Chiasmus of Revelation

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Bobcat
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#31 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

This post is an attempt to build further on this post (including all the links associated with it).

That post attempted an historical comparison between the trumpets of Rev 8-11 (especially trumpets 2-4) and the wild beasts of Rev 13, especially the one with the head wound and the two-horned lamb that follows, both of which occupy the main part of the chapter. What made the comparison possible was the apparent chronological ordering of both pericopes (Rev 8-11 & Rev 13) and the fact that both seemed to overlap each other, to an extent, historically. That is, they both appear to cover similar time periods in the Christian era.

Initially the reason for wanting to compare them was the fact that both pericopes (Rev 8-11 & 13) occupy corresponding positions in the proposed chiasmus of Revelation above (here). So this post represents a continuing effort to benefit from the chiastic structure of Revelation.

Revelation chapter 12 (which occupies the pivot point in the above chiasmus) also appears to have a chronological character to it. And much of it also overlaps the Christian era. So, theoretically at least, there should be some possibility of matching events described in chapter 12 with events or descriptions in chapters 8-11 & 13. That is the plan, at any rate.

This idea of matching or overlaying these chapters, especially chapters 12 & 13, has been of interest to me for many years. Unfortunately, much of that time my thinking was clouded with the 1914-centric view of history promoted by the WT. I've since learned that Jesus' parousia did not start in 1914 and that he began ruling much earlier than that (here), and that Satan was subsequently cast out of heaven in the 1st century (here).

I know some disagree with me on those things. And, of course, that is anyone's prerogative. But this post assumes those parameters as a foundation to the further conclusions reached herein. So, if you are in disagreement you might not find the rest of this post to be of interest to you. I mention that to save you some reading time for other things.

So what follows is an attempt to compare these chapters (Rev 8-11 & 12 & 13) in a way that places them in some sort of chronological order, with the idea of seeing what comes of it.
Verses . . . . . . Notes

Rev 12:1-3 . . . .Reminds of Gen 3:15 and introduces main characters (the woman and dragon).

Rev 12:4a . . . . Describes events of Gen 6:1-4 with defection of angels at Satan's prompting.

Rev 12:4b . . . . Describes efforts by Satan to prevent/destroy promised seed. (Patriarchal and later times.)

Rev 12:5 . . . . .Describes Jesus' 1st advent including ascension and enthronement. 33CE

Rev 12:6 . . . . .This appears to be what is also described in Rev 12:13-14. So will pick up after 12:7-12

Rev 8:7 . . . . . Trumpet 1. Heralds international preaching of good news (see link above & Mt 24:31)

Rev 12:7-12 . . .Describes war in heaven and casting out of Satan & demons.
Rev 8:8-9 . . . . Trumpet 2. Heralds casting out to earth of "rulers of this world."
. . . . . . . . . . . . See link above for quote on effects on world (esp. on Roman Empire)

Rev 12:13 . . . . Describes Satan persecuting "woman" after being cast out.
Rev 13:3-7 . . . .Describes persecution from Roman Empire, esp. starting in 64 CE; lasts "42 months."

Rev 8:10-11 . . . Trumpet 3. Rise of Christian ecclesiastical authority (MOL) & and poisoning of 'waters.'
Rev 12:6, 14 . . .In response, "woman" is carried into wilderness for "1260 days."


Rev 8:12 . . . . .Trumpet 4. Describing enlightenment era.
Rev 13:11-18 . . Describes rise of 7th world power, which "speaks like a dragon." (See here)
Rev 12:15-16 . . Satan disgorges flood to drown woman, but "the earth" swallows flood.

Rev 12:17 . . . . Dragon goes off to wage war. As if this is now his new strategy, given his failures up to now.

