The End of the Struggle of God
Chapter 12:1-19:10

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Chapter Twelve

Revelation 12:1 - 13:1(a) Class Discussions 4/24/2000

Roloff: In Rev 12, John "poses the question of the presence and work of the evil one only after it has made it clear that God the Creator and sovereign ruler is Lord of history, and that his commission upon Jesus Christ for the discharge of his sovereign will is the only strength that determines and brings about the end event" (139).

Boring : Rev 12-14 are a "cosmic operatic drama" (12-13, "the powers of evil at work in the present"; 14, "the victory of God in salvation and judgment" [Note: victory is pronounced already in 12:8-12, even though dragon will continue to make war for a time]

Charles: Rev 12 could not have been envisioned (in a prophetic sense) by a Christian because it crosses the boundaries of orthodoxy in its depiction of Jesus Christ (no interest in his earthly life) and of Michael (not Christ, who has only a passive role) as the one to defeat Satan. John borrowed from existing mythology and left out the elements he could not accommodate, allegorized others.

Class Discussion: In all of his treatment of Revelation, Charles seems intent on keeping his analysis separate from any theological implications whatsoever.

12:1 And a great sign became visible (appeared) in heaven: a woman clothed in the sun, and the moon (was) beneath the feet of her and upon the head of her (was) a crown (stephanos, the wreath/headdress worn by attendants of royalty or divinity) of twelve stars,
Krodel: Joseph's dream in Gen 37:9 (also in Roloff)

Charles: Philo and Josephus interpret the twelve tribes of Israel astrologically - Levi is the sun, Judah the moon, twelve rays of light (the stars, representing the twelve tribes) are under the feet of the goddess
12:2 And in womb (she was) having (idiomatic, she was pregnant), and she cries out suffering birth-pangs and being tormented by birth-pangs (in order) to give birth.
Moyise: birth-pangs as metaphor for the suffering of a people - OT refs. Isa 9:6, 13:8, 37:3, 66:7; Jer 4:31

Boring: Dead Sea Scrolls (1QH 3:4) describe woman (Israel, the elect) bringing forth the Messiah; island of Delos near Patmos was the scene of Leto's giving birth to Apollo, son of Zeus (she goes there to escape the dragon Python, whom Zeus kills.)
12:3 And (there) became visible another sign (word order of 12:1 reversed) in heaven: and look, a great dragon, red (as fire), having seven heads and ten horns and upon the head of him seven crowns (diademata, the crown worn by royalty or divinity),

12:4 And the tail (as of scorpion) of him sweeps away (as in a dragnet) the third of the stars of heaven and was casting them down into the earth. And the dragon stands (intrans. pf. of histemi) in front of the woman, the one about to give birth, in order that when (as in 1 Thess 5:3, without the usual sense of "as often as" or "whenever") she might give birth to the child of her he might devour (also destroy, katesthio).

12:5 And she was giving birth to a son, a male, who wills to (must certainly) shepherd (Rev 2:27 and 19:15 have fut., "he will shepherd") in every nation in (with) a staff (made of) iron (fig. "merciless," since Homer & Plato). And he was snatched up (rescued, as from fire, cf Jude 23), the child of her, near God (cf John:1) and near the throne of him.
Roloff: the child is a challenge to the dragon's "claim to world dominion" (147)

Boring: "God the hidden actor" - passive voice throughout Rev 12, emphasizing that everything is done under the sovereignty of God (Satan has no independent power); instantaneous move from birth of Messiah to death and resurrection.

