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Thread: The 200,000,000 Man Army: Why It Shouldn't Be Interpreted Literally

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    Interpretation of the army: The army here refers to the Roman armies that attacked Jerusalem in 67-70 AD.
    Not really, John, by most scholars accounting, wrote Revelation after the first Jewish Revolt.

    As prophecy, this is still future. He was not writing about history.

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Teleiosis View Post
    Not really, John, by most scholars accounting, wrote Revelation after the first Jewish Revolt.
    Debated in several threads. This is why I stuck a specific "interpretation" of the army after the portion of the OP that discusses why they might not be interpreted as a literal number.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by divaD View Post
    Beckrl, I'm not certain how to interpret your post, but I'll take a shot anyway. Obviously John saw something. Determining what the horses and them that sat on them, etc, represent, well that might be another story.
    That 's the point, can we determine by literal reading? No for it's figurative. John is using an language that decribes what he heard and saw.
    Can we then take the great number of what he heard to be an literal number? I think it to be figurative of an great army.

    But they obviously represent something, and with this vision being 2000 yrs ago, and if the vision is for the future, even thousands of yrs later, obviously then, John had to describe them according to what he was familiar with at the time. But let's try something different here. Let's suppose this vision wasn't for the far future, but that it was fior the very near future.
    What exactly fits the description of horses, having breastplates of fire, and jacinth, and brimstone; and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions, during John's day?
    Well, I'm not going to say I know, but it may be interperted in this way. According to Isaiah 9:8-15 concerning the people of Israel that God brings upon them Syrian and the Philistines, God will cut off the head and tail in one day. So one maybe can use these passages to help understand how the head [mouth] and tails are decribes to apply that to the coming army, Also notice in Rev. 9:3-12 it also tells of locust and also refers to their heads and tails.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number.

    Nearly every English translation of this passage from Revelation 9 renders the number of the "mounted troops" as "two hundred million". The ESV tries to stay a little more accurate to the Greek by giving us "twice ten thousand times ten thousand". However, the Greek most literally says "double myriads of myriads". We would not be keeping with Scripture consistently if we tried to force the literal number "two hundred million" out of the text. Even "twice ten thousand times ten thousand" is not a proper reading, because one is tempted to turn it into a literal calculation. To be fair, the word "myriad" does mean "ten thousand" in a strictly literal sense. But phrases like "thousand of thousands", "myriads of myriads", or "double myriads" are Hebrew idioms for a large multitude, of which the actual numbering is unimportant. For example:

    Psalm 68.17: The chariots of God are double myriads, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.

    Daniel 7.10: "A stream of fire issued and came out from before [God]; thousands of thousands served him, and myriads of myriads stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened."

    Revelation 5.11: Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands.

    Revelation 9 most literally says "double myriads of myriads". Based on the Scriptural precedent of the idioms "double myriads" and "myriads of myriads", we really don't really have a legitimate reason to interpret the text as referring to an army of 200,000,000 men. John is simply trying to communicate that God is sending a large, terrifying army against the people who are not sealed by the seal of God. The actual number of this army is unimportant.

    Interpretation of the army: The army here refers to the Roman armies that attacked Jerusalem in 67-70 AD. We should remember that whenever an enemy nation successfully attacked the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the Old Testament, it was because God himself had sent those enemy nations as punishment for the sins of his Covenant people. The people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were led into exile by the Assyrians in 722 BC because God willed for it to happen. The people of the Southern Kingdom of Judah were led into exile by the Babylonians in 586 BC because God willed for it to happen. Because these Roman armies came against the kingdom of Judea and successfully attacked it, we should remember that the Romans succeeded in their attack in 70 AD because God willed for it to happen. The Romans, though pagan and ultimately enemies of God as well, were used as his tool of judgment upon the apostate Covenant people, just like the Assyrians and Babylonians before them.
    I thought this was very insightful. Well done!

    P.S. Church Music is an incredible album. Truly a magnum opus.

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    "Test all things; hold fast what is good." - Advice from the Apostle Paul


  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number.

    Nearly every English translation of this passage from Revelation 9 renders the number of the "mounted troops" as "two hundred million". The ESV tries to stay a little more accurate to the Greek by giving us "twice ten thousand times ten thousand". However, the Greek most literally says "double myriads of myriads". We would not be keeping with Scripture consistently if we tried to force the literal number "two hundred million" out of the text. Even "twice ten thousand times ten thousand" is not a proper reading, because one is tempted to turn it into a literal calculation. To be fair, the word "myriad" does mean "ten thousand" in a strictly literal sense. But phrases like "thousand of thousands", "myriads of myriads", or "double myriads" are Hebrew idioms for a large multitude, of which the actual numbering is unimportant. For example:

    Psalm 68.17: The chariots of God are double myriads, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.