Rev 11:15-18 . . Trumpet 7. Day of judgment. Corresponding to "war" (Rev 12:17 leads to here: Rev 16:14, 16)

Ok, some observations of what I am seeing from this merger:

First, after Satan's casting out, two things happen: Persecution for "42 months." Then "the woman" is 'carried into the wilderness so as to be fed' for "1260 days." The trumpets portray: Trumpet 2=Satan's casting out, and Trumpet 3=Great Apostasy with poisoning of waters. Historically, there is official Roman persecution starting about 64 CE (Nero), and lasting to roughly Constantine's time. At which time (nominal) Christianity becomes the official state religion (or one of them).

So, one of the things I am thinking from this is that 'the woman being carried out into the wilderness corresponds with how Jesus fed his sheep during the time of the foretold Christian apostasy. (2Th 2:2-12; Compare Jn 10:9) The "wilderness" would appear to be describing Jesus' true disciples as being in smaller, non-mainstream groups. Mainstream Christianity had had its 'water supplies' poisoned per Trumpet 3. (Rev 8:10-11; For which see here, about halfway down.) So the link with the 'feeding in the wilderness' is the opposite or mirror image of the 'poisoned waters' of trumpet 3. This situation with the 'poisoned water supplies' requires some response from God and Christ per Mt 28:20.

Another thing I am getting from this is that the "42 months" (of persecution) and "1260 days" (of feeding in the wilderness) in these passages is symbolic (or 'presented as signs' per Rev 1:1). Combined they would represent the bulk of the Christian era.

Rome persecuted Christians for 2 to 3 centuries. And the era of rise of Christian ecclesiastical authority starts in the latter times of the Roman Empire, especially from Constantine (early 4th century), and extends for many centuries, mainly or generally, until the rise of democratic style powers, which corresponds roughly to the beginning of the enlightenment era. In effect, the two time periods ("42 months" & "1260 days") seem to represent an 'era within an era.' Protestantism arose to break some of the power of the Pope. But it also, to some extent, subsequently became part of mainstream, nominal Christianity.

At any rate, there is more mulling to do over this aspect. But it does appear that the merger of the three sections (Rev 8-11 & 12 & 13) does correspond with the general pattern of history as it has happened. Only, Revelation described it before it happened.

Another thing that I find interesting is that the WT has long sought to establish a line of true Christianity throughout the centuries of the great apostasy. I think they have pretty much given up trying. They were on the right track in thinking there were still true disciples of Christ throughout the centuries. But they had predetermined ideas on what beliefs would constitute this line. (Cmp Isa 11:3; Contrast 2Th 2:10) But if my historical lineup here is correct, then, Jehovah and Jesus were well prepared for the problem of the poisoned waters of the great apostasy.

Matthew 13:28-29 might also indicate that looking back to find an historical line of true worshipers during the great apostasy might well be impossible - at least from a human standpoint. (Compare also the 'hiddenness' of the yeast in the parable of the leaven. Mt 13:33 - for which see here; Mk 4:26-29 - for which see here.)


Bobcat

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Kosonen
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#32 Post by Kosonen » 2 years ago

Bobcat, would it not be more reasonable to believe that the 1260 days are literal because when Satan is thrown down to earth it explicitly says he will have short a time left?

Revelation 12:12 On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea,+ because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”

And the woe for the earth are the things the three horse-riders bring on humanity after the white horse with Jesus its then crowned rider.

Revelation 6:4 Another came out, a fiery-colored horse, and it was granted to the one seated on it to take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another, and he was given a great sword.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11- ... -us-coming
The headline says:
Russia And China Are Apparently Both Under The Impression That War With The US Is Coming...

Bobcat
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#33 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

Bobcat, would it not be more reasonable to believe that the 1260 days are literal because when Satan is thrown down to earth it explicitly says he will have short a time left?
All of Revelation includes "things" that must happen "soon" or "shortly" or "quickly." (Rev 1:1) This is what the (1st century) apostle John was told. In fact, the casting down of Satan had already occurred by then (as had a number of other things in Revelation, assuming a late 1st century time frame for the Revelation being given to John). See the link I provided that has scriptural indications of when Satan is cast out. (Here; The link includes evidence that the earth did suffer "woe," especially in the form of the dark ages.) And Rev 12:13 describes him as persecuting the woman when he sees his 'cast down' predicament. Then following, the "woman" is carried to the wilderness.

