By Bill Petri
THE JEWISH CHARACTER OF DANIEL’S 70TH WEEK
One reason to question the teaching of the entire world taking part in all the events of Daniel’s 70th week is the Jewish character of the books of Revelation, Daniel, as well as all the prophetic books which are the most extensive writings in the Bible about the events. For example, we see in Rev. 1:5-6 a clue as to whom this book was written:
To whom does the pronoun "us" refer, when we read Exodus 19:6 we will see that it is
And Ex. 19:6 reads:
Nowhere do we read of the Church being a kingdom of priests.
The only New Testament reference to a kingdom of priests is in I Peter 2:9, but we must note that Peter wrote his epistle to "the strangers scattered throughout.." (I Peter 1:1) i.e. the dispersed of
In this verse, it is obvious that "diaspora" refers to the scattered of
The second occurrence of "diaspora" is found in James 1:1:
The third occurrence is in I Peter 1:1, mentioned above. We find in this matter perfection in the Word of God which one would expect. That is, that the Greek word "diaspora" refers to the scattered of
Another clue to the Jewish character of Revelation is found in chapter 1 verse 10.
The question is what is meant by the phrase “the Lord ’s day"?
Does it mean Sunday or for that matter, does it refer to any day of the week? Let us search the scriptures.
1) Sunday is always referred to in the New Testament as "the first day of the week". Saturday is always referred to in the New Testament as "the Sabbath".
2) We read in Rev. 1:10 that "John was in the Spirit". What does that mean? The same phrase is also found in Rev. 4:2, 17:3 and . These verses will help us to understand the phrase "in the Spirit". Rev. 4:2 reads:
It is clear from this verse that when John was "in the Spirit" the result was that he saw a vision. Rev. 17:3 reads:
It is clear from this verse also that when John was "in the Spirit" the result was that he saw a vision. Rev. 21:10 states:
Again, it is clear that when John was "in the Spirit" the result was that he saw a vision. Logic demands that the same phrase in Rev.1:10 also means that when John was "in the Spirit" the result was that he saw a vision. In the visions John saw were of future events that include the great tribulation and the day of the Lord.
3) Given the monumental events recorded in the Revelation, it makes so much better sense to accept the "Lords day" of as referring to a future day rather than to a day of the week.
As mentioned above "the Lord's day" includes the period known as "the day of the Lord". The phrase "the day of the Lord" occurs 19 times in the Old Testament. The context will show that 13 of these passages are prophesies given directly to
In the New Testament the phrase, "the day of the Lord" is found two times, I Thess. 5:2, II Peter 3:10. I Thess. 5:2 reads:
II Peter reads:
These epistles were all written before
Another reason for Bible students to question the view of Daniel’s 70th week being world wide is a passage concerning this time frame in Matthew’s Gospel. We will begin by pointing out verse 16 of Matthew 24:
Obviously the whole world can not flee to the mountains and if the 70th week were worldwide would our Lord speak only to those who are in
Jews were not permitted to go very far on the Sabbath. The Gentile nations as such are certainly not interested in keeping a Sabbath that was part of a Law given to
Let us now examine a parallel passage to Matthew 24, namely Daniel 9. Compare Matt. 24:15 where Christ speaks of the "abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet" with Dan. to paraphrase it one who causes desolation will place the abomination on the wing of the
If Daniel’s prophesy concerns
One last thing that shows the Jewish character of Revelation is the number of Old Testament quotations and references found in it. In the Gospel of Matthew (The Hebrew Gospel) there are 92 references to the Old Testament. In Hebrews, there are 102 and in Revelation there are 285.
In view of the Old Testament character of Revelation and the fact that it is addressed to Israel and that it is a prophesy concerning the day of the Lord, which in turn centers around Israel (and to a much lesser extent the countries surrounding Israel) I feel we must question Daniel’s 70th week being “world -wide.”
In order to study this question, one must be aware that, in the Greek language there are four words translated "earth " or "world." A study of these four Greek words is in order.
