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On the Revelation of Yahshua Christ, Part 20: The Song of Moses
In our last presentation, The Harvests of God which discussed Revelation chapter 14, we see that three such harvests were described. But because the King James Version and most other popular Bible translations mistranslate the verb ξηραίνω, which is to be dry or parched, in those editions there only appear to be two harvests. First there is a harvest of firstfruits, which is described as the hundred and forty-four thousand that are apparently already with Christ. The verb used to describe the act of their having been redeemed is in the perfect tense, and where they are described as being virgins and as following Christ the verbs are in the present tense. So it is apparent that this harvest is already completed, which also fits the prophetic context of the earlier descriptions of the hundred and forty-four thousand who were sealed.
Then after an angel admonishes those dwelling upon the earth to praise Yahweh their God, there is an announcement of the fall of Babylon, which seems only to presage the fall of Mystery Babylon which is described later, in chapter 18 of the Revelation. Then there is a further admonishment not to worship the beast, and punishments are announced warning those who would. After that, there is an exclamation in verse 13 which proclaims: “Blessed are those dead among the number of the Prince who are dying from now on!” So this context also supports our claim that the firstfruits are already harvested, and that evidently they are already with Christ.
Then as John describes his vision, there comes a figure upon the clouds “like unto the Son of man”, who is not explicitly called an angel. Rather, he is described as wearing a golden crown, and therefore he must be a king. So this must represent Christ Himself. The cloud may be an allegory for His people, as we read in the short epistle of Jude, where he had cited Enoch and wrote “Behold, the Prince has come with ten thousands of His saints 15 to execute judgment against all…” While we may not have stated this quite as explicitly in our last presentation, that this must be a representation of Christ Himself, we certainly inferred that where we cross-referenced this passage to Isaiah chapter 63 and a prophecy where Yahweh God Himself destroys His enemies in what is also described as a harvest. So here this describes Christ Himself, Yahweh God incarnate, harvesting the parched fruit, fruit which is not even identified by name. And as we had also explained, this vision in Revelation chapter 14 is a preview of what is to come, which is also prophesied in the subsequent chapters, especially in chapter 19. There our interpretation of this vision is further supported, as Christ is depicted as a conquering King in Revelation chapter 19, some time after the fall of Babylon in Revelation chapter 18.
Finally, we see described in this chapter the coming of another angel and a harvest of truly ripe grapes, as the word which describes them as being ripe, ἀκμάζω, does actually mean ripe. This angel which harvests them is accompanied by another angel which is described as having “authority over the fire”, and we associated that fire with the fiery trials which men suffer in this life. When we commence with Revelation chapter 15, we shall have an opportunity to expound on that interpretation a little further.
This last harvest of the ripe grapes produces blood as high as the bridles of horses over an area which seems to have a diameter of 184 miles. The blood itself seems to represent those who are of the blood represented in the name of Adam, the first earthly father of all true Christians. While an online calculator allows us to estimate the volume of the blood as being over 14.8 trillion cubic feet, if the horses’ bridles are five feet high, it is not the precise number of that great volume which is important. Rather, what is significant is the how volume represents the number of grapes in the harvest of the ripe, which must indeed be very many. As the promise of Yahweh God to Abraham reads in Genesis chapter 15, in part: “5 … Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Then the Scripture says in the 44th Psalm, which Paul of Tarsus had also cited in Romans chapter 8, “22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” So it may also be apparent that the ripe grapes have been harvested throughout the age. Likewise, in Leviticus chapter 23, there is a smaller harvest of firstfruits early in the year, but a much greater harvest later in the year.
These last two harvests, that of the parched and that of the ripe, are not necessarily entirely in the future from our perspective, and we are not expecting them to begin in the future. They are apparently in the future from the point that the hundred and forty-four thousand are with Christ, as they are described, and as we already read where it says after that, “Blessed are those dead … who are dying from now on”, before these harvests are described. So it is also apparent that these last harvests represent a process which was already occurring at that time which the prophecy indicates, and which is still ongoing today, and which will continue until the final return of the Christ and the resurrection of the last judgment. The prophecies found in the subsequent chapters of the Revelation will describe the elements of this process from different perspectives.
