Friday, August 22, 2014

The Seven Kings of Revelation 17(and 13) Part 2: Maybe not John's Time

What if the "one is" detail is not as time sensitive as we think? Remember John was taken to Heaven, to God's throne, which means he was taken out of Space-Time.

I think back to my argument against the Bible skeptics interpretation that the author wanted people to think something wrong about when it was written. To a lesser extent that logic applies even to the fact that John is telling the truth, since a detail of the vision seems dependent on the present, and as Futurists/PreMillennials we believe the message was always meant to be understood by future generations, why not date itself? One answer might be that the 6th King had a reign that was so long it'd be nearly impossible to get the identity wrong so long as you have even a basic understanding of the 1st century. But still, it's odd.  And neither Nero or Domitian I'd consider to have had a reign that long.

Now I've seen people actually cite this Prophecy as if the "one is" part is referring to right now, as their citing it. That is certainly poor scholarship and truly amazes me that people do it.  And no they're not doing it in a way where you could say the entire Church Age is within the time allotted to the 6th King.

If you insist that the present in Revelation 17 must be in John's time when John is writing.  Then there verse 11 in proof that that the 8th King was one who died before Revelation was written.

The most attractive view after one considers the option of removing the Seven Kings from John's time is to consider a succession of Kings in the last days. Viewing them perhaps from the POV of the start of the 70th Week, or the midway point, or some other arbitrary event. Presidents of a United States of Europe would be the most popular from the Hal Lindsay/Left Behind style limitations people have these days.

I think the "was is and is not" means the 8th is one of the first 5.

Back when I used to lean towards the Mahdi/Islamic Antichrist view I kept this in mind looking at the Kings of modern Jordan and Iraq.

Jordan's current King, Abdullah II, is the 5th King, and he has 2 sons and 2 daughters.   Abdullah I was assassinated in Jerusalem in the Al-Aqsa Mosque with 3 fatal gunshots to the head and chest. Iraq had 3 Kings, the main current pretender, Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid, would be the 5th hypothetically, and is already a Grandfather as of May 17th 2001.

If some sort of Messiah Ben-Joseph deception is what will happen.  It might be leaders of Israel, or leaders of some Western nation British Israelists identify with Joseph (The US and the UK mainly).  Based on past precedent, when Prince Charles eventually becomes King that would be considered the start of a new dynasty for England.  But if it's not considered that, he'd be the fifth monarch of the current dynasty based on the current official numbering that Considers George V the first because he renamed it.  But more truly accurately either the sixth or seventh.

But perhaps looking before John's time is more logical then looking forward. You see whether Bible skeptics, Preterists, Futurists, Historicalists, or what ever almost all pretty much agree The Beast is basically Rome in some capacity. That understanding is consistent to me in some way with each suggestion I just made to look at.

But when thinking of Rome, to people who lived back then the first thing a succession of Seven Kings would make them think of is the succession of the Pre-Republic Kingdom of Rome founded by Romulus from 753-509 B.C.

According to legend, Romulus mysteriously disappeared in a storm or whirlwind, during or shortly after offering public sacrifice at or near the Quirinal Hill. A "foul suspicion" arises that the Senate, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him go away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. This suspicion they sought to turn aside by decreeing divine honors to Romulus, as to one not dead, but translated to a higher condition. And Proculus, a man of note, took oath that he saw Romulus caught up into heaven in his arms and vestments, and heard him, as he ascended, cry out that they should hereafter style him by the name of Quirinus. From Plutarch's Lives. Livy repeats more or less the same story, but shifts the initiative for deification to the people of Rome.

So perhaps the notion of one of the 7 returning possibly came from that legend? the original Roman King in The Mountain myth?  Remus was the twin brother of Romulus but was never King and so isn't one of the 7, but he is in some accounts said to have been killed by a blow to the head with a spade.

