Bible Reading and Commentary
May 18-23, 2020
Monday, May 18, Revelation 6
Vv. 2, 4, 5, 8 — Prof. Becker in his commentary on Revelation, interprets the opening of the 6 seals in chapter 6 with Matthew 24, where Jesus gives us the signs of the last days. Here’s his interpretation: The white horse in v. 2 is Christ and refers to the world-wide spread of the Gospel (Matt. 24:14). The red horse (v.4) symbolized war. Jesus speaks of that in Matt. 24:6. The black horse symbolized famine, referred to in Matt. 24:7. The pale horse (v. 8) is various kinds of pestilence, calamity and persecution (Matt. 24:7 and Luke 21:11). While verses 12-17 depict the end of the world, Jesus similarly described the very end in Matt. 24:29-31.
Tuesday, May 19, Revelation 7
v. 4 — Who are the 144,000? They represent the whole Christian Church. They can’t be only converted Jews from every tribe because every tribe isn’t mentioned. Dan and Ephraim are omitted. In the Old Testament, Levi also wasn’t counted when the land was divided. That the number of believers is larger than 144,000 is obvious if you read v. 9. The 144,000, then, are all Christians, both Jews and Gentiles. Cf. Rom. 4:13-17 and Rom. 9:6-8.
Vv. 13-17 — Beautiful verses describing how we get to heaven (v. 14), and the security, joy, and peace of heaven (vv. 15-17).
Wednesday, May 20, Revelation 8
Vv. 1-2 — The 7th seal, when opened, introduces the vision of the 7 trumpets.
Vv. 7-13 — Some Christian theologians interpret these verses as physical calamities. Others, such as Luther, believed the 7 trumpets symbolized various false teachings or heresies that have plagued the church down through the centuries. Using that interpretation, the third of what John describes on land, sea and air referring to the first 4 trumpets, may mean that false teachings will not cause total destruction of the church. They are not able to blot out the truth completely.
Thursday, May 21, Revelation 9
Vv. 1, 11 — The star fallen from heaven (NKJV) is very likely the devil. Heaven here is probably a reference to sky as it is in Gen. 1:8. Abaddon means, “The Destroyer,” a fit name given to the devil. His more common name, Satan, means, “The Accuser.”
v. 3 — The swarms of locusts could be swarms of false teachers who fill the earth, of whom we have plenty today. Jesus speaks of them as wolves in sheep’s clothing in Matt. 7:15.
Vv. 20-21 — In connection with these verses, consider the false Christian churches which defend such sins as abortion, the gay rights movement, and euthanasia.
Friday, May 22, Revelation 10
v. 1 — The mighty angel is very likely a reference to Jesus. Compare this verse to Rev. 1:13-16, Matt. 17:2 and Rev. 4:2,3.
v. 10 — The book he ate, the little scroll, was the Gospel. The sweetness is the peace, joy and hope it gives us. The bitterness comes in the persecution we bear confessing Christ and living a Christ-centered life. Read Acts 14:22.
Saturday, May 23, Revelation 11
Vv. 1-2 — The outer court probably signifies the hypocrites in the church. The temple is the Holy Christian Church (I Cor. 3:16)
Vv. 3-4 — The 2 witnesses symbolized the testifying believers. The 1260 days represent the entire New Testament era. Read Matt. 24:14. The 2 witnesses and 2 olive trees and lamp-stand are the confessing church with its faithful use of the Gospel and Sacraments. (Rev. 1:20)
v. 7– The beast has been interpreted as the Anti-Christ and anti-Christian forces or the devil.
Vv. 12-13 — Heaven welcomes the faithful witnesses, the Christians. Destruction greets the unbelievers.
Vv. 14-19 — The 3rd woe describes Judgment Day. When the end comes, the Christian will be safe in heaven forever. Eternal destruction greets the unbelievers.