Omnium Finis Imminet

TV and popular culture.
April 13 2005 1:48 PM

Omnium Finis Imminet

NBC's Revelations, and other signs of the coming apocalypse.

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David Seltzer, the writer of The Omen and writer/creator of the new NBC series Revelations (premiering tonight at 9 p.m. ET) warned in a recent interview that "with all the geological-social-political events lining up with what the Book of Revelation says are the End of Days, it is time to start taking it seriously." Scanning the pop-cultural news of recent weeks and—scarier yet—that of weeks to come, it's clear that Seltzer's on to something: As the show's tag line trumpets, Omnium Finis Imminet—the end of all things is near. In fact, Revelations may be not only a freely fictionalized interpretation of the impending apocalypse, but one of its symptoms. Here are some links to portents of the coming rapture, as described by the Book of Revelation (New Oxford Annotated Edition):

5:11-13— "Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne […] they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice. […] Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and under the sea, and all that is in them, singing …"

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9:3-4— "Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given authority like the authority of the scorpions on the earth. They were told not to damage the grass of the earth or any green growth or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads."

9:6— "And in those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them."

13:2-4— "And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And the dragon gave it his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have received a death-blow, but its mortal wound had been healed. In amazement the whole earth followed the beast […] and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?' "

Dana Stevens Dana Stevens

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

17:1-5— "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, 'Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk […] The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations … and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: 'Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth's abominations.' "

And finally, most chillingly of all:

12:1-5— "A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out with birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. […] Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron."

I was going to end with the words that close the Book of Revelation: "The one who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming soon.' " But to glance at the entertainment news, it looks like He's already here.

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