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Boundary from which kings of east cross to wage war at Harmagedon on the earth ... The outward reality of the church protected inwardly but will be prosecuted from ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Revelation

  • Setting and Props

Setting Definition
  • Hugh Holman The physical, and sometimes
    spiritual background against which the action of
    a narrativetakes place
  • May include
  • Geological and topographical references
  • Physical arrangement of props
  • Occupations of characters
  • Time of action
  • Highlight the religious, mental, moral, social,
    and emotional environment of the characters
  • Minor characters can sometimes be considered part
    of the setting

Setting of Revelation
  • Physical props, spatial markers and temporal
  • To establish atmosphere
  • To develop character and theme
  • To symbolize epochal moments and events
  • To interpret earthly events in terms of a
    heavenly perspective

Setting Purpose
  • To contribute to the mood or atmosphere of a
  • Mood of narrator Can be tense, fearful,
    hopeful, lively, ironic, defiant, tragic or
  • John establishes a mood of hopeful expectation in
    the face of terrifying and frightening events

Setting Purpose
  • Serves as an interpretive framework to understand
    a characters actions and speech and to draw the
    readers attention to the theme of a narrative
  • Character and theme are interwoven into a
    tapestry of spatial, temporal and physical
  • Help identify the thematic variations, conflicts,
    and the central message of a narrative

Setting Physical Props
  • Used to describe the emotional landscape of the
  • Temple altar, censers, lampstands, scrolls,
    seals and ark
  • Natural Phenomenon lightning, thunder,
    earthquakes, fire from heaven, hail, rainbows and
  • Human-made instruments swords, measuring rods,
    trumpets, bowls, wine-cups, crowns, bows, scales,
    breastplates, iron rods, and keys
  • Mineral precious stones, gold and silver,
    marble, bronze
  • Clothing robes, sashes and fine linen, silk,

Setting Spatial references
  • Subdivided into topographical settings and
    architectural space
  • Topographical
  • mountains, rivers, deserts, a fiery lake, seas,
    heaven and earth, the abyss, cities, and trees
  • Two cities
  • Babylon and Jerusalem are prominent
  • Sodom, Egypt, Gog and Magog, and Harmagedon
    contribute to the symbolism
  • Architectural space artificial enclosures
  • Temple, courtyard, walls, gates and foundations

Setting Temporal indicators
  • Chronological Time when an event happens
  • Johns vision takes place on the Lords day
  • Events are soon to take place (110)
  • Four living creatures sing day and night (48)
  • Typological (majority) refers to length of time
    within which an action transpires
  • Time and times and a half a time refers to the
    limited period of intense persecutionnot an
    actual length of time
  • Debate over where 1000 year reign in Rev. 20 is
    literal or figurative hinges on whether the
    author refers to chronological time or
    typological time.
  • The hour, the day, the month, and the year
  • Half an hour of silence
  • In those days
  • No more delay
  • Hour of judgment or hour of reaping
  • Great day of wrath

Spiritual settings
  • Must be plotted on a spiritual map
  • Three types
  • Signifies chaos, threat and death
  • Signifies order, promise and life
  • Ambiguous spatial settings that represent
    either chaos/threat/death or order/promise/life

  • Metaphorically the same placea place of evil in
    rebellion from God
  • Abyss Abaddon or Apollyon comes from abyss
  • Sea beast arises from the sear or the abyss
  • Babylon
  • Lake
  • Sodom
  • Egypt
  • Gog and Magog

