The Seals & Trumpets of Jericho
Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.” (Joshua 6:2-5)
Do you see a familiar pattern here? Just as the Revelation has 7 seals, with the 7th seal containing 7 trumpets, so the fall of Jericho would occur over 7 days, with the 7th day containing 7 trumpets. It’s a perfect match, symbolically speaking. It also follows the pattern on the tree of life or master menorah described in Parts 5, 6 and 7 of this series. This Tree of Life, shown in the adjacent illustration, demonstrates how each mini-menorah contained 7 events, with the 7th event of that menorah leading into or becoming the next 7 events on the next mini-menorah.
If not for the book of Revelation, the symbolism behind this conquest of Jericho would seem bizarre and incomprehensible. But once we understand that the seven seals of the Revelation correspond to the seven days of the fall of Jericho, we can unlock yet another mystery. And as we precede through the next few chapters of the Revelation, this information will help us formulate a time line that appears to survive all critical cross-referencing of scripture pertaining to the last days.
Many years ago I remember reading about Jericho, and how Israel was commanded to march around the city for seven days while the priests sounded the trumpets. Back then I had no appreciation for why God would make such demands of them. But now, I understand that it was done to symbolize the seven seals that would be “spoken forth” by Jesus (see Part 26) during the end times, in accord with John’s vision. In other words, Jericho was the type that was set forth as a primer so that we could better understand what will happen in the end times.
Given that, we note that at Jericho, each of the first six days describes Israel sounding the trumpets while marching once around the city, displaying the Ark of the covenant to Jericho. Then on the seventh day, Israel would march around seven times with the Ark while sounding the trumpets seven times, then take the city with the supernatural assistance of God. On the surface, this does not seem to equate to the seven seals of the Revelation, since the account of the seven seals contain no mention of trumpets, circling, or displaying of the Ark of the Covenant. But we have to remember that the Revelation was seen by John in a vision, which requires the reader to apply the appropriate symbolism in order to understand what is being conveyed. Once we do that, the meaning is unlocked.
First, let’s examine the symbolism of the trumpets. They sounded continually while the Ark was being displayed to Jericho, and I believe that was symbolic of the voice of Jesus reading the provisions from the little scroll during the opening or speaking forth of each seal. After all, keep in mind that John described the voice of Jesus as being “like a trumpet” in Revelation 4:1, which is written "like a shofar" in the Hebrew New Testament.
You also may remember from Parts 2 and 26 in this series that the little scroll was the wedding contract, or ketubah, that contained the rewards for obedience and the curses for disobedience for the groom and bride. And only the groom was legally entitled to open the scroll and read it’s provisions before the wedding took place. So during the seven seals, Jesus will be doing this very thing, speaking forth the provisions of each seal “like a trumpet.”
The next bit of symbolism at Jericho was the circling of the city while displaying the Ark of the Covenant for all to see. Jericho is merely a symbol for the world in this analogy, so this circling mostly likely represents the saints executing the great commission by circling or encompassing the globe, taking the gospel of Jesus to all parts of the world during the tribulation period. And it is Jesus - the Ark - that is then seen in heaven once the seals and trumpets have been completed;
“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant.” (Revelation 11:19)
Jesus is the Ark of God’s covenant and He is the intended fulfillment of every ark noted in the Bible, from the ark of Noah that brought man through the waters of the seas, to the ark that carried Moses through the waters of the Nile, to the Ark of the Covenant that brought Israel through the waters of the Jordan. And in the end times, it will be the “Ark of His covenant”, or Jesus, who will bring us through the symbolic flood waters of the dragon.
In each instance, the ark was the symbol of protection for God’s people. As long as they remained in the ark, they would be fine. But stray outside the ark even once, and disaster awaited. In this way, those who remain 'in' Jesus symbolically, remain in “the Ark of His Covenant” will also be found in heaven in Revelation 11:19. So the parallels are actually a perfect match, symbolically speaking.
1) the trumpets of Jericho = the voice “like a trumpet” in Revelation;
2) Israel circling Jericho = the saints circling the world in Revelation;
3) Ark of the Covenant revealed to Jericho = Ark of His Covenant revealed to world
Of course, on the seventh day at Jericho, the pattern changed slightly, since Israel then marched seven times around Israel while blowing the trumpets. Then, when they sounded one last trumpet, a long blast that is called the ‘tekiah gadola’, the people gave a loud shout, and the city collapsed. This compares favorably with the seventh seal of Revelation and it's seven trumpets, where the “shout” that Israel made will be fulfilled by the “shout” that Jesus will make when he returns with his ketubah, or little scroll.
