“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
Revelation Chapter 5
He That is Worthy to Open the Seals
Revelation 5:1 “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.”
And I saw - We have started a new chapter but not a new vision. John continues on from the previous chapter, and are thus still in the throne room of God. He is now going to give an account of what he saw.
Right hand of him that sat on the throne - The right hand denotes power and authority Psalms 20:6, 18:35, and from the following verses we see that it is Christ that comes to the Father Who is seated upon the throne Vs 6-7. So it is the Father that has this book in His right hand of power and authority.
A book written within and on the backside - This is not as the books we have today. In John's day they still used long rolls of parchment that were written on one side and then rolled up around a long stick, with the writing on the inside. Books bound down one edge were not in great use until the second century A.D. The writing that is on the backside we will look at a little later in the chapter.
Sealed with seven seals - The number seven denotes completeness and thus shows that this book was perfectly sealed. Thus no person can open this unless they have the authority to break the seals.
Revelation 5:2-4 “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.”
A strong angel proclaiming...who is worthy - This strong angel comes forth as a crier, and with a loud voice challenges the worthiness, that is moral worth, of all creatures in the universe to open the book by loosing the seals. It will be seen that it is not a question of whether the person has the wisdom to do so or even the dignity and position, but whether the person has the victory and moral worth to do so. (see notes on verse 5; cf. Revelation 4:11)
3. No man - Greek oudeis, “not one,” including not only men but all beings throughout the universe. After the challenge has been set forth, there is found no person, whether in heaven or earth, that is able to open this book. It appears to John that the book is going to remain sealed as we see from his reaction that follows.
In heaven - These words introduce a literary device employed to describe all of God's universe.
To look thereon - That is, to read it and thus to reveal its contents.
4. I wept much - These words reflect John's intense emotional reaction to the drama now passing before his eyes. What he saw and heard was very real to him.
“Being greatly affected with the thought that no being whatever was to be found able to understand, reveal, and accomplish the divine counsels, fearing they would still remain concealed from the church. This weeping of the apostle sprang from greatness of mind. The tenderness of the heart which he always had, appeared more clearly now he was out of his own power. The Revelation was not written without tears, neither without tears will it be understood.” Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith, pg 393. What is our reaction to things in God's word that we struggle to find an answer to?
No man - Greek oudeis, see notes on verse 3.
Worthy - See notes on verse 2.
And to read - Textual evidence attests the omission of these words.
Revelation 5:5-7 “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood 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. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.”
One of the elders saith - One of the 24 elders now speaks to John, telling him not to weep. All is not lost, for provision has been made to open this book. He is told to behold, or look, for the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals thereof. (See notes on Revelation 4:4)
Weep not - Or, “stop weeping.” The Greek suggests that John was already in tears.
Lion of the tribe of Judah - The lion is a symbol of kingliness, as it is regarded as king of the beasts, leadership, courage, and strength. It was to the tribe of Judah that the royal linage, that is the kingship or leadership, was given. (Genesis 49:9-10) Judah went by the standard or emblem of a lion. Jesus Christ was born through the linage of Judah (Matthew 1:1-2) and it is He that has the strength/power to deal with the enemies of His people, namingly Satan and all those that support him. Thus it denotes His Kingship or rulership.
Root of David - In Isaiah 11:10 we find the following; “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse (Jesse being the father of David Matthew 1:6), which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” This was a Messianic prophecy pointing to Christ, as we see Paul applying this passage in Romans 15:8-12 as such. The root of any plant is what gives the plant its life, sustenance, and strength. The roots of the plant come first before the rest of the plant. Thus in this symbol we have shown the pre-existence of Christ or His deity, for He was before David and was the One that gave David his power, strength and life.
But Christ was also known as the Branch. (Isaiah 11:1, Zechariah 6:12-13, Luke 1:78 branch, margin) The branch comes after the roots, and we have seen that Christ is of the offspring of David, (Luke 1:32) thus showing the humanity of Christ.
So these 2 symbols show the kingship and deity of Christ, fullness of authority and fullness of power.
