On to the next verse we find in the book of Revelation, and trying to find some answers to the Bottomless Pit question a brother set me on to research. It seems I still have four verses to consider.
I will address the last two in the next post.
Lets consider our first verse.
Rev 11 :7
And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them,
Who is the beast?
- He fights against the two witnesses (whoever they represent I don’t know, but at the very least they are on God’s side).
- He is coming out of the pit so he probably smells of death (2 Cor 2:16)
Is his ascension a present activity or is it describing the beasts origin?
In other words, does the beast ascend to make war, or has he ascended previously and John is simply describing the origin/source of the Beast?
The word ascendeth in the Greek is the Strong # G305,
- verb – present active participle – nominative singular neuter
- anabaino an-ab-ah’-ee-no: to go up
- arise, ascend (up), climb (go, grow, rise, spring) up, come (up).
Notice that Johns verb choice is a present active participle. I do not know greek, but from what I can find out, the use of a present tense signifies continuity, or continuously coming out of the abyss.
One website that tries to explain greek grammar states that the present tense signifies “a continuous action, habitual action, often reflects a lifestyle”
(Now I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time considering the continual ascending of the beast as a lifestyle, but the point is taken, that this does not seem to be a one time event.)
Other than defining where the beast is rising from, this verse doesn’t shed much light on the pit.
Rev 17 :8
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.
What is going on here?
Dang – I am glad the only thing I have to consider is the portion describing the bottomless pit, cause this thing about “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” is simply beyond me. Also, the book of life thing is confusing for me, so I am glad I don’t have to address that topic!
What I do have to address is the pit.
What does this passage teach me concerning the pit?
- Well – the beast comes out of it – but we saw that in an earlier passage (Rev 11:7).
- Could this be the same time, same ascendancy as in Rev 11:7?
- I think John is describing a different time, this being the time(s) the beast goes into damnation/perdition.
- Rev 11:7 speak of the beasts ascendancy and seeming success over the two witnesses.
- This passage speaks of the downfall of the beast.
I am tempted to think that the mention of the bottomless pit is more of a description of this beasts origin, as opposed to defining a physical location. I don’t have much to base that on other than this is a highly symbolic book and trying to identify a location for the pit may be a fools errand.
Also, whatever John is trying to describe escapes me since his verb tenses are confusing to me. The beast shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and yet is not, and yet is.
I guess the one thing that I know is that the pit is a real bad place – real bad! Other than that, I am not seeing much more that this verse is telling me of the bottomless pit.
If you have some input, I would welcome it! Hope to see you again for our final post in this series.
Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.