Friday, 12 February 2021
Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. Revelation 11:9
The previous verse noted that the dead bodies of the two witnesses will lie in the street of the great city (certainly speaking of Jerusalem). Now John says, “Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations.” This is an all-encompassing thought that could be spiritualized, but today there is no need to do so. In the past, such a thought could be conveyed as well, as a message went out from one nation to another by courier, but that would take an extraordinary amount of time.
However, a long amount of time is not available with what this verse next conveys. John says that these many categories “will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days.” At the time of John, seeing something meant within the distance of the human eye, or maybe as a depiction in a drawing. However, John’s words clearly convey that people from all over the world would be able to see these dead bodies all at once, and for a period of three-and-a-half days.
Unless this timeframe is somehow spiritualized, it would be impossible to think this could happen at John’s time, or at any time up to the present generation. And yet, with the advent of the internet, smart phones, live-streaming, and so on, this is not only possible, but it is what one would naturally expect for a such an event. Something like “The Two Witnesses” live webcam could have been broadcasting during the entire time of the witnessing. Upon their deaths, it would continue to run. With these two “enemies” of the state now dead, John says that the people of the world will “not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.”
In the Middle East, as elsewhere in hot sunny climates (assuming it is the warm time of the year), it is important to bury bodies quickly due to the effects of decay. However, the world will be happy to have these men lie open and exposed as they rejoice in their perceived triumph over them and over the message they proclaimed. As they claimed they were speaking on behalf of the Lord, the thought will be that of triumph over Him.
The words of this verse show a world filled with wickedness, as they jointly deny these two the respect of burial.
Life application: This verse does not prove John was referring to modern technology, such as TV, live-streaming, and so on. However, it does suggest it. Because these things are now a normal part of everyday society, it is easy to see how what John relays to us certainly matches the world as it now is.
Those who deny that Revelation is written for our time might say that the categories of people mentioned in this verse were simply pilgrims to Jerusalem and were thus representative of the known world at the time. However, it is no longer necessary to look at the events in such a manner. The description of the armies in Chapter 9 clearly point to modern armies. As this is certain, there is no reason to take what is stated in these verses as anything but literal as well. They exactingly match what is now possible in the world today.
As this is so, it shows that we are probably very near to the time in which these events will come about. That, in turn, tells us that we are even nearer to the coming of the rapture. Each day draws us nearer to the day we will be called home to be with JESUS!
Lord God, we surely live during exciting times. It is wonderful to think of the blessing of living in this age and seeing the things that people of the past could not have even imagined. And yet, we also now face new types of trials and frustrations unknown to those of the past. Our lives are hurried, and our days are overloaded. Help us to focus on what is most important, which is our relationship with You. Help us to not be distracted from that! Amen.