Jeremiah 51:55

Hebrew Bible

54 Cries of anguish will come from Babylon, the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians. 55 For the Lord is ready to destroy Babylon, and put an end to her loud noise. Their waves will roar like turbulent waters. They will make a deafening noise. 56 For a destroyer is attacking Babylon. Her warriors will be captured; their bows will be broken. For the Lord is a God who punishes; he pays back in full.

Revelation 14:2

New Testament

1 Then I looked, and here was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000, who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 I also heard a sound coming out of heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. Now the sound I heard was like that made by harpists playing their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one was able to learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.

 Notes and References

"... The last book of the New Testament compares the voice to some sort of reality eleven times: a bugle (Revelation 1:10, 4:1), the sound of many waters (Revelation 1:15, 14:2), thunder (Revelation 6:1, 14:2), the sound of carriages led by many horses rushing to war (Revelation 9:9), the onomatopeia ὡςκιθαρῳδῶν κιθαριζόντων ἐν ταῖς κιθάραις αὐτῶν (Revelation 14:2) and a great crowd (Revelation 19:1 and the parallel sixth verse) ... The comparison of “voice” to “the sound of many waters” makes one think of such a visualization that is incapable of drowning out sound. This is a very expressive force. At the same, time, this voice takes control over all sounds that appear in the surroundings; it dominates yet at the same time fully absorbs one’s attention, not allowing it to escape its experience or message. Thus it is impossible for someone who encounters “the voice as the sound many waters” to not heart it or to evade it. The force of phonetics is simply too great. In the Hebrew Bible, the tying of the voice to the sound of many waters takes place in Jeremiah 51:55; Ezekiel 1:24, 43:2; Psalm 93(92); the Septuagint avoids this form in Ezekiel 43:2, while it uses it in the psalm of voice (Psalm 29[28]:3). Because the fragment of Jeremiah’s prophecy and Psalm 93 make the described voice concrete by describing it as a noise made by waves and rivers, only the texts of Ezekiel and Psalm 29(28) will be analyzed. The latter situates God’s voice above immense waters; however, it does not associate it with noise. At the same time, it refers back to the above-mentioned semantic bank: the aspect of rule and power, victory and control over history ..."

Nowińska, Joanna "The Voice as the Sound of Many Waters" in the Book of Revelation in Light of Old Testament Semantics: A Threatening Message, or One of Beauty? (pp. 53-68) Ruch Biblijny i Liturgiczny, Vol. 70, No. 1, 2017

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