Symbols Explained in Revelation

1. The Seven Stars The Angels of the Churches, 1:20
2. The Seven Lampstands The Seven Churches of Asia, 1:20
3. The Seven Lamps of Fire The Seven Spirits of God, 4:5
4. The Golden Bowls of Incense The Prayers of the Saints, 5:8
5. The Great Multitude The Martyred Tribulation Saints, 7:13-14
6. The Great Dragon The Devil, Satan, 12:9
7. The Beast Out of the Earth The False Prophet, 16:12; 19:20
8. The Seven Heads The Seven Hills the Woman Sits On, 17:9
9. The Ten Horns The Ten Kings, 17:12
10. The Waters The Peoples, Multitudes, Nations and Languages, 17:15
11. The Woman The Great City that Rules over the Kings of the Earth, 17:18

NUMBERS. Numbers are used to tie the prophecy together. For instance, there are a series of three judgments: seals, trumpets and bowls. There is the evil trinity: the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. Four is related to the earth, the creation, and three to Creator in heaven. There are four living creatures, four angels at the four corners of the earth.

Three is the number of heaven and four the number of the earth when combined equal seven (3 + 4 = 7) the most important number in Revelation. Seven signifies fullness, perfection.

Six is the number of man, having been created on the sixth day, and six falls short of perfection, which is the number seven.

Sevens of Revelation

1. Churches 1:4, 20; 2-3
2. Spirits 1:4; 3:1; 4:5
3. Lampstands 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6
4. Stars 1:16, 20; 2:1; 3:1
5. Members 1:14-16
6. Angels 1:20; 8:2; 15:1
7. Letters 2-3
8. Lamps 4:5
9. Seals 5:1, 5
10. Horns 5:6
11. Eyes 5:6
12. Doxologies 5:12; 7:12; 11:15; 12:10; 14:4; 15:3; 19:1
13. Earthquakes 6:12; 8:5; 11:13 (2x), 19; 16:18 (2x)
14. Altars 6:9; 8:3, 5, 13; 11:1; 14:18; 16:7
15. Attributes 7:12
16. Trumpets 8:2, 6
17. Abyss 9:1, 2, 11; 11:17; 17:8; 20:1, 3
18. Thunders 10:3, 4
19. Thousand 11:13
20. Crowns 12:3
21. Personages 12-13
22. Sickles 14
23. Plagues 15:1, 6, 8; 21:9
24. Bowls 15:7
25. Heads 17:3, 7, 9; 12:3, 12
26. Hills 17:9
27. Kings 17:10-11
28. Dooms 17-20
29. Former Things 21:1-4
30. Wonderful Things 21-22
31. Blessings 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14
32. Signs 12:1, 3; 13:13-14; 15:1; 16:14; 19:20
33. Events 19:11-16, 17-21; 20:1-3, 4-6, 7-10, 11-15; 21:1-8
34. Years 4-19
35. Christ 1:1, 2, 5; 11:15; 12:10; 20:4, 6

Twelve is the mystic number (3 x 4 = 12). The woman of chapter 12 has 12 stars upon her head. The Tree of Life bears 12 kinds of fruit. The New Jerusalem has 12 angels guarding 12 gates with the 12 names of the 12 tribes of Israel. The wall of the Holy City has 12 foundations, bearing the names of the 12 apostles. The wall measures 144 cubits, which is 12 x 12. There are also multiples of 12. Each tribe contains 12,000 making 144,000.

Numbers that appear in Revelation are 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 3 1/2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 24, 42, 144, 666, 1,000, 1,260, 1,600, 7,000, 12,000, 144,000, 100,000,000 and 200,000,000.

COLORS. Revelation employs diverse colors to enhance particular images, such as the four horses of Revelation 6, which are white, fiery red, black and pale. For instance, white embodies the joy of victory as well as righteousness (cf. 1:14: 2:17; 3:4, 18; 4:4; 6:2, 11; 7:9, 13; 19:11, 14; 20:11).

GEOGRAPHY. Places and locations in apocalyptic genre have theological meanings and significance. For instance, sea symbolizes people, whether evil and hostile (13:1; 21:1) or righteous (4:6). Babylon is a code name for Rome or the enemy.

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