Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Tribulation and Resurrection

Isaiah 26:17-21
As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, O LORD.  We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world. But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.

Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.  See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer.

Here we see one of the parallels with the book of Revelation. Revelation 12 speaks of a woman, "She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth." Rev 12:2 And it says later that "the woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days." Rev 12:6 which is similar to the "hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by." And correlated as well is the Isaiah 27:1, which follows this section saying in the LXX "In that day God shall bring his holy and great and strong sword upon the dragon, even the serpent that flees, upon the dragon, the crooked serpent: he shall destroy the dragon." which could be the dragon of Revelation 12. And if my timing chart for Revelation is correct, the resurrection of the believers follows the 1260 days, which is also consistent with Isaiah here "your dead will live; their bodies will rise."

One thing I find interesting about this correlation is that while the woman of Revelation gives birth to a son (Israel giving birth to the Messiah, or to his Church), the woman here in Isaiah feels she gives birth to the wind - vanity. However, the Septuagint (which the apostles quoted from) states here: "We have conceived, O Lord, because of thy fear, and have been in pain, and have brought forth the breath of thy salvation, which we have wrought upon the earth: we shall not fall, but all that dwell upon the land shall fall." Is 26:18 The breath of salvation is the gospel which reveals Christ as Lord and Savior. The Jews gave birth to the gospel as Jesus said to the woman at the well, "salvation is of the Jews."John 4:22

 The LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.

"It is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed." 2Thess 1:8,9
He ain't no Santa Claus! But what does it mean to hide oneself from his wrath. Indeed the world will itself try to hide. "They called to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!'" Rev 6:16 But there is no place for them to hide. But what of the Christians? Some have applied this by isolating themselves quite literally. But even if that were the correct interpretation it doesn't seem to me that time is right.

One specific application is to go into hiding during the 3.5 years of tribulation, before the rapture. Some may even interpret the "hiding" as the rapture itself. More generally I think the application is that when the society in which we live because so corrupt as to incur God's wrath, we should separate from it, so also with individuals. True that it is necessary to relate with sinners if we expect to fulfill our obligation to communicate the gospel. But if the gospel is thoroughly rejected by the society, then hasn't Jesus commanded us to wipe the dust off our feet in protest? Furthermore we should not be yoked with unbelievers, else we share in their sins.

Revelation 18:4  Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
But contrary to the Rapture - which is a passive event, the verses throughout here are speaking of believers actively coming out. "Come out of her"; "enter your rooms"; "shut the doors behind you"; "hide yourselves" these are all actions we are commanded to take. I don't think these are referring to the rapture.


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Sep 05,2002