‘ye shall know my breach of promise. I the Lord have said, I will surely do it to all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.’ (Num.14:34,35)


Another hermeneutic principle that should be used, with care, in the interpretation of the Book of Revelation is the Breach Principle. This principle is not a common one amongst expositors. However, some expositors do use it, though not under this designation.

Because this principle will be ‘new’ to many interpreters, a larger amount of this chapter will be given to its development before its application, where appropriate, to the Book of Revelation.

A. Definition

The Breach Principle is that principle by which the interpretation of a certain verse or passage in Scripture is aided by a consideration of certain breaches, either breaches of promise or breaches of time.

B. Amplification

Following on, we consider the definition of the word ‘breach’ as in Webster’s Dictionary and in its use in the Bible, especially the Old Testament words.

1. Webster’s Dictionary

According to Webster’s Dictionary, a ‘breach’ is: ‘a state of being broken; a rupture; a break; a gap; a hole or an opening, as in a wall or fence, made by breaking or parting. An interruption of continuity; a blank space; a break or interruption in friendly relations.

In common language, other phrases are used which speak of a ‘breach in human relationships’. These phrases are defined as:

(a) Breach of faith - a failure to keep faith

(b) Breach of privilege - an act in violation of rules, order, privileges or dignity of a legislative body

(c) Breach of promise - failure to fulfil a promise

(d) Breach of the peace - a violation of the public peace

(e) Breach of trust - a violation by fraud or omission of any duty imposed on a person in a position of trust.

2. Old Testament Hebrew

There are at least seven Hebrew words, which speak of a breach, and such are translated by a wide variety of English words. Such can only be dealt with in brief here:

(a) Begeq: meaning ‘a gap or leak (in a building or a ship); fissure or rent’.

It is translated “breaches” (2 Kgs.12: 4-8) and “calkers” (Ezek.27: 9,27).

(b) Baqa: meaning ‘to cleave; generally to rend, break, rupture or open; to break through or into’. It is translated ‘make a breach’ (Isa.7:6; 22:9); ‘break’ (Gen.7:11; Isa.58:8); ‘cleave’ (Num.16:31; Amos 6:11); ‘divide’ (Ex.14:16,21; Ps.78:13); ‘rend’ (Josh.9:4; Job 26:8), and ‘tear’ (Hos.13:8).

(c) Miphrats: meaning ‘a break (in the shore); a haven’. It is translated ‘breaches’ (Judg.5:17).

(d) Parats: meaning ‘to break out, break through, break down, make a breach in, break into, break open, break up. It is translated ‘make a breach’ (1 Chron.13:11; 15:13), and ‘break’(Ex.19:22,24), and ‘breach’ (Ps.106:29).

(e) Perets: meaning ‘a break (lit, or fig); bursting forth, a breach’. It is trans­lated ‘breach’ (Gen.38:29; Amos 9:11); ‘breaking forth’ (Job 30:14; Ps.14:4 ‘gap’ (Ezek.13:5; 22:30).

(f) Sheber: meaning ‘a fracture, figuratively a ruin; a breaking; breach; crushing’. It is translated ‘breach’ (Ps.60:2;Isa.30:26); ‘breaking’ (Isa.30:13,14); ‘broken’ (Lev.21:19) and ‘destruction’ (Prov.16:18; Isa.1:28).

(g) Tenuwah: meaning ‘alienation; by implication, enmity; opposition. The root word means ‘to hinder, restrain, frustrate, forbid, dissuade, refuse’. It is translated ‘breach of promise’ (Num.14:34), and ‘occasion’ (Job 33:10).

A perusal of these words provides the basic meaning of a division or gap. As already mentioned, some expositors use this principle under the designation of ‘the gap theory’ when interpreting various passages in the Bible.

C. Illustration

Examples in Scripture of the Breach Principle fall into two basic classifications. These have to be properly distinguished. These two classifications are

(1) Breaches of Promise, and (2) Breaches of Time.

1. Breaches of Promise

It must be kept in mind that God keeps His promises. These are two immutable things concerning God; that He is His own person and His own word. It is impossible for God to lie (Heb.6:13-20). However, there are ‘breaches of promises’ which are caused by unbelief and disobedience on the part of man. It is never the fault of God, but the fault is on the part of man. These examples show the truth of these things.

(a) Breach of Promise Concerning Entering Canaan

God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their seed (Gen.15: 13-21; 22:16-18; 28:13-15; Ps.105: 8-12; Ex.3:15-17). However, the first generation of Israel experienced God’s breach of promise for forty years in the wilderness when they rejected the land of promise through unbelief.

It was not that God broke His promise, but He did postpone the fulfilment of it for forty years until the new generation entered Canaan land (Num.14: 26-38). This ‘breach of promise’, speaks of the ‘altering of God’s purpose’, or ‘the revoking of His promise’ (Amp.,O.T) UNBELIEF was the cause of this forty year breach-period in the wilderness. The wilderness was never God’s perfect will, but He permitted it because of their unbelief and disobedience to His word (Hebrews Chapters 3-4)

(b) Breach of Promise Concerning Dominion in Canaan

God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that their seed would also have dominion in the land over the Canaanites (Gen.15: 18-21; 22:16-18; 24:60). They were to possess the gate of their enemies. This promise was confirmed to the nation through Moses (Deut.28:14; 30:1-20), and Joshua (Josh.1:1-9; 21:43-45). All was dependent upon faith and obedience to the law of the Lord.

However, the historical books of the Old Testament, from Judges onward, show Israel’s unbelief and disobedience to the word of the Lord. Servitude’s and various captivities mark their history until both Israel and Judah were cast out of the land and subjugated by their enemies.

Where was God’s promise of dominion? Israel knew God’s breach of promise time and again. The root cause was the sin of disobedience and unbelief. Time, for them, was lost as they served their enemies. The con­querors became the conquered!

(c) Breach of Promise Concerning Occupancy of Canaan

God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that their seed would inherit the land of Canaan, have dominion over their enemies, and also that their seed would possess the land for ‘an everlasting possession’ (Gen.17: 8; 48:4).

Biblical history as well as secular history has shown that Israel has only ever, ever possessed the land for several hundred years. As a nation, Israel has been absent for more time outside the land than in it. What of God’s promise of ‘everlasting possession?’

Again, the breach of promise is experienced because of Israel’s unbelief and disobedience to God’s laws for living in the land. All has to do with covenant promises of the Abrahamic Covenant. There, God promised the land for an everlasting possession. However, under the Mosaic and Palestinian Covenants. God laid out the conditions for keeping the land as an everlasting possession. Israel was to keep the sabbaths of the land every seventh year, plus the jubilee year, which was every fiftieth year (Lev.25:1-22). If they failed to do this, then the people, the cities, the sanctuaries and the land would be brought to desolation (Lev.26:14-46; 18:24-30; 20:22-26; Deut.28: 56-68). All such came to pass.

The House of Israel was carried captive to Assyria about BC 721. The House of Judah was carried into Babylonian Captivity about BC 606, and this for a period of seventy years (Jer.25: 12; 29:10; Dan.9: 2). The House of Judah was, at the conclusion of the seventy years, restored to the land unto the first coming of Messiah. However, after the rejection and crucifixion of their long promised Messiah, in A.D.70 the Romans desolated the people, the cities, the temple and the land.

Jewry has been desolate ever since. From AD 1917 onwards, a remnant has been returning to the land amidst constant turmoil, and all this according to the prophecy of the Lord Jesus (Lk.19: 41-44; 21:20-24).

Israel’s history in and out of the land has been the result of their unbelief and their disobedience; not the fault of the promise of God. Jewry has experienced God’s breach of promise! Time for them, out of the land, has been lost time!

(d) Breach of Promise Concerning the Sceptre

Israel has also experienced God’s breach of promise concerning kingship. The word to Jacob’s son, Judah, was that the sceptre would not depart until Shiloh came (Gen.49:8-12).

David was the first king of the tribe of Judah over all Israel. God confirmed the covenant of kingship to David that he would never lack a man to sit on his throne (2 Samuel 7; Psalm 89). This is spoken of as the Davidic Covenant.

From David to Zedekiah, there was an unbroken dynasty of Davidic kings reigning over Judah. But, when Zedekiah was dethroned, about 600 years before Christ, there came about a breach, a gap, in the throne of David. Jewry has never had a Davidic king reigning over it from about BC 600 until this day, almost 2600 years! What of the promises of God? What of the promise of the sceptre of Judah? When Christ was born, He was promised the throne of David (Num.24:17;Lk.1:30-33). The 600 years from Zedekiah to Christ provides another example of the breach of promise. Again, the promise of God was not at fault. It was again the unbelief and the disobedience of Israel and Judah that caused to them the breach of promise of the kingship!

2. Breaches of Time

It is important to understand the distinction between ‘breaches of promise’ and the ‘breaches of time’. The ‘breaches of promise’ are caused by man’s unbelief and disobedience; two sides of the same coin, so to speak. The ‘breaches of time’ are caused by God’s outworking of His plan and purpose as revealed to and through the prophets.

God Himself is the great I AM (Ex.3:14-15). Time past, time present and time future are one eternal present to God. God is not bound by time, but He does work in time. Time is simply a fragment of eternity in which God is working out His purposes in creation and redemption. Man is, however, a creature of time.

When God revealed His purposes to and through the prophets, they were caught up in what has been spoken of as ‘the prophetic perspective’. They would see things from the Eternal's point of view. As a result of this, they would sometimes group together certain passages of Scripture, prophetic events, and include the past, the present and the future. They saw things from God’s eternal present.

The Old Testament prophets did not always understand their own utterances concerning the coming of Christ. They searched what was meant by their prophecies. They tried to discover the time of fulfilment of the Spirit’s utterances through them when He spoke of the ‘sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow’. It was revealed to them that their prophetic words were not just for their generation but also for future generations (1 Pet.1:10-12).

The historical fulfilment of some prophecies has proved that there is ‘a time gap’, or ‘a breach of time’ involved in their fulfilment. This is especially so concerning the events pertaining to the first and second comings of Christ. It is this ‘time element’ that makes the interpretation of prophecy so difficult.

Following, we note several brief examples of prophetic ‘breaches of time’.

(a) The Pre-existence, Birth and Crucifixion of Christ

In Mic.5:1-2 we have a remarkable prophecy pertaining to Christ’s first coming. In these verses three important facts are woven together. No “time element” is mentioned. The facts run together as if they were to be fulfilled all at one and the same time. However, the historical fulfilment of such shows that there was really a “breach of time” in fulfilment.

(1) Messiah’s Pre-existence

The Ruler in Israel had His goings forth from of old, from everlasting, from the days of eternity. This is the eternal purpose of God, expressed in the covenants granted to the patriarchs, before the nation even existed (see 'Before he was Born' by A. Perry).

(2) Messiah’s birth

The Ruler would come out of Bethlehem of Judah. This is a reference to the virgin birth (Matt.2:1-6).

(3) Messiah’s Crucifixion

The ruler of Israel was to be smitten with a rod on the cheek. This was fulfilled at Christ’s crucifixion, about 34 years after His virgin birth (Matt.27:30).

These truths, these prophetic facts, cover TIME! From eternity, to Micah’s prophetic word (about BC 620), then Christ’s virgin birth at Bethlehem (BC 4), and then Messiah’s crucifixion (AD 30), about 34 years later - all is covered in TIME! In other words, ‘breach of time’ is seen in the fulfilment of this Messianic prophecy, though this could not be seen when Micah uttered the prophecy. History and time proved the prophecy!

(b) The Day of the Lord

Many times, in the Old Testament, the prophets use the expression ‘the day of the Lord’. It is used to speak of, sometimes, a local ‘day of the Lord’, judgement falling on Israel or Judah. Most of the time, it is used to refer to either the first or more especially the second coming of the Lord. A study of the details in the verses surrounding this expression will help to determine whether it speaks of the first coming or the second coming of Christ.

An example of ‘the day’ of Christ’s first and second coming is found in the prophet Malachi.

(1) Messiah’s First Coming

Mal.3:1-2 speaks of Christ’s first coming as ‘the messenger of the covenant’ which was preceded by John the Baptist’s ministry (Mk.1:2). This is spoken of as ‘the day of His coming’, when he would, ‘suddenly come to his temple’- it had a literal fulfilment in the cleansing of the temple. It also has a future fulfilment when he will suddenly come into his ‘spiritual temple’. History proved this to be Christ’s first coming.

(2) Messiah’s Second Coming

Mal.4:1 speaks of Christ’s second coming. It is spoken of as ‘the day that cometh’ and it is a day of judgement on the wicked. This is also preceded by an Elijah’s mission similar to that of the Baptist; time will prove this to be the Christ’s second coming.

As we consider these references, between Mal.3:1-2 and Mal.4:1 there is indeed a ‘breach of time’, and this is seen in the first and second comings of Christ. Once again we see a breach of time involved in the expression, ‘the day of the Lord’, in prophetic fulfilment as God allows His plan and purpose to be worked out in the earth.

(c) The First and Second Comings of Christ

One other example will be sufficient before applying the breach principle to some passages in the Book of Revelation. A comparison of Isaiah 61:1-2 with Luke 4:16-21 implies the first and second comings of Christ. This being so, we have another example of the breach principle.

(1) Messiah’s First Coming

Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth was given the scroll of Isaiah. He opened it and began to read Isa.61:1-2. However, he stopped reading at the clause, ‘the acceptable year of the Lord’, closed the book and sat down.

The Gospels show the historic fulfilment of the clauses he read, verses 1-2. The Spirit of the Lord anointed Jesus at his baptism in Jordan. His ongoing ministry showed how he preached the Gospel to the poor, healed the broken-hearted, proclaimed lib­erty to the captives, opened the prison door to those who were bound, and proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord (Read 2 Cor.6:2 and Isa.49:8 also).

(2) Messiah’s Second Coming

The next clause of the same passage speaks of ‘the day of vengeance of our God’ (Isa.61:2b). Undoubtedly the reason Jesus did not read that clause then was because, in His first com­ing, there was no vengeance in his heart. On the cross, he asked his Father to forgive his crucifiers. However, it is the second coming that ‘the day of vengeance of our God’ finds fulfilment. The student should read Isa.63:4 with 2 Thess.1:7-9 along with Rev.6:9-17. Each of these verses and passages speak of the Lord’s coming ‘with vengeance in his heart’.

Here once again, we have an implied ‘breach of time’. Though the details of the prophecy are woven together in a couple of verses in Isaiah, the details of history show there is a gap - a breach of time - in fulfilment of certain clauses. Though the prophet spoke of these two events in the same passage, history confirms that these clauses actually reach from the first coming to the second coming - a breach of time in their realisation.

D. Demonstration

The expositor must use this principle with great caution due to its limited rele­vance in interpreting scripture. It is obvious also that this principle must be used along with other principles.

The writer believes that there are several examples in the Book of Revelation where the breach principle should be applied. Each of these examples involves a ‘time period’ which has to be interpreted.

1. Christ’s Second Coming

As John received the Revelation on Patmos, Jesus told him on several occa­sions, ‘Behold, I come quickly’, and ‘the time is at hand’ (Rev.1:3; 22:10,12,20). Revelation is actually the book of Christ’s second coming. ‘Behold, He cometh’ is the theme of the book (Rev.1:7; 2:25; 3:11; 22:5,20).

There was certainly some misunderstanding among the apostles and even the believers at Thessalonica about Christ’s coming. In John 21:20-25, when Jesus talked to Peter about John, he said, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come’, the say­ing went abroad that John would not die but live to the second coming of Jesus. They did not understand that there would be some ‘time period’ before Jesus returned. He had taught this in the parables of the kingdom, but they still had not comprehended this (note the Parable of the Kingdom in Lk.19:11-27).

The early ecclesia thought He would come ‘quickly’ - that is, in their time. The believers in Thessalonica were concerned for their fellow Christians who had died; they feared they would miss out on the second coming of Jesus. Paul had to write to them to clarify and correct those views. Paul told them that certain events were to take place, in time, before Jesus came again. Before Christ came, there would be a great apostasy, and the man of sin (the antichrist) would be revealed. However, all this would take place ‘in his time’. The believers who had died in faith would not miss out on the Lord’s coming. They would be raised first, and the living believers would be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air (2 Thess.3:6-15; 2:1-12; 1 Thess.4: 13-18; 5:11). Then all would be with the Lord forever.

Almost nineteen centuries of time have passed since Jesus said, ‘I come quickly’, and ‘the time is at hand’, and Jesus has not yet returned.

This age has certainly become a breach of time between the first coming and the second coming. But it is not ‘lost time’ or wasted time, as far as God is concerned. For in this period of time, he is building his ecclesia, composed of believing Jews and Gentiles, building them together as one body in Christ (1 Cor.12:13; Eph.2:19-22).

2. The Three and One Half Year Period

We find there are certain ‘time periods’ in the Book of Revelation that need to be properly interpreted. One of the most controversial of the ‘time periods’ that are found in Revelation is the period of three and one-half years, found in Revelation chap­ters 11,12,13. This three and one-half years period is spoken of as forty two months, 1260 days, and time, times and half a time (Rev.11:2,3;12:6,14; 13:5).

In seeking to understand and interpret this time period, the Chronometric Principle and the Breach Principle, along with other hermeneutic principles need to be used.

What is this three and one-half year time period in which the beast reigns in the

world-system, persecuting the saints and seeing his name, mark and number enforced on the peoples of the world? Is there any other time period like this in

Scripture? Is there any other period like this that seems to await fulfilment? The answer is in the affirmative.

Using the Comparative Mention principle, along with the Chronometric and Breach principles, in Daniel and Revelation (twin eschatological books), we find what, the writer believes, is the answer. Let us consider these twin books and this time period that is used in both of them. Let us seek to discover if there is a ‘breach of time’ in the fulfilment of such.

(a) The Book of Daniel

In Dan.9:24-27, we have the notable and controversial ‘Seventy Sevens prophecy’.

A comparison of Daniel chpt.7, Daniel chpt.9, and Daniel chpt.12 provides us with the fol­lowing facts:

(1) Dan.7:25 speaks of the little horn who makes war with the saints for a time, times and half a time; that is, three and one-half years. This period of time is revealed to Daniel before he received the Seventy Sevens prophecy!

(2) Dan.9:24-27 shows us the overall view of the Seventy Sevens, or 490 years of time relative to Judah and the Messiah’s manifestation. In the same manner as Israel celebrated a ‘Great Jubilee’ every 49 years, even so the 490 years extend until the kingdom, for the kingdom represents the ‘Great Jubilee’. How can 490 years span a period of 2,500 years? The prophecy is meant to contain ‘breaches of time’, this is why it is segmented (7x7 + 62x7 + 1x7) and has clearly defined starting and terminal events. The prophecy could have been completely fulfilled in the first century, but because of unbelief and disobedience there exists a ‘breach of time’ between the 62 heptade and the last ‘seven’. Or twice three and one-half years. See digression 11.1 page 15.

(3) Dan.12:5-11 speaks of ‘the time of the end’, and in verses 7-9 it speaks of a time, times and half a time. Daniel heard this, but he understood it not. The word came to him that the explanation of this time period, of time, times and half a time was sealed up and closed to ‘the time of the end’.

We may ask, is there any other book in the Bible that speaks of a similar peri­od of time? Is there a time period like this, which seems to be unfulfilled? The answer is seen in the Book of Revelation.

(b) The Book of Revelation

When we come to the Book of Revelation, we discover that there are five given references to a period of time of three and one-half years.

(1) Rev.11:2 speaks of a time period of 42 months when the holy city is trodden under foot of the Gentiles.

(2) Rev.11:3 tells of the two witnesses who prophesy for a period of 1260 days. This is a period of three and one half years.

(3) Rev.12:6 speaks of a woman who is preserved in the wilderness for a period of 1260 days. Again, it is a period of three and one half years.

(4) Rev.12:14 tells us that this woman is preserved from the face of the

serpent for a time, times and half a time; or, three and one half years.

(5) Rev.13:5 mentions a similar period of time, 42 months, in which the beast makes war with the saints and overcomes them.

It is worthy of much consideration that, in Revelation Chapter 10, John is told to ‘eat the little open book’, and then prophesy to many people. This is a little open book, not a sealed book, as in Daniel 12. The moment John eats the little book, and begins to prophesy , he immediately takes up the language of Daniel from Daniel Chapter 7. He speaks of the beast that makes war with the saints, and John also speaks of the same time period.


‘But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us –ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance’. (2 Pet. 3:8,9)

Before we examine the implications of the breach principle and Daniel’s image, we will describe briefly the orthodox interpretation of Daniel’s image. Daniel’s image in chapter 2 (and the beasts of chapter 7) are successive empires. Commencing with the Babylonian and following through the Medo–Persian and Greek Seleucie empires we arrive at the iron of Rome, which in turn disintegrates into a weak confederation of iron and clay (feet and ten toes).

The orthodox protestant interpretation records how the once united Roman Empire became divided into ten parts by the barbarians who penetrated its borders and settled within its dominions. Brother Thomas lists the ten as follows; the Huns, Vandals, Visgoths, Burgundians, Gepidae, Lombards, Franks, Suevi, Alans and Barbarians. These ten eventually constituted the ‘Holy Roman Empire’, which in modern times finds its counterpart in the Roman Catholic Church and the European union, established under the, ‘treaty of Rome’. Christ will destroy these at his return.

Although this interpretation seems plausible, closer examination reveals elements that are deeply unsatisfactory. All Bible students would agree with the analysis up to the Roman Empire, but it is here that interpretations diverge, for orthodoxy fails to answer some important questions.

The successive empires all have one common denominator, they all possessed the land of Israel among their dominions and are only of importance in relationship to the divine purpose with the Jews. There were many other empires extant in other parts of the world, and concurrent with those of the image, yet they are not mentioned, as they are irrelevant to God’s purpose with the Jews. Rome is only of import in that, after the invasion of Pompeii, Judea became a client state in B.C.63. Rome never possessed Babylon within its empire, nor used it as a capitol (unlike the other powers), the inclusion of Rome is not due to her ‘world dominance’, but to her possession of Judea. After the ejection of the Jews from the land, Rome ceased to play a role. The way this problem is circumvented by orthodoxy is to emphasise how Rome who, now unable to dominate Judea with her military machine, morphs into a spiritual and political entity that corrupts and persecutes the Christians (God’s new people) throughout the long centuries.

This is a largely artificial interpretation, for scripture teaches that the ecclesias were already corrupt towards the close of the first century (c.a. A.D.65., see Rev.2:18-29). Individuals within these ecclesias were exhorted to endure, but as a whole they were corrupt, the notable exception being Philladelphia. The situation that had developed, commenced some years earlier (A.D.45-55?) under the abuses of the ‘man of lawlessness’ (2Thess.2: 3-13, 2 Cor.11: 1-20). God thought it fit to remove both the Jews from the land and the spirit gifts from the ecclesias in A.D. 66-73.

The first question that must be answered is as follows;

If neither the Jews, nor the truth existed in an ecclesiastical form for nearly 2,000 years, just whom has the Roman Church been persecuting?

The epistles make it apparent that the apostles and the first century believers expected the advent within their own lifetime. (Acts.1:6; 1 Thess.4:15)

The second and third questions that must be answered are:

How could the apostles be so mistaken?

What implications does this have for Daniel’s image?

Another facet, often overlooked because of the obsessive focus on Rome, is that the whole image (not just Rome) is standing when smitten by the stone. Revelation presents us with a composite beast. The fourth question to be answered is then;

If the stone smites the feet of the image, ‘in the days of these (10) kings’ (Dan.2:44) how can the image be represented as standing fully complete?

The Babylonian empire lasted from Nebuchadnezzar until the Persian defeat (605-539 B.C.) under Cyrus. The country remained under Persian rule from 539-332 B.C.; then it was under Alexander the Great until 323 B.C. The Greek Seleucidae ruled Babylon from 312-171 B.C; they were succeeded by the Parthians (Arsacid dynasty), from 171 B.C. to A.D. 226. Judea itself was caught between the Egyptian Greek empire (Ptolomies) and the Syrian Greek empire (Seleucidae), these are the two mountains of brass of Zech 6:1. Eventually Judea was annexed to Syria, and remained under Antiochus Epiphanes and his dynasty from 200-63 B.C. The period under Antiochus led to persecution and the Maccabee revolt. After B.C. 63 it was under Roman domination until A.D. 73 (first Jewish revolt) with a further flare up under Bar–Kochba (second Jewish revolt 132-135 ½ A.D.) after which Judea ceased to exist as the Jewish homeland for nearly 2,000 years. We arrive then at the following conclusion; the Babylonian head existed 66 years, the Medo-Persian breast and arms 207 years, the Greek belly and thighs either 141 (Greek control of Babylon) or 269 years (Greek control of Babylon and Israel) and the Roman legs 1,937 years and still growing? The last question is then;

Why are the legs totally disproportionate (about six times longer) with the rest of the body?

To ask these questions is to expose the inadequacies of the orthodox interpretation. The present author will offer an alternative interpretation that answers all the above anomalies. In order to do this, we have to understand the political and historical background to the first century.

Since the defeat of the Syrian governor Crassus, who in 53 B.C. attempted to conquer Parthia, the Romans retained an irrational fear of the Parthians. Rome and Parthia agreed mutual spheres of influence in A.D. 1 on an island in the Euphrates. The Euphrates continued to be the frontier between Rome and Parthia from the battle of Mount Gindarus (the defeat of Antony in 36 B.C.) until the invasion of Parthia by Trajan in 115 A.D. Trajan installed a client king in Cestiphon (near Babylon) but Cestiphon was lost again in 117A.D. On Trajan’s death Hadrian gave up the newly annexed eastern territories. In 132-135½ A.D. Hadrian sparked the second Jewish

revolt by founding a colonia in Jerusalem. This revolt was led by Bar-Kochba and supported by Parthian Jews (one million Jews lived in Babylonia). The irrational Roman fear of the Parthians was not shared by the Palestinian Jews, who during the Jewish war (66-73 A.D.) had rather hoped that the Parthian king, Vologaeses I, would come to their aid against the Romans (Jos.J.W. 2.389), but this hope did not materialise. Having examined the background, let us now turn to the questions.

The answer to all the questions is that the whole of Daniel’s image should have been standing in the first century. This very nearly happened. It took the might of four Roman legions, doubled in number by the contingents supplied by loyal allies to crush the Jewish revolt. (Jos. J.W. 3.4.2 and 5.1.6) Even this disproportionate force would probably not have been successful if the Jews had been united in their resistance. Imagine if the Jewish revolt had been successful (i.e., if God had allowed it to succeed). It is entirely plausible that the following situation would have existed at the close of the first century:

(1) The initially successful Jewish revolt triggers an opportunistic regional revolt against Rome. The newly independent nations make treaties with each other and a re-alignment of power occurs between former Roman provinces (iron –Judea, Syria etc.) and Parthian provinces. (Clay- Armenia etc.)

(2) Jerusalem (the Harlot) controls ‘ten kings’ temporarily, “but they shall not cleave one to another” (Dan.2:43) and they shall, “burn her utterly with fire” (Rev.17:16). [It is possibly at this stage that the temple would have been destroyed instead of at A.D. 70, thus fulfilling Christ’s prophecy.]

(3) These ‘ten kings’ give their power to the ‘beast’, who is none other than the Parthian empire. She comes from the Euphrates (Rev.9:14; 16:12) and has all the characteristics of Daniel’s image, for, she is, ‘like a leopard (Greek Seleucid), and his feet were as the feet of a bear (Medo-Persia), and his mouth as the mouth of a lion (Babylonian)’. (Rev 13:2)

We have then the ancient empire of Babylon restored, this was the head that was wounded to death (Rev 13:3 cp. Isa.46: 1,2; 47:1-3; Jer.50: 26; 51:37)

An indication that the above scenario is not implausible is found in the example of the Bar-Kochba revolt, which was supported by the Parthian Jews. Bar-Kochba was a false Jewish Messiah, who persecuted the Christians and therefore typified ‘the man of sin’; his revolt lasted 3½ years!

The failure of the orthodox interpretation is the inability to grasp the ‘breach principle’, as detailed earlier. The constructed scenario outlined above explains why first century believers expected the second advent during their lifetime. The apostles and particularly Paul had already received ‘revelations’ concerning the Lord’s return,

well in advance of the book of Revelation. (1 Cor.12:1-5) Revelation was a last appeal to the ecclesias, the kingdom could (should?) have been established in the first century, but;

‘To whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?’ So we see that they could not enter because of unbelief. (Heb 3:18,19) ‘As I have sworn in my wrath, they should not enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.’ (Heb 4:3 R.V.) This leaves a large portion of Revelation unfulfilled because of the unbelief of our first century brethren. God moves in mysterious ways, the unbelief of the Jews allowed salvation to be extended to the Gentiles, and the unbelief of (some) of our first century brethren allowed salvation to be extended to us. Even unbelief cannot deter the ultimate fulfilment of God’s purpose; it can however prevent us from entering into his rest.

Lastly, we should not be surprised that Revelation continues from the trumpets, the seals being fulfilled from A.D. 31-73. The ‘breach of promise’ occurs between the seals and trumpets. They could only be fulfilled once the nation was back in the land (the present situation), and will culminate in the erection of Daniel's ‘image’ (Rev. chpt.13 see especially the image of the beast in 13:15), which is symbolic for the ‘kingdom of men’ a parody of the eschaton, and encompassing the same geographical region. (Egypt to Assyria; Isa.19:22-25)

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