Literature: Book of Revelation
aka: The Book Of Revelation
"Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy... because the time is near."
The last book of The Bible
and the New Testament. It depicts the vision of a man named John who is imprisoned on the island of Patmos. Revelation is considered the most confusing
book of the Bible.
If you're looking for the Australian movie named after the Book (which has nothing whatsoever to do with it) find it here.
- All Just a Dream: Literally, although in an inversion, it is meant to serve as a symbolic prophecy about what will happen.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: The death of the Two Witnesses in chapter 11 is met with great festivity, as the people give gifts to one another while the bodies of the witnesses lay dead in the open unburied for 3 1/2 days.
- There's also much rejoicing in heaven for the fall of Babylon.
- The Antichrist: Not. There is no mention of the Antichrist. There are the First Beast note and the Second Beast note , but no Antichrist.
- Apocalypse Wow: The Trope Namer note and Trope Codifier and pretty much everything else. If there's a disaster that can conceivably happen to Earth, it will turn up in Revelation.
- Archangel Michael: Leads the war against the Dragon.
- An Ass Kicking Christmas: Chapter 12 has what is interpreted as the birth of Christ followed by war in the heavens between Satan's angels and God's angels, with Satan and his angels cast down from heaven.
- Back from the Dead: The Two Witnesses resurrect three days after their death and ascend into heaven.
- Also those who have been beheaded for not taking the Mark of the Beast and worshiping his image.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Jesus. When He first arrived in the Gospels, He was peaceful and has shown forgiveness, but in Revelation 19:11-16, it's the complete opposite. Justified in that it's the End of the World as We Know It, and it's time for everyone to get what's coming to them.
- Blood Is Squicker in Water: Two of the Bowl Judgments turn the waters of both the seas and the springs into blood.
- Call Back: Many of the symbols have been already used by other prophets, especially Daniel. The 7 bowls of God's wrath definitely are reminiscent of the 10 plagues of Egypt.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The legions of the Devil have their merry way with humanity for some time. Then Christ shows up and promptly lays the smack down on all of them before casting them away.
- Deader than Dead: Most of the villains get destroyed by being dropped into a lake of fire "which is the second death".
- Dead Guy on Display: The Two Witnesses in Revelation chapter 11, whose bodies are left unburied in the streets for 3 1/2 days until they are resurrected.
- Death Is Cheap: Christ will eventually revive everyone who has ever died. The virtuous/saved will be granted Complete Immortality, whereas the damned will be more like The Undead.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: Quite a lot of these.
- Development Hell: The time has been "near" for over 1900 years now.
- Disney Death: The Two Witnesses, as well as those who have been martyred for not taking the Mark of the Beast or worshiping his image.
- Distaff Counterpart: The Whore of Babylon is associated with the Beast, although they aren't really equals.
- Distant Finale: To the rest of the Bible. Exactly how distant depends on the interpretation but if one believes it has yet to happen than it's an ending over 2000 years in the making. Revelation itself has its distant finale, where Satan makes a third and ultimately final go against God after which he is forevermore locked away and the finale paradise is created.
- Distant Reaction Shot: The action cuts between the destruction of earth and the reactions in heaven.
- Divine Conflict: God vs. Satan, but Because Destiny Says So, Satan will lose to God even at the Final Battle.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Mankind's going to go through some crap before they can live Happily Ever After.
- Eldritch Abomination: Both on the forces of good and evil.
- Endless Daytime: It's mentioned that in heaven there is no night, since God is light.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Yep. We'll get a new one, though.
- Evil Counterpart: The Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet has been interpreted as the evil counterpart of the triune God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Likewise, Babylon the great, which is described as a whore, is the evil counterpart to the New Jerusalem, which is described as adorned like a bride for her husband.
- Extra Eyes: Lots of the spiritual beings have more than the usual number of eyes, including four creatures who are completely covered in them.
- Fallen Angel: The Devil and his angels get cast down to earth. Unfortunately for earth.
- Final Battle: Satan's forces versus God and His holy city in chapter 20, which turns into an Anti-Climax Curb-Stomp Battle as God instantly incinerates Satan's forces in seconds.
- Five-Bad Band: The villainous Eldritch Abomination/Demon Lords and Archdevils form one.
- From Bad to Worse: Breaking the last seal signals the angels to blow trumpets that herald disasters. The last trumpet signals the angels to pour seven bowls of God's wrath on the world. And the bad stuff done by Satan have yet to come.
- Gainax Ending: The utter destruction of the world as we know it as nature rips itself apart finally ends with a new Earth and Heaven, not only restored to their pre-Fall glory but transformed by God into an even greater paradise for all who believed.
- Good Is Not Nice: God displays this trope in full effect. He shows no hesitation letting humanity know that the end is here, and that He will hand out His judgments against the entire human race; not to mention condemn them in Hell for eternity if they didn't accept Christ.
- Heel Face Door Slam: Once a person takes the Mark of the Beast and worships its image, they're doomed for eternity.
- Hell on Earth: The Devil and company are really mad about being cast down to earth, so they decide to take it out on us.
- Hell Invades Heaven: Earth isn't the only battleground. War breaks out in heaven, with Michael leading the forces of heaven against the Dragon's fallen angels. Michael's forces are victorious and the Dragon is cast down to Earth.
- Harbinger of Impending Doom: Where to begin?
