Revelation 19

Two major events occur simultaneously in this chapter: the wedding of the Lamb and His bride and the overthrow of the false trinity.  The images in it draw heavily on Jewish wedding customs and the triumph of the victorious Roman General.  Both images are mixed.  The Bride “has made herself ready” and her bridegroom comes for her.  This is the Second Coming, the marriage feast of the Lamb.  There were three steps to take in getting married in first century Judaism.  Step one was the betrothal or engagement.  The groom would leave his father’s house and go negotiate the bride price with her father.  As soon as he paid that price the marriage went into effect.  The man and the woman are legally married at this point even though the union has not been consummated.  She would be declared “consecrated” or “set apart” for her husband.  They then drank a glass of wine together to establish their new covenant.  The words of blessing, “this cup is the new covenant,” would be spoken over it.  Then the groom would leave and go back to his father’s house for roughly 12 months.  Step two was the preparation for the wedding. During this year of separation the groom would prepare a room for his bride and she would prepare herself for the wedding.  It is important to know that they are legally married even though they don’t see each other, live together, or have even consecrated the marriage.  If the man dies during this period the woman is considered a widow.  Step three was the wedding itself.  The bridegroom would leave his home at an unknown hour dressed for the wedding with best man and friends.   Part of the idea was to surprise the bride and her attendants.  When he got close his groomsmen would shout, “Here is the bridegroom!  Come out.  Come out to meet him.”  Then the bride and her attendants would come out carrying lamps to join the party.  They would go back to the groom’s father’s house where they would find the guests dressed in special robes.  The feast and party could last 14 days.  The time of the church’s engagement has passed.  Babylon has been judged.  Salvation arrives with Jesus.  But he is not only a bridegroom; he is also a warrior in John’s vision.  The armies of heaven ride with him against the beast and his armies.   They are defeated without a battle because the Messiah brings the word of God against them.  John draws on the Roman triumph for his imagery of Jesus.  A Roman general who won a great victory could be awarded a “Triumph” by the Senate.  This was a party that began with a parade.  The general, dressed in white, and his army would enter Rome through a special white arch to cleanse them from their bloodshed.  this is the promised Day of the Lord, salvation is at hand.

About bob

I am a Vineyard pastor and a passionate student of the Bible with an instinctive distrust of "business as usual" when it comes to the story of the Bible. Gratefully I have the opportunity to dig a little deeper and my purpose with this blog is to share what I discover.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>