Review Doctrine of Divine Decree(s).

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.      In order to have a greater appreciation and fuller understanding of chapter 5, one must have some familiarity with Jewish and Roman law, more specifically the legalities that governed the last will and testament and property ownership.

2.      This understanding will help explain not only the intent, but the legality of the book in the hand of the Father that was sealed up with seven seals in 5:1.

3.      This is important since the Lamb claims the right to open this book (5:6-7) that will begin the release of judgments upon planet earth and its inhabitants in 6:1ff.

4.      The Roman legal system contained the principle of the Condictio (condikshio) in their Law (a formal legal claim of restitution of property or for damages), which is best viewed in light of the principle of rei vindicatio (suing for/avenging/championing a cause/avenging a wrong for property).

5.      This claim in the law of property enabled the owner of a certain thing (certum –a thing that is fixed/definite/factual) to claim this certum from any possessor that did not have a right of retention over it.

6.      Since it was a claim of property, the rei vindicatio (looking to the one suing for/or championing the property) presupposed that the pursuer was the owner of the thing in question.

7.      However, the fact that ownership had passed to another does not necessarily mean that the transferee was entitled to the property or any benefits from it.

8.      From early on, the rei vindicatio served for the protection of ownership and was the most important remedy an owner could use to safeguard that ownership.

9.      The rei vindicatio was a real right, as opposed to a personal right (one possessing the property), which the owner could institute against anybody that was in possession of his property without proper authorization.

10.  This action by the owner against the non-owner possessor was available to the owner, regardless of whether or not the possession was bona fide (in good faith) or mala fide (in bad faith).

11.  The purpose of invoking rei vindicatio was twofold: first, to ascertain the plaintiff’s ownership and second, to obtain restitution of the thing to him.

12.  The onus (burden of proof) was on the plaintiff to show he is the owner of the thing and in practice the owner had to prove that he acquired the thing by his original action or that his predecessor had a valid title to the property.

13.  While Roman law viewed the right of private ownership as a fundamental basis for social-economic success, it is without question one of the oldest and most fundamental rights known to man.

14.  As will be noted, this right was coupled with the last will and testament to ensure that the property remained in the hands of those that had a legal right to it.

15.  Under Roman law, a testament was a legally declared last will in which an heir was instituted and the right of testament was both active and passive.

A.       Actively, persons generally who were under no incapacity could make a will; those prohibited were such as had some defect of status, some vice or defect of mind, some sufficient defect of body and those guilty of crime.

B.        The passive right of testament was the right to take under a will; heirs were voluntary or necessary and could be disinherited without cause.

16.  The instituted heir, as successor to the universal rights of the decedent, was required to have passive testamentary capacity at the time of the will and at the time of the death; the intervening period was of no consequence.

17.  A will in Roman law bore seven seals of seven witnesses that were required to be free from all legal exception, and purposely summoned for the execution of that important act.

18.  The Jewish custom also stressed the importance of property and ownership by making it impossible for a Jewish family to permanently lose their property.

19.  If a person or family were to lose its property or possessions separated through some misfortune or distress, their property could not be permanently removed from the family by virtue of the law of Jubilee and the law of the Kinsman redeemer.  Lev.25:10, 47-49

20.  However, their losses were listed in a scroll and sealed seven times with the conditions necessary to purchase back the land or possession written on the outside of the scroll, and a qualified redeemer could reclaim the property and return it to the original owner.

21.  The Roman system also allowed for a reliable friend to purchase the property for the family for a price and upon the death of the testator, the reliable friend would return the property to the rightful heirs.

22.  With this legal understanding, we can begin to explain the events surrounding this scene in Heaven and their significance in the angelic conflict and how this all relates to mankind.

23.  God is the creator of all things and, as such, retains full rights over that creation, which is emphasized by the comments of the 24 elders in Rev.4:11. Cp. Gen.1:1; Psa.148:5

24.  God clearly did not create the earth in the condition in which we find it in Genesis 1:2, as documented by the direct statement of Isaiah 45:18.

25.  As documented in Genesis, Satan took up residence on the newly formed planet earth and it became the headquarters for his rebellion.  Isa.14:12-14

26.  After the fall and subsequent judgment of Satan, the earth fell under condemnation by association with the evil of Satan and was packed in water and the heat and light were removed.  Gen.1:2

27.  This resulted in the condition in which we find the earth in Genesis 1:2, with the next two chapters providing the details about its restoration for the habitation of man.

