The Danielic Background For Revelation 13:18 And 17:9 -- By: Gregory K. Beale

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 31:1 (NA 1980)
Article: The Danielic Background For Revelation 13:18 And 17:9
Author: Gregory K. Beale


The Danielic Background For Revelation 13:18 And 17:9

Gregory K. Beale

Most commentators who discuss Revelation 13:18 and 17:9 focus on the problem of identifying the beast, but usually no serious attempt is made to investigate the background and meaning of the combined use of νοῦς and σοφία in the same two texts (cf. ὧδε ἡ σοφία ἐστίν. ἔχων νοῦν in Rev. 13:18 and ὧδε ὁ νοῦς ὁ ἔχων σοφίαν in Rev. 17:9). However, when such a study is conducted, the book of Daniel may be seen as the most probable influence. Now in Daniel the root שכל (vb., ‘understand, have insight’; n., ‘understanding, insight’) is followed epexegetically five times by the root בין (vb., ‘under- stand, gain insight’; n., ‘understanding, insight’).1

In Daniel 1:4, 17 the combination is found with reference to Daniel and his friends, the latter occurrence being directly related to the understanding of ‘visions and dreams’. Three of these combinations are used in the same manner as νοῦς and σοφία in Revelation 13:18 and 17:9. In Daniel 9:22–23 (25),2 11:33 and 12:103 the combined words have the same meaning as in Revelation 13:18 and 17:9, since they have the following ideas in common: (1) the requirement to have ‘insight and understanding’ in order to comprehend (2) eschatological events of tribulation4 (3) brought about by an evil king(s), who persecutes the saints and deceives others into acknowledging his absolute sovereignty5 ; (4) further...

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