|“The” Seven Thunders
|NOT from the angel
|why are they sealed?
|The seven thunders
should be, at the very least, a lesson in humility to any expositor of
Revelation -- for they are unknown.
John has been ordered to “seal them up.” What could they mean?
• Thunder is associated with God’s judgment -- see, for example, the plagues of Egypt.
• There is some association of thunder with God’s deliverance of Jerusalem (Isaiah 29:6-7, where “Ariel” is a code name for Jerusalem).
• But generally, there is little to be said about these thunders. Two points may be made from the text:
1. They are referred to as “the” seven thunders -- the definite article exists in the Greek as well. It is as if we are supposed to know what these thunders are; they are “the” seven thunders.
2. We are not told why John was to seal them up. We might begin by assuming that they are sealed so that we might remain ignorant. But ask the question: if so, why were we told everything else? Either this is to prevent us from “knowing too much” -- or the thunders were sealed because they were not from God.
If the latter is true (and it is a speculation) then John would be told not to write them down as we would mistake them for God’s words. What could these thunders be? They are nowhere referenced in Scripture, so they would have to be something known to the Christian at the time. The Christian of the Reformation would have had little trouble identifying them: they would be the Papal Bulls, thundered (the word used then) at those who would dare to publish the Scripture in the language of the people.