Saturday, December 08, 2012

Revelation 22:3 and Daniel 7:27

George W. Buchanan contends that the singular third person pronoun in Rev 22:3 (AUTWi) could refer to God or to the Lamb: he does not argue that the pronoun must refer to both referents or antecedents.

One line of reasoning that indicates God receives LATREIA, writes Buchanan, is the fact that the hOI DOULOI could potentially be priests of God, and then they would be rendering LATREIA to the God whom they serve as priests and "slaves" (Rev 1:5-6).

On the other hand, Buchanan continues, Dan 7:27 (LXX) shows that the present nations and governments will one day become "subject to the saints and, of course, also to their leader, the Son of Man, who is here [Rev 22:3] called the Lamb" (Buchanan 612ff).

Buchanan thus seems to argue that strictly speaking the "saints" (holy ones) of the Most High actually receive the honor and obedience mentioned at Dan 7:27; but it seems that he wants to suggest that by the nations subjecting themselves to the holy ones, they also by default render homage to the leader of the holy ones. In this regard, Buchanan may be correct. But this line of reasoning does not seem to demonstrate that the Son of Man is the one who receives LATREIA in Rev 22:3. LATREIA is evidently not mentioned in Dan 7:27.

As Buchanan continues, however, it becomes clear that he is not claiming that the Messiah technically is worshiped or is ever ontologically on par with the Divine One. He appeals to his notion of forensic agency in which one has a principal and a legal agent to establish this point.

The legal agent may receive deference that is really directed toward the principal. But this fact does not indicate that the legal agent is equal (ontologically) to the principal. The concept of legal agency may well illustrates the relationship between the Father and the son of God. At any rate, it is clear that Buchanan is in no way arguing that the Lamb receives worship as the Father receives worship (LATREIA). But as we have also established hitherto, God is the most likely referent of AUTWi in Rev 22:3. He is the one whose face will be seen by those who are part of the first resurrection (1 Jn 3:1-3; Rev 20:4-6). God likely is the object of priestly LATREIA.

As a side note: Edward J Young (The Prophecy of Daniel: A Commentary) writes that the antecedent of the pronoun in the latter part of Dan 7:27 "is people, not Most High."

Louis Hartman and Alexander Di Lella (Anchor Bible Commentary on Daniel) also note that the pronominal suffix of MALKUTEH refers to 'AM ('people') and not to the Most High. It thus seems possible that both the Hebrew text and the LXX say the "holy ones" are obeyed in Dan 7:27.

Source: Buchanan's Mellen Series Commentary on Revelation


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