- SongofHannahKeymasterApril 11, 2017 at 10:03 amPost count: 34
Was trying a figure out Jesus’ rather obscure words about his future presence. What did he mean, that it will be like lightning?
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. Look! I have forewarned you. Therefore, if people say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as the lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” – Matt 24:23-27
Also in Luke:
“For just as lightning flashes from one part of heaven to another part of heaven, so the Son of man will be in his day. ” -Luke 17:24
This always made little sense to me. For when is lightning ever spoken of, in this manner? Also, lightning bolts out of the sky and lands pretty close to where it originated. It rarely crosses over from one horizon all the way to the other, and when it does, then poof! It’s gone!
No matter how far across the sky it travels, after the flash, it disappears, almost quicker than it came! I wondered, did Jesus really intend us to think of his presence in these terms? So I decided to look up the original word translated from the Greek, to see if there might be something I might be missing.
Here is the word translated “lightning” from the Strong’s Concordance:
astrapé: lightning, brightness
Original Word: ἀστραπή, ῆς, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (as-trap-ay’)
Short Definition: a flash of lightning, brightness, luster
Definition: a flash of lightning, brightness, luster.
I then compared this with other scriptures that also use the word astrapé:
“His appearance was like astrapé, and his clothing was as white as snow.”
At that he said to them: “I see Satan already fallen like astrapé from heaven.”
“From the throne were coming astrapé and voices and thunders”
But right away the angel took the incense vessel, and he filled it with some of the fire of the altar and hurled it to the earth. And there were thunders and voices and astrapé and an earthquake.
And the temple sanctuary of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple sanctuary. And there were astrapé and voices and thunders and an earthquake and a great hail.
And there were astrapé and voices and thunders, and there was a great earthquake unlike any that had occurred since men came to be on the earth, so extensive and so great was the earthquake.
But the most interesting use of astrapé was found in this scripture:
Therefore, if your whole body is bright with no part of it dark, it will all be as bright as when a lamp gives you astrapé.”
How could an oil-fed portable lamp (Greek: λύχνος lýxnos) as Strong’s identifies it, emit “lightning”? This led me to believe that astrapé isn’t translated quite as accurately as it could be. Because, by the context of some scriptures, it may very well mean “lightning” – but from this scripture, we see that it’s base meaning has a much more broader definition.
To further investigate, I followed the root word for astrapé, which Strong’s identified as “astér”:
792. astér: a star
Original Word: ἀστήρ, έρος, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (as-tare’)
Short Definition: a star
Definition: a star.
Now, putting this together with Luke 11:36, how does a lamp shine like a star? Well, an oil lamp does have a “star” of light, in the very center of it’s flame.
This helps us to further understand that the very literal meaning of astrapé is a star-like “brilliance of light”. This definition well fits in with all the above scriptures cited, that use the word astrapé.
So with this meaning in mind, let’s look at Jesus’ words again, replacing the word lightning, with the literal translation of astrapé:
“For just as brilliance of light comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be.”
Is it not in fact the sun, a star-like brilliance of light, that rises, or comes out of the east and shines over to the west?
But interestingly Jesus did not use the Greek word for sun or sunlight. But when we put it together with the scriptures teaching us about the day star or morning star, the meaning of this scripture all starts to come into clearer focus.
“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and a daystar rises in your hearts.” – 2 Pe 1:19
“‘I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to you about these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring of David and the bright morning star.’” – Rev 22:16
So what I take Jesus’ words about his presence to mean is, that the Kingdom Of God is not coming with striking observableness among those who serve God in falseness – but for Christ’s true followers, there will be no doubt about it. As it will be as obvious to them, as a brilliant morning Day Star is, that rises in the east and shines into the west.
What do you guys make of it?Robert KingKeymasterApril 11, 2017 at 11:25 amPost count: 14
Not all lightning is sky to ground. In fact, most lightning is cloud to cloud and can be seen from a great distance. I take Jesus’ comparison to mean that the chosen ones will not have to travel to any location on earth to find him. He will not be in the wilderness or inner rooms as the false prophets will declare. His presence will be un-containable, like the lightning that streaks across the whole sky, so that those to whom he wishes to reveal himself will see his presence.
SongofHannahKeymasterApril 11, 2017 at 6:47 pmPost count: 34
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Robert King.
Not all lightning is sky to ground. In fact, most lightning is cloud to cloud and can be seen from a great distance.
Thanks for correcting me on that, Robert. But that’s not the thing that really bothers me about it. Oddly, of this light, Jesus states specifically that it “comes out of the east and shines over to the west”. Yet as a rule, lightning is completely random (not to mention being fleeting and transitory). But a shining “day star”, why it would fit this statement perfectly. And that along with the use of astrapé for a lamp in Luke 11:36 has me pretty convinced.
I take Jesus’ comparison to mean that the chosen ones will not have to travel to any location on earth to find him. He will not be in the wilderness or inner rooms as the false prophets will declare. His presence will be un-containable, like the lightning that streaks across the whole sky, so that those to whom he wishes to reveal himself will see his presence.
I like your explanation too. 🙂DustmanParticipantApril 21, 2017 at 10:24 pmPost count: 11
I think that Jesus was just making a comparison.
He said first that there would be “false” signs. Signs that could be misinterpreted as being true. Then he referred to a sign that no one could misinterpret. A flash of lightning. Probably he had in mind sheet lightning rather than a lightning bolt. So the “presence of the son of man” would be so blindingly obvious that there could be no mistake. No question that it could be one of the false signs mentioned before. Something that everyone would have to acknowledge rather than open to debate or argument.
StudyPartnerParticipantApril 23, 2017 at 11:26 pmPost count: 8SongofHannahKeymasterApril 24, 2017 at 7:58 amPost count: 34disqus_LgOOYv99voParticipantApril 27, 2017 at 8:39 pmPost count: 4
- This reply was modified 6 days, 2 hours ago by Dustman.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.