Sea 26 references in Rev. (91 in NT)
  • One of the 4 parts of the created order4 being
    the number of the created order, the fourfold
    division emphasized the participation of the
    entire creation in the worship and God and the
  • 147     Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and
    give glory to him for the hour of his judgment
    is come and worship him that made heaven, and
    earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
  • At other times, a foreboding presence 131
    beast rises out of the sea to bring destruction
    upon the people of God. Sea is no longer in New
  • Puzzling reference in 46  
  • And before the throne there was a sea of glass
    like unto crystal
  • G. B. Caird believes that the sea of glass is
    the reservoir of evil out of which arises the
    monster. It is the barrier which the redeemed
    must pass in a new Exodus, if they6 are to win
    access to the promised land
  • The sea, a relic of the old order and a hostile
    threat to Gods creation, is made placid and
    smooth as glass in the presence of God
  • Others see it as a symbol that signifies the vast
    distance between God and the creation, or a
    setting that reflects the splendor of God
  • But in view of the hostile nature of the sea in
    131 and its absence in the new heaven and earth
    (211), it seems likely that John envisions the
    sea of glass as a threat, that although subdued
    in the presence of God, nevertheless remains
    until the new heaven and new earth arrive.

  • 3 times in Rev. 126, 14 173
  • Lay waste or desolate occurs 3 more times 1716
    1817, 19
  • Ambivalent symbol
  • Either a demonic realm in which foul birds and
    bests dwell (182)
  • or for a place of divine protection (126)
  • Two women of Rev reside in the desert
  • woman clothed in the sun in 12 desert is a
    place of asylum and nourishment for the woman.
  • whore in 17 woman is Babylon 175 and the
    desert symbolizes the desolate state that
    characterizes Babylons fate. Vision fulfilled
    in 18.
  • Spiritual locale characterized by either Gods
    presence and favor or disfavor and absence.

Mountain 8 in Rev (63 in NT)
  • Literally the earth reaching towards the heavens,
    a natural place of divine/human encounter
  • 4 mountains in particular
  • Zionplace of refuge and of end time salvation
    where Gods people are gathered together
  • Harmagedongeographical location a mystery.
    Place of the end of the world.
  • Har means mountain. If John meant Armageddon
    instead then it does not occur on a mountain.
  • Spiritual setting stands for an event
  • New Jerusalem
  • Rev. 2110     And he carried me away in the
    spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed
    me that great city, the holy Jerusalem,
    descending out of heaven from God,
  • Envisions the city sitting on a huge mountain
    that touches the heavens. The New Jerusalem
    comes down from heaven to rest on a
    mountainrepresenting God reaching mercifully
  • 7 mountains of Rev 17 parody of Gods mountain
  • 179     And here is the mind which hath wisdom.
    The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the
    woman sitteth. 1710     And there are seven
    kings five are fallen, and one is, and the other
    is not yet come and when he cometh, he must
    continue a short space.
  • Some argue that they represent Rome
  • Symbolize the archetypal human city, the tower of
    Babel, lurching toward the heavensto be godlike
  • 7completeness 7 mountains represent the whole
    civilized world reaching heavenward in parody to
    New Jerusalem reaching downward.

Ambiguous Mountain and Desert
  • Order/Promise/Life
  • Place of divine/human encounter may represent God
    mercifully reaching downward to protect Gods
    people, to destroy evil, and to being into
    existence a new creation
  • Symbol of divine presence in a created order
  • Desert place of refuge that is prepared by God
    to protect his people from evils destructive
    forces (126, 14).
  • Chaos/Threat/Death
  • Represent humankinds striving towards the
    heavens to achieve dominance over the created
    ordera type of tower of Babel lurching towards
    the heavens
  • Desert represents death and destructiona region
    devoid of good and a dwelling place of the
    demonic (182)

River 8 in Rev. (16 in NT)
  • Ambivalent
  • Represents a threat to Gods people and humankind
  • Symbolizes a source of life for Gods people
  • Euphrates
  • both times mentioned signifies a threat
  • Flows through Babylon
  • Parody of the river of water of life which flows
    through Jerusalem
  • Boundary from which 4 angels are released to
    bring bloodcurdling destruction (Rev 914)
  • Boundary from which kings of east cross to wage
    war on the earth and its inhabitants (1612)
  • Usually drying up of a river represents a
    positive image (ex. Moses), here it represents an
    ominous threat
  • Symbolize river of lies from comes out of Satans
    mouth, while others see the river as the food of
    persecutions upon the church.
  • John intends fro the reader to make a comparison
    between what comes out of he serpents mouth with
    what comes out of the one-like-the-Son-of-Mans
    mouththe contrast is between the threat of evil
    and the promises of God.
  • Death and destruction are associated with the
    serpents river, while Gods river is
    characterized by teeming life.

