30-70AD: Exodus | Tribulation

30-70AD Matthew 23:13-39 The Seven Woes

Matthew 23:13-39

13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

15"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

16"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.

23"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

29"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

New International Version

30-70AD What is the Narrative of Revelation?

From: http://planetpreterist.com/news-5533.html

by Duncan McKenzie

Volume II: The Book of Revelation

I. Introduction to the Book of Revelation

II. The Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 13)

III. The Beast and the Harlot (Revelation 17)

IV. The Beast and the Fall of Babylon (Revelation 18)

V. The Second Coming (Revelation 19)

VI. The Millennium and New Heaven and New Earth; Preliminary Considerations

VII. The Millennium and New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 20-22)

VIII. Where Are We Now?

What is the Narrative of the book of Revelation?

Is there a narrative to Revelation? Does it have a unifying storyline? Despite the many complexities of the book, the answer to this question is a definite yes; there is a clear storyline to Revelation. Revelation is a tale of two cities, Babylon and New Jerusalem; these two cities are also said to be two women, the harlot and the bride (Rev. 17:1-3; Rev. 21:9-10). The judgments of Revelation culminate with the destruction of one of these women and then the marriage of the other. The harlot (Babylon) is destroyed and then the bride (New Jerusalem) becomes married (Rev. 19:1-7).

There is an exact parallel of Revelation’s contrast of two women/cities in Galatians. In Galatians 4:21-31 we are told of two women who are two wives (Hagar and Sarah) who correspond to two cities (physical Jerusalem and heavenly Jerusalem). We are told that these two women/cities are symbolic of two communities of people, those under the old covenant and those under the new covenant.

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewomen. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar- for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children- but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all…But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. Galatians 4:21-31 NKJV emphasis added

It is obvious that the “Jerusalem above” of Galatians 4:26 corresponds to the New Jerusalem of Revelation (which comes down out of heaven, Rev. 21:2, 10); but could first-century Jerusalem (Gal. 4:25) correspond to Mystery Babylon (Rev. 17:5)? The answer is Yes! Babylon is called “the great city” in Revelation (Rev. 17:18; 18:21), The very first place in Revelation that we encounter “the great city” (Rev. 11:8) we are told that it was where Jesus was crucified (i.e. Jerusalem). Like pagan Babylon, Jerusalem had destroyed God’s Temple (i.e. Jesus, John 2:18-22) and was persecuting God’s people. In Revelation, as in Galatians (4:29), one women persecutes the other (i.e. the harlot persecutes the bride, Rev. 17:6; 18:24, cf. Matthew 23:29-37). Similarly in Revelation, as in Galatians (4:30), one of the two women is cast out (Rev. 18:21) while the other woman receives her inheritance (the Lord takes the bride as His wife).

It should be noted that, like the two women of Galatians, the two women of Revelation are also two wives. It is obvious that the bride is a wife, as she becomes married (Rev. 21:9). It is easy to miss that the harlot is also a wife (cf. Ezek. 16:32), a widowed wife. Unfaithful Israel went from being a queen to a widow when she had her King killed (Rev. 18:7; cf. Matt 21:5). Again, the subject of Revelation is exactly the same as Galatians 4:21-31; both are talking about two women/cities who are two wives. The contrast of these two women is being used as a vehicle to contrast the two covenants and those who were part of them.

The judgments of Revelation climax in chapter 17-19 with the destruction of the persecuting city of Babylon (Rev. 18:24) and then God marries His bride (Rev. 19:7). The exact same scenario of the burning of a wicked city (Matt. 22:7; Rev. 18:8) followed by a wedding is found in Matthew 22:

And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding and they were not willing to come. Again he sent out other servants, saying ‘Tell those who are invited “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies destroyed those murders and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. Matthew 22:1-10.

The above parable (which obviously speaks of the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem) explains why it is that right after the destruction of harlot Babylon that the bride becomes married.

