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In Revelation 15 v. 1-3, we read

I saw in Heaven another great and marvelous sign: Seven angels with the seven last plagues — Last, because with them God's wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the lamb.

What is the symbolism of these two songs being sung together?

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I don't know why this was downvoted, although obviously these questions can be very difficult to answer convincingly. –  Jack Douglas Sep 10 '13 at 14:06
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This is speculation, but would not both be songs of deliverance. Might one reflect Jewish believers and the other Gentile believers here together, united, both victorious. –  Sarah Sep 12 '13 at 20:24
    
I encourage you to answer your own question and see how the community responds and interacts with it. –  Sarah Sep 23 '13 at 22:31
    
That is wrong, the Song of Moses is Deut. 32, a prophesy about the destruction of Israel. Survivors were singing this because the Apocalypse is the Destruction of Israel in 70AD. –  dan Jan 13 at 4:28
    
@Dan, The song in Exodus is sung by Moses and the Children of Israel (presumably the males) with no particular mention of Miriam until Exodus 15:20 where Miriam and the women answer them. I think the Question should not have Miriam in it as Revelation makes no mention of Miriam. –  Sarah Feb 10 at 19:24

2 Answers 2

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+50

This is intended to compliment the WilbertEric's answer above, with which I entirely concur.
I present this because there seems to be some discrepancy as to what the song of Moses is which would entirely bear upon ones interpretation of this text.

Two songs are attributed to Moses in the OT:
The first is a song of victory recorded in Exodus 15:1-20*
The second is a song of warning recorded in Deuteronomy 32

  • We observe in Exodus 15:1-20 that this song is sung by Moses and the children of Israel (presumably the males) until Miriam and the women answer them as recorded in Exodus 15:20.

Exodus 15:1-20 presents itself as the Song of Moses referred to in Revelation.

The song recorded in revelation should be understood as either a combination of the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, or as one song that is simultaneously the song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb, or an existing song that is re-applied in a new situation.

       STRIKING SIMILARITIES BETWEEN SONGS & CONTEXTS OF REVELATION AND OF THE EXODUS ACCOUNT.  

I. CONTEXTUAL SIMILARITIES

From Revelation we see:

A. Context-- of the seven last plagues of the seven messengers with which the wrath of God is complete.
B. Setting-- is the edge of the sea of glass that is mixed with fire. The sea represenets the nations of the earth. Fire representing judgement/trial/testing/refining often in Scripture.
C. the victorious saints are not in the sea, nor in the fire, but are standing victorious on the edge of the sea singing their song! "I will keep you from the hour of trial because you have kept the faith, & have not denied my name."

Paralleled in the Exodus account we see:
A. In Rev. the angels stand prepared to pour out the seven last plagues in which the wrath of God is complete. Likewise, in Exodus we find "SEVEN LAST PLAGUES" (of the Ten poured out on Egypt). We are not told of any distinction between the people of God and Egypt in regard to the first three (blood, frogs, lice, Ex. 8:1-21). But after this, a definite distinction is drawn between the land of Goshen where the children of Israel dwelt and the land of Egypt; therefore, the the seven last plagues were visited upon Egypt alone, not on the people of God.

  1. Swarms of flies--Ex. 8:22-24
  2. Death of cattle--Ex. 9:4-7;
    (Note: those who feared God protected by heeding warning wer also protected Ex. 9:19-21);
  3. Boils (on the Egytians) ex. 9:8-11
  4. Fire and hail Ex. 9:2426;
  5. Locusts--Ex 10:11-15
  6. Darkness--Ex.10:23
  7. Death of the firstborn son Ex 11:4-7

B. In Rev. the victorious saints stand on the edge of the sea of glass. In Exodus they stood and watched as the sea swallowed up the enemy and they were seen no more!
C. In rev. we have a victory song beside the sea of glass; In Exodus we have a victory beside the Red Sea--both made possible via the sacrificial blood of a spotless lamb.]13

II. SIMULARITIES IN CONTENT PURPOSE OF THE SONG

The song in Revelation:

Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

I. Several elements of this passage are noteworthy:
A. His Great and Marvelous works laud him as the Lord God almighty
B. the justice of His ways establishes him as king of the saints
C. He is to be feared, His name is to be glorified because he is holy
D. The nations will come and worship before Him because his judgements are made
manifest.

The song from Exodus 15
We notice the same elements: both are victory songs of the righteous in regard to the plight of those who do not fear the Lord and face his judgement. Both concern the greatness of God in regard to his mighty works.

15 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

2 The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

3 The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

4 Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.

6 Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.

8 And with t*he blast of thy nostrils* the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.

10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.

11 Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

12 Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.

13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

14 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.

15 Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.

16 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.

17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.

18 The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.

19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

The symbolism then, is that the song of Moses, sung upon the deliverance from Egypt under the Old Covenant becomes the victory song upon overcoming the beast, his image and his name under the protection of the New Covenant of the Lamb's blood. It is the same song re-sung at a deeper level, sung to the same Lord who gave them the victory!

