Saturday, November 07, 2009

Implication that Michael's Angels are Human "Messengers" in Rev 12?

Hmm. So Rev 12.11 says that "they over came him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."

So who's the "they" who overcame Satan in v. 11? In immediate context I might think that they are the "brothers" who are accused by Satan in v. 10. But those who are accused do not seem to be the actors here. They are no longer accused because Satan has been hurled down, but the "they" who overcame Satan would seem to be those who fought and overcame Satan.

But the only other candidate for "they" who overcame Satan in the passage are Michael's "angels" in v. 7. There's no other "they" around there. But then "they" can't be supernatural angels, since angels cannot die. So are these human messengers? I.e., the war is the spread of the Gospel, with the Gospel's messengers being attacked and persecuted.

That makes some sense -- and links the war immediately to the Gospel -- in contrast to an actual war between good and bad angels in heaven. Plus, those who "overcome" in Revelation are always Christians, not angels (Rev 2.7, 11, 17, 26, 3.5, 12, 21, 21.7).

Don't know that much hinges on it, but it's a possibility I haven't considered before and haven't seen in any commentary. (Not that I have a comprehensive library of commentaries on the Revelation.)


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