It must be noted that the harvest of the first fruits, the hundred and forty-four thousand, also describes a process. In the prophetic context of the Revelation, it apparently began just before the final centuries of the fall of Rome, and it continued at least as far into the future as the period of the Islamic conquests in Europe and the Near East, and it may have also included the period of the Reformation. For that, the hundred and forty-four thousand had been protected with the seal of Yahweh God, that they would emerge from those trials unsullied by the sins of the world. So now, while that process is past and we are told that the firstfruits are with Christ, the final chapters of the Revelation describe these last harvests which are previewed in chapter 14, and which we also associated with the harvests of the tares and the wheat and that of the goats and the sheep in the parables of Yahshua Christ, which are recorded in Matthew chapters 13 and 25.
So as we have already said, Revelation chapter 14 is a separate vision which parallels, or provides a sort of preview to the prophecies in the chapters to come. By that, it also explains the overall purpose of subsequent world history within the overarching plan of God for the disciplining of His children. This method of consecutive prophecies which describe the same future events from different perspectives is indeed found elsewhere in Scripture. And we consider them to be Hebrew parallelisms, which are more frequently found only in short phrases and sentences. For example, in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 there are found two different prophecies of an invasion of Gog and Magog into the mountains of the children of Israel. At the end of each chapter, the enemies of God are overwhelmed and defeated. These are not prophesying consecutive events, or two distinct future events. Rather, they are a parallelism, as each prophesy describes the same future events from slightly different perspectives, using somewhat different terms, so that through both of them a more complete picture of what is to transpire may be discerned by the reader. A vision in Revelation chapter 20 also parallels those two visions in Ezekiel, which we hope to discuss at that point in this commentary.
Now, as we commence with Revelation chapter 15, we actually return to the main thread of what had begun in chapter 5 as the Lamb opening a scroll which had seven seals:
XV 1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and wondrous, seven messengers having the seven last plagues, that in them [the MT manuscripts following Andres of Caesareia has “these”] the wrath of Yahweh is fulfilled.
These seven messengers having the seven last plagues each bear one of the seven vials, as the King James Version and others translate the Greek word φιάλη, which sounds like vial but which actually describes a broad, shallow bowl or deep saucer, according to Liddell & Scott. So we have bowls here rather than vials. In Revelation chapter 5, there was a scroll which had seven seals, and as the first six of them were opened, there were prophecies which we have associated with the fall of Rome, the Islamic conquests, and the Reformation, among other things. But the seventh seal was different than the others, in that it contained seven trumpets, and some of the latter of these events had unfolded upon the sounding of those trumpets. Then after four trumpets sounded, three woes were announced, which correspond with the last three trumpets, in Revelation chapter 8.
The first woe, described as having passed in chapter 9, represented the Arab Islamic conquests. The second woe described the Turkic Islamic conquests, as we have interpreted the visions, and brought us into the period of the Reformation. So near the end of chapter 11 we read that “14 The second woe has departed. Behold, the third woe comes quickly!” The Turkic muslim conquests were still ongoing during the time of the Reformation. Then in the very next verse, the seventh of the trumpets is sounded, but the prophecy which it heralds is not described. Rather, the elders praised Yahweh God, that His Word is true, and then there are several digressions, as we interpreted chapters 12, 13 and 14. Once we understand how these prophecies had indeed foretold world history for all of those centuries, we too should praise Yahweh, knowing that His Word is true.
Now here in this chapter the contents of the message of the seventh trumpet shall begin to be announced, from verse 5, and we shall see that it contains another nesting of seven angels having the seven bowls. So the events of the Revelation are depicted as three groups of sevens, and the second and third groups are nested in the last of the seven in each of the preceding groups. In turn, these seven last plagues must represent the last of the three woes announced in chapter 8. In chapter 9 at verse 12 we are informed that one woe is past, and then in chapter 11 we read “14 The second woe is past; and , behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” The coming of the third woe is forewarned again in chapter 12 where we read: “12… Woe to the earth and the sea! Because the False Accuser has come down to you having great wrath, knowing that he has a short time!”
But first, before the contents of this third woe are announced, there is another vision:
2 And I saw like a glass sea mixed with fire, and those prevailing from the beast and from [P47 and א want “from” here] his image and [the MT manuscripts following Andreas of Caesareia insert “from its engraved mark and”] from the number of his name standing upon the glass sea holding lyres from Yahweh.
While the King James Version has harps rather than lyres, Liddell & Scott explain that the κιθάρα was a seven-stringed lyre or lute with a triangular-shaped body, and that the word κιθάρα through its Latin form is the source of our modern word guitar. At the end of the verse, the Codex Sinaiticus (א) has κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ rather than merely τοῦ θεοῦ, for which we would write “… from Yahweh God.” The phrase τοῦ θεοῦ is literally “of God”, as it is a Genitive article and noun without a preposition, but the Genitive Case is used to indicate source as well as possession.