THE FOUR GREEK WORDS TRANSLATED "EARTH" OR "WORLD"
The four Greek words translated earth or world are "aion", "kosmos", "oikoumenee" and "ge".
E. W. Bullinger defines "aion" as "an age or age time." Because this particular word does not impact on the question at hand, i.e. is the 70th week world -wide, we will not do anything more than defining it.
Dr. Bullinger defines "kosmos" as "the world created, ordered and arranged". The Hebrew equivalent is rendered "ornament".
"Kosmos" is best understood by looking at a few definitive verses. For example Matt. :
Consider these verses in the gospel of John:
Bullinger defines "oikoumenee as "The world as inhabited. It is from the verb "oikeo:= to dwell. It is used of the habitable world as distinct from "kosmos". Hence it is used in a more limited sense of the
"Oikoumenee" is used in Luke 2:1:
It is also used in Acts 11:28:
It is also used in Acts 24:5:
It is clear from these verses that what is intended for the reader to understand is a limited part of the world. Since we know, in the 21st century, that most of the world was inhabited at the time of the writing of the New Testament, how are we to understand the Greek word "oikoumenee"? Does it mean the same as "kosmos"?
I believe that the Holy Ghost used "oikoumenee" to refer to a limited portion of the world because of the verses quoted above, which obviously are limited, and also because He makes a distinction in such passages as Acts 17:24-31 between "kosmos" and "oikoumenee." Actually the passage in Acts 17:24-31 is an excellent example of how the Spirit uses precisely the word He wants that best conveys His meaning. Verse 24 reads: "God that made the world” (kosmos), and verse 26 reads, "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (kosmos)." But in verse 31 we read, "He will judge the world (oikoumenee) in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained." It is clear that the Spirit makes a distinction between "oikoumenee" and "kosmos." The "kosmos" was created by God, and man will inhabit the "kosmos", but God will judge the "oikoumenee", the inhabited world. This passage does answer the question as to whether there is a difference between "kosmos" and "oikoumenee." (Whether God will judge the "kosmos" is the subject of another paper). Suffice it to say that this particular passage tells us that He will judge a limited portion of the earth).
Because the correct understanding of the way that the holy Spirit uses the word "oikoumenee," is crucial to a correct understanding of the 70th week of Daniel, I will present each occurrence in the New Testament of the word.
The first occurrence is found in Matt. 24:14 which is in the context of our Lord speaking of the end times, and the 70th week of Daniel in particular.
The note in the Companion Bible on the word "nations" is "nations = the nations." Indeed the Greek does read "the “nations.” The definite article "tois" ("the") limits the noun, nations. Therefore "oikoumenee" limits it to the nations of the
The second occurrence of "oikoumenee" is found in Luke 2:1 where a decree is sent to the "oikoumenee". As mentioned above, obviously this decree was sent out to a portion of the world.
This verse could possibly refer to every kingdom of the world, but it could also mean every kingdom of that portion of the world that Satan will try to get to worship him. That question remains to be answered as we continue in this study.
Verse 25 speaks of the day of the Lord. Here too, this verse could be dependent on how one interprets the geographical limits of the day of the Lord. The answer to this question too, will need to be put off until we have completed our study.
Logic will not allow that there was going to be a famine throughout the entire world. This is one verse in which "oikoumenee" must mean a limited portion of the earth.
Paul and Silas certainly did not set the entire world upside down. They had visited much of the
Acts 17:24-31. As mentioned above, this passage is an excellent example of how the Holy Ghost chooses very carefully (as He did with all the words of the Bible) His use of "kosmos" and "oikoumenee".
Never, in the entire history of the world has one god or idol been worshipped in the entire world. Logic dictates therefore, that in this verse "oikoumenee" must refer to a portion of the world.
Again, Paul had certainly not visited enough of the entire world to be a "ring leader" and a "mover of sedition" among all the Jews of the entire world. Logic demands that in this verse "oikoumenee" must be understood as a limited portion of the world.
