The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse


The Little Book with the Seven Seals
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon… And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
– Revelation 5:1-5​

As we have shown in the previous sections, the apocalypse and the second coming of Jesus (and the destruction of the temple) already happened in Judea, nearly two thousand years ago and exactly one generation after the first coming of Jesus. And the book of Revelation is also talking about the apocalypse and armageddon, so it would make sense to see some similarities with the book recording the literal/historical fulfillment of biblical prophecy, namely “The Wars of the Jews” by Josephus who witnessed the apocalypse first hand. And so, this prophecy about a book with seven seals of the apocalypse of John, it turns out, was also fulfilled:

I have comprehended all these things in seven books, and have left no occasion for complaint or accusation to such as have been acquainted with this war; and I have written it down for the sake of those that love truth, but not for those that please themselves [with fictitious relations] {they are unworthy to open the book or even to look thereon;}. And I will begin my account of these things with what I call my First Chapter.”
– Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Preface:12​

It would appear that Josephus' historical work “The Wars of the Jews” with its seven books was the literal fulfillment of the prophecy from the book of Revelation about the book with the seven seals which you can only read if you are worthy. Let's go through each of the seven seals of the apocalypse and we will see each of their fulfillment in the seven books of “The Wars of the Jews” in the correct order:

The First Seal: Rider on a White Horse
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”
– Revelation 6:1-2​

These events described in the first seal of the little book appear vaguely to have a literal fulfillment in Book I of the Wars, where Josephus is describing the history of Israel before the apocalypse began. We can see there three common plot points within a single verse in the first book of the Wars and the first seal of the apocalypse. Antony is given a bow and makes war against Caesar and Herod assists him but is later forgiven by Caesar and given a crown:

“BUT now Herod… sailed to Rhodes, where Caesar then abode… but spoke thus before his face: "O Caesar, as I was made king of the Jews by Antony, so do I profess that I have used my royal authority in the best manner… I did not desert my benefactor after the bow that was given him at Actium; but I gave him the best advice… I told him… I would… assist him in his war against thee: but his affections for Cleopatra stopped his ears, as did God himself also who hath bestowed the government on thee… I have laid aside my diadem, and am come hither to thee, having my hopes of safety in thy virtue; and I desire that thou wilt first consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have been." Caesar replied to him thus: "Nay, thou shalt not only be in safety, but thou shalt be a king…" When Caesar had spoken such obliging things to the king, and had put the diadem again about his head…”
– The Wars Of The Jews, Book I, 20:1-3​

Second Seal: War
“And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”
– Revelation 6:3-4​

This passage about the second seal could be interpreted to refer to the sword that was given to the Sicarii who then took peace from the earth through their insurrections in Book II leading up to the rebellion which began the war:

“…And when they had joined to themselves many of the Sicarii, who crowded in among the weaker people, (that was the name for such robbers as had under their bosoms swords called Sicae,) they grew bolder, and carried their undertaking further; insomuch that the king's soldiers were overpowered by their multitude and boldness; and so they gave way, and were driven out of the upper city by force…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book II, 17:6​

The Third Seal: Famine
“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”
– Revelation 6:5-6​

The title of the third seal is “famine”, although no mention of famine appears in the passage itself, except for this strange mention of the pricing of wheat and barley, but this prophecy very clearly meets its literal fulfillment in Book III while Vespasian and the Romans besiege Jotapata to punish the Jews for their uprising. He had a battering ram which was hung “like the balance in a pair of scales” but decided to try and defeat the population through famine hoping they would petition for provisions while the Romans were just lying around outside the wall trying to stop the Jews from plundering their goods:

“And now Vespasian was plainly irritated at the great subtlety of this stratagem, and at the boldness of the citizens of Jotapata; for taking heart again upon the building of this wall, they made fresh sallies upon the Romans, and had every day conflicts with them by parties, together with all such contrivances, as robbers make use of, and with the plundering of all that came to hand, as also with the setting fire to all the other works; and this till Vespasian made his army leave off fighting them, and resolved to lie round the city, and to starve them into a surrender, as supposing that either they would be forced to petition him for mercy by want of provisions, or if they should have the courage to hold out till the last, they should perish by famine: and he concluded he should conquer them the more easily in fighting, if he gave them an interval, and then fell upon them when they were weakened by famine; but still he gave orders that they should guard against their coming out of the city.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 7:11​

