John the Apostle, Presbyter, Other
Rome, Jerusalem, Other
Date of Composition:
Origin: Greek, Syriac, Other
Nero, Nero Redivivus,
Nero Rediturus, Etc.
Origin: Christian, Christian Redaction of Jewish Apocalyptic
"Behold, he is
coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who
pierced him. All the tribes of the eretz will mourn over him.
Even so, Amein."
(Hebrew Names Version)
I was seeing in the visions of the night, and lo, with the
clouds of the heavens as a son of man was [one] coming, and unto the
Ancient of Days he hath come, and before Him they have brought him
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then
all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of
Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Yeshua said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to
you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand
of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was
taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while
they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men
stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why
do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Yeshua, who was taken
up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him
go into heaven."
"And I will pour on the house of
David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and
supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they
will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for
Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a
great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in
the plain of Megiddo."
Every Eye Seeing
During the Roman-Jewish War
“A supernatural apparition was seen, too amazing to be believed. What I am now to relate would, I imagine, be dismissed as imaginary, had this not been vouched for by eyewitnesses, then followed by subsequent disasters that deserved to be thus signalized. For before sunset chariots were seen in the air over the whole country, and armed battalions speeding through the clouds and encircling the cities.”
"..The whole population
poured forth and each of the fugitives was surrounded by a vast crowd,
eagerly asking what had befallen outside.. They casually mentioned the
fall of Gischala.. When, however, the story of the prisoners came out,
profound consternation took possession of the people, who drew thereupon
plain indications of their own impending capture. But John..
went round the several groups, instigating them to war by the hopes he
raised, making out the Romans to be weak, extolling their own power, and
ridiculing the ignorance of the inexperienced; even had they wings, he
remarked, the Romans would never surmount the walls of Jerusalem.. By
these harangues most of the youth were seduced into his service and
incited to war; but of the sober and elder men there was not one who
did not foresee the future and mourn for the city as if it had already
met its doom." (Josephus Wars 4.121-128; ed. Thackeray, vol. 3., pp.
"John wrote that "every eye will see Him" and that "all the tribes of the earth will mourn" when He appears. Did Jesus "appear" to the Jewish tribes at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 as preterism maintains? Or are there reasons for understanding this passage to teach a future event of world-wide impact? Thankfully, we need not be overly concerned about the persistence of preterism because the plain meaning of the Biblical text stands opposed to its foundational teachings. "
(Revelation 1:7: Past or Future?)
R.V.G. Tasker (1961)
“If this verse refers to the parousia, the translation
all the tribes of the earth, i.e., ‘all the people of the world,’ is right. But if, as has been suggested in the commentary, the reference is to the conditions prevailing when Jerusalem was being attacked, the translation should be “all the tribes of the land’ (so Knox), i.e., the land of Judea (cf. Zc. Xii. 12). (The Gospel According to St. Matthew; Tyndale New Testament Commentaries; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1961; p. 230)
E.W. Bullinger (1909)
“It might be rendered ‘the land’ better than ‘earth’ in Rev. 1.7.” (The Apocalypse or “The Day of the Lord” Samuel Bagster & Sons, 1909; p. 54)
A. R. Fausset
7. with clouds--Greek, "the clouds," namely, of heaven.
"A cloud received Him out of their sight" at His ascension (Ac 1:9). His
ascension corresponds to the manner of His coming again (Ac 1:11). Clouds
are the symbols of wrath to sinners.
all kindreds . . . shall wail--.
Greek, "all the
of the land," or "the earth." See the limitation to "all," Re 13:8.
Even the godly while rejoicing in His love shall feel penitential sorrow at
their sins, which shall all be manifested at the general judgment."
Steve Gregg (1997)
“All the tribes of the earth (which can be translated, ‘all the tribes of the land [Israel]’)” (Revelation: Four Views; Nashville, TN: Nelson Publishers, 1997; p. 57)
Stafford North (1991)
“With the fall of Judaism, the ‘tribes’ of Jews all over the world would ‘mourn’ for they had not, as a group, accepted Jesus as their Messiah.” (Armageddon Again?
