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Tribulation in Jewish Literature

And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time (Daniel 12:1).
For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now,
nor ever will (Matthew 24:21).

Article Bookmarks:
Tribulation
Famine
Truth
Heaven Shaking
The Length
Earthquakes
God Fearing Men Despised
Israel Abandoned
Birthing Pains
Hailstorms
War
End of Tribulation
False Religion
Family Betrayal
Heavenly Sounds
Israel's Salvation

Tribulation:

Old Testament Insight: This period of time is sometimes referred to as The Day Of The Lord with the term "Day" meaning a section of time not a 24 hour period. It is also referred to as The Time Of Jacob's Trouble. Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob's distress, But he will be saved from it. (Jeremiah 30:7). Zephaniah writes about it this way, That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, (Zephaniah 1:15).

New Testament Insight: Referred to as "The Day of Wrath" (Revelation 6:17).

Talmud:The Talmud teaches that "in the generation when the Son of David (i.e. Messiah) will come, multitudes of trouble and evil decrees will exist."(1)


The Length:

Old Testament: Final week of Daniel's 70 week prophecy. A week is equal to 7 years.

New Testament Insight: Christian scholars often refer to this seven year cycle as the final seven year period (week) of Daniel's 70 week prophecy. Jesus, tells us when this period is about to get to its worst point when He says Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet....then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will (Matthew 24: 15-21).

Learn more about Daniel's 70 Week Prophecy.

The Talmud: This specific Tribulation Period is taught to occur in a seven year cycle.(1)


Referred To As Birthing Pains:

Old Testament Insight: Jeremiah uses the birthing pains reference here, This is what the LORD says: Cries of fear are heard-- terror, not peace. Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor, every face turned deathly pale? How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it (Jeremiah 30:5-7).

New Testament Insight: But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs (Matthew 24:8).

Talmud: The Talmud teaches that these troubles preceding the advent of the coming of Messiah are generally referred to as birth pangs, being the travail which precedes the birth of a new era.(2)


False Religion:

Old Testament Insight:

New Testament Insight: This may be the short period of time, immediately following the Rapture where everyone left behind on earth is a non believer in Jesus. (All believers are raptured)

Talmud: The Son of David will not come until the whole world is converted to the belief of the heretics.(1)


Famine:

Old Testament Insight: Amos wrote about a famine that was coming. He viewed it as a spiritual famine where there would be no desire to know the word of God. Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it (Amos 8:11–12).

New Testament Insight: ...and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes (Matthew 24:7).

Revelation 6:6-8 teaches that during this famine a days wages will be equal to a quart of wheat and a days wages will also be equal to 3 quarts of barley. It also teaches that 25% of the people who are alive at this time will be killed through war, famine, plague and wild beasts.

Talmud: There will be arrows of hunger sent forth, which would cause a great famine, in the course of which men, woman and children would die.(1)


Earthquakes:

Old Testament Insight: For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel (Ezekiel 38:19).

There is an earthquake when the Messiah comes back to earth and the Mount of Olives splits in half. Zechariah writes about it this way. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him (Zechariah 14:5).

New Testament Insight: Earthquakes are mentioned in several areas of the New Testament as being part of the Tribulation Period. These areas include Matthew 24:7 and Revelation 6:12; 8:5; 11:13,19; 16:18-19.

Talmud:

Zohar: The Zohar, the basic book of Kabbalah system, speaks of an earthquake which will occur when a rising star appears to the world.(3)


Hailstorms:

Old Testament Insight: And the Lord will cause His voice of authority to be heard, And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger, And in the flame of a consuming fire In cloudburst, downpour and hailstones (Isaiah 30:30).

New Testament Insight: The Book of Revelation mentions several hailstorms including Revelation 8:7 and 11:19. Perhaps the most severe hailstorm mentioned can be found in Rev. 16:21: And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe (Revelation 16:21).


Family Betrayal:

Old Testament Insight:

New Testament Insight: Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death (Mark 13:12).

Talmud: It has been taught in the generation when Messiah comes, young men will insult the old, and old men will stand before the young (to give them honor); daughters will rise up against their mothers, and daughters-in-law against's their mothers-in-law. A son will not be embarrassed in his fathers presence.(1)


The Truth:

Scholars would be few in number. The Torah would be forgotten by its students. Truth will be entirely lacking. The wisdom of scribes will be in disfavor. With the truth gone-He who departs from evil will be dubbed a fool by his fellow man.(1)

Old Testament Insight: Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey (Isaiah 59:15).

New Testament Insight: Watch out that no one deceives you for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people (Matthew 24:4,5,11).

Talmud: Scholars would be few in number. The Torah would be forgotten by its students. Truth will be entirely lacking. The wisdom of scribes will be in disfavor. With the truth gone-He who departs from evil will be dubbed a fool by his fellow man.(1)


God Fearing Men Despised:

Old Testament Insight:

New Testament Insight: Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me (Matthew 24:9).

Talmud: God fearing men shall be despised.(1)


War:

Old Testament Insight: See Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 for description of war with Gog and Magog.

New Testament Insight: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom..(Matthew 24:6).

And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him (Revelation 6:4).

Talmud: There will be war in the seventh year: Galilee, east of the Sea of Galilee and the upper Jordan would be in ruins.(1)


Heavenly Sounds:

Old Testament Insight:

New Testament Insight: Heavenly Sounds are mentioned often in the Book of Revelation. Some of the references to these sounds can be found in Revelation 5:8; 5:11-12; 6:1; 8:6-12; 9:1 and 9:13.

Matthew also records God sending His angels with a loud trumpet call (Matthew 24:31).

Talmud: There will be heavenly sounds during the sixth year of the seven year tribulation.(1)


Shaking Of The Heaven And The Earth:

Old Testament Insight: For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light (Isaiah 13:10).

New Testament Insight: But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Matthew 24:29).

I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood (Revelation 6:12).

Talmud: I will shake the heavens and the earth: (2)


Israel Abandoned:

Old Testament Insight: Ezekiel 38 teaches that all nations will come against Israel.

New Testament Insight: Matthew says it this way. And you will be hated by all nations because of me (Matthew 24:9).

Talmud: Israel has neither support nor helper.(1)


The End Of The Tribulation Period:

Old Testament Insight:

New Testament Insight: But immediately after the tribulation of those days...they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with great power and glory (Matthew 24:29-30).

Talmud: After the 7 year period the Son of David will come.(1)

More on The Return Of The Messiah to bring The Time of Jacob's Trouble to an end.


Israel's Salvation At End Of Tribulation:

Old Testament Insight:


Zech 12-10

Read more about theZechariah 12:10 Prophecy.

New Testament Insight: ...that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:25-26).

Talmud: If Israel repent, they will be redeemed, as it is written, Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backsliding's.(4)


Miscellaneous:

The Time of Jacob's Trouble is written about in the Old Testament, confirmed by the New Testament and re-confirmed in the writings of the Talmud.

Pages inside of Jewishroots.net related to tribulation include:

Other pages of interest may include:


Acknowledgments:

1). Talmud Mas-Sanhedrin 97a The Soncino Talmud

2). Talmud Mas-Sanhedrin 97b The Soncino Talmud

3). Zohar Shemoth, Section 2, Page 8a. The Soncino Zohar

4). Talmud Yoma 86a

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