Here we would assert that since this is still describing the ongoing process of the harvests of God, as the context has not broken, the glass sea mixed with fire represents the trials of this life, the “fire” which each of the now-Christian children of Israel must pass through in one way or another, to one degree or another. That this fire represents the earthly trials which Christians had been warned that they would endure is evident in 1 Peter chapter 1, where we read: “3 Blessed is Yahweh, even the Father of our Prince Yahshua Christ, who according to His great mercy has engendered us from above into a living hope through the resurrection of Yahshua Christ from among the dead, 4 for an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, being kept in the heavens for us 5 who are being preserved by the power of Yahweh through faith for a salvation prepared to be revealed in the last time. 6 In which you must rejoice, if for a short time now it is necessary being pained by various trials, 7 in order that the test of your faith, much more valuable than gold which is destroyed even being tested by fire, would be found in praise and honor and dignity at the revelation of Yahshua Christ, 8 whom not having seen you love, in whom now not seeing but believing you rejoice with an indescribable and illustrious joy, 9 acquiring the result of your faith: preservation of your souls.”
Now we have just read the portion of Peter’s epistle which pertains to our interpretation of this vision in the Revelation, but where Peter continues the scope of the vision is further defined, where we read in the next verse of the epistle: “10 Concerning which preservation the prophets enquired and examined, those having prophesied concerning the favor which is for you, 11 seeking for which things or what time the Spirit of Christ in them indicated, testifying beforehand the sufferings for Christ and the honors after these things. 12 To whom it had been revealed that not for themselves, but for you they furnished these things, things which are now reported to you through those announcing the good message to you in the Holy Spirit having been sent from heaven, things which the messengers desire to peer into.” With this, it is clearly manifest that Peter is speaking only to the children of Israel, who had been the exclusive subjects of all of those prophecies which speak of redemption and salvation. We shall see that same thing here, once we learn that those who overcome this sea of glass and fire are described as singing the Song of Moses.
Those who are described as having prevailed over the beast here we may refer to as the overcomers, as we read in Revelation chapter 21, which is a message for all those who would keep the words of Christ: “7 He who prevails shall inherit these things and I shall be a God for him and he shall be a son for Me.” The King James Version has “He that overcometh…”, and therefore “overcomer” is the more popular term for them.
So it is evident that the trials of life in this world are indeed the fires which men must pass through, and having overcome them they are depicted here as standing upon a sea of fire and glass, so evidently they prevailed over the trials of this life. This is also evident in the writings of Paul of Tarsus, in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 where we read: “11 For another foundation no one is able to place besides that which is established, which is Yahshua Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds upon that foundation gold, silver, precious stones, timber, fodder, straw, 13 the work of each will become evident; indeed the day will disclose it, because in fire it is revealed; and of what quality the work of each is, the fire will scrutinize. 14 If the work of anyone who has built remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If the work of anyone burns completely, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be preserved, although consequently through fire.” Those last are those who are apparently subjected to the fires of Gehenna which are mentioned in the admonitions of Christ in the Gospel, which we may also perceive as a reference to ones suffering the trials of this life.
Now the overcomers are described, and unlike the hundred and forty-four thousand who were singing a new song which nobody else can know, these are portrayed as singing a very old and well-known song:
3 And they sing [א has “And singing”] the song of Moses, the servant of Yahweh, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Your works are great and wonderful, Prince Yahweh Almighty! Your ways are righteous and true, King of the Nations [P47, א and C have ‘King of the Ages’; the text follows A and the MT, and a later marginal reading in א; cf. 1 Timothy 1:17]! 4 Who should not be afraid [P47, א and the traditional MT manuscripts have ‘Who should not fear You’], Prince, and honor Your Name? Because You are the only Holy One [ὅτι μόνος ὅσιος is literally ‘You only are holy’, where we have read ὅσιος as a Substantive; the traditional MT manuscripts have ἅγιος instead; P47 wants ὅσιος and adds a verb, ὅτι μόνος εἶ, ‘You are alone”], because all the nations shall come and they shall worship before You, because Your judgments have been made manifest [א has ‘because the judgments have been made manifest before You’]!”
