The Book of Revelation contains a number of symbols and the wide use of imagery to convey the original message to the audience. At the same time, the use of imagery makes the Book of Revelation stylistically richer and has a deeper impact on readers. In this respect, it is worth mentioning such uses of imagery as the use of four beasts, the lamb, the book and the trumpet.
First of all, the use of trumpet: “the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me”ť (Revelation 4:2-3), which apparently aims to emphasize the importance of the message to follow since traditionally sounds of trumpet were use as warnings or alarm signals to warn people about some danger or some significant events to occur. In such a way, the trumpet is used as a signal to the upcoming apocalypse.
Furthermore, the four beasts apparently symbolize human vices and evil powers which threaten not only to humans but also to the basic rules and norms which are established on the Heaven. In such a way, the beasts are also intended to warn people about the upcoming danger. At the same time, it seems as if the four beasts are ready to tear apart anyone who confronts them.
In such a context, the use of the lamb: “a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth”ť (Revelation 5:7-9) is quite symbolic since it is a weak and defenseless animal turns out to be able to self-sacrifice for salvation of others. In a way, this may be viewed as a symbol of Christ’s self-sacrifice. Remarkably, it was the lamb “opened one of the seals”ť (Revelation 6:1-2).
Another important use of imagery is the use of book, which: no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon”ť (Revelation 5:4-5). The book is a symbol of the justice and a sacred object which only a few dare to open because they are without sins.