Thirsting For God: The Levitical Inheritance Motif In The Apocalypse -- By: Samuel L. Rico

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 74:2 (Fall 2012)
Article: Thirsting For God: The Levitical Inheritance Motif In The Apocalypse
Author: Samuel L. Rico


Thirsting For God:
The Levitical Inheritance Motif In The Apocalypse

Samuel L. Rico

Samuel L. Rico is a Chaplain (Captain) in the United States Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, Fort Carson, Colo. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

The Apocalypse unveils the saints’ reward at the consummation of history: God.1 This truth echoes the Levitical inheritance motif in the OT, for the Lord had declared to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance” (אני חלקך ונחלתך [Num 18:20]). This article traces the development of the Levitical inheritance motif in the OT, and its impact on the Apocalypse.

I. Inheriting God: Body To Soul

The Pentateuch teaches that the Levites inherited God, which entailed that their priestly service to him was their source of physical existence (cf. Num 18:1–32). Rigid exegesis might suggest that the Levitical inheritance motif contains no relational or spiritual quality within the Pentateuch. A consideration of the context of the OT, however, reveals a relational dynamic. The inception of a relational/spiritual nuance surfaces in the book of Deuteronomy. It develops further in the Psalter through the reality of “portion” (חלק), namely, that God being one’s “portion” implies more than physical sustenance; it implies spiritual sustenance.2

This study argues that the Levitical inheritance motif frames the background for understanding the saints’ reward in the Apocalypse. In the eschaton the triune God is our inheritance and portion. Moreover, the hope of fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit enables the church to endure suffering and persecution.

1. No Land But God: The Levitical Inheritance

When considering the Levites’ inheritance, it is imperative to note the relation between the OT Hebrew roots חלק 3 (“portion”) and נחל 4 (“i...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()