Hath prevailed to open the book - Greek nikaō, “to conquer,” “to be victorious.” This points directly to Christ's victory in the great controversy with Satan, which is the basis of His right to open the book. Inasmuch as no one else in the entire universe could do this (verse 3), His victory is unique. An angel could not have taken Christ's place, for the basic issue in the great controversy is the integrity of the character of God, which is expressed in His law. Neither angel nor man could have accomplished this vindication, for they themselves are subject to the law. Only Christ, who is God, and of whose character the law is an expression, could achieve such a vindication of the divine character. This fact is central to the thought of chapter 5. (see notes on verses 9-13)
6. In the midst - This may be interpreted as meaning that the Lamb was standing between the living creatures and the throne, among the elders. But such an arrangement is difficult to visualize when compared with Revelation 4:4, 6. It is also possible to understand that the Lamb appeared in the midst of all. This is probably the better explanation, as He now becomes the focal point of the vision. (cf. Acts 7:56)
Four beasts - See notes on Revelation 4:6.
Elders - See notes on Revelation 4:4.
Lamb - Greek arnion, a word used 29 times in the Revelation and only once elsewhere in the New Testament. (John 21:15) The thought is the same however, as that conveyed by the Greek word amnos, “lamb,” in John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19, and the LXX of Isaiah 53:7. John here now turns to look at the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, and sees a Lamb as it had been slain. This he saw in the midst of the assembly around the throne of God.
John has just heard Christ called a lion and a conqueror, but as he looks he sees a lamb. Such a dramatic contrast may suggest that Christ's victory is not one of physical force but of moral excellence, for above all things else He is declared to be “worthy.” (see notes on Revelation 5:2) It is the vicarious sacrifice of His sinless life, symbolized by that of a spotless lamb, rather than any demonstration of force, that has gained for Him the victory in the great controversy with evil.
So this Lamb of course is none other than Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. (John 1:29) When Jesus was depicted as thus, He was in His human state and going to the cross out of self-sacrificing love for man kind, to redeem them back from the clutches of sin. He gained the victory over the world and the prince of this world, (John 16:33, Matthew 4:8-9, John 14:30) death and the grave. (Revelation 1:18)
The lamb denotes the great sacrifice of Christ in His humanity to buy back/redeem man from sin when He had gained the victory. But it also shows to us that Christ still bears the scars and is still in human form yet in a glorified body. This was the payment for the title deeds of the lost inheritance. This is why Christ alone can open the book and loose the seven seals.
As it had been slain - John probably sees the Lamb with His death wound still bleeding, as a lamb slain for sacrifice in the sanctuary service. The word “as” indicates that this is a symbol. John is not saying that a slaughtered lamb really stands before the throne of God in heaven. Rather, he is describing what he sees in symbolic vision. Since this is apparently true of the Lamb, it follows that other features of this vision, the seven lamps, (Revelation 4:5) the four living creatures, (Revelation 4:6) and the book (Revelation 5:1) are also symbolic. (see Ezekiel 1:10; Revelation 4:1) The form of the verb translated “had been slain” implies that the act of slaughter had taken place in the past, and that its results remained. Thus though Christ's death is historically in the past, its results for mankind are ever fresh and availing. For the significance of the figure of Jesus as the Lamb of God, see John 1:29.
Seven horns - This Lamb had seven horns. A horn is a symbol of power Deuteronomy 33:17 and the number seven is that of perfection or completeness. Here is a symbol of Christ's complete or fullness of power, that is His omnipotence. Before Christ ascended back to heaven He said, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matthew 28:18. He is the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8) Thus the seven horns of the Lamb would indicate that He is perfect in strength.
Seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God - These eyes are identified as the seven Spirits of God, which is an expression used for the Holy Spirit. (see notes on Revelation 1:4) In Revelation 4:5 a different symbol, “seven lamps” is used.
Eyes are a symbol of intelligence and perfect wisdom, thus with this coupled together with the number seven, it would show Christ's complete or perfect wisdom, all-knowing, that is His omniscience. Nothing is hidden from His eyes, (Hebrews 4:13, Zechariah 4:10, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Proverbs 15:3) and thus knows all that goes on.
The only way that these eyes can see throughout the whole earth is through the seven Spirits, which we have seen to be the Holy Spirit from previous chapters. This is so for the Holy Spirit is Christ's representative upon the earth, (John 15:26) and it is through the Holy Spirit that Christ can dwell in the hearts of men. Thus showing that when Christ became a man, He gave up His omnipresence. He can no longer be present in all places at once, but only through the Holy Spirit is this possible.
Sent forth - These eyes are sent forth to all the earth. See Zechariah 1:10; 6:5; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7; Galatians 4:6.
