Introverted Hebrew Poetry

A quote from

HP Mansfield in “Christadelphian Expositor – The book of Revelation”, Logos Publications.

What The Apocalypse Is All About

Accepting the basic interpretation of the Apocalypse as expounded in Eureka, the Book of Revelation, is divisible into ten sections, so designed as to suggest a parallelism of ideas similar to that found in introverted Hebrew poetry. Hebrew poetry represents a parallelism of ideas rather than of rhyme or rhythm. One idea builds upon another until the completed thought, or picture, is revealed. In introverted Hebrew poetry, which is frequently found in Scripture, the first line is answered by the last, the next by the second to last, and so on. An example, set out in the following form is found in Psalm 135:15-18:

The idols of the heathen are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths but they speak not;

They have eyes but they see not;

They have ears but they hear not;

neither is there any breath in their mouths;

They who make them are like unto them;

So are all they who put their trust in them.

Couple the first and the last lines together, and the thought of the former is found completed in the latter:

The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, (inanimate),

So are all they who have put their trust in them.

The general structure of the Apocalypse as a whole, seems to be in the form of a long, dramatic, introverted Hebrew poem, presenting a parallelism of development, in which the first harmonises with the last, and so on.  Accepting the interpretation of Eureka, the whole message can be set out in the following form:

(1)-Introduction: Warning and Appeal (Ch. 1:1-8).

(2)-The Multitudinous Son of Man (Ch. 1:9-20).

(3)-The messages to the Ecclesias(Chs.2, 3).

(4)-The heavenly worship & sealed book(Chs.4,5).

(5)-The “Christianising” of Rome (Seals-Chs. 6, 7).

(6)-The overthrow of the Roman Empire (Chs.8,9).

(7)-The development of latter-day Communism (Ch. 10,11).

(7)-The development of the Holy Roman Empire (beasts etc. Chs. 12,13).

(6)-The destruction of Babylon the Great (Ch. 14)

(5)-Divine judgment on the Holy Roman Empire (Vials-Chs. 15, 16).

(4)- The overthrow of false worship (Babylon etc.-Chs. 17, 18, 19).

(3)-The conquest of sin and death (Ch. 20).

(2)-The Bride as the New Jerusalem (Chs. 21, 22:6).

(l)-Epilogue: Warning and Appeal (Ch. 22:7-21).

In this introverted breakdown of the Apocalypse, the message is set forth symmetrically, the first line matching the last; and second to first matching the second to last, and so on.

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