Focus On Jerusalem


The Tribulation

By Dr. Randall Price



Focus on Jerusalem, in its continuing endeavor to make available interesting and doctrinally sound articles associated with Bible Prophecy offers yet another commendable in-depth article by Word of the Bible Ministries leader and Biblical and archaeological scholar Dr. Randall Price. It deals with the Biblical topic of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, otherwise known to Christians as the Great Tribulation era. FOJ hopes that this presentation will inspire your further interest in the wonderful study of the amazing prophetic world of the Holy Bible, Israel’s providential plan in God’s plan for the world, and assist you in yearning for the glorious appearing and the majesty of our Coming Lord. (1-23-2007)


The Tribulation


   The eschatological period of divine judgment preceding the time of national Jewish redemption and the establishment of God's kingdom on earth is known as the Tribulation period. The curse provisions in Israel’s covenantal relationship with God in the Land of Israel contained this concept when predicting Israel’s “latter days” and a warning of the time of eschatological trouble and were a theme of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse and of the apostles in the early Church. The primary source for the Tribulation doctrine developed from antecedent Old Testament usage. This is evident from the citations and allusions from the Old Testament in the principal New Testament eschatological texts of the Olivet Discourse and the Book of Revelation. For this reason an understanding of the unprecedented judgments accompanying the predicted “Day of the Lord” in the Old Testament is essential to a proper interpretation of the New Testament teaching concerning the Tribulation.


The Tribulation in the Old Testament


   The concept of the Tribulation in the Old Testament is developed through covenantal judgment texts that focus on Israel’s “last days” such as Deuteronomy 4:30-31, Isaiah 26:9-21, and Jeremiah 30:4-24, Daniel 12:1-2; “Day of the Lord” texts, and the use of synonymous terms describing divine retribution. With respect to the latter the following terms represent Old Testament Tribulation terminology: Yom YHWH ("day of the Lord") Obadiah 15; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18, 20; Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Zephaniah 1:7, 14; Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3; Zechariah 14:1; cf. Yom YHWH hagadol vehanora' ("great and terrible day of the Lord") Malachi 4:5; Sar /sarah ("trouble, tribulation") Deuteronomy 4:30; Zephaniah 1:16;'Et/yom sarah ("time/day of trouble") Daniel 12:1; Zephaniah 1:15;'Et sarah hi' leya'acov ("day of Jacob's trouble") Jeremiah 30:7;Chil ("birth pangs") Isaiah 21:3; 26:17-18; 66:7; Jeremiah 4:31; Micah 4:10 (cf. Jeremiah 30:6);Yom 'edom ("the day of calamity") Deuteronomy 32:35; Obadiah 12-14; Zaram ("indignation") Isaiah 26:20; Daniel 11:36; Ma'asehu zar ("the [Lord's] strange work") Isaiah 28:21; Shot shotef ("overflowing scourge") Isaiah 28:15, 18; Yom naqam ("day of vengeance" (Isaiah 34:8a; 35:4a; 61:2b; 63:4a);Yom 'evrah ("day of wrath"); Zephaniah 1:15; Yom 'evrat YHWH ("day of the Lord's wrath") Zephaniah 1:18;Yom mesuqah" ("day of distress") Zephaniah 1:15;Yom sho'ah ("day of destruction"), Zephaniah 1:15; Yom mesho'ah ("day of desolation") Zephaniah 1:15;Yom hoshek u'apelah ("day of darkness and gloom") Zephaniah 1:15; Amos 5:18, 20; Joel 2:2; Yom 'anan u'arapel ("day of clouds and thick darkness") Zephaniah 1:15; Joel 2:2; Yom shofar uteru'ah ("day of trumpet and alarm") Zephaniah 1:16; Yom 'af YHWH ("day of the Lord's anger") Zephaniah 2:2, 3; [Yom] sod mishaddai ("[day of] destruction, ruin, from the Almighty" (Joel 1:15); 'Esh qina'to ("the fire of His jealousy"), Zephaniah 1:18.


   Lesser expressions also are used to describe this period as a time when God "arises to shake violently the earth" (Isaiah 2:19), to "make the earth utterly emptied and ruined" (Isaiah 24:1, 3, 6), to "break down" and "dissolve" the earth (Isaiah 24:19), or to "punish the kings" and "the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity" (Isaiah 24:21; 26:21).


    These terms for tribulation are not necessarily in themselves eschatological expressions of tribulation. This is usually conveyed in the context by temporal phrases that may denote both an indefinite and definite sense of futurity. In some cases, such as "the Day of the Lord," the idiomatic nature of prophetic speech allows for an immediate application (e.g. Assyrian or Babylonian destructions) or a more remote or ultimate application to a future event (Tribulation and Millennium). Another chronological expression of future time during which the Tribulation is predicted is indicated by the Hebrew phrase be'aharit hayyamim (“the latter days”). The eschatological connotation of this formula is especially prominent in the biblical Prophets (e.g., Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 23:20; 34:20; 48:47; 49:39; Ezekiel 38:16; Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1) and Daniel (2:28; 8:19, 23; 10:14; cf. 12:8), although it is by no means limited to them, and is found as early as the Pentateuch (e.g. Gen. 49:1; Num. 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:29-31).


   When we examine the usage of the compound expression "latter days" in the Old Testament, we find that it is used in the general sense of "days to come" (cf. Gen. 49:1; Num. 24:14; Deuteronomy 31:29), but more often has the more definite sense of a time in the future. This latter sense encompasses both near (historical) and far (eschatological) points of reference; some being of an immediate future, and others spanning a comprehensive period from the author's vantage point until the Messianic age.


   By contrast, the Hebrew expression 'et qetz ("end-time") is distinct from the term "latter days." While both are eschatological expressions, only 'et qetz refers exclusively to the final eschatological period or event. In three texts (Amos 8:2; Lam. 4:18; Ezekiel 7:2, 3, 6), qetz is employed in the context of the "Day of the Lord," with clearly eschatological intent. In Daniel 8:19; 9:26; 11:27, 45; 12:6, 13 it has eschatological significance or refers to the end of the age. The combined construction 'et qetz, which appears uniquely in Daniel, and then in only the latter half of the book, is strictly eschatological (cf. Daniel 8:17; 11:35, 40; 12:4, 9). Here it appears 11 times as a chronological marker of a specific eschatological period (cf. Daniel 9:21, 25; 11:6, 13, 14,24; 12:11). In Daniel 12:1-2, especially, it assumes the character of an apocalyptic terminus technicus denoting the final period that culminates the divine program, including all the events of that time.


   The nature of the Tribulation is revealed by the characteristic terms we have seen as descriptive of this period. A brief catalog of such expressions gives a clear picture of the severity of this period: "wrath" (Zephaniah 1:15, 18), "indignation" (Isaiah 26:20-21; 34:1-3), "trouble, distress" (Jeremiah 30:7; Zephaniah 1:14-15; Daniel 12:1), "destruction" (Joel 1:15), "darkness" (Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18; Zephaniah 1:14-18), "desolation" (Daniel 9:27; Zephaniah 1:14-15), "fire, burning" (Zephaniah 1:18; Isaiah 24:6), "punishment" (Isaiah 24:21), "overflowing scourge" (Isaiah 28:15, 18), and "vengeance" (Isaiah 34:8; 35:4; 61:2). The accumulation of such terms dealing with divine judgment is exceptional, and it was this characteristic above all that served to highlight and heighten these references and project them onto the eschatological stage. The exceptional nature of the Tribulation is earmarked by such phrases as: "that day is great, there is none like it" (Jeremiah 30:7), or "such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time" (Daniel 12:1). These expressions emphasize the uniqueness of this specific judgment, while the accompanying contextual descriptions of the effects such judgments have on both God and Israel, affirm that this is a time unparalleled in Israel's previous history. Understanding the eschatological nature revealed by these Old Testament expressions of final judgment, Jesus likewise qualified the Tribulation of the end-time with a language patterned after Daniel 12:1: "such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created, until now, and never shall" (cf. Matthew 24:21; Mark 13:19).


   The nature of the Tribulation is also conveyed in related contexts by the use of a figure of intense suffering and expectation. Specifically, the experience of end-time judgment in the Tribulation is depicted by the travail of childbirth, Hebrew: kayyoledah, "as a woman giving birth" (Jeremiah 30:5-6). The eschatological "Day of the Lord" is often associated with the expression of birth pangs as well (cf. Isaiah 13:8; 25:17-18; 66:7-8; Jeremiah 22:23; 48:41; Hosea 13:13; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Micah 4:9-10; 5:1[2]). The New Testament also makes this association (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). The Hebrew expression for these pains is derived from the root chil, which has the basic meaning of "being in labor," with the resultant idea of "fear" and "trembling." From the use of this expression in the Olivet Discourse, it can be seen that the first half of the Tribulation is characterized by judicial "beginning birth pangs" (Matthew 24:8), while in the second half judgment comes to full term, hence the designation "Great Tribulation" (Matthew 24:21). Just as the woman must endure the entire period of labor before giving birth, so Israel must endure the entire seven-year period of Tribulation. The divisions of this period of Tribulation are also illustrated by the figure, for just as the natural process intensifies toward the expectation of delivery after the labor ends, so here the Tribulation moves progressively toward the Second Advent (vss. 30-31), which takes place "immediately after" the Tribulation ends (vs. 29).


·         An explicit Old Testament passage for the Tribulation is Jeremiah 30:7. The reference to "Jacob" is to Israel as a national entity, and therefore the time of distress refers to a period of national trouble unlike any other. To what time of trouble was Jeremiah referring? As to the time of this trouble, some have argued that the use of the Hebrew time marker 'et (and its translation by the LXX as chronos), indicates a reference to a specific future time in contrast to a distant future. Interpreted literally, none of these elements could be fulfilled in these terms except in the future eschatological context (the days concluding and following the Tribulation period, cf. Matthew 24:29ff/ Mark 13:24ff).


The premiere Tribulation text, cited by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14), and alluded to by Paul in his Day of the Lord Discourse (2 Thessalonians 2:4), is Daniel's prophecy of the seventieth week (Daniel 9:27). Detailing the events of the seven-year period of Tribulation, this passage uniquely set off the beginning, mid-point, and ending of the Tribulation. The beginning (vs. 27a) is designated as the time Israel enters into a covenant with the figure known as "the prince" (Hebrew nagid, "leader") that was predicted to come, and whose "people" (i.e., Gentiles [Romans]) destroyed the [Second] Temple (verse 26). Daniel's prophecy depicts the Tribulation period views the entire seventieth week as a time of wrath (cf. Daniel 12:7). The exilic condition he suffers is understood as a punishment for transgression, sin, and iniquity (Daniel 9:24b-c), and this condition will continue as a decree of divine wrath against Israel until the end when everlasting righteousness and the messianic consecration of the Temple can take place (vs. 24d-f). The resolution of Daniel's concerns for his city and people (Daniel 9:2, 24a) will not be realized until after the Seventieth Week has concluded and its events of deception and desecration have passed (Daniel 9:27; 12:1). Furthermore, Daniel understood that the desolation, which will occur from the middle of the Seventieth Week, is connected with the covenant that also commenced this period.


   The covenant with Antichrist (Daniel 9:27a; Revelation 11:1), and the cessation of the sacrificial program as a result of the Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 9:27b; Revelation 11:2) are signal events of the Tribulation (marking its beginning and midpoint). Therefore our Lord chose this text to warn a future Jewish generation that from the beginning of the birth pangs they were already in the eschatological Tribulation (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4). The Seventy Weeks prophecy also evidences that Tribulation terms deal exclusively with a national Jewish context. The phrase "your people," i.e., Daniel's Nation (vs. 24), emphasizes this exclusivity. The context demonstrates this, describing the judgment as both the apex of punishment for national Israel, and the judgment of Israel's Gentile oppressors. Tribulation contexts also contain the elements of judgment, repentance, and blessing always in relation to the Land of Israel (cf. Revelation 11:18 with Daniel 9:27). Thus the application of Tribulation terms is limited to a period of national Jewish residency in the land, and to the people that represent that resident population. When we examine the common elements of Old Testament references to the Tribulation, in every case the expected fulfillment is at a time corresponding to the end-time. The scope of the judgment is in most cases unparalleled and required salvation (physical deliverance) as a sign of the severity of the event. Each context involves idolatry in some form, whether generally as false prophets, or specifically as the Antichrist and the Abomination of Desolation, and each has in the context a reference to either the Temple or a promise of theocratic restoration.


The Tribulation in the New Testament


   The Greek term commonly employed in the New Testament as a technical expression for the Tribulation period is thlipsis ("wrath," tribulation"). This may be observed in Luke's substitution of the phrase anagke megale ("great distress"), Luke 21:23 for Matthew's thlipsis megale ("great tribulation"), Matthew 24:21, to distinguish the "days of vengeance" (the Roman destruction in AD 70) from the eschatological Tribulation. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, used thlipsis to render the Hebrew term sar/sarah ("trouble, tribulation, distress"). This Hebrew term was especially used in contexts in which curses based on violations of the Mosaic covenant were threatened or pronounced and appears in principal the Old Testament texts alluded to by the New Testament (e.g., Deuteronomy 4:30; Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1). As in the Old Testament, the New Testament also employs a number of synonymous terms to describe the period of eschatological judgment poured out on both the creature and the cosmos prior to and climaxed by the Second Advent of Christ (the Revelation of Christ).


   The following terms, which borrow from prior Old Testament usage, represent a New Testament Tribulation terminology: thlipsis megale the Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 2:22; 7:14), thlipsis “the Tribulation” (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24), [chronou] thlipsis “[time of] tribulation” (Mark 13:19), hemera tou kuriou “the Day of the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 5:2), he hemera “the Day” (1 Thessalonians 5:4), hemeron “those days” (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20), orge tou theou “the wrath of God” (Revelation 15:1, 7; 14:10, 19; 16:1), orge tou arniou “the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:17), ho orge “the wrath” (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 11:18), ho orge ercomenos “the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10), ho hemera megale tou orge sou “the great day of their wrath” (Revelation 6:17), “the hour of trial” (Revelation 3:10), “the hour of judgment” (Revelation 14:7),), “birth pangs” (Matthew 24:8).


   The concept of the Tribulation is introduced in the Gospels in Jesus’ eschatological instructions concerning the time of judgment preceding His triumphal return “to restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6; 3:19-21) presented in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). His statements take the form of a warning and center upon the signal event of the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel (Daniel 9:27; 11 & 12) which would result in greater persecution of Israel in the Land unlike any in its previous history (Matthew 24:16; Mark 13:15). The unparalleled nature of this time of tribulation is what characterizes it at this point as “Great Tribulation.” This period of time will also be marked by unparalleled deception (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) through the works of “the second beast,” the false prophet (Revelation 13:11-15), whose “great signs” (Revelation 13:13) seek to convince Jews that their Messiah has arrived and seek to persuade the world to worship “the first beast” who usurps the place of God in the Temple (2 Thessalonians 2:4) and demands spiritual and political allegiance (Revelation 13:15-). This accords with the prediction of false messiahs who make their appearance during the first half of the seventieth week (see Matthew 24:5, 11; Mark 13:5-6).


Jewish View of the Tribulation


   The Jewish apocalyptic literature presents an eschatological setting for the Tribulation period. The Book of 1 Enoch describes an end-time assault by Gentile forces against God’s elect in which demonic spirits, or fallen angels, incite the nations to war against Israel (56:5-8). God gives Israel the power to defend herself against her enemies (90:13-15); however, an increase in violence and wickedness must be endured (91:5-7) before the reign of righteousness can begin in the eighth week (91:12-13). Great confusion will also come upon the Gentiles before the final judgment, and they will slaughter one another (100:4). The final eschatological conflict will be between God (Michael, and the angels) and Beliar (and his demons), which extends to the earthly realm in the war between the righteous (Israel) and the unrighteous (Gentiles). The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs also picture the general condition of these times as one of unbelief and wickedness (T. Levi 4:1), and especially of the defilement of the priesthood (T. Levi 17:7-11). The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch begins by answering the question: "Will that tribulation which is to be continue a long time, and will that necessity embrace many years?" After a long discourse detailing twelve divisions that comprise this tribulation period, it adds: "… when all is accomplished that was to come to pass … Messiah shall then begin to be revealed" (26-29; cf. 1 Enoch 101:12-17).


   The rabbis, though rejecting the non-biblical literature as uninspired, nevertheless had developed their own views from the same source (the Old Testament). Rashi, the leading Jewish biblical commentator, apparently speaks of an end-time fulfillment for the Tribulation in his commentary on Deuteronomy 4:28-30. Following the Targum's explanation, he places the "tribulation" after the period of Gentile domination has ended. While the reading of the Massoretic Text has as a consequence of Israelite exile the punishment of serving idols, Targum Onkelos renders this as "you shall serve peoples who serve idols," thus, following the Targum, Rashi understands that the deliverance from this "tribulation" (vs. 30), will be the end of Gentile domination and the restoration of covenantal blessings (vs. 31), resulting from Israelite repentance (vs. 29).


   In like manner, rabbinic commentators interpreted the "time of trouble" (Daniel 12:1) as a future eschatological time equivalent with the period known as the e chavalim ("birth-pangs"), or chevlo shel mashiach ("birth-pangs of the Messiah"). This term expresses the idea that Israel, like a mother, was to bring forth the Messiah through the labor pains of childbirth. As such, they would begin at a determined point and increase in intensity until the time of delivery. In Isaiah 66:7-9 the figure of birth pangs are applied to Israel at its national rebirth (vs. 8). This may have served as the principal Old Testament reference for the rabbis in their conception of the Messianic birth pangs. The term as a technical expression is first seen in rabbinic literature in the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 98b and Mekilta on Exodus 16:25), where it is attributed to Eliezer, who may be the son of Hyrcanus (c. A.D. 90). At any rate, the Jewish concept of the "messianic woes" was already in place by the first-century, as revealed by the Greek term odinon ("birth-pangs") used in the Gospels (Matthew 24:8; Mark 13:8). In a manner similar to the Olivet Discourse, the Mishnah identifies ten signs that are to accompany messianic birth pangs. These are enumerated in Sanhedrin 97b as: (1) the world is either all righteous or all guilty, (2) truth is in short supply, (3) inflation will soar, (4) Israel will have begun to be repopulated according to Ezekiel 36:8-12, (5) wise people will be scarce, (6) the Jews will have despaired of Redemption, (7) the young will be contemptuous of the old, (8) scholarship will be rejected, (9) piety will be in disgust, and (10) a growing number of Jews will turn on their own people. Similar statements are given in Sotah 9:15 concerning the days of messianic advent, called here "the footprints of the Messiah."


  Typical of those making this interpretation of the birth pangs were the medieval sages Rashi and R' Sh'muel Masnuth. In his commentary on Daniel (c. 1230 AD) R' Masnuth states, "this generation will see the pangs of the Messiah, the tribulations of the generation described in tractate Sanhedrin 97b." Rashi, in his commentary on Daniel (c. 1100 AD), interpolated the signs of religious enmity and civil lawlessness among Jews in "the generation of the Messiah" (from Kethubot 112b) to "the sons of your people" in this verse. So frightening was the prospect of encountering this time of tribulation preceding the messianic arrival that some of the sages hoped that it would not come in their lifetimes. Among such sages was Rabbi Yochanan who exclaimed: "Let the Messiah come, but may I not see it!" (Sanhedrin 98b).


Christian Views of the Tribulation


   The time of tribulation on earth spoken of in the New Testament is variously interpreted as being fulfilled at one of several different periods. The school of Realized Eschatology, begun by C.H. Dodd, holds that Jesus "suffered and died in the great tribulation." They interpret every reference to tribulation as occurring during the lifetime, and particularly in the Passion, of Jesus. According to this interpretation, just as the eschatological expectation of tribulation was fulfilled in Christ's sufferings, so that of eschatological salvation (the general resurrection) was inaugurated with Christ's resurrection.

    The Reformed school (Amillennialists and Postmillennialists) interprets the Tribulation to take place just before the close of this age, which they hold is the millennium. Their Tribulation is the period during which Satan is released to go out and deceive the nations (Revelation 20:7-9). This text is taken as synonymous in time with the Tribulation predicted in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:14, 21) and the apostasy spoken of as occurring in "the latter times" (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

   The Symbolical school interprets the Tribulation allegorically, so that the Tribulation and Millennium (including the new heaven and earth) are symbolic of Christian "death" and "resurrection" through baptism. Historicists hold that the Tribulation occurred in the experience of the Church in the past, usually at some point during the history of Roman persecutions. Those of Nero, Caligula, or Domition are usually the chief contenders, however there may, as many events located as there are historicists to posit them. The  

    Preterist School interprets the fulfillment of Daniel's seventy weeks by AD 70 with the events of the seventieth week taking place in the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Romans. More extreme preterists hold that the Second Advent also occurred at this time, being symbolized in the Romans "coming in judgment" on the Jews.


    While premillennialists agree on the Tribulation being future, they disagree on the duration of the Tribulation and the identity of the future "saints" who will be present during the Tribulation and for what part. The duration of the Tribulation is variously accepted to be three-and-one-half years, three-and-one-half plus years, or seven years. These differences in part relate to the different degrees of intensity experienced during this period. If one only considers the more severe outpourings of God's wrath during the trumpet and bowl judgments, the Tribulation only encompasses this time (midtribulationalists, pre-wrath advocates). However, if one considers the first six seal judgments at the beginning of Daniel's seventieth week as displays of divine wrath, the Tribulation covers this entire period (pretribulationalists). Although posttribulationalists would generally hold that the Tribulation is seven years in duration, they are not as concerned with its extent because they hold that believers are protected from God's wrath whenever it is outpoured. These differences derive from whether a group accepts or rejects dispensationalism.


   Pretribulationalists, who alone maintain a dispensational commitment, see those directly addressed in the Olivet Discourse to be exclusively Israel, rather than inclusive of the Church. The Church (composed of Jews and Gentiles) is to be removed before the seventieth week commences with the signing of the covenant with Antichrist (Daniel 9:27). Therefore the "Tribulation saints" are Jews who are restored to Messiah and Gentile proselytes to this form of Messianic Judaism. Thus, the distinguishable difference between believers in the present age and during the Tribulation is the restoration of Israel as the focus of God's election. As non-dispensationalists, midtribulationalists, pre-wrath advocates, and posttribulationalists see the Church within the Tribulation.

    Midtribulationalists see the Church surviving the first half of the seventieth week to be removed before the Great Tribulation commences. Pre-wrath advocates also see the Church in the first half of this period, but they do not interpret it as the seventieth week. This they believe begins only after the Temple is desecrated and the wrath of God begins to come upon earth. Thus, they take the Church past the mid-point point into the second half of the seven years, to be removed just prior to the descent of God's wrath. Posttribulationalists continue the Church until the end of the seventieth week, with the Church's removal connected to the timing of the Second Advent.


The Purposes of the Tribulation


The Bible presents at least five purposes for the Tribulation.


·         First, the Tribulation will complete the decreed period of national Israel's judicial hardening as punishment for her rejection of the messianic program, which the partial return from exile did not remove, and which culminated in the national rejection of Jesus (Isaiah 6:9-13; 24:1-6; cf. Jn. 12:37-41; Rom. 11:7-10).


·         Second, it will produce a messianic revival among Jewish people scattered throughout the world (Deuteronomy 4:27-30; cf. Revelation 7:1-4; Matthew 24:14).


·         Third, the Tribulation will convince the Jewish Nation of their need for the Messiah in order to produce a national regeneration (Daniel 12:5-7; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 20:34-38; 36:25-27; 37:1-14; Zechariah 12:9-13:2; Isaiah 59:20-21). This will result in a massive return of Jews to the Land of Israel (Zechariah 8:7-8; Ezekiel 36:24; 37:21).


·         Fourth, it will end the time of Gentiles and affect the deliverance of the Jewish People from Gentile dominion (Isaiah 24:21-23; 59:16-20; cf. Matthew 24:29-31/Mark 13:24-27; Rom. 11:25).


·         Fifth, the Tribulation will purge the earth of wicked people in order to establish the Messianic Kingdom in righteousness (Isaiah 13:9; 24:19-20; Ezekiel 37:23; Zechariah 13:2; 14:9; Isaiah 11:9). This violent reduction of the world's unbelieving population will result from the divine judgments unleashed throughout the Tribulation (Revelation 6-18), climaxing with the battles of Armageddon (Revelation 19), as a preparation for the righteous reign of Jesus as King Messiah over a world cleansed of rebellion against God’s sovereign rule (Zechariah 14:9-22; Psalm 2:).











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