Note: This is a continuing evaluation of the book The Days of Vengeance written by David Chilton. Chilton at the time of writing this was a partial preterist who later in life (after a massive heart attack) turned to full preterism. Sections will be taken from the book and commented on to the fullest extent possible. A PDF of the book can be found here.
Okay, it is time to make some serious headway in this book and survey. I've been taking significant breaks from this book to make time and space for other studies but its about high time that I push forward.
After discussing the white horse and red horse, it is time to move on to the third of the four horsemen. Keeping in mind Chilton's focus on the horses being non-specific events again will be crucial. This time however I'm going to be good and not link a portion of audio from Ken Gentry.
A black horse, holding a pair of scales in his hand, a symbol of famine from the prophecy of Ezekiel, in which the starving inhabitants of Jerusalem were forced to weigh their food carefully (Ezek. 4:10). This Horseman brings economic hardship, a situation described as completely chaotic...This is God’s curse on men whenever they rebel: The land itself spews them out (Lev. 18:24-28; Isa. 24). The Curse devours productivity in every area, and the ungodly culture perishes through starvation, disease, and oppression (Deut. 28:15-34). This is how God controls the wicked: They must spend so much time just surviving that they are unable to exercise ungodly dominion over the earth. In the long run, this is the history of every culture that departs from God’s Word. (DOV, 85)
Though hardly exhilarating stuff, these descriptions are incredibly important to understanding the fulfillment that occurred in Israel during the siege culminating in A.D. 70. Here it is extensive quotes from Josephus that often begin to seal the deal for those transitioning to the preterist view. I'm going to leave those quotes for the people following along in the PDF.
But Chilton struck some interesting notes for me in his view on the "oil and wine" that is not to be harmed during this period,
Another dimension of this expression’s import is that God’s messengers of destruction are kept from harming the righteous: Scripture often speaks of God’s blessings upon the righteous in terms of oil and wine (cf. Ps. 104:15); and, of course, oil and wine are used in the rites of the Church (James 5:14-15; 1 Cor. 11:25). This would then parallel those other passages in which the godly are protected from destruction (cf. 7:3). (DOV, 85)
This is the place where I would quote the things I've learned from Mr Gentry. But I'm going to refrain. Despite my disagreement with Chilton on this point, I believe his interpretation could useful and applicable. It certainly would affirm the motif of the book that God's elect would persevere but runs into some principal concerns in my own mind.
Christ in the Olivet Discourse clearly tells His followers to flee from Jerusalem. It would then be thought that the idea of "faithful" who hadn't fled would be incredibly small. I'm not sure of the practical nature of this in light of Christ's teaching to not be in Jerusalem during this time. On the other hand, the actual siege of Jerusalem occurred very late in the 42 months that Rome was invading Israel. It is quite possible that this is referring to that portion of time as Christians are departing the country in obedience to Christ's teaching.