Oklahoma City, OK, 1991; p. 55)
C. Jonathan Seraiah
"It is true that the "eschatology" of the New Testament is predominantly preterist. For those unfamiliar with the preterist perspective, it is the ancient view that many of the eschatological passages of the New Testament were fulfilled (completely) in the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. This view may sound novel, but in reality there have been orthodox adherents to it throughout church history (e.g., Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius, John Lightfoot, John Owen, Milton Terry,
Jay Adams). This interpretation does not deny the Final Coming of Christ; it merely finds that not all "coming" passages refer to that event. The preterist interpretation is actually the most faithful to the biblical text because it recognizes that Old Testament prophetic terminology was used by the New Testament authors. This recognition is helpful in distinguishing the prophecies of Christ's coming that were near, in the first century (Matt. 10:23; 16:28; 24:30; 26:64; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 1:7; James 5:7-9; 1 Pet. 4:7; Rev. 1:3, 7; etc.) and thus fulfilled in a.d. 70, from those that were far (John 5:28-29;
Acts 1:11; 17:31; 1 Cor. 15:23-24; 1 Thess. 4:16; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.) and thus not yet fulfilled even in our day. It also helps to distinguish between a spiritual "coming" (invisible for temporal judgment, as in a.d. 70) and a physical coming (visible for eternal judgment)." (End of All Things)
Luis Alcazar of Seville
"This signification of clouds has
in it such force, that even if Christ should not come to Judgment in a
material cloud, it might nevertheless be truly and beautifully said that
He would come in clouds, according to the language of Sacred
Scripture. Not that I would deny that there would be true material
clouds at the Day of Judgment ; for I have no mind to innovation in what
pertains to teaching : I only mean to assert, that so beautiful and apt is
the symbolical signification of clouds, that although there should be
no clouds properly so called (viz. no material clouds), Christ might
nevertheless most truly and significantly be then said to come in the
clouds of heaven. And this I wish to say rather, in order that it
might be noted, that in the symbol of the clouds there is latent a
much greater and more excellent mystery than any one might think, who
considered only the grammatical sense of the Word -- a sense to which I see
that some persons are too much addicted."
"Behold, the Apocalypse sets before
us the Advent of Christ in the clouds of the preaching of the Gospel,
by means of which God pours down His heavenly shower, that is, the spirit of
peace and of prayer." (Vestigatio
Arcani Sensus in Apocalypsi Note
7, Chapter 1, Verse 7 (pp. 199-202) - Clissold's Translation)
"By this the Jewish People are most evidently intended, and therefore
the whole verse may be understood as predicting the destruction of the
Jews; and is a presumptive proof that the Apocalypse was written before
the final overthrow of the Jewish state." (6:971.)
Gary DeMar (1999)
“Equating ‘seeing’ with ‘understanding’ is a common biblical metaphor.. Notice how ‘seeing’ is equivalent to ‘understanding.’” (Last Days Madness;
Atlanta, GA: American Vision, 1999; p. 168)
"Contrary to what LaHaye writes, Bible prophecy teaches that Jesus'
coming was "near," that is, near to those who first heard the prophetic
word. Scripture does not say that Jesus "could come at any moment." He
promised that He would come before that first-century generation passed
away (Matt. 24:34); before the last apostle died (Matt. 16:27-28); to
those who "pierced Him" (John 19:37; Rev. 1:7); to those who sentenced
Him to death (Matt. 26:64). The Bible is so clear on this point that
liberals have been sticking the point in the eye of futurists for more
than a hundred years. " (Dispensationalism:
Revelation 1:7 is only quoted three times in the entire ante-Nicene
corpus, none from first-century writings.
"John did not die till Christ had returned, in that sense of the ‘close
of the aeon’ to which His own words and that of His Apostles often
point. . . . The Apocalypse was written before he had witnessed the
coming of Christ and the close of the Old Dispensation, in the mighty
catastrophe which, by the voice of God in history, abrogated all but the
moral precepts which had been uttered by the voice of God on Sinai." (The
Early Days of Christianity, 404-406)
"The cloud-coming of Christ in judgment is reminiscent
of Old Testament cloud-comings of God in judgment upon ancient
historical people and nations." [He Shall Have Dominion (Tyler,
TX: ICE, 1992) 388-389]
"The final collapse of Jerusalem and the Temple..