Ambiguous River
  • Threat
  • Represent a threat to humankind
  • 1215-16 river of water pours out of the
    serpents mouth bringing a destructive flood on
    the woman
  • Boundary from which 4 angels are released to
    bring bloodcurdling destruction (Rev 914)
  • Boundary from which kings of east cross to wage
    war at Harmagedon on the earth and its
    inhabitants (1612)
  • Life
  • The river of the water of life in New Jerusalem
    (221) is an endless stream of life-giving,
    life-sustaining water that flows out of the
    throne of God and the Lamb

Heaven 52 times (274 in NT)
  • Two distinct heavens
  • 211     And I saw a new heaven and a new
    earth for the first heaven and the first earth
    were passed away and there was no more sea.
  • The first heaven and its correlative the first
    earth Good and evilGod and Satancoexist
  • The new heaven and new earth Good alone remains

  • Several times signifies simply the skythe place
    where stars and hailstones come raining down to
    earth The stars of the sky fell to earth 613
  • Other times signifies the dwelling place of God,
    the pace where Gods throne is found 41-2
  • Sometimes events in heaven are descriptive of
    earthly events
  • Sometimes events on earth are determined by
    heavenly events
  • When Michael casts Satan out of heaven in 127-9,
    the death of Christ on the cross and the witness
    of Christians (1211) has actually determined
    that event
  • Thus, John provides an above perspective that has
    been determined by events below
  • Other times events in heaven determine events on
  • Ch 4 God sits in heave on the throne and is
    determinative of all that happens on
    earthwhether plagues or cosmic destructionthat
    has not been permitted by heaver.
  • May wait for earths response
  • What is in the scroll has been determined in
    heaven yet, that scroll cannot be opened until
    the Lamb who has conquered by his death on earth
    opens it.

The New Heaven
  • Marked by total absence of evil
  • No seano beast from the sea or whore that sits
    on the sea
  • No sea of glass
  • The threat of evil is no more
  • Heaven and earth united in perfect harmony
  • God lives with mortals 213     And I heard a
    great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the
    tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell
    with them, and they shall be his people, and God
    himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Abyss/Bottomless Pit (7 in Rev. 9 in NT)
  • Dungeon where Satan is kept in 201
  • Represents the abode of evil
  • The beast in 117 and 178 lives
  • The angel of the underworld, Abaddon or Apollyon,
    comes from in 911
  • Sealed pit unlocked
  • 91     And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw
    a star fall from heaven unto the earth and to
    him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 92
        And he opened the bottomless pit and there
    arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a
    great furnace and the sun and the air were
    darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
  • Angel unlocks pit, places the dragon in the pit
    for a thousand years, and locks it so Satan
    cannot deceive the nations
  • John intends the reader to contrast the abyss
    with heaven, for the one is a foil to the other.
  • Evil ascends from the pit, while good descends
    from heaven
  • Temporary only binds and confines evil
  • Replaced by a lake of fire (1929 2010, 14, 15
    218)the final resting place for evil

  • Two trees
  • Tree of life 27 and 22
  • Grows along the banks of the river of the water
    of life
  • Has 12 kinds of fruit, one for each month
  • Leaves are for the healing of the nations
  • Sustains life everlastingParadise Regained
  • Two olive trees of 114 will discuss as a
    character later

  • The throne preeminent symbol of Gods
    sovereignty in a turbulent world
  • New Jerusalem, with its amazing tree, is a symbol
    of life. All elements of the old order
    associated with evildeath, mourning, cryingare
    banished eternally from this city.
  • Temple and Altar represent promise of
    protection, justice and vindication for Gods

Close of Apocalypse
  • Ambiguity in Johns topographical settings
  • Spatially two places alone exist in his
    eschatological perspective
  • The New Jerusalem same as spiritual reality of
  • Outside the eschatological city represents
    spiritual reality of death

