When the Jewish disciples of Jesus asked Him, in the first chapter of the book of Acts, as to when His return to set up the promised earthly kingdom would be, Jesus can a somewhat cryptic answer that contains a key to unlock this end times prophecy. The exchange went like this:
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” Acts 1:6,7 (KJV)
The word “seasons” appears in the King James Bible exactly 12 times in 12 verses. In the Bible, the word “seasons” can stand for a period of time as short as a few hours, as seen in Psalm 16:7 (KJV), but in the vast majority of cases it is referring to the 4 seasons we know as Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. (It is interesting to note that there are 4 seasons, roughly 3 months apiece, and that 3 times 4 is twelve. God is revealed as a Trinity in 3 parts, nearly everything in His creation is in 3 parts, and there were 12 sons of Jacob who became the 12 Tribes of Israel, as well as 12 apostles.) So when Jesus told the apostles that it was not for them to know the “times and seasons” related to the end times, could it be God had already put an end times clue to unlock the seasons in relation to prophecy?
Yes, that is exactly what He did in the Song of Solomon.
God paints us a beautiful type picture in the love song of Solomon, of the coming glorious future of the blood-washed, born again believers in the matchless Bridegroom Jesus Christ when we will be called to ‘come away’ with Him.
All through the Bible, God uses many things to paint pictures of coming events, this is known as ‘typology’. Merriam-Webster defines typology as “a doctrine of theological types; especially : one holding that things in Christian belief are prefigured or symbolized by things in the Old Testament”. For example, when Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, it was a type of the suffering of Jesus and His payment at Calvary on the Cross.
“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40 (KJV)
Yes, the actual Jonah was really in the belly of an actual whale for 72 hours, but at the same time it was a type picture of a future event of prophecy. This is one of the things that Jesus is confirming in the above passage. God uses typology to a very high degree in the Old Testament to illustrate future, prophetical events.
Another great Old Testament type in the Bible is found in Genesis. The Bible tells us of a man called Enoch, a gentile who was the great grandfather to Noah. Enoch lived for 365 years, which just coincidentally matches the 365 days of the gentile calendar (the Hebrew calendar has 360 days). The Bible says that Enoch began walking with God after the birth of his son Methuselah, the oldest living man in the Bible. And then something amazing happened, here it is:
“And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:22-24 (KJV)
See what we have here? It’s a type picture of the Rapture of the Church. Enoch was a gentile believer in God, had fellowship with Him and ‘walked with Him’. Then, at some point in that walk, God took him home to Heaven literally and physically without ever having to die first. But that’s not all. Enoch’s rapture happens shortly before the tribulation of the flood of Noah destroys the Earth. Do you get that? Enoch is raptured out before the flood which destroyed the world. The apostle Paul teaches in the New Testament that the Church will be raptured out before the time of Jacob’s trouble which will cause global death, misery and destruction.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE A GOOD GRASP OF WHAT TYPOLOGY IN THE BIBLE IS, LET’S LOOK AT AN AMAZING TYPE PICTURE IN THE SONG OF SOLOMON ON THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH
The Song of Solomon is a love story. Scholars will tell you it’s a love story between King Solomon and one of his wives, but if you dig a little deeper, you will find that it is so much more!!
Let me give you the cast of characters…
The Shulamite (Gentile) The Girl…The Bride-to-be (The True Church of Jesus) The King…The Bridegroom-to-be (Jesus)
SONG OF SOLOMAN 2:10-13
Clearly, the spring/summer (Pentecost) season is being indicated. Not only is it being indicated, it is being powerfully indicated via a series of Israel-specific clues.
Let’s take a look at these clues, individually.
“The winter is past”
“The winter is past” means spring has arrived.
“The rain is over and gone”
The reference to rain is important because in Scripture the Lord’s coming is described as being like “the former and latter rains” (Hos. 6:3). The former and latter rains are such definite seasons in Israel that they are actually marked on the calendars and almanacs that show the various harvest times.¹ The former (early) rains coincide with the October-December timeframe. The latter rains coincide with the March-May timeframe. Thus, May into June—the time of Pentecost—marks the beginning of the dry season in Israel, the time when “the rain is over and gone.”
