Petra, Part 3
9/26/22 – by Tim Buck
“God comes from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covers the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise.”
Where On Earth Will Jesus Return?
It’s been taught by prophecy teachers (including me) that Jesus will land on the Mount of Olives when He first returns at His Second Coming.
But from recent studies, I no longer feel that accurately
reflects the proper sequence of events that we read about in the Prophets showing where Jesus first arrives on earth.
There’s more to the story…
Buried in the short book of Habakkuk is the most interesting prophecy outlined above.
This prophecy deals with Christ’s Second Coming in the “Day of the Lord” and His arrival on earth at the end of the 7-Year Tribulation.
What’s fascinating is the reference to “God coming from Teman.” Teman was the capital of Edom, which is today in the southwest part of Jordan around the area of Petra. What’s that about? Why is God coming from Edom and the region of Petra?
The next line in the verse says “the Holy One came from Mount Paran,” a reference to the place close to Petra where God moved to from Mt. Sinai so the Israelites could see His glory from a distance.
“The LORD came from Sinai and dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran.
So Habakkuk recorded a vision of the last days regarding the Lord arriving and coming from Teman (Edom) and Paran (area of Petra). But why is the Lord coming from Edom and the mountainous region of Petra? What’s that all about?
Isaiah sheds more light on this:
Similar to the vision of John in Revelation 19:13 where Jesus is “clothed with a robe dipped in blood”, Isaiah also sees the robe of Jesus splattered with the blood of His enemies. Where did the blood come from?
Isaiah, like Habakkuk, says at the end of the Tribulation God comes from Edom—but more specifically from “Bozrah.”
There’s an important geographic clue in the meaning of the word “Teman” in Habakkuk 3:3. Teman means “South,” as in reference to Jerusalem.
Isaiah sees a vision of Jesus, after He returns, heading toward Jerusalem from the southern area of Bozrah. This indicates that Jesus must have arrived in the Judean desert somewhere around the area of Petra. He doesn’t arrive at Jerusalem first and then go to Petra, He first goes to Petra to free the remnant and then leads His entire procession up to Jerusalem.
So if you face Edom from Jerusalem looking south is Bozrah and the mountains of Seir. And guess what is located in the middle of those mountains—the empty city today known as Petra, Jordan.
Petra, of course, means “rock” and is located in the rugged mountains southeast of the Dead Sea and near Israel’s eastern border.
Petra was the capital city of the Nabateans. This nation seems to have come out of thin air, living for a couple hundred years around the time of Christ on the earth. Then, just as mysteriously, they disappear with no trace of what happened or where they went. The Nabateans were known for their carvings into sandstone. The area where Petra is located is full of sandstone mountains with thousands of carvings straight into the soft rock in the high sandstone walls.
Is it possible that God had this city built and then permanently vacated just so it would be available as the emergency refuge for Jews escaping genocide during the second half of the Tribulation? Yes!
Is it possible that we serve such a God? Yes and Amen!
Today you can see houses with several rooms carved deep into the sandstone walls. They even carved graves, tombs, water channels and animal mangers into these walls.
After carving all this for 200+ years, it left the area dotted with thousands of caves. It’s been estimated that when fully excavated, the city could hold up to 5 million people.
So let’s tie all this together…
In Matthew 24 Jesus describes an event at the middle of the 7-Year Tribulation when the West Bank Jews must flee for their lives.
They are warned that when they see the “abomination of desolation” standing in their Temple, that’s the sign to run or be killed.
Much like God provided water and food to the Israelites who wandered in the same desert for 40 years after the Egyptian Exodus, God will similarly provide for the surviving Jews who heeded Biblical warnings to flee when they saw the Abomination of Desolation.
Isaiah again fills in some details about the area to which they fled:
Enter the rock and hide in the dust… Is. 2:10
Men will go into caves of the rocks and into holes of the ground… Is. 2:19
In order to go into the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs… Is. 2:21
This further confirms that the holes, caves and large caverns that we see today in Petra are where the Jews end up living for the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, protected and provided for by God.
It’s during this time when they have come with nothing but the clothes on their backs, that they begin to lose their pride, repent, and begin understanding their Biblical roots and that they crucified Jesus their Messiah!
When Jesus returns to earth He first shows up in the area of Petra. It’s in this battle where he gets His blood stained cloak (Isaiah 63; Rev. 19) from defeating the southern armies of Antichrist who have besieged Petra. In a great battle, Jesus comes with “lightening in His hands” (Hab. 3:4) to defeat Israel’s enemies and personally free His remnant. It is likely that it’s on this occasion when “they see Him whom they pierced” (Zech. 12:10) and repent and are saved.
Then from Petra, Jesus the “Cloud Rider” becomes Jesus the “Desert Marcher” as He leads His entourage of freed Jewish believers through the Judean desert toward Jerusalem.
Upon arriving and ascending the Mount of Olives the mountain splits in half making a sudden way of escape through a newly formed valley like the miracle of the Red Sea. The remaining Jews in Jerusalem who have been besieged by Antichrist’s forces will flee through the mountain valley to escape death just in time!
Antichrist and his army then make the same mistake that Pharaoh and his army made giving chase into the mountain valley and the lights go out! When God turns the lights back on, the Tribulation is over and the Millennial Kingdom begins (Zech. 14:5-8).
For more study, read Isaiah 63:1-6; Habakkuk 3; Zechariah 14; Mt. 24:15-21; Revelation 12:6, 13-17 and 19.
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