Primary Setting Throne of God
  • Begins 14     John to the seven churches which
    are in Asia Grace be unto you, and peace, from
    him which is, and which was, and which is to
    come and from the seven Spirits which are before
    his throne
  • Ends 223 3     And there shall be no more
    curse but the throne of God and of the Lamb
    shall be in it and his servants shall serve him
  • ???no?
  • occurs 47 times in Rev. (total of 62 in New
    Testament) as a stalwart reminder of order in an
    turbulent world
  • In all but 4 chapter of Revelation
  • 19 time in Rev. 4 and 5 alone
  • Always designated with a definite article The
  • a great white throne (2011)
  • a stark image of Gods supremacy, holiness and
    righteous judgments
  • From the throne comes flashes of lightening, and
    rumblings and peals of thunder (45)
  • In front of the throne is something like a seal
    of glass, like crystal (46).
  • Around the throne is a rainbow that looks like
    an emerald (43)
  • Impressive display of light and sound is a
    reminder of Gods power and majesty
  • The tranquil seal suggests a pristine order that
    God brings to a chaotic world

What John sees as he ascends
  • Throne
  • Extending outward are ever widening concentric
    circles of creation
  • The innermost consists of the four living
    creatures (46b-8) and the 24 elders (44)
  • Around this circle are many angels round about
    the throne and the beasts and the elders and the
    number of them was ten thousand times ten
    thousand, and thousands of thousands (511)
  • Outermost circle encompasses every creature
    which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under
    the earth, and such as are in the sea, (513)

A second, competing throne
  • The throne of the dragon and the beast parodies
    Gods throne
  • The church in Pergamum resides where Satans
    throne is (213)
  • Beast that rises out of the sea receives power
    and authority from the dragons throne (132)
  • The fifth angel pours his bowl on the throne of
    the beat (1610)
  • Dantes Divine Comedy, Inferno
  • Virtual Tour http//

Gods Throne at Conclusion
  • After the first heaven and earth have passed
    away, the focal point of the new creation is the
    throne of God and of the Lamb (223)
  • Out of which flows the river of the water of
    life (223)
  • Final image is as a source of life-giving water
  • Underscores fundamental difference between Gods
    rule and the rule of earthly rulers
  • Earthly rule is
  • directed towards itself
  • Represented by the beasts reign is life-denying
    and self-fulfilling
  • Gods rule is
  • directed outward, towards Gods creation
  • Life-sustaining, life-giving

Cities Ambiguous
  • Babylon (181-24),
  • city of this world
  • Bunyans Vanity Fair, represents an ignominious
    city of oppression and self-deification
  • http//
  • Jerusalem (211-225) the heavenly city,
    represents everything pure

Contrast of Two Cities
  • Style of narration is distant for Babylon
    whereas for Jerusalem it is personal and intimate
  • Negative language describes what is not present
    in each city
  • Demonic and Edenic imagery describe what is
    present in each city
  • Laments describe the language associated with
    Babylon whereas the celebratory language of the
    wedding banquet describes the heavenly city

Style of NarrationBabylon
  • 3rd Person Observation Uses off-stage narration
    to describe Babylons fatereported through the
    voice of the angels and of those who lament its
  • then I heard another voice from heaven saying
  • And the kings of the earth say (1811)
  • The merchants of these wares were weeping and
    mourning aloud (1815)
  • And every shipmaster, and all the company in
    ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea,
    stood afar off, And cried when they saw the
    smoke of her burning, saying (1816-17)
  • Distances himself from Babylon
  • Heightens the tragic plight of the city
  • Only those who benefited from its grandeur mourn
    the lost splendor of the city
  • Offstage allows reader to distance himself from
    Babylon and its plight

Style of NarrationNew Jerusalem
  • 1st person participant who sees firsthand its
  • 211     And I saw a new heaven and a new
    earth for the first heaven and the first earth
    were passed away and there was no more sea.
  • 212     And I John saw the holy city, new
    Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,
    prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
  • 2122     And I saw no temple therein for the
    Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of
  • Onstage encourages the reader to identify with
    the New Jerusalem

