Blake seeks to provide the Golden String which can lead us through the labyrinth of our experience or his own poetry.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Wikimedia Commons  Ezekiel's Vision

Bloom puts Blake's prophetic message in the context of the Old Testament prophets, whose imagery is repeated in the New Testament Book of Revelation. Bloom sees Blake recreating for his own time and in his own terms the message delivered by Isaiah, Ezekiel and the prophetic voice passed down through John of Patmos and Milton.
The prophet presents the eternal choice between turning toward God or continuing to follow the enemies of God. Blake utilises a multitude of images in an attempt to communicate with men in whatever state they were to be found. Blake was following the lead of Paul in First Corinthians:

First Corinthians 9

[19] For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
[20] And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
[21] To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
[22] To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
[23] And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Harold Bloom, speaking of
Jerusalem, states in Blake's Apocalypse on Page 366:

"From this opposition there emerges, in the fourth and last chapter, a clarifying confrontation of error and truth, which causes a Last Judgment to begin.

As a general principle of organization, a series of gradually sharpening antitheses leading to a necessity for moral choice, this resembles the pattern of the major prophetic books of the Bible...The books of Ezekiel and the other prophets are essentially collections of public oratory, poems of admonition delivered to a wavering people. The poems are interspersed in chronicles that deliberately mix history and vision, the way events were and the way the prophet fears they will turn out to be if they continue as they are going, or hopes hopes they will emerge if the people will realize that they are at the turning and can control events by a change of spirit.

Like Isaiah and Ezekiel, Blake believed that he had the decisive power of the eternal moment of human choice as a direct gift and trust from the Divine, and he seems to have imitated the organization of their books even as he believed his election as a prophet was in direct succession of their own. Isaiah and Ezekiel, like Amos before them renewed the vision of Elijah. Blake himself had see himself as renewing the vision of the English Elijah or Rintrah, Milton. With Milton firmly within him, Blake turns in
Jerusalem to the re-creation in English terms of the work of Hebraic prophecy...The principles which form and guide Blake, which he develops with enormous skill, are the literary principles implicit in Ezekiel and the other prophetic books of the Bible. Jerusalem will seem much less of a poetic sport if read in their company."

Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 12,  (E 39)
 "Then Ezekiel said. The philosophy of the east taught the first 
principles of human perception     some nations held one
principle for  the origin & some another, we of Israel taught
that the Poetic Genius (as  you now call it) was the first
principle and all the others merely  derivative, which was the
cause of our despising the Priests & Philosophers  of other
countries, and prophecying that all Gods would at last be
proved. to originate in ours & to be the tributaries of the
Poetic  Genius, it was this. that our great poet King David
desired so fervently  & invokes so patheticly, saying by this he
conquers enemies & governs kingdoms; and we so loved our God.
that we cursed in his name all  the deities of surrounding
nations, and asserted that they had rebelled; from these opinions
the vulgar came to think that all nations would at last be
subject to the jews.
   This said he, like all firm perswasions, is come to pass, for all 
nations believe the jews code and worship the jews god, and what
greater subjection can be"

Jerusalem, Plate 12, (E 156)
"And the Four Points are thus beheld in Great Eternity
West, the Circumference: South, the Zenith: North,               
The Nadir: East, the Center, unapproachable for ever.
These are the four Faces towards the Four Worlds of Humanity
In every Man. Ezekiel saw them by Chebars flood.
And the Eyes are the South, and the Nostrils are the East.
And the Tongue is the West, and the Ear is the North."    

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 558)
"Hell is opend beneath her Seat on the Left hand. beneath her
feet is a flaming Cavern in which is seen the Great Red Dragon
with Seven heads & ten Horns [who] he has Satans book
of Accusations lying on the rock open before him  he is bound
in chains by Two strong demons they are Gog & Magog who have
been compelld to subdue their Master Ezekiel XXXVIIIc 8v with
their Hammer & Tongs about to new Create the Seven Headed

Ezekiel 38
[8] After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.   

Ezekiel 38

[2] Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
[3] And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
[14] Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
[16] And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
[18] And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.

Revelation 20
[8] And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 

  "Ezekiel's Gog from Magog was a symbol of the evil darkness of the north and the powers hostile to God, but in Revelation, Gog and Magog have no geographic location, and instead represent the nations of the world, banded together for the final assault on Christ and those who follow him." 

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