Q. “Why are there so many symbols used in the Book of Revelation? For example the woman representing Israel being chased by the dragon (Satan) after the Man-child (Jesus) was caught up to heaven. If the Book of Revelation consists of revelations of Jesus Christ, wouldn’t it be more straightforward to describe events or things to come without the use of symbols or figures of speech?”
I asked this question because quite a few of my friends who are believers are put off from delving more into the Book of Revelation because of the abundance of symbols and imagery which makes the book hard to digest and understand.
A. I believe the Lord chose to render the Book of Revelation in symbols because He knew it was going to be read by 20 centuries of believers and had to be meaningful to all of them. For all that time people who were willing to apply themselves and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit have been able figure it out.
Today there are hundreds of competent commentaries and study guides to provide additional help. They are available in audio, video and print and in several levels of sophistication, from people who don’t know anything about the Bible to those who study at the scholarly level. In short, avoiding the book because of the way it was written is an excuse not to study it, but it’s not a reason.
In addition, Rev. 1:3 says, Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation is the only book of the Bible that contains a promise of blessing to its readers.