Negative Language
  • Accentuates the depravation of all good and
    greatness in Babylon
  • no one, never, lost, laid waste, and no
  • Describe the loss of all that made the earthly
    city a great metropolis (18)
  • Embodies the depravation of all evil in New
  • No more, never, not and nothing
  • Highlight the absence of evil
  • All unclear and accursed things are banished
  • The sea is no more 211
  • Death will be no more and mourning, crying and
    pain will be no more 124
  • No more intentionally echoes the six fold refrain
    of the dirge over Babylon
  • What made Babylon great is no more to be found in
    that city, and what makes human cities evil is no
    more to be found in the New Jerusalem.
  • 2125     And the gates of it shall not be shut
    at all by day for there shall be no night there.
  • 2127     And there shall in no wise enter into
    it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever
    worketh abomination, or maketh a lie but they
    which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Demonic and Edenic Imagery
  • Uses demonic imagery to depict Babylons forsaken
  • 182     And he cried mightily with a strong
    voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is
    fallen, and is become the habitation of devils,
    and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of
    every unclean and hateful bird.
  • Uses Edenic imagery to characterize Jerusalem as
    Paradise regained
  • 221     And he shewed me a pure river of water
    of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the
    throne of God and of the Lamb. 22 2     In the
    midst of the street of it, and on either side of
    the river, was there the tree of life, which bare
    twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit
    every month and the leaves of the tree were for
    the healing of the nations.
  • Adam and Even were banned from the Garden and
    Eden and could not eat of the tree. In Paradise
    regained, the tree of life is a plentiful source
    from which all eat freely. Nothing accursed is
    found in the cityAdams disobedience has been

Lamentations and Celebrations
  • Mourning and weeping characterize Babylon
  • 4 times emphasizes that the kings, merchants,
    shipmasters, seafarers, sailors, and all whose
    trade is on the sea wept and mourned over
  • Uses past, present and future tenses to
    underscore that no period is free from mourning
  • 189     And the kings of the earth, who have
    committed fornication and lived deliciously with
    her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when
    they shall see the smoke of her burning
  • 1811     And the merchants of the earth shall
    weep and mourn over her for no man buyeth their
    merchandise any more
  • 1815     The merchants of these things, which
    were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for
    the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
  • 1819     And they cast dust on their heads, and
    cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas,
    that great city, wherein were made rich all that
    had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness!
    for in one hour is she made desolate.
  • Dirges associated with Babylon 3 times the
    kings, merchants and sailors lament alas, alas,
    the great city of Babylon (18, 9, 16,19
  • The only celebratory language associated with
    Babylon occurs in heaven and among those
    associated with heaven 1820     Rejoice over
    her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and
    prophets for God hath avenged you on her.

Lamentations and Celebrations
  • The absence of sorrow and tears characterizes
  • Nouns, not verbs, describe these activities, for
    like death they are alien objects that are
    eternally abolished from the heavenly city.
  • 214     And God shall wipe away all tears from
    their eyes and there shall be no more death,
    neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there
    be any more pain for the former things are
    passed away.
  • Joyous language of wedding feast
  • 197     Let us be glad and rejoice, and give
    honour to him for the marriage of the Lamb is
    come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 198
        And to her was granted that she should be
    arrayed in fine linen, clean and white for the
    fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Archetypal Human City vs. the Ideal City
  • Two cities represent two alternatives for
  • Babylon, the satanic parody of the ideal city,
    the earthly counterpart to Jerusalem,
  • strives to be like the heavenly city by falls far
  • Symbolizes humankinds lust for deification
  • An idolatrous city opposed to God, consumed with
    itself and a brothel for kings and merchants
  • Its luxurious lifestyle, insatiable greed, and
    use of human life as merchandise are symptomatic
    of its worship of power and wealth

