2/03/2008

The Harlot Theme (Part C)

While reading Revelation 17-21 we see the use of the harlot/bride metaphor as interchangeable with the city figures Babylon/New Jerusalem. The Harlot = "Babylon" and the Bride = "New Jerusalem." This kind of poetic representation was used by Isaiah as well.

How the faithful city has become a harlot, She who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, But now murderers. (Isa 1:21) This passage spoke the truth about Jerusalem in Isaiah's day but it was brought to it's fullest realization with Jerusalem's treatment of Jesus.
Jesus speaking against the state-oriented religious institution of Jerusalem said,
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!" (Mat 23:37-38)

It is appropriate to speak of man's religio-cultural pursuits (void of fidelity to God) under one symbol.
"And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified(Rev 11:8)."

This style of representation is what makes the most sense of Peter saying that "She [the congregation] who is in Babylon sends you greetings"(1Pe 5:13);when he was most likely in Jerusalem.

It also makes sense that we find "Babylon" spoken of, and described, by the author of The Revelation in ways that would bring the city of Rome to mind. On the larger scale, Rome most clearly represented the height of man's religio-cultural achievements.

2 comments:

  1. I Think This is so sweet. :)

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