Friday, January 12, 2024

Time Is Short (12.10–12)


And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now God’s salvation and power and kingdom has come to us, and the authority of his Anointed One, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, the one who accuses them in front of our god day and night. And they have conquered him through the lamb’s blood, and through their witness. And they did not love their life until death. Rejoice because of this, heavens and the ones who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the slanderer has come down to you with great wrath, because he knows his time is short.’


The clear Christian understanding of the messianic myth in chapter 12 only comes through an interpretive ‘interruption’. On a related note, eschatological apocalypses routinely depict the eschaton in the far future of the author because he pretended to be a figure of ancient history. This apocalypse is, at this point, unique in its blunt admission that the eschaton is ‘soon’ or ‘near’ or even already underway. Such statements are only found in non-diegetic parts of the book, the epistolary framework (chapter 1–3 and 22), or a speaker external to the titular revelation ‘interrupting’ it make an observational comment: the author must prophecy because ‘there is no more delay’ (chapter 10); the war in heaven equates to the lamb’s sacrifice, such that the dragon ‘knows his time is short’ (12.10–12); the readers must prepare for Jesus’ arrival, which he warned was ‘soon’ in his messages to the seven assemblies (16.15).



96.11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it


44.23 Sing, O heavens, for Yhwh has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For Yhwh has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.

49.13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For Yhwh has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones.

Revelation of Zephaniah

7.9 Then I arose and stood, and I saw a great angel before me saying to me, ‘Triumph, prevail because you have prevailed and have triumphed over the accuser, and you have come up with Hades and the abyss. You will now cross over the crossing place.’

9.1 ‘Be courageous! O one who has triumphed. Prevail! O one who has prevailed. For you have triumphed over the accuser, and you have escaped from the abyss and Hades.’

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