    Daniel 7.10: "A stream of fire issued and came out from before [God]; thousands of thousands served him, and myriads of myriads stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened."

    Revelation 5.11: Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands.

    Revelation 9 most literally says "double myriads of myriads". Based on the Scriptural precedent of the idioms "double myriads" and "myriads of myriads", we really don't really have a legitimate reason to interpret the text as referring to an army of 200,000,000 men. John is simply trying to communicate that God is sending a large, terrifying army against the people who are not sealed by the seal of God. The actual number of this army is unimportant.

    Interpretation of the army: The army here refers to the Roman armies that attacked Jerusalem in 67-70 AD. We should remember that whenever an enemy nation successfully attacked the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the Old Testament, it was because God himself had sent those enemy nations as punishment for the sins of his Covenant people. The people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were led into exile by the Assyrians in 722 BC because God willed for it to happen. The people of the Southern Kingdom of Judah were led into exile by the Babylonians in 586 BC because God willed for it to happen. Because these Roman armies came against the kingdom of Judea and successfully attacked it, we should remember that the Romans succeeded in their attack in 70 AD because God willed for it to happen. The Romans, though pagan and ultimately enemies of God as well, were used as his tool of judgment upon the apostate Covenant people, just like the Assyrians and Babylonians before them.
    Greetings Markedward,

    There is a danger in bringing a pre-concieved opinion (partial preterism) to the Scripture. This is what you appear to be doing. The number symbolizes a large army, not a physical army. This is a description of the powers of darkness that work destruction in the hearts of men. In this war the depiction defines men under the power and influence of Satan. In one sense this depicts all wars, past, present and future. But the war was also symbolized by the fourth seal. And mentioned is a time of trial or tribulation which believers, along with the rest of the world, must endure. Here, in th evision of the trumpets, war is described as a punishement and a warning voice for all unbelievers.

    The release of the four angels signifies the universal nature of the war. Unlike the four angels of Rev 7, these angels are messengers of evil, under the power of the evil one. The delight in causing mankind to war. Yet they can only do what God has permitted. The number of horses and riders in this war is symbolic, and indicates a tremendous number.

    The general meaning is clear. Throughout the entire period, extending from the first to the second coming, our Lord Jesus Christ will again and again punish the persecutors of the church by infliction upon them diasters in every sphere of life, both physical and spiritual. Yet, in spite of all the warnings, mankind in general will not repent.

    Many Blessings,
    RW

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by RogerW View Post
    There is a danger in bringing a pre-concieved opinion (partial preterism) to the Scripture. This is what you appear to be doing.
    Two things:

    1. You accuse me of this based on what part of my post? If you're going to claim that I'm "bringing a pre-conceived opinion to the Scripture", at least point out where it is that I "appear to be doing" this. Otherwise, you have no right to claim that this is what I "appear to be doing".

    2. Do you know how I originally came to this conclusion? Meaning, did you personally sit over my shoulder, watching my studies of the Revelation for the last five years, reading my mind as the gears turned while I read the Scriptures and cross-referenced verses? If not, you have no right to claim that I brought "a pre-conceived opinion to the Scripture".

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    Two things:

    1. You accuse me of this based on what part of my post? If you're going to claim that I'm "bringing a pre-conceived opinion to the Scripture", at least point out where it is that I "appear to be doing" this. Otherwise, you have no right to claim that this is what I "appear to be doing".
    Markedward, it was not an accusation (I know you are PP), it was an observation based on "The army here refers to the Roman armies that attacked Jerusalem in 67-70 AD."

    Many Blessings,
    RW

  8. #23
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    200,000 horsemen as summery of whole passage concern, in context of brimestone coming out of their mouths etc should take literally, their loaction is Abyss. real supernautral evil creatures "men" (demons) whose leaders are the four angels that loosed to lead them.

    it a unforacte to use 200,000,000 to apply human soliders, I never never never will believe we get humans able to breath fire, smoke brimestone, or that humans somehow deploved tails with heads!!

    the fours angels bound in the river firstly under sixth trumpet, loosed them these demonic angels and lead their fellow demons of unspeakable description of supernaturel powers use and of their looks.

    take it literally what it said, in context. the summery of the sixth trumpet. they in the sixth trumpet event under four angels leader just like eariler event of other groupings of demons for own spefic propuse in fifth trumpet.


    1 2 3 4 5 seals are nature diasters, the sixth seal begin supernaturl warth of God, coindenced in middle of 7 years with anti christ taking temple.
    I think. somewhere of that time that coindence of earth gaining control on isreal attack on her. what earth loosed or blind alway relfect the pusiment of God. nature diaster is bad eough human cruel active is scarying but supernatural visible, that truely when it time to panic.