So these people are not the hundred and forty-four thousand of chapters 7 and 14, and neither are they the innumerable multitude of chapter 7. Rather, they are a new multitude – those Israelites from among the Nations who in these last days shall have prevailed over the beast by not worshipping the beast and by keeping the commandments of Christ. They must be Israelites, since they are depicted as singing the Song of Moses, and that song cannot be anything different than the song of Moses which is found in Deuteronomy chapters 31 and 32. The contents of the Song itself shall reveal the truth of our assertion.
Furthermore, here we also learn that the Song of Moses is the Song of the Lamb. As Christ told His adversaries, “46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” The song of the Lamb is not a different song. Through Moses was the law, and Moses was also a prophet. Christ, who professed that He had come to fulfill the law and the prophets, came with the same commandments and for the same people whom Moses also had served. Paul of Tarsus explains that in Hebrews chapter 3 where, after he was also speaking of the trials of this life, we read: “1 From which, holy brethren, partners of the heavenly calling, you should consider Yahshua, the Ambassador and high priest of our profession, 2 being faithful to He who has ordained Him, even as Moses, among His household [the household of Christ]. 3 For He has been deemed worthy of more honor than Moses, just as so much more honor than the house has He who built it. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is Yahweh. 5 And indeed Moses was faithful among His entire household as an attendant, for a testimony of the things being spoken, 6 but Christ as a Son over His household, whose household we are, if indeed we possess that liberty and the boast of the expectation.” Only the children of Israel ever had that boast of the expectation, as the promises were made only to them. Reading that passage carefully, it is without doubt that Paul had explicitly described the house which Moses had served as being the same as the house of which Christ has come to be the Head. Later, in Hebrews chapter 8, Paul upheld the words of Jeremiah and the promise of a new covenant to the same house, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, and declared that to be fulfilled in Christ. Paul made similar professions in the epistle to the Romans and elsewhere in his writings.
So because of the significance of this circumstance, that those who overcome the world are found singing the Song of Moses, here we shall examine aspects of the Song of Moses, to see precisely what these overcomers are singing, especially because that is what each and every Christian should aspire to be singing, provided he, or she, is of that same house. To understand the reference to the Song of Moses, we must go to the source. Here we must also acknowledge that since the Song of Moses is the same song as that of the Lamb, the purpose of Christ must be the same purpose that Yahweh God had outlined long ago in the Song of Moses. This is the song which the overcomers are singing, and therefore it is also evident that if one desires to be an overcomer, one must know and sing this song.
The Song of Moses
Many, or perhaps even most so-called pastors will cross-reference this passage of the Revelation to a celebratory song which was sung by Moses and the children of Israel following the destruction of the Egyptians and the passage through the Red Sea, as it is recorded in Exodus chapter 15. But there is not even an indication that Moses himself had actually written that song, and the Exodus celebration is not the correct context here, where it is speaking of the judgement of Yahweh God upon the nations. Rather, in this context the reference must be to another Song of Moses, a song which Moses actually did write, although Yahweh God told him what to write, which is found in Deuteronomy chapter 32. In Deuteronomy chapter 32, the Song of Moses describes the sin and idolatry of Israel, Yahweh’s punishment of the nations of Israel, His vengeance on their behalf, His mercy for them, and their ultimate recognition of and reconciliation to their God. That is the same context which we see here, where the Nations acknowledge that His ways are righteous and that His judgment is just. The song in Deuteronomy chapter 32 spells out the intentions of Yahweh for His people Israel, and that must be the song to which these words refer here.
In Deuteronomy chapter 31, Yahweh God had Moses write a song, and we read: “19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. 20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.” So the song of Moses was actually written by Yahweh God Himself, which is evident where it said “therefore write ye this song for you…” Then the instructions continue: “21 And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.” The very fact that we have and we read Deuteronomy today upholds the statement that “it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed”, which are their children, even long after many troubles had befallen them.
So next we read: “22 Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. 23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee. 24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, 25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, 26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. 27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death? 28 Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them. 29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands. 30 And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.”
So we see that the song of Moses was to be a witness for Yahweh against the children of Israel. Moses knew they would corrupt themselves, because Yahweh had told him that explicitly. So this vision here in Revelation chapter 15 depicts those who have not accepted the mark of the beast, and who have therefore kept the commandments of Christ, and they are found as overcomers, singing this song of Moses. Ostensibly, they are witnessing to the children of Israel who had departed from the way and had been put off for their sins, and this is the same song attributed to Christ Himself, as the Song of the Lamb, who is also Yahweh God incarnate as the propitiation for their sins. Hearing the Song of Moses, after the time of their punishment the children of Israel should be shamed into returning to Yahweh their God, as there is no other hope for their plight.
