Revelation Chapter 11: 13
Revelation 11:13 – In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
A massive earthquake strikes Jerusalem within an hour after the two witnesses ascend to Heaven, causing great destruction and loss of life. Earthquakes have always been a fearful sign from God among other catastrophes that often lead to geopolitical upheaval:
“Earthquake”: God punctuates the ascension of His prophets with a earth shattering earthquake. The destruction and loss of life may be primarily among the leaders of the Antichrist’s forces.
God loses no time dealing with those who have rejected the Lord or even those who have said, I will straighten up later. There is no later. It is now. We see here that one tenth of the people lose their life in this earthquake.
“The remnant”: This refers to the Jews still living, who will not yet have come to faith in Christ.
“Gave glory to the God of heaven”: A genuine experience of the salvation of Jews (compare Luke 17:18-19), in contrast to those who blaspheme and refuse to glorify God (16:9). This makes a key fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (12:10; 13:1), and Paul’s (Rom. 11:25-27).
Great rejoicing and loud worship fill heaven, and on earth many lightning’s, noise, thundering, hail, and an earthquake announce the approaching end.
Luke 21:10-11 – Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.”
The earthquake occurs in the “same hour” of the two witnesses’ resurrection and rapture to Heaven, which further authenticates the witnesses’ testimony. The following verses show that the “same hour” is a figure of speech indicating that a short span of time occurs between events:
Daniel 5:5 – In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Matthew 8:13 – Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.
John 4:53 – So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.
Acts 16:33 – And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
Acts 22:12-13 – And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
John tells us what fraction of the city falls and the number of people who perish. As shown in the “Prophetic Patterns in Numbers” study, numbers in Scripture are full of meaning. One-tenth of the city will fall. Ten is the perfect number of divine order. The tithe Abraham gave to Melchizedek and Saul’s tax on the people were both “one-tenth”:
Hebrews 7:1-4 – For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.
1 Samuel 8:15-18 – “He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”
When the people returned from exile, one-tenth of the people, including the leaders lived in Jerusalem:
Nehemiah 11:1-2 – Now the leaders of the people dwelt at Jerusalem; the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to dwell in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine-tenths were to dwell in other cities. And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
So we see that “one-tenth” has to do with divinely appointed order. Interestingly, when Jesus healed ten lepers, only one-tenth gave glory to God. Perhaps it is a symbolic act of reparation for the nine lepers who did not glorify God, that nine-tenths of Jerusalem remain standing after the earthquake and its inhabitants give glory to God:
Luke 17:12-18 – Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
John tells us that 7,000 people die in the earthquake that strikes Jerusalem. This number is a multiple of seven, which means “perfection,” and ten, which means “perfect divine order.” This shows that the number of people who will die is divinely chosen. The number “7,000” appears in Scripture in only a handful of places. In a few passages, the number is found in lists of things counted (men of war – 2 Kings 24:16, horsemen – 1 Chronicles 18:4, charioteers – 1 Chronicles 19:18, talents of refined silver – 1 Chronicles 29:4, and sheep – 2 Chronicles 15:11, 30:24, Job 1:3). Since these items listed are among several others that are listed with different counts, the number “7,000” doesn’t seem to have any significance. That said, there is one example that might be significant. Paul notes that God reserved 7,000 prophets who did not bow to Baal to show that He always keeps a believing Jewish remnant:
Romans 11:1-4 – I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down you altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life “? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
Right after God told Elijah that He had reserved 7,000 prophets, He sent a prophet to Ahab to tell him that he would win a battle against the king of Syria where 7,000 Israelites killed 100,000 Syrians after seven days:
1 Kings 19:18 – “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
1 Kings 20:1, 13-15, 29 – Now Ben-Hadad the king of Syria gathered all his forces together; thirty-two kings were with him, with horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria, and made war against it…. Suddenly a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel, saying, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into your hand today, and you shall know that I am the LORD.’ ” So Ahab said, “By whom?” And he said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘By the young leaders of the provinces.’ ” Then he said, “Who will set the battle in order?” And he answered, “You.” Then he mustered the young leaders of the provinces, and there were two hundred and thirty-two; and after them he mustered all the people, all the children of Israel – seven thousand. And they encamped opposite each other for seven days. So it was that on the seventh day the battle was joined; and the children of Israel killed one hundred thousand foot soldiers of the Syrians in one day.