7. He came and took - Literally, “he came and he has taken.” Jesus thus comes and takes the book from the Father's right hand, who was sitting upon the throne. This is the focal point of Revelation chapters 4 and 5 that Christ, by taking the book from the hand of God, does what no other being in the universe can do. (see notes on Revelation 5:5) This action is symbolic of His victory over evil, and when He does this the great antiphonal hymn of all creation resounds throughout the universe. (see notes on verses 9-13)
John's words, “he came and he has taken,” are the words of a man whose pen can scarcely keep pace with the dramatic scenes passing before his eyes. In breathless wonder and excitement he declares that Christ “has taken” the book. See notes on verse 13.
The book - Textual evidence attests the omission of these words. However, that it is the book that the Lamb takes is clear from verse 8.
Him that sat - See notes on Revelation 4:2.
Revelation 5:8-10 “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And have made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
When he had taken the book - This is the point at which the heavenly host responds. (see notes on verse 7) When Jesus took the book from the Father, the four beasts and 24 elders fell down before Christ, which is an act of worship. (Revelation 4:10) Also it can show the importance of the book and heaven's concern for the children of men.
Four beasts - See notes on Revelation 4:6.
Elders - This shows to us that the 24 elders minister in the heavenly sanctuary to aid Jesus Christ our High Priest. So it was for this purpose that they were redeemed from among men. See notes on Revelation 4:4.
Every one of them having harps - Greek kitharai, “lyres,” instruments often used to accompany singing, not harps. However, textual evidence attests the reading kithara, “a lyre”; that is, each elder held a lyre in his hand. Mention here of these instruments is natural, in connection with the hymn that is about to be sung. (verses 9-10) This also shows that all will have the ability in heaven, to worship God and give Him praise in the form of perfect music. Not a note will be out of tune. The melody will be sweet to the ears.
Golden vials - Greek phialai, “bowls,” or “saucers,” the dishes in which offerings were commonly presented. According to Josephus, phialai of incense were placed on the showbread in the sanctuary. (Antiquities iii. 6. 6 ) That the prayers of the saints are contained in golden receptacles may indicate the preciousness with which heaven regards them.
Odours - You will find in the marginal reading of your Bible that these odours are incense. The same concept is found in Psalms 141:3.
Prayers of saints - Their possession of “harps” and of incense dishes representing the prayers of saints suggests that the elders represent Christ's triumphant church on earth, lifting its voice in song and prayer. See notes on verses 9-10.
9. They - They, is a reference to the 24 elders and perhaps also the 4 beasts, (see below on “us”) as they are the ones that were redeemed from among men, not the Cherubim.
Sung a new song - The song was new in the sense that it was entirely different from any sung before. This expression is common in the Old Testament. (see Psalms 33:3; 40:3; Isaiah 42:10) Here it is particularly fitting, for it represents the song growing out of a unique experience, salvation through the victory of Jesus Christ. (see notes on Revelation 5:5) It is the “new song” of those who have a “new name” (Revelation 2:17; 3:12), who inhabit the “new Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2), when all things are made “new.” (Revelation 21:5)
Looking further at what singing a new song means, we will consider the 144,000. In Revelation 14:3 they are said to sing a new song. This song is the song of Moses and of the Lamb, (Revelation 15:2-3) and no man can learn it save the 144,000. The song of Moses is recorded in the book of Exodus chapter 15, dealing with their deliverance from being boxed in by the mountains on both sides with the Egyptian armies behind, and the Red Sea in front of them. They were facing total annihilation until the Lord delivered them by opening the Red Sea and making a path to the other side. The Egyptians followed, but were drowned as the Lord closed up the sea again. So the song that they sung was a song of their experience and deliverance.
So to it is with the 144,000 at the end of time. It will appear as if they are totally boxed in by the enemies of righteousness and facing total annihilation, but God will deliver them. The reason why they sing the song of the Lamb is that they have sacrificed all of self upon the altar, there is not a piece in their lives that is not surrendered to Christ, self has been crucified. When Christ was the Lamb of God He was going to Calvary as a sacrifice for the human race, and thus the 144,000 have this experience of sacrificing all. So a song is a symbol of an experience gone through.
To remember the time frame at this time would do us well. We have seen from chapter 4 that the time frame is 31 A.D. It is at this time too that Jesus receives the book from the Father and the song is sung by the 24 elders. Remember that a new song denotes a new experience, and we will now look at the song to see what experience it is.