Through these events the Jews were to "see" the Son of Man in His
judgment-coming in terrifying cloud-glory: clouds are symbols of divine
majesty often entailing stormy destruction. The members of the
Sanhedrin and others would experience such in their life times (Matt.
26:64; Mark 9:1; cf. Rev 1:7 with Rev 1:1,3)." (ibid. 348)
"it is obvious that this coming is a
judgment coming focusing upon first century Israel...In regard to the
Jews (those who “pierced Christ,” Rev. 1:7), the Jewish War with Rome
from A.D. 67 to 70 brought about the deaths of tens of thousands of the
Jews in Judea, and the enslavement of thousands upon thousands more."
Bishop John Lightfoot
"In fact, one of the finest
intellects of the Westminster Assembly was a strong preterist: John
Lightfoot (1601-1675). In his Commentary on the New Testament from
the Talmud and Hebraica (1674; rep. 1989) Lightfoot offered a fine
preterist exposition of Matthew 24 (2:308-321), with allusions to 2
Thessalonians 2. Of the Thessalonian passage he argued that the
"restrainer" therein "is to be understood of the emperor Claudius
enraged at and curbing in the Jews" (2:312).
Lightfoot even adopted the view that Revelation 1:7 speaks of "Christ's
taking vengeance on that exceeding wicked nation" of Israel
(2:319 and 422). There he interpreted Christ's coming as a providential
judgment upon "those who pierced him" (the Jews) from among "all the
tribes of the land literally" (Israel). This committed Lightfoot
so strongly to preterism that he suggested Revelation's overall theme is
Israel's judgment: "I may further add, that perhaps this observation
might not a little help (if my eyes fail me not) in discovering the
method of the author of the Book of the Revelation" (3:210). This led
him to conclude that the "judiciary scene set up in Rev. 4 and 5,
and those thrones Rev. 20:1" speak of "the throne of glory" and "is to
be understood of the judgment of Christ to be brought upon the
treacherous, rebellious, wicked, Jewish people. We meet with very
frequent mention of the coming of Christ in his glory in this sense"
(2:266)." (Back to the Future)
"1. That the destruction of Jerusalem is very frequently expressed in Scripture as if it were the destruction of the whole world, Deuteronomy 32:22; "A fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell" (the discourse there is about the wrath of God consuming that people; see verses 20,21), "and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains." Jeremiah 4:23; "I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light," &c. The discourse there also is concerning the destruction of that nation, Isaiah 65:17; "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered," &c. And more passages of this sort among the prophets. According to this sense, Christ speaks in this place; and Peter speaks in his Second Epistle, third chapter; and John, in the sixth of the Revelation; and Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:17, &c.
2. That Christ's taking vengeance of that exceeding wicked nation is called Christ's "coming in glory," and his "coming in the clouds," Daniel 7. It is also called, "the day of the Lord." See Psalm 1:4; Malachi 3:1,2, &c.; Joel 2:31; Matthew 16:28; Revelation 1:7, &c. See what we have said on chapter 12:20; 19:28." (Lightfoot, vol. 2, p. 319).
"The destruction of Jerusalem is phrased in Scripture as the destruction of the whole world; and Christ's coming to her in judgment, as his coming to the last judgment. Therefore, those dreadful things, spoken of in Matt. 24:29,30 and 31, are but borrowed expressions, to set forth the terms of that judgment the more.. v.30 - "then shall they see" - not any visible appearance of Christ, or of the cross, in the clouds (as some have imagined); but, whereas Jews would not own Christ before for the Son of Man, or for the Messias, then by the vengeance that he should execute upon them, they and all the world should see an evident sign, and it was so. This, therefore, is called "his coming," and his coming in his kingdom." [A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, ed. Rev. John Rogers Pitman (London: J.F. Dove, 1825), p.141]
"The Greek word "ge" which is usually translated "earth" in
Revelation is often more properly translated as "land" (i.e. the
Promised Land). For example in Revelation 1:7 we are told that all the
tribes of the "earth" would mourn at Jesus’ Second Coming. This contains
a reference to Zechariah 12:10-14. When you examine the Zechariah 12 it
is the tribes or families of the land (of Israel) that would mourn not
the tribes of the earth. Another example of this is found in Revelation
chapter 13. Revelation 13:11 should read that the second beast came out
of the land (of Israel) not out of the earth. This second beast was
Jewish ("out of the land") he is referred to as the false prophet (Rev.
Israel was told in Leviticus 26:6 that if she obeyed the Lord there
would be peace in the land and the sword would not go through it. The
second seal of Revelation shows peace being taken from the land and a
sword given to a conqueror to go out and conquer the land. That
conqueror was Vespasian who invaded Judea with the Roman armies in AD
in Leviticus and Deuteronomy)
N. Nisbett (1787)
"If we look into the 24th of Matt. verse 30, we shall find this very description. -Then shall all the tribes of the land mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming with, or in, the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. The addition of the expression, "they who pierced him," by St. John, seems, with "the tribes of the land," necessarily to confine his views to the destruction of Jerusalem; and as if he would not be mistaken, he describes that very power and great glory that our Saviour said he should come in. "
(An Attempt to Illustrate..)
John Humphrey Noyes
"the meaning of the
apostle must be, ‘every spiritual eye shall see him.’" (Hand-Book
of the Oneida Community, 45)
"Here then, on the very front of the book, is exhibited a title-page, as it were, indicative of a conspicuous part of the contents of the work. The punishment of the unbelieving and persecuting Jew must follow the coming of the Lord; and this it is one leading object of the book to illustrate and confirm. If so, then the prediction must have preceded the event predicted.’ (1:273)
Foy Wallace (1966)
"The families of the Jews all over the Roman world are here mentioned. The Gentiles were never referred to as tribes; the tribes belonged to the Jews were dispersed into every part of the earth. Yet the events foretold of what would happen to their city and their nation, in Jerusalem and Judea, would become known wherever they were scattered, and all the Jews in every part of the earth would wail over this calamity. They would all mourn over the ruin of their city Jerusalem, and for the overthrow of their theocracy in the demolition of their temple, and for the termination of their Jewish state – their national distinction and existence. And they would wail (or mourn) because of him, for it was in fulfillment of the fearful woes that he had pronounced against Jerusalem and which were figuratively ascribed to his coming.” (The Book of Revelation (Fort Worth, TX: Wallace Publications, 1966; p. 72)
"Revelation 1:7 says, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds,
and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes
of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.” This passage is often
recognized as the theme verse of Revelation. Preterists believe that
“Revelation’s main focus of attention (though not its only point) is this:
God will soon judge the first-century Jews for rejecting and crucifying his
Son, their Messiah,”
notes Dr. Gentry. “John states his theme in his introduction at Revelation
1:7,” Dr. Gentry continues, “just after he declares the nearness of the
events (1:1,3), a theme that is directly relevant to the first-century
Not surprisingly, Dr. Gentry believes that “in its contextual setting verse
7 points to the destruction of Jerusalem and her temple in
a.d. 70.” Preterists do not believe that this verse speaks of Christ Second Coming.
Instead they see it as another reference to the
a.d. 70 destruction. Thus,
in usual fashion, preterists turn the perspective of Revelation 1:7 from a
global to a local perspective, from a Gentile to a Jewish outlook, and from
a future to a past fulfillment. All these are reversals of its actual
meaning. " (Has Bible
Prophecy Already Been Fulfilled?)
“Note again the reference John cited from Jesus' words:
"every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him" (emphasis added). All men will see the Lord Jesus Christ at His coming -- those in heaven, those on earth, and evidently, those under the earth "who pierced Him." Again, this cannot refer to anything short of a physical, literal second coming." (End Times Controversy, p. 9)
"The reader must not forget that when Jesus ascended into heaven
from the Mount of Olives "a cloud received him out of their sight" (Acts
1:9). Since He is returning in the same way that He left (Acts 1:11) His
coming with "clouds" (Rev. 1:7) is a literal and physical coming." (Was
All Bible Prophecy Fulfilled By A.D.70?)
