Thursday, August 27, 2020

And there was no more sea

John’s vision in Revelation describing an oceanless new heaven and new earth thus anticipates but goes beyond the vision of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, God promises in his covenant with Noah that he will never destroy all flesh again by unbounding the reservoir of waters (Gen. 9:11). Moreover, God will one day slay the great writhing dragon of the sea (Isa. 27:1—2). A river flowing from the temple will make the Dead Sea fresh (Ezek. 47:1—12). Yet John’s vision brings this line of thought a step further. At the end of God’s story the sea will not even exist! John’s vision indicates that the danger posed by the untamed waters (and the beasts associated with the waters) in times past and present will no longer even be possible in the the new earth. The perilous sea will not just remain tame but will have been entirely removed. John’s vision of an oceanless new order, then is best read as announcing the utter and absolute removal of all external threats to life for humankind.—Matthew Bates in Salvation by Allegiance Alone, 135 (emphasis original)

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