There are types and parallels for a 7 year Tribulation woven throughout the Scriptures. While there are a few parallels pointing to a 42 months for the antichrist's rule and the 2 witnesses' ministry, there are no such parallels for a 3 1/2 year Tribulation.
*Note I only listed the parallel pertinent to a 7 year Tribulation. To see the many more parallel click the link at the end.
Noah and the Flood
- Type = Enoch was raptured before the Flood Judgment (Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5).
Parallel = The Church will be raptured before the Tribulation judgments (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).
- Type = Noah & his family were saved through the flood (Genesis 7:23).
Parallel = The Jewish remnant will be saved through the Great Tribulation (Revelation 12:6, 13-15).
- Type = Noah & his family went into the ark 7 days before the destruction of the unrighteous
Parallel = The destruction of unbelievers will be at the end of the Tribulation week of 7 years (Revelation 19:17-21, Matthew 25:41-46).
- Type = Jacob's "trouble" with his father-in=law Laban, started by Jacob being tricked into marrying Leah instead of Rachel. The wedding with Leah lasted a week. (Genesis 29:23-28).
Parallel = The "time of Jacob's trouble" will be the final week of years in Daniel's prophecy (Daniel 9:26-27, Daniel 12:1, Jeremiah 30:7).
- Type = Jacob had to finish Leah's honeymoon week before marrying his beloved Rachel (Genesis 29:29-30).
Parallel = God will take back Israel as His beloved wife after they go through the testing period of the 7 year Tribulation, or a week of years (Hosea 3:1-5, Zechariah 13:9, Daniel 9:24).
Joseph and His Brothers
- Type = Joseph prophesied through Pharaoh's dream that there would be a seven year famine (Genesis 41:16-36).
Parallel = There will be a seven year Tribulation (Daniel 9:27, Revelation 11:2 & Revelation 13:5).
- Type = Joseph married a Gentile bride, Asenanth before the 7 year famine (Genesis 41:45).
Parallel = Christ will come for His Gentile bride before the 7 year Tribulation (Romans 10:19-20, Romans 11:11).
The Destruction of Jericho
- Type = The men marched around the city once each day for six days (Joshua 6:3).
Parallel = Day's of man's toil will be about 6,000 years.
- Type = The seventh day, the men marched around the city seven times (Joshua 6:4).
Parallel = There will be a 7 year Tribulation at the dawn of the 7th Millennium (Daniel 9:27, Revelation 11:2-3, Revelation 12:6&14, Revelation 13:5).
- Type = The priests took up the ark of the covenant, which housed the Lord, in the parade around the city. (Joshua 6:7-9).
Parallel = The Church, whose bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) will be taken up before the Tribulation.
- Type = Rahab, a Gentile, was "hidden" and protected from the destruction because of her faith (Joshua 6:17, Hebrews 1:30).
Parallel = The Church, mostly Gentile, will be "hidden" and saved from the indignation during the Tribulation (Psalms 27:5, Isaiah 26:20-21, Zephaniah 2:3).
Samson and His Philistine Wife
- Type = Samson took a Gentile bride (Judges 14:1-3).
Parallel = Christ chose a mostly Gentile bride, the Church (Romans 11:11, 2 Corinthians 11:2).
- Type = Samson's wedding lasted 7 days (Judges 14:17).
Parallel = Christ will come back for His Bride. They will consummate the marriage at the Father's house during the 7 year Tribulation (Ephesians 5:25-32, John 14:2-3).
- Type = After a 7 day feast, King Ahasuerus' anger burned when he sent his 7 eunuchs to bring his queen before him and she refused.
Parallel = During the 7 year Tribulation, the Christ and His Church will be consummating their marriage, while God is punishing Israel, His wife, for her disobedience (Jeremiah 3:20, Daniel 9:24, Ephesians 5:25-32, John 14:2-3).
The Fiery Trial
- Type = Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were Jewish men who were saved through the fiery furnace that was 7 times hotter than normal (Daniel 3:8-25).
Parallel = The Jewish remnant will be saved through the fiery trial of the 7 year Tribulation (Zechariah 13:9, Revelation 12).
Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar
- Type = Nebuchadnezzar repented and accepted the God of Daniel after going through a trial period of "7 times". After this trial, his kingdom was restored to him. (Daniel 4).
Parallel = The people of the nations that will accept Jesus during the 7 year tribulation will enter the Millennial kingdom (Matthew 25:33-40).
- Type = Belshazzar worshiped idols. He did not repent and was slain, because he did not humble his heart before God after witnessing Nebuchadnezzar's conversion (Daniel 5).
Parallel = The people of the nations that will reject Jesus and are against the "brethren", during the 7 year tribulation, will be sent to everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:41-46).
The 1st Temple and 666 - Solomon's reign
- Type = Type = Solomon's name means "peace".
Parallel = In the end times: "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
- Type = Sheba's name means "oath of seven".