The pair of balances would appear to represent the battering ram which Vespasian used to subdue the Jews when the famine didn't finish them off:

“…therefore, Vespasian… determined to make use of his battering ram. This battering ram… with a thick piece of iron at the head of it…is slung in the air by ropes passing over its middle, and is hung like the balance in a pair of scales…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 7:19​


The Fourth Seal: Death
“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
– Revelation 6:7-8​

The title of the fourth seal “death” and would appear to have its literal fulfillment in the fourth book, with terror, torture and death when the Idumeans arrive at Jerusalem before the Romans, thinking this would be the safest place for them to defend from the Romans, and try to take over the city beginning an internal civil war:

“Now after these were slain, the zealots and the multitude of the Idumeans fell upon the people as upon a flock of profane animals, and cut their throats; and for the ordinary sort, they were destroyed in what place soever they caught them. But for the noblemen and the youth, they first caught them and bound them, and shut them up in prison, and put off their slaughter, in hopes that some of them would turn over to their party; but not one of them would comply with their desires, but all of them preferred death before being enrolled among such wicked wretches as acted against their own country. But this refusal of theirs brought upon them terrible torments; for they were so scourged and tortured, that their bodies were not able to sustain their torments, till at length, and with difficulty, they had the favor to be slain. Those whom they caught in the day time were slain in the night, and then their bodies were carried out and thrown away, that there might be room for other prisoners; and the terror that was upon the people was so great, that no one had courage enough either to weep openly for the dead man that was related to him, or to bury him… for if they did, those that mourned for others soon underwent the same death with those whom they mourned for {ah, they were killed with death;}. Only in the night time they would take up a little dust, and throw it upon their bodies; and even some that were the most ready to expose themselves to danger would do it in the day time: and there were twelve thousand of the better sort who perished in this manner.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, 5:3​

The Fifth Seal: Martyrs

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth {Israel;}? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
– Revelation 6:9-11​

And as it just so happens, Book V discusses the martyrs that had died and wanted revenge, just as predicted by the fifth seal, when the Roman armies approach Jerusalem:

“… God himself demonstrated that his pains would prove of no use to him, by bringing the Romans upon himTitus, when he had gotten together part of his forces about him, and had ordered the rest to meet him at Jerusalem, marched out of Cesarea. He had with him those three legions that had accompanied his father when he laid Judea waste, together with that twelfth legion which had been formerly beaten with Cestius; which legion, as it was otherwise remarkable for its valor {testimony;}, so did it march on now with greater alacrity to avenge themselves on the Jews, as remembering what they had formerly suffered from them….”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 1:6​

But wait! These martyred saints belong to the Roman Imperial Cult! They are pagans!

Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower… when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."”
– Thomas 1:22​

Oh, I get it… The apocryphal (not included in the New Testament) gospel of Thomas seems to think that key to understanding Christianity is to view it as a kind of bizarro world, where up is down, left is right, front is back, Romans are Jews, Israel is the Earth and Caesar is God… then you will enter the kingdom and it will be given to you to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. This is done that they seeing, see not, neither do they understand.

The Sixth Seal: Terror

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
– Revelation 6:12-17​

Of course the sixth seal is fulfilled in Book VI as the Roman soldiers begin to break through the walls of Jerusalem and enter the city, with terror falling upon the Jewish rebels, everyone hiding underground and not being able to stand as God exercises his wrath upon these insolent wicked wretches:

“…But for the seditious, some of them, as despairing of saving the city, retired from the wall to the citadel; others of them went down into the subterranean vaults… Now as soon as a part of the wall was battered down, and certain of the towers yielded to the impression of the battering rams, those that opposed themselves fled away, and such a terror fell upon the tyrants, as was much greater than the occasion required; for before the enemy got over the breach they were quite stunned, and were immediately for flying away. And now one might see these men, who had hitherto been so insolent and arrogant in their wicked practices, to be cast down and to tremble… when those that came running before the rest told them that the western wall was entirely overthrown, while others said the Romans were gotten in, and others that they were near, and looking out for them, which were only the dictates of their fear, which imposed upon their sight, they fell upon their face, and greatly lamented their own mad conduct; and their nerves were so terribly loosed, that they could not flee away. And here one may chiefly reflect on the power of God exercised upon these wicked wretches, and on the good fortune of the Romans…”
– The Wars Of The Jews, Book VI, 8:4​


144,000 Sealed
Then the book of Revelation tells us that there were 144,000 souls saved from Israel:

