Thursday, October 29, 2009

Revelation 12:15-16

Verse 15-16 "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth."

As the woman is fleeing, Satan makes the attempt to kill her. First taking a literal approach, it would mean that a flood of water is sent to destroy her. From the standpoint that it is an onslaught of water, the dry desert conditions of the Mid East would not point to a flood due to an over-abundance of rain (in recent years Israel has had a water crisis due to lack of rainfall). The most likely possibility is that a tidal wave would rush over the land. (Possibly from some volcano erupting or earthquake). Israel is not that wide (85 miles at its widest point). It would be possible that while people are running to escape (before the eagle carries them off), there is some sort of deluge from somewhere. The only other possibility is that the dams along the Jordan River all let loose (although it does not have that much water to start with) suddenly flooding the area. Either way, the earth opens up (possibly an earthquake opens a crack in the ground, or a sink hole) and swallows the water saving the people. As the people are supposed to be running to the mountains in Jordan, it is safe to assume that this does not happen after they reach their destination, therefore it must occur as they begin to run. Interestingly, when fleeing from Egypt, the water swallowed up Pharaoh’s armies thereby protecting Israel. Now the opposite would happen. The water is sent to swallow up them, but the earth opens up and swallows the water.

Taking this from a symbolic standpoint, we need to see if there is a precedence for assuming a flood is speaking of something other than water. In Jeremiah 46:8, it says, "Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up, and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof." Again in Jer. 47:2 it is speaking of the same event. "Thus saith the Lord; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl." This is speaking of when the Egyptian armies came against Babylon. We are told in Luke 21 that Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies when the woman is told to flee. This may be speaking of a flood of armies. In Daniel 7:22, where the prophecy of this time is found, we have a verse that also speaks of a flood. "And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant." Also in verse 26 of that chapter, while the word "flood" is not used, the word "overflow" is. "Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain." In these cases, it would seem that a flood of waters is symbolic for armies, so it is quite possible that this verse in Revelation is speaking of a flood of armies. The earth opens up and swallows the armies. This is not the first time that the Lord opens up the earth to swallow the wicked. When Korah led a rebellion against Moses, the Lord opened up the earth and swallowed up all of those in rebellion, as a warning to the rest of the Israelites. Numbers 16:31-32.

In either case, whether armies or an actual flood, the earth opens up and swallows the predator that is seeking to destroy the woman which allows her to escape to the mountains.

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