28.  When the earth had been restored in six, literal, twenty-four hour days mankind was created by God and placed on planet earth as a delegated authority over His creation.  Gen. 1:26-28

29.  What Satan did to Adam and Eve was very similar to what he had previously done to a large number of his fellow angelic creatures i.e., convince them of the desirability and advisability of rejecting God's authority.

30.  What Satan never tells anyone is that such a course of action is tantamount to accepting his authority in place of God's.

31.  Further, that Satan is aware of the consequences of accepting his authority, he is certain not to reveal that either.

32.  By the same means, then, that he used to gain control over a large part of the angels (i.e., deception), Satan regained a measure of control over the earth he had once temporarily ruled.  Luk.4:6

33.  The Greek word “paradi,dwmi – paradidomi/to give alongside/has been handed over” in the passage quoted above means that Satan's reign over the earth was not wrested from God or awarded to the devil; rather, it was relinquished by Adam, abandoned, and Satan gladly resumed authority over what had been surrendered.

34.  The devil's policy of undermining God's authority, then corrupting others, and thereby gaining control over them (and all they possess) proved just as effective on Adam and Eve as it had on those angels who followed him in rebellion against God.

35.  As a result of the first man's dereliction of duty, the whole world now lies within the control of the evil one.  1Jn.5:19

36.  By listening to a creature instead of his Creator and placing himself under the authority of Satan, Adam forfeited a large measure of mankind's dominion over planet earth.

37.  However, God has never officially or legally relinquished any control over the earth, and has certainly never appointed the Devil as its ruler, as God most definitely and explicitly had done with Adam.  Gen.1:26-28; Heb.2:5-9

38.  Thus the devil's control of earth is neither official, nor absolute or indefinite, though personal.

39.  Chapter 5 introduces the resolution of this matter of a created being that won control over God’s creation (subject to God’s overruling will, which limits Satan in what he can do in this world) by corrupting mankind.

40.  To put the matter in legal terms, Satan's rulership of the earth is based only on a de facto control (exercising power without the legal right); his reign has never been and will never be a de jure one (legal or lawful).  Joh.12:31; 16:11

41.  In the legal matter of the last will and testament of God, one must recognize that there are some major differences between God’s will and those executed by men.

42.  For one thing, God cannot die (Deu.32:40; Isa.57:15; Dan.4:34; Rev.4:9), but has determined to share the wealth of His kingdom with those that come after Him.

43.  In fact, He has appointed His Son as the only legal heir of His goods, and He is to be the recipient of all that God has and has created.  Heb.1:2; 2:8; Psa.2:8

44.  Since it is God’s will for His Son to rule over planet earth from Jerusalem, God must be willing to take whatever actions are necessary to remove the squatter (or let His Son do it), the default ruler of planet earth and install His Son (rei vindicatio).

45.  That is the subject of this document we will observe in chapter 5, which contains the necessary course of action that must be taken to enthrone the rightful owner and ruler of planet earth.

46.  Review Doctrine of the Kinsman Redeemer.


EXEGESIS VERSES 1 – 3:

 

GNT Revelation 5:1 Kai. ei=don evpi. th.n dexia.n tou/ kaqhme,nou evpi. tou/ qro,nou bibli,on gegramme,non e;swqen kai. o;pisqen katesfragisme,non sfragi/sin e`pta,Å

 

NAS Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne   Kai, (cc)  ei=don o`ra,w (viaa--1s, "I saw"; sub. John;)  evpi, (pa; "upon/in the open palm")  th.n h` dexia.n dexio,j (d.a. + ap-af-s; "the right hand")  tou/ o` kaqhme,nou ka,qhmai (d.a. + adj. ptc./p/d/gm-s; "of Him sitting") evpi, (pg)  tou/ o` qro,nou qro,noj (d.a. + n-gm-s; "the throne")    a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.   bibli,on (n-an-s; "a book")  gegramme,non gra,fw (adj. ptc./PF/p/an-s; "having been written")  e;swqen (adv.; "inside/within")  kai, (cc)  o;pisqen (adv.; "on the back/behind")  katesfragisme,non katasfragi,zw (adj. ptc./PF/p/an-s; "having been sealed"; legally affixing documentary seals to denote authenticity, confirmation, security or possession; hapax)  sfragi/sin sfragi,j (n-df-p; lit. the instrument used to produce a seal or stamp; "sealed up with")  e`pta,Å (card. adj./df-p; "seven seals")

 

GNT Revelation 5:2 kai. ei=don a;ggelon ivscuro.n khru,ssonta evn fwnh/| mega,lh|( Ti,j a;xioj avnoi/xai to. bibli,on kai. lu/sai ta.j sfragi/daj auvtou/È

 