Charles: Egyptian myth of the goddess Hathor, who gives birth to Osiris's son Horus; Osiris is killed by the dragon Typhon (Set) and Hathor escapes to the island of Chemnis; later Horus kills Set.
12:6 And the woman was fleeing into the desert, where she has there a place being prepared by God, in order that there she might be nursed (here, "they might nurse her", indefinite 3rd pers. pl; Rev 12:14 has pres. mid. pass. trepho; nourished, taken care of) a thousand two hundred sixty days (cf 42 months, 11:3).
Krodel: Exod 19:4, "I bore you on eagle's wings" (Roloff adds, in ref. to Rev 12:14, Deut 32:11). Woman not to be identified with Mary, who in Acts 1:14 is still in Jerusalem after ascension of Jesus; NT does not support her other children having been singled out for special persecution; she is the "faithful church." The desert is not a forbidding wilderness but a place of safety and refuge from the idolatrous culture.
12:7 And (there) was taking place an armed conflict in heaven, Michael and the angels of him (were) the ones making war with the dragon. And the dragon made war and the angels of him,
Charles: Weiss held the view that Michael et al are not waging a war that has anything to do with the birth of the Messiah (two independent stories/sources) - no direct final battle between the Messiah and the dragon is disclosed at end of drama.
12:8 And (but) they were not strong enough (did not win out, prevail), nor was a place found for them any longer (cf Rev 18:21-23) in heaven
. Roloff: God's adversary has neither place nor rights where the Lamb has dominion (148).
12:9 And he was cast down (cf Rev 12:4), the dragon, the great one, the serpent (cf Rev 12:14; word for healing serpent in temple at Aesclepius), the ancient one (i.e. who existed from the beginning), the one being called the Devil and the Satan (the Adversary), the one leading astray (deceiving, causing to wander) the whole (complete; contemporary Greek sources would use pases to describe a ruler's domain) household (earth's human inhabitants), he was cast down into the earth, and the angels of him with him, they were cast down.
Boring: "the expulsion of Satan from heaven is the result of the victory of Christ on earth" (not a cosmic fallen "hyper-ambitious angels" story).
12:10 And I heard a great voice in heaven saying: Now (cf Rev 14:13, with "from"="from now on") were taking place the salvation and the power and the kingdom of the God of us and the authority of the Christ of him, for he has been cast down, the accuser (only NT use) of the brothers of us, the one accusing them in front of (i.e. at the tribunal of) the God of us day and night.
Krodel: the great voice is the heavenly court: "The victory song in heaven is the prophetic interpretation of Satan's expulsion."

Boring: what happens in heaven reflects what happens on earth - "the life and death of Jesus, the witness of Christians who are ‘faithful unto death' (2:10)".

Class Discussion: There is no picture anywhere in Jewish apocalyptic literature at all similar to this.
12:11 And they overcame him on account of the blood of the Lamb
and on account of the word of the testimony (witness) of them
And they did not love the soul (life) of themselves (cf John 12:43) (i.e. too much to love God) unto death.

12:12 On account of this rejoice (be glad), the (you) heavens,
and the ones (you who are) in them dwelling (Aleph & 2344 mss.
substitute katoikeo, reside or settle down to inhabit).
Woe (to) the earth and the sea,
for the devil has descended (katabaino) towards you,
The one having great wrath (as in passion for destruction for its own sake),
for he knows (cf James 4:17) how little time (kairos, endtime, Rev12:14) he has.
Charles: use of "heavens" here indicates borrowing from a Semitic source (John employs singular in Rev 12:1,3,7,8,10) - plurality of heavens a view not held by John, but appears in Pauline epistles, Heb, frequently in OT, Test of XII Patr, 2 Enoch, etc.
12:13 And when the dragon saw that he had been cast down into the earth, he persecuted (P47 supports the substitution "having gone away, he chased out") the woman who was giving (had given) birth to the male child.

12:14 And (they) were given to the woman the two wings of the great eagle, in order that she might fly (petomai, only in Rev) into the desert into the place of her, where she (will be) nursed (nourished, taken care of, cf Rev 12:6) for a time, times and half of a time, away from the face of the serpent.
Beale: The "threefold time formula from Daniel [12:7] is deducible especially from 12.4-6, where the period begins from the time of Christ's ascension and refers to the church's time of suffering (so also 12.14)." - cf references to 1260 days, or 42 months; the faithful who "keep the word" are under the care of God throughout the time of persecution.
12:15 And the serpent was casting down (spewing) out of the mouth of him, backward (i.e. rejecting by casting backward, cf Ps 50:17 [LXX 49:17]) from the woman (i.e. behind the woman) water like a river, in order that he might make (create) her one-borne-along-by-a-rapid-river (cf phora, rapid motion or driving impulse, from phero).
Boring: the dragon's efforts to exercise creative force are a parody of the Creator

Charles: "potamophoreton" borrowed from Hesychius; no Semitic parallels. He suggests that an immediate historical context for Rev 12:15-16 is the flight of Christians to Pella before the fall of Jerusalem; if source is Jewish, the flight of elite Jerusalem Jews to Jabneh in that same time period. But in terms of imagery, he writes: "In the war between land and water mythological features are discovered which have no longer any significance in their present connection."
12:16 And the earth was made to cry out (in anguish or for help, cf Matt 27:46) for the woman and the earth opened the mouth of her(self) and was swallowing up the river which the dragon was casting down out of the mouth of him(self).

