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Notes on the Book of Revelation: Chapter 2, Part 2

Posted by lehunt on November 7, 2016

Larry Hunt Bible Commentary // Moses and the Children of Israel Gathering Manna

Moses and the Children of Israel Gathering Manna

Notice Moses’s horns.  This is due to the Vulgate translation.  Jerome thought the Hebrew should be cornuta (“horned”) instead of “bright” or “radiant” as many translations render it.  “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.    Exodus 34:29

 

 

v. 17: The ancient Israelites ate the original manna as they journeyed through the wilderness to the promised land (Exodus 16:15).  That manna foreshadowed (was a type of) Christ himself (John 6:25-59), which we eat now.  The manna that we eat now is spiritual (although symbolized in the physical ritual of communion); similar to the original manna that nourished the body, the current manna (i.e., Christ’s force of life, his love, sacrifice, and teaching) nourishes our souls.  I believe the “hidden” manna here in v. 17 is yet another type of manna, one foreshadowed by the spiritual manna we partake of today.  Perhaps it is called “hidden” because we have not yet experienced it in its full sense, just as the manna we eat today (the manna of John 6) was hidden from those who lived in the time of Moses because Christ had not yet come to earth.  Or, perhaps it is called “hidden” because it has always been part of the nature of manna to be mysterious and difficult to understand.  The name itself is a transliteration of the Hebrew for “What is it?”  This is particularly ironic when you consider the fact that naming is an attempt to define something’s nature; hence the name “red-headed woodpecker” defines, in part at least, the nature of a wood pecking creature with a red head.  Here, the attempt to define the nature of manna paradoxically reflects the fact that its nature is, in some sense, unknown and thus (to the degree that it is unknown) indefinable and hidden.

New names commemorate defining moments in life and thus serve to define more clearly who the named person is.  Simon received a new name to commemorate a defining moment in his life (Matthew 16:18).  So too did Abram (Genesis 17:5) and Jacob (Genesis 32:28). I think the new name in this verse is quite interesting (although to say that it commemorates a significant event is a bit of an understatement).  Its most intriguing feature is the fact that only the person who owns the name knows what the name is.  I wonder if this is so that the name cannot be used in a prideful way to show off one’s relationship with God.  The name can only serve privately to give its owner pleasure in the knowledge of his or her relationship with God.  Another way of interpreting this name is to view it as Christ’s new name,[7] a name which only they who overcome can receive and know (i.e., only the saved).

v. 20: “Jezebel” may be either a real female teacher or the personification of an entire group that is misleading the Christians; in either case, her children are the individuals who follow this teacher or belong to this group.

v. 24: Just as the Jews in the Synagogue of Satan (2:9) would probably not describe themselves as Satanists, so too these teachers would probably not refer to what they consider the deep teachings of their theology as “the deep things of Satan;” Christ is simply supplying the name their teachings properly deserve (and perhaps mocking the pretentiousness of the teachers as well).  The teachings are Satanic, whether their teachers recognize that fact or not.

v. 27: As he said he would give the hidden manna, so he says here he will give the morning star (Revelation 22:16).  He means fellowship with himself and a share of his inheritance, part of which will be judging the world on “the great day of God the Almighty” (16:14).[8] The language (taken from Psalms 2:8-9) of smashing pottery describes the final destruction of the unfaithful nations.[9]

The image of the Morning Star (the sun) is one of regal authority.   Its ultimate manifestation is here in the King of Kings, but the image is also used in Isaiah 14:12.  There the image refers to the Babylonian king’s former royal glory, which contrasts sharply with his latter humiliation: the morning star, in that case, has fallen.  The Hebrew word for morning star is sometimes transliterated as Lucifer, and the Isaiah passage is sometimes applied to Satan since there are parallels between him and the Babylonian king, but the use of the term to designate the king of Babylon or Satan should not be confused with its use here to designate the Messiah.

[7] See 3:12.

[8] For a discussion of this day see notes at 20:4.

[9] A reference to the events of 19:19-21, and/or 20:7-9.

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