In terms of content, the structure of Revelation is built around four successive groups of seven: the messages to the seven churches; the seven seals; the seven trumpets; and the seven bowl judgments. The repeated occurrence of the number seven contributes to the overall unity of Revelation. While several numbers stand out -- 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 24, 144, 1000 -- the number seven appears to have a special significance. In fact, there are twenty-four distinct occurrences of the use of "seven." Seven is considered the number of perfection in Christianity.
One half of seven, 3½, is also a conspicuous number in Revelation: two witnesses are given power to prophesy 1,260 days, or exactly 3½ years, according to the Hebrew year of 360 days; the witnesses are then killed, and their dead bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3½ days; the "woman clothed with the sun" is protected in the wilderness for 1,260 days, or 3½ years; Gentiles tread the holy city underfoot for 42 months, or 3½ years; and the beast is given authority to continue for 42 months, or 3½ years.
Kenneth Strand asserts that symbols and phrases of Revelation are organized as a chiastic structure, a literary device used frequently in the Old Testament. Comparison of the chiastic divisions and content help to define the progression and themes of the book and to highlight details of particular importance.
Other articles related to "literary structure, structures, literary, structure":
... A chiastic structures is a literary device to place an emphasis upon the statements at the center of the chiasm ... Thus the chiastic structure of this prophecy emphasizes the importance of His death ...
... The structure of these Dharmasūtras primarily addresses the Brahmins both in subject matter and the audience ... The structure of the Dharmasūtras begin with the vedic initiation of a young boy followed by entry into adulthood, marriage and responsibilities of adult life that includes adoption, inheritance, death ... According to Olivelle, the reason for this kind of structure is to prepare an individual towards the performance of dharma at his initiation, which is viewed as his second birth making him a ‘twice born’ man ...
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