12:17 And the dragon was angry (enraged; cf thymos, Rev 12:12c, used together with orge in Rev 16:19, 19:15, for eschatological wrath of God) at the woman and having gone away he will make (create; compare Rev 14:7) war (noun instead of polemeo of Rev 12:7) against the remainder of the offspring of her - the ones keeping (cf Rev 2:26; 3:8,10; 22:7,9) the commandments of God and having (fig. holding in their hands) the testimony (witness) of Jesus.
Roloff: enmity between serpent and the seed of the woman in Gen 3:15.
12:18 or 13:1a And he (the dragon) came to stand upon the sandy shore (cf Rev 20:8, fig. "too many to be counted") of the sea.
Roloff: the dragon goes to the sea to look out over the domain of Roman world power

Krodel: Chapter 12 has the formal structure of A (12:1-6), B (12:7-12), A' (12:13-17): A and B begin in heaven and end on earth, A' recapitulates and expands 12:6 by further describing the persecution of the 1260 days. Rev 12:12 discloses the third woe (announced in 11:14 and completed in 16:17).

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Chapter Thirteen


Revelation 13:1-18 Class Discussions 4/28/2000
(AM) Rough Translation
13:1 And I saw from the sea a beast going up, having ten horns and seven heads and upon its horns ten crowns and upon its heads a name of blasphemy.

13:2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard and its feet like a bear and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave it its power and its throne and great authority.

13:3 And one of its heads was as having been slaughtered into death, and the wound of its death was healed. And the whole earth was amazed after the beast.

13:4 And they worshiped the dragon because it gave the authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast saying, "Who is like the beast and who is able to fight with it?"

13:5 And a mouth was given to it to speak great things and blasphemies and authority was given to it to practice this for forty two months.

13:6 And it opened its mouth to blaspheme to God, blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, the ones living in heaven.

13:7 And it was given to it to make war with the holy ones and to conquer them, and authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation.

13:8 And every inhabitant on the earth will worship it, whose name has not been written in the book of life of the lamb of the slaughtered one since the beginning of the world.

13:9 If anyone has an ear let them hear.

13:10 If anyone into captivity, into captivity he goes, and anyone in sword is to be killed, he with a sword to be killed. This is the endurance and the faith of the holy ones.
The Beast of the Sea 13:1-10
Roloff - "The basis for the vision is the tradition of the antichrist, the counter-Messiah that appears at the end-time. A preliminary stage of this tradition is found for the first time in Daniel." (p154) "In the New Testament the technical term antichristos appears only in 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; and 2 John 7, but the concept is more widespread." (p154) "[John] did not want to illustrate a course of historical events, but rather to characterize the contemporary Roman Empire: for him it is clearly the demonic power." (p155) "The entire scene is laid out as a distorted counterpart to the heavenly inauguration of the lamb to the world dominion in chap. 5." (p155) Compare verses: 5:7 & 5:12 to 13:2; 5:9 to 13:7; 5:12 to 13:4; 5:6 to 13:3. "
What is specifically intended by the healed wound of the one head? This is most often explained as a reference to the popular legend…of the return of Nero." (p156) Yarbro-Collins has a similar understanding.

Boring - "The beast is ‘allowed' to make war on the saints and to ‘conquer' them (13:7). Here is another example of the realism of John. He holds out no false hope of rescue from death
for those who remain faithful. John has the stories of Daniel in mind (cf. 13:15; Dan. 3:5-
6), where the faithful are rescued from death at the hands of the evil empire." (p160).

13:11 And I saw another beast coming up from the earth, and it had two horns like a lamb and it was talking like a dragon.

13:12 And it exercises all the authority of the first beast before it, and it makes the earth and those living on it so that they will worship the beast the leading one, which heals the wound of its death.

13:13 And it makes great signs so that even fire comes from heaven to the earth before the people.

13:14 And it may deceive the inhabitants of the earth with the signs which were given to it to make before the beast, saying to the inhabitants of the earth to make like the beast who has the wound of the sword and lived.

