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And Every Eye Shall See Him…Every Eye on the PLANET?

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There is a verse in Revelation which is used by many who demand that the Lord Messiah MUST return in a physical, visible presence such that “every eye” on planet earth will see his return.  The verse is found in Revelation 1:7.  Let’s take a closer look to see if what is suggested by those holding to a futurist view of eschatology (99.9% of Christendom) are justified in applying this verse as a proof text to support their view.

Revelation 1:7 [KVJ]
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

I know from reading several similarly-worded verses in the Old Testament that this verse is not worded so as to suggest that “they also which pierced him” is referring to an additional group of people being added to a yet larger group who would also see him at his coming.  I think the KJV does an absolutely atrocious job of rendering the language in this verse and I think you’ll soon agree. Young’s Literal Translation reveals this verse to be much more in line with many instances of similar phraseology from the Old Testament.

Revelation 1:7 [YLT]
Lo, he doth come with the clouds, and see him shall every eye, EVEN THOSE who did pierce him, and wail because of him shall all the tribes of the land. Yes! Amen!

That phrase “EVEN THOSE who did pierce him” is very similar to verbiage used in several O.T. verses such as:

Numbers 3:22 [KJV]
Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, EVEN THOSE that were numbered of them were seven thousand and five hundred.

Here is an extremely CLEAR example where the phrase “even those” refers directly BACK to the preceding group of “Those that were numbered of them.” It’s just a restatement of the very same original group! This same phraseology is repeated several times in Numbers 4:44, 4:48, & 14:37.

Let’s look at a few more examples in some other books of the O.T. to see if the application is consistent:

1 Kings 8:4 [KJV]
And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, EVEN THOSE did the priests and the Levites bring up.

Ezra 1:7-8 [KJV]
Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; EVEN THOSE did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.

Zechariah 7:5 [KJV]
Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, EVEN THOSE seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?

Wow! Seems to be pretty consistent to me! How about the N.T. though?

Hebrews 5:14 [KJV]
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, EVEN THOSE who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Well well! What do we have HERE? Looks like the KJV translators, EVEN THOSE WHO TRANSLATED, have NO problem rendering this verbiage correctly when it doesn’t conflict with their futurist presuppositions.

Now, let’s compare the Greek and English in Hebrews 5:14 with that of Revelation 1:7 to see if they are the same or at least similar?

Revelation 1:7 [YLT]
Lo, he doth come with the clouds, and see him shall every eye, EVEN THOSE who did pierce him, and wail because of him shall all the tribes of the land. Yes! Amen!

Revelation 1:7 [Tischendorf]
Ἰδοὺ ἔρχεται μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν, καὶ ὄψεται αὐτὸν πᾶς ὀφθαλμὸς καὶ οἵτινες αὐτὸν ἐξεκέντησαν, καὶ κόψονται ἐπ’ αὐτὸν πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς. ναί, ἀμήν.

Hebrews 5:14 [KJV]
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, EVEN THOSE who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews 5:14 [Tischendorf]
τελείων δέ ἐστιν ἡ στερεὰ τροφή, τῶν διὰ τὴν ἕξιν τὰ αἰσθητήρια γεγυμνασμένα ἐχόντων πρὸς διάκρισιν καλοῦ τε καὶ κακοῦ.

They are not exact in the Greek, but what’s interesting here is that the KJV translators actually ADD the phrase “even those” in English to Hebrews 5:14 to make it align perfectly with the phraseology rendered in the O.T.!

In Rev 1:7 [YLT], the Greek phrase “καὶ οἵτινες αὐτὸν ἐξεκέντησαν” is rendered “even those who did pierce him” in the YLT, applying “καὶ” as a conjunctive particle and “οἵτινες” as a relative pronoun.

In Hebrews 5:14 [KJV], the Greek “τῶν διὰ τὴν ἕξιν” is rendered “EVEN THOSE who by reason of use” in the KJV, applying τῶν as a demonstrative pronoun.

Make of the grammatical analysis what you will, but it is pretty clear to me that this phrase in Revelation 1:7 is EXACTLY the same verbiage from the O.T. where the phrase “EVEN THOSE” appears in either the YLT or the KJV. Every time, without fail, when that phrase is rendered by the translators, it has the same power and effect…always referring back to the SAME PRECEDING GROUP.

So, to wrap this up… Here is what Revelations 1:7 means:

Every Eye Shall See Him = Even Those Who Pierced Him

The part of the phrase which contains “even those who” is simply giving a more perfect identification of the preceding group mentioned.  It does NOT mean literally every eye on the planet will see Christ at his coming!

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