1185Re: [revelation-list] Hermas and the Tribulation Beast
- Jan 16, 2011Now you are indeed engaging in allegorical interpretation. I find no
justification for that. Hermas has little or nothing to do with Revelation.
The source of the Beast in Revelation lies in Daniel. As is usually the case,
our author does not simply adopt the OT or apocalyptic figures but transforms
them to fit his own scheme. The four beasts of Daniel 7 have been compressed
into one Beast with 7 heads to fit with the mimicry of the divine by the unholy
trinity. Each head indicates a separate manifestation of a power that arrays
itself against God. One has been slain and yet lives. This is a reference to
the Roman Empire which had gone through a period of near collapse with 3
emperors who ruled only most briefly. It was, however, revived. Many attempt
to refer that to Nero, but though Nero may have sat for the portrait it does not
represent Nero. Neither does the Beast represent Rome. It rather represents
all of the realms which have arrogated themselves against God from the beginning
… search for truth, hear truth,
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
defend the truth till death.
- Jan Hus
From: e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n <rocsy@...>
Sent: Sun, January 16, 2011 3:17:40 PM
Subject: [revelation-list] Hermas and the Tribulation Beast
Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of
the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred
threescore and six.
17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven
mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
In the previous message I put forward the idea that the type of wisdom needed to
identify the beast was biblical and Greek rather than historical, literal and
what was conventional Jewish interpretation. I based that on Paul's remarks that
Greeks sought wisdom (1 Cor 1:22), and wisdom was not about earthly rulers (1
Cor 2:6). The basic idea is found in Romans where the Law might be understood as
the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Rom 7:5), and Christ as the tree of life
(Rom 5:17, 21). The seven heads actually represent the new creation in Christ (2
Cor 2:17) and the ten horns represent the Law as symbolised by the decalogue. In
other words the beast represents the deception brought on by an apparent
conflict between law and grace, or legalism and antinomianism.
The idea is that prophetic, wisdom teaching was hard to understand (1 Cor 3:2,
Heb 5:12-13). In its absence the error of Jewish teaching stepped in (Barnabas
Historical, literal teaching about the beasts in Daniel and Revelation is
conspicuous by its absence in the New Testament and among the earliest church
fathers until Clement of Alexandria, who admits to being influenced by Josephus.
The Pastor of Hermas was written before 130 CE, and has a tribulation beast.
What would be a more perfect case to examine, and look for evidence of one
interpretation or the other?
The Pastor of Hermas
Book First - Visions
Book Second - Commandments
Book Third - Similtudes
>>...And while I was glorifying Him and giving Him thanks, a voice, as it were,But the size of that beast was about a hundred feet, and it had a
>>answered me, "Doubt not, Hermas;" and I began to think with myself, and to say,
>>"What reason have I to doubt—I who have been established by the Lord, and who
>>have seen such glorious sights?" I advanced a little, brethren, and, lo! I see
>>dust rising even to the heavens. I began to say to myself, "Are cattle
>>approaching and raising the dust?" It was about a furlong's distance from me.
>>And, lo! I see the dust rising more and more, so that I imagined that it was
>>something sent from God. But the sun now shone out a little, and, lo! I see a
>>mighty beast like a whale [Rev 13:1], and out of its mouth fiery locusts [Rev.
head like an urn. [Rev. 11:7, 12:2-4, 17:8] I began to
weep, and to call on the Lord to rescue me from it. Then I
remembered the word which I had heard, Doubt not, O Hermas.
Clothed, therefore, my brethren, with faith in the Lord and
remembering the great things which He had taught me, I boldly
faced the beast. Now that beast came on with such noise and
force, that it could itself have destroyed a city. I came near it, and
the monstrous beast stretched itself out on the ground, and
showed nothing but its tongue, and did not stir at all until I had
passed by it. Now the beast had four colours on its head, black,
then fiery and bloody, then golden, and lastly white. [Rev 6]-
Hermas, Book First, Fourth Vision, Chap I
I asked her about the four colours which the beast had on his head. And she
answered, and said to me, "Again you are inquisitive in regard to such matters."
"Yea, Lady," said I, "make known to me what they are." "Listen," said she: "the
black is the world in which we dwell: but the fiery and bloody points out that
the world must perish through blood and fire: but the golden part are you who
have escaped from this world. For as gold is tested by fire, and thus becomes
useful, so are you tested who dwell in it. [1 Cor 3:12-14, 1 Pe 1:7]Those,
therefore, who continue stedfast, and are put through the fire, will be purified
by means of it. For as gold casts away its dross, so also will ye cast away all
sadness and straitness, and will be made pure so as to fit into the building of
the tower. But the white part is the age that is to come, in which the elect of
God will dwell, since those elected by God to eternal life will be spotless and
pure[Rev 3:4-5, 3:18, 6:11, 7:13, 19:8 ]. Wherefore cease not speaking these
things into the ears of the saints. This then is the type of the great
tribulation [Mat 24:21, Rev 2:22, 7:14]that is to come. If ye wish it, it will
be nothing. Remember those things which were written down before." And saying
this, she departed. But I saw not into what place she retired. There was a
noise, however, and I turned round in alarm, thinking that that beast was
coming. Hermas, Book First, Fourth Vision, Chap III <<
Hermas comes upon a beast that has some similarities to the beasts in
Revelation. He is told not to doubt, and then is given an introduction to the
commandments and similtudes. Similitudes are parables or allegories. One
difference between Hermas' beast and those in Revelation is that it has only one
head. Perhaps the horns and heads are the commandments like the ten horns in
Revealtion, and similtudes (spiritual understanding) like the creation week (new
creation in Christ) of seven heads. There is a problem though. Hermas receives
twelve commandments and ten similtudes. My solution is simple. We need the seven
and ten to recognize creation (new), and the decalogue. In Hermas we are
directly told they are commandments and similtudes, like the parables Jesus gave
spiritual teachings with.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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