12 I will
make a man ['enowsh] more precious [yaqar] than
fine gold [paz]; even a man ['adam] than the golden wedge [kethem] of Ophir ['Owphiyr]. KJV-Interlinear
12 I will
make mortal man scarcer than pure gold, And mankind than the gold of Ophir. NASB
First, Ophir was a place that was renowned for its exceptionally fine gold output. It was said to be located in Southern Arabia, in Africa, or perhaps in the Far East perhaps in India. But Arabia was the most common location expressed.
Ophir was the eleventh son of Joktan, Gen. 10:29, so the name had been around several thousands of years before Isaiah’s time. And as time goes by, in some cases the stories gain greater and greater embellishment.
Solomon was said to have received gold from Ophir. And it was said to take three years to go to Ophir, trade for the gold and then return in ships loaded with gold and other precious cargo.
In any case, in Isaiah’s time that gold was nothing more than a story. If you had gold from Ophir, then you had something that was very rare, and seen by virtually no one.
And so we have our verse.
When men become as rare as gold, more precious that fine, refined gold, then there are very few men left.
And that is the meaning of this verse.
Fine gold, ‘pazs,’ means refined pure gold that you can walk along and just pick up. But we know that gold is not pure when found in the creek or in the ground, it has to be purified after it is found. So finding fine gold is rare indeed. It just does not happen.
So, the judgment will be so great, so thorough, that there will be no one remaining, except for believers who are rescued by Christ.
Now, to put this into perspective.
We are currently in the Church Age. Our dispensation ends when the Rapture occurs, and then the Tribulation begins with a total span of only seven years. Christ returns in His second Advent, at the end of the Tribulation, and this is when the greatest judgment in history will occur.
Today there are seven billion plus people on the earth. If the Rapture does not occur for another hundred years then the earths population could easily be in the fifty billion range, give or take.
The Bible defines, per John, that the ‘end times’ is our dispensation, because we are the final dispensation prior to the Tribulation. We have been in the end times for nearly 1,980 years now (2013 – 33 A.D.). We assume that the Cross occurred in 33 A.D. and that Pentecost which started our dispensation with the filling of the Holy Spirit, fifty days later, was in that same year.
The ‘last days’ or ‘final days’ phrase applies to the seven year Tribulation period.
Anyway, we also know that the end of our dispensation will be marked by many historical trends such as rapidly increasing populations, knowledge, earthquakes and such, but the most important trend will be the ‘great apostasy,’ that both Jesus and Paul mentioned.
That means a reduction in saved people near the end of our dispensation, or certainly a dramatic reduction is interest in Christianity and doctrine.
So, if this is all true, and the Rapture does not occur for some time now, then whenever it does occur, those believers that are removed by the Rapture, may very well be few in number. Still maybe in the millions or billions, but a smaller percentage of the total population in any case.
So, we are studying the value of man being greater than fine gold.
In the Tribulation we already know that per Revelation, over half of the population of the world will die in the first three-and-a-half years of that seven year period. With a population of perhaps forty or fifty billion, that is a huge body count.
And in the last half of the Tribulation, nearly everyone else will die, most will probably die when the Second Advent occurs, during Armageddon.
That leaves only those who are rescued by Christ. And this number could be perhaps hundreds or thousands. We do not know the number but we do know that, that remnant will be small by comparison.
Thus man becomes a valuable commodity so to speak. Where there once was tens of billions spread across the planet, now there will be fewer than the population of a single small village or town.
And certainly no people of the evil category. They will all be gone.
The picture is clear, the devastation and judgment at the Second Advent will be complete, really complete.
And what is more, most people will mock at this, ignore this, and pretty much disregard this information. That is why the generations to come, however many that remain, will themselves be the cause of this final end of the world scenario.
Table of Contents
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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