Thursday, September 28, 2006

Psalm 2 and the Book of Revelation 3

I've been trying to read Revelation with Psalm 2 glasses on.

4) Passages which follow the pattern of Psalm 2

Psalm 2 gives us the following pattern War/Persecution > Vindication/Enthronement / > Warnings/Blessings.

E.g. A united world makes war against God and Christ (1-3) > God responds in wrath by establishing (thereby vindicating him although he is rejected) his King/Christ/Son (4-6) who will judge/rule the nations (7-9) > warnings and blessings given accordingly (10-12).

There are many passages of Revelation which follow this same pattern or part of it.

11:7-13: The beast wars against God’s witnesses and kills them (and the world is apparently united in rejoicing about this), God raises them from the dead to his throne room (thereby vindicating them).

12:1-6: The Dragon wars/persecutes/tries to kill the offspring of the woman who is the King from Psalm 2, who is subsequently snatched up to the heavenly throne (thus himself enthroned).

13:1-14:13: Various wars/persecutions on God’s people are engineered by the beasts (13). Next we see the Lamb/Son and all the other sons of God standing on Mount Zion (14:1-5 cf. Psalm 2:6-7). Warnings and promises of blessing follow (14:6-13).

16:14-21: Kings unite to war against God, God proclaims from the temple (Zion again!) that ‘it is done’ and God’s enemies are judged with the fury of God’s wrath (cf. Psalm 2:5, 12).

See also 17:13ff (to probably the end of 19 or maybe 20:6 or maybe the end of the book with the description of the New Jerusalem and the blessings and warnings of 21) which seems to follow the same pattern.

John evidently saw the 'persecution > enthronement' pattern of Psalm 2 in the life/death/resurrection of Jesus himself (as did the rest of the apostles, see Acts 4:23-31) and as somehow normative for subsequent kingdom/church-history, with himself (and Christians in general perhaps, given 12:11) in the shoes of the Psalmist - proclaiming warnings and blessings. Psalm 2 tells the story of the Messiah, the Messiah's people and the Messiah's Kingdom.


Ros said...

You think that's good, try reading it with Song of Songs in your mind!

Pete said...

Think I'm gonna wait for your book Ros like the rest of us biblical-theology rookies!

Anonymous said...

this is GREAT stuff, Pete

btw, you have seen Ros's dissertation have you, over at