“And after these things I saw... another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads{Nero the beast also puts marks on peoples foreheads;}. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel {the earth;}. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand… These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
– Revelation 7:1-16​

And the biblical prophecy of the 144,000 saved seems to have its fulfillment in Josephus as well, during the “triumph” celebration after the end of the war, in the form of slaves who came from great tribulation and are now in white garments:

“Now it is impossible to describe the multitude of the shows as they deserve, and the magnificence of them all… these pompous shows having also about them such magnificent ornaments as were both extraordinary and surprising. Besides these, one might see that even the great number of the captives was not unadorned, while the variety that was in their garments, and their fine texture, concealed from the sight the deformity of their bodies… There was also… many resemblances of the war, and those in several ways, and variety of contrivances, affording a most lively portraiture of itself…it exhibited what had been done to such as did not see it, as if they had been there really present…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, 5:5​

“Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege eleven hundred thousandpersons that were pure and holy; for as to those that have the leprosy, or the gonorrhea, or women that have their monthly courses, or such as are otherwise polluted, it is not lawful for them to be partakers of this sacrifice…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 9:3​

Well, a ninety-seven thousand Israeli slaves, that is definitely a fulfillment of biblical prophecy! Ok, 144,000 is a bit of an exaggeration from the 97,000 taken captive, but 144,000 is a nice way of rounding up to the nearest 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel (twelve being one of the most revered numbers in Judaism, really a great number), and it flatters the kindness of the Romans by “saving” those soles from their seditions.

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads… And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth {Israel;}. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men {Israel;}, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
– Revelation 14:1-5​

Yes, clearly, these 144,000 redeemed from Earth sang a song which none of the angels in heaven nor even God himself could learn because they don't speak Hebrew, the language of slaves.

The Seventh Seal
“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”
– Revelation 8:1-5​

And the biblical prophecy of the seventh seal is of course fulfilled in Book VII of Josephus, with prayers which go up, shouts and silence, also during the triumph celebration:

“…And as soon as ever it was day, Vespasian and Titus came out crowned with laurel, and clothed in those ancient purple habits which were proper to their family… Whereupon the soldiery made an acclamation of joy to them immediately, and all gave them attestations of their valor; while they were themselves without their arms, and only in their silken garments…then Vespasian accepted of these shouts of theirs; but while they were still disposed to go on in such acclamations, he gave them a signal of silence. And when every body entirely held their peace, he stood up, and covering the greatest part of his head with his cloak, he put up the accustomed solemn prayers; the like prayers did Titus put up also…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, 5:4​

So we can see that the seven seals from the little book described in the book of Revelation correlate perfectly with the seven books from the “Wars of the Jews” which Josephus wrote. This must be the most amazing fulfillment of prophecy ever, but we're only just getting started.


A Temple in Heaven
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament {which he took from the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem;}: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
– Revelation 11:15-19​

“Now it is impossible to describe the multitude of the shows as they deserve… demonstrated the vastness of the dominions of the Romans… and many resemblances of the war.. affording a most lively portraiture of itself. For there was to be seen a happy country laid waste… as also every place full of slaughter, and supplications of the enemies… for this was a festival day to the city of Rome, as celebrated for the victory obtained by their army over their enemies, for the end that was now put to their civil miseries, and for the commencement of their hopes of future prosperity and happiness. After these triumphs were over, and after the affairs of the Romans were settled on the surest foundations, Vespasian resolved to build a temple to Peace, which was finished in so short a time, and in so glorious a manner, as was beyond all human expectation and opinion: for he having now by Providence a vast quantity of wealth, besides what he had formerly gained in his other exploits, he had this temple adorned with pictures and statues; for in this temple were collected and deposited all such rarities as men aforetime used to wander all over the habitable world to see, when they had a desire to see one of them after another; he also laid up therein those golden vessels and instruments that were taken out of the Jewish temple, as ensigns of his glory. But still he gave order that they should lay up their Law, and the purple veils of the holy place, in the royal palace itself, and keep them there.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, 5:5-7​

The Book of Life
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.”
– Revelation 5:1​

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the {seven;} books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life {of Josephus;}: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
– Revelation 20:12​

First a book with seven seals and then the book of life, from which all the dead men were judged according to their works:

“And here a certain Jew appeared worthy of our relation and commendation…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 7:21​