Now in Deuteronomy chapter 32 begins the song itself: “1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. 5 They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. 6 Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? 7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. 8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”
If Jacob is the lot of the inheritance of God in Deuteronomy chapter 32, then Jacob must be the lot of the inheritance of God in Revelation chapter 15, as the people are depicted as singing this same song for a witness to those same people of Israel, and that is also the Song of the Lamb. This helps to establish the fact that the mission of Christ is fully consistent with the contents of this song, which is verified in His Own words, in the Gospel records of His apostles, and in the very promises of a new covenant. Where we read in the King James Version of Revelation chapter 15 that “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints”, the saints must also be the same saints of the Old Testament, those who were sanctified for this purpose by Yahweh God in the promises to Abraham and in the loins of Isaac, the set-apart children of Israel. Of all the people in the world, only Isaac was sanctified by God, as He Himself had demanded of Abraham. But the truth of this matter is that the reek manuscripts all have “King of the Nations” rather than “King of Saints”, although some older manuscripts have “King of the Ages.”
Then where this song declares that Yahweh is the Rock of Israel, Paul had told the Corinthians, in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, that their ancestors were with Moses in the Exodus, so they had also heard this song, and Paul professed that they had drank from a Spiritual Rock and explained that “that rock was Christ.” Paul’s words concerning the origin of the Corinthians can be verified by ancient history.
Once again continuing with the song: “10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. 11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: 12 So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. 13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; 14 Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape. 15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” So once again, Christ is the Rock as He is Yahweh God incarnate. The children of Israel have one God, and not two or three.
The word Jeshurun means upright one, as Yahweh sanctifies Israel and has promised to save all of the seed of Israel, without exception. Men are not overcomers of their own volition, but of His mercy. This is found in Isaiah chapter 45: “ 19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.” Then two verses later we read: “21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.” From ancient times Yahweh had promised salvation to Israel, and only to Israel, so at the end of the chapter we read: “24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.” Therefore Israel has righteousness in Yahweh, because Yahweh declares what is righteous, and not man, and finally it says” “25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
Returning once more to the Song of Moses: “16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. 18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. 19 And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. 20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. 21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.”
Paul of Tarsus cited this last verse in Romans chapter 10, citing the King James Version, where he wrote: “19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. 20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. 21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” There he also cited Isaiah 65:1-2. The use of the Greek particle δέ at the beginnings of verses 20 and 21 should have been translated as then rather than but. The word is either adversative or continuative, according to Liddell & Scott, and here it must be continuative. So looking at the citations in context, all three of the passages which Paul had cited here were originally statements which were made to the children of Israel, and we cannot imagine that we could substitute any other recipient of any of these words in their place. The children of Israel, the majority of whom were lost in the wilderness and blind as to their identity, as we have discussed here recently, were not seeking Yahweh their God when they found Him through the Gospel of Christ. They are the disobedient and gainsaying people to whom God had reached out through that Gospel and His apostles.
What follows is a digression, but we esteem it necessary as we must properly explain the historical fulfillment of this portion of the Song of Moses. Where Paul cited this passage of the Song of Moses, where it says “I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation”, there are two plausible interpretations and both of them are correct. But it must be understood that at that point in his epistle, and since the opening of Romans chapter 9, he had been comparing Jacob and Esau, the Judaeans of Roman times having been composed of both Israelites and Edomites. Of these, Paul had stated that he was concerned only with the Israelites, his “kinsmen according to the flesh”, because “not all those who are from Israel are those of Israel” for which reason he went on to compare Jacob and Esau.
So the first interpretation we have to offer is this: In Acts chapter 22 the Judaeans wanted to kill Paul as soon as he told them that he would take the Gospel to the nations, in verses 21 and 22. They were driven to jealousy and that was their motive for wanting to kill him. But Paul knew that the nations to which he was going to bring the Gospel were the dispersed of Israel, as he himself explained in Romans chapter 4, 1 Corinthians chapter 10, Galatians chapters 3 and 4 and elsewhere. The scattered Israelites, until they accepted the Gospel of Christ and returned to Yahweh, were “not a people”. This we read in Hosea chapter 1, and we read a promise of reconciliation in verse 10: “10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” Paul also cited this verse, towards the end of Romans chapter 9, and Peter understood it in this same manner in chapter 2 of his first epistle. So Paul used the passage from the Song of Moses correctly, but only as a rhetorical device limited to the circumstances of first century Judaea.
