The Tribulation (The Jewish Wars & Victories)

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo 1536-41

From the Jewish Writings

Collectively the Targum Onkelos, Philo, Pirqe Mashiah and the Sibylline Books all attest to a great war before Messiah arrives. Some state that there shall come forth a man leading his hosts to war and will subdue great and populous nations. Others say that in the year in which King Messiah will be revealed all the kings of the nations of the world would provoke each other. Still others state that a great king will march forth against Alexandria in a camp and a great evil will be in the world, and he will rebel and rule for three and a half years. This last comment speaks to the Antichrist who will stir up the war at the end.

Other writings such as the Zohar Chadash from the Kabbalistic literature states: “At that time wars shall be stirred up in the world. Nation shall be against nation and city against city; much distress shall be renewed against the enemies of the Israelites.” Another Jewish source known as the Bereshit Rabbah states:

“If you shall see the kingdoms rising against each other in turn, then give heed and note the footsteps of the Messiah (XLII: 4)

THE RABBIS CLEARLY TAUGHT THAT A WORLDWIDE CONFLICT WOULD SIGNAL THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH.

Within The Bible

The Bible is very clear in both the Old Testament and New Testament of the Tribulation that will precede the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of the Kingdom. Jeremiah mentions the tribulation. In Jeremiah 30:4-10 we read of a time of great trouble or distress that comes upon Israel, the result of which causes Israel to be saved and freed from their oppressors to serve the Lord their God. It is described in Jeremiah 30:6 which says, “that day is great, and there is none like it.” He calls it in verse seven “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble.” Which means that one of the reasons for the Tribulation will be to break the will of the Jews and bring them to their Messiah, Jesus. The prophet Daniel, in Daniel 12:1 describes the tribulation with these words, “And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time.” Jesus described the tribulation with similar words in Matthew 24:21, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.” Revelation 9:6 says, “And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.” The tribulation will be the greatest time of distress that has ever come upon the earth. The book of revelation from chapters 6-19 describes the entire process. One of the reasons for the book of revelation is to arrange, codify and put in chronological order the prophecies in the Old Testament that are yet unfulfilled.

Names of the Great Tribulation Found in the Bible: ASV of 1901

Old Testament References

  1. The Time of Jacob’s – Trouble-Jeremiah 30:7. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel.  This is the time of Israel’s trouble.
  2. The Seventieth Week (a seven) of Daniel – Daniel 9:27
  3. Jehovah’s Strange Work – Isaiah 28:21
  4. Jehovah’s Strange Act – Isaiah 28:21
  5. The Day of Israel’s Calamity – Deuteronomy 32:35; Obadiah 12-14
  6. The Tribulation – Deuteronomy 4:30
  7. The Indignation – Isaiah 26:20; Daniel 11:36
  8. The Overflowing Scourge – Isaiah 28:15,18
  9. The Day of Vengeance – Isaiah 34:8; 35:4; 61:2
  10. The Year of Recompense – Isaiah 34:8
  11. The time of Trouble – Daniel 12:1; Zephaniah 1:15
  12. The Day of Wrath – Zephaniah 1:15
  13. The Day of Distress – Zephaniah 1:15
  14. The Day of Wasteness – Zephaniah 1:15
  15. The Day of Desolation Zephaniah 1:15
  16. The Day of Darkness  Zephaniah 1:15; Amos 5:18, 20; Joel 2:2
  17. The Day of Gloominess  Zephaniah 1:15; Joel 2:2
  18. The Day of Clouds – Zephaniah 1:15; Joel2:2
  19. The Day of Thick Darkness – Zephaniah 1:15; Joel 2:2
  20. The Day of the Trumpet – Zephaniah 1:16
  21. The Day of Alarm – Zephaniah 1:16

New Testament References

  1. The Day of the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 5:2
  2. The Wrath of God – Revelation 15:1, 7; 14:10, 19; 16:1
  3. The Hour of Trial – Revelation 3:10
  4. The Great Day of the Wrath of the Lamb of God – Revelation 6:16-17
  5. The Wrath to Come – Matthew 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:10
  6. The Wrath – 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 11:18
  7. The Great Tribulation – Matthew 24:29
  8. The Hour of Judgment – Revelation 14:7

Daniel E. Woodhead Ph.D.