Continued from Part 2, Outline.


The content of the vision draws heavily on the Old Testament. Besides the obvious ties to Ezekiel and Daniel, there are pointers to many of the minor prophets; the six suites follow the six creative days of Genesis; as we move through the vision, we also move through the archetypal, heavenly temple, from the outer courts to the Holy of Holies; and the contents of the vision echo the daily and yearly liturgical cycles of the temple.

The Genesis Theme

The six suites parallel the creative days of Genesis:

The Temple Theme

As Revelation progresses, we go deeper and deeper into the heavenly temple:

Note that John sees the lampstand and the sea both at once, in the Suite of Seals. If the lampstand is visible at the same time as the laver and the bronze altar, then the screen between the courtyard and the sanctum must be gone. That would be appropriate for a Revelation, that is a revealing, an uncovering. John is allowed to see behind the screen, into the inner workings of Heaven.

The Theme of the Daily Liturgy

The vision also includes, in order, events from the daily temple liturgy. Each numbered suite begins with a temple ceremony enacted in the heavenly temple:

There is a sub-theme of grisly inversion in this liturgy, since first the saints and then the world become the sacrifices, offered up by the Lamb.

The Theme of the Annual Liturgy

The vision includes elements from the yearly cycle of festivals, though to take them in order requires going around the year at least one and a half times.

Themes of the Old Testament

In addition to imagery taken from the Temple and its liturgy, Revelation contains a tapestry of images from the Old Testament. Here are some of the references:

Continue to Part 4, Gentile and Numerical Themes.

Back to Part 2, Outline.

Return to Introduction to Essays
Return to Wind Off the Hilltop

Copyright © Earl Wajenberg, 2011