Hermann Lichtenberger on the “Down-Throw” of the Dragon in Revelation 12

Christoph Auffarth and Loren T. Stuckenbruck, eds., The Fall of the Angels Themes in Biblical Narrative Jewish and Christian Traditions.jpg

Hermann Lichtenberger’s essay “The Down-Throw of the Dragon in Revelation 12 and the Down-Fall of God’s Enemy” which was published in Christoph Auffarth and Loren T. Stuckenbruck, eds., The Fall of the Angels: Themes in Biblical Narrative Jewish and Christian Traditions, Vol. VI (Brill: Leiden – Boston, 2004).

Hermann Lichtenberger’s essay “The Down-Throw of the Dragon in Revelation 12 and the Down-Fall of God’s Enemy” which was published in Christoph Auffarth and Loren T. Stuckenbruck, eds., The Fall of the Angels: Themes in Biblical Narrative Jewish and Christian Traditions, Vol. VI (Brill: Leiden – Boston, 2004).
My other article on Hendel is Review of “Of Demigods and the Deluge: Toward an Interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4” by Ronald S. Hendel—on Nephilim, giants & myth.

Some of my relevant books are, for which I make a money saving deal—see here:
“What Does the Bible Say About Angels? A Styled Angelology”
“On the Genesis 6 Affair’s Sons of God: Angels or Not? A survey of early Jewish and Christian commentaries including notes on giants and the Nephilim”
“The Paranormal in Early Jewish and Christian Commentaries: Over a Millennia’s Worth of Comments on Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Satan, the Devil, Demons, the Serpent and the Dragon”
In the near future I will publish my book What Does the Bible Say About the Devil Satan? A Styled Satanology so be on the lookout via my list of book.

Lichtenberger has decided that “At least two different stories are combined with each other” in Revelation 12 and notes that Revelation 12 deals with “the downfall of Satan” and “the down-fall and expulsion of angels” which Lichtenberger claims “in the New Testament, in addition to Rev 12, it is only preserved in 2 Pet 2:4” but is also found in Jude 6, see here.

His essay presents a great example of that which I term P.O.P.S.: Publish Or Perish Syndrome which is something from which many scholars suffer—FIND A CURE!

It is also a window into how some scholars weave tall tales of their own inventing connections were there are none. For example, he writes, “A first ‘great sign appeared in heaven’: ‘a woman clothed with the sun; the moon was beneath her feet, and upon her head was a crown of twelve stars’ (12:1). Astral traits are evident, and the relation of this image to Isis is obvious: ‘She was pregnant and cried out in labour, in the throes of childbirth’ (12:2).”
Thus, his thought appears to be: astral traits and a woman ergo Isis. However, if he kept the statement within its literary context and cultural context and historical context (hermeneutics 101) he would conclude that this refers to Genesis 37 wherein Joseph “dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me” which his dad Jacob/Israel replied “Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?”
Thus, the woman is Israel, now referring to the nation/people group, the sun and moon are Jacob/Israel and his wife Rachel and the twelve stars are Joseph plus his brothers who represent the 12 tribes of the nation/people group Israel.

Lichtenberger also writes:
“The text goes on to describe another sign in heaven: ‘And behold, a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them down to the earth’ (12:3–4a).
Here too astral traits are discernable even if single elements remain incomprehensible. In the character of the dragon, figures such as Leviathan (cf. Ps 74:13f.) or Python of the Leto-myth (Hyginus) or Typhon in the Isis-myth might be discernable, though there is no completely satisfactory analogy.”

Christoph Auffarth and Loren T. Stuckenbruck, eds., The Fall of the Angels Themes in Biblical Narrative Jewish and Christian Traditions.jpg

I take “there is no completely satisfactory analogy” to either be a suspicious complaint or mere observation. In any case, here we go again: he had previously noted that “the dragon in Rev 12:9 and 20:2 is identified with the ‘ancient serpent’ called ‘Devil’ and ‘Satan” and the heads, horns and diadems derive from prophetic visions beginning in Daniel 7.

Lichtenberger goes on to note “Regarding the dragon’s identity and activities, several features may be noted: While the dragon commands an army of angels, he himself is not called an angel. Rather, he is identified as the serpent from Paradise which, in turn, is identified as the Diabolos and Satan (12:12; see 20:2).”
This is quite well stated and I will add that “he himself is not called an angel” because he is not an Angel but is a Cherub (Ezekiel 28:14).

With regards to Revelation 12’s reference to the symbolism of Angels as stars (which is also in Revelation 1) Lichtenberger refers to Isaiah 14:13 wherein Satan is told by God, “you said in your heart: ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God…’”

Also to Daniel 8:9 which includes the small horn which “grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall down to the earth.”

Also to the apocryphal Psalms of Solomon 1 which refers to “when sinners attacked. Suddenly the clamor of war” and “They exalted themselves to the stars. They said they would never fall.”

And the apocryphal 2 Maccabees 9:10 regarding Antiochus IV, “Shortly before, the man had been thinking of touching the stars of heaven; now no one could stand to carry him, so unbearable was the stench.”

The apocryphal Life of Adam and Eve 15:2–3 wherein Satan refuses to worship Adam (yeah, Adam) “And Michael asserted, ‘Worship the image of God. But if now you will not worship, the LORD God will be wrathful with you.’ And I (Satan) said, ‘If he be wrathful with me, I will set my throne above the stars of heaven and will be like the Most High” (see The Books, or Life, of Adam and Eve: why is it not in the).

A related text, though not referring to “stars” is the apocryphal Slavic Enoch aka 2 Enoch (see my book In Consideration of the Book(s) of Enoch) wherein “one from the order of the archangels deviated, together with the division that was under his authority. He thought up the impossible idea, that he might place his throne higher than the clouds which are above the earth, and that he might become equal to my power.”

And I will leave it at that as food for thought.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A plea: I have to pay for server usage and have made all content on this website free and always will. I support my family on one income and do research, writing, videos, etc. as a hobby. If you can even spare $1.00 as a donation, please do so: it may not seem like much but if each person reading this would do so, even every now and then, it would add up and really, really help. Here is my donate page.

Due to robo-spaming, I had to close the comment sections. However, you can comment on my Facebook page and/or on my Google+ page. You can also use the “Share / Save” button below this post.