Mud on the Wall: Brainstorming the Apocalypse (LXXIII)

July 29, 2010

In the conventional outline of Revelation, chapters 12-14 are a lengthy prelude to the climactic bowls of wrath (chs. 15-16).  In the chiastic outline of the book, 12:1-6 is the first aspect of the H “pair.”  Its latter “half” (H’) is 17:1-6.  If, for whatever reason, you need convincing that these two sections mirror each other, simply note that each of these fairly short passages pictures a female figure in the wilderness (see 12:6; 17:3).

While there is nothing directly visible about “the earth-dwellers” in H (12:1-6), the human henchman that the Devil used to try to kill the infant Messiah in Matthew 2:16, Herod the Great, would be an “earth-dweller.”  As far as “the heaven-dwellers” are concerned, all that is seen in this section is the woman fleeing into the wilderness in 12:6, who is probably a corporate image of those converted en masse in 11:13, much as the bride functions in 19:7-8.

In H’, the immoral relationship between Babylon the Great, apparently an evil counterpart corporate female image, and the kings of the earth and “the earth-dwellers” is teased out in 17:2.  In regard to “the heaven-dwellers,” the mention of “the saints” and “the witnesses to Jesus” martyred by Babylon the Great tie her even more closely to “the earth-dwellers,” given the words of the martyrs already in heaven in 6:9-10.


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