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“AFTER TWO DAYS HE WILL REVIVE US”

“AFTER TWO DAYS HE WILL REVIVE US”

We read in Hosea 5:15-6:3, “I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early. (They shall say) Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight…..”. Some understand this verse to say that after two thousand years of the dispensation of the mystery Israel will be revived. There are three reasons I disagree with that interpretation.

1) Note the phrase “after two days”. We must ask the question two days after what? That is to say, something will happen after two days of what event? The context will give us the answer to that question. Hosea 6:1 is a parenthetical statement so we have to go back to the last phrase of 5:15 in order to determine what event marks the beginning of the time from which the two days are counted. If we, for the sake of clarity, leave off the parenthetical statement, it will read, “till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early………after two days will he revive us; in the third day He will raise us up”.

In other words, two days after Israel acknowledges their offence Israel will be resurrected. But Israel did not acknowledge Her offence at the beginning of the dispensation of the mystery. Therefore, if we interpret the “two days” as the 2,000 years of the dispensation of the mystery, we cannot place the beginning of the “two days” when Hosea places it, i.e. after Israel acknowledges Her offence.

2)  If one interprets the “two days” as two thousand years  of the dispensation of the mystery, that would mean that the resurrection will occur immediately after the end of the dispensation of the mystery. But that does not take into consideration the tribulation that must occur before the resurrection. In other words, the tribulation is certainly not part of the present dispensation, so the resurrection must occur at least 3 and 1/2 years after the end of the dispensation of the mystery. That means that the “two days” of Hosea is not 2,000 years, but 2,003 and 1/2 years. But that is not what Hosea wrote. Hosea wrote that the resurrection will be after “two days”.

If we, on the other hand accept the “two days” as a literal two days, all is clear. Two days after Israel acknowledges Her offence, Christ will appear in the clouds and believers will be resurrected.

3) The dispensation of the mystery was a secret hid in God until it was revealed to Paul at the end of the Acts period. If it had been hid in God, Hosea could not have written of the end of it.

We are now ready to consider this passage.

HOSEA 5:15-6:2

Let us begin our study by looking at the verse in context and I will include in parenthesis the ellipsis suggested in the Companion Bible. Hosea 5:15-6:3, “I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early. (They shall say) Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight…..”.

There are several key phrases in this passage that will help us in our search for the truth of God’s Word. Note for example, “I will go and return to My place“. This tells us that this prophecy will be fulfilled after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, i.e. after Christ returned to His place, i.e. heaven.

The phrase ” their affliction” refers to the tribulation. How do we know that? We know that from the fact that the only “affliction” spoken of in the Bible that will come upon Israel after the ascension of Christ is the great tribulation. That too, puts this passage in the end times.

The phrase “acknowledge their offence” points us to Zech. 12:10 where we read, “…..and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem…..and the land shall mourn, every family apart….”.

ISRAEL MOURNS

Matt. 24:29-30 is a New Testament passage that also speaks of the tribulation and Israel’s mourning the One they pierced. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”. To fully understand this passage we must first understand the phrase “all the tribes of the earth“.

Let us look at the way the Holy Spirit uses the Greek words translated “tribes” and “earth”. The Greek word translated “tribes” is used 31 times in the New Testament. In every case it is used of the twelve tribes of Israel. But we read of the tribes of the earth. Does that indicate more than just the tribes of Israel? No. The Greek word translated “earth” is “ge” and is used of land as distinct from water as in Matt. 18:29, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farling: and one of them shall not fall to the ground (ge) without your Father”. It is used of earth as distinct from heaven as in Matt. 5:18, “….Till heaven and earth pass…….”. And it used of a nation as in Matt. 2:6, “Bethlehem, in the land of Juda…….”. Because “ge” is used in the context of the twelve tribes of Israel, and because it is Israel that is mourning the piercing of their Messiah, Who they crucified, we may conclude that in Matt. 24:30 “ge” refers to the twelve tribe of the the nation of Israel.

That Israel will mourn the One they had pierced is clear from Zech. 12:10-12, “…..and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem…..and the land shall mourn, every family apart….”. But this passage does not tell us when this mourning will be in evidence. As we return to Matt. 24:29-30 we will learn when Israel will mourn.

Matt. 24:29-30, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”. In other words, Israel will mourn the One Who they pierced when they see the sign of the Son of man.

Many understand this passage to say that Christ will be seen in the clouds before Israel mourns the crucifixion of Christ. May I respectfully remind the reader of Hosea 5:15 where we read that Christ “will go and return to My place till they acknowledge their offence.“. That means, of course, that Christ will not leave heaven until after Israel mourns. All is clear however as we note the key word “sign“. That is to say, the sign of the Son of man will be seen before the mourning, and then after Israel mourns the Son of man will appear in the clouds. Also, common sense tells us that the sign of an event must precede the event itself. That is to say the sign of His appearing will precede the appearing of the Son of man in the clouds. And between the sign and the appearing Israel will mourn for Him Who they pierced. 

