Jew? Continue reading