The oil spill and bible prophecy

by journey-on 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • asilentone

    I hope they can find a way to stop it.

  • Elsewhere

    If it was a prophecy, why were you not telling people about it in advance?

    If you could not give meaningful details in advance, then it was not a prophecy.

  • journey-on

    Good point Elsewhere. I think the JWs (and other end times religions for that matter) would say, however, that this was told in advance. They would say the seas would turn to blood just as the Bible predicted, but the method for this catastrophe was not known by the one that had the vision. John saw the reddish-brown(?) sea, but did not "see" or understand oil or oil wells, or oil rigs, etc. He described it in the only context he could at that time.

  • BoomTown

    I can hear the over zealous speaker at the district convention now, instilling fear one gallon of oil at a time. Whats worse than that was the time(last years special ass.(embly) day, a brother came from Bethel(actually someone I knen well) and said that the witnesses had predicted the great financial meltdown that was occuring and nothing being said in the news was surprising as at "world headquarters, because "we knew it was coming." My mouth literally dropped to the floor when he said that. Lost almost all respect I had for him instantly.

  • Leolaia

    The book of Revelation itself construes its visions as pertaining to its own day (cf. 1:1, 7; 2:5; 3:2-3, 10-11, 20; 6:9-11; 10:6; 12:12; 14:7; 17:9-11; 22:10, 12, 20), not a distant future two millennia later.

    The seven trumpets (ch. 8-11) and the seven bowls (ch. 15-16) are both variant adaptations of the seven plagues from Psalm 78, 105 (= the ten plagues of Exodus), and Amos 4. It is however commonly thought that the plague described in Revelation 8:8-9 (relating a fiery mountain thrown into the sea, turning a third of the sea into blood and destroying sealife and boats) is inspired in part by the eruption of Vesuvius on August 24, AD 79. The eyewitness report of the eruption by Pliny the Younger described how debris from the mountain fell into the Bay of Naples, the pyroclastic flows wiping out boats in the harbor, and the stranding of sea creatures on dry sand. There is a very close parallel in the fourth Sibylline Oracle (written c. AD 80) which in fact is a close cousin with Revelation, sharing many important concepts with it, including the Nero redivivus theme. There the reference to the eruption of Vesuvius occurs within a sequence of disasters beginning with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70:

    "An evil storm of war will also come upon Jerusalem from Italy, and it will sack the great Temple of God, whenever they put their trust in folly and cast off piety and commit repulsive murders in front of the Temple. A great king will flee from Italy like a runaway slave unseen and unheard over the channel of the Euphrates, when he dares to incur a maternal curse for repulsive murder and many other things, confidently, with wicked hand. When he runs away, beyond the Parthian land, many will bloody the ground for the throne of Rome. A leader of Rome will come to Syria who will burn the Temple of Jerusalem with fire, at the same time slaughter many men and destroy the great land of the Jews with its broad roads. Then indeed an earthquake will destroy at once Salamis and Paphos when the dark water overwhelms Cyrus, which is washed by many waves. But when a firebrand, turned away from a cleft in the earth in the land of Italy, reaches to broad heaven, it will burn many cities and destroy men. Much smoking ashes will fill the great sky, and showers will fall from heaven like red earth. Know then the wrath of the heavenly God, because they will destroy the blameless tribe of the pious. Then the strife of war being aroused will come to the west, and the fugitive from Rome will also come, brandishing a great spear, having crossed the Euphrates with many myriads...Great wealth will come to Asia, which Rome itself once plundered and deposited in her house of many possessions. She will then pay back twice as much and more to Asia" (Sibylline Oracle, 4:115-148).

    The scenarios are largely parallel. Nero either dies (as it is the case in Revelation, cf. 13:3, 12, 14, 17:11) or fakes his death and flees to Parthia (as is the case in the Sibylline Oracle), there are various natural disasters, including the eruption of Vesuvius (= 8:8-9), and an earthquake and tsunami, then in the immediate future Nero would return from beyond the Euphrates [and from Hades in the case of Revelation] with the army of the kings of the East, i.e. the Parthians (= Revelation 9:1-19, 16:12, 17:8), and Nero would burn down and destroy Rome and its treasures would be lost (= 16:19, 17:16-18, ch. 18). The historical references in the Sibylline oracle are quite clear: the Jewish revolt starting in AD 66, the death of Nero in AD 68, the year of the four emperors in AD 68/69, the destruction of Jeursalem in AD 70, the earthquake at Salamis in AD 76/77, and the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. The return of Nero, much rumored in the 70s and 80s, lay in the author's future, along with the impending destruction of Rome.

  • journey-on

    Thanks for the historical information, Leolaia, but we all know that end times religions will say there is a greater prophecy fulfillment to take place in the last days and it is upon us by their reckoning. We can explain all day long that the facts and historical context says otherwise, but to no avail. They love their types and antitypes.

  • Leolaia

    Sure. That's the beauty of an unfulfilled prophecy; it will continue until the end of time (or as long as the book is read) to be the source of new prophecies or new interpretations as each new circumstance arises. One could take almost any oracle that is still outstanding and see the breadth of different interpretations and reinterpretations made in the millennia since it was written. Just see how many "king of the North" identifications have been made or suggested in the past hundred years.

  • restrangled

    Thanks Leolaia, you always have the best historical and logical comparisons.

    On the other hand, this Gulf leak is historical in and of it self. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and for how long. Hopefully not too much longer but I'm not betting on it ending any time soon.


  • Leolaia

    The Gulf spill gusher may well be the biggest human-made disaster so far in my life. Time will tell.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    I'm sure they'll dig up the "bring to ruin those ruining the earth" thing, too.

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