The second and overarching manner in which should we interpret this passage from the Song of Moses is this: By those same circumstances of first century Judaea, where the Israelites had either become Christian or had eventually mingled together with the Edomites who had always rejected Christ, which even Christ had told them frequently (i.e. John chapters 8, 10), together they became the mixed-race Jews of modern history. In the first place, it was those same Edomites which convinced as many of the Israelites of Judaea as they could to reject Christ, so they could maintain their own power and authority. However today most modern Christians believe that the Edomites Jews are Israelites, as they themselves claim to be, and therefore the Christians, who are true Israel, are driven to jealousy, being envious of a nation which is not truly a people, the Edomite Jews. Today’s Christians wrongly esteem the filthy Jews to be the so-called “chosen people”, simply because the Jews make the claim that they are, and their claim is patently false. Christ Himself professed repeatedly that they are devils, and therefore they are properly not a people.
Continuing with the Song of Moses from Deuteronomy chapter 32: “22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. 23 I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them. 24 They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust. 25 The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs. 26 I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men: 27 Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD hath not done all this. 28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. 29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! 30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? 31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.”
So here the Song is portraying the enemies of Yahweh as not having perceived that it is Yahweh Himself who has punished Israel, and therefore having no fear of God, they vaunt or exalt themselves over Israel, for which they shall be punished by Him in His promised vengeance. This is the exact situation in which the children of Israel have persisted unto this very day, awaiting that vengeance even if they do not know it, because even while they may profess to be Christians, they have still not accepted and believed the Gospel of Christ.
Where it says that “their rock is not as our Rock”, the Song of Moses also attests that Yahweh is not the God of the other peoples. Therefore that must also be the case when this song is sung in Revelation chapter 15, or otherwise it would be irrelevant. We cannot imagine that in His Own Revelation, Christ Himself would have His people singing irrelevant songs, especially since this is also described as His Own song, the Song of the Lamb.
Continuing once again, where it is still speaking of the enemies of ancient Israel: “32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: 33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. 34 Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? 35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”
The Song of Moses is described in this chapter of the Revelation as being sung by the overcomers at some point in the future, but perhaps by some of them already, and here we see that it sings of the vengeance by which Yahweh God has promised to avenge His people in many of the other books of the prophets, and especially in Revelation chapters 19 and 20. So not only can’t it be imagined that the Song is speaking of some other Israel, but we also cannot imagine that the enemies of God are somehow different people than those who were His enemies at the time of Moses. The song, which was true at the time of Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 32, must be just as true when the fulfillment of Revelation chapter 15 manifests itself, which must at least be some point future from the time of Christ.
As for the vine of Sodom, in this age, which we have identified as both the Age of Liberty and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the time Isaac prophesied where Esau would come to rule over him, the Edomite Jews collectively have clearly dominated the political, economic and social spheres of the whole world. So the whole world now accepts Sodomy, calls it “gay marriage”, and the Jews have been at the vanguard of that acceptance, which they themselves boast. As Christ also said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
Continuing with the Song of Moses once again: “36 For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left. 37 And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, 38 Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection. 39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.”
Here it is absolutely clear in this song that the subjects where it is sung in the Revelation must still be the same children of Israel for which it was sung by Moses. That is indisputable, because the purpose outlined in the song is to celebrate the reconciliation of those same children of Israel to their God after their time of punishment is fulfilled, to compel them to admit the error of their idolatry, and now where the song finishes, it speaks once again of vengeance, in the last few verses of the song: “40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. 41 If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. 42 I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. 43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.”
Singing the song of Moses in Revelation chapter 15, the vengeance celebrated by Moses must also be the same vengeance prophesied in the subsequent passages of the Revelation, and especially in chapter 19, which also follows the fulfillment of the punishment of the children of Israel. While the King James Version very often translated the Hebrew word for nation, which is goy, as gentile, here in the context of verse 43 of the Song of Moses such a translation is particularly absurd, because here the word can only signify the nations, or tribes, of the children of Israel, and therefore the King James translators had rendered it properly. But furthermore, the word with was added by the translators, and does not belong in the text. It should say “rejoice, O ye nations, His people”, as it is addressing only the children of Israel. Quite strangely, as we shall see, where Paul of Tarsus cited this same verse in his epistle to the Romans, rather than writing nations as they did here, the translators of the King James Version wrote gentiles, as though the meaning had somehow changed.
