Resurrection Mystery

Torah portion Vayera presents the binding of Isaac. The rabbis have associated it with the raising of the Shunamite's son and their commentaries on this portion often discuss resurrection. So given that the rabbis see the binding of Isaac as a story of death, burial and resurrection, what does the New Testament say about the subject?

A good place to start would be in Revelation 'And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.'(Rev 10:5-7) Here we are told of a mystery revealed to the prophets that will be fulfilled when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet. That should lead us to search for a mystery associated with a sequence of trumpets elsewhere in the Bible.

There are three places in Scripture where a sequence of trumpets is either listed or implied. The first is in the Book of Joshua where Israel marches around Jerico for seven days, blowing trumpets each day. On the seventh day, the last trumpet is blown, the walls fall down and Joshua captures the city. (The obvious parallels with the seven trumpets in Revelation are a subject for another day.) The second place where there is a sequence of trumpets is in First Corintians. 'Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.' Here the correlation with Revelation 10 is very obvious. We have a mystery which was shown to a prophet (Paul) which happens at the last trumpet (that there is a last trumpet means that there are trumpets going before). So, it seems clear that Paul is saying that the first resurrection will occur at the seventh trumpet in Revelation.1 (There is a second resurrection at the end of the Thousand Year Reign, but that does not concern us here.)


1 As I understand Revelation, the seals, trumpets and bowls are sequential. The seals represent Y'shua opening the deed to the earth and showing that He is the owner described in that deed. The trumpets announce the coming of the King to take possession of the earth and the bowls are the King taking vengeance on His enemies. Since Paul says that the dead will arise at the last trumpet and those of us who remain will be caught up into the air, that means that he was expecting that some of the believers to whom he was writing might still be around for the resurrection at the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11. This does not square with the popular idea of a pre-tribulation rapture.