Worthy to take the book - See notes on verse 2. The heavenly chorus leads out in the recognition that God has been vindicated from the accusations of Satan, through the victory of His Son. Some see in the 24 elders representatives of the saints, who themselves were once captives of evil. The saints appear before the onlooking universe as witnesses to the righteousness and the grace of God. See notes on Revelation 5:5; cf. Ephesians 3:10.
The first words of the song explain to us why Jesus is worthy to take the book and open it. This is because of the sacrifice of being slain for our sins, and shed His blood to be able to redeem them (and us), back to God out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; also making them kings and priests.
Before this time Jesus had not been slain or shed His blood to redeem man from sin. The 24 elders had not been taken to heaven through the redemption that was through the blood of Christ. Thus this is a new experience for them and hence the new song. This now brings us to the question of what this book is.
Identity of the Book
The book seems to be closely linked to the redeeming of God's people, for the song of redemption goes forward when Christ receives the book. But Christ can only receive this book when He has made redemption sure through the sacrifice of shedding His blood. But the most important clue is found in verse 1 with the book being written within and on the backside then sealed.
Before we look at an example of this type of book, we need to look at the “Law of Redemption.” This deals with the redeeming or buying back of inheritances in the land of Israel. When you read the passage in Leviticus 25:23-28, notice how many times the word redeem/redemption is used.
If a person had sold their land, because of their poverty, it was able to be redeemed or bought back by what is called a kinsman, if the person did not have enough money to do so himself. Thus the land would be restored to him through a relation of his. But if there was none to redeem the land/inheritance, it would automatically be returned at the end of the Jubilee, i.e. the end of the fifty years. A good example of this is found in Jeremiah 32:6-14, but it also sheds light on what the sealed book is.
Jeremiah, here, was asked to buy the parcel of land as it was his right to redeem it. Notice how they recorded the transaction. There were 2 books, one that was written and left open, the other was an exact copy but rolled up and sealed. These contained the title deeds to the redeemed inheritance. Weemse, commenting on this system, says the following; “For the manner of writing the contract, he who was to buy the ground, wrote two instruments or documents. The one to be sealed with his own signet, the other he showed unclosed, to the witnesses, that they might subscribe and bear witness of that which was written. This, the witnesses did subscribe upon the back of the enclosed (or sealed) instrument.” Weemse 'Judicial Law of Moses' ch 30. Quoted by J. A. Seiss in op. cit. Vol 1 pg 273.
From this we can see that the scroll, containing the title deeds to the lost inheritance, was written within, rolled up, then sealed and written on the backside just as the book in chapter 5 is. Undoubtedly this book in chapter 5 is the title deeds to the lost inheritance through man's rebellion.
We quote the following from “An Exposition of Revelation 5” by Austin P. Cooke pages 13-15.
“The details concerning title-deeds and lost inheritances is very beautifully brought to view in the ancient story of Ruth in the Old Testament, one of the choicest stories in all literature. Set in the time of the Judges about 1100 B.C., this account tells of how an Israelite family, sold their inheritance because of drought and through lack of faith moved into the land of Moab, the land of the enemy. However, it turned out to be the land of death because the father and the two married sons perished. Erelong the remnant of the family, Naomi and Ruth, returned to the land of Israel and sought the lost inheritance. There they found a near relative, a kinsman, one through whom the lost inheritance could be bought back or redeemed. His name was Boaz. Boaz was from Bethlehem. He agreed to pay the debt of Elimelech and Naomi and redeem the inheritance. He also married the childless widow, Ruth, and raised up children in the name of the dead husband, who finally repossessed the inheritance. Now Boaz, in redeeming the inheritance, was also under obligation, if necessary, to avenge the death of the near of kin. The role of the kinsman/redeemer was twofold: he was a redeemer and an avenger.”
“The story in the book of Ruth is a fitting representation of the history of the human race. Adam and Eve were established in Eden by the Creator. (Micah 4:8 calls it 'the first dominion'). Through disobedience they sold out their inheritance to Satan and went out to the land of enemy, the land of death. But a remnant of Adam's family have sought to return to Eden and regain the lost inheritance. They have found a new kinsman - one of their own race - through whom the inheritance can be redeemed and restored. This kinsman/redeemer like Boaz has come from Bethlehem. Jesus Christ has paid the debt of Adam's race upon Calvary's cross. By the sacrifice of His life, He has redeemed the lost inheritance. Like Boaz, he also has married the childless widow - the Christian church - it is His bride. He is her spiritual husband and through this union Christ is raising up children, 'the seed of the woman', who one day, will possess the lost inheritance - Eden restored. As kinsman/redeemer Jesus Christ will not only restore the inheritance but He will also be responsible for avenging the blood of His brethren. That will be accomplished at the second and third advents, when He destroys Satan and all who support him.”