Continuing with Deuteronomy chapter 32, after the song ends we read: “44 And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun. 45 And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel: 46 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.” As Christ had said in His own last instructions to His disciples, in John chapter 14 and also a little later, “15 If ye love me, keep my commandments”, this Song of Moses sings of the love which Yahweh God has for Israel, of their disobedience and ultimate punishment, and of His final destruction of His enemies and His mercy upon Israel, by which they shall be reconciled to Him. This is the story of the entire Bible, and there is no other Song of Moses with any other meaning which the children of Israel, the overcomers of Revelation chapter 15, could possibly ever sing.
We have already cited Paul of Tarsus, and therefore it is evident that he also sang the Song of Moses, from which he quoted in Romans chapter 9. But later in the epistle to the Romans, in chapter 15, Paul had attested to the substance of the ministry of Christ, where he quoted from the Song of Moses once again and he wrote: “8 Therefore I say, Yahshua Christ came to be a minister of circumcision in behalf of the truth of Yahweh; for the confirmation of the promises of the fathers; 9 and the Nations for the sake of mercy honor Yahweh; just as it is written, ‘For this reason I will profess you among the Nations, and I will sing of Your name.’ 10 And again it says, ‘Rejoice, Nations with His people.’ 11 And again, ‘Praise Yahweh, all the Nations, and commend Him, all the people.’ 12 And again, Isaiah says, ‘There shall be the root of Iessai, and He is arising to be ruler of nations: upon Him the Nations have expectation.’”
Now we shall examine Paul’s quotation of the Song of Moses in the context of the other passages which he had also cited here. First, in Romans 15:8 he attested that Christ had come to confirm the promises made to the fathers. There are no explicit promises made to the fathers concerning salvation or any hope for so-called gentiles or for people of any other race or nation in the Old Testament. But in Luke chapter 1 we see a reference to the same promises as well as to the same vengeance described in the Song of Moses which states, concerning the purpose of the coming Christ, from the King James Version: “68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham…”
In Scripture it is evident that David subjected other surrounding nations, for the security of the children of Israel. But he was never their king, he was only their de facto ruler. They only subjected themselves to him because Israel was much more powerful than they. Once Israel weakened, perhaps two hundred years later, they broke free from their subjection and allied themselves with Assyria and Babylon, to help destroy Israel.
Then in Romans 15:9 Paul cites a passage from a song of David which is found in both 2 Samuel 22:50 and Psalm 18:49. From Psalm 18, from the New American Standard Bible, which does not abuse the Hebrew word meaning nations quite as much as the King James Version does: “46 The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be the God of my salvation, 47 The God who executes vengeance for me, And subdues peoples under me. 48 He delivers me from my enemies; Surely Thou dost lift me above those who rise up against me; Thou dost rescue me from the violent man. 49 Therefore I will give thanks to Thee among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Thy name. 50 He gives great deliverance to His king, And shows lovingkindness to His anointed, To David and his descendants forever.” David was promised that his seed would always rule over the children of Israel, and the children of Israel were prophesied to become many nations, just as they were already considered to be nations in the Song of Moses. Here, we have seen a promise of vengeance connected to the promises made to the fathers just as we had seen in Luke chapter 1, and also in the Song of Moses.
Next, in Romans 15:10 Paul quotes from Deuteronomy 32:43 and reading the word ἔθνος as nations, as it is in the corresponding passage of the King James Version from Deuteronomy, it would say: “And again it says, ‘Rejoice, Nations with His people.’” Now, while the word with is expressed in the Greek of Paul’s writing, in Greek it is a verbatim citation from the Septuagint, where a word for with does appear. Paul primary source for Scripture was the Septuagint. But there is no word for with in the corresponding Hebrew of Deuteronomy 32:43. Furthermore, simply because it speaks of “Nations, with His people” that does not mean that it refers to nations other than the nations of His people. There is no room for salvation for non-Israelites anywhere in the Song of Moses. Paul of Tarsus, singing the Song of Moses within the context of Christ’s having come to confirm the promises made to the fathers, is singing the same Song of Moses which Moses had written. In Romans chapter 4 Paul had already explained that the seed of Abraham had by his time become many nations, according to the promise which was made to Abraham. Later in Romans chapter 16, in verse 26, Paul proclaimed that the Gospel had already been made know to all nations, as it was intended only for the nations of the Roman world. Likewise, in reference to the proclamation of the Gospel he said in Romans chapter 10: “18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.”
