References to the Old Testament in Revelation, Part II :: By Randy Nettles

In this article, we will continue to examine the Book of Revelation and its many references and allusions to Old Testament scripture. Chapter 12 in Revelation describes the flight of the Jews out of Israel during the middle of the Tribulation. The chapter begins with a historical review and summary in verses 1-5.

Revelation 12:1: “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.

Genesis 37:9: “And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.”

Comments: John’s vision refers to Joseph’s dream he had as a young lad. The sun represents Jacob (or Israel), the moon represents Rachel (representative of Jewish women or motherhood), and the twelve stars represent the 12 sons of Israel.

Revelation 12:2-5: “Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her child as soon as it was born. She bore a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and His throne.”

Isaiah 66:8: “Who has heard such a thing? who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”

Daniel 7:23-24: “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”

Psalm 2:9: “You shalt break them with a rod of iron; You shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

Comments: These verses in Revelation summarize the whole life of Messiah from just before His birth to His ascension. The verse in Isaiah refers to Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and the Jewish people at the start of the Millennium (IMO – read all of Isaiah 66). The verse in Daniel refers to the world government at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week and the takeover of this government by the Antichrist.

Revelation 12:13-14: “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

Daniel 7:25: “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Comments: In this verse in Revelation, the woman represents the modern nation of Israel. Most scholars believe a “time, times, and half a time” refers to 3.5 years, as in the last 3.5 years of Daniel’s 70th week (seven years), as mentioned in Daniel 9:24. Daniel’s 70th week is also known as the Tribulation or the Day of the Lord.

Revelation 13:1-2: “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

Daniel 7:3-8: “And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion and had an eagle’s wings. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl.

“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”

Comments: The four ‘beasts’ of Daniel’s prophecy are four kingdoms that would sequentially rule the known world (or around the Mediterranean Sea). Historically, they are known as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The ‘beast’ of John’s prophecy is the final world power that will form during the end times. Daniel also prophesies about this final beast kingdom. It will form from the countries and ethnic groups that made up the Roman Empire. The Antichrist will eventually become the king of this worldwide government.

Revelation 13:5: “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”

Daniel 7:20: “And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Comments: The Antichrist will speak “great things” and blasphemies against God. He will only rule (as sole ruler or king) for 42 months or 3.5 years.

Revelation 13:7:  “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

Daniel 7:21:  “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.”

Comments: The Antichrist will prevail against God’s people for a short time.

Revelation 13:8: “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Daniel 12:1: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”

Comments: Everyone who believes in the LORD will have their names written in the Book of Life. If you live during the Tribulation and take the mark of the beast, your name will not be included in this book. You will be damned for all eternity.

Revelation 13:10: “He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”

Jeremiah 15:2: “Thus says the Lord; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.”

Comments: In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Peter struck a servant of the high priest with his sword, Jesus told him, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Nowadays we say, “What goes around, comes around.”

Revelation 14:1: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”

Ezekiel 9:4: “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”

Comments: I wrote about this in The Harbinger of Revelation 7 (

Revelation 14:2:  “And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.”

Ezekiel 43:2:  “And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.”

Comments: God’s voice sounds like the noise of many waters.

Revelation 14:8: “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

Isaiah 21:9: “And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he has broken unto the ground.”

Comments: Isaiah prophesied about the coming destruction of Babylon during his lifetime, while John’s prophecy will occur in the end times. The repetition of “is fallen” appears to mean these verses could be in the form of a dirge or song.

Revelation 14:10-11: “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

Isaiah 51:17: “Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; you have drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.”

Isaiah 66:24: “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”

Comments: Isaiah 51:17 concerns Jerusalem’s looming destruction by the Babylonians, while 66:24 will transpire after the Second Coming.

Revelation 14:14: “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.”

Daniel 7:13: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.”

Comments: This Son of man is none other than Jesus Christ.

Revelation 14:18-20: “And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”

Joel 3:13: “Put you in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.”

Isaiah 63:3:  “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”

Comments: John, Joel, and Isaiah are all prophesying about the Second Coming when Jesus returns to the Earth and destroys His enemies.

Revelation 15:3:  “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are your ways, you King of saints.”

Deuteronomy 32:3-4,44: “Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, heand Hoshea the son of Nun.”

Comments: The song of Moses is found in Deuteronomy 32. I have mentioned a few verses of this song. The King of Saints and the Rock are two names for Jesus.

Revelation 16:1: “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”

Psalm 79:6:  “Pour out your wrath upon the heathen that have not known you, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your name.”

Comments: God’s wrath is often described as if it is in a vial or bowl and is poured out on those being punished. This same “pouring out” of God’s wrath is found in Jeremiah 10:25 and Ezekiel 22:31. A “cup of fury” is found in Jeremiah 25:15.

Revelation 16:2: “And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”

Exodus 9:10: “And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.”

Comments: The first vial judgment during the Great Tribulation is reminiscent of the sixth plague upon Egypt during the Exodus time, only it will be greater in scope.

Revelation 16:3: “And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.”

Exodus 7:20: “And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.”

Comments: The third vial judgment during the Great Tribulation is reminiscent of the first plague upon Egypt during the Exodus time, only it will be greater in magnitude.

Revelation 16:6-7: “For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments.”

Isaiah 49:26: “And I will feed them that oppress you with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.”

