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1206Re: [revelation-list] Comparing two scenes of heaven

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  • David Brubaker
    May 2 9:03 PM
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      Quoting Jon Newton <jonknewton@...>:

      > What stands out in our comment was the narrative structure in Rev,
      > which is still being unpacked by scholars, e.g. Resseguie, see also
      > my article "Reading Revelation Romantically" in JPT 2009

      I'm going to have to take a closer look at Ressequie. Your article
      sounds interesting and rather unique too.

      Here are a few more observations about the narrative structure:

      The "story" aspect appears in several ways in the series of series of
      plagues (seals, trumpets, bowls) on the earth, in ways that both move
      the story along progressively and tie it together coherently with
      common elements.

      For instance, there is the increasing resemblance of the Revelation
      plagues to the plagues sent upon Egypt in Exodus leading up to the
      release of the children of Israel. The seals bear virtually no
      resemblance to the Exodus plagues, some of the trumpets bear
      significant resemblance, and many of the bowls bear even stronger

      But there is another connection to the Exodus plagues that I don't
      often hear discussed. That is the parallel in the story structure
      itself--in Exodus, the plagues come one right after another until the
      next-to-last of the series is finished. Then between the next-to-last
      and last plagues, there is a sort of interlude when God gives
      instructions to Moses on how to prepare the people for the last plague
      so that they will be saved from it in the original Passover. Then
      comes the final plague. A similar story structure appears in the seals
      and the trumpets--all but one plague in the series occurs, then there
      is an interlude, and then the final plague of the series comes. Even
      the series of series follows that pattern--all but one of the series
      (seals and trumpets) happens, then there is a long interlude
      (12:1-14:20) before the final series (bowls). Of all the series of
      plagues and series of series of plagues, only the final bowls series
      does not have the characteristic Exodus-like interlude before its last

      Another progression in the story as well as a tying-together factor is
      the sequence of what the Revelation story says about the wrath of God
      and the Lamb through these series. In the seals, the wrath of God is
      present but not explained in the text. "The great day of their wrath
      has come" (6:17) but Revelation doesn't tell us any reason for God's
      anger. We can make the natural assumption that it is because of sin,
      but it may be useful to note that there is no mention of sin, the law,
      or repentance in the whole seals section of the story, including the
      seals themselves and the interlude before the last seal.

      Then in the trumpets, Revelation says explicitly that God's wrath is
      about lack of repentance for sin. 9:20-21 lists a number of kinds of
      sin for which people have failed to repent.

      Finally, in the bowls "the wrath of God is ended" (15:1). Interesting
      sequence about wrath--no reason is stated for wrath, wrath is a result
      of unrepentant sin, wrath is ended.

      David Brubaker
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