In the next verse, Romans 15:11, Paul offered another quotation from Scripture where he wrote “And again, ‘Praise Yahweh, all the Nations, and commend Him, all the people.’” This quote is from Psalm 117, a Psalm of only 2 verses, and it is also exclusive to the children of Israel, where we read: “1 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. 2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” Where it says “toward us” we can understand that both “all ye Nations” and “all ye people” are references to the same people, a Hebrew parallelism. The people of Israel, “toward us”, are the nations who are the recipients of the promises and mercy of Yahweh.
Finally, in Romans 15:12 we read: “12 And again, Isaiah says, ‘There shall be the root of Iessai, and He is arising to be ruler of nations: upon Him the Nations have expectation.’” Here Paul is citing Isaiah chapter 11, specifically from verses 1 and 10 of that chapter. Here we shall read the passage from the King James Version at greater length: “1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.... 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles [or Nations] seek [Here Paul was citing the Septuagint, which has trust]: and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
In Isaiah chapter 11 the King James Version unjustly translated the same Hebrew word, goyim (the plural of Strong's # 1471) as gentiles in verse 10 and then correctly as nations in verse 12, although in the context of Isaiah these are certainly the same entity. Sadly, Sir Lancelot Brenton did the exact same thing with the equivalent Greek word ἔθνος in this chapter in his Septuagint translation. The ensign is Christ, and the promise is to regather the dispersed children of Israel from the ancient captivities. The nations which have expectation in Christ are those same children of Israel. Paul is telling the Romans these things, and quoting these scriptures which he says were “written for our instruction” in verse 4 of that same chapter, because he is relating the very fulfillment of these prophecies, the regathering of the nations of the children of dispersed Israel in Christ. Nobody else has that promise, and for that reason, the apostles of Christ took the Gospel to the White nations of Europe. Paul of Tarsus did so singing the Song of Moses, and that is the same song which those who overcome the world shall sing.
Now we shall continue with Revelation chapter 15:
5 And after these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony opened in heaven, 6 and the seven messengers having the seven plagues came out from the temple, clothed in clean bright linen [A and C have “stone”, in the Accusative Case λίθον rather than λίνον, cf. Ezekiel 28:13; the text agrees with P47 and א] and girt about the chest [Greek: chests] with gold belts [cf. Revelation 1:13].
The tabernacle of testimony must be the same as the “ark of His testament” mentioned at the end of Revelation chapter 11. There it was remarked that the Word of God is the true ark of His testament, since it holds all of the promises made to Israel, and in that section of the Revelation we saw the opening of the Little Book – the Reformation and the deliverance of the Scriptures into the hands of men, and the Two Witnesses, Israel and Judah, who fulfilled their testimony by fulfilling the prophecies concerning them: that they would indeed turn back to Yahweh and His Word through Christ. Their adoption of Christianity and their embrace of the Word of God in the Reformation was indeed the fulfillment of such prophecies. One example is found at Hosea 2:7, speaking of the deported Israelites: “And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband [Yahweh, through Christ]; for then was it better with me than now.”
Here the tabernacle of the testimony is mentioned immediately following the reference to the Song of Moses, and in Deuteronomy chapter 31, in the instructions after Moses had been told by Yahweh to write that song, we read in part: “25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, 26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.” We would assert that the opening of the truth for the children of Israel is tantamount to the opening of the ark of the covenant in heaven, which we see both here and in connection with the opening of the Little Book and the Two Witnesses in Revelation chapters 10 and 11.
7 And one [P47, א and the MT manuscripts following Andreas of Caesareia want “one”] from among the four living creatures [P47 wants “living creatures”] had given to the seven messengers seven [א wants “seven” here] gold bowls filled with the wrath of Yahweh who lives for the eternal ages. [א inserts “Truly!” or “Amen!”] 8 And the temple filled with smoke [P47 and the traditional MT manuscripts have “filled from the smoke”] from the effulgence of Yahweh and from His power, and no one was able to enter into the temple until the seven plagues of the seven [the MT manuscripts following Andreas of Caesareia want “seven” here] messengers are completed.
These seven last plagues are now described in Revelation chapter 16, and the seventh angel then presents to John a vision of the state of the woman, who represents the same children of Israel from Revelation chapter 12, throughout chapter 17. The children of Israel suffer from these plagues unto this very day, which we hope to establish as we continue this commentary. Finally there is the description of the fall of Mystery Babylon in chapter 18, and with that comes the vengeance of Christ upon His enemies and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. Our present circumstances fully indicate that the time is near, but we can never say when.
This concludes our commentary on Revelation chapter 15.