Interpreting Revelation: The Sea Turned to Blood

The Bowl/Chalice Judgment: The Sea Turned to Blood

One of the great tragedies of futurism is the neglect of history. The book of Revelation was written to a Jewish audience, before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. Josephus, the Jewish historian, unbeknownst to him, recorded the fulfillment of many of the apocalyptic images of Revelation. 

One of the clearest examples is found in the prophecy of the sea turning to blood. In Exodus we are reminded of the story of Moses turning the water into blood. That became a prophetic symbol of what would happen only a short time later when the enemy of Israel, Egypt, would find it's armies swallowed up by the Red Sea. 

  Blood in the Nile river in "Exodus: Gods and Kings."     CreditTwentieth Century Fox

Blood in the Nile river in "Exodus: Gods and Kings." CreditTwentieth Century Fox

This time, John tells us in Revelation 11:8 it is Jerusalem and its apostate system who has become an enemy like Egypt:

And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.. 

With that in mind, watch what happened to the Jews who were shedding the blood of the saints: “And the second angel poured out his Chalice into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living soul in the sea died.” (16:3)

Here is the sobering eye witness account of its fulfillment:

“On one occasion during the Jewish Great Tribulation, “thousands of Jewish rebels fled to the Sea of Galilee from the Roman massacre of Tarichaeae. Setting out on the lake in small, flimsy boats, they were soon pursued and overtaken by the sturdy rafts of Vespasian’s superior forces. Then, as Josephus recounts, they were mercilessly slaughtered: “The Jews could neither escape to land, where all were in arms against them, nor sustain a naval battle on equal terms…Disaster overtook them and they were sent to the bottom, boats and all. Some tried to break through, but the Romans could reach them with their lances, killing others by leaping upon the boats and passing their swords through their bodies; sometimes as the rafts closed in, the Jews were caught in the middle and captured along with their vessels. ...

If any of those who had been plunged into the water came to the surface, they were quickly dispatched with an arrow or a raft overtook them; if, in their extremity, they attempted to climb on board the enemy’s rafts, the Romans cut off their heads or their hands. So these wretches died on every side in countless numbers and in every possible way, until the survivors were routed and driven onto the shore, their vessels surround by the enemy. As they threw themselves on the them, many were speared while still in the water; many jumped ashore, where they were killed by the Romans. 

One could see the whole lake stained with blood and crammed with corpses, for not a man escaped. During the days that followed a horrible stench hung over the region, and it presented an equally horrifying spectacle. The beaches were strewn with wrecks and swollen bodies, which, hot and clammy with decay, made the air so foul that the catastrophe that plunged the Jews in mourning revolted even those who had brought it about.” (Josephus: Chilton , p399, 400)

Revelation is not about your future. It was about the end of Old Covenant Law and the removal of the kingdom from natural Israel. It was about THEIR future in AD 70. Be at peace. Though difficulties may arise, "Of the increase of his government AND PEACE there will be no end" (Is 9:7).

Click Here For more about Interpreting Revelation.

If this teaching blessed you, would you share it with others? 

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below.

If you would like a FREE copy of Jesus' Optimistic Kingdom, look for the red arrow and sign up for these blogs. You will get an immediate downloadable PDF.