Robert Thomas (Premillennial
"Christ never returned to earth in A.D. 70 personally, so explaining the
fall of Jerusalem as his coming violates the principle of
literal interpretation. All contextual indications point to a
literal and personal coming of Christ in that verse (Rev. 1:7). Gentry
calls this a "judgment-coming" of Christ, but the criteria of Revelation
also connect a deliverance of the faithful with that coming." ("A Classical
Dispensationalist View of Revelation," in Four Views on the Book of
Revelation, gen. ed. C. Marvin Pate, 225.)
"The preterist insists that the point of the passage in Acts 1 is
that Jesus went back to heaven IN THE CLOUDS. With that interpretation, he
then says that the return of Christ will be with the clouds and not visible
to mankind on earth. From that deduction, he then says that it fits nicely
to understand that Jesus did return in AD 70 - in the clouds, invisible, in
a spiritual sense. Does the scripture say that Jesus will return with the
clouds? Absolutely. Note Revelation 1:7, "BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE
CLOUDS..." However, we must read the rest of the verse, which says, "...and
EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM, EVEN THOSE WHO PIERCED HIM; AND ALL THE TRIBES OF
THE EARTH...." So, when Jesus returns, He will come with "the clouds" and at
that same time, "every eye will see Him". That's a visible return!" (Did
Jesus Already Return in AD70?)
"Preterism fails in this regard also as it argues that the hope
of Christ's return was likewise fulfilled in A.D. 70. To be sure, the
destruction of Jerusalem was a "coming" of Christ in predicted judgment. But
that it was "this same Jesus coming again in like manner as you have seen
him go up into heaven" (Acts 1:11) is extremely difficult to conceive.
Indeed, if it were, words would seem to have lost all meaning. "We shall see
Him as He is" and so be "like Him" (1Jn.3:2) would appear misleading if A.D.
70 exhausted it. "Every eye shall see Him" (Rev.1:7) and "then shall you
see" Him in His return coming "in great glory on the clouds of heaven"
(Mat.24:30) in the company of all His saints (1Th.4:16f; Rev.19:11ff) and
heralded by angels (1Th.4:16) in an event so spectacular that it cannot
possibly be missed (Mat.24:26-27) and "coming again to receive you unto
myself, that where I am there you may be also (Jn.14:3) all very naturally
lead one to expect a personal, visible return as traditionally yes,
unanimously understood by the saints throughout the church age. Indeed, to
hear the preterist arguing that "Christ really did come in A.D. 70" reminds
one of those against whom Jesus warned (Mat.24:26-27) (to paraphrase) "if
they have to tell you I have come, rest assured that I haven't. Like the
lightening, you won't be able to miss it." Those who try to convince us that
Christ has come, announce by that very action that they are false teachers."
Behold, he is coming with the
clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All
the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen. (WEB)
Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they
that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him.
Even so, Amen. (ASV)
See, he comes with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and those by
whom he was wounded; and all the tribes of the earth will be sorrowing
because of him. Yes, so be it. (BBE)
Behold, he comes with the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they
which have pierced him, and all the tribes of the land shall wail
because of him. Yea. Amen. (DBY)
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they
also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because
of him. Even so, Amen. (KJV)
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they
also who pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because
of him. Even so, Amen. (WBS)
He is coming in the clouds, and every eye will see Him, and so will
those who pierced Him; and all the nations of the earth will gaze on Him
and mourn. Even so. Amen. (WEY)
Lo, he doth come with the clouds, and see him shall every eye, even
those who did pierce him, and wail because of him shall all the tribes
of the land. Yes! Amen! (YLT)
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19 Nov 2003
To anyone who cares to respond: I can understand how Rev 1:7 and Mt 24: 30 being “ and all the tribes of the land will mourn “ are related. I could see some connection with Zech 12:10 as well. The problem I have is understanding the context of these verses. Mt 24 seems as though Israel is being judged and I don’t see that they are mourning out of repentence. Nothing from Josephus makes me see it this way. It is as if they are mourning because of what Jesus prophecied and that came true in 70 A.D. In Zech 12:10 it seems they are mourning because of “ a spirit of grace and supplication “. It seems that in the two passages there is mourning because of different motives. Zech because of sorrow but in Mt 24 just because of the awful events. Any thoughts on this ? By the way, I have become full preterist over the past year because of this site and some books recommended by it. I’m just trying to understand the implications of it . Thanks in advance Steve K,