The Agora
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Rev, theme verse

"Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen" (Rev 1:7).
This verse is set apart from all other true prophetic portions of the Apocalypse, and highlighted by the affirmative "Amen". In fact, it might be said that the prophetic portion proper does not begin until Rev 6. So why is Rev 1:7 where it is? Perhaps because this one verse is a theme verse, or key v, for the whole of the Book. (Think of it as something of a subtitle.) If so, then what can it tell us about the terms under which the Book may be interpreted?

The first half of the verse quotes Dan 7:13:

"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven."
So Revelation is surely about the return of Christ from the Father's throne back to the earth. No surprise there!

What about the second half of Rev 1:7? It quotes Zec 12:10-14:

"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives."
Are we being told, then, in this "theme verse" of the whole of Rev, that the events foretold therein are designed by God to lead to the repentance of Israel. Zec 13:1, which follows immediately after 12:14, reads:

"On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity."
So... going no further into the "murky depths" of the Apocalypse, with all its symbolic and figurative language... what does a close look at the "theme verse" alone suggest?

  1. the people of Israel have come back to their land (only true in the last 50 years)...
  2. in ignorance of their true Messiah...
  3. to suffer great threats/setbacks from their avowed enemies...
  4. the trials of which will lead them to turn back to their God and His Son...
  5. which will lead them next to the waters of cleansing...
  6. And so their Messiah will appear to them...
  7. and will vanquish their enemies...
  8. and will set up the Kingdom of God.
The above is a small example of letting OT prophecies (directly quoted in the Apocalypse) aid us in setting up signposts and guidelines to understand what at first glance might seem an extraordinarily complex book.

Is it really that complex?

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