As I was reading some books recently, I found out something quite important when it comes to the eschatology of the biblical narrative that also shows just how grand and incredible the biblical narrative is, a true masterpiece in what it says and in its entirety from beginning to end.
Eschatology is the study of the ‘end times’ to put it simply, and the sea of chaos has upmost symbolic significance for the end of the world. The ‘sea of chaos’ plays an important role in its symbolic representation of God coming to redeem the world from its sin. We are reminded that according to Genesis, God’s wind sweeps over the face of the waters in the very first day. In the days of the composition of Genesis, the sea was thought to entirely surround the world (which would be the land mass of what we would today call the world, encompassed by a dome which God had created to allow a space for the life of humanity to exist). This sea was thought to be chaotic, unrestrained and at any time could enter our world and crush us. Therefore, in Genesis 6-9, onlooking the sin of the world God lets loose the chaotic sea into the world and destroys all humanity besides Noah himself. After the flood took place, where God rose the seas to cover the mountains and cover the entire world, God promises to set a boundary over where the water can never cross again.
Psalm 104:6-9: You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken. 6 You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.7 At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight. 8 They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them.9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
Therefore, the sea of chaos was always something that was a threat to the world restrained by God Himself. It always existed, and in the biblical eschatology, it would be a source where the beast would rise from.
Daniel 7:2-3: I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, 3 and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.
Revelation 13:1: And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were blasphemous names.
Therefore, the sea of chaos was a symbolic marker of which the evil forces against God were associated with, since they, like the sea, are sources of destruction for humanity, from past to present. Now, according to the Bible, God will finally destroy all evil in the end of the world, and He will create a “new Earth” and “new heaven” at the end of time (whether or not this means physically annihilating the current heaven and Earth and replacing it with new ones in God’s creation, or simply the resuscitation/cleansing of this world from sin like in the story of Noah’s flood doesn’t matter), where we will eternally live in God’s glory and bliss for the end of time. Therefore, we find towards the end of Revelation something almost no one notices. God shows the author of Revelation, John of Patmos (‘of Patmos’ since he lived on the island of Patmos, see Rev. 1:9) how the new creation will be like.
Revelation 21:1: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
The sea was no more. God has done away with all the evil and source of destruction in the past world, by making it new once again, and perfect this time forever more, He has made a new heaven, new Earth, and the sea, which is a symbolic representation of all the things that have gone wrong before, is now gone, as God’s confirmation for the good eternity of the coming age. This, I think, is another detail that again reveals the literary masterpiece and unification of the single story of the sixty-six books of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and reminds us once again what God has in store for us very soon indeed.