200 MILLION-man army? NO, it's twenty thousand

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3Resurrections
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200 MILLION-man army? NO, it's twenty thousand

Post by 3Resurrections » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:49 am

Who hasn't heard of the formidable army of 200 MILLION that is supposed to be gathered together in Revelation 9:16? The assumption is taught that this incredible number must either be that of demonic forces, or possibly composed of Asian countries that could manage putting an army this large into battle.

It happens that this number of 200 MILLION has been greatly exaggerated, based on a misunderstanding of this verse as originally written. MOST of the scripture translations butcher the language when interpreting the strength of this army. What we do know is that John intended to be quite literal with the head count of this army of horsemen, because he said that "I HEARD THE NUMBER of them." It's quite likely that this particular number also has a symbolic value as well, but all indications are that this was meant to be a LITERAL number of actual horsemen that John recorded. (Incidentally, this literal as well as symbolic number also applies to the group of 144,000 in Rev. 4:4 and 14:1, for which John also said that he heard the number of them, too.)

So, just what IS that number in Rev. 9:16? The typical translation renders this as 200 MILLION, but the Greek as originally given is literally translated "TWO MYRIADS OF MYRIADS".

The term "myriad" has a more precise definition than just a vague amount for a vast, multitudinous group. The actual numerical value of a myriad is 10,000. It's a term that appears often in scripture, most notably in Psalms 68:17 (KJV). "The chariots of God are TWENTY THOUSAND, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the holy place." With a literal rendering, this verse says, "God's chariots, TWO MYRIADS OF THOUSANDS, and again myriads of thousands:" (literally, for emphasis on the size of God's army, this last phrase says "of repetition:") "the Lord among them, Sinai in holiness." This shows us that God's mighty strength in battle is represented by the "two myriads of thousands", or "TWENTY THOUSAND" chariots that accompany Him.

The battle strength of the number of horsemen in Revelation 9:16 was meant to reflect that same number of God's chariots in Psalms 68:17. Their mission was a God-ordained one; executing His divine purpose, with the same level of His power given to them in order to accomplish that purpose. God had prepared that specified number of horsemen for a very particular hour, and day, and month, and year for a very specific reason: "to slay the THIRD PART OF MEN" (Rev. 9:15).

During that "second woe" which was the sixth angel's trumpet judgment, the number of fatalities that made up that "THIRD PART OF MEN" would be composed of #1), the death of the two individual men who were "witnesses" (Rev. 11:3-12), and #2), the 7,000 men who died (Rev. 11:13). These deaths would make up the total body count represented by the "ONE THIRD OF MEN" in Rev. 9:15-16. This verse never says that one-third of every person on the entire PLANET was to die at that time, but instead it was specifically one-third of men in that "GREAT CITY" OF JERUSALEM who were to die during this sixth trumpet judgment (Rev. 11:8).

Now, according to the common view of Rev. 9:16 which usually interprets this as an army of 200 MILLION, it seems quite strange that it would take 200 MILLION horsemen to manage the killing of 7,002 individuals. Do the math. From what I figure, that means it would require all of 28,563 horsemen to kill just ONE PERSON in the city of Jerusalem. That's an improbable ratio, and doesn't speak very highly at all with regard to the battle skills of the proposed number of 200 million that was supposed to be so ferocious and overpowering in Rev. 9:17-19.

So, let's go back to how Rev. 9:16 was written originally, as the YLT presents it. "And the number of the forces of the horsemen is TWO MYRIADS OF MYRIADS, and I heard the number of them." This "TWO MYRIADS" is equal to TWO groups of 10,000 horsemen each. TWENTY THOUSAND *TOTAL*.

Remember the numbered chariots of God in Psalms 68:17 - the "TWO MYRIADS OF THOUSANDS"? That numbered total of chariots amounted to 20,000 - NOT 200 MILLION. It's the same language at work here in Revelation 9:16. This army of horsemen sent by God numbered 20,000 total, who slew those 7,002 individuals who were identified somehow as the "THIRD PART OF MEN" in Jerusalem. This is a more realistic ratio of combatants - 20,000 killing 7,002, which is close to 3 to 1 odds for that battle.

