Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Daniel and the Book of Revelation

Because the major part of the book of Revelation is prophetic, and will be fulfilled after the Church Age, it is only logical that Daniel of often alluded to, or quoted in part as the book progresses. Scholars of all prophetic and theological persuasions have taken note of this fact. But it is also true that many other Old Testament books are also made mention of. Swete says
The writer of the Apocalypse refers to each of the three great divisions of the Hebrew canon, and to most of the books. He lays under contribution each of the books of the Law, the Book of Judges, the four Books of Kingdoms, the Psalms, the Proverbs, the Song [of Solomon], the Book of Job, all the major and seven of the minor Prophets. But there are certain books which he uses with especial frequency; more than, half his references to the Old Testament belong to the Psalms, the prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel, and the Book of Daniel, and in proportion to its length the Book of Daniel yields by far the greatest number.1 Swete adds that Revelation often uses words, phrases, and simple indirect quotes, sometimes "with no special allusion to particular contexts."2
But there are other references in which it is clear that [John] has in view certain books and passages, and is practically quoting from them, although no formula of quotation is used. These occur chiefly in the visions of the Apocalypse, which are based in almost every case on the histories or the prophecies of the Old Testament.3 Bullinger concurs:
Who can doubt that Daniel and Revelation are identical as to their scope; and that they relate, not to this present church period at all, but to the time when "he that liveth," or the Living One, shall come to exercise dominion in the earth, and this in connection, not with grace of God, but with "the wrath of God" (Rev. xv.7)? The double testimony of two witnesses, in Daniel and Revelation, bespeak the fact that this title relates entirely to the earth, and to man.4 One connection that stands out is the quote by John the apostle to the Messiah coming from glory to reign. He writes, "Behold, He is coming with the clouds" (Rev. 1:7), and one is standing "like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, …" (v. 13). This picture is found in Daniel 7:13, "And behold, with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming." Jesus repeats this vision in Matthew 24:30b: "The Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." The Lord also gives the same prophecy to Caiaphas at His trial. "Hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven" (26:64).
This historical event is further described in Revelation when John writes,
Behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; ...And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; ...He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Rev. 19:11-16) With 404 verses in the book of Revelation, there are 278 which "contain references to the Jewish Scriptures."4 The parallels can best be seen in the Greek quotes found in the Septuagint (LXX). Below are most of these allusions and phrases, as found in both Daniel and Revelation:6
  • Daniel Revelation
  • 1:(12), 14 2:10
  • 2:28 1:1
  • 2:29 2:19
  • 2:35 12:8
  • 2:44 11:13
  • 2:47 17:14
  • 3:4; 7:14 10:11
  • 3:6 13:15
  • 4:31, (34) 4:10
  • 5:23 9:20
  • 7:3 11:7
  • 7:6 13:2
  • 7:7 12:3
  • 7:9 1:14; 20:4
  • 7:13 1:7
  • 7:13; 10:16 1:13
  • 7:10 5:11; 20:12
  • 7:20 13:5
  • 7:21 13:7
  • 7:24 12:14
  • 8:26 10:4
  • 9:6 10:7
  • 10:5 1:13
  • 10:6 19:6
  • 10:9, 12 1:17
  • 10:13 12:7
  • 12:1 7:14; 16:18; 20:15
  1. Henry Barclay Swete, Commentary on Revelation (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1977), cliii.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid., cliii-cliv.
  4. E. W. Bullinger, Commentary on Revelation (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1984), 24.
  5. Henry Barclay Swete, Commentary on Revelation, cxl.
  6. Ibid., cxl-cliii.