Once again, the symbolism is a perfect match.
At this point, we can outline a few of the many parallels between these accounts that provide clues as to what will take place in the future. This list is by no means intended to be all-inclusive, since the fall of Jericho and it's aftermath could have myriad ramifications for the future. However it does demonstrate enough parallels that we can see the pattern that God has set for our future. And interestingly enough, this list begins by revealing that the name Joshua is actually ‘Yehoshua’ in the Old Testament, while the name Jesus is also 'Yehoshua' in the Hebrew New Testament;
|Yehoshua (Joshua) led Israel||Yehoshua (Jesus) leads saints|
|Israel crosses divided Jordan||Saints cross divided Mount of Olives|
|Israel entered promised land||Saints enter promised rest|
|2 spies||2 witnesses|
|2 spies hidden 3 1/2 days||2 witnesses dead 3 1/2 days|
|2 spies report findings to Yehoshua||2 witnesses report findings to Yehoshua|
|Rahab helped Israel, was spared||Sheep help Saints, will be spared|
|Passover of Raha required red thread||Passover of saints requires Jesus' blood|
|Battle against evil kingdom of Jericho||Battle against evil kingdom of the world|
|Israel reveals Ark to Jericho 7 days||Church reveals Jesus to world 7 years|
|Trumpets sound||Voice "like a trumpet" sounds|
|7 priests blow 7 trumpets, end comes||7 angels blow 7 trumpets, end comes|
|Trumpets bring judgment/destruction||Trumpets bring judgment/destruction|
|Jericho's walls collapse||A tenth of the city collapses|
|Kingdom of God takes city||Kingdom of God takes the world|
|People were melting in fear of Yehoshua||People will melt at seeing Yehoshua|
|Yehoshua burned the city||Yeshoshua will destroy world with fire|
|Israel would rule Canaan||Saints will rule the world|
Again, this is only a partial list, and one can provide many additional parallels that are relevant, including the subsequent sacking of additional cities within Canaan after this, which no doubt will have some bearing on Israel’s sacking of the surrounding nations when Jesus comes again.
But the point is, Jericho is the perfect type for the Revelation. It reveals that the seven days of trumpets represent the seven seals, and that it’s 7 trumpets on the 7th day represent the 7 trumpets of the 7th seal. And just as the 7th trumpets of Jericho would lead to Israel exchanging their temporary dwellings for their permanent dwellings, so the 7th Trumpet of the Revelation will lead to the saints exchanging their temporary dwellings (bodies) for their heavenly dwelling (bodies, or oiketerion).
The 1,335 Days of Daniel
In the last post we described how Revelation 10 was the fulfillment of all that Paul taught about the return of Jesus to raise the dead in Christ, and translate the remaining living saints to eternal life. And we can see how this syncs up with the account of Jericho. But there is an additional reference to this Rapture event in the book of Daniel that bears repeating, because it will be very helpful in establishing a proper time line for the last days. This will be posted on this website as we cover more of the details contained in Revelation 11, 12 and 13 that speak directly to the rise of the antichrist, and his related activities. Some of you probably already know where this is going, but here is the verse;
“From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.” (Daniel 12:11-13)
In short, it seems fairly obvious that Daniel is being told here that he will “rise” to receive his “allotted inheritance” at the end of the 1,335 days. After all, the one that reaches the end of the 1,335 days will be “blessed”, and when we tie these two ideas together, I can think of no greater blessing for Daniel than to rise from the dead at the command of his Lord to receive his allotted inheritance of eternal life in the kingdom of God.
In other words, once the abomination that causes desolation is set up, we can turn over the hourglass and start counting, because it looks like there will only be 1,335 days, or just over 3½ years, until the 7th trumpet is sounded, and we can all go home.
The Seven Thunders
While we already pointed out that the voice of Jesus was described as sounding “like a trumpet” by John, the voice of God has also been described as being like “thunder” when He is angry (Job 40:9, Isa 33:3, Jer 25:30, Joel 3:16). So when we see Jesus shouting in Revelation 10, it’s no surprise that the seven thunders speak, because those seven thunders are proclamations by God himself;
“When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” (Revelation 10:3-4)
The Hebrew word for thunder is ra’am, which means to rage, roar, or be angry. And no doubt God will be angry when He returns, since the world will be persecuting His bride. In a rage, He will intervene for her and begin to destroy her enemies. And it's my guess that these seven thunders will be pronouncements of judgment against her persecutors.
