The Great Millstone
Today I we will go over the great millstone. We not only read about this in the Book of Revelation but it is also mentioned a few times throughout the bible. I mention this because as I was doing research regarding this first scripture in Revelation I found an interesting explanation. So let us begin!
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. Revelation 18:21 KJV
In this scripture we read a mighty angel will cast a great millstone into the sea and the great city Babylon will be thrown down and won’t exist anymore. The interesting part is the great millstone.
What was a millstone used for in the Bible? A millstone is a large stone used to grind grain. There are actually two stones which one is a base and the other was turned on top by hand or an animal. They can be found in various sizes. The grain was then placed in the middle of the two stones. This is how one grinds grain to make bread. A substance used to sustain life.
Now let us look at another meaning of the stone. In the Old Testament when the Israelites were finally released Pharaoh changed his mind and began to follow them to have them captured and returned to Egypt. He and his army were drowned in the Red Sea. The bible says they sank to the bottom as a stone.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. Exodus 15:4-5 KJV
Pharaoh and his whole army perished at the bottom of the sea like a stone. If a millstone is symbolic for something that sustains life let us look at how the Lord Jesus makes a reference to it in the Gospels.
* Offences *
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Luke 17:1-2 KJV
The word offenses does not mean what we may understand it to mean in present times. The word in the scripture is spelled with a “c” but in modern times it is used with an “s”. We may understand the word offense as something that outrages another person. An action that causes someone to be angry. But this is not the case in this particular scripture Jesus spoke. An offence in the Strong’s dictionary means to trap or snare. It is any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall, a stumbling block. Any person or thing by which one is (entrapped) drawn into error or sin. So as you see this is not about forgiving a person because he/she made you angry. This is what I have often heard taught in the church. It is about Christians rebuking our brothers when they are the stumbling block. They draw you into sin. In other words, they are a vessel used by the devil to cause someone to stumble. If the person repents about his actions we as a Christian, in turn, forgive him.
* A Brother *
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3 KJV
Notice a “brother” is a person in Christ, not a person outside the church. They (this would be people who are not of the faith) will know who we are by the love we have one for another. Correcting our brother properly is what keeps us all on the just path. Remember the enemy is out to lead us astray and cause us to act in manners of unrighteousness. Jesus was strong when he taught how someone who leads others astray should be dealt with. He says it is better they are drowned with a heavy stone (millstone) around their neck and cast into the sea. It appears the Lord is showing us that he does not approve of this type of action. The Lord will judge those who lead his flock astray because they are a stumbling block. This may seem harsh but it is not our idea or opinion. It is what is written in the Word of God.
If we refer back to the scripture in Revelation we will see it fits with the meaning. The Lord will judge those who lead others down a path that goes against where the Lord is leading us.
* The Prophet Jeremiah *
The prophet Jeremiah also prophesied the destruction of Babylon. This prophecy is the same as the one we read in Revelation chapter 18.
Then shalt thou say, O Lord, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever. And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah. Jeremiah 51:62-64 KJV
Jeremiah reveals to us that all the people including animals in the city of Babylon will be destroyed. The difference here is Jeremiah tells us after reading the end of his book a stone will be bound to it and it will sink to the bottom. The weight of the stone would make it difficult to retrieve. It gives us the solid meaning of no return. This is the same outcome described in the first scripture of this post. Spiritually, the city of Babylon, a city that is godless and full of darkness will be destroyed and all those who lead other people off the path will be destroyed along with it.
The millstone in this case is symbolic for death not life. The millstone used to grind grain represents an item used for sustaining life. On the other hand, the millstone hung around someone’s neck represents death for the actions of leading God’s people off their designated path. There would be no return from this.
We hope this has shed new light into the meaning of these scriptures. If you have been blessed by these teachings please feel free to partner with us to help us continue sharing insights in the Word of God. Thank you!