Thou wast slain - The death of Christ, with its resulting salvation for man—which in turn vindicates the character of God—is the basis for the worthiness of Christ. (see notes on verse 2)
Us - In spite of the fact that textual evidence attests retaining this word, translators and commentators generally omit it on the basis of other textual evidence in verse 10. (see comment there)
By thy blood - See Romans 3:25; 5:9.
10. Us - Textual evidence attests the reading “them,” with reference to the redeemed of verse 9. The reading “us” was probably taken by the KJV translators from the Latin Vulgate. It is thus evident that in verse 10 the ones speaking do not specifically include themselves as “kings and priests.” It is not impossible, however, that they may be speaking of themselves in the third person, but this is not the natural conclusion to which the reading of the ancient manuscripts points. According to the preferred reading verses 9-10 may be translated as follows: “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open its seals, because thou wast slain and didst purchase to God by thy blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and didst make them to our God a kingdom and priests, and they shall reign upon the earth.” (see below under “kings” and “we shall reign”) The kingdom is doubtless the spiritual kingdom of grace. (see Matthew 4:17; 5:3; Revelation 1:6)
Kings and priests - Textual evidence favors the reading “a kingdom.” (see notes on Revelation 1:6) Notice how they make the remark that they shall reign upon the earth. The word “shall” places their reign to a future time, which is obviously after the second coming of Christ when the redeemed will reign for ever and ever, (Revelation 22:5) thus the implication can be made that this is to all the redeemed. But how do we become priests?
In Exodus 19:5-6 we see that the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, who were to be a peculiar treasure, kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. This was on condition of bringing forth the fruits of obedience. They continued to break the covenant that was made and were finally rejected as being God's chosen people. (Matthew 21:33-43) In 1 Peter 2:9-10 we see that it has been transferred and now applies to the Christian church. Those that have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ now become priests and offer up spiritual sacrifices; the continual sacrifice of self, prayer, thanks giving, etc. (See comments on Revelation 1:6 for more information)
We shall reign - Textual evidence attests the reading “they shall reign.” (see above under “us”)
On the earth - The time of the reign on earth is not here specified, but in Revelation chapters 20; 21 is shown to be in the post millennial period.
Revelation 5:11-12 “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”
Voice of many angels round about the throne - In response to the testimony of the 4 beasts and the 24 elders, the hosts of heaven join in acclaiming the worthiness of the Lamb. Thus God is vindicated before the angels who have not fully understood since the first accusations of Satan in heaven His action in banishing Satan and saving men.
The beasts - See notes on Revelation 4:6. These living creatures take part in the acclamation of praise to God (Revelation 5:12), which expresses appreciation for the death of Christ.
Ten thousand - This is evidently not meant to be a literal number, but rather implies numberless hosts. It is probably drawn from Daniel 7:10, and may be compared with a passage in the pseudepigraphical book of Enoch. (see Vol. V, p. 87), ch. 14:22: “ten thousand times ten thousand (stood) before Him” (R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. 2, p. 197). See Hebrews 12:22.
12. Saying with a loud voice - The angels of heaven, four beasts, and the elders round about the throne. (verse 11) But what are they doing? They are giving praise and worship to the Lamb, Jesus Christ. For it is He that is worthy to open the book because of the infinite sacrifice that He paid to do so. As Peter said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19.
It is He that is worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory, and blessing; for He is the Lamb that was slain.
Worthy - See notes on verses 2 and 9.
Lamb - See notes on verse 6.
Power - Greek dunamis, here, the power of God in action. The doxology of the heavenly hosts is sevenfold. Inasmuch as seven signifies perfection, and is used repeatedly in this vision as well as throughout the Revelation, (see notes on Revelation 1:11) it may be that the sevenfold praise of Revelation 5:12 implies that the praise of heaven is complete and perfect.
Riches - Compare on Philemon 4:19.
Wisdom - Greek sophia. (cf. James 1:5)
Strength - Greek ischus, which here probably refers to divine energy as potential.
