A Midrash On The Exodus by Paul
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – “Yeshua himself will descend from Heaven, with a loud shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the shofar call of Yahweh. The dead in Yeshua will rise first, then we who are still alive will be caught up in the clouds to meet Yeshua in the air.”
Did you know that Rabbi Paul’s writing in Thessalonians 4 is a typical rabbinical teaching style called a Midrash? Paul takes the account of the Hebrew’s exodus from Egypt and applies it to the future rapture of the bride.
The Journey Begins
Exodus 3:7-8 – “Then Yahweh said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey’.”
Exodus 14:11 – “Was it because there weren’t enough graves in Egypt that you brought us out to die in the desert?”
Exodus 33:1 – “Yahweh said to Moshe, ‘Leave, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt; and move on from here toward the promised land’ [of promise, i.e. Israel].”
Ezekiel 37:12-13 – “Therefore prophesy; say to them that Adonai Elohim says, ‘My people! I will open your graves and make you get up out of your graves, and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am Yahweh — when I have opened your graves and made you get up out of your graves, my people!”
The Hebrew slaves have been in Egypt for over four hundred years. Ezekiel’s prophecy may refer to their redemption out of Egypt as being brought out of the grave – in other words, resurrected, not just to the final redemption when Israel is re-established. Upon resurrection, they then leave Egypt as the Egyptians witness their departure. Their walk to Mount Sinai in Midian takes three months, or ninety days [three new moons] (Exodus 19:1).
The Hebrew slaves were in Egypt, if you will, in the graves of Egypt:
◦ They received 14 days notice about their redemption, if you will, their “resurrection”.
◦ They were witnessed as they departed.
◦ And, in turn, witnessed to the Egyptians that their God, Yahweh, was greater than any other God.
◦ It took them several months to get to Mount Sinai.
◦ The resurrection of the Hebrew Slaves did not result an instantaneous disappearance.
The resurrected Hebrew slaves represent the Dead in Yeshua in Paul’s Thessalonians Midrash (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Note: Their final destination was to be the land of milk and honey, the promised land: Israel. They did not immediately arrive there, either.
At Mount Sinai
Exodus 19:10-11 – “Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day I will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people’.”
Exodus 19:16-20 – “So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God . . . Yahweh came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and he called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”
After arriving at Mount Sinai, they are consecrated. Three days later Yahweh / Yeshua descends. The Exodus 19 pattern:
9 Yahweh said to Moshe, “See, I am coming to you in a thick cloud . . .”
11 For on the third day, Yahweh will come down on Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people.
16 On the morning of the third day, there was thunder, lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain. Then a shofar (trumpet) blast sounded so loudly that all the people in the camp trembled.
20 Yahweh came down onto Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; then he called Moshe to the top of the mountain; and Moshe went up.
Upon arriving at Mount Sinai:
◦ They received three days notice that Yahweh was to descend.
◦ Yahweh descends and Moses is called up.
◦ They witness Moses’ ascension, if you will, his “rapture” into the cloud.
◦ His rapture was not an instantaneous disappearance, either.
Moses represents Those Who Are Still Alive in Paul’s Thessalonians Midrash (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
— The “dead” Hebrew slaves in the graves of Egypt were resurrected.
— The “resurrected” Hebrew slaves are a witness of Yahweh’s power over death to the Egyptians.
— They are gathered together, taken to Mount Sinai, consecrated, and become a people holy to Yahweh.
— Yahweh (Élôhîym / God) comes down from Heaven in a cloud and his voice is heard, sounding like thunder.
— Moses then ascends into the clouds.
— The dead in Yeshua resurrected and are consecrated (made incorruptible) at the moment of resurrection.
— Yeshua (Élôhîym / God) comes down from Heaven in a cloud with a loud shout, sounding like thunder.
— The shofar (or trumpet), also known as the voice of Yahweh, sounds a long blast.
— The newly resurrected people rise up into the clouds.
— Then those who were already alive people rise up into the clouds to meet them.
Perhaps you think the loud shout is missing in the Exodus account. No so fast! The shofar is blowing at maximum volume, and Moses and Yahweh are speaking to each other. Ever heard a shofar sound? It is piercing, almost deafening. Try speaking over the shofar’s volume to someone without loud shouting!
The Resurrections and Raptures
The Hebrew slaves resurrection from their Egyptian “graves” did not result in an instantaneous disappearance – it took time for them to walk away in full view of the Egyptians. It took more time to arrive at Mount Sinai.
Moses rapture was not an instantaneous disappearance, either – it took time for him to ascend while the people watched, several days after they had all arrived at Mount Sinai. His rapture did not take place at the same time as the dead slaves resurrection – he was still alive, having already been out of Egypt for forty years.
Matthew 27:52-53 – “The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
Of the Bride, Paul tells us that the dead in Yeshua rise first. Perhaps they too have a time of witnessing and traveling before they reach their destination – the clouds to meet Yeshua. Perhaps, only then, do those who are still alive ascend. The pattern of the Hebrew slaves resurrection and Moses subsequent rapture gives reason to believe that the pattern of the resurrection and subsequent rapture of the Bride will not result in an instantaneous disappearance, either. The scriptures in Matthew lend further support for this pattern.
Both Peter and Paul employ a very typical rabbinical approach to scripture in applying Older Covenant passages to current or future events. Rabbi John does the same thing throughout the Book of Revelation. This teaching style is called a Midrash.
Rabbi Paul effectively takes the same approach to the Exodus account as Rabbi Peter takes to the Joel 2:28-29 prophecy:
• Peter applies Joel 2:28-29 to the giving of the Spirit at Shavuot (Acts 2:17-21).
• Paul applies the pattern of the exodus of the Hebrew slaves out of the graves of Egypt, their trip to Mount Sinai, and the subsequent ascent of Moses to meet with Yahweh on the mountain to the future rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
We are always to be ready for Yeshua to return. Are you ready? If not, then get ready. Exercise whatever time you have to repent and trust Yeshua for your eternal salvation. Do not test Yahweh’s patience and wait too long – the dress rehearsals will not continue much longer.