Dear Rabbi, My question is:
do I have any justification across the Hebrew and the Greek for tying these two verses together?
I Kings 7:23 says “He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape…….” speaking of the enormous reservoir used by the priests for ritual cleansing in the temple(II Chron. 4:6).
In Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…..and there was no longer any sea.”
First, let us look at the words in Hebrew and in Greek:
3220. my yam, yawm; from an unused root mean. to roar; a sea (as breaking in noisy surf) or large body of water; spec. (with the art.) the Mediterranean; sometimes a large river, or an artificial basin; locally, the west, or (rarely) the south:–sea (X -faring man, [-shore]), south, west (-ern, side, -ward).
This Laver was called the “bronze sea.” This word is used over 300 times referring to “sea” and over 70 times referring to “west” or “westward,” and once in Ps 107:3 it is translated “from the south.” Isa 49:12 also “opposite to the north.” Scholars refrain from connecting any symbolism with the Temple court Laver, “the bronze sea” and feel it was called such because of its size. Ancient Israel perceived the sea and a place of dread, fraught with dangers. Jonah 2:2 gives us a close relation between Sheol and the seas from which Jonah was delivered. It may well be that the fear of the seas is what gives gives rise to John’s eschatological vision, “the sea shall be no more” (Rev 21:1)
2281. thalassa, thal’-as-sah; prob. prol. from G251; the sea (gen. or spec.):–sea.
The ancients looked on the sea as being restless, unstable, full of danger (Isa. 57:20; James 11:9) Elsewhere the Bible does not always look on the sea as bad (Isa, 11:9)
This Greek word for sea thalassa is a noun and is used to translate the Hebrew word yam and most NT useages of this term or literal references. Most of the references are found in Matthew, Mark, Acts, and Revelation. The term has symbolic overtones, especiall in Revelation where John described a “sea of glass” (Rev 4:6). Cosmologically it is one part of G-d’s created order: heaven, earth and sea (Acts 4:24); and as such it often becomes a realm where G-d displays His mighty power over evil (i.e., calming the storm, Matthew 8:23-27); walking on water, (Matthew 14:22, 23, etc.)
Again you wrote: Revelation refers to the absence of a temple in the new Jerusalem and I’ve wondered if that meant that the Sea connected with the OT temple was the one which was meant in vs. 1. Some ex-surfers in my class are curious as well.
Thank you again in advance for your consideration.
Habakkuk 2:14) The oceans are necessary for the replacing of oxygen in the atmosphere of the present earth (through multitudes of microscopic plant forms in the seas). The lack of the seas suggests that the whole economy of the new earth will be different.
Now from two Jewish perspectives. Judaism considers the sea as a metaphor in two respects. One is that of the comparison of “water” to Torah. The sages say, “there is no water except Torah.” Just as water quenches bodily thirst, so do the waters of Torah quence spiritual thirst.” In relation to Torah in general, the “open saying” corresponds to the revealed dimension of Torah while the “closed sayings” corresponds to the hidden dimension, the secrets of Torah. These two sayings further correspond to the higher and lower waters. The two letters that correspond to the higher waters, the higher “yud” and the final “mem” , “the sea” or “concealed world,” the hidden dimension the glory of G-d is to conceal things.” The two letters which correspond to the “lower waters, the lower “mem” and “yud”, but reversed, spell “who?” the secret of “the glory of kings is to investigate things”- the revealed dimension of Torah. If we extrapolate this into the NT we might derive that the “sea” as a metaphor of the Torah Revealed in all its dimensions reveals what the Bible states that “in that day” we will all know Torah.
The other perspective is what I have earlier alluded to and that is the Israelites viewed the “sea” as threatening and dangerous and as a metaphor for “sin”.
Therefore, since there will be no “sea” in the New Jerusalem I think that the citation in Revelation understood from a Jewish point of view refers to the absence of sin and a perfect understanding of G-d’s Torah and would be stretching it to interpret it as you state.
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
.Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
The judgment of chapter 20 is one side of a coin; this is the other. The sinless conditions of the Garden of Eden are restored (see last paragraph of 20:11–15). It is the time when “the creation,” which “has been groaning as with the pains of childbirth,” will be “set free from its bondage to decay” to “enjoy the freedom accompanying the glory that G-d’s children will have” (Ro 8:19–23). It is the restoration spoken of in Ac 3:21, in which Yahshua “has to remain in heaven until the time comes for restoring everything, as G-d said long ago, when he spoke through the holy prophets.” It is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy:
“Behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth; the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.
“Rather, you will be glad, you will rejoice forever over what I create, for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy; “and I will rejoice in Jerusalem and take joy in my people—no longer shall there be heard in her the sound of weeping or crying.”(Isaiah 65:17–19)
The interconnection between the new creation and judgment is even clearer in the words of Isaiah 66:22–24: “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, are to remain before me, says Adonai, so will your seed and your name remain. And it will come to pass that every new moon and every Shabbat all flesh will come to worship before me, says Adonai. And they will go out and look at the carcasses of the people who rebelled against me, for their worm will not die, and their fire will not be quenched, and all flesh will regard them with disgrace.”
Specifically, No longer any sea. The Bible depicts creation as war. Light conquers darkness (Genesis 1:1–5, John 1:1–5), but the sea is allied with the darkness. It has to be contained, limited—this is done on the second day of creation (Genesis 1:6–10; see also Job 38:8–11, Isaiah 27:1, and possibly Isaiah 51:9–52:12). The sea is active in bringing destruction and death through the flood of Noach, an event mentioned five times in the New Testament (Mt 24:37–38, Lk 17:26–27, Hebrews11:7, 1 Peter 3:20, 2 Peter 2:5). But the sea is under G-d’s control, as seen most clearly in the Exodus, where G-d’s “strong hand and outstretched arm” turn the Red Sea into a means of salvation for the Israelites, though a means of destruction for the Egyptians. G-d has promised never again to use water as a means of universal destruction (Genesis 9:11), but equally he has promised that he will use fire for that purpose (2 Peter 3:10–12). The Lake of Fire (20:15) is a fiery sea of eternal destruction; it conquers finally and universally what the Red Sea conquered temporally and locally—namely, sin. Water is powerful, but fire is more powerful; hence Yochanan the Immerser, says he immerses in water but another is coming, Yahshua, who will immerse in the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and in fire (Lk 3:16–17).