Ezekiel in Revelation : literary and hermeneutic aspects
Concerning John's use of the OT in Revelation, recent scholarship has observed that in terms of closeness, the book of Ezekiel, among many other OT books, enjoys a particular status. For, not only have its many materials been adopted in Revelation, but the order of these materials appearing in the two books is, by and large, the same. These features, then, suggest that Revelation is literarily dependent on Ezekiel. Against this background, this thesis, however, intends to show that besides this literary influence, the book of Ezekiel had also a hermeneutical effect on the book of Revelation. For this reason, in each of the four cases examined in the thesis, an exploration of how a certain OT tradition is used in a given Ezekielian passage is first offered, followed by an exploration of how this reinterpreted OT tradition is used and reinterpreted again in Revelation. When these tasks are done, a comparison of these two usages is then made so as to see how these two usages parallel each other. Each of the four cases is then concluded by stating the implication of the finding for the understanding of the book of Revelation. Specifically, the four cases examined in the thesis are, (1) The comparison of Ezekiel's use of Eden tradition (Gen 1-3) in Ezekiel 28:11-19 with John's use of Ezekiel's oracle against the nation Tyre (Ezek 26-28) in Revelation 18; (2) The comparison of Ezekiel's use of the foe-from-the-north tradition in Ezekiel 38-39 with John's use of Gog oracle (Ezek 38-39) in Revelation 19-20; (3) The comparison of Ezekiel's use of the model of battle camp (Num 2-3) in Ezekiel 48:30-35 with John's use of the prophet's restoration program (Ezek 40-48) in Revelation 21; and (4) The comparison of Ezekiel's use of Eden tradition (Gen 2-3) in Ezekiel47:1-12 with John's use of this river-of-life tradition (Ezek 47:1-12) in Revelation 22. These four case studies show that though various interpretative principles have been involved in Ezekiel's use of his sources, these principles have been followed by John in his use of Ezekielian materials. This observation then leads us to the following conclusion: John, as the follower and witness of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:2, 9), is, in terms of hermeneutics, a true heir of the prophet Ezekiel. As to the implications of the findings for the understanding of Revelation, the four case studies, in turn, argue for (1) the identification of the great harlot Babylon (Rev 18) as Rome, (2) the Amillennial view for Revelation 20:1-10, (3) the identification of the new Jerusalem (Rev 21) as the New Testament church, and (4) the view taking the river of life (Rev 22) as the symbol for salvation.