13:15 And it was allowed to give a spirit to the image of the beast so that the image of the beast can speak and can do so that all who do not worship the image of the beast are killed.

13:16 And it does all, the little ones and the great ones, and the rich ones and the poor ones, and the free ones and the slaves, so that they give them a mark on their hand the right one or on their forehead.

13:17 And so that no one can buy or sell if not they have the sign the name of the beast or the number of its name.

13:18 Here is the wisdom. The having understanding one let that one calculate the number of the beast, a number indeed is of a human and the number of it six hundred sixty six.
The Beast from the Earth 13:11-18
Boring - "As the first beast was characterized by political features, the beast from the land appears clothed in all the accoutrements of religion: it works miracles, promotes worship, looks
somewhat like the Lamb, encourages folk to make an image of the beast and worship it, is
designated the ‘false prophet.'" (p161) "As a sign of ownership and security, the Lamb
marks his followers on the forehead with the seal of the living God, his name and the name
of his Father (7:1-8; 14:1-5). The beast imitates the Lamb, marking his followers on the
forehead or the right hand. For John, there are only these two groups, these two choices -
everyone bears one mark or the other, and conspicuously!" (p161).

"666" 13:18
Boring believes John wanted his readers to think of a particular individual. Using gematria, every letter of the alphabet was represented by a number. Nero is the likely candidate since "Neron Caesar" in Hebrew adds up to 666. Some people object to this interpretation since John was writing in Greek and because an "Nun" must be added. However, John elsewhere makes wordplays with Hebrew (9:11; 16:16) and the additional "Nun" attached to Nero has been found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. John foresees a new persecution and warns his readers of a Nero-like oppressor who will come. Boring also believes 666 has generic significance. Since the number "seven" represents completeness, 666 would represent the penultimate incompleteness, idolatry, non-fulfillment, and evil itself (p162-164). Roloff also outlines the gematria theory and the complete/incomplete theory. He describes one other theory but believes that it is faulty (p166).

Ellul: comments that the "666" is the "inversion" of the incarnation. In this he is somehwat akin to Boring with his "penultimate incompleteness."

Class Comment: Connection to the throne room scenes from chapters 4 and 5. John's apparent intent is the "cult" of the Caesar. Historical context can be a looking glass, showing more than meets the eye. The critique of a particular situation can have different and deeper significance. The reference on the Web site to Steven J. Sherrer's work -"Signs and Wonders in the Imperial Cult: A New Look at a Roman Religious Institution in Light of Rev. 13:13-15" doesn't push onward theologically. It leaves us just looking at the historical context at the surface. As seen below, Roloff pushes on, contending that it really isn't just the Caesar, but anything that offers itself as an alternative to God is a throne that pretends to a sovreignty. This issue of historical critque would be worthwhile for ongoing discussion. Suggested further consideration is pages 145-155 from Roloff.

Ellul provides a theological reflection - first, that the beast has to be seen in the total "concept" of political power; second, that propoganda or words are used by political powers, not just religious powers; and third, that in the incarnation, God joined in with creation, thus the dragon and the beast are struggling against BOTH God and creation.

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Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Revelation Chapter 18:1-13 Class Discussions 5/5/2000

(PS) Rough Translation:

18:1 After these things I saw another heavenly messenger coming down out of the heaven having great authority and the earth was illuminated out of the glory of him.

2 and he cried out in a strong voice saying: "Fell, fell Babylon the great, and it became the habitation of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit and a prison of every unclean bird and a prison of every unclean beast and of [every] having been mixed thing

3 because out of the wine of the fury of her destructive sexuality all the nations have drunk and the kings of the earth engaged with her in sexual destruction and the merchants of the earth became wealthy out of the power of her wantonness."

4 And I heard another voice out of the heaven saying: "My people, you came out of her in order that you might not make common cause with her sins and of the blows of her in order that you might not receive (them),

5 because the sins of her have been kept close at hand all the way to heaven and God remembered her unrighteousnesses.

6 You give back to her as also she gave back and you double the double things according to her works, in the cup with respect to which she cried out, you mix to double for her,

7 as much as she glorified herself and became luxurious give so great a torture and mourning to her, because in her heart she says 'I am seated in queenliness and I am not a widow and I may not at all see mourning.'

8 On account of this thing in one day her blows shall come, death and mourning and famine, and in fire she will be burned up because powerful (is) the Lord God, the One having judged her.