Parallel = There will be a seven year covenant confirmed by the antichrist with the Jewish people (Daniel 9:27).
The 2nd Temple and 666 - Ezra and the return of the remnant from exile
- Type = The Jews were helped by the King of Assyria and kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread for 7 days (Ezra 6:19-22) The spiritual meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to be sanctified and separated from evil.
Parallel = The antichrist is also known as the King of Assyria (Isaiah 10, 14, 19, 31 & Micah 5). The Jewish people will be sanctified and set apart as God's people by the end of the 7 year Tribulation (Ezekiel 37).
- Type = Ezra arrives on the scene the seventh year of King Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:8).
Parallel = The 2nd Coming of Jesus will be in the seventh millennium of human history after the 7 year Tribulation.
The Samaritan Woman
- Type = Jesus left Judea (Jewish), stopped in Samaria (Gentile) for two days, and then went to Galilee (Jewish) (John 4).
Parallel = Jesus turned his focus to the Church (which is mostly Gentile) after the Jews rejected him. (Romans 11) He will turn back to the Jews after about 2,000 after the rapture of the Church (Hosea 6:1-2).
- Type = When Jesus left Samaria, He was welcomed at Galilee. But previously, Jesus was rejected in Galilee in the town of Nazareth where He grew up (Luke 4:16-30).
Parallel = Jesus was rejected by the Jews and turned His focus on the Church. When He turns His focus back on the Jews they will accept Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10-14).
- Type = The first thing Jesus did in Galilee was heal a sick boy of a nobleman. The fever left the boy at the 7th hour (John 4:46-54).
Parallel = After 7 years of the "fiery trial" of the Tribulation, the Jewish remnant will be saved and healed (Zechariah 13:8-9, Romans 11, Hosea 6:1-2).
Scripture points to two ascensions of Jesus (a non-public and public ascension) to heaven after His resurrection. The following could be a prophetic parallel for the return of Jesus in a two-phase event (the rapture of the Church before the Tribulation and the 2nd Coming after the Tribulation):TypeLeviticus 23:9-12 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD.ParallelJohn 20:17-18 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.John 20:19-23 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."John 20:24-29 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
- Christ was Resurrected on Sunday (the first day of the week).
- Jesus appeared to Mary and ten of the disciples on the day of His Resurrection (day of Firstfruits).
- The next Sabbath (Saturday) that the sheaf and lamb could be offered was 7 days later.
- He appeared to Thomas 8 days after his Resurrection (the next Sunday).
According Leviticus 23, Christ would have had to physically offer His blood on the altar in heaven on the Sabbath after He was resurrected, according to the Law. Therefore, we see that He went to heaven sometime after He met with Mary and the ten disciples. Jesus returned to Earth by the eighth day, where He met with all eleven disciples.Hebrews 9:11-15 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Christ was also specific on His reasoning for Mary not to touch Him: "for I have not yet ascended to My Father" and then He says: "I am ascending to My Father". It seems pretty clear that He had "ascended to the Father" before inviting Thomas to touch Him. This is because according to the Law, if Jesus would have been touched, He would have become ceremonially "unclean" before He was able to offer His blood, being our sacrifice of "Firstfruits". Also, Jesus would have had to do this in the Temple in heaven, so that we would be reconciled to God and be able to dwell with Him in heaven:Colossians 1:19-20 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
The following is not "proof" of a pre-Tribulation rapture, but rather a possible parallel:
- First, we have the 7 days between the two appearances of Christ after His resurrection.
- Second, those that "believed without seeing" would represent the Church. Thomas could represent those that believe in the Tribulation when they see "proof". Thomas, more specifically, would represent the Jewish remnant in Zechariah 12, as he believed after he saw the "piercings":Zechariah 12:10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
Note that there are two times in John 20 where the "door" is shut. We also have at least two times in scripture that the "door" to heaven is shut: before the Tribulation, where unbelievers will be punished in the Tribulation, and after the Tribulation, where unbelievers will be sent to eternity.Isaiah 26:20-21 Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain.Luke 13:25-28 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.' But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.' There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.
Even more intriguing, is the verse that says Jesus preached to captives in the heart of the Earth, before His resurrection.1 Peter 3:18-19 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison
On the day of Christ's Resurrection, there were resurrected Saints appearing to people in Jerusalem.Matthew 27:51-53 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many
We are also told in Scripture that Jesus lead a band of captives to heaven.Ephesians 4:8-10 Therefore He says: " When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." (Now this, "He ascended"-what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
It would appear that these resurrected Saints received their glorified bodies right after Christ did. They were then taken with Him to heaven, 7 days before He returned to Earth again. In the prophetic parallel, these Old Testament Saints would represent the "dead in Christ", that will go with Christ at the rapture. Those in Christ will be in heaven 7 years during the Tribulation, before Christ returns to Earth again at His 2nd Coming.