Babylon Defined
  • Bruce Metzger allegorical of the idolatry that
    any nation commits when it elevates material
    abundance, military prowess, technological
    sophistication, imperial grandeur, racial pride,
    and any other glorification of the creature over
    the Creator.
  • Represents humanity in its entirely and its
    attempt at self-deificationto live life apart
    from the one true God
  • Is the tower of Babel, the preeminent
    antichristian city where the beast is enthroned
    and Christ is dethroned
  • Symbol for death

Archetypal Human City vs. the Ideal City
  • Two cities represent two alternatives for
  • New JerusalemIdeal City
  • An unknown entitycan only be defined by what it
    is not (negativity)
  • Jurgen Roloff The new creation cannot be
    described positivelybecause that which it will
    bring will not be an improvement and an
    enhancement of what is experienced in this world,
    but rather something altogether new
  • No night and no sun because God is the light
  • Gates are never shut because there are no enemies
  • Death, pain and mourning are banished
  • Nothing unclean
  • Symbol for life

  • The heavenly temple where God is worshipped day
    and night (715), and where the ark of the
    covenant is located (1110)
  • One reference to a temple outside of heaven
  • Not in New Jerusalem
  • Not physical temple and the earthly Jerusalem
    which has been destroyed
  • Symbolic the measuring of the temple is a sign
    of protection and preservation
  • 111     And there was given me a reed like
    unto a rod and the angel stood, saying, Rise,
    and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and
    them that worship therein. This group is
    protected during a period of distress of 42
    montha symbolical period of limited persecution
  • The court outside is not measured therefore, it
    is left unprotected
  • Refers to unbelievers
  • A portion of the church, faithless Christians,
    who have compromised with the world
  • The outward reality of the churchprotected
    inwardly but will be prosecuted from without
  • The external church is given over to persecution
    in the last days, but the inner spiritual reality
    of the church is preserved (144,000)
  • Both temple and court are images of the church
    the one representing spiritual reality of the
    church, which is inviolable the other
    representing the physical reality of the church,
    which is persecuted

Altar (8 times)
  • 69     And when he had opened the fifth seal,
    I saw under the altar the souls of them that were
    slain for the word of God, and for the testimony
    which they held
  • Place of refuge where the saints gather who have
    lost their lives
  • It is from the altar that directives are given to
    angels to bring about the end
  • At the altar, prayers of the saints (for justice
    and vengeance) mingles with the smoke of the
    incense offered to God.
  • Smoke of altar contrasts with smoke of torment
    for those who worship at the altar of the beast
  • 1411     And the smoke of their torment
    ascendeth up for ever and ever and they have no
    rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his
    image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his
  • Antithetical images of futility and hope are
    expressed in the metaphor of smoke
  • Smoke of torment is futile, endless and tortuous
  • Smoke of the incense is fragrant, hopeful,
    pleasing and acceptable to God

  • Temple
  • Symbol of divine order and inviolable holiness in
    a turbulent, chaotic world
  • Represents divine presence but also separation
  • Both in heaven and on earth God has complete
    control over the temple
  • By taking the dimensions of the temple in the
    holy city (111,2), John indicates that the
    temple on earth, i.e., the church, as the temple
    in heaven, is totally within Gods power.
  • Different from throne
  • Temple only used when John speaks about the
    relations of God to a world that disobeys Gods
  • The throne is a royal symbol, whereas the temple
    is a symbol of a worshiping community of faith
  • Throne is a symbol of divine power and authority,
    while the temple is a symbol of divine holiness
    and justice
  • Altar represents accessibility of God and a place
    of privileged security where saints live until
    the first resurrection. Represents God acting in
    conjunction with Gos people their sacrifices
    and prayers influence God and the events of human
    history in dramatic ways

Props are Symbolic
  • 4 Scrolls
  • The book that John is writing
  • The book of life
  • The scroll the Lamb unseals (ch. 5)
  • The little scroll tha the mighty angel of ch.
    10 holds

The Book of Life
  • 2012     And I saw the dead, small and great,
    stand before God and the books were opened and
    another book was opened, which is the book of
    life and the dead were judged out of those
    things which were written in the books, according
    to their works.
  • Names of redeemed
  • May be blotted out
  • Signifies that divine grace and human
    responsibility are inexplicably joined together