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@Bagpipes, Please consider accepting Wilberteric's answer. This is truly intended as an aside to compliment it. –  Sarah Feb 11 at 0:19
    
Sarah- And compliment it does! Wilberteric's has not been on site for ages so i am unable to contact him.I put the bounty on both questions as i thought it would be helpful to get the true meaning from both texts.I just noticed that you did an edit and removed Miriam's name, and by doing so,this does cause a problem, as Dan correctly observed, but i think i can overcome this.I am sleepy now,but i will tell you my thoughts tomorrow. –  Bagpipes Feb 11 at 0:42
    
Sarah-see my comment to Dan.With reference to your answer, the "sea of glass mingled with fire," when we look at Rev 21:1 it says "And there was no longer any sea."Could this indicate that the sea of glass mingled with fire is the "lake of fire," in Rev:20-14 ? If so,this would help us understand why the victor's over the beast stand beside the sea of glass mingled with fire,instead of actually standing in it. –  Bagpipes Feb 11 at 11:43
    
Rev. 17:15 says the sea upon which John saw the harlot sitting = peoples, languages, nations and tongues. I think the righteous are are set apart from these through faith and obedience like Israel in Goshem. As for its also being the lake of fire, I do not know. I do know that Rev. 22:15 says outside the city are evil doers who love and practice a lie. We also know that outside the literal city of Jerusalem was Gehenna, a perpetually burning waste dump. –  Sarah Feb 11 at 12:24
    
I do find your answer very interesting.I have no choice now but to keep the bounty running.Hopefully it will be helpful to people who read it. –  Bagpipes Feb 11 at 12:39

There are many parallels in the Revelation found in the Old Testament (OT). The Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb (cf. Ex. 15 and Rev. 15:1-3) is one of the most striking examples.

Although the Book of Revelation does not quote the OT verbatim, it alludes to it over 550 times*. What we find in Rev. 15, is the Apostle John alluding to the post-Exodus song celebrating the Lord's victory over Pharaoh, the enemy of God (Ex. 15). The title, "Song of Moses", is somewhat deceptive, because nowhere is Moses' name found in the Song. It was all about Jehovah's victory. Specifically, it was God's Messenger, or Angel, that protected them, the pre-incarnate Christ (Ex 13:21-22). In the same chapter we find Moses' sister Miriam breaking out in dance.

20.And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21.And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. (Ex. 15:20-21 KJV)

The OT prophet Isaiah wrote of another exodus that would take place when the Messiah would reign**. Most of what is called the Exodus Motif is found in Isaiah Chapters 40-55. OT Jews did not believe they would literally enter Egypt again to re-exit. In fact, the exiled Jews most likely understood their next exodus as a departure from the Babylonian captivity, yet there were future prophetic implications. In light of NT revelation, we know that the exodus took place when Christ, the Lamb of God, shed his blood to redeem His elect from spiritual slavery. This exodus would not only have a spiritual dimension, it would be geographical dimension also. Christ stated that the spread of the gospel would begin in Jerusalem, then Samaria, then to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:7). But what must be noted is that the Apostles faced immediate harsh persecution in Jerusalem, three of them were killed there because of their witness of Christ. In other words, they were fleeing spiritual Egypt-- Israel. Rev. 11:8 gives us the key for understanding this.

8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (Rev. 11:8)

Now for the symbolism. The number seven is used repeatedly in the Revelation to imply completeness. Notice what's written in Rev. 15:1: ...seven angels having seven plagues, which are the last, for in them is finished the wrath of God. Like the ten plaques that burdened Pharaoh in Egypt, spiritual Egypt would suffer seven plagues that would be worst in devastation. This devastation would bring destruction to their temple, pestilence/disease, and massive loss of life. Jesus spoke of this in Matt 24. They had also been warned centuries before.

58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, JEHOVAH THY GOD; 59 then Jehovah will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. 60 And he will bring upon thee again all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. (Deut. 28:58-60).

John sees what looks like a sea of glass mingled with fire (vs.2). We can only imagine the scenery, because what John described is in heaven. The sea of glass is mentioned in Rev. 4:6, but there's not much information about it. Those who remained faithful, and did not follow the beast (false religion) were seen standing by this sea of glass. What I've written thus far leads to two conclusions. 1. The Song of Moses and the Song of the lamb is the same song in Essence. It's a recapitulation of the slain Lamb's victory before the first exodus at the first Passover, and the divine guidance from bondage, to Christ's ultimate victory at Calvary. 2. In Rev. 15 the faithful stood and sang the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb upon exiting spiritual Egypt (by martyrdom) into the beautiful heavenly scene, just as Miriam and Israelites sang it near the earthly Red Sea.

http://www.galaxie.com/article/ctsj13-1-02

http://www.jbburnett.com/resources/anderson_isrprophet12-typol.pdf http://www.opc.org/nh.html?article_id=534

http://poptop.hypermart.net/howdied.html

http://www.gotquestions.org/sea-of-glass.html

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Thanks very much for this and your other contributions: I hope we get many more from you :) –  Jack Douglas Sep 17 '13 at 10:15

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