Just for an everyday comparison to this language, here's a common expression we might use today. I might go into a Dunkin Donuts and tell the salesperson, "I would like two dozens of a box of a dozen donuts, please". (Two dozens of their box that holds a dozen) Hopefully, the salesperson ringing up the order wouldn't multiply the dozens together and come up with an exaggerated order of 288 donuts! (2 x 12 x 12). Same thing with the "TWO MYRIADS OF MYRIADS" in Rev. 9:16. It's 2 x 10,000, NOT an exaggerated figure of 2 x 10,000 x 10,000.

And the fulfillment of this army of 20,000 horsemen killing those 7,002 men, or one-third part of men in the "great city" Jerusalem? It took place in either late AD 67 or early AD 68, based on the information we are given by Josephus in Wars 4.4-5. On that occasion, an Idumean army of 20,000 led by four commanders, Simon, John, Jacob, and Phineas (the four "angels" or messengers of Rev. 9:14-15), came to the entrance gate of Jerusalem and were denied admittance by the former high priest Ananus - leader of the moderate party, and governor in Jerusalem at that time. This restriction of the Idumeans gaining access into Jerusalem was a fulfillment of Rev. 9:14 - the 4 "angels" were "bound at the great river Euphrates" - with the front gates of Jerusalem (symbolically called "Babylon the Great" in Revelation) being a reflection of the ancient city of Babylon with the Euphrates River flowing past the bars of its front gates.

Josephus tells us that the frustrated 20,000 Idumeans who were camped outside the gates of Jerusalem broke into the city during the night when an earthquake and a fearful storm struck the city (the earthquake in Rev. 11:13). This is when the 4 "angels" or messengers were "loosed" into Jerusalem through its front gates (Rev. 9:14-15). Under cover of night and the sounds of the earthquake and the storm, some of the traitorous Zealots inside Jerusalem sawed open the bars of Jerusalem's gates, which "loosed" those 4 "angels" (the 4 commanders) and their Idumean army of 20,000 horsemen into Jerusalem. By the next morning, Josephus wrote that 8,500 were dead as a combined result of the storm with the earthquake, and the Idumeans attacking the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This included the murder of the two former high priest "witnesses", (Ananus and Joshua), who were deliberately and insultingly left unburied, just as Rev. 11:9 predicted would happen.

The "ONE THIRD PART OF MEN" in Jerusalem that died in this attack by the 20,000 Idumean horsemen were the followers of Ananus' moderate party, who made up one of the three factions (1/3) that were battling each other in Jerusalem at that time. This one-third of the warring parties in Jerusalem was specifically targeted by the Idumeans for elimination during this one invasion, because they had been deceived by the Zealots into thinking that the former high priests Ananus and Joshua, the moderate party leaders, were going to surrender the city to the Romans. This was a battle that God had set up beforehand to occur on an exact hour, day, month, and year, for the specific reason of eradicating those remaining members of the high priesthood. This high priesthood had been an obsolete institution ever since Christ was given the superior high priesthood after the order of Melchizedek at His first ascension. The old priesthood order based on Levi needed to be physically eliminated as a competing idol, because most of the Jews had insisted on rejecting Christ, and were still clinging to the old priesthood system instead.

Anyone wishing to read for themselves the description of this fulfilled prophecy of the sixth trumpet judgment (also called the "second woe" which started in Rev. 9:2 and finished up by Rev. 11:14) can find the bulk of that fulfilled prophecy described in Josephus Wars 4.4-5 down to the last detail - especially regarding the number of 20,000 Idumean warriors in Wars 4.4.2. Two myriads of Idumean myriads, which numbered 20,000 total.

The army of a supposed "200 MILLION" is a gross exaggeration, and is certainly not a threat that is hanging over our heads in the future.

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