Thursday, September 28, 2006

Psalm 2 and the Book of Revelation

One of the courses I’m doing this semester is on Biblical Theology and the Book of Revelation. Part of the out-of-class work involves reading Revelation at least once a week.

This week David Field suggested we read Revelation with Psalm 2 in our minds. For my benefit/thinking processes I’m going to blog some of the references and allusions I’ve spotted, and, who knows, maybe others will find it helpful too.

1. Direct Quotations and Near-Quotations

2:26-27, 12:5, 11:18, 19:15. Three of the four (all except 11:18) reference the reign of the Son in ruling the nations 'with a rod of iron'. I reckon 2:26-27 especially is worth a good look where this is extended to the one who overcomes.

Plus all the times ‘Kings of the earth’ appears (see below).

2. Characters

The main characters of Psalm 2 are big players in Revelaton as well

The Kings of the Earth (Psalm 2:2): These Kings are mentioned all over the book, although interestingly enough, the phrase ‘kings of the earth’ is used seven times, see 1:5, 6:15, 17:2, 17:18, 18:9, 19:19 and 21:24-26. (NB. While we're on the subject, its worth thinking about why most contemporary preaching I've heard on Psalm 2 moves very quickly from the Kings of the earth to the whole world being in revolt against God and Christ. This of course is true and is taught in the Psalm (Psalm 2:1), however, the Psalm (and apparently Revelation) have a special emphasis upon the political rulers of the nations. Why is that?)

God and his Christ/Son (Psalm 2:2, 6 and 11-12): Psalm 2 portrays the rule of the Christ (‘anointed’) as being God’s own rule. Similarly Revelation characteristically talks of the joint rule of the Christ (or the Lamb, who is seen to be the Davidic King of Psalm 2 in Rev 5) and God in for e.g. 3:21, 6:15-17, 11:15, 22:3. An interesting line of investigation would be to think why John usually uses ‘Lamb’ to describe the Christ in these passages?

The Psalmist/Prophet (Psalm 2:1-7, especially 10-12): John is commissioned, as the Psalmist before him, to prophesy against national Kings (10:11).

Not sure what all of this means yet, except that it means the events of Revelation are a fulfilment of Psalm 2.

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