The Book of Revelation has been one of the most difficult yet provocative books to interpret.
The overall mentally of the culture (150 years before Christ) was broken up into 3 philosophies.
Josephus the historian tells us the 3: the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and Essenes. And we know about zealots.
The 3 philosophies are sects. In Jewish Palestine, in the Second Temple era, there were 4 major groups with different opinions of the torah. The Rabbinic group was the Pharisees. The priestly group was there Sadducees, but they were not just priests. They were the descendants of the Hasmonean. The Hasmonean family were so filled with the zeal of God. They started and won the Maccabean Revolt.
After the Hasmonean period, the priesthood became corrupt and very political. There was a group of men who were sons of Zadok, the Essenes, who did not participate in temple corruption. So, they broke off. As a result of their devotion to God, prophecy came to them. We must understand certain euphemistic phrases within the Dead Sea scrolls. Some of the prophecies are difficult to understand. We must understand the culture and understand euphemistic phrases.
First, the Rabbinic world at the time. They were not rabbis, they were priests. And the priests were not rabbis. These priests were very Torah centric. We must understand the rabbinic language the priest adopted, even though the Dead Sea scrolls are not Rabbinic in any form.
One of the ways we can find euphemistic phrases in the Dead Sea scrolls is through names of God. In the Rabbinic world, we have euphemistic phrases for the names of God. We know the name of God is so holy that many Jews never pronounce His name. Which is why Hashem is spoken.
In the Dead Sea scrolls, there is a community that is extremely prophetic and one of their great prophecies was apocalypse. When we study the fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls that focus on apocalypse, we can begin to compare it with the Book of Revelation. This brings tremendous insight: both archeological and cultural. And when we apply it, we can begin to understand the personal prophetic scriptures in the book of Revelations.
Let’s look at the scripture:
Revelation 14:1 “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”
144 thousand used in so many ways. And the concept of apocalypse was definitely a concept along with messianic expectation in the 1st century. To deny that apocalypse was not part of 1st century Jewish culture. We do not get apocalypse in the Hebrew scriptures.
The only apocalyptic book in the Bible is Daniel. There are phrases throughout the text that give us some apocalypse. In Joel 2:31, there are some apocalyptic features and descriptions when describing the day that Jesus comes back. “—“
The Bible is telling us that the day before the very great and terrible coming of the Lord, the moon will turn to blood.
But we see Daniel, the first book that reveals apocalypse to the Jews. During the 2nd Temple Era, it is immersed in apocalypse. Why?
We see that the Romans scourge that moved into the Holy Land. Antioch was not just on a campaign to conquer Israel. He was campaigning to completely obliterate Judaism. He outlawed Torah, synagogues, and the worship of the God of Israel. He forced every Jew who owned an animal to carve in the horns on their animal, ‘I have no portion in the God of Israel.’
Here, we see literal actions that are familiar to the Book of Revelation. We have heard of the mark of the beast. But, historically speaking, and in the sense of cultural excavation: we need to look at how the Jews were punished to the penalty of death by Antiochus if they refused to carve in the horns of their animals. They chose death instead!
We also have in the Book of Revelations, like the menorah after the Maccabean revolt, apocalypse rising and the symbol of the church. One like the son of man walking in the midst of the 7 golden candlesticks.
The term son of man is taken from Daniel 7. It is an apocalyptic term that John took out of Daniel. What’s the significance?
The menorah is a sign of victory. A sign we are not going to defect from our faith. The menorah is a sign that we would rather die than give into the culture. We are not going to concede to the culture.
In terms of the apocalypse, we have this symbol of the menorah not only used in the book of Revelation but also in a Maccabean symbolism representing those who refused to apostatize. Those who refuse to blaspheme. Those who refuse to tamper with the word of God.
Revelations 3:12 “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.“
One of the more important meanings of Zion is marked. Zion means marked. We who are marked with the name of the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, are the bride. The bride is marked, and is separate. The bride has been set aside for End Times.
144 thousand. How do we reconcile these numbers? Does that only mean 144 thousands will be saved? No. We need to understand the significance of 12. 12 is the number of Israel and the number of the apostles. We become recipients with Israel. We never replace Israel. Because of Yeshua we have been drafted in! The 144 thousand represent the redeemed on mt. Zion. They are marked with the Father’s name on their forehead. They are separated and consecrated.
This is the season that Yeshua wants us to seize the supernatural. All the promises that God gave to Zion, are ours today. God wants to rebuild our ruins, build your dream. He wants to drive all the demonic spirits out of your territory.
~Dr. Michelle Corral