“The flowers appear on the earth”
In Israel, flowers bloom throughout the year. Spring, however (March-June), is the peak season. It’s interesting to note that lilies, specifically, are mentioned in the Song of Solomon: “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns…” (Song 2:1, 2). According to sources, the best time to view “lilies among the thorns,” as described in Song of Solomon, is in the late spring/early summer.²
“The voice of the turtledove is heard in our land”
The turtledove is a migratory bird. In Israel, it is said that by mid-April one can observe clouds of doves feeding on the clovers of the plain. They overspread the whole face of the land.
“The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell”
Green figs and tender grapes indicate the April-May timeframe in Israel. It’s typically around late May or early June that both begin to ripen.
The multiple references to the spring/early summer season leave no doubt as to the general timeframe of the shepherd’s coming.
Please take note of the time of year that the King is calling His Bride Home….Spring! Also take note of the reference to the Fig Tree, which we know represents Israel and the time frame in which Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:32 that He is coming to take us home!. Also note that the King doesn’t come down to where the Bride is, but rather asks her to Rise up. These are all references to the Rapture and give us a clear picture as to the timing. In Spring and in the Fig Tree Generation!
In the second chapter of the Song of Solomon, God paints us a picture of the Rapture of the Church. Not only that, He tells us what time of the year that the Rapture will likely take place. In verses 8 and 9, we see Jesus looking down from the windows of Heaven at His beloved.
“The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.” SOS 2:8,9
In the New Testament, when the apostle Stephen was being stoned to death, he looked up and what did he see? He saw the ‘windows of Heaven opened’ and Jesus getting ready to return in the Second Coming.
“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55,56 (KJV)
In the book of Revelation, the ‘window of Heaven’ opens two times. Once in a type picture of the Rapture of the Church in chapter 4:1,2, and again in chapter 19:11-14 at the Second Coming where we return with Him at the Battle of Armageddon. In Song of Solomon 2, we see Jesus ‘looking through the lattice’ at His beloved Bride the Church. But notice that He calls for Her to ‘rise up’ to where He is and to ‘come away’ with Him. Now where in the New Testament do we hear anything resembling that? Right here:
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”Revelation 4:1
THE PRETRIBULATION RAPTURE IS CONNECTED WITH THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS WHICH TAKES PLACE IN THE SPRING!
Her beloved is calling for her to rise up and out to be with Him. Not only that, we see the likely timing of the Rapture as given in the context. It happens after the Winter is gone, and glorious Spring has come where new life once again fills the Earth. Some will say that it is not Spring everywhere around the world at the same time. This is true, but God is not concerned with the whole world. Bible prophecy and it’s fulfillment centers around His Holy land of Israel, and it’s capital city of Jerusalem in particular.
“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” Song of Solomon 2:11,12 (KJV)
Many Bible scholars have tried to set the timing of the Rapture of the Church with the Feast of Trumpets because a trumpet-like Voice heralds the Rapture. But it is much more likely and seems to be indicated in the passage that the Rapture will align with the Feast of Firstfruits which takes place in the Spring. Clearly that is what’s happening in Song of Solomon 2.
Lastly, the Song of Solomon says that when the Rapture of the Church takes place, Israel will already have been regathered back into their land (May 14, 1948). Compare the passage with what Jesus in Matthew 24 said would take place, and we have harmony.
“The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Song of Solomon 2:13 (KJV)
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:32,33 (KJV)
The Pretribulation Rapture is shown in Song of Solomon, but it’s hidden, it’s a ‘mystery’, which would not be made known until the apostle Paul was called out.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51,52 (KJV).
God paints us a beautiful type picture in the love song of Solomon, of the coming glorious future for the blood-washed, born again believers in the matchless Bridegroom Jesus Christ when we will be called to ‘come away’ with Him.
THE THREE RAPTUROUS WOMEN OF THE OLD TESTAMENT! • The Shulamite who was married in Spring! • Rahab hid the spies under her flax that was drying. FLAX IS HARVESTED IN THE SPRING! • Ruth was married on or during Penetcost / End of Barely and in Wheat Harvest time – SPRING/SUMMER!