Re: [revelation-list] Digest Number 233
Although I am not prepared to argue that the seven vials are the blood of the martyrs, I don't think one can conclude that they cannot be on the basis that they represent the wrath of God.
God's wrath is a biblical concept that cannot be separated from the limited dualism of apocalyptic literature--that is, that God is in control of everything. And 1 Maccabees 1:64 in a summary statement says that "Very great wrath came upon Israel." This is admittedly impersonal, but it probably refers to the wrath of God, not in an intentionally judging sense, but in the sense that this suffering represents in some mysterious way the wrath of God. Why did this wrath come upon Israel? Because they were suffering severe persecution due to their righteous resistance to the forcible Hellenizing of Antiochus IV.
Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
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