Thursday, June 23, 2011

Collapse of Human Government (3) - Sixth Seal

The opening of the sixth seal describes the collapse of human government and democratic power.

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place (Rev 6:13-14).
These events are not literal. The Old Testament prophets often described the collapse of a great nation in the same language. One exmple is Ezekiel’s descripton of the the defeat of Egypt by the armies of Babylon.
When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light (Ez 32:7).
These words are a graphically describe the collapse of Egypt at the hand of Babylon. The sun continued to shine, but the prophecy about Egypt was fulfilled. Other prophets used similar language to describe the collapse of a nation or empire. They described the collapse of a human government as the sun and moon falling from the sky. Other examples are Is 13:10 and Is 34:4-5.

References to the sun, moon and stars turning to blood or falling from the sky are an apocalyptic description of the collapse of human government and political power.

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