Tribulation, the Great

See also Tribulation

TRIBULATION, THE GREAT (Heb. tsar, narrow, Gr. thlipsis, pressure). The Hebrew word for “tribulation” has a large variety of meanings in the OT, but it usually refers to trouble of a general sort (Ps.13.4). Likewise the Greek word refers to tribulation of a general sort (Matt.13.21; John.16.33). Sometimes this suffering is just the natural part of one’s life (Rom.12.12; Jas.1.27), while at other times it is looked on as a definite punishment or chastening from the Lord for misbehavior (Rom.2.9).

The Great Tribulation is a definite period of suffering sent from God on the earth to accomplish several purposes. According to premillennial eschatology, it precedes the millennial reign of Christ. Postmillennial theology places it at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ. Amillennial theology places it just before the new heavens and the new earth are brought in. This period of suffering will be unlike any other period in the past or future (Dan.12.1; Matt.24.21 kjv; niv “distress”). See also Eschatology.