Christ Coming in the Clouds
In Learning Activity #48 we studied the “coming” and “seeing” aspects of Matthew 24:30. In this Learning Activity we are going to look at an additional aspect of the above verse, in specific the phrase “coming in the clouds.” If we look at the use of this phrase in the Bible it will help us to understand its use in Matthew 24:30. To do this study we are going to look at passages in the Old Testament and then apply that understanding to similar uses of that phrase in the New Testament.
1. Exodus 16:10
2. In the verse above, what is it that the children of Israel saw in the cloud?
3. Exodus 19:9
4. In the verse above, what was it that the “cloud” provided for the children of Israel?
5. Leviticus 16:2.
6. In the verse above, what was the “cloud” used for?
7. Numbers 11:25.
8. In the verse above, what was the significance of “the cloud?”
9. Psalms 104:3
10. In the verse above, what is the significance of “the clouds?”
11. Read Isaiah 19:1.
12. In the verse above, what is the significance of clouds?
13. Daniel 7:13
14. In the verse above, what is the significance of “the clouds?”
15. Read Joel 2:1–2.
16. In the verse above, what is the significance of clouds?”
When we look at the previous passages we can conclude that to “come in the clouds” is a phrase that is NOT used literally in the Bible, but rather is figurative language depicting an event associated with God.
Now that the use of this phrase has been established, let’s look at some of its uses in the New Testament.
“…and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds….” (Matt.24:30).
“…and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matt.26:64).
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:26).
“…and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62).
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27).
“Behold, he cometh with clouds….” (Rev. 1:7).
Note: In the last verse above, the verse continues with “…and every eye shall see him, and they which pierced him….” Two comments are in order about this part of the verse. Notice that those who pierced him [were involved in His death] are mentioned. In addition, the Greek word for “eye” is “ophthalmos” which can be taken either literally or figuratively (See Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Greek word #3788). It is clear from the material we have been studying in both this and Learning Activity #48 that this word is meant to be taken figuratively. Thus the intent here agrees with all of the other applications of the Lord coming in the clouds where He would be perceived to be present, understood to be present, and they would be aware of His presence through the specifics of the event being described.
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