While the precise content of the seven thunders is never disclosed, it is worth noting that there are seven mentions of “thunder” in the Revelation, and wouldn’t it be interesting if the seven thunders had something to do with the timing or scope of each one of these mentions? These include Rev 4:5, Rev 6:1, Rev 8:5, Rev 11:19, Rev 14:2, Rev 16:18, and Rev 19:6. When we examine the places where each of these is mentioned, they roughly correspond to the themes on each menorah candle, as described in Parts 5 and 6 of this series. So there is some potential in that theory.
Even so, while it’s possible to speculate about the theme of each thunder, it’s probably not possible to know the content of each one. However, never say never with the Bible, because it’s quite probable that they are encoded somewhere in it’s pages, waiting for some curious and studious souls to unlock them.
In Volume 2 of the ‘Lost in Translation’ series, John Klein and Adam Spears may have unlocked a portion of this mystery, since they connect the oral thunders with the oral ‘Mishnah Torah’. The six tenets of this oral Torah would be Zeraim (seeds), Moed (appointed times), Nashim (women), Nezikin (damages), Kodashim (holy things), and Taharot (purities). However, these represent only six divisions, and we need seven divisions if they are to point to the seven thunders.
Klein and Spears attempt to fill out the set of seven by pointing out that the New Testament, or B’rit Chadashah (renewed covenant) was intended to be that 7th division, even though it was rejected by Israel. And surprisingly enough, when inserting the B’rit Chadashah into the menorah as the shamash stand, or middle position, these seven divisions would correspond well to the themes on each candle of the menorah, and to the judgments poured out in the seven trumpets and seven bowls of the Revelation.
Further explanation on this theme can be found in Volume 2 of 'Lost in Translation' by Klein and Spears. It's a rather lengthy and detailed chapter, so we won't spend any more time on it here.
However, there is one additional point worth making about the thunders; please remember that only John heard them, so among mortal men, only John can repeat them. This will become an important distinction in an upcoming post, and it will be one of many facts about John’s life that will lead to a very unusual conclusion that the reader has probably never considered.
Swearing by Himself
In Revelation 10 we find this angel swearing to “him who lives for ever and ever”, prompting some to believe that this is a mere angel swearing to God. After all, why would Jesus swear to God, if Jesus is in fact God himself. But that logic does not prevail here, because there are many scriptures that show Jesus/God swearing to himself. Consider Paul’s description of just such an event that occurred when God was making a covenant with Abraham;
“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, ‘I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.’" (Hebrews 6:13)
Also consider the following passage from Deuteronomy, where God is once again found swearing to himself, seemingly pointing to a future event typified by the wrath of God mentioned in the Revelation;
“See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. “I lift my hand to heaven and declare: ‘As surely as I live forever, when I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and repay those who hate me. I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders.” (Deuteronomy 32:39-42)
It's striking how many resemblances there are between this passage and Revelation 10. In both instances Jesus/God swears to himself, in both instances he will "bring to life" and "put to death", in both instances he "will heal", and in both instances he will "take vengeance" and destroy his enemies. In my eyes, Revelation 10 and the immediately surrounding chapters are the fulfillment of this very promise made in Deuteronomy 32.
Our examples of Jesus swearing to himself don't stop here however, since once again in Daniel we see an angel - who is clearly Jesus - pronouncing yet another oath to himself;
“The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.” (Daniel 12:7)
Once again, this oath has a direct bearing on the end times when it mentions the “time, times and half a time” that will constitute the great tribulation. And we see the angel “above the waters”, which ironically appears to point to something Jesus did on the Sea of Galilee; walking on water. And naturally, this angel prophesies, which Jesus also did on many occasions during His ministry. So I think we’re pretty safe in presuming that this is in fact Jesus himself who is swearing to God….or himself, yet again.
The whole point is that there is no one greater for Him to swear to, so he MUST swear to himself if He is to take an oath.
In the next post we’ll finish chapter 10 and move to chapter 11, which will introduce a dynamic in scripture that most Christians have never considered.