Six verses in Revelation 1.1-8 that allude to the Old Testament

In Revelation 1.1, God gives Jesus a visión in order to show his servants “what must soon take place.” In Daniel 2.28-29 and Daniel 2.45 Daniel tells the king that through a vision, God has shown the king “what must take place in the future”.

In Revelation 1.4, John wishes grace and peace on his readers “from him who is, and who was, and who is to come.”

  • In Exodus 3.14, God says that his name is “I am.” In other words, he is the One who is.
  • In Isaiah 41.4, God uses the same name of himself, but also says he is from the first and the last, stressing his eternal nature.

In Revelation 1.5, Jesus is called the “firstborn, ruler of the kings of the earth”, and is said to have freed us from our sins by his blood.

  • The language of the “firstborn, ruler of the kings of the earth” comes from Psalm 89.27.
  • Psalm 130.8 and Isaiah 40.2, which speak of the Lord redeeming Israel from their sins and their sins being paid for, have also been mentioned in connection with Revelation 1.5. They seems less of like allusions and more like cases of similar language.

In Revelation 1.6, Jesus is said to have made believers a “kingdom and priests” to serve God.

  • In Exodus 19.6 God tells Israel she will be a “kingdom of priests.”
  • In Isaiah 61.6 the prophet tells the people returning from exile that they will be called priests and ministers of God.

Revelation 1.7 describes Jesus as coming with clouds, and those who pierced him and the people of the earth mourn because of him.

  • In Daniel 5.13, One like a Son of man appears on clouds, arriving at God’s throne.
  • In Zechariah 12.10-14 God says that Israel will look on “me, the one they have pierced”, and will lament and mourn.

In Revelation 1.8, echoing 1.4, “the Lord God” describes himself as the one “who is, and who was, and who  is to come, the Almighty”.

  • In Exodus 3.14, God says that his name is “I am.” In other words, he is the One who is.
  • In Isaiah 41.4, God uses the same name of himself, but also says he is from the first and the last, stressing his eternal nature.
  • Amos 3.13 and 4.13 emphasize God’s title, “the Lord God Almighty”

Source: The Greek New Testament (UBS, 4th edition), compared with the Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament feature in Logos Bible Software version 4.

Leave a Comment