NAS Revelation 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,   kai, (cc)  ei=don o`ra,w (viaa--1s)  ivscuro.n ivscuro,j (a--am-s; "a strong/powerful/mighty"; opposite of avsqenh,j-asthenes; weak/sick ) a;ggelon a;ggeloj (n-am-s; "angel")   khru,ssonta khru,ssw (adj. ptc./p/a/am-s; "proclaiming/pronouncing publicly"; wow, the NAS can translate this word right, instead of "preaching" as it usually does)  evn (pI; "with")  mega,lh|( me,gaj (a--If-s; "a loud/great")  fwnh/| fwnh, (n-If-s; "voice")   "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?"   Ti,j (interr. adj./nm-s; "Who?")  a;xioj (a--nm-s; "worthy")  avnoi/xai avnoi,gw (misc. inf./aa; "to open/gain access to")  to, bibli,on (d.a. + n-an-s)  kai, (cc)  lu/sai lu,w (misc. inf./aa; "to loose/to break"; the infinitives emphasize the "opener of the book" and "breaker of its seals" as the new subject of focus)  auvtou/È auvto,j (npgn3s; ref. the book)  ta.j h` sfragi/daj sfragi,j (d.a. + n-af-p; "seals")  

 

GNT Revelation 5:3 kai. ouvdei.j evdu,nato evn tw/| ouvranw/| ouvde. evpi. th/j gh/j ouvde. u`poka,tw th/j gh/j avnoi/xai to. bibli,on ou;te ble,pein auvto,Å

 

NAS Revelation 5:3 And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth,  kai, (cc)  ouvdei,j (neg. card. adj./nm-s; "no one/not even one")  evn (pL)  tw/| o` ouvranw/| ouvrano,j (d.a. + n-Lm-s; "the heaven"; ref. 3rd heaven)  ouvde, (cc; "nor/or")  evpi, (pg; "upon")  th/j h` gh/j gh/ (d.a. + n-gf-s; "the earth") ouvde, (cc)  u`poka,tw (pg; "underneath/below")  th/j h` gh/j gh/ (d.a. + n-gf-s)   was able to open the book, or to look into it.   evdu,nato du,namai (compl. inf./IPFd--3s; "was able/capable" or contextually " worthy")   avnoi/xai avnoi,gw (compl. inf./aa; "to open")  to, bibli,on (d.a. + n-an-s; "the book")  ou;te (ascensive conj.; "not even")  ble,pein ble,pw (comp. inf./pa; "to look into")  auvto,Å auvto,j (npan3s; ref. the book)

ANALYSIS VERSES 1 – 3:

1.      Chapter 5 is a prime example of the fact that chapter and verse divisions are not inspired.

2.      Chapters 4 and 5 should be taken as a single unit, describing the totality of the scene that John observed after he was transported to the 3rd heaven.

3.      The throne room setting is designed to communicate the serious and important nature of what is about to transpire in the angelic conflict based on the Sovereign will of God.

4.      Both the Father and Son who share equally in sovereignty will set into motion the final events that will bring God’s plan to the foreordained conclusion.

5.      John begins this chapter with the verb “I saw/o`ra,w – horao” that he uses some 56 times in this book that is designed to emphasize the fact that he was an eyewitness to the spiritual realities of everything he records.

6.      Again, we cannot stress strongly enough that eyewitness testimony is the preferred method of establishing or confirming facts.

7.      Having noted the general, overall scene into which he had been introduced, John’s attention is now drawn to a specific object, “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals”.

8.      It is apparent that the Father has now anthropomorphically manifested Himself to reveal at least the anatomy of a hand.

9.      The fact that the book was located in the right hand of the Father representing a place of power and prominence is designed to demonstrate the importance of this scroll to His plan.

10.  While the NAS uses the word book to translate the Greek term bibli,on - biblion, it is important to note that this was not a modern book, but a scroll of vellum or parchment, which was rolled up into a cylinder.

11.  It is clear from the statements in verse one and John’s later reaction that we are dealing with a very important legal document that has tremendous implications for the human race.  Rev. 5:4

12.  In fact, as we will see, this document contains God’s instructions about the disposition of planet earth and the establishment of its rightful King.

13.  John observes that the scroll had writing inside and on the back indicating that the nature of the scroll with writing on the outside that he could readily see was an official looking document that one could only conclude had writing inside also, as the inside contents would be invisible to the eyes.

14.  As with the Jewish custom, the outside of the sealed scroll contained the qualifications and requirements necessary for anyone that would open the scroll and view its contents.

15.  While we are not explicitly told the contents of the inside of the scroll at this point, its legal context obviously centers on the judgments that will be delineated starting chptrs.6ff.

