Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002. Location: Ellis BS 2825.53.O73 2002
III. God in Majesty and Judgment (4:1-16:21) pp. 218-602.
B. Great Conflict between God and the Forces of Evil (12:1-16:21) pp. 451-602
d. “Harvest of the Earth (14:14-20)” pp. 549-557.
Revelation 14:14-20 describes two harvests “of the earth.” At least the second one is to condemnation. There is some debate about the other. Osborne is inclined to see the frist, in 14:14-16, as a harvest of the righteous, and the other, in 17-20, as of the ungodly (Osborne 2002, 549). In verse 14, one sitting on a cloud, “like the son of man” may be seen as another angel, but Osborne observes the image of the “Son of Man” seemingly enthroned on a cloud (Osborne 2002, 550), bearing a crown and ready to judge (Osborne 2002, 551) seems much more like a depiction of Jesus. He is attended by another angel but he himself conducts the harvest. Osborne takes this to be a harvest of the saints who are ripe and ready to be gathered into God’s barn. “There is no hint of final destruction like that which follows the grape harvest in 14:19b-20” (Osborne 2002, 552). For this reason, Osborne believes those harvested are brought to safety.
In Revelation 14:17-20, a different angel comes from the temple, i.e., with God’s command, then is met by yet another angel, from the altar, the place where prayers are received (Osborne 2002, 553). Now the angel takes a sickle and cuts the harvest of grapes to be pressed. Osborne observes this as a metaphor for judgment in Isaiah 5, 62, and Lamentations 1 (Osborne 2002, 554). The winepress is trampled, using the passive voice, suggesting to Osborne that it is God who does the trampling. Judgment here is “outside the city” possibly referring to either the New Jerusalem or to Babylon/Romen. Because of the symbolism of divine judgment the important idea is its occurring outside the city, in a place of uncleanness (Osborne 2002, 555). The outpouring of blood is tremendous, a common theme in apocalyptic literature. Osborne notes several possible numeric interpretations of the distance the blood spreads, 1600 stadia (Osborne 2002, 556). It could refer to the size of Palestine or have a symbolic meaning based on the number four (squared) and ten (squared), which often refer to God’s judgment. The number 40, here squared, is also a common symbol of God’s judgment, as well as a reference to the whole world, with four corners. In any case, the judgment is decisive.