The Two Witnesses

I read some fascinating viewpoints and interesting information on this, and just had to write about it… because it totally sparked my interest.  The topic?  Well, for those of you unfamiliar with scripture, when the 7-year Tribulation starts the countdown to Armegeddon, two prophet-like people will appear in Jerusalem, stopping the rain, calling fire from heaven to devour people, and warning people to come to repentance.  They will have a 3.5 year ministry before they will be shot and left in the streets for three days, while the world celebrates their deaths.  After three days, they will get up ((!!)) and testify to God, and then ascend to Heaven.  The great mystery is… who are these two witnesses?

The first viewpoint is that the two witnesses will be Joshua and Zerubabbel.  These two men are assumed to be the two olive trees in Zechariah chapter 4, and Revelation chapter 11 reveals that the two witnesses are the two olive trees before the Lord.  Zech 4:11, 14  Next I asked the messenger, “What are these two olive trees on the right and left of the menorah?” So he said, “These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”  The words ‘anointed one’ in this verse means ‘sons of fresh oil’.  This keeps with the imagery of olive trees. In the immediate context these two olive trees should be identified with Joshua and Zerubbabel, the priest and the ruler. Only the high priest and king were anointed for office in the OT and these two were respectively the descendants of Aaron and David.  It’s an interesting view I’ve never heard before, but I’m not so sure that I go with it.   I don’t see where it says in Zechariah that the two olive trees are Joshua and Zerubabbel, personally.  It only says the olive trees are ‘the two anointed ones’.  Hrm.

Another view says that they will be two ‘new’ people, born just as Jesus was born, just as we are born, and that they’ll come in “the spirit of” the prophets.  Like John the Baptist was a new person, born to exist in “the spirit of” Elijah.  This is not plausible, because Malachi 4:5 says “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”  See, in Luke, John the Baptist was actually said to come “in the spirit of” Elijah… but here it’s distinctly stated that Elijah *will be* one of the two witnesses.  So now we know… one will be Elijah.

The one that really gets people is who the other witness is.  Some people say the second witness is Enoch.  Enoch is the seventh son (generation) from Adam.  In the Apocrypha there is a prophecy book written by Enoch, but it was rejected from the Biblical texts for reasons I don’t know.  I’ve never read it, personally.  ((Yet.))  But according to the Bible itself, Enoch was a righteous man, and God decided that He would take Enoch.  Genesis 5:24  And Enoch walked with God and he was not; for God took him.  So Enoch walked with God, and never died.  There were only two people who never died – the other is Elijah, who was taken up from earth in a fiery chariot.  So if we know Elijah is one of two witnesses and that he never died, then they deduce that Enoch must be the other witness, since he is the only other person who never died.  I find this shaky.  Reason?  Because there’s another view that holds FAR more water.  Stay with me… one more.

I personally believe that the second witness is Moses.  I know I’ve waffled in the past, but after reading a lot of stuff, I’ve come to a decision – it has to be Moses.  But before we get into why, I want to talk about why people reject this.  Because Moses died, primarily.  But there were some interesting things about Moses’ death – Deuteronomy 34:5-7  So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day.  God Himself hid the body of Moses… nothing like that had ever been done before. And in the NT in the book of Jude we find that Satan tried to get Moses’ body…  Jude 1:9  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses…  makes you wonder why Satan wanted that body, eh?  Maybe there’s a future purpose for it?  Anyhow, there’s nothing in the scripture that says the two witnesses can’t have ever died, anyhow.  Dare we limit God?

Anyhow, why I believe the second witness is Moses…

Moses – supernaturally provided w/food (manna) per the hand of God  (Ex 16:15-35).
Elijah – supernaturally providedw/food (via ravens) per hand of God  (1 Kings 17:1-6).

Moses – in mount 40 days (Ex 24:18).
Elijah
– in mount 40 days (1 Kings 19:8).

(Both Moses and Elijah were in Mount Horeb when they had a visitation from God.)

Moses – Burning Bush from which God spoke audibly (Ex 3:1-2).
Elijah – Strong Wind, Earthquake, Fire, Still Small Voice (1 Kings 19:4-18).

Moses – God directly involved in passing – God Buried Him (Deut. 34:5-7).
Elijah – God directly involved in passing – God Took Him (2 Kings 2:11-12).

Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you
Interesting that God put Moses in the earth, and God put Elijah in the heavens.

Moses – departed from atop Mount Nebo in land of Moab (Deut. 34:1-6).
Elijah – traveled exactly to his depature in land of Moab across from Mount Nebo (2 Kings 2:1-8).

Moses:  The Jordan River was divided just after Moses died (Josh 3:14-17)
Elijah:  The Jordan was divided once again  before Elijah was taken away. (2 Kings 2:7-9).

Moses and Elijah were both present with Christ at the transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-13

Moses:  Represents the Law
Elijah:  Represents the Prophets

The ‘witness’ spoken of in the NT (Luke 24:44, Acts 28:23, Rom 3:21) are the “Law” and “Prophets.

Moses:  turned waters into blood (Ex 7:17-21), commissioned plagues (Ex 7-12).
Elijah:  caused drought for 3 1/2 years (James 5:17), called fire down on enemies (2 Kings 1:10).

These are the same wonders the ‘witnesses’ will perform, according to Rev 1:5-6  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not, in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will…

On top of these evidences from scripture, there is in fact ancient Jewish thought that suggests Moses and Elijah. The Midrash Rabbah anticipates Moses and Elijah to herald the advent of Messiah.

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, “Moses, by your life, just as you have given your soul for Israel in This World, so in the Future to Come, when I bring the prophet Elijah, the two of you will come as one… In that hour [Moses] will come and comfort Israel… (Deut. Rabbah 3:17)

As for Elijah….This concept of Elijah’s coming as a herald of Messiah, son of David is supported not only in the OT and the NT but also in Jewish literature:

…the holy spirit leads to the resurrection of the dead; the resurrection of the dead leads to Elijah the prophet. [Midrash Rabbah Song of Songs]

It was even taught that Elijah had three cities in Judah from which he would again begin his ministry. The discussion follows:  It [one of the three cities] was called ‘Zenan’ because Elijah was a buckler, and ‘Hadashah,’ because God would renew him in the millennium. It was called ‘Migdal-gad,’ because from there God would one day go forth and cut down the foundations of the heathen. [Midrash Rabbah Exodus]

The evidence all points to Moses and Elijah.  So I’m pretty convinced that Enoch isn’t our man.  Not with the perfect harmony of Moses and Elijah, afore-planned by the Almighty.  I *told* you he was a God of order.  Incredible, isn’t it??  Anyhow, when I read all of this stuff (from several sources), it just blew me away.  Good stuff!!!

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