Jan Lambrecht, «Final Judgments and Ultimate Blessings: The Climactic Visions of Revelation 20,11-21,8», Vol. 81 (2000) 362-385
Rev 20,11-15 and 21,1-8 contain the last two vision reports. The first does not deal with a general resurrection followed by a general judgment with respectively reward and condemnation. Attention is negatively focused on the final judgments of Death and Hades, as well as of those whose names are not found written in the book of life. In the second vision John sees a new heaven and a new earth and, more specifically, the new Jerusalem, i.e., the church universal of the end-time. The voice from the throne and God himself climactically proclaim final blessings. The covenant formula announces God's dwelling among the peoples, the adoption formula even a divine filial relationship: these are the main content of the ultimate blessings. Hermeneutical reflection on annihilation or transformation, on theocentrism versus human responsibilty and on the expectation of Christ's imminent parousia conclude the study.
2. The Old Testament
As is well known Revelation must be interpreted by reference to the Old Testament and Jewish traditions. We omit a discussion of the intricate problem of which OT text and/or Greek translation John has been dependent. Nor can attention be given here to the number, age and interconnection of the Jewish (apocalyptic) traditions and to possible extrabiblical motifs6. Moreover, only the main Old Testament passages will be dealt with. Regarding 20,11-15 John is certainly influenced by the books of Ezekiel, Daniel and Isaiah.
the resurrection of the martyrs (and all Christians?) (Rev 20,4a),
the revival of the dry bones (Ezek 37,1-14);
the messianic kingdom (Rev 20,4b-6),
the reunited kingdom governed by the messianic king David (Ezek 37,15-28);
the final battle against Gog and Magog (Rev 20,7-10),
the final battle against Gog of Magog (Ezek 3839);
the descent of the new Jerusalem (Rev 21,122,5),
the vision of the new Temple and the new Jerusalem (Ezek 4048).
Johns dependence on Ezekiel cannot be denied, even though no parallel can be found for the passage 20,11-15. However, not only in 20,7-10, but also already in chapter 19, John refers to Ezekiels oracles against Gog. J. Lust notes that most probably the order of Ezek 3739 was not yet stabilized during the period in which the book of Revelation was being composed. In the oldest manuscript of Ezekiel, i.e., the recently discovered Greek Papyrus 967 (late 2nd or early 3rd cent.), as well as in the best manuscript of the Vetus Latina, the Codex