Comments: You know hard times are upon you when you only have blood to drink! This is the same prophetic message from John and Isaiah regarding the end times. The LORD is mighty indeed!

Revelation 16:10:  “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast, and his kingdom was full of darkness, and they gnawed their tongues for pain.”

Exodus 10:23:  “And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.”

Comments: The fifth vial judgment during the Great Tribulation is reminiscent of the ninth plague upon Egypt before the Exodus. The darkness in Egypt lasted for three days. The duration of the darkness during the Great Tribulation is not told; however, it will probably last for much longer than three days.

Revelation 17:1, 4-5: “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto you the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters…. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.”

Jeremiah 51:7,13: “Babylon has been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad…. Oh you that dwell upon many waters, abundant in treasures, your end is come, and the measure of your covetousness.”

Comments: Babylon is called the one who sits upon many waters and has a golden cup in her hand full of abominations. Although these passages do not refer to the same prophecy, their descriptions of Babylon are similar.

Revelation 17:12:  “And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.”

Daniel 7:24-25: “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”

Comments: Both Daniel and John are referring to the same prophecy regarding the ten-king kingdom that will arise during the end of days before the Antichrist kills three of the kings and the remaining seven acquiesce their power to him.

Revelation 18:2, 4-5: “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils….  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

Jeremiah 51:6, 9: “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense…. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reaches unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.”

Comments: These prophecies regarding Babylon (different events) are worded similarly, telling the people to flee from Babylon and that her sins have reached heaven.

Revelation 18:7-8: “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she says in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judged her.”

Isaiah 47:7-9: “And you said, I shall be a lady forever: so that you did not lay these things to your heart, neither did remember the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, you that are given to pleasures, that dwell carelessly, that say in your heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: But these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon you in their perfection for the multitude of your sorceries, and for the great abundance of your enchantments.”

Comments: Remarkably similar choice of words for Babylon’s two destructions (one yet future).

Revelation 18:21:  “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”

Jeremiah 51:63-64: “And it shall be, when you have made an end of reading this book, that you shall bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And you shall say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary.”

Comments: Jeremiah’s throwing the scroll regarding Babylon into the Euphrates River symbolizes the final destruction of Babylon that will occur at the end of the Tribulation. The stone Jeremiah tied the scroll onto symbolizes the stone (like a great millstone) that the mighty angel will throw into the sea after Babylon’s future destruction. Just as the great stone disappears into the sea, so will Babylon disappear from being a great city and world center of commerce.

Revelation 19:11: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.”

Psalm 45:3-4:  “Gird thy sword upon your thigh, Oh most mighty, with your glory and your majesty. And in your majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and your right hand shall teach you terrible things.”

Isaiah 11:4-5: “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

Comments: All these passages refer to Jesus Christ, the Word, as truthful, righteous, and faithful. He is also the ultimate Man of war, as I wrote about in A Man of War: The Lord is His Name, and will re-emerge after a long absence.

Revelation 19:12-13: “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

Daniel 10:6: “His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.”

Isaiah 63:3: “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”

Comments: John is the only author of a book in the Bible who calls the second Person of the Trinity “the Word.” In John 1:1, he mentions the ‘Word’ three times. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In John 1:14-17, the Word is identified as Jesus Christ. The same Being who created the Universe, the Word, will come to the Earth again at the end of the age and will destroy His enemies and then establish His Kingdom on Earth.

Revelation 19:16:  “And he has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.”

Deuteronomy 10:17: “For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regards not persons, nor taketh reward.”

Comments: Yes, Jesus Christ is King of Kings and LORD of LORDS and will reign on the Earth for a thousand years. Of course, that is only a start-up for eternity.

Revelation 19:17-18: “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.”

Ezekiel 39:17-18: “And, you son of man, thus says the Lord God; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh, and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.”

Comments: John and Ezekiel are both prophesying about a great slaughter in which the birds and vultures will be eating from the corpses of men and horses. Some Bible teachers see this as the same event which occurs at the Second Coming. I believe these are two different wars, with Ezekiel’s prophecy (Gog-Magog war) occurring approximately seven years before the Second Coming (the battle of Bozrah and Jerusalem) as described in Isaiah 63:1-6 and Revelation 14:20.

Revelation 19:20: “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”

Daniel 7:11: “I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.”

Comments: The Antichrist’s absolute rule will be short-lived as he will only be king of the Earth for 3.5 years before he is cast into the Lake of Fire with the false prophet.

Revelation 20:4-5: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

Daniel 7:27: And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

Comments: The martyrs of the Great Tribulation will reign with Christ for a thousand years. They will be a part of God’s kingdom on Earth. All believers in Christ, whether Jewish, Gentile, or Angelic, will be part of God’s everlasting kingdom.

Revelation 20:6: “Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Daniel 12:2-3: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”

Comments: Two main resurrections occur, according to the Bible. The resurrection of the saved (first resurrection) and the unsaved (second resurrection). “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29). “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15).

The first resurrection takes place in various stages: Jesus’ resurrection, the Church’s resurrection (during the pre-tribulation Rapture), the two witnesses of Revelation 12 resurrection, and the resurrection of the Tribulation martyrs and Old Testament saints at the end of the Tribulation. Jesus’ millennial kingdom divides the first and second resurrections.

We will examine the rest of Revelation 20, including the second resurrection and death, and chapters 21 and 22 in our next installment.

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Randy Nettles

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