“Now there was one whose name was Ananias (a wicked man he was, and very mischievous)…”
– Josephus, The Life Of Flavius Josephus, :56​

“However, I will not go to the other extreme, out of opposition to those men who extol the Romans nor will I determine to raise the actions of my countrymen too high; but I will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Preface, :4​

“There was also another body of wicked men gotten together, not so impure in their actions, but more wicked in their intentionsThese were such men as deceived and deluded the people under pretense of Divine inspiration…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book II, 13:4​

“… we may justly ascribe our misfortunes to our own people, and the just vengeance taken on them to the Romans; as to which matter let every one determine by the actions {works;} on both sides {as recorded in the works of Josephus;}.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 6:1​

So it would appear that all the dead in the whole war will be judged by posterity based solely upon those things which Josephus wrote in the little book with seven seals and in the book of life of Josephus. Back to the three measures of pure wheat and one measure of leaven in the kingdom of God, what I will show you in the next chapter is that they represent the works of Josephus, “The Wars of the Jews”, “The Life of Josephus” and the Old Testament mixed with some pagan traditions in order to “leaven” or inflate the story into a theology, thus marrying Judaism to ancient paganism and smoothing over the whole genocide and turning it into the greatest miracle of all time.

“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven… And he had in his hand a little book open: … And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book … Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.”
– Revelation 10:1-10​


Active Member
Good work Josephson! Seems convincing that the seven seals could have their background in the 7 books of the Jewish War besides the 7 previous emperors - quite probable - but of course the main parallels are three-way with the epistles and Suetonius Domitian ala Shakespeare's Secret Messiah. Seal 6 is a joke about masturbation, so interesting to see what additional details can be gleaned from book 6 of Jewish War.

Richard Stanley

I agree with gilius, this is a pretty convincing parallel between the 7 seals and Josephus's 7 book. However, I wonder if the 144,000 needs some more consideration? For one thing, 10 of the tribes had long since been exiled if we are to believe the OT. In any case, I agree that those numbers are likely symbolic in nature.

There is an extrabiblical claim that Jewish Christians of the day were warned to flee to Pella which, if true, would indicate that some at least were already in cahoots with the Romans. And/or, if the Hasmoneans, such as Josephus were really in league with the creation of Christianity from early on (similar as to why Philo was working on Hellenizing Judaism and his kin lead a Flavian legion) then possibly some of this number were part of those that fled to Pella for safety.

Richard Stanley

This has caused me to review the Book of Revelation in the light of Fideler's work, Jesus Christ, Sun of God, which I've been posting on. I have now noted all the references to the transition of the zodiacal age within the text, and it seems clear that 144,000 is indeed a veiled reference to such cosmology, while also announcing the earthly impact to whom in concerns. "As above, so below." But exactly to what?

One possibility is that 2160 (years for an equally divided 'age') divided into 12,000 (for the men in one tribe) comes out to 5.5555555... . Ironically, I think I observed that the video gilius just posted stated how important the number '5' was in Jewish esoterica. In this regard, Fideler's work is loaded with similar 'sacred' number games. Using 2,160 is somewhat odd though, because all the other numbering for 'ages' is millennial. For instance, Satan is locked up for 1,000 years and Christ will be with us for 1,000 years (till the end of the age).

Which also brings up the question of why the 144,000 saved to be cared for by the slain Lamb (of Aries) seem to be all Jews in Rev 7, albeit the question of exactly who is saved is made somewhat ambiguous by the mention of the multitude (from all nations) in between. In any case, the Lamb has been slain and is standing Heaven next to the throne of God, so are we talking about 144,000 saved via being slain on Earth, or part of a living contingent, like Josephus's kin that got to move on to a new life.

More to post on this elsewhere, including updating my 9/11 article.


Hi Giles, yes, if I understand what you are suggesting with parallels being three-way, then I absolutely agree with you. I have found that for the Gospels and the book of Revelation you take several passages of Josephus and mix them together to make a miraculous New Testament passage. The book of Matthew even gives you a recipe on how to make your own Gospel:

"Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."
-Matthew 13:33​
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind {of theology and history surrounding the destruction of Israel;}: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the {Roman;} angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
– Matthew 13:47-52​

Have ye understood all these things? Hehe ;)


Also, you ask about getting additional details from book 6. I have 80 jokes from the four Gospels and the book of Revelation which refer to Book 6. Which chapter do you want, or which biblical verse would you like to see the original inspiration for?