Rushing Water Sound
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Rushing Water Sound
(Revelation 1.15-16)
Page 28

"His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing water. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance." (Revelation 1.15-16)

Great Waterfall

Coin of Gold and SilverIn this passage, Christ speaks with divine authority and his voice sounds to John of Patmos "like the sound of rushing water." What springs to mind is the roar of a great waterfall or of a large rushing river? Like the deafening mighty roar of the waters going over the edge of Niagara, these would have been some of the loudest sounds in Jesus day, like a jet plane roaring overhead today. The loudest animal on the earth is the whale but an even greater sound was generated in 1883 when the Krakatoa volcano erupted. It ejected 25 cubic kilometers of rock, ash, and pumice with a 180 decibels explosion into the air which was heard as far away as Perth in Australia! Krakatoa was so loud it ruptured the eardrums of sailors 40 miles away! A Saturn 5 rocket at takeoff at 185 decibels is so loud that the noise it generated melted concrete. Compare that to a thunderstorm at 125 decibels!

Soldiers Shoes

Glowing FurnaceThis passage in Revelation not only tells us of Jesus' voice but also that his feet were like "bronze glowing in a furnace." This may have seemed strange at first but has been explained as the color and glow of the precious metal called electrum, which was a combination of silver and gold. The molten metal in a furnace glowed in the same manner.

Bronze Soled Shoes

Bronze soled soldiers shoesThe phrase "his feet were like bronze glowing" may have been a deliberate reference to bronze soldier's shoes which were the latest technology in the ancient Roman world and had only been recently introduced to protect a soldier's feet in battle and when on the march. Roman soldiers' shoes were described in this way, "they were not like other shoes of the time, they were made out of bronze or brass, usually brass and leather." Bronze was commonly used by the Romans for coins, ornaments and even toiletry items like nail cleaners, tweezers, and toothpicks!

Dangerous Weapon

Bronze Roman soldier's shoes comprised two parts, the upper part which began at the top of the foot and extended upwards across the shin to just below the knee and the shoe itself. This was made of finely tooled brass, which was formed to the soldier’s calf and caused the shoe to look like a boot when it was worn. The shoe itself was made of two pieces of metal on the top and the bottom. The foot was covered with fine pieces of brass. The sides were held together by multiple pieces of leather. On the bottom, the shoes had extremely dangerous spikes which it is said were sometimes up to three inches in length." These spikes could have been used as a dangerous weapon in close combat.

Roman Gladius Sword

Roman Gladius SwordThis passage also describes Jesus. "His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance." The brightness of Jesus' face indicated his divine majesty and also a side reference to the Apostle John for his glowing face at the Transfiguration. The mention of a sharp double-edged sword in Jesus' mouth intended us to realize that power and judgment were contained in his message. It may also have been a reference to the very effective double-edged sword called a "gladius" which was the primary weapon used by Roman foot soldiers in close combat in battle.

"Rushing Water Sound"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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