PMW 2019-104 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
After a brief Christmas break, I will now return to my study on “the kings of the earth” in Revelation. At this point I will open with:
Their Specific Revelation Setting
As noted in my commentary’s Introduction, and as I have argued elsewhere on 1:7, Rev is focusing on Israel’s judgment for rejecting Christ and persecuting his followers. Because of this Israel-judgment theme, Rev’s own setting opens the possibility that these “kings of the earth” picture the Jewish religious aristocracy. I will briefly rehearse some of Rev’s Judaic tendencies focusing on three angles. Continue reading
PMW 2019-102 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As I continue explaining who I believe the “kings of the earth” in Revelation are, I will now focus on some general background information. I will begin with the general NT atmosphere.
I will gradually build the case for identifying the “kings of the earth” with Israel’s religious authorities. The earlier components of the argument will not be conclusive, but they lay the groundwork for the conclusion. Only after we get these general observations in place may we develop more compelling insights.
As I will point out in my Revelation commentary’s Introduction, the Jewish temple’s destruction in AD 70 is a redemptive-historical event of enormous and lasting consequences. With the collapse of the temple comes the cessation of the sacrificial system, the closing of the old covenant order, and the securing of the new covenant. Such an event must naturally cast its shadow over all of the NT. And it does. Though I cannot develop it extensively ifn this Exc I can briefly highlight its impact on the NT record. I will illustrate this by focusing on the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel. This material will help us see the function of the kings of the earth in the redemptive-historical upheaval dramatically symbolized in Rev. Continue reading
PMW 2019-101 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In my last article I began a series aimed at analyzing the identity of the recurring “kings of the earth” in Revelation. A proper identity of this set of rulers is important for understanding Revelation’s message. So now let me return to my analysis.
Rev is filled with kings. Elsewhere we read of other kings who are described differently. For instance, in 10:11 John is re-commissioned to prophesy, and the re-commissioning is expanded to include his prophesying regarding nations and “kings” (he has already prophesied about this special group known as “the kings of the earth,” 6:15). We hear also of “the kings from the east” (16:12) (which statement itself necessarily distinguishes them from other kings) and the “kings of the whole world” (16:14) who gather at the battle of Har Magedon. We read of the “seven kings” specifically tied to the beast (17:10) who are distinguished from the “ten kings” who will “hate the harlot and will make her desolate” (17:12, 16). Continue reading
PMW 2019-100 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In his exalted praise of Christ John declares that he is “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5) In contrast to the rest of the NT where it only occurs twice (Mt 17:25; Ac 4:26), the phrase “the kings of the earth” (ho archōn tōn basileōn tēs gēs) appears rather frequently in Rev. It appears eight times in all, with six of those being in the last five chapters (after the drama has built and all of the characters are in place): 1:5; 6:15; 17:2, 18; 18:3, 9; 19:19; 21:24. Here at 1:5 as John continues his opening comments of Revelation, he only quickly mentions these kings while praising Christ.
But who are these “kings of the earth” that are subject to Christ? Continue reading