SEEING GOD'S FACE
Revelation 22:4 And they shall see his face;
The word face as it is being used in this sentence has common illustrative meanings in Hebrew and Greek and the languages like English that were heavily influenced by the Bible. Pointing them out is not an attempt to just outright nullify the idea of seeing God's face literally. The context of these chapters on the New Jerusalem though don't really lend themselves to the idea of taking the wording of an illustration and turning it into a literal object based on he illustrative language being used. So not only are we faced with that issue. (Do you see the idiom there?) We are also faced with the many idioms using face in the Bible which happen to also be common English idioms. The second half of the verse also lends itself to the first half being a commonly used expression rather than a literal statement. That "His name will be in their foreheads." Don't know why anyone would think that marks on the foreheads that were common in the ancient world are being used in anyway but a symbolic fashion talking of this age that was to come or even heaven if that were the case. Below are some of the idiomatic usages of the word face in Bible verses.
Compare these three verses.
Rev. 20: 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev. 12: 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Rev. 6: 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
1st Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
2nd Co. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2nd Co. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
This next verse that uses face to face idiomatically to express knowing someone better rather than just hearing about them. It is probably a good example of the way it is being used in Rev. 22:4
1st Co. 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
There are many more idiomatic ways this word is used and obviously many places where it is used literally. These verses should suffice.
© Daniel Martinovich 2002-2017