It's interesting that in extra Biblical Rabbinic tradition that has developed over the Diaspora, the Anti-Messiah figure who kills Messiah Ben-Ephraim is named Armilus, a name generally agreed to be derived from Romulus. This is generally just assumed to be because he represents Rome/Edom in general, but given what we just observed maybe there is more to it. However I in general suspect that these Extra-Biblical Antichrist figures like Armilus, Dajjal, and Mabus are probably Satan trying to set people up to be distracted by a decoy Antichrist, or a few of them.

Of the second King, Numa Pompilius. Plutarch tells of the early religion of the Romans, that it was imageless and spiritual. He says Numa "forbade the Romans to represent the deity in the form either of man or of beast. Nor was there among them formerly any image or statue of the Divine Being; during the first one hundred and seventy years they built temples, indeed, and other sacred domes, but placed in them no figure of any kind; persuaded that it is impious to represent things Divine by what is perishable, and that we can have no conception of God but by the understanding".

This and other references to Numa that make him seem Monotheistic I tend to cite along with Cicero's Intelligent Design arguments in Nature of The Gods when commentating on Romans 1 where Paul says the Romans were "without excuse" in their rejection of God as Creator.

The third King, Tullus Hostilius was said to be struck by Lighting for neglecting the gods. The fourth Ancus Marcius was a grandson of Numa, and had two sons.

Fifth was Lucius Tarquinius Priscus.
Tarquin is said to have reigned for thirty-eight years. According to legend, the sons of his predecessor, Ancus Marcius, believed that the throne should have been theirs. They arranged the king's assassination, disguised as a riot, during which Tarquin received a fatal blow to the head. However, the queen, Tanaquil, gave out that the king was merely wounded, and took advantage of the confusion to establish Servius Tullius as regent; when the death of Tarquin was confirmed, Tullius became king, in place of Marcius' sons, or those of Tarquin.

Servius Tullius is the sixth, why give John this revelation as if speaking from the POV of his reign? Maybe because he was the first who wasn't Democratically elected. Or perhaps because it was during his reign the 170 years Plutarch says Rome had no Idols ended, (if you interpret that he meant the period as beginning with Numa's reign).

The knowledge that even Classical writers had of Early Rome was very flawed due to the destruction of Roman records when it was sacked by Gauls in 390 B.C. Maybe originally the Edomites who traveled to Italy were attempting to be faithful to the God of their fore fathers, Isaac and Abraham, but their religion was corrupted and diluted over time until they finally fell outright into Idolatry, and it's that spiritual turning point of Rome the Angel is looking at them from?

The Romans did not view Servius badly though, but as the last of their Benevolent Kings.

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was the Seventh and final King. He had a reign of 26 years, not the longest but at face value would hardly seem to justify "a short space" which is everywhere I've read interpreted to mean a very short reign, like the 2 year reigns of Titus and Nerva. And the Greek text seems to justify that. But maybe it's a matter that only the one yet future from this POV would need to have reign length addressed at all (and indeed he is the only of the 7 with such a clue) and from an Eternal perspective all reigns are short, besides The Messiah's Reign, of which The Thousand Years is merely a prelude.

But perhaps it just refers to him being the only one who didn't reign until he died, since he was expelled from Rome because of his Tyranny and thus the Republic was founded.  His reign was cut short.

Perhaps the "Eight King" is simply about how ultimately Rome returned to Monarchy, whether they wanted to admit it or not. You see the Emperors made a point even in the latter history never to officially call themselves Rex/King.

Or maybe all that is viewed as foreshadowing history of John's own time and/or the End Times.

In light of the possible connection between Edom and Rome, it's interesting that the Genesis 36 succession of Edomite Kings lists as total of 8.  The 8th is a namesake of one of the first 5..  The 6th King is Saul, who happens to share a name with Israel's first King.  And it seems Edom too was an elective monarchy of some sort.

Update August 2016:  I just did a post visiting the possibly of this applying to the Ptolemaic Dynasty.  On the subject of Egypt it could be interesting to note how in the traditional dynasty of the gods Osiris-Set-Horus are the 5th, 6th and 7th kings, meaning another example of the Fifth King being associated with dying and rising again.  I talk about possible history behind that mythology on my Revised Chronology blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment