Revelation Chapter 8
The Seventh Seal
VERSE 1 continued “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”
We continue with the explanation of this verse as explained in the Southern Wisconsin notes.
If what was shown in our previous post is correct, we would still need to explain why this is “about” a half an hour and not just a half an hour. If we look up the word “about” Strong’s # 5613, we find, it can mean “as”. If it’s used with numbers, as the other examples given in Vines definition shows, it does mean “about”.
ABOUT. hos ^5613^ usually means "as." Used with numerals it signifies "about," e. g., <Mark 5:13; 8:9; John 1:40; 6:19; 11:18; Acts 1:15; Rev. 8:1>. (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words) (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
The problem with the common translation of Rev 8:1, is that there is no actual number given there, which would trigger the use of the word about.
Why is it translated that way then?
It’s assumed that there is the number one there because of the term “hour”. Because there is no actual number and so it may be more correct to translate this without about and with some equivalent of the word “as”. Since we are not Greek scholars we don’t know for sure if that is correct. Most translations go with the word “about”, but that may be because they assume that was the intent of the Greek writer.
Even if the word “about” is correct, and we are still looking at the two 1845-year parallels, it would be true that the parallels would not stop at the 1887 A.D. date, but would go to at least 1914 A.D., which could be the reason for the term “about”.
The living bible actually gives this a different thought; although we admit that it is highly interpretive.
“When the Lamb had broken the seventh seal, there was silence throughout all heaven for what seemed like half an hour.” (Rev 8:1 TLB)
We leave the above discussion as food for further thought, since as we can see it’s not a certain interpretation.
As far as the thought that this seal contains judgment, we see no problem with that and will continue our discussion of it with that definition. The first suggestion regarding the seven-year period may still prove to be correct. (As was suggested in Part 153 of this study).
The Silence in Heaven
One other possibility regarding a time span would be if we counted an hour as 60 minutes. One half that would be 30, and then this could be the time span from 1844 A.D.-1874 A.D. After Miller’s predictions about the second coming proved to be premature, there was not much done by the Adventists until 30 years later, at the time of Pastor Russell and the sudden realization that the Lord had returned in 1874 A.D. So, in that sense (for nearly 30 years) the heavens (the spiritual heavens, as represented by the Lord’s consecrated people this side of the vail, seated together in communion with Christ in a heavenly or spiritual condition, Eph. 1:3; 2:6) were silent until the time of that realization.
We see that there are a couple of possibilities regarding the silence in heaven. In the next section we are going to let the scriptures define what silence represents!
“You caused judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared and was still.” (Psa 76:8 NAU)
“Sit silently, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans, for you will no longer be called the queen of kingdoms.” (Isa 47:5 NAU)
"Coastlands, listen to me in silence, and let the peoples gain new strength; let them come forward, then let them speak; let us come together for judgment.” (Isa 41:1 NAU)
“But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him." (Hab 2:20 NAU)
“Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near, for the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests.” (Zeph 1:7 NAU)
"Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for He is aroused from His holy habitation." (Zech 2:13 NAU)
Also see Rom 3:19 “So the judgment of God lies very heavily upon the Jews, for they are responsible to keep God's laws instead of doing all these evil things; not one of them has any excuse; in fact, all the world stands hushed and guilty before Almighty God.” (TLB)
We will continue with this thought in our next post.
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