Promises to Israel in the Apocalypse

(Originally published Spring 2008)

Recent opinions that Israel’s covenants and promises are missing in Revelation 20:1–10 have rested on poor hermeneutical foundations. Three major OT covenants with Israel are prominent throughout the Apocalypse and therefore are foundational to what John writes in chapter 20. God promised Abraham a people who are quite visible in Revelation 7, 12, and 14, and in 2:9 and 3:9, where physical descendants of Abraham are in view. The geographical territory promised to Abraham comes into view in 11:1–13 as well as in 16:16 and 20:9. Close attention is given to the Davidic Covenant in 1:5 and 22:16 and many places between, such as 3:7, 5:5, and 11:15. The New Covenant comes into focus whenever the Lamb and His blood are mentioned in the book, and particularly in 21:3 which speaks of a new relationship with God. Obvious references to God’s covenants with Israel are often ignored because of deviations from sound principles of interpretation by those who practice what has been called eclectic hermeneutics. According to Revelation, God will in the future be faithful in fulfilling His promises to Israel.

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