On the surface, this still might seem insignificant, but it is interesting to note that Jewish tradition cites the date of the golden calf incident and giving of the Law on Pentecost. Many believe it is no coincidence that 3,000 perished after the calf incident and 3,000 got saved on presumably on the same feast day of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus ascended to Heaven:
Exodus 32:17-20 – And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.” But he said: “It is not the noise of the shout of victory, Nor the noise of the cry of defeat, But the sound of singing I hear.” So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.
Exodus 32:25-28 – Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies), then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the LORD’s side – come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.'” So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.
Acts 2:41 – Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Correspondingly, God preserved 7,000 prophets and defeated the Syrians with only 7,000 Israelites after seven days, but 7,000 inhabitants of Jerusalem perish in an earthquake near the end of the 7-year Tribulation. In both cases of this divinely chosen number, God gets the glory. And similar to the groups of 3,000 rebels lost and 3,000 saints saved on Pentecost, God preserved 7,000 prophets in the past, but 7,000 rebels will perish in the future.
While the survivors of the earthquake in Jerusalem are afraid and give glory to God, it does not mean they all get saved, as the unbelieving Philistines gave glory to God (1 Samuel 6:5) and all people will eventually give glory to God whether they are believers or not:
Philippians 2:9-11 – Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
However, fear and giving God glory can certainly lead to salvation, or an angel wouldn’t give the Gospel to the world at the end of the Tribulation, with the plea to fear God and give Him glory before God pours out His final judgment:
Revelation 14:6-7 – Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people – saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Perhaps the two witnesses’ resurrection and the earthquake become a turning point for some of the inhabitants in Jerusalem and they get saved, which means that there are some people in Jerusalem that don’t take the mark of the beast because everyone that takes the mark is eternally damned (Revelation 14:9-11). It is difficult to see how anyone living in such a prominent city, and apparent center of beast worship during the Tribulation, will survive without the mark in the Tribulation. But if God can protect 7,000 prophets, He can also protect a remnant in Jerusalem who don’t take the mark of the beast.
There is one item to note concerning the 7,000 killed in the earthquake that is lost in most English translations. The English word “people,” as in “seven thousand people,” is not in the Greek. Instead, John uses the word typically translated “names.” Young’s Literal Translation captures the essence of the Greek better, though the word for “men” isn’t in the Greek either:
Revelation 11:13 (YLT) – And in that hour came a great earthquake, and the tenth of the city did fall, and killed in the earthquake were names of men–seven thousands, and the rest became affrighted, and they gave glory to the God of the heaven.
Here is a better example in Acts with the same Greek word for “names” that shows a distinct number of people:
Acts 1:15-17 – And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”
As discussed in Revelation 3:1, “having a name” in Scripture shows notoriety. The congregants in the church of Sardis had a name, or reputation based on their own merit, but God identified a few “names” led by the Holy Spirit. It is interesting that Jesus ends His letter to Sardis with a promise to not blot out names of overcomers from the Book of Life:
Revelation 3:1-5 – And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a namethat you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.'”
While we can’t possibly know the hearts of those “names” who perish in the earthquake, it is intriguing that Christ confesses “names” that are not blotted out of the Book of Life before the Father, but He blots 7,000 “names” out of Jerusalem, suggesting that these were notable people of Jerusalem who worship the beast and not God. Perhaps the 7,000 are dignitaries under the beast or celebrities who lead the people into revelry and prevent the two witnesses’ burial. Either way, it is certainly ironic that 7,000 names are buried in an earthquake after the world refuses to bury the two witnesses.
image courtesy: Revelation 11:3 Eric Riley
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.