1. He answered me: You will be kept safe, and when the end days do come, you will have a work to do.
2. This will be the sign.
3. When a lethargy seizes the people of the earth, they come to many tribulations and fall into great torments.
4. And it will come to pass, when in much tribulation, in their minds will they say: The Mighty One does not remember the earth! Then they will abandon hope, and the end times will then be present.
1. I answered: Will that tribulation to come continue for much time, and will it be for many years?
At the end of days, Baruch is told that he will have work to do. During the tribulation, a few of the ‘angels’ mentioned are prophets from Biblical days, returned from heaven to announce judgments. Baruch is told here that he is one of them.
At the end of the Book of Revelation John is told:
And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow servant, and of they brethren the prophets, and of them who keep the sayings of this book; worship God.
This prophet was likely Ezra that showed John about in his vision. Baruch is one of the other (of the same kind, as the Bible tells us, that bring a message to the earth during the tribulatio).
Who would be an appropriate prophet to bear a vial and pour it out to the earth? Baruch was taken to Babylon, and there on the other side of the Euphrates was separated from the land and the city he loved. He detested the separating river, called Euphrates. In a book that he authored, he spoke of a promise from God to be able to someday come back and finish his ministry in the last days.
“Because you have shown what will happen to Zion, you will be preserved to the consummation of the times, so you may be a testimony.”
“You and others like you, will pronounce judgment in a time when the peoples will be chastened.”
“You will be kept safely till the time when the Most High will work in the last days.”
“You will surely depart this earth, not to remain separated from life, but to return at the end of times.”
In Baruch, we find that he despised the Euphrates River that separated him from his homeland. Therefore, my educated guess, is that this is the most likely prophet to be called to pour out a vial upon the earth. The sixth vial causes the Euphrates River to dry up. This prepares the way for the kings of the East to come to the battle of Armageddon. The vials have been given by God to further anger the sinners left upon the earth for Christ is ready to return to save the Jews in Petra. He is ready to return and begin the Millennial reign. God even makes it easy for the armies of the world to reach Armageddon.
God is about to give an awesome prophetic teaching to Baruch. Before we look at it, consider what the Bible reveals about the events of the tribulation, and then we shall see what Baruch is told.
It was not too many years after that Baruch asked how long the tribulation would be, that God answered specifically to Daniel. Gabriel came to Daniel and said:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city, to finish the transgression."
The "seventy weeks" is literally "seventy sevens". The word for "weeks" here is the Hebrew word - "shabua". It means "sevens." Since Daniel knew the 70 referred to literal years, he knew that the 7 times 70, would mean 490 more years of judgment for Israel.
The seventy sevens of years was to start when the decree was given to return and rebuild Jerusalem. This came on March 14, 445 B.C. Artaxerxes issued the decree in the 20th year of his reign. This was the husband of Esther.
"And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, the king, that wine was before him; and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And I said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it... The king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me."
It was prophesied to Daniel that it would take seven sevens of years (49 years) to rebuild Jerusalem. This also occurred as prophesied, for in exactly 49 years the city had been rebuilt. In the year 396 B.C., the city was completely rebuilt.
Then there would be 62 more sevens of years (434 years) until the Messiah would be "cut off." This indicates that in sixty nine sevens (483 years), the Messiah would be "cut off." This is 69 times 360 days = 173,880 days later. On this date, April 6, A.D. 32, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Passover occurred on Nisan 14, which was April 10 (Thursday in A.D. 32). He presented Himself as the Messiah, and three days later was crucified. The prophecy was exact to the day. The end of the 69th seven was to be marked with the appearance of the Messiah, as the "Prince."
The coming of the Messiah was to be officially announced on the day wherein the Christ made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This was proclaimed in the Old Testament prophecy of Zechariah.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
The Jews, who knew prophetic Scripture better than many Christians do today, saw the Lord Jesus riding on the colt into the city of Jerusalem, they knew this was a statement and claim to be the promised Messiah. Jesus did this on the exact day predicted by the prophecy of Daniel.
There has been a pause between the 69th and the 70th seven. There are seven years more left for the Jewish people. The interval is called the church age. For nearly 2000 years God has been dealing with the Gentiles, and using the church to evangelize the world. Soon God will turn back to the Jews and finish the seven years. This one seven year period that is yet left to occur is commonly called the tribulation. It is to be marked by the appearance of the "prince that shall come." (Daniel 9:26). This is the Antichrist.
