Friday, April 29, 2011

The Coming King

Revelation 1:14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.

14 ἡ δὲ κεφαλὴ αὐτοῦ καὶ αἱ τρίχες λευκαὶ ὡς ἔριον λευκόν ὡς χιὼν καὶ οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτοῦ ὡς φλὸξ πυρὸς 15  καὶ οἱ πόδες αὐτοῦ ὅμοιοι χαλκολιβάνῳ ὡς ἐν καμίνῳ πεπυρωμένης καὶ ἡ φωνὴ αὐτοῦ ὡς φωνὴ ὑδάτων πολλῶν,

In case you're wondering, I'm trying to follow the Johannine thread as I go through John, 1,2,3 John, and Revelation. It's kind of interesting to see John's train of thought, though of course Revelation gets a little scattered. This way it is easier to see the language that he uses and how it all fits together. We'll get back to Paul in a few weeks.

When I read this I was struck by the phrase ἡ φωνὴ αὐτοῦ ὡς φωνὴ ὑδάτων πολλῶν. First of all, I find it a bit interesting to see the same word translated two different ways in the same phrase. The word ἡ φωνὴ has the glosses sound, noise, or voice. Since it has the possessive αὐτοῦ it does not make much sense to call it "his sound" or "his noise." The translation makes perfect sense, but it could throw you off if you were not paying attention to the possessive. I've been there.

When I read this I think of the innumerable trips my family took to Niagara Falls in my youth. Even a relatively small waterfall makes a fair amount of noise. A tour of the waterfalls in western North Carolina will make that clear. But there is something different about Niagara. There is so much water going over two very high cliffs that the sound of the waterfalls pretty much overwhelm everything else. You can't hear much else besides the water when you're there, particularly if you are near the falls.

Think of that sound when you think of Christ. Anyone who focuses on "Jesus, meek and mild" has clearly never read Revelation. He is no hippie. He is coming back as a conquering king and there will be no question about who He is when He returns. This is the all-powerful alpha and omega. Are you ready for His return?

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