The words of the prophets had certainly not gone out into the entire world at the time Romans was written. Therefore, "oikoumenee" must refer to a limited part of the world.
Of course in one sense, Christ was given to the entire world. But in another sense, "He came unto His own;" to the "lost sheep of the house of
The same may be said of Heb. 2:5:
We find a very important fact about the tribulation in Rev. 3:10 with the first occurrence of "oikoumenee" in the book of Revelation, it reads:
When we study the definition(s) of the Greek word "ge" it will become very clear that this verse is informing us that the tribulation will come upon a limited portion of the world to test
There is no question that Satan does lead the whole world (kosmos) astray, but as we have seen, Revelation 1) is written to Israel, (1:6), 2) concerns the 70th week of Daniel and the day of the Lord (1:10), which centers around Israel, and 3) the events of the 70th week of Daniel are going to come on the inhabited world (oikoumenee) 3:10. So while it is true that Satan does lead the whole world (kosmos) astray, in this context i.e. Revelation, he is said to lead the inhabited world (oikomemee) astray. Note also Satan’s reaction to having been cast out of heaven:
The man child is the remnant of
The last occurrence of "oikoumenee" in Revelation is in and, in my opinion must be taken to mean a limited portion of the earth:
This passage will be discussed under the heading "kings of the earth" found below. I will say only at this point that it is not logical to think that every nation in the entire world will come to battle
Now that we have looked at all the verses in the New Testament that use the word "oikoumenee" let us try to answer the question of just how much of the earth is meant when the Spirit uses this term. As the reader has looked at each occurrence of "oikoumenee" it is clear that there are a few verses that can be taken to mean either the entire earth or a limited portion of it. But there are no verses where "oikoumenee" must mean the entire earth. And of the 15 occurrences, six, (one third) of those occurrences must be taken to mean a limited portion of the earth. Those occurrences are: Luke 2:1, Acts 17:6, Acts 11:28, Acts 19:27, Acts 24:5, Romans 10:18. Given that there are no occurrences of "oikoumenee" which must be understood to mean the entire earth , and that there are six in which it must be taken to mean a limited portion of the earth, I believe we may conclude that "oikoumenee" must refer, in every occurrence, to a limited portion of the earth.
Let us consider one other aspect of this question. It is clear that the entire Bible, except for the epistles of Paul, centers on one nation,
There is sufficient evidence to conclude that "oikoumenee" refers to a limited portion of the earth. Now the question is: which portion of the earth is meant? Since Revelation is primarily about the 70th week of Daniel, the day of the Lord, and the Old Testament prophesies concerning those times and their relation to
I realize that we usually think of the 70th week of Daniel as being worldwide and this seems like a very small portion of the earth, but let us consider that most of the Bible centers on a relatively small portion of the earth. God has chosen a nation,
We will now begin our study of the Greek word "ge". "Ge" is the most complex word that is translated "earth" or "world" because it could mean one of three things. It can refer to land as opposed to water, it can refer to earth as opposed to heaven or it could refer to a region or nation as opposed to the whole earth. Fortunately, in every case the meaning is made quite clear by the context and/or a parallel passage.
The first occurrence of "ge" is in Matt. 2:6 and obviously refers to a particular nation,
Matthew clearly has the same meaning:
Some verses that refer to earth as opposed to heaven include, Matt. , and Matt. , and Matt. 6:10. It is clear that one understands the meaning of "ge" by its context. Matt. is a good example of when "ge" means earth as opposed to water.
Note also Matt. 13:5 and Matt. 15:35.
INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH
We are now ready to look at the verses where "ge" occurs in Revelation. As we study the book of Revelation we come across the phrase "inhabitants of the earth" or "those who inhabit the earth" or those who “dwell on the earth” twelve times. I believe that it would be helpful in our study to look at these twelve passages as a group, for, in my opinion, they all refer to a very specific group of people, i.e. the unbelievers of
Let us look first at Rev. 13:14 which is one of the 12 occurrences of the phrase, "inhabitants of the earth", and is a passage that best illustrates its limited meaning. We read in verse 11 of another beast and in verse 12, we read that He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And in verse 14, He ordered them (the inhabitants of the earth ["ge" ] to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded. The image was the "abomination" set up in the
1) the idol on the
2) the entire world would not be involved in setting up an idol in
The first occurrence of the phrase "the inhabitants of the earth" is found in Revelation 3:10. In 3:8 Christ tells those of the church at
Let us look now at this verse in its entirety.
The "hour of trial" is going to come upon the inhabited earth (oikoumenee) to test those who live in the land (
The second occurrence in Revelation of the phrase "them that dwell on the earth" (or words to that effect) is found in :
Who were these asking to have their blood avenged? They were the martyrs of the 70th week (Compare 6:9: with , and -14). Are “the dwellers of the earth” with which their blood should be avenged, everyone in the whole world? I believe that the context of the entire book of Revelation will not allow for that interpretation. Since the 70th week is going to come upon "oikoumenee", i.e. a limited portion of the earth around Israel, and it will come to test Israel, those upon whom the blood of the martyrs of the 70th week are to be avenged are unbelievers of Israel (including not only Jews but also Gentiles who live in the area).
The next occurrence of the phrase we are studying is found in :
These woes are part of the 70th week that is going to come upon the "oikoumenee" (a portion of the earth around
The fourth and fifth occurrences of the phrase are found in Rev. 11:10:
The context will show how
Also verse 13:
Since the 70th week will be sent to test
The sixth occurrence of the phrase "all that dwell on the earth" in Revelation is found in 13:8: all that dwell upon the earth” will worship the beast-all who are not written in the book of life. It is obvious in this verse that those whose names are not written in the book of life are unbelievers. The question is, does this verse apply to all unbelievers in the whole world (kosmos) or to those in
1) He (the beast- antichrist) opened his mouth to blaspheme God and to slander His dwelling place and those who live in heaven. Verse 14 tells us how His dwelling place was slandered, he ordered them (the inhabitants of the earth) to set up an image in honor of the beast. Common sense tells us that everyone in the whole earth was not ordered to set up an image in
The seventh occurrence is in :
This again refers to the idol in the
The eighth occurrence is in :
Obviously, the ones that were deceived were unbelievers, but were they unbelievers of
The ninth occurrence of the phrase appears in the King James Version but not in the NIV, or numerous other modern Bibles. It does appear in the Greek interlinear in the NIV and should be included in the 12. It reads:
This is the second time this phrase is used in Rev.13:14 and it refers to the same group of people, i.e. unbelieving
The tenth occurrence of the phrase appears in 14:6:
At first reading it would appear that this verse does not limit the meaning of the phrase "those who live on the earth: to just
The eleventh occurrence is in 17:2:
This clearly refers to those of
The twelfth and last occurrence of the phrase under consideration is found in Rev. 17:8:
The book of life contains the names of all God’s faithful within the nation of Israel, and should be understood as limited in scope to those who will be dressed in white, i.e. the overcomes of the tribulation. We must remember the Body of Christ has already had its resurrection before the Great White Throne ever takes place. Hence, the Body of Christ is not referred to within the book of life pages, only the believing remnant of
I hope that the reader will agree that:
1) the phrase "the inhabitants of the earth" in Revelation always refers to
2) we can tell by the context what the meaning of the Greek word "ge" means.
KINGS OF THE EARTH
The phrase "kings of the earth" appears eight times in Revelation. We must allow the context to determine if it refers to the kings of the entire earth, or to the kings of a portion of the earth. The reader will see as we study this phrase, that in those verses where the context speaks of the kings of the entire earth, they do not impact on the question of whether the tribulation will be world wide.
