Possible historical context of the Book of Revelation

The following is a brief outline of the main elements which may contribute to a valid historical context to which the Book of Revelation applies, although it is clear that the book was written many years after Egypt's Second Intermediate Period (the tomb of Ramesses VI was written long after that period so that the book could have been written any time after the tomb was constructed -- Ramesses VI ruled from1151-1143 BCE).


1. Evidence was found in Revelation for the cataclysmic 17th century BCE eruption of the volcanic Aegean island of Santorini on the eastern Mediterranean coastal cities.  These included devastating effects on the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea and the lowlands of the Nile estuary. Egyptian religious and secular sources also document the catastrophes which followed the eruption.

2. The seven letters of Rev. 2-3 parallel the declaration of war by the Egyptian king of Thebes against seven Hyksos fortified settlements in Lower Egypt at the end of Egypt’s 2nd Intermediate Period. This included references to native Egyptians who joined the Hyksos army to fight against their own countrymen of Upper Egypt. These soldiers abandoned their their sun-god, Re, and followed a corrupted version of Seth based on an important Hyksos god.

3. References were found to the presence of the tribes of Israel in ancient Egypt during 2nd Intermediate Period. Identification of the names involved a comparative study of the names and physical characteristics of groups of twelve “deities” in two of Egypt’s most important religious texts, the Amduat and the Book of Gates.

4. Evidence for conflicts of  the rise and fall of coexisting kings in Upper and Lower Egypt during the 2nd Intermediate Period was found in Revelation. This includes the unambiguous identification of Revelation’s 1st and 2nd beasts, the image of the beast and the false prophet each of which had distinct parallels to gods and kings during the 2nd Intermediate Period.

5. The account of Revelation’s battle of Armageddon conforms quite well with the account of a battle at Megiddo (= Hebrew’s Armageddon) described in the Annals of Thutmosis III. Historical parallels include Thutmosis’ stealthy approach to the fortified city of Megiddo and his glorious victory over it and the enemy forces which had gathered to protect it.

6. Other potential historical events and characters include Revelation’s “Gog and Magog” and a woman called Jezebel.

 
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