When I saw the title of this book and read its description, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. I’d never heard of the idea that the Passover foreshadowed the great tribulation, but I appreciate seeing Bible prophecy through other believers eyes, so I pick up a copy.
The book is well and passionately written with the unique perspective of a Jewish believer in Yeshua. Rabbi K. A. Schneider does a good job of providing a glorious and sobering picture of the events describe in the book of Revelation. But here is the unique part of the book, Rabbi Schneider illuminates the book of Revelation by showing how much of it is but confirmation of some of the Old Testaments most important prophecies concerning the end of this age and the return of Yeshua.
Through twelve compelling chapters Rabbi Schneider explores some of the most well know aspects of Revelation. In each chapter he points the reader back to the Old Testament context thus showing the congruency of both the Old and New Testaments. I quote Rabbi Schneider:
“In addition, the B’rit Hadashah [New Testament] was never written to be detached from the Tanakh [Old Testament]. If we want to interpret the Bible correctly, then we must interpret it as a whole, starting with Genesis and continuing all the way through the last chapter of Revelation. This is why Jesus frequently quoted from the Tanakh, validating its authenticity as the Word of God. The apostle and the early church writers constantly referenced the Hebrew prophets of the Old Testament for the same reasons.” (Kindle p. 83 [insertions] added by WS for clarity)
Each of the following twelve chapters applies this interpretational approach to good effect:
- 1. Chapter 1 – Jacob’s Trouble: From Turmoil to the Great Tribulation
- 2. Chapter 2 – When the Antichrist Will Rise
- 3. Chapter 3 – How the Antichrist Will Rise
- 4. Chapter 4 – God’s Wrath
- 5. Chapter 5 – The Rapture
- 6. Chapter 6 – Armageddon and the Messiah’s Return
- 7. Chapter 7 – The Marriage Between God and His People
- 8. Chapter 8 – All Israel Will be Saved
- 9. Chapter 9 – God’s Judgement and Rewards
- 10. Chapter 10 – The Reality of Hell
- 11. Chapter 11 – The Millennial Reign of the Messiah
- 12. Chapter 12 – The New Heaven and the New
Of these chapters I thought 11 & 12 were the most thrilling, providing the believer hope to counterbalance the sobering events described in Chapters 4, 9, & 10. Chapter 4 on the Rapture was the most challenging aspect of the book to contemplate. The authors view of the Rapture and its relationship to the events of the Exodus are ( as far as I’m aware) unique. I had often heard how the fall Feast of YHWH were shadow or types of events related to the 2nd coming but this is the first time I’ve read how the Passover provides its own shadows and type for these events as well. Definitely something for further consideration and study.
One my favorite parts of the book is when Rabbi Schneider explains how, “Matthew’s genealogy is not just a long, boring list of names; those names are the actual historic links between the Old and New Testaments.”
Though not mentioned by Rabbi Schneider, but buttressing his well made points is the fact that Matthew’s lineage of Yeshua was purposely arranged so that it would emphasize in his Jewish readers mind the connection between Yeshua as the promised Messiah and sacrificial symbolism of the Tanakh. You see Matthew purposely left out four of Yeshua’s ancestors. This omission combined with Matthew’s arrangement of the list into three 14 generational groupings, then had the unique effect of showing that Yeshua was both the 13th and 14th generation in this famous list.
As the Jewish reader would know, each year during each of the seven Feast of YHWH, the Jewish people were required to make 13 or 14 sacrifices. These sacrifices in turn where governed by the lunar side of the Bible’s calendar which included two cycles of 13 or 14 days of (visible) waxing light followed by 13 or 14 days of waning light. And just to make sure we didn’t think his list was an accident Matthew left out one of the Kings between the 6th & 7th generation and other three kings between the 13th & 14th generation (in the second 14 generational grouping).
That the apostle Paul understood this symbolism is confirmed in Ephesians 2:13-14 where he told the Ephesians that Yeshua broke down the “middle wall of partition” between Jews and Gentiles. Keep in mind that during the 2nd temple era, that middle wall of partition was an actual barrier build between the court of the Gentiles and the temple proper which kept Gentiles form the presence of YHWH. During the 2nd temple era any gentile caught trespassing beyond that barrier was killed. Thrillingly, when Yeshua and Paul walk those ancient stones that wall (according to Josephus) was access by 14 steps and the entry to the temple was granted through 13 gates (according to Rabbinic traditions).
As you can see Rabbi Schneider is most certainly correct when he rhetorically asks regarding Matthew’s list as it relates to the Old and New Testaments: “And what is the main thread that binds them? Yeshua HaMashiach.” Indeed as Revelation 19:10 tells us the, “the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Yeshua” (Yeshua = YHWH’s Salvation).
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In closing I will say there were a few parts of this book that I didn’t agree with or at least where I will need to further investigate the scripture for myself, but overall I really appreciated the way the Rabbi Schneider showed the congruency between the prophecies of the Old and New Testament. His view of the Rapture was challenging (in a good way) and he provided many wonderful insights which I appreciated. This is a book worth reading and when you’ve finished I’d encourage you to open your Bible’s and see if these things be so.
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Author: Rabbi K.A. Schneider
Book Title: The Book of Revelation Decoded: Your Guide to Understanding the End Times Through the Eyes of the Prophets
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Book Reviewed by: William Struse