The first occurrence is found in 1:5:
This brings to mind one of the titles of Christ, "King of kings, and Lord of lords". He will eventually rule all the kings of the earth in His millennial reign. The last occurrence of the phrase is used in the same way. Rev. 21:24 reads,
Here again, it is clear the kings of all the earth are to bring glory and honor to God. But that does not impact on the question of the geographic boundaries of the 70th week. The second occurrence of the term "kings of the earth" is in :
These kings are hiding from the catastrophic events described in verses 12-15 which occur when the sixth seal is opened. But the very fact that not all nations have dens and/or mountains goes to show that in this verse, which does impact on the geographic boundaries of the 70th week of Daniel, it cannot refer to the entire world.
In Rev. 16:14 the KJV has:
The word translated "world" is "oikoumenee" (inhabited world). The next phrase restates that the kings of the inhabited world are gathered. The next three occurrences of the phrase appear in Rev. 17:2, , 18:3 and 18:9. Because they all have to do with
It is not logical to assume that every nation in the entire world will gather to do battle against Jerusalem, especially when we consider Matthew 25 speaks of sheep and goat nations, and their being rewarded according to how they treated Israel during this time. In this verse, the phrase must refer to the kings of a portion of the earth.
OTHER OCCURRENCES OF 'GE' IN REVELATION
In the interest of making this study as uncomplicated as possible we will look only at those verses in which "ge" appears in Revelation that has a bearing on our question, i.e. is the tribulation world -wide? Rev. 5:5 and are in the same context and will, therefore be considered together. Rev. 5:6 reads:
Then we read of the four living creatures singing a new song:
Rev. 5:10 reads:
It is easier to determine the meaning of verse 10 because we have a reference to the kingdom of priests in Exodus 19:6 which tells us that it is
The next two occurrences of "ge" that are under consideration are in Rev.6:4,8. These verses explain some of the disasters that will come upon the "oikoumenee", (a limited portion of the earth) during the 70th week of Daniel (see Rev. 3:10). Verse 4 reads:
Verse 8 reads:
Because these events are part of the beginning of sorrows that will come upon one portion of the earth, obviously, the events will occur in a portion of the earth. Chapter nine continues with the disasters of Daniel’s 70th week which was to test
Rev. 9:3-4 describe these disasters:
Since the woe is directed to
We must be aware of several things in this passage.
1) verse 8 centers the work of these prophets in
2) The word translated "earth" is not "kosmos" but "ge".
3) Verse 10 reads, "they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them" this verse refers to the unbelievers of
Rev. 13:3 reads:
Chapter 13 is obviously about the antichrist and the events of the 70 th week of Daniel which are about to come on the "oikoumenee" to test
In this verse, I believe that the abominations spoken of refers to all the iniquities that center in Babylon at the time of the antichrist, but were, at least to some extent, "enjoyed" by the kings of the entire earth. This does not mean that the 70th week will be worldwide. Rev. 18:24 reads:
We must ask, does the phrase "all that were slain upon the earth" refer to everyone who has been killed in the whole world from the beginning of time or is the phrase more limited? Once again, the context (near and far) will tell us. Rev. 19:2 speaks of the great prostitute (
Those who have been killed in Rev. 18:24 refer to those who have been killed during the 70th week. Since the tribulation lasts 3 and one half years, and it is to come upon a limited portion of the earth, the ones spoken of in are limited by time and geographical area.
I am fully aware that when read in English, Revelation seems to say that the 70th week of Daniel will be world- wide. However a study of the words translated earth, world, etc. corrects this misunderstanding. That is why we must study the word of God.
The events of Daniel’s 70th week will come on a portion of the earth surrounding
This interpretation is consistent with:
2) the translation of "ge" in accordance with its context
3) the fact that the entire book of Revelation concerns the 70th week of Daniel, which in turn centers on
 The Thessalonian Epistle is written during the Acts period, a time when God was still trying to provoke
 Of course this statement does not include Paul’s books which are written to the Gentiles and
 We must remember the chronology of Daniel’s 70th week – Mat.24:8 – The Beginning of sorrows, then Mat.24:15,21 Tribulation, last Mat.24:29 after tribulation the Lord’s Day.