Q314 : Connections between Revelation 2 and Genesis 2 and 3

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Q314 : Connections between Revelation 2 and Genesis 2 and 3

Hi Tony,

I hope it's not a bother, but I'm not able to find references for a few citations in section 3.2.17 - Rev 2:17a in your Revelation commentary. Specifically the interpretation of the white stone as relating to the stone tablets of the 10 commandments...

Stone Tablets of the Law - A fourth explanation in Jewish custom for the white stone connects it with the stones on which God inscribed His moral will (i.e., the Ten Commandments). Rosscup, who suggests this view, points out that this connection "could be directly relevant . . . to sins at Pergamum committed against God's moral standard (Rev. 2:14-23). As the overcomer received and honored the Word disclosing God's Person and will, Christ assures [him] that he is to receive the ultimate disclosure of God's Person and will. His symbol for this is the 'white stone.' " This view is also possible for several reasons. (a) It is consistent in seeing both the manna and the stone as imageries from the same era in Israel's history. (b) It fits with other rewards in Revelation 2 which also reach back to the Old Testament (e.g., the tree of life [Rev. 2:7], from Genesis 2 and 3; the crown of life, not the second death [Rev. 2:10-11], going back also to Genesis 2 and 3; the rod of authority and the morning star [Rev. 2:26-28], from Psalm 2 and Numbers 24). © The idea of what "God had written" (Rev. 2:17) is also emphasized with regard to the stones of the Law (Ex. 32:15-16). (d) The Lord made His name prominent and repeated it in writing on the stones of the Law, as in Exodus 20. (e) This view also suits the context of Revelation 2. Standing against the sin-darkening environment, the overcomer honors the value of God's moral law associated with His will (Rev. 2:14-15; cf. Rev. 2:20-23). So Christ will honor him with the ultimate enjoyment that relates to knowing and doing God's will. [emphasis added] [Wong, Daniel. “The Hidden Manna and the White Stone.” In Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 155 no. 617 (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, January-March 1998), 345-355, p. 353.]

Specifically, in item (b) where he relates other rewards in Rev 2 to the OT, but what I found is this:

  1. Rev. 2:7 - tree of life = Gen 2:9, 3:24
  2. Rev. 2:10-11 - crown of life, second death - I suppose possibly Gen 2:17 Re: 2nd death..? 3:22 crown of life?? Pretty big stretch... something I'm missing?
  3. Rev. 2:26-28 - rod of authority, morning star = Ps 2:9, Num 24:17 (but not exactly morning star..?)
I realize this is from a citation from David Wong, which I don't have access to, but I was wondering if it's not too much trouble, maybe you could clarify this for me, specifically my item #2...?

Once again, many thanks for this great resource that God has used you to provide for us! May His blessings continue over your life, in Jesus' name,

A314 : by Tony Garland

As you observe, the passage in question is from an article by Daniel Wong in Bibliotheca Sacra.

Concerning his mention of the crown of life and second death, it could perhaps be read as follows: the crown of life, not the second death [Rev. 2:10-11], going back also to Genesis 2 and 3. In other words, he isn’t saying that the crown of life and second death are mentioned in any way in Genesis 2, but that the contrast between two destinies: one pertaining to life and the other pertaining to death are both found in Genesis 2-3 as well as the promises in Revelation 2.

It seems you've made the connection with the rod of authority in Psalm 2 (Ps. 2:9)—which is quite clear. With regard to the morning star, note that Balaam’s prophecy states, I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel . . . The passage emphasizes the expected arrival of the Promised One who is not yet visible, but compared to a star (and while wielding a scepter) that shall rise. I think this is the sense in which Wong connects Numbers 24 with Revelation 2 — both refer to a rod of authority and a star which rises (the morning star appears/rises just before dawn). The connection is indeed subtle—but I do think there are valid grounds for seeing strong parallels between Numbers 24 and Revelation 2 (scepter and rising star).

It’s great to see a fellow believer examining both the Biblical text and commentary closely. Your questions show great care and diligence which will serve you well in your studies!

Blessings - Tony

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