John of Patmos forecast a long period of darkness. John was always addressing the larger aspects – the four types of personality, blood, fire, hail, bitterness. Jesus Christ’s “Revelation” was always at the extremities, abstract but very real, which John called the “Word of God”. John used the words “Jesus Christ” and “come Lord Jesus” but never as an individual. He spoke aesthetically, using multiple midrashic examples, without any knowledge of the later Gospels to come – Gospels which were a personification of the John’s abstract divinity of societal formation – the marriage of the feminine and masculine which was completely devoid at that time.
John was always optimistic that advance would conquer the retrograde belligerent, construction surpassing destruction, Light over Darkness. But John had patience. He knew he would not see it in his lifetime.
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. (Rev. 8:12)
Once again the tags of the trumpeter have to be synchronised.
Darkness — what better way to set forth the meaning of a terrible plight that had engulfed the nation? Death and hell, hail and darkness! Was this blindness a configuration borrowed from the OT library, showing us the similarity of John’s vision of circumstances to bygone ages? Turn to the book of Joel.
Joel, a nom de plume, uses an invasion of locusts to convey the aggressiveness of Greek and Syrian forces that attacked Judah. Implemented by Antiochus Epiphanes, this assault upon Judah was seen as a punishment to God’s people for transgressing the law of love, the law of liberty.
Judah had become a kingdom of drunkards (Joel 1:5) — not literal drunkards, no doubt. The scriptural world is a world of symbols. Drunkards, from shikkôwr, derived from shâkâr, means “influence.” Simple people were conditioned, or trained, to have a certain reflex response. The “influence” was persuasive, mandated by authority. Drunkenness defied the understanding that all are intrinsically free. Each individual had the chance to offer novelty, a sacrifice enabling community and cosmological cohesion. Otherwise, the world would remain in total darkness, a predominant warrior mentality.
Conditioning is also an affront to concept. God, in creating likeness in consciousness, challenged the world to reach a higher plateau unknown to the world of corporality. The attainment of conceptual thought, this amazing momentum driver, must forever be reverenced. This moment was when our God rested in the knowledge that good or bad could be distinguished. As we faithfully apply this wonderful gift, we also rest. Will we, through love, contribute to and partake in tranquil personification, firmly seated, at a higher altitude?
As with antitypes and archetypes, more than one type embraces predicament or elevation. Of course, it must be multiple types, expansive, with complexity. Certainly, the plagues of Egypt, hail and darkness, played a big part in sensing the fourth trumpet. Joel’s report that, “the sun and moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining” captures why the fourth trumpet sounded a warning of total darkness. The writers, in retrospect, observed Judah, a very small kingdom surrounded by the Grecian army and turbulent races. This is a picture of gloom and darkness, such darkness that we find it difficult to comprehend although it is all around us. All the one-time lights of heaven are now out, having departed to the grotto of despondency. The supposedly avowed had to combat such dejection.
The time of hopelessness, reported by Joel, is the time when apostate Jews joined with Antiochus Epiphanes to plunder the temple and exterminate loyal Jews, the ascenders. Emblematic drunkenness had influenced Jews, and they were depicted as, “an host … that by reason of transgression … cast down the truth to the ground” and together with Antiochus Epiphanes “practised, and prospered” (Dan. 8:12, confirmed in 1 Macc. 1:11–15).
Ask yourself why this age of total gloom of the fourth trumpet is mentioned in Revelation’s portrayal of Christianity’s road to ruin. Have we been deceived even to a greater extent by an aura of abundance and supernal theology that is aberrant to the teleology of natural cosmology?
The book of Daniel prophetically noting powers that ruled in the days of post-exilic Judah, tells of the rough goat, the king of Grecia (Dan. 8:21). Then the kingdom divided, and later a king of fierce countenance stood up (Dan. 8:2–3). This was Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc. 1:7–10). Daniel emphasizes that Antiochus Epiphanes’s exploits triumphed only with the help of renegade Jews. “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (Dan. 8:24). Is this the portrait that the revelator recalled in the fourth trumpet?
“In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow. So this device pleased them well. Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen: Whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen” (see 1 Macc. 1:11–15). Applying this to the apocalyptic age was John’s motivation of total recall. Have Christians, a woman in all her glory, betrayed these texts for notoriety and possibly recognition?
There is a repetition of Bible texts (Daniel and 1 Maccabees) in the fourth seal section with “beasts of the earth” and drunkenness (Joel) or darkness (Rev. 7 in the fourth trumpet). These were sourced from the same types, showing the parallel lines of thought in the two visions in vastly separated circumstances. Have we been offered a compromised, mutated version of interpretation?
Enough said about the typical darkness that came to Judah of old. The parallel with Revelation appears to be clearly set out for consideration. But what age is Revelation revealing, and is preaching the mystery of Christ revealed?