9 And the kings of the earth will weep and beat the breast in lamentation upon her, the ones having lived in destructive sexuality with her and having become wanton, when they might see the smoke of her burning,

10 from afar having stood on account of fear of her torment saying: "woe, the great city, Babylon the powerful city, because at the one hour your crisis came."

11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn upon her because no one no longer is buying their goods

12 of gold and of silver and of precious stone and of pearls and of fine linen and of purple and of silk and of crimson, and every citron wood and every elephantine vessel and every vessel out of most precious wood and out of bronze and out of iron and out of marble,

13 and cinnamon and spice and incenses and myrrh and frankincense and wine and olive-oil and the finest wheat meal and corn and work animal and sheep and of horses and of carriages and of bodies and the souls of human beings.

Roloff: points out that this verse repeats the angel's announcement in 14:8 that Babylon will indeed fall. This chapter is then the fulfillment of the anticipation which is created in chapter 4 of the coming judgment. He references this situation in Babylon with Isaiah 13:21-22.

The cup here may be symbolic of God's judgment and also represents idol worship. The use of the cup as wrathful is very reflective of the Old Testament use of the word. It is only used in this manner in the New Testament in the book of Revelation.

Class Discussion: It may also be a connection to the cup reference along the road to Jerusalem - "Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?"(Mk 10:39)


Roloff: notices that the kings are onlookers of the destruction and not in the midst of it, even though they were part of the down fall of Babylon. This is perplexing since all who were part of the problems of the city should have been within the walls at the time of the destruction.

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Revelation Chapter 18:14-24 Class Discussions 5/5/2000

18:14 And the fruit of you (sg) of the yearning of the soul went away from you (sg), and all richness and shining things died away from you and no longer not at all you will find them (= these things).
At v. 14 John has again picked up the narrative which has almost been lost in the laments of the merchants, each group of which see the fall in their own terms.
18:15 The merchants of these (things), the ones having become wealthy from her (it?) from afar they will stand on account of the fear of her (its?) torment, weeping and mourning

18:16 saying: "Woe, woe, the great city, the one having been clothed with respect to fine linen and purple and crimson and having been golded in gold and precious stone and pearl

18:17 because of the one hour (dat. of time when) such a wealthy one has been made desolate" And every helmsman and everyone traveling by sea to this place and sailors and so many as work the sea, from afar stood

18:18 and they cried out seeing the smoke of the burning of her saying: "What is like the great city?"

18:19 and they threw dust on their heads and were crying out weeping, "woe, woe, the great city, in which all the ones having ships became wealthy in the sea out of the most preciousness of her, because at the one hour she was made desolate.
vv. 15-19 Mounce points out that in these verses we see the effect the desolation has on Rome's political and commercial allies.
18:20 Be well disposed upon her, O heaven and the holy ones and the apostles and the prophets because God judged your (pl.) judgment out of her."
v. 20 is an odd insertion, and seems to imply a call to rejoice over the chaos, but Mounce feels it is simply a form which apocalyptic can take, and not as some writers would have it, "a call for the church to rejoice of the suffering of the unrighteous."

Mounce: says we should interpret this verse as a parallel to 12:12, and then we can identify the saints, apostles, and prophets as "you who dwell in the heavens" (Mounce 336) i.e., it is the church glorified that should rejoice, not the believers on earth. There is not total agreement, however, on why the rejoicing. Mounce points us to a discussion by C. Caird: (Revelation pp. 228-30) where he conjectures about a setting in which Babylon is judged quid pro quo for being guilty of "perjury". So the good news for the righteous is that God has turned the evidence against believers back upon the accuser. In other words, what she has extracted from her victims, God has extracted from her. He points back to v. 6, "Give back to her as she has given" as support although the verse actually ends with "pay her back double for what she has done." (my comment). His translation reads, "God has imposed on her the sentence she passed on you."
18:21 And one strong heavenly messenger lifted a rock as a great millstone and he threw (it) into the sea saying: "Thus with a mighty impulse Babylon the great city will be thrown and it may not all be found yet."