It might also be kept in mind that "soon" or "shortly" for a creature as old as Satan, may have somewhat different implications for him. Additionally, he also is in the dark as to when Jehovah's day will actually be. (Mt 24:36) So, his "knowing he has a short time" cannot indicate that he can calculate his remaining time. It may more indicate the increased anxiety and anger he feels as he sees God's purpose (esp. in connection with the ransom, ascension, and crowning of Christ as described in Rev 12:5) moving inexorably to a finish. Think about it. He has just seen Jesus resurrected and crowned. (Rev 12:5) Then he and his pals have been cast down to earth. (Rev 12:7-12) He has been outclassed and outgunned. And now he is cornered (in the vicinity of earth). Why wouldn't he think his time must be running out.

But from the point of view of Christians of any time period, these "things must [also] shortly take place." Take, for example, your average "Joe" Christian from the 1st or 2nd century. Imagine he becomes a disciple at the age of 20, and lives to the ripe old age of 60 (which is not bad for those times). He has had 40 years of experience as a Christian and familiarity with Revelation. Then he dies. His next experience (after he is resurrected) includes the fact that many of the things in Revelation (but not all - e.g. Rev 20:7-10) have taken place. So for any Christian, of any time, all these "things" do "shortly take place." (Additionally, if you want to be ultra literal, Rev 20:7-10 would be included in the things that must shortly take place - even though they are still more than 1000 years away in time.)

But like I said in the post above, Satan's being cast down in the 1st century is one of the parameters that the following research is based upon. If you feel differently (which is certainly your prerogative), then, there is probably no use commenting on the post since we would be comparing 'apples with oranges.'


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Bobcat
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#34 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

Continuing from the research post above (from here) . . .

If the woman's time in the "wilderness" equates with Jesus caring for his sheep in smaller, non-mainstream groups (and possibly individuals too), then the two witnesses referred to in Rev 11:3-6 may well be used to picture Jesus' 'off-road' disciples. The time spans are explicitly the same ("1260 days").

Throughout the centuries various small groups of non-mainstream disciples have appeared (possibly, e.g. the Lollards, Waldensses, and similar). As they were better 'fed' than their nominal counterparts their subsequent Christian activity would bring them into conflict with mainstream nominal Christianity and its ecclesiastical overlords. (2Th 2:2-10) In time these various small groups have been either eradicated or eventually swallowed back into mainstream Christianity. Yet, collectively and over the years, they prove to be a continuing thorn in the side of Satan and his "man of lawlessness." (Rev 11:3-6; Cmp 1Ki 21:20)

Understanding things this way would also help identify "the great city" of Rev 11:8 (which is described like apostate Jerusalem) as being related to mainstream (i.e. apostate and/or nominal) Christianity. (See also here.)

The two witnesses in Rev 11 are spoken of in terms that resemble or remind of Moses and Elijah. (Rev 11:6) These were the two people that appeared when Jesus was transfigured. They were seen conversing with the glorified Jesus. Putting these things together, it might indicate a revealing of how Jesus would communicate with his true disciples during the many centuries of the great apostasy. It would also indirectly indicate an early post-resurrection crowning of Jesus, since he was already transfigured while conversing with them. (Mt 17:2-3; Compare the similarities in Jesus' appearance in Rev 1:12-16 with his transfigured appearance. Compare also how in the chiasmus the 'two-witness' passage serves as an "explanatory aside.")

The "two-witness" passage (Rev 11:1-13) breaks down into 4 distinct episodes: The "42 months" of Gentile trampling, the "1260 days" of prophesying, the killing/resurrecting/ascension of the two witnesses (part of which occupies "3 and 1/2 days" - Rev 11:9), and the subsequent earthquake part. The last two parts are not given a time period. But they are described as a follow on to the "42 months" and the "1260 days."

