Ruling the Nations

The “Son” portrayed in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation is the Messianic figure of the Second Psalm destined by God to “Shepherd the Nations.” Following his enthronement, Heaven declared, “Now is come the Kingdom of God and the authority of His Messiah.” His reign began following his “faithful testimony” in death and his victory through resurrection, the “firstborn of the dead.”

Unlike the political powers of this age, Jesus rules the Earth by “shepherding the nations” rather than exterminating them. He leads them to life in the “holy city of New Jerusalem” to fulfill the promises made to Abraham – “In you will all the nations be blessed.” He is the “slain Lamb” and the Shepherd King, the “Good Shepherd who surrenders his life for the sheep” - (Genesis 12:3, 18:18, John 10:11).

Shepherd - Photo by Alberto Bigoni on Unsplash
[Photo by Alberto Bigoni on Unsplash]

Revelation
 describes him as “a son, a male” - (eteken huion arsen). The Greek clause echoes the prophecy of Isaiah using the Greek Septuagint version in which “Zion” becomes a female figure who “brought forth a male” - (eteken arsen - Isaiah 66:5-8).

The Book adds the term “Son,” leaving no doubt about his identity. He is the “Son” who was “caught up to the Throne of God” and destined to “Shepherd all the Nations with a scepter of iron,” an allusion to the Second Psalm- (Revelation 12:5):

  • (Psalm 2:6-9) - “Yet I have installed my king on Zion my holy mountain. Let me tell of a decree; Yahweh said to me, You are My son; I, today, have begotten you. Ask of me and let me give nations as your inheritance and possession of the ends of the earth. YOU WILL SHEPHERD THEM WITH A SCEPTER OF IRON, as a potter’s vessel you will dash them in pieces.”

The Book continues to follow the Greek text of the Septuagint in which the Hebrew verb for “break” or “crush” is replaced by the Greek verb for “shepherding.” His mission is to “shepherd” the nations, not to grind them into dust. Judgment and destruction may come for some, but not before he completes his task of populating the city of “New Jerusalem” with an “innumerable multitude” of redeemed men and women from every nation - (Revelation 7:9-17, 21:24-26, 22:1-3).

  • After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands” - (Revelation 7:9).

The Second Psalm was employed also at the start of Revelation where Jesus was identified as the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth.” Because of his Death and Resurrection, he reigns supreme over the Earth, its nations, and kings - (Revelation 1:5, 5:6-14).

  • The KINGS OF THE EARTH set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against Yahweh and against his Christ…I have set my king on my holy hill of Zion. I will tell of the decree: Yahweh said to me: You are my son; This day have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I WILL GIVE YOU THE NATIONS FOR YOUR INHERITANCE, And the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession” - (Psalm 2:2-8).

THE LAMB REIGNS


When did his enthronement occur? Following his arrival at the Throne in Chapter 12, Satan was expelled from Heaven and a voice declared, “NOW is come…the authority of His Christ!” The term “now” is emphatic in the Greek clause and pinpoints when his reign began – His resurrection and exaltation to the Throne of God.

The same event is portrayed in Chapter 5 when the “slain Lamb” approached the Throne, and all creation declared him “worthy” of “all power” since by his sacrificial death he redeemed men from every tribe, nation, people, and linguistic group - (Revelation 5:7-12, 12:5-11).

His enthronement took place following his Death and Resurrection. As stated in the opening salutation of the Book, he is the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth,” a declaration made in the present tense. This is Good News for all humanity and the Earth since he uses his power and royal authority to “Shepherd the Nations” until they reach “New Jerusalem.”

  • The city does not need the sun or the moon, that they should shine therein; for the glory of God illuminated it, and the lamp thereof was the Lamb. And the NATIONS will walk through her light, and the KINGS OF THE EARTH do bring their glory into it” – (Revelation 21:23-24).

New Dawn - Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
[Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash]

The
 marginalized seven congregations of Asia” described in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation represent the beginning of this process. With the Messianic Shepherd reigning on the Throne and guiding the nations, the trickle of converts to the new faith would turn into a flood. The “City of New Jerusalem” will be populated, and its vast dimensions will be filled! – (Revelation 21:15-17).

At the end of Revelation, the vast innumerable multitude” of men from every nation, including the “Kings of the Earth” is found standing and worshipping before the Lamb” and the Throne in the city of New Jerusalem” where the leavens of the Tree of Life were “for the healing of the nations” - (Revelation 22:2).

Jesus, the “slain Lamb” and the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth” will accomplish all this by “shepherding the nations,” not by hammering them into the ground with his great “iron scepter.” He is a Shepherd King who gathers and redeems his people from the “Nations of the Earth.”



RELATED POSTS:
  • The Shepherd King - (The Lamb’s reign commenced with his death and resurrection, and since then, he has been shepherding the nations toward New Jerusalem)
  • Ruler of Kings - (The faithful witness, Jesus, now reigns supreme over the Kings of the Earth and even over his enemies, and he is shepherding the nations)
  • Reigning from Zion - (Following his resurrection, Jesus began his reign from the Messianic Throne as prophesied by David – Psalm 2:6-9)

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