Revelation extensively employs the number seven not only as a symbolic ﬁgure, but also as a structural principle for constructing sevenfold literary units, and yet some speciﬁc aspects of this literary hallmark remain obscure. Among other things, no satisfactory rationale has been found, so far, for the series of proclamations to seven churches of Asia Minor that comprise the literary unit of Rev. 2–3. This mystery, however, can be illuminated (at least to some degree) by reading Revelation against the background of poetic traditions of the Second Temple period. Analysis of a poem included in the Songs of the Sabbath Sacriﬁce – a liturgical composition whose fragmentary copies were discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls – prompts a new solution to the questions posed by Rev. 2–3. At the same time, the comparison also sheds light on some literary peculiarities of the Songs.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.
- Revelation 2–3
- Songs of the Sabbath Sacriﬁce
- literary structure
- numerical symbolism