    Dear anti christ, , think God re angry before? wait and see when you turn on Isreal, walk in her land, that when it really begin!

    Gillian




    from sixth seal trumpets and the rest all are in summery in the sixth seal, the bginning of supernatural or out of this world!

    cant remember whatever that whole, vails woes etc in summery of sixth seal or sixth seal end after some trumpets events.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrimtozion View Post
    Based on your reasoning above, I would disagree. The verse says clearly "their number was...", which seems to indicate and actual number is forthcoming. After the actual number, he then confirms it again and says, "I heard their number." Well, no sense in hearing their number if there wasn't an actual number talked about.

    Unless you have another persuasive argument, I really don't see any legitimate reason to not take this literally.
    Note the similarity between Rev. 9:16 (the number of those in the armies of the horsemen) and 7:4 (the number of those in the armies of Israel). John "heard the number" of both groups, and yet the 144,000 has been sufficiently evidenced here to have been representative of "the number" of martyrs (6:11). If the first number was non-literal, but pointed beyond itself, then I think that the second could just as easily be non-literal as well. Notice too that the number John "heard" in 7:4 was seen to be, in actuality, "a great multitude which no one could count", and that not of naturally born Israelis, but "from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues". The "double myriads of myriads" seems to be shorthand for connecting both 7:4's 'number' and 7:9's 'countless multitude' into comparable phraseology.
    analyze. synthesize. repeat.

    *It is the next chapter of my life, whether I'm ready or not. My time here in these forums has come to its close. I bless you as I go!*

  10. #25
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    Post

    Sinful man has added and subtracted from Gods holy word for years spreading confusion among the flock. David W. Daniels has taken time to share his findings concerning scripture and how its been tainted.

    http://www.chick.com/news/r/1_14.asp

    Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


    Jude
    Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

  11. #26
    Where in this thread was anyone taken away from the Revelation? Where was anything added to it? The verse in Scripture says clearly that a person who knowingly alters the text of the Revelation will be removed from the Book of Life... so if you're claiming that someone here has removed or added to the Revelation, it's a deadly serious charge according to the Bible.

    So how about it Jude? Instead of throwing a verse into the fray to condemn an anonymous corrupter of Scripture, how about posting something of substantial value to the discussion?

  12. #27
    Maybe I missed it, but the 200,000,000 man army comes from, and is comprised of the armies of, the east. Again, maybe my geography is off as well, but isn't Rome west of Judea? If I recall correctly this army crosses the Tigris and Euphrates rivers after they are dried up, and that would be way out of the way for the Roman army.

    If I am correct in these, then doesn't it seem that the whole passage is filled with specifics? If this is so, why not the number of the army?

  13. #28
    The army of Revelation 9 comes from the Euphrates, but not necessarily from the East. (The Tigris river isn't mentioned in the Revelation.) The Roman armies I described in the OP were stationed at the Euphrates at the time they were called to Judea. They marched upon the countryside in 66 AD, surrounded Jerusalem, and retreated for no reason in late 66 AD. (Thus allowing anyone who heeded Jesus' prophecies to flee the city, as he warned them to do in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.) In 67 AD, the Romans returned in greater force and officially declared war on Judea.

    In Revelation 16, we are told that kings from the East of the Euphrates gathered their armies together at "Armageddon", that is, Mount Megiddo. During the war of 67-70 AD, Roman forces gathered together near the city of Megiddo. Two kingdoms from the East of the Euphrates, Commagene and Sophene, sent their armies in alliance with the Romans, and together these Gentile armies utterly destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Temple.

    The Euphrates is the traditional crossing point for Israel's enemies, and essentially represents the boundary of Israel and her enemies. While a "literal" fulfillment can be found in history, the historical symbolism found behind the river is the important part.

  14. #29
    Rev 9:5 And it was given to them that they should not kill them, but that they be tormented five months. And their torment is as the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.
    An odd specification, and very unlike the Roman Army, to my way of thinking.

    Also it seems you have combined two separate and distinct events into one where the next is :

    Rev 9:15 And the four angels were released, those having been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, that they should kill the third part of men.
    Rev 9:16 And the number of the armies of the cavalry was two myriads of myriads; and I heard their number.
    Rev 9:17 And so I saw in the vision the horses, and those sitting on them, having fire-colored breastplates, even dusky red and brimstone-like; and the heads of the horses as heads of lions; and out of their mouths come fire and smoke and brimstone.
    Rev 9:18 By these three were killed the third part of men, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone coming out of their mouths.
    Fire, smoke, and sulphur? Didn't the Roman army fight with swords, spears, and arrows? To wipe out 1/3 of man would take an awful lot of burning, and probably more sulphur than any world empire has had upto the present day, with the exception of the one we're in today that is.