- Heaven: Where much of the action takes place, obviously.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: Apollyon's army.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse
- Kill It with Fire: The Lake of Fire. Also, the Whore of Babylon's fate, and possibly the interpretation of the fate of whoever tries to kill the Two Witnesses during their time of prophesying.
- Kung-Fu Jesus: Unlike his pacifist depiction in the Gospels, Jesus is back to smite evil and kick lots of ass. (He did say he came not to bring peace but a sword...
- Last of His Kind: If the John is John the Apostle, then he is the last surviving of Jesus' Apostles.
- The Legions of Hell: The bad guys, of course, this being (probably) an account of the final conflict between Heaven and Hell.
- List of Transgressions: God will judge the entire human race, and those who have accepted Jesus as savior will go to heaven while those who didn't will be held accountable for their sins.
- Mad Oracle: The author, possibly.
- Mark of the Beast: Trope Maker. Those who worship the Beast get a mark on the forehead or right hand, which the Beast uses to control commerce.
- Mind Screw
- Mix-and-Match Critter: The Beast from the sea, which is made from a lion, bear, and leopard.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-universe. Taking the Mark of the Beast and worshiping its image.
- Mystical White Hair: Jesus is described this way in His transfigured form.
- Name's the Same/One Steve Limit: It's never specified whether this was the same John the Apostle, John Mark, or John the Evangelist, or some other unknown John. He definitely isn't John the Baptizer. Probably. Most Bible scholars and commentators are of the view that John the Revelator (as this one is sometimes called) and John the disciple of Jesus are the same person.
- Number of the Beast: Trope Maker. Though as noted on the page, some early manuscripts identify the number as 616, rather than the more infamous 666.
- Also, the number in Revelation is not three sixes (bear in mind that the ancient Greeks didn't use Arabic numerals), but specifically six-hundred sixty six.
- Numerological Motif: Everywhere (see Rule of Seven, Number of the Beast, Four Is Death).
- One World Order: What the Beast will set up on earth before Jesus defeats him (at least according to some interpretations).
- Our Dragons Are Different: "An enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads." He turns out to be a personification of The Devil.
- Playing with Fire: The False Prophet/Second Beast has this power.
- Rejected Apology: Judgement day will occur and it will be too late to repent by then.
- Religious Horror: The Ur Example of a lot of creepy religious tropes—Satan figures prominently, among other nasty demonic beings, and lots of people die.
- Jesus himself is also described rather... eerily, being deathly pale and able to produce a sword from his mouth.
- Restart The World: The old heavens and earth pass away at the end of the book, to soon be replaced with a new heavens and earth.
- La Résistance: Satan mounts a resistance force against "the beloved city" at the end of the Millennium, which ends up being smoked by God.
- Rule of Seven: All over the place. The book begins with letters to seven churches, then we see seven stars, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven plagues, a beast with seven heads...
- It goes beyond those obvious references sevens. Several words or phrases are used in multiples of seven throughout the book. The word 'Christ' is used seven times. The name 'Jesus' is used fourteen times. Jesus is identified as 'the lamb' twenty-eight times. Jesus says the word ερχομαι ('I am coming') seven times. It really would be difficult to list every set of seven, or multiples thereof.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Jesus comes back to Earth after ascending to Heaven earlier in the NT.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Satan is defeated and imprisoned for a thousand years, after which he must be set loose again.
- Second Coming: Jesus comes back at the end to settle things once and for all.
- Shining City: The good guys go to live in one at the end.
- Soiled City on a Hill: The world grows even more corrupt and evil and has to be destroyed.
- Storyboarding the Apocalypse: The whole book is meant to be a (vague and cryptic) prophecy of how End Times will pan out.
- Surreal Horror: Possibly the Ur Example. It's full of trippy, nightmarish imagery.
- Take That: Interpreters often tend to identify the villains of the story with their own preferred religious or political targets. For instance, during the Protestant Reformation the "whore of Babylon" was often identified with the Catholic church. Then during the Cold War, the various Beasts were widely interpreted as Soviet states. And so on, and so on...
- One popular secularist interpretation of the book is that it was originally written as a political satire about the Roman Empire.
- Even some religious scholars adhere to this, viewing it as a Brer Rabbit-esque disguising account of the persecutions. Romans would punish even the mildest criticism, but who cared about the prophecy of some weird cult?
- This tends to make sense to some readers today, but given that some of the imagery is actually flagrantly anti-Roman, it would have caused serious problems for Christians if any Roman authority paid attention through even the first chapter, let alone the whole book. Some of the more overt examples include: portraying Jesus holding seven stars in his hand in chapter 1 (an image used for Caesar on currency, even if 1:20 claims it represents the angels presiding over the Asia Minor churches), depiction of God as a red-stone statue on a throne in chapter 4 (imagery possibly borrowed from giant red statue of Jupiter sitting on his throne, in his temple in Rome), describing the destruction of 'the great city' that sits on 'seven hills' in chapter 17 (Rome was widely known as 'the city of the seven hills'), and the dimensions of the New Jerusalem in chapter 21 (12,000 square stadia translates to over 1,900,000 square miles—which would rather neatly encompass the Roman Empire of John's time).
- The Stars Are Going Out: A third of them go out at once, to start with. This is just the start.
- Signs of the End Times: One of the original Trope Makers.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The Beast being the most notable.
- The War to End All Wars: Armageddon.
- Watch the World Die: The saints and angels in heaven (and John himself) get front-row seats for the Apocalypse.
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: The lamb with the tongue of a dragon is probably meant to represent this.