I stand corrected. The waters stand for people, multitudes, and languages.
Other than that, I’m kind of lost with all of the kings but I get the point that the Lamb conquers them all. What then, is the moment for the wise and discerning mind? Isn’t the whole point that the lamb wins? What am I missing here?
Naturally, the fact that the whore “sits on many waters” is of interest to me.
Previously, there was a glass-like sea in the throne room that I interpreted as an element of chaos but also it’s appearance as God’s control over it. Here though, the fact that the whore sits on many waters doesn’t seem to me that she has authority over those waters. Then again, maybe being her profession leads one to many forms of chaos.
I’m told that Muslims believe that you should have one wife while on earth but in heaven you will have 72 virgins. I don’t know if that also applies for women but I always found such an inconsistent treatment of relationships on earth as opposed to ones in heaven erroneous.
After saying that, I point the finger at myself. Not only will I not have celestially sanctioned orgies, I will also not get a final battle between good and evil where God’s army goes ape-shit on Satan’s army. I find my lack of consistency in my own beliefs alarming: 65 books of the Bible are about God restoring the world but I expected the last one to close to gratuitous violence.
With the phrase “Off you go” the voice from heaven will ever be that of my mom.
Perhaps angels are a bit more vengeful than the one they serve. Here’s my translation of verse 5: God, you’re awesome and these people are a bunch of douches and I’m glad you’re finally doing something about them.”
I read this section several days ago. Going back to it after some reflection, I feel that I can add very little to the text or Wright’s comments. I would note that, in my mind, just about any sight in heaven would probably be great and amazing. Something about people overcoming the beast is more remarkable than living creatures and enormous angels.
666, the number of imperfection. A joke even.
Are you familiar with Ockham’s Razor? It’s a fancy way to say that for whatever problem, the simplest solution is most likely to be the correct one. What could be a simpler explanation that it was just a joke.
I did a google search and the search returned all of the imagery and weirdness the internet could afford. One of my favorite results was “Pastor with 666 tattoo claims to be divine.” I’ll need to look more closely at David McDonald’s new artwork, but for now, all of the images that my parents tried to shield me from on heavy metal albums in the 80’s seems less satanic and more silly (than 80’s heavy metal already is, granted.)
I’ve struggled with something to write about for this section. For all of the symbolism, I think this section is easy enough to understand with some explanation: at least if the explanation that Wright gives is true and correct.
It was interesting to read the symbolism of the head with the fatal wound that was healed. I tried to imagine how a first century reader would have interrupted that imagery in light of the political events of the time. I’d been told before that Revelation was written in a sort of code so that only the Christians would understand it. I guess that’s still true in light of all of the Old Testament references one needs to know and numerical values that give meaning.
I hope it gets fleshed out later but Jesus taking the throne over this earthly kingdom seem premature at this point. I say that with respect, I don’t doubt the ultimate outcome.
However, in the last chapter there’s still a monster from the abyss that has to be dealt with and, at some point, doesn’t Jesus need to bind up a dragon or a strong man and throw him into a pit?
What about the loud voices or the trumpet caused this kingdom passing? I think most of us would agree theologically that this physical realm is under Satan’s authority. Satan told Jesus he had authority and Jesus didn’t dispute that point. It seems odd that, without more, it all changes hands with trumpets and voices here.
I don’t want to make too much of this but not only does the tone of chapter 11 change from the rest of the book, I found it interesting that the tense also changed.
When describing the prophets actions, the tense is present: fire “comes out” and they “have authority”
When it talks about the monster and the death of the prophets, it’s future tense: “will make”, “will be”, “will celebrate.”
However, when the spirit of life calls them, we’re back to the present tense: “they stood”, “they heard”, they went.”
I’m stumped. There has got to be some parallel to Jesus’s death and resurrection but I’m missing it. Let me know if you can think of anything.
Wait, don’t you get the sense that the victory is already won by these prophets even though bad stuff is going to happen to them?
I thinked I missed a transition point somewhere because this pericope is the first time I noticed that our author, the revelator, implies that he sees God. I flipped back and noticed that, for some time, there were angels in front of God and that there was a voice that one could reasonably (as our author, Wright, does) interpret to be God speaking.
The text doesn’t specifically say that John can “see” God, it’s just that there are beings and things around God. Even in a dream, can one see God?
Moses was told he couldn’t see God’s face and live. I’ve always interpreted to mean that Moses’s head would just blow up (not that God would have to kill him).
I appreciate that this book isn’t designed to describe God’s features. Still, no matter how many angels, horns, bowls, etc. are in …