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The Cup of His Indignation

07 Jan
Big Dipper

from Google Images

In chapter fifteen of the Apocalypse, John saw yet another heavenly sign. Remember, John at this point in the book is still measuring the Temple of God. That is, John was told to measure the actual building, but he was to cast out those who treaded down the holy city. The holy city in this context would be New Jerusalem, not the physical city that would be destroyed at the Lord’s coming. The holy city was the spiritual city, which would come out of heaven (viz. the Temple building) to the earth (viz. the outer courts of the Temple compound), as we find demonstrated in Revelation 21:1-2. A separation of sorts was being conducted in John’s task (Revelation 11:1-2; cp. Matthew 13:41-43; 24:31; 25:31-32), in that the saints were offered protection, while the wicked were set aside to be judged. In this is fulfilled the saying: what one sows, that shall he reap (Job 4:8; Galatians 6:7-8).

We are told in Revelation 15:1 that John saw yet another sign in the heavens, and it was great and marvelous. In two previous studies[1] I pointed out that the Greek word John used for sign (G4952 – semeion) primarily means: sign, mark or token.[2] It may mean a miracle, but not necessarily so. I pointed to this very meaning of the Greek word also in another study that pertained to the works of the false prophet in Revelation 13.[3] In the context of Revelation 12:1, which points to the heavenly constellation, Virgo, and of Revelation 12:3, which points to the heavenly constellation, Draco, the sign (G4952) that John saw here in Revelation 15:1 should be another sign of the Zodiac.

Notice that John says the sign was “seven angels having the seven last plagues…” There is a sign in the heavens that the ancients often referred to as the Seven Stars. In Revelation 1:16 we can see that the One who was Jesus held seven stars in his right hand, and he interpreted these seven stars as the seven angels of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20; see also 2:1 and 3:1). These seven stars are also mentioned in the Old Testament in Amos 5:8. There the prophet saud to “Seek him who made the seven stars and Orion…” Most versions of the Bible translate the Hebrew word kiymah (H3598) into Pleiades, as does the KJV in Job 9:9 and 38:31-32, the only two other places where this Hebrew word is used.

Speaking of God, Job tells us that the Lord had made “Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades (i.e. the seven stars), and the chambers of the south…” (Job 9:9). Some versions of the Bible have “the Bear” for “Arcturus” which of course is Ursa Major in modern astronomy. Later in the book of Job, the Lord, while replying to Job, actually brought up these same three names:

Can you bind the cluster of Pleiades (seven stars – H3598), or loose the bands of Orion? Can you bring forth Mazzaroth (the signs of the Zodiac or the constellations) in its season? or can you guide Arcturus (the Bear or Ursa Major) with its children? [Job 38:31-32 – parenthesis mine]

One remarkable fact is that the seven brightest stars of the constellation, Ursa Major, are very notable stars by themselves. These are called the “children” of Arcturus in Job 38:32, and many ancients referred to them simply as the Seven Stars. They are not a constellation by themselves but are, rather, a part of the constellation known to us as Ursa Major. We refer to those seven stars, today, as The Big Dipper!

John tells us that these seven angels had the seven last plagues, which “filled up” (teleo – G5055) the wrath of God. In other places of the New Covenant text the same Greek word is translated finished (Matthew 13:53; 26:1 etc.), accomplished (Luke 12:50; 18:31 etc.) and fulfill (Romans 2:27; Galatians 5:16; Revelation 15:8), giving us the idea of finality. The Greek word (G5055) is translated filled up in the KJV only here in Revelation 15:1.

Big Dipper - Winter

from Google Images

According to Revelation 16:2-4, 8, 10, 12 and 17, the seven angels were to pour out their bowls (vials in some translations) upon the earth, the sea, rivers, the air, the sun and the kingdom of the beast. What is interesting is that the two first stars of the handle of the Big Dipper always point to the North Star, Polaris, and throughout the year the Seven Stars appear to travel around the North Star in an oval course. This makes the dipper (viewed from the earth) look like it pours out its contents unto the earth, the sun, the air etc. during the winter months. This shows that long ago in ancient history, when the Lord named the constellations (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26), he warned of a day of reckoning, when he would pour out the cup of his indignation (Revelation 14:10) upon his enemies.

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[1] See my studies: The Woman Who Brought Forth the Child and The Sign of the Dragon.

[2] According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon of New Testament Words the word means:  1) a sign, mark, token; 1a) that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others and is known; 1b) a sign, prodigy, portent, i.e. an unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature; 1b1) of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen; 1b2) of miracles and wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God’s.

[3] See my study: The False Prophet.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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