Bible Prophecy Numbers:
The Writing on the Wall
Ch. 2b, "How Long?"
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Setting the Stage for our Study in the Numbers
The Famine of Joseph:
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery -- as good as dead. At any rate, certainly in Israel’s mind he was presumed dead. But really he was alive in Egypt –– the savior of the world! The life of Joseph parallels the life of Jesus -- the Savior of the word!
Joseph was released from prison when he turned 30 years of age. He had interpreted Pharaoh's two dreams that forewarned of a seven-year famine that was to follow upon the heels of seven good years. He was put in charge of all Egypt since he alone could interpret Pharaoh's dream. (A similar scenario was repeated with Daniel, 1335 years later, with the writing on the wall at the fall of Babylon, [Daniel 5]). The famine of Joseph impoverished the "whole world" and brought the world to their knees. Joseph alone had the keys of life and death––he alone had the keys to the storehouses of grain. There will likewise come a day when the physical brethren of Jesus will also bow the knee---broken---at the end of the "seven-year tribulation period."
As a matter of fact, the history of the Jew is a history of a broken people---of a wondering people. The Bible (Old Testament) details two major occasions when God attempted to break the stubbornness of His chosen people. The first was at the exile of the northern kingdom of Israel, and the second was at the exile of the southern kingdom of Judah. Israel had originally come up from Babylon and Egypt and so to Babylon and Egypt they returned! From dust they were taken and to dust they returned! But, the two worldwide kingdoms that had plundered them (Assyria and Babylon) were also, in turn, destroyed, (612 and 539 BC). (God ruined Assyria and Babylon just as Egypt before them. Egypt had also ruled the whole world. By the 10 plagues of Moses, God wasted all Egypt at the time of the Exodus, [1446 BC]. For 430 years they had been in Egypt, and, 430 x 2 years later Judah again went back into Egypt with the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC---a total of 1290 years. [Scripture references will be supplied later on in this chapter.])
The last-day "seven-year" tribulation period prophesied by all the prophets will be the greatest trouble Israel has experienced since the time she became a people, even up unto that time; but it will equally be a time of solemn retribution upon all the nations that afflict her, and never will there be a time like it again.
Ponder the following chart. It sums up this chapter, and is the backbone of all bible prophecy numbers. It lays the foundation for all that follows. Notice the time frames that separate all the major epochs of God's dealings with Israel and her enemies. All this will one day culminate in that final prophesied "seven-years tribulation period." Moreover, things will culminate in such a way so as to perfectly and precisely connect themselves in every way with these past trials shown in the chart. Seven years of years will connect with the seven-years tribulation period in such a way that will leave no uncertainty as to Who has everything under control! By studying the past smaller tribulations of the Jews (esp. in 1876, 1446, 722, and 586 BC), we will better be able to understand the numeric dynamics of the future "Great Tribulation" to come.
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Bible Prophecy Numbers