Category Archives: Revelation

GOD’S DIVORCE DECREE IN REVELATION (5)

PMW 2020-013 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This article continues an eight-part series on the seven-sealed scroll in Revelation 4–5. This scroll occurs early in Revelation: it opens the plot-line of Revelation.

So now let us note that in the Old Testament economy God’s prophets function as his lawyers. They prosecute Israel’s breaches of God’s covenantal law by bringing his legal case (riyb) against them. Just as God was married to Israel at his throne (Ex 24:10), so her divorce issues from his throne.

In Isaiah 1:2 the heavens and earth are called as witnesses against Israel, as per the Mosaic example (Dt 4:26; 30:19; 31:26, 28). In Isaiah 3:14 the Lord “enters into judgment with the elders and princes” (cp. Isa 41:21; 43:26; 45:21). In Micah 6:2 we read: “Listen, you mountains, to the indictment of the Lord, / And you enduring foundations of the earth, / Because the Lord has a case against His people; / Even with Israel He will dispute.” The passage in which Micah 6:2 appears is “an elaborate representation of a legal case ‘Yahweh v. Israel,’ in which God brings a grievance against his people” in this “covenant lawsuit.” In Jeremiah 30:13–14 the Lord speaks through Jeremiah stating “there is no one to plead your cause” for “all your lovers have forsaken you.” Continue reading

GOD’S DIVORCE DECREE IN REVELATION (4)

PMW 2020-012 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the fourth installment of an eight-part series on the crucial imagery involved in Revelation’s seven-sealed divorce decree.

In Jeremiah’s new covenant promise, God complains of Israel’s unfaithfulness noting that they broke his covenant, though “I had mastered [ba’l] them as a husband” (Jer 31:32). This verb derives from a root meaning “to become master.” Therefore, as Old Testament scholars note, it means to marry “with an emphasis on the rights and authority the husband exercised,” cp. Genesis 20:3; Numbers 5:19–20, 29; Deuteronomy 21:13; 22:22. Whereas the word for “husband” (‘hś) “is apparently an endearing expression”, ba’l “emphasizes the legal position of the husband as lord and ‘owner’ of his wife.” The legal relation and subsequent obligation is clearly in view. Continue reading

GOD’S DIVORCE DECREE IN REVELATION (3)

PMW 2020-011 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my third article on the identity of the seven-sealed scroll in Revelation. In this article I will deal with covenantal marriage, which is essential for understanding the covenantal divorce transpiring in Revelation.

We must recognize at the outset that Revelation is an extremely Hebraic book that draws heavily from the Old Testament. And we should understand that John’s theme verse warns of Christ’s judgment-coming against the Jews. Continue reading

GOD’S DIVORCE DECREE IN REVELATION (2)

PMW 2020-010 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my second installment on the identity of the seven-sealed Scroll in Revelation. This symbol is crucial to understanding Revelation’s point. I will begin where I left off last time (sounds logical, doesn’t it?).

(10) In Revelation 10 we see the scroll fully opened and in a strong angel’s hand (Rev 10:2). This is Christ appearing as the “Angel of the Covenant” who is expected in Malachi 3:1 for the purpose of bringing judgment upon Israel. He appears here in angelic form, because he is a “messenger” [aggelos] swearing an oath as a legal witness (Rev 10:1, 5, 6). This vision appears just before Revelation’s clearest statement regarding the earthly temple in Jerusalem: Revelation 11:1–2 (see next point). Continue reading

GOD’S DIVORCE DECREE IN REVELATION (1)

PMW 2020-009 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am beginning a new series of studies that will present a detailed case for identifying the seven-sealed scroll in Revelation. Revelation is performative drama that employs forensic rhetoric. The succession of scenes will increasingly inform the audience of the legal action undertaken within. The identity of this scroll will exercise a large interpretive influence over the later chapters of Revelation.

By way of introducing this court-drama I will trace in broad strokes Revelation’s interesting legal plot-line, then I will backup and provide the particular evidence that leads me to this understanding. Continue reading

“THE KINGS OF THE EARTH” AND PSALM 2 (10)

PMW 2020-005 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my final installment on the issue of “the kings of the earth” in Revelation. Hopefully, this rather thorough study has been helpful.

In the NT we discover the apostolic church engaging in the pesher method of interpretation of OT passages. So not only does the contemporary Qumran community engage in such, but also the apostolic community of Christianity. I will focus on one particularly important OT passage whose contemporizing interpretation will be relevant to our current study. Continue reading

“THE KINGS” OF “THE KINGS OF THE EARTH” (9)

PMW 2020-004 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

We have been through eight installments of a study on “the kings of the earth” as found in Revelation, particularly in Rev. 17:18, which is a stumbling block for some who are considering preterism. We are now ready to consider:

Not surprisingly, basileus is a common word in the NT occurring 115 times (thirty-eight of these apply to Christ). We discover eighteen of those appearances in Rev (1:5; 6:15; 9:11; 10:11; 15:3; 16:12, 14; 17:2, 9, 12, 14, 18; 18:3, 9; 19:16, 18, 19; 21:24). Within Rev it appears in the phrase “kings of the earth” ten times. In the NT our full phrase occurs only two times outside of Rev: Mt 17:25 and Ac 4:26. The word basileuō (“to reign”) occurs twenty-one times, with six of those in Rev (5:10; 11:15, 17; 19:6; 20:4, 6; 22:5). Continue reading