The Allusion to Daniel 12 in Revelation 10 (Trumpets 6)

One of the clearest allusions to the Old Testament in all of Revelation is found in 10:5-6 (compare Dan. 12:7). The two passages have eight major words in common. Both passages have heavenly figures standing on or above bodies of water. In both cases the heavenly figure raises his right hand to heaven and swears by the one who lives forever and ever. In each case there is a reference to prophetic time. So the allusion to Daniel 12 in Revelation 10 is one of the two or three clearest allusions to the Old Testament in the entire book.

Renowned British scholar C. H. Dodd articulated a very important principle based on his study of the quotations of the Old Testament throughout the New Testament. He noticed that New Testament writers did not refer to the Old Testament for the sake of “proof texts,” references that would by themselves support what the writer was saying (as we often do today). Instead they referred to specific parts of the Old Testament as pointers to a much larger context. In a few words one can bring a whole section or theme of the Old Testament into play. That is clearly what is going on in Revelation 10.

The key to the allusion to Daniel 12 in Revelation 10 is in the reference to time. The reference to “time no more” parallels the reference to “time, times and half a time” in Daniel 12:7. Daniel 12:7 is in one of several explanations of the original Hebrew-language vision of Daniel 8:3-14. So the reference to Daniel 12:7 is a pointer to the entire prophetic context of Daniel 8 through 12. The vision of Revelation 10 invites the reader to consider the whole context of Daniel 8 through 12. This passage contains a number of references to prophetic time (2300 evenings and mornings [Dan 8:13-14], 70 weeks [9:24-27] and the 1260, 1290 and 1335 days [12:7-11]). The “time no more” of Revelation 10:6 is announcing the close of Daniel’s time prophecies in the context of the sixth trumpet. Thus the close of the sixth trumpet ushers in the final events of earth’s history. Revelation 10 is building a case based on the entire last five chapters of the book of Daniel.

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