Revelation 5:13-14 “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.”
Every creature - That is, every created being. The chorus swells and in response to the cries of praise from the hosts of heaven, all creation joins in adoration of the Father and the Son. Christ is victor and the character of God is vindicated before the whole universe. (see notes on verse 11)
In heaven, and on the earth - From the standpoint of ancient cosmology, heaven, earth, under the earth and sea constitute the entire universe. All creation will finally recognize the righteousness of God.
Blessing - The four ascriptions of verse 13 are parallel to four in the sevenfold doxology of verse 12.
Power - Greek kratos, “power [to rule],” “dominion,” parallel to “strength” in verse 12 but differing from it in that kratos represents divine power in action. It is such power that earthly creatures witness. (see notes on verse 12)
Him that sitteth - See notes on Revelation 4:2.
The Lamb - See notes on verse 6. The fact that the Lamb is adored here on the same basis as the Father implies their equality. (see Philemon 2:9-11)
14. Amen - See Matthew 5:18. Both the antiphonal praises and the following “Amen” portrayed here were characteristic of early Christian worship. Pliny, writing less than two decades after John, records that in their worship services the Christians “sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god” (Letters x. 96; Loeb ed., vol. 2, p. 403). Describing the celebration of the Lord's Supper, Justin Martyr, writing in the 2d century, says that after the leader of the congregation had offered prayers and thanksgivings, “the people assent, saying Amen.” (First Apology 67; ANF, vol. 1, p. 186)
So this fourfold anthem ultimately finds its fulfilment when the earth is restored to perfect harmony with the rest of the universe.
Notice that this is a twofold worship to the Father that sits upon the throne and to the Lamb, Jesus Christ. They both receive the same worship and praise. Thus this shows the equality that Christ is just as verily God as the Father is. They are equally divine.
The reaction of worship from all there is one that is not forced. It comes voluntarily from the response of what Christ has done, His worthiness. It should be the same with us. Words can not express the greatness and beauty of the plan of salvation, the infinite sacrifice that Christ has paid. Our worship to Him should be one of loving response to what Christ has done for us.
What must it be like to be there?
Revelation 5: Insert A.
Parallels Between the Kinsman/Redeemer
|Israel established in Palestine as God's chosen people.||The human race in Adam and Eve, established in Eden as God's chosen.|
|The land of Israel - the Promised Land.||Typical of the renewed earth, the land of promise Romans 4:13, Hebrews 11:13-16.|
|A Family in Israel in distrust of God sell their inheritance and dwell in Moab, the land of the enemy.||Adam and Eve - in distrust of God, sold out their inheritance to Satan and dwelt in the land of the enemy.|
|It was a land of death - father and two sons die.||This world is a land of death. “Death passed upon all men.” Romans 5:12.|
|Remnant of the family - Naomi and Ruth - return to the land of Israel and seek the lost inheritance.||A remnant of the family of Adam, seek for the lost inheritance - which will be the renewed earth - Eden restored.|
|A near relative - A kinsman - is found through whom the lost inheritance can be bought back or redeemed.||A near kinsman is found - “in all things...made like unto his brethren” - through whom the lost inheritance is redeemed and restored (Jesus Christ)|
|Boaz pays the debt of Elimelech and Naomi and redeems the inheritance.||Jesus Christ by becoming man and dying upon the cross has paid the debt of Adam's family and thereby has redeemed the lost inheritance of Eden.|
|Boaz married the childless widow (Ruth) and in the name of the dead raised up children who repossessed the inheritance.||Jesus Christ marries the childless widow. (the church) She is His spiritual bride and He is raising up children (the seed of the woman) who will possess the kingdom.|
An Exposition of Revelation 5 By Austin P. Cooke.
Select the following to view a detailed PDF table on the Seven Seals.
- Revelation 1
- Revelation 2
- Revelation 3
- Revelation 4
- Revelation 5
- Revelation 6
- Revelation 7
- Revelation 8
- Revelation 9
- Revelation 10
- Revelation 11
- Revelation 12
- Revelation 13
- Revelation 14
- Revelation 15
- Revelation 16
- Revelation 17
- Revelation 18
- Revelation 19
- Revelation 20
- Revelation 21
- Revelation 22
- Revelation 4 Insert
- Seven Churches Chart
- Seven Seals Chart
- Prophecy Symbols