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Manuscript Type

Article

Abstract

The multivalent symbols in the seven messages of Rev 2–3 come from three primary sources: (1) the socio-historical setting of Asia Minor, (2) the opening chapter of Revelation, and (3) Old Testament allusions. It is the last of these that is of interest in this essay. Specifically, the character of these allusions displays a covenantal quality akin to the Israelite pact initiated at Mt. Sinai. While many have sought to demonstrate the covenantal background of the seven messages through shared structure, none has considered the nature of the Old Testament allusions themselves, as well as the paraenetic function they have for the recipients of the message. This article seeks to demonstrate that the Old Testament allusions in Rev 2–3 convey a covenantal character for the pastoral purpose of encouraging the churches to remain faithful to Jesus, their covenant suzerain/king.

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