Seventh Seal – Silence in Heaven
Rev 8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
All of the Greek New Testament original manuscripts were written in LARGE CAPITAL LETTERS with no spaces and probably no punctuation – – -. This is because the Greek alphabet did not have punctuation until at least the Second Century, and there were no minuscule (lower case) letters until much later[i].
When the books and letters of the New Testament Bible were originally written, they did not contain chapter or verse divisions.
The chapter and verse divisions commonly used today, were developed by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton put the modern chapter divisions into place in around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible in 1382 was the first to use this chapter pattern[ii].
This is what John 1:1 would look like in capital letters with no spaces or punctuation.
Joh 1:1 ENAPXHHNOΛOΓOΣKAIOAOΓOΣHNΠPOΣTONΘEONKAIΘEOΣHOΛOΓOΣ
Now what does this grammatical information have to do with our text Rev 8:1? In Rev 8:1 it says, when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about an hour. Then in Rev 8:2 it says, And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
The majority of Bibles have the chapter division between Rev 7:17 and Rev 8:1. This is between the 6th and 7th seal. This should not be the case, because by doing so, Rev 8:1 becomes related to Rev 8:2. The seventh seal is not related to the seven trumpets. In my view the chapter division should occur between Rev 8:1 and Rev 8:2 and not before.
OK! What does the text mean, that there was silence in heaven for about half an hour? I cannot find one reference in the Bible explaining this verse. The only explanation comes from Ellen G. White: “We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought crowns, and with His own right hand placed them on our heads.[iii]”
What precedes this event when she writes about it on pages 60 and 61?
“Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared, about half as large as a man´s hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence, we all gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer, and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire; a rainbow was over the cloud, while around it were ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sat the Son of man (Math 25:31). His hair was white and curly, and lay on His shoulders, (Rev 1:14) and upon His head were many crowns. (Rev 19:12) His feet had the appearance of fire; in His right hand was a sharp sickle, (Rev 14:17) in His left a silver trumpet[iv].”
This description is the Second Coming of Christ were every eye shall see him in the future. Rev 1:7. He will come on a cloud, as he ascended on a cloud. Acts 1:9-11.
“Then Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried: `Awake! Awake! Awake! Ye that sleep in the dust, and arise.` Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. (1 Thess 4:13-18). The 144,000 shouted, Alleluia! As they recognized their friends, who had been torn by death, and in the same moment we were changed, and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. (1 Thess 4:17. 1 Cor 15:5-58)[v].
What does the citation “about half an hour” mean in Rev 8:1?
We are talking about prophetic time with symbols in chapter seven.
One prophetic day = one literal year in Bible prophecy. Ezek 4:4-6. (See my website on Rev 12:1-17 on www.ayin.dk for more explanation).
1 prophetic day = 1 literal year or 360 literal days.
24 hours = 360 literal days (360 divided 24=15)
1 hour = 15 literal days
½ hour = 7½ literal days
Seven and half days was the time it took for Christ and the angels of heaven, plus the saints to travel to the third heaven, which is in paradise. While Christ attended His Second Coming on this earth, all the millions of angels from heaven were with Him. Therefore, there was silence in heaven for about seven days, because heaven was empty of all the angels who should be there.
Ellen G. White writes, “We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass[vi].”
[iii] Ellen G. White, Testimonies for The Church, Vol 1 (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Pub., Assoc., 1948), 60.61.
[iv] Ibid., 60.
[v] Ibid., 60.
[vi] Ibid., 60.