The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the
lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
Lightning, thunder, and earthquakes! These phenomena are associated with Divine Revelation throughout Scripture,
most notably the manifestation of the Voice of the Lord. We see it first when God revealed the
Ten Commandments (Exo 20:18f):
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet,
and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses,
Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
David praised the power of God's Voice in Psalm 29:3f:
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth:
the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the
voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD
breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
And again in Psalm 18:13f:
The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice;
hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
People said it thundered when God the Father audibly answered His Son in John 12:29:
Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it,
and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered ...
As would be expected, these phenomena are particularly dominant in the Book of Revelation.
We see them in John's vision of the Throne of God in heaven (Rev 4:5):
And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices:
and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
And when the First Seal was opened (Rev 6:1):
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 when the Temple of God was opened (Rev 11:19):
And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament:
and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an
earthquake, and great hail.
And when the Seventh Angel poured out the final vial of God's Wrath (16:17f):
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the
temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders,
and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake.
Pastor Carl Boberg captured these ideas
in his magnificent hymn, "How Great Thou Art":
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made, I
see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed!
Then sings my soul, my savior God to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
People describe thunder as rolling because it sounds like some gigantic wheel or ball
rolling through the heaven. The Psalm quoted at the head of this section exemplifies this common metaphor (Psalm 77:18):
The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven (galgal): the lightnings lightened the world: the earth
trembled and shook.
verse is the only place galgal is ever translated as "heaven" in the Bible.
Most English versions, such as the NKJV, NIV, and NRSV, render it as whirlwind in keeping with the
root meaning of galal (to roll). The Bible produced by the Jewish Publication Society follows
its literal sense and renders this verse as "Your thunder rumbled like wheels." The only problem with this
is that they used the plural when in fact the Hebrew is in the singular. The most literal translation would
be "The voice of thy thunder was in the wheel (ba-galgal)." Here galgal is prefixed with a Bet,
the sign of the preposition in (BW book pg 138).
This Psalm is a prophetic anticipation of the rolling thunder of God's Voice revealed in
the Wheel (Galgal) of His Word. The KeyLinks strike like lightning from the
Alphabetic Verses to highly specific points on each Spoke, enlightening the Books with a flash of
Divine Insight and sending forth rolling thematic thunder throughout the Holy Word.
This is the Voice of God resounding from the revelation of the Divine Unity of the Bible as a whole.
God expanded the relatively subtle anticipation of Psalm 77:18 into an explicit revelation
of the fully unified structure of the entire Bible in Ezekiel's vision of the Divine Glory,
where He explicitly defined the whole system of "wheels within wheels" using the
singular Galgal: "As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing,
O Wheel (Galgal)" (Ezek 10:13).
Next article: Fulfillment of Ezekiel's Prophecy of the Wheels