The reason that one might think that Christ will be seen in the clouds before Israel mourns is because of the unfortunate translation of the Greek word “kai” in the phrase, “And (Gr. “kai”) then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven” “Kai” is often translated “even” and should be so translated here in order to avoid a seeming contradiction.That is to say, Hosea tells us that Christ will not appear in the clouds until after Israel mourns.  Therefore, we must translate “kai” as even.  So that would read, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; Even then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”.

But we must consider Zech. 12:10 once again in order to address an apparent contradiction in that verse. Zech. 12:10 reads, “…..and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him…….”. The phrase “they shall look upon Me” seems to say that Israel will see Christ and then mourn. But we know that is not the case because we read in Hosea 5:15 that the Lord returned to His place and will not return until they acknowledge their offence. This seeming contradiction is cleared up as we consider the word translated “upon” in Zech. 12:10. The note in the Companion Bible on that word reads, “upon=unto“. There is a big difference between looking upon and looking unto. In Zech. 12:10 looking upon implies they are looking at Christ. Looking unto implies that they are looking for Christ. Because there are no contradictions in the Word of God, we must, in my opinion, accept the Companion Bible note and conclude that Israel was looking unto (for) the coming of Christ. That is to say, Israel was looking at the sign and after seeing that sign and acknowledging their offence, they saw the Son of Man as He appeared in the clouds.

THE SIGN OF HIS COMING

What is the sign of the appearing of Christ in the clouds? Matt. 24:29-30, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken“. As discussed above, the next verse begins with the Greek word “kai” which is here translated “and” in the phrase “and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven”. But “kai” can be, and often is, translated “even“. If we do not translate “kai” as ‘”even” we are not told what the sign of the coming of Christ will be. In my opinion, it is much more likely that we are given the sign of His coming than that we are not. Also, certainly the cosmic events listed in verse 29 are appropriate signs for the coming of Christ, especially when one remembers that He will come in vengeance. I believe that we should indeed translate “kai” as “even” so that that this passage should read, “…..the powers of heaven shall be shaken, even then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven”. That way the sign of the eventual appearing of Christ in the clouds will be “the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken”.

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

So, we have first the tribulation and then immediately after the tribulation we have the cataclysmic events in heaven which will serve as the sign of the coming of the Son of man. “And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn……”. And then “they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven…..”.

Let me list these events in chronological order for clarity:

1) the tribulation

2) the sun, moon and stars are shaken which will be the sign of the appearing  of the Son of man

3) the mourning of Israel

4) the appearing of the Lord in the clouds.

WHEN SHALL THE “TWO DAYS” TAKE PLACE?

We are now ready to address the question of when the two days of Hosea 6 will take place. There are three distinct sections to this passage. They are: 1) 5:15, “I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face…..” . 2) 6:1, “they shall say ‘Come and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He will heal us: He hath smitten, and He will bind us up'” 3) “After two days will He revive us…….” (6:2).

Let us focus on the phrase, “After two days”. After what two days”? That is to say, this phrase tells us that there will be a resurrection after two days. The obvious question is, after what two days? The answer must, of course, come from the context.

If we say that the “two days” refers to the 2,000 years of the dispensation of the mystery, what is the starting point of those two days? Again, that starting point must be taken from the context. The only part of this prophecy that is not obviously an end time event is 5:15, “I will go and return to My place”. Is the two thousand years to begin from the point of the ascension of Christ? I believe not because we know that the dispensation of the mystery did not begin with the ascension of Christ, it began at the end of the Acts period. In other words, because most of the prophecy is obviously centered on end time events, the only place to begin the supposed 2,000 years is at the ascension, and that does not coincide with the beginning of the beginning of the 2,000 years of the present dispensation.

In my opinion, we must go back to 5:15 for the starting point of the two days, when Israel will acknowledge their offence and seek His face. That means that Israel will mourn their offence for two days, after which the Lord will appear in the clouds. Obviously, Israel will not mourn for 2,000 years, so that means that they are a literal two days of a 24 hour period, during which Israel will mourn, and after which Christ will appear in the clouds and believers will be resurrected.

After the tribulation we have:

1) the sign (the the sun and moon darkened etc) of the Son of man lasting two days, during which

2) Israel will acknowledge Her offence and mourn for two days, which allows

3) Christ to leave His place, which means of course, His appearing in the clouds on the third day, i.e. the day of the resurrection.

This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. If you would like to respond please e-mail me at: janjoyce@aol.com

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