“Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not(31:15)”. In the Gospel of St Matthew we have this quoted. “… Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men(2:16-18). A popular misconception has crept in as to the actual number of babes that were slaughtered. Be that as it may prophecies are from God and it holds no reckoning of time as we imagine from our direct evidence. It merely shows we infer wrong conclusions because our literal mind would want matters cut and dried and facts arranged in its proper sequence. For this reason for many the Bible is a repository of improbabilities. The fault is in their approach. The Bible is God document and its inerrancy is assured by the triune aspect of God whose testimony is truth. In Second Book of Kings we read King Ahaz did not do which was right in the sight of God, like David his father(16:2). The Spirit is setting names in reconstructed Time ( which is God’s time) and using law of gradation places it to contrast David. We already had discussed how places like Sodom, Egypt are grouped along with the city where our Lord was crucified (Re.11:8) These names signify spiritually with the Atonement of our Lord Savior. What is its spiritual significance but Atonement of Christ was for the whole world? It is thus prophecies are to be understood. All these innocents, martyrs from Abel onwards not to mention the firstborn in Egypt are grouped under one heading against ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Re.13:8).’ God the Father had made provisions for the collateral damage of sin. Here we have the Will and its fulfillment signifying element of time is reserved by the Spirit. The Gentiles may be accepted into the early church was predicted by Joel. When the Spirit arranged the vision for Simon Peter the Spirit as usual was leading the Apostle to do the right thing (Ac.10). It is but one example. The Spirit leads each on need to know basis and we see the Spirit similarly working with Evangelist Philip.
The Spirit narrates from the Father Son relationship so the instruction of righteousness is focus (2 Ti.3:16). At the beginning of Ch.31 we have already seen how he makes use of names as kangaroo words. Here he is referring to the latter days, “At the same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people (31:1,7). “The remnant of Israel is included in the body of Christ under the heading of all the families of Israel. Symptomatic of this fusion (‘man-child’ in Re.12:5) we read the holy city of God is referred by Throne of God and of the Lamb. Jeremiah predicts this: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast(v.27)”.
Narrative mode of the Spirit in placing spiritual truths in passages and elaborating them further with appropriate symbols elsewhere in the Scripture can be seen in the following’
Here is a verse from the Vision of Ezekiel,” And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire./ And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings./ And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass (Ez.1:4-8)”. The living creatures are taken up with some modifications in the Vision of John in the Book of the Revelation. Ch.4
‘Fire infolding’ is a mode that explains a color which here is amber. It however conceals something else ‘like color of burnished brass’ and these come into their own as four living belonging to iconography of pagan world. “they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle(v.10).” Even in our times these are in use to indicate aspirations of nations.