Lambs Scroll
  • 51     And I saw in the right hand of him that
    sat on the throne a book written within and on
    the backside, sealed with seven seals. 56    
    And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne
    and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the
    elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having
    seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven
    Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
    57     And he came and took the book out of the
    right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
  • The only one found worthy to open it is the slain
    yet resurrected Lambtherefore, related to
    redemptive act of Christs death and
  • Written on the inside and the backcompletely
    fullno aspect of Gods inscrutable decisions is
    left out of this scroll, and there will be no
    addendum to Gods plan
  • Sealed with seven seals
  • Sevennumber of completeness therefore,
    completely sealed
  • Remains a mystery until opens
  • Seven seals may imply that upon the breaking of
    the seventh seal the contents of the scroll have
    been completely revealed
  • The opening of the seals does not merely disclose
    the contents of this book, but it also puts the
    contents into operation

The Little Scroll (3 references in ch. 10
  • Unsealed and opened, and is delivered by a
    mighty angel who descends from heaven, wrapped
    in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head his
    face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars
    of fire (101)
  • The angel who stands on the sea and the land has
    a voice like a lion roaring, like 7 thunders
    sounding at once
  • 104     And when the seven thunders had uttered
    their voices, I was about to write and I heard a
    voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those
    things which the seven thunders uttered, and
    write them not.
  • Later a voice commands John to eat the scroll and
    it is bitter in his stomach but sweet as honey in
    his mouth (109-10)
  • In eating the seer is filled with prophetic
    revelation that is both sweet and bitter
  • SweetGods word and divine plan of salvation
  • Bitterbrings wrath and sorrow
  • Sweetno more delay in the fulfillment of Gods
  • Bitterchurch will face intense persecution
  • Angel similar to God and Christsuggests that he
    guides the new Israel, the Christian community,
    as it travels through the darkness of its Exodus
    to the new promised land

Trumpet (6 in Rev. 11 in NT)
  • Voices sound like trumpets and seven angels blow
    seven trumpets
  • In the OT, trumpets are a frequent and colorful
    symbol used to announce special events and
  • 1st four trumpets are directed toward the
    elementsland, sea, rivers, sky
  • Last 3 are directed to only those men which have
    not the seal of God in their foreheads 94.
    Call the unsealed part of humankind to repentance
  • Summon the faithful to the resurrection for the

BowlIn NT found exclusively in Revelations
  • A broad shallow saucer used in worship to carry
    offerings or for drinking and libations
  • 58 golden bowls carry incense, which are the
    prayers of saints
  • 157 the 7 golden bowls contain the wrath of God
    that is poured out from the temple and the altar
    on the earth (161)
  • Bowl plagues John makes the connection explicit
    between heavenly worship, the prayer of the
    saints, and the earthly plagues that are poured
    from the bowlsthe one influences the other

Symbolism Seals
  • In ancient Near East, a seal was a stamping
    device that validated a document in place of a
  • Since the scroll of the Ch. 5 is sealed with 7
    seals, the seer suggests that he book is
    perfectly sealed by divine authority and can only
    be opened by Gods worthy representativethe
  • Emphasis on one who is worthy to open
  • Seal plagues destroy a quarter

Symbolism Trumpets and Bowls
  • Accentuate a different aspect of the plague
  • Since trumpets announce the end-time Day of the
    Lord and the approach of divine judgment upon the
    earth, they summon people to repent, which
    account for the limited destructionone thirdin
    this series.
  • The bowls are used in the context of heavenly
    worship in which the saints through their prayers
    ask God to intervene
  • Same golden bowls that offer prayers to God are
    filled with the wrath of God and poured out on
    the earth
  • Emphasizes that God vindicates Gods people and
    brings about justice in response to prayers
  • Plagues are Gods judgment on Gods adversaries
    with unlimited destruction 162     And the
    first went, and poured out his vial upon the
    earth and there fell a noisome and grievous sore
    upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and
    upon them which worshipped his image.