The Language of the Prophets
By Ludwig Schneider, founder of "Israel Today",
German February edition 2009
Translation Birgit Barandica
(April 15, 2009)
The prophets of the bible were using illustrations with contemporary terms. Daniel for example talked about an animal with ten horns and John talked about a dragon. Therefore, their ways of expression have to be translated into a language that is understandable nowadays.
So we read in Revelation 9:7-10:
"The locusts looked like horses ready for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold. Their faces looked like human faces. Their hair was like women's hair. Their teeth were like lions’ teeth. Their chests were covered with something that looked like armor made out of iron. The sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails and stings like scorpions. And in their tails they had power to hurt people over and over for five months."
So, some 1900 years ago, John the seer from Patmos, saw the war events of our time, just as if he would have watched the TV news. He saw tanks, combat helicopters and jet fighters. He saw everything just as we see things today, only he was not able to name those things he saw, since he did not know them. This is why he described them as well as he could with beings known to him that resembled best what he saw.
In the Orthodox convents of the isles of Athos and Patmos of the 8th century, the whole walls are painted with apocryphic scenes. For example, the helicopters described by John, can be seen there as beastly monsters. In medieval times, painters like Bruegel (16th century) depicted those Revelation scenes as to their own imaginations.
When analizing the scene mentioned in Revelation 9, the following interpretation unfolds before us:
John sees the destruction squadrons coming up toward people just as swarms of locusts in the fields. There is an amazing resemblance between
Fresco in the convent on Patmos, 8th century
as fine foggy threads and compares them with women's hair. Through the cockpit windows, he sees rods and gearings - and compares them with lion's teeth.
Modern combat helicopter, 2008
locosts and helicopters in the shape of their body and wings, in the stiffness and the metallic shine of their quinine shell, in their body postures and flight movements while lifting off vertically.
John sees the metallic hull of airplanes and compares them with the armor of combat horses. He sees the cockpit of the helicopters and compares their rotation wheel with golden crowns. He sees the pilots through the cockpit windows and recognizes the face of a man - this is why he describes "human" locusts. John sees the contrails of the jet fighters
He hears the tremendous noise of the engines which he apprehends as "wing flapping" which he compares with the noise of chariots storming into the battle. He sees the muzzles of the board weapons as "tails" and "stings" and thinks that scorpions would shoot their poison through them, thus torturing people (note: I think it's amazing how John, after his "animalistic" interpretations sees the whole thing as war events, what they really are).
The Apocalypsis has a spiritual as well as a natural aspect, the same as our wordly history is a shadow toward devine salvation history. John saw the salvation historical correlation with the final battle between light and darkness and God's final victory for His people.
We have to note that the closer we get to those events, the more John's pictures correspond with their real focus. While in medieval times the apocryphical beasts were still creepy creatures, nowadays they already correspond with our war machinery. This tells us that we are very close to the point in time of the Apocalypsis, for as soon as vision and fact correspond with each other, the moment has come where everything will be implemented the way the endtime revelations of the biblical prophets were speaking of. All of this means that it is already much later than we think!