October 25, 2007

Revelation 12.1-6

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for her delivery.

And another portent appeared in heaven, behold: a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth.

She brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the earth with a rod of iron; but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

4 Comments:

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm abit lost. What is this passage refering to? Sorry to be abit dim.

 
At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry that last 'lost' comment was me.

QuakerBear

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger forrest said...

Hello again, you!

"Heaven"--The actual sky, the appropriate place for spectacles intended for divine/human announcements to appear--or, alternatively, as sort of "space" (visible only to seers such as John) in which events of great spiritual significance take place...

The woman, with child? Obviously, the ongoing hope that something new will come into the world to restore it to its intended condition: "For unto us a child is given..."

The commentary I've checked out of the library sees the woman as representing the Jewish People, awaiting the Messiah to deliver them (and the world!) from the rule of brutal, idolatrous foreigners (aka Romans, Herodians, etc.) The dragon ought to symbolize Rome, but I have no idea how the tail would fit in, except as an astrological reference (which is the type of reference Malina finds throughout the book, quite plausibly!--though those astrological phenomena are clearly being included because "John" sees human meaning in them.)

The earthly rulers, the Caesars and the Herods, quite naturally want to see this birth of hope, hope for a world order other than their own, aborted. ("Herod always wants to kill the children")

The male child would, to "John," represent Jesus. The earliest written reference we have to "The Resurrection" is Paul's belief that Jesus, after his death, has been taken up to sit in power at the right hand of God, waiting (as in the familiar psalm) until his enemies have been subdued. And Israel, meaning (to John) some "true" subset of Israel-plus Godfearing goyim, must needs be hidden & protected in the meantime.

I am sorry I haven't been keeping this up properly. It would help to have someone else flailing for interpretations, even "lost" persons. (You wouldn't mind if I got grumpy & critical with your guesses, would you?)

 
At 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I promise I won't get grumpy :)

I see the angle you're taking and you've given me a starting point so I'll give it a go.

QuakerBear

 

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