During the last of the 70 sevens, the Antichrist will confirm a covenant with the Jewish people. The covenant will be broken by the Antichrist in the middle of the tribulation. This divides the last seven years into two halves of 3 ½ years.
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease."
In Daniel 12:11, the last half of the tribulation, the 1260 days, has another 30 days added to it. This extra 30 days includes the battle of Armageddon, the gathering of the Jews in Petra, and the cleansing of the Temple. Then in verse 12, another 45 days are added to the 1290. These 45 days are the judgments of the humans left alive after the battle of Armageddon. The Lord will determine which ones will enter into the time of the millennial reign on the earth. (See Matthew 25:31-46)
Certainly, the ones who survive to this point are "blessed", for they are can enter into the millennial blessings, and be ruled in peace and harmony during the next 1000 years.
God has had a purpose for the seventy sevens given to Israel. In fact, the purpose of this chapter 9 of Daniel is to reveal the covenant that God is making with Israel. God makes a covenant to give Israel just 490 more years. In that 490 years, God promises to do certain things. God has plans for Israel, and His plans tell us that He will do certain things in just 490 more years of dealing with Israel.
Jehovah is a covenant maker. "Jehovah" means in a literal sense - "I am, I was, I will be." Throughout Daniel, the names "Adonai", which means "Lord" or "Master"; and "Elohim", which means "Almighty God" are used. Yet, in chapter 9, the name "Jehovah is used seven times. This name stresses the eternal nature of God. The name Jehovah is also used when stressing God's covenant nature. When God makes a covenant, it is certain that He will fulfill its tenets, for He is eternal. Some people with whom we may make covenant, will die before they can fulfill their end of the deal. However, with God, He is eternal, and He will (though it take 490 years of dealing with Israel) fulfill His end of the covenant.
In Daniel 9:24, the reasons for the 490 years are plainly stated. He is making a covenant promise to Israel, and promises to accomplish certain things in those 490 years.
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon the holy city,
to finish the transgression,
and to make an end of sins,
and to make reconciliation for iniquity,
and to bring in everlasting righteousness,
and to seal up the vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the Most Holy."
TO FINISH THE TRANSGRESSION
The word for "transgression" is the Hebrew word "pasha", which means "revolt, rebel." Israel's great revolt was to turn away the true Messiah. The seventy sevens of years will complete that revolt, and bring them to a place where they will finally accept the true Messiah. The nation of Israel will eventually be converted.
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits: that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."
TO MAKE AN END OF SINS CONCERNING ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM
This will be accomplished at the second coming of Jesus. Jesus will come back after the 490th year of the seventy sevens of years that Daniel explains.
"Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore."
TO MAKE RECONCILIATION FOR INIQUITY
The Hebrew word for "reconciliation" is "kaphar". This word means to cover," or "to make atonement." This event was done at the end of year 483, of the 490 years, on the cross of Jesus Christ.
"And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet, now hath He reconciled."
TO BRING IN EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS
Jesus will do this when He ushers in the Millennium. This is at the close of the 490 years of dealing with the nation of Israel. The world has longed for a time of peace, righteousness, and justice. The world sees more crime, turmoil, sin, and debauchery than ever before. Politicians promise and promise. They cannot give the world perfect justice and righteousness. Our Lord has set aside 490 years of dealing with Israel and the world and intends to bring at the close of those 490 years the righteous kingdom that He has promised.
"Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this."
TO SEAL UP THE VISION AND PROPHECY
All the prophecies concerning Israel and Jerusalem will be fulfilled by the end of the 490 years. All of us are impatient. We long to see the rapture, the second coming, etc. Israel has also been prophesied concerning great and wonderful events. They have waited (sometimes impatiently) for these to occur. The Lord has promised to bring fulfill all the prophesied blessings by the end of the 490 years.
"The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy... the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord."
TO ANOINT THE MOST HOLY
This refers to the cleansing of the Holy of Holies of the Temple. The Lord Jesus will at the end of the 490th year enter the Temple in Jerusalem which the Antichrist has defiled with His presence and with the image of himself that was to be worshiped. Jesus will cleanse that place with His presence. The abomination of desolations will be ended.
"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
Thus, Daniel has revealed to him, 490 years of God to complete His dealings with Israel. He was shown what the covenant promise would include. He saw many details about those 490 years. Perhaps, or should I say - probably, he did not understand the gap of time between the 69th and 70th week.
In the next chapter to Baruch, we shall see what God adds to the revelation given Daniel.