Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: Was the phenomenon recorded in Matthew 27:5 1 "the earth did quake, and the rocks rent" a local convulsion or something widespread?

Answer: It is generally spoken of as being a local happening confined to the Jerusalem area. It is interesting to read the New Translation rendering given by J. N. Darby of the text: "The earth was shaken and the rocks were rent." It is my personal understanding that this was more than an earthquake but that the earth itself was shaken on its axis. It thus announced the awful deed that had transpired upon earthís surface. The same shaking of the earth upon its axis at the Saviourís death will happen again when at His second coming to earth He returns to judge the world in righteousness. Again, the sun will briefly withdraw its light and the Lord states "the earth will be shaken out of its place," which is stated clearly in association with the day of His fierce anger.

"The sun shall be darkened in his going forth.. .And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease.. .Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in...the day of his fierce anger" (Isaiah 13:10-13).

The shaking of the earth at both events, at His death and at his return, are occasions of this phenomenon. In light of these scriptures it seems evident that the quaking of the earth at the Saviourís death was much more than a local convulsion.

Question: Could an explanation be given of the words of Psalm 138:2 "Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

Answer: The thought expressed by the Holy Spirit is not as the A.V. would seem to suggest, i.e. that His word is above the Name. One translation which we believe gives the sense reads: "Thou has magnified Thy Name above all things by Thy word." This seems to be a satisfactory explanation, for it is by His written word, beyond all other evidence, that He made known His wondrous Name.

Question: It is often stated but seldom explained that the seventieth week in Danielís prophecy (9:24-27) was cut off from the rest and is yet to be fulfilled. Could this be explained for young believers like myself?

Answer: We value this enquiry and would seek to answer it briefly and simply. The seventy periods of seven years are spoken of by Gabriel to be determined upon Danielís people (Jews) and the Holy City, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and the prophecy and to anoint the most holy. Following this great statement, this whole 490 years is broken into three distinct parts.

The first is 49 years during which Jerusalem was being rebuilt. Then it was another 434 years to the cutting off of the Messiah. This completes a period of 483 years in all, or seven years short of the 70 weeks. The last seven years are yet future. The coming prince is the world ruler, the first beast of Revelation 13. He will confirm a covenant with many Jewish people in the land for one week or seven years. The broken covenant in the midst of the week will not change the fact that this seven year period will complete the 70 weeks or 490 years. It will end with the anointing of the most holy which will take place when the Messiah returns in glory to reign.