    Now let us jump ahead 7 chapters so we can further confuse the issue with an event that has, to the best of my memory, never happened.

    Rev 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his bowl onto the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up so that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared.
    It is true that the Tigris is not mentioned in this verse, but doesn't the Tigris parallel the Euphrates from beginning to end? How can the kings from the rising sun/east cross one without crossing the other? Unless they cross after the Tigris and Euphrates join {before emptying into the Persian Gulf}, but if the Tigris is still flowing then this area would not be dried up.

    Perhaps you feel I'm taking the words too literally, but I'm actually only taking them at face value. I dare say that if you handed me 10 $100 bills, you would not want me to reassign their value to $1.00, but would rather I take them at face value. In essence, that's all I'm doing.

    The hill of Megiddo, has been the site of numerous battles; one might even call it a popular battle field of ancient times. Is it really outside the realm of possibility that it may be again?

    To my count you have combined two Trumpets with a Bowl of Wrath, to make a point that may or may not be accurate. Each has to decide for themselves what they will believe and how they will see any of the Scriptures, prophecy included. We see these things differently, though I can't deny that occassionally we do agree. I prefer to consider that the words in the Bible mean what they say, and say what they mean. Anything beyond that is either guessing, fantasizing, or deceiving.

    As to the Tigris River, as it isn't mentioned in Rev. 16, could we not assume that it no longer exists at that time? Hmmm. That would be an interesting thought to pursue, and would put the time of the Sixth Bowl of God's Wrath sometime in the future for sure.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightLord View Post
    An odd specification, and very unlike the Roman Army, to my way of thinking.

    Also it seems you have combined two separate and distinct events into one where the next is :



    Fire, smoke, and sulphur? Didn't the Roman army fight with swords, spears, and arrows? To wipe out 1/3 of man would take an awful lot of burning, and probably more sulphur than any world empire has had upto the present day, with the exception of the one we're in today that is.

    Now let us jump ahead 7 chapters so we can further confuse the issue with an event that has, to the best of my memory, never happened.



    It is true that the Tigris is not mentioned in this verse, but doesn't the Tigris parallel the Euphrates from beginning to end? How can the kings from the rising sun/east cross one without crossing the other? Unless they cross after the Tigris and Euphrates join {before emptying into the Persian Gulf}, but if the Tigris is still flowing then this area would not be dried up.

    Perhaps you feel I'm taking the words too literally, but I'm actually only taking them at face value. I dare say that if you handed me 10 $100 bills, you would not want me to reassign their value to $1.00, but would rather I take them at face value. In essence, that's all I'm doing.

    The hill of Megiddo, has been the site of numerous battles; one might even call it a popular battle field of ancient times. Is it really outside the realm of possibility that it may be again?

    To my count you have combined two Trumpets with a Bowl of Wrath, to make a point that may or may not be accurate. Each has to decide for themselves what they will believe and how they will see any of the Scriptures, prophecy included. We see these things differently, though I can't deny that occassionally we do agree. I prefer to consider that the words in the Bible mean what they say, and say what they mean. Anything beyond that is either guessing, fantasizing, or deceiving.

    As to the Tigris River, as it isn't mentioned in Rev. 16, could we not assume that it no longer exists at that time? Hmmm. That would be an interesting thought to pursue, and would put the time of the Sixth Bowl of God's Wrath sometime in the future for sure.


    Not to mention the following also:

    Revelation 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

    I would love to hear someone explain how this applies to any time in the past. Isn't this connected to the torment for 5 months?

    Revelation 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

    The way I reason things, unless someone's explanation lines up with the text, and regardless that I may not even understand it myself, I have to reject their explanation as being unlikely. This is how I determine if others are coming to correct conclusions, even tho I may not have the correct conclusion myself, I base it
    on whether the text agrees with them or not. I realize a lot of folks don't like this method, but what else is there to go by, if not according to what the text is saying?
    All I know is, the text is depicting some being tormented for 5 months, they are seeking death, but death is fleeing from them, and the fact that they were told not to kill them in the first place. It kind of reminds me of what happened to Job. satan was allowed to torment him, even put sores on his body, but wasn't allowed to kill him. It's highly likely that job probably felt like he needed to die, but it was impossible, because satan wasn't allowed to kill him or let him die. Pretty interesting if you ask me. The difference being, these depicted in Rev 9 would be the enemies of God, unlike Job, who was only being tested. The point being, it was commanded that they not kill them. This doesn't even remotely fit anything in the past that I can think of.

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