- Ron Snider writes:
>I am looking for insight into the Greek grammar of Rev. 12:7, when theinfinitive.
>apparent subjects are in the nominative case, when one would expect
>them to be accusatives if they function as the subject of the
>To which Jason Coate adds:
>Does Michael instigate the war (active infin)?
> I see a strong case for Michael initiating the war. Want to hear aMichael
>Postmillenial Partial Preterist perspective? My point will be that
>as a symbol of Christ (perhaps even Christ Himself) has (underscore) toThere is no real evidence from the text that would decisively tell us how
>start the war.
the war started. In fact, the first phrase in verse seven simply
acknowledges "There was war in heaven." However, taking our clues from
the context of the chapter, I think that Jason may be on to something
here. In v. 5, the male child of the celestial woman is "caught up to
God and to his throne." This Messianic sounding child is taken out of
harm's way just before the dragon would "devour" him (12:4). In my
dissertation on Revelation 12, I discuss some the view of Adela Collins
concerning the possible presence of a "combat myth" in this passage.
Simply stated, Collins sees evidence of the conflict between Apollo and
Python here in Revelation, but with one decidedly different turn--instead
of Apollo returned to life, we have Michael as the champion for the
threatened child. Two options are now available--either Michael is in
some sense the child himself, or else Michael is simply the champion of
the child. I argue for the latter. As Michael is the champion of the
Jewish people (the celestial woman?), and as the child is the progeny of
those people, Michael is presented (at least, to my view) as defending
the child. Of course, that doesn't tell us who starts the war, now does
it? I'll get to the point--in 12:7-12, a war happens in heaven in which
both the armies of Michael and of the dragon are engaged (some form of
the word "polemo" is used for both armies). The result of that war is
that the great dragon and his armies are cast out of heaven resulting in
this statement--"no longer was a place found for them in heaven." My
interpretation is that this event represents a retelling of the death,
resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. When Jesus (the male child)
arrives in heaven, the dragon/Satan and his armies no longer have a
place. It seems to me that the author of Revelation is at least hinting
at the possibility that the child's arrival in heaven necessitates the
war. Why? I'll respond more to that at a later date. Suffice it to
say, the context seems to indicate that the Messianic child and the
dragon cannot occupy the same "place," and one of them had to go.
Michael made sure it was the dragon.
Yours, but mostly His,