After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creature fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying “Amen! Alleluia!” Then a voice came from the throne saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:1-7

The harlot motif is a common Old Testament image for unfaithful Israel: Lev 17:7; Lev 20:5-6; Num 14:33; Num 15:39; Deut 31:16; Judg 2:17; Judg 8:27; 1 Chr. 5:25; 2 Chr 21:11; Ps 73:27; Hosea 1:2; Hos 2:2-5; Hos 4:15; Hos 9:1; Jer. 2:20; Jer 3:2,9,13: Jer 5:7,11; Jer 13:27; Eze. 6:9; Eze 16; Eze 23; Eze 43:7,9. The harlot of Revelation is arrayed in the colors of the Temple and clothes of the High Priest (Rev. 17:4; Rev. 18:16; cf. Ex. 28). The merchandise of harlot Babylon is the merchandise that was used in the construction and furnishings of the Temple (Rev. 18:12) as well as its sacrifices (v. 13) see my article “The Merchandise of Babylon” http://planetpreterist.com/news-2786.html. The plagues of Babylon (pestilence, mourning, famine and burning, Rev. 18:8 NASB) are exactly what happened to Jerusalem (not Rome) at AD 70.

The destruction of the harlot city in Revelation is drawn from the destruction of Jerusalem in Ezekiel 16. In Ezekiel 16 God said that the nations that Jerusalem had been unfaithful with (committing spiritual harlotry) would turn on her and destroy her with fire (vv. 35-43). Harlot Jerusalem is portrayed in Ezekiel 16 as being dressed in the furnishings of the tabernacle, her “food” consisting of items used in the sacrifices (vv. 10-13). This parallels the harlot Babylon being dressed in the furnishings of the Temple and garments of the High Priest, her “merchandise” consisting of items used in the sacrifices (Rev. 18:13). Revelation 17-19 is showing, the AD 70 burning of unfaithful Jerusalem and her Temple at the end of the old covenant age. Moses was told that this would happen in the “latter days”

And the Lord said to Moses: ‘Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?’…and evil with befall [them] in the latter days (Deut. 31:16-17, 29).

This is the storyline of Revelation: God judges and ultimately destroys His unfaithful old covenant wife and then marries His new covenant bride.

Lastly, scholars have been slow to catch on to what we preterists have been saying about harlot Babylon. NT Wright noted that there has even been hostility to this interpretation:

Recent commentators (e.g. Massyngberde Ford, 1975) have suggested the great and wicked city [of Rev. 17-19] is not Rome but Jerusalem (cf. Rev. 11:8). I have discovered that this suggestion arouses anger in some circles, which is not explained simply as annoyance at an exegetical peculiarity (plenty of those are to be found in all the journals, but they merely arouse curiosity). What is at stake here, and for whom?

N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, Christian Origins and the Question of God, vol. 2 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), footnote, 358.

Saying the harlot is unfaithful Israel is hardly an exegetical peculiarity; it is not a tangential interpretation driven by the quest for novelty. Given the consistent OT portrayal of God’s unfaithful old covenant people as the harlot, unfaithful Israel should be the starting point in one’s examination of the harlot of Revelation. There are only two exceptions (where a Gentile city is called a harlot) in the whole OT for goodness sake!

Consider one of the conclusions that Wright came to in his study of the gospels:

When we read through the synoptic tradition (and John, for that matter) we find a great deal of warning of coming judgment, in all strands of the traditions, and all pointing in one direction. Jesus, I shall now argue, predicted that judgment would fall on the nation [of Israel] in general and on Jerusalem in particular. That is to say, he reinterprets a standard Jewish belief (the coming judgment which would fall on the nations) in terms of a coming judgment which would fall on impenitent Israel. The great prophets had done exactly the same. Jerusalem, under its present regime, had become Babylon.

emphasis mine, Jesus and the Victory of God, 322-323

Wright noted that his conclusion “may be held by some to carry implications for the reading of Rev. 17-19.” ibid 358

Since Jesus borrowed from the language of the fall of Babylon in talking about the fall of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:29 cf. Is. 13:10, 13) it should not be surprising that John did the same in Revelation.

For more on Babylon and the theme of Revelation see: “A Summary of Harlot Babylon” http://planetpreterist.com/news-2817.html “The Covenant Judgments of Revelation” http://planetpreterist.com/news-5109.html Duncan


Duncan McKenzie is a columnist for PlanetPreterist.com. Duncan has Masters and Ph.D degrees in Psychology and currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Jerusalem from below | Jerusalem from above

The New Covenant = the Jerusalem from above

Galatians 4:21-31 & Galatians 5:1-3
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

The Jerusalem from above = The heavenly Jerusalem

Hebrews 12:18-29
18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.

The heavenly Jerusalem = The new Jerusalem = The Bride of Christ

Revelation 21:1-4
1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Revelation 22
1And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
8And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
10And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.