1058The harlot in Revelation
- Feb 9, 2009My understanding of Revelation is that it is a forensic drama presenting God's divorce of his OT wife Israel, and his taking?a new bride, the Church. John intentionally puts on the mantle of an OT prophet and denounces Israel in similar terms. This is why the book is so Judaic in its grammar and imagery, with innumerable allusions to OT passages.
I believe the harlot is Jerusalem, who is being modeled on Jer 3 and Eze 16 (and?Isaiah 1). In Rev 17 she is seen riding the beast (Rome) because she depended on Rome to get at Christ and Christians. Remember her call in John's Gospel (I believe John also wrote Revelation): "We have no king but Caesar. Crucify him!" And this from a book that declares "he came to his own and his own received him not" (Jn 1:11). And from a book that repeatedly refers to?"the Jews" ---?in a bad light.
This approach matches up with the two statements regarding "the synagogue of Satan" inhabited by people who "call themselves Jews" in Rev 2:9 and 3:9. This reminds us of Jesus' charge in John 8:44: "You are of your father the devil."
This also explains the trampling of the temple (Rev 11:2), which language is modeled on Lk 21:24. It also explains the merging of Zech 12 and Dan 7 in Rev 1:7. This merger?uniquely occurs elsewhere only in Mt 24:31, which is explaining the destruction of the temple (cf. Mt 28:38-24:2, 16) in that "generation" (Mt 24:34). And the Olivet Discourse is given in the context of Israel's rejecting Christ (Mt 23:38) and soon persecution of his follows (Mt 23:32-36).
The historical Jerusalem in Revelation is denounced as new Egypt (Rev 11:8), from which the persecuted Christians must?depart by means of an exodus (note Revelation's frequent exodus imagery and?Egyptian plague imagery, e.g., Rev 15:3; 18:4; etc., etc., etc.)
I am convinced John is enhancing and expanding on Christ's Olivet Discourse (which may explain why it does not appear in his Gospel).
I am currently researching and writing a 1000 page commentary on Revelation. It will be titled: "The Divorce of Israel: A Redemptive-historical Commentary on the Book of Revelation."
Author, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation
From: Tom Ricks <tom@...>
Sent: Mon, 9 Feb 2009 9:24 am
Subject: RE: [revelation-list] Re: Rev 2-3 and Rev 4ff
Are you suggesting that the Great Whore is relegated only to Rome? Or
are you saying that it symbolizes all "Romes" throughout the history of
the church? I
Dr. Tom Ricks
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of drjenney2
Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2009 4:56 PM
Subject: [revelation-list] Re: Rev 2-3 and Rev 4ff
I think you have made some good points here, but you are being too
wooden with your approach.
The fact that the New Jerusalem has twelve gates need not mean that
one must be an Israelite to enter, only that Israel has provided the
entry [through its Messiah].
Then again, while 12 often carries the idea of completeness, it need
not always refer to the twelve tribes (="all Israel). The New
Jerusalem is probably a cube because the Holy of Holies was a cube.
That its sides are 12 units long may simply mean it that it is
I'm personally convinced the Great Whore in Revelation is Rome. It's
"secret name" came from the letters of its "Roma" reversed: "Amore."
Yet it represents not romantic love, but unrestrained lust.
I could go on, but I hope you get the idea.
Yes, there are symbols in Revelation. It requires as much art in its
interpretation as it does correct exegetical technique. Both must vary
with the various literary genres contained in Revelation, for the book
is not all of a single genre.
Hope this helps!
Timothy P. Jenney, Ph. D.
--- In email@example.com
<mailto:revelation-list%40yahoogroups.com> , "biblestudy"
>Tribes" "temple" "Jerusalem" are all symbolic in places in Revelation.
> Can't see it myself. It is clear that "Israel", the idea of "12
Exegetical integrity would demand that one follow through interpreting
all references in a symbolic way. It seems to me to be a strange
exegetical model that would say some references are symbolic and some
literal. This wou
ld open the door again to the Pretribulation school
methodology which does just that.
>gates. What it is saying is that to get into the city one has to be a
> For example:
> 12 tribes is clearly meant to be symbolical in Rev 21,22 - the 12
member of one of the 12 tribes. But the city is clearly the bride of
Christ, the church, made up of people of every nation, not just
> That "Tribes" is symbolical elsewhere in Revelation is shown by thefact that the new Jerusalem is represented as a cube, thus having 12
edges, or outside perimeters, each one measuring 12,000 stadia. Hence
a total external measurement of 144,000, the same number as we find in
Rev 7 and 14 concerning the "12 tribes". Again "144,000 Israelites" is
clearly intended to be symbolic.
>church in Rev 3 "make him a pillar in the temple..." It seems strange
> Same thing happens with "temple" whichis clearly are ference to the
exegesis to then make "temple" literal in Chapter 11.
>harlot system was alive and well in those cities at the time of Christ
> As for the harlot being Jerusalem - or even Rome - I admit the
but to limit it to those literal cities would be a great mistake. The
Harlot system is with us all the time. It is called Babylon because it
began in Babel. But it rules over "7 mountains" which is a typical OT
symbol for "empire", and "7" means "totality" i.e. over all the
gentile empires. The harlot system is thus a Gentile system, not as
>are just guessing out of our own minds.
> If we don't use the clues to symbolism John provides us with then we
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> John B
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