16.  In this manner, it harks to the scroll mentioned in Eze.2:9-10, which contained lamentations, mourning, and woe.

17.  This fact hints at another tie point of the 4 living beings in our scenario with that of Ezekiel’s.

18.  This scroll contains the prophetic judgments that are necessary to defeat Satan, establish Israel as the chief of the nations, and restore the kingdom of earth to the authority of God through His designated agent—the God/man.  Rev.11:15

19.  The seven seals that sealed up this scroll are very significant, since they prevent the scroll from being opened by anyone that does not present the proper credentials.

20.  The seals were affixed to the edges of the scroll in such a way that they were all visible and must be broken in succession if the entire scroll was to be unrolled and read.

21.  Important documents in early history were stamped with wax seals into which the signet ring of the author was pressed, thereby verifying the authenticity of the document and at the same time preventing any tampering or alteration.

22.  The fact of something being closed with seven seals basically emphasizes the secrecy of the document in a perfected form (as written – PF tense of the ptc. gra,fw – grapho); and in this case that something was divinely decreed but, nevertheless, hidden in mystery form.

23.  The seven witnesses that would be necessary to seal the scroll are found in the previous chapter and are seen in the seven Spirits of God.  Rev.4:5

24.  Who else but the God the Holy Spirit could validate the truth of the contents of God’s will and make certain that the scroll was only opened by an authorized person?

25.  This is also a very fitting work of the Holy Spirit, since He is the One that now restrains the unfolding of these events by frustrating the mystery of lawlessness.  2The.2:7

26.  As we have noted, the seven Spirits of God refer to the singular Holy Spirit, whose ministry is perfect, complete, powerful, and yet unseen.

27.  Therefore, in these seals we are to see the force that prohibits the opening of the scroll, puts into motion the events contained therein, and restrains the premature resolution to the plan of God.  2The.2:7

28.  As bad as the world is, one can hardly imagine what it would be like if it were not for the fact that the Holy Spirit has sealed believers (implying some protection) and restrains the full display of satanic evil by leveling the playing field for us.

29.  However, lawlessness is moving towards a fever pitch with Satan making continual progress into human society at all levels, and the mystery of lawlessness will continue to increase exponentially as we move closer to Daniel's 70th week and the Holy Spirit removes the barriers He has established.

30.  In vs.2, we are introduced to an unnamed angel, “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice”.

31.  Some commentaries have identified our angel with Gabriel based on the following facts:

  1. He is great or mighty/strong, which is the root meaning of Gabriel--the mighty one of El.
  2. He delivers this message, a function he performs elsewhere in the Bible.  Dan.8:16ff; 9:21ff; Luk.1:19-20,26ff
  3. According to some, he is associated with the sealing of the book of Daniel that deals with the last days (Dan.12:4,9) and the unsealing of this scroll.

32.  While Gabriel is an obvious candidate, since he is not discreetly identified, it is best only to note the possibility and refrain from saying more than what the text actually says at this point.

33.  The manner in which he delivers this announcement is rightly understood to be more than a simple question; it is with the force of a challenge being issued to all that can hear.

34.  In fact, the verb John uses is khru,ssw – kerusso that means to act as a spokesman for the king; to make a solemn proclamation; to act as a herald.

35.  That an angel is used to make this challenge is designed in part to emphasize a real and central desire of the elect angelic host for a resolution to the A/C.

36.  This angel obviously functions on behalf of the Father and his question is designed to focus John’s attention on the scroll and its supreme importance as he proclaims, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?

37.  His question has been declared by some to be in reverse order, since one would naturally loose the seals first to open the scroll; however, the two infinitives that follow are likely equivalent thoughts.  Rev.5:7,9

38.  Alternately, one could translate the second infinitive as an instrumental participle, which would give the sense of Who is worthy to open the book by breaking its seals?

39.  His question about the worthiness of anyone to open the book not only has the nuance of worth based on rank or character (Joh.1:27,30), but also of power or capability as seen in the verb du,namai – dunamai/able) that is used in vs. 3.

40.  His question, loud as it was to express its importance and urgency, went unanswered as vs.3 then makes clear, “And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look into it”.

41.  John makes it totally clear that there was no one qualified in any portion of the universe or 3rd heaven to open it or examine its contents.

42.  The fact that there was no one in the 3rd heaven should immediately draw the students attention, since God Himself has been the primary subject at hand and would have had the character, rank, and power to open the book.

43.  This is obviously where the principle of the kinsman redeemer must be understood for a correct interpretation.

44.  Since this document is correctly understood to be God