18:22 and the voice of harpists and musicians and flute-players and of buglers no longer at all may be heard in you (sg.) yet, and every artisan of every art no longer at all may be found yet, and the voice (=sound?) of the mill no longer at all may be heard in you yet,

18:23 and [the] light of a lamp no longer at all may be appear in you any more, and [the] voice of a bridegroom and of a bride no longer at all may be heard in you yet, because your (sg.) merchants were the great ones of the earth, because in your (sg.) drugging (sorcery>idolatry?) all nations have been caused to go astray,

18:24 and in her [the] blood of prophets of holy ones is found and of all the ones having been slaughtered upon the earth.
vv. 21-24 There is a new emphasis here from the external affects of the desolation to the internal affects. Especially, Mounce points out, is the emphatic expression of denial of a future for the city, by the use of the double negative ou me with the addition of epi... The music has stopped, and the sounds the tradesmen have stopped. The economy has stopped, there is no food. Mounce refers back to Jeremiah when he describes the years of Israel's exile as a time when God will banish from the "the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of the bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp." (Jer. 25:10). This imagery comes out of John's "extensive acquaintance with the prophetic literature of his Jewish predecessors."

v. 23 Mounce notes that while the connection between the clauses in this verse is not clear, either or both are causes for the judgment which has befallen the city.

Mounce makes one last interesting offering: That while the end has not come in the ensuing two millennium since the text was written, that Rome exemplified the forces which will eventually play a major role at the end of time, and that the portrayal "of the fall of Rome describes the final judgment that will usher in the eternal state.

He goes on to say that it is incumbent on us even at this later time to interpret those "same figures in the eschatological setting toward which we are rapidly moving." He contends that the secular society in power at the end will demand that Christians wear the "mark of the beast", and that because some will not, persecution will follow, but that the Lamb will return to claim the faithful and "Babylon" will be defeated.

Class Discussion: be cautious not to identify these references too closely with the historical Rome, as that does not seem to be what the author of Revelation is intending. As Bousett reminds us John's view was not toward Domitian's Rome, but seeing history and evil as God sees it.

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Chapter Nineteen


Revelation Chapter 19:1-10 Class Discussions 5/5/2000

The Hymnic Finale

Roloff: There is more hymnody here than anywhere in Rev; there are at least 5 pieces. This was probably taken from the church in Asia Minor's worship (210).

Class comment: Note that this hymnic finale is not using the "ode" concept, but is structured as a hymn.

v. 1-2 speaker = "great crowd"

19:1 After these things I heard as a great voice of a large/great crowd in the heavens saying,
The salvation and the glory and the power of our God,
19:2 that true and righteous (are) his judgments;
because he judged the great prostitute
who was spoiling/corrupting/ruining the earth in her "pornea"/fornication/prostitution
and he avenged the blood of his slaves out of her hand."
Alluluia #1
Roloff: This is the first time usage of the OT word "hallelujah" in a Christian sense. It's a cry of victory for what God has done. (211)

Talbert: v. 1-5 This is the fifth scene of the Judgment of the Harlot (vision 6)
It's a hymn of vindication in response to 18:20.

Nestle-Aland: v. 2 Rev 16:7 "true and righteous (are) the judgments of you"

AJ: v. 1 Who is this "great crowd"? It doesn't seem to be angels; they haven't been referred to as a "crowd." However, in 7:9 people are referred to by this phrase.
v. 2 This seems to be the "final answer" to 6:10, "How long, O Lord..." The same verb (avenged) is used.

v. 3 speaker = "great crowd" continues

19:3 And a second time they have said (Perf),
"Alluluia (#2);
and her smoke went up into the ages of ages/forever and ever.
Roloff: Smoke is the smoke of judgment.

v. 4 speaker = elders and living beings
19:4 And fell the 24 elders and the 4 living beings and worshiped God, the one sitting on the throne, saying,
"Amen alleluia (#3)."
N-A: Rev 4:6 the elders and the living beings

AJ: The "amen" seems to indicate heavenly agreement with earthly praise.

v. 5 speaker = "a voice from the throne"

19:5 And a voice from the throne went out saying,
"Praise! (Impv 2pl) our God,
all his slaves
and the ones fearing him,
the small and the great."

Sweet: "Praise our God" is "hallelujah" in Greek
This is an echo of Ps 115:13 - small and great
Compare to the small and great in 13:16 who are worshiping the beast.

Mounce: The voice from the throne represents one of the heavenly beings surrounding the throne.

Aune: This is a Divine unction - God stating that it is appropriate for the servants to praise God.

AJ: Whose is this voice from the throne? We have God on the throne (4:3) and the Lamb standing in the midst of the throne (5:6). Are these the words of God or of the Lamb? That does not seem to make sense; would God speak in third person to say "Praise God"?

N-A: 21:3 "a great voice from the throne saying..."

v. 6-8 speaker = great crowd

19:6 And I heard as a voice of a large/great crowd and as a voice of many waters and as a voice of strong/mighty thunders saying,
"Alleluia (#4),
because Lord our God the Almighty One has begun to reign (ingressive aorist).
19:7 Let us rejoice (Pres Subj 1 pl - cohortative) and exult (ditto) and give (Aor Subj) glory to him, because came the wedding/feast of the lamb and his woman/wife prepared herself."
19:8 And it was given to her in order that she might be clothed in bright, pure/clean fine cotton
for the fine cotton the righteous deeds/acts of the holy ones/saints is.
Roloff: 1) praise because God reigned; this refers to the Almighty
            2) praise because of the Lamb; this refers to Jesus
"The white linen signifies the gift and promise of salvation on the basis of the atoning death of Jesus"(212). Jesus is the bridegroom.

Talbert: V. 6-10 are the "Opening Scene in Heaven."
The evidence that God reigns is that the marriage of the Lamb came.

Sweet: "Rejoice and exult" - a reference to Psalm 118:24, the last Hallel Psalm.
Matthew 22:2ff the parable of the bridegroom.

N-A: v. 6 - "voice of him as the voice of many waters" Rev 1:15

AJ: v. 6 We've had this description of "a voice" before. In 1:15 it is the voice of one "like a son of man" who has a voice like many waters. But in 14:2 we have the voice from heaven described as sounding like both waters and thunders.
Yes! I recognized an ingressive aorist. The verb here is actually a simple aorist "reigned"; but that does not make sense in this context. There is celebration because God has truly "begun" to reign.
v. 8 This definitely looks like a divine passive!
"white" - cmpv to 3:4 those in white were those who were not defiled. Also see 6:11 and 7:14.
"fine cotton" - This is different from the "linen" in 15:6 but is the same cloth as in 18:12 and 19:14. Most just translate it as linen.

v. 9-10 speaker = a fellow-slave

19:9 And he says to me, "Write! (Impv) Blessed (are) the-into-the-supper-of- the-wedding-of-the-lamb-having been called ones. And he says to me, "These the true words of the God are." 19:10 And I fell before his feet to worship him. And he says to me, "See not; your (sing.) fellow slave I am and of your brothers, of the ones having/holding the witness/testimony of Jesus, God worship! (Impv) For the witness/testimony of Jesus is the spirit of the prophecy."

Roloff: The voice is one of an angel.

Talbert: the angelic instruction has 3 parts:
1) a beatitude: "Blessed are..." (= congratulations to..."
2) a heavenly guarantee
3) his resistence to worship

Sweet: Matt 22:3ff
John's falling to worship the angel clashes with the falling on the elders and the living beings in v. 4.

AJ: Is the one speaking an angel? Are angels considered to be "fellow slaves"? They do God's bidding, but are they ever referred to as slaves...?

Class Discussion: This concept of angel as fellow-slave may be more a link to the heavenly presence in the church, to the "douloi" of the churches. cf Mark 10:45

Talbert - Excursus on the Four Women in Revelation

In Israel women were either a faithful wife or a harlot. In the OT Israel was both a faithful wife and an unfaithful wife. Women in the book of Revelation are portrayed by this OT background; 2 were faithful and 2 were unfaithful.

1) Jezebel (2:20). Unfaithful. Attacked not because of gender but because of heresy.

2) Woman who gives birth to the Messiah (12). Faithful. Woman represents the people of God from whom Christ and Christians come. She is regarded positively not because she is a woman but because she's in line with John's presuppositions.

3) Harlot who is drunk with the blood of the saints (17-18). Unfaithful. She represents Roman imperial culture opposed to Christ. She is judged and condemned not because of gender but because she is anti-Christian.

4) Bride of Christ, the church (19-21). Faithful. She is treated positively not because of gender but because of her relationship to Jesus.

* Neither male nor female is treated either positively of negatively in Rev because of gender. One's rating of approval or disapproval is determined by one's relationship to God/Christ/the Holy Spirit or to the Church.

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