Monday, February 3, 2014

R rated symbols

Good evening sisters and brothers,
Today's reading is disturbing. There are all kinds of issues here about how John talks about women in general and this symbol in particular. As we talked about on Sunday, the beast is a reference to the Roman Empire. The woman John sees in this vision makes an even more striking reference to Rome by symbolizing Rome with a prostitute called Babylon. The Babylonian Empire destroyed Jerusalem in 587 BC and Rome destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, so the parallel is pretty obvious. The message is that even though the powers of empire and commerce seem unbeatable, even if they do break down the righteous and the faithful, God's love and justice triumph in the end.

God bless,

Revelation 17:1-6
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is seated on many waters, 2with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk.” 

3So he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; 5and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth’s abominations.” 6And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly amazed.

No comments:

Post a Comment