Friday, February 1, 2013

Revelation 19: Party in Heaven

Check out today's episode

Rejoicing in Heaven (v. 1-5)

John heard a multitude of voices in heaven celebrating. They are happy that God is so just and powerful and killed the great prostitute because she corrupted the earth.

Again, the great prostitute seems to represent a city. Somehow this city encouraged people to stray from God, which is why it was represented as a prostitute. At least that is my takeaway here. It's hard to say exactly what this stuff is supposed to mean.

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (v. 6-10)

The Lamb is getting married, his bride has readied herself and is clothed in fine linen, which are the righteous deeds of the saints. The angel said that those who are invited to the marriage are blessed by God, and John bowed down to worship him, but the angel said not to, because he was a servant as well.

What? This is apparently way over my head, hopefully the commentaries will be helpful here.

Apparently (according to Guzik), in the old testament Israel is often presented as God's wife, who is unfortunately often unfaithful.

The Rider on a White Horse (v. 11-21)

Then heaven opened up and a rider on a white horse came out who represents the word of God. His eyes are like fire, his head is covered in diadems, and he is clothed in a robe dipped in blood. Following are the armies of heaven clothed in fine linen.

Such a gruesome image of God.

An angel called to "all the birds overhead" (is this supposed to be the angels?) to gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and their riders, all men free and slave.

Pic from The Living Word of God blog

There was a great battle between the army of the beast and the army of heaven and obviously, heaven won. The beast was captured along with the prophet (who used signs to deceive people into following them) and threw them into the fire. The rest were slain by the sword.

Yet again, it is explicitly pointed out that people were tricked into following the beast, and yet those who followed are still punished.

What lessons were in this chapter?

--Free Will--

Revelation 19:20-21 Killed for being tricked into following the beast

"And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword"


Revelation 19:20-21 Violent punishment

"These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  And the rest were slain by the sword"


  1. It is true that Israel (then later the church) was portrayed as god's wife.

    Israel was portrayed as an unfaithful wife, cheating on god by worshiping other deities of that region and era.

    A good example of this is where god told Hosea to marry a prostitute as kind of a living allegory of how he felt about Israel being an "unfaithful wife" to him.

    1. I'm not sure I completely understand that. God was upset that Israel was cheating on him so he told Hosea to marry a prostitute? Is the point that Hosea would feel the same pain that God feels?

    2. Yes, I think so, it was to show Hosea what it felt like, and to be an example to Israel of how they were treating god.

  2. The Hebrew text gives the clue, in my opinion, that Hosea is not marrying a prostitute, but a woman who worships other gods (she is a foreigner). That way, Hosea can have first hand experience with someone who worships God, but also other gods, which is what most of Israel was doing at the time.

    1. I don't know Hebrew, I've been told being able to understand the original text gives far more meaning and nuance to it. (It probably does).

      All I know are what the English translations are saying, most use a term that means prostitute, or say "adulterous" or "unfaithful woman"

  3. I would wager that it God having Hosea marry the prostitute/foreign god worshiper was not to show Hosea what it felt like, but rather closer to what Sheldon first wrote about being a living allegory. Hosea would have been a rather pious dude, and semi-famous in the religious community. For him to go and marry either a prostitute or a foreign god worshiper would have cause quite a stir. Imagine Billy Graham or James Dobson doing this today (maybe 30 years ago when they were still somewhat young).

    So this was more of a "Hey look at me! You are treating God like my wife is treating me! You are no better than my wife!" kind of message.

    Obviously, this wasn't a "love connection." ;-)

  4. Evankid, thanks for dropping by and commenting. That's interesting that the prostitute might mean a foreigner that worships other gods rather than an actual prostitute. And it actually fits into the message well if the prostitute is supposed to represent people cheating on God.

    As to the living allegory, that's interesting but I'm still not sure I completely understand (sorry for being thick). If I use TWF's example, it would be like God telling James Dobson to marry a prostitute, and then people not worshiping God would be compared to her cheating on Dobson. His wife is cheating on him like we are cheating on God. I guess if you replace the prostitute with a muslim woman, it is similar, although her affront seems to be to God directly instead of to Dobson. I guess I can see why prostitute is used in the story.

  5. Yeah, Hausdorff, I think your coming around to it. At least if my understanding is correct! As I mentioned before in another comment, God had tried famines, plagues, etc. without any luck. So this was to be a public spectacle, something that they would hardly ignore and would surely be talking about. This was to shock them into thinking about what they were doing. Of course, that turned out not to work so well, as God still kicked them out of the Promised Land...

    The prophets were a little fond of living allegories, like you see in Jeremiah 27. So instead of vague and confusing language, vague and confusing symbology was used to communicate a message instead! :-)


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