Here are a few more tentative observations:

The two witnesses operate for "1260 days." (Rev 11:3) The woman spends "1260 days" in the wilderness. (Rev 12:6) The "Gentiles" trample the holy city for "42 months." And the 'wounded wild beast' is permitted to conquer the saints for "42 months." (Rev 13:5-7) This curious comparative wording of time frames may indicate that the measuring of the temple in Rev 11:1-3 is somewhat of a chronological measuring. First occurs the figurative "42 months" of Gentile 'conquering' over the saints. Then the figurative "1260 days" during which the true saints are 'fed in the wilderness' during the great apostasy. (The "1260 days" of Rev 12:6 is also referred to as a "time and times and half a time" at Rev 12:14. I'm not entirely sure why.)

The period of time in the "wilderness" where the "woman" is "fed" would afford ample opportunities over the centuries for individual disciples to act like the F&DS of Mt 24:45-46 and Lu 12:42-43)

On the 'wilderness feeding' theme, compare also Ezekiel chapter 34 where the idea is expressed of God protecting the sheep from bad shepherds and especially Ezek 34:25 which has God feeding His sheep in the wilderness via "my servant David" (a messianic reference).

See this post for some additional on this. Starting at the paragraph that begins with, 'The other "great city" is the one that resembles Jerusalem.'

See posts #32, 33, 34 starting here foe additional research on this topic.


So much for now . . .
Bobcat

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Bobcat
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#35 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

Made a rather small adjustment in the chiastic structure on this post. The change is in F^. It is actually a partial adjustment back to F^ in the original chiastic structure in the OP (here).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . Chiasm of Revelation . . . Explanatory Asides

Original...............F^ Rev 13:1-14:5. . . . . . . Rev 14:6-20
Second................F^ Rev 13:1-18. . . . . . . . Rev 14:1-5 & Rev 14:6-20
Current...............F^ Rev 13:1-14:5 . . . . . . .Rev 14:6-13 & Rev 14:14-20

So this adjustment is a sort of fine tuning. It became apparent (to me) after the most recent research I posted and it brings the chiastic structure more into balance.

See the next post for additional explanation on why I made this modification.


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Bobcat
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#36 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

This is the section of the chiasm that I have been focusing on recently (see the whole chiastic structure of Revelation here):
Chiasm of Revelation . . . . . .Explanatory Asides

F Rev 8:2-11:19 . . . . . . . . . . Rev 10:1-11 & Rev 11:1-13

. . . G Rev 12:1-17

F^ Rev 13:1-14:5 . . . . . . . . . Rev 14:6-13 & Rev 14:14-20
The reasoning that caused me to include Rev 14:1-5 with Rev 13:1-18 involves two things:

1. The trumpets (specifically trumpet 7) conclude with 'the kingdom of this world becoming the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.' (Rev 11:15) So it made sense (to me, anyways) that Rev 14:1-5 (with 'the Lamb & the 144,000 standing upon Mt Zion') would also conclude the portion that parallels the Trumpets in the chiasm, namely, Rev 13:1-18 (especially regarding the wounded head and the two-horned lamb, whom I conclude to refer to Rome and Anglo-America, the two world powers of the Christian era).

2. Each portion of this section of the chiasm appears to focus on the Christian era in its entirety, at least in general terms. Even each "explanatory aside" seems to do so. They appear a bit like those cellophane pages in a medical reference that allow overlapping various body systems. But Rev 14:1-5 standing by itself doesn't. So moving it to be included with Rev 13:1-18 corrects that problem nicely and also harmonizes/balances Rev 13:1-14:5 with the seven trumpets passage. (Rev 8:2-11:19)

That aside, some other interesting observations within this section:

Rev 12:17 has Satan 'going off to wage war with the holy ones.' The explanation that comes with the 7th trumpet has the nations being "enraged," which elicits God's "wrath." (Rev 11:18)

Rev 14:14-20 describes the reaping of the "earth" and the "vine of the earth." If this pericope is seen as basically describing the Christian era in its entirety, then, it adds further evidence of Jesus being crowned early within that time period. (Compare Rev 14:14-16) This section does not entirely match the parable of the wheat and weeds. In that parable the weeds are harvested first. (Mt 13:30) In Rev 14:14-16 a grain harvest takes place before the bad "vine" is harvested and crushed. Thus, the harvesting of the "earth" must describe what takes place during the entire Christian era. (Mt 9:37-38) And it is a crowned person, "like a son of man," who uses his sickle to reap the "earth."

The 'earth's harvest' is described as "ripe," that is, literally, "thoroughly dried" (Strong's #3583), as opposed to the "vine of the earth" which is "ripe" or "mature" (Strong's #187). And thus, the "earth" that is harvested first is a grain harvest, as opposed to the "vine" which is a grape harvest.

More research on this as time permits . . .


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Bobcat
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#37 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

This post is regarding this section of the Revelation chiasm,
F^ Rev 13:1-14:5 . . . . . . . . . Rev 14:6-13 & Rev 14:14-20
And specifically, Rev 14:6-13. Here is the passage from the ESV:
The Messages of the Three Angels [Title given to this passage by the ESV - Bobcat]

6 Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7 And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

8 Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

9 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.b

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
Here are the indications that this passage covers (generally) the whole of the Christian era:

Rev 14:6-7, the declaration of the good news, which includes a warning of judgment. (See also trumpet 1 [Rev 8:7-8]; The 'earth being reaped by the crowned Son of man' [Rev 14:14-16])

Note the warnings of Rev 14:9-11. They include the same things and the same order as in Rev 13. Rev 13:8 (worshiping the beast), Rev 13:14-15 (worshiping the image), and Rev 13:16 (getting the mark). If the wounded head and the two-horned lamb represent the two world powers of the Christian era ("the one is, and the other has not yet come" of Rev 17:10), then, these warnings cover, basically, the entirety of the Christian era.

Rev 14:12 rightly warns of the need for endurance due to the aforementioned problems that Christians would have during the whole of the Christian era. And Rev 14:13 gives encouragement for servants of God and Christ who have to face these things. (Compare Heb 11:39-40; 1Co 15:22-23)

With all that in mind, it is interesting that the 'fallen state of Babylon the Great' is described right after the announcement of the on-going world-wide declaration of the good news. Compare that with this post. And see also this post where I assert a link between the fall of Babylon the Great in Rev 18:2 and Isaiah chapter 2. The fall of Babylon the Great would also represent one of the early victories of the crowned rider of Rev 6:2 (assuming this is Jesus). (See this post and the links at the bottom of the post which show a chiastic structure within the Trumpets passage itself - a chiasm within a chiasm!)


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Bobcat
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#38 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

Regarding the "death stroke" received by 'one of the heads' of the beast out of the sea (Rev 13:1, 3) and its application to the Great Roman Civil War of 68-69 CE, see this post and included links.

Rev 13:3 uses a passive verb to describe the "death stroke" received by the aforementioned "head" of the beast. If the ideas in the above link are correct, then, this could be another example of a divine passive.


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apollos0fAlexandria
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#39 Post by apollos0fAlexandria » 2 years ago

Hi Bobcat

This whole thread has been a study project for me. Although I don't have anything to add right now, I just wanted to thank you for your research and many fascinating points to consider.

Apollos

Bobcat
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Re: Chiasmus of Revelation

#40 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

Thank you Apollos for the kind words and encouragement. I have several research projects on my mind (here & here for example) and difficulty finding time to devote to them. But this chiasmus project probably represents a true exploration of sorts. (The other two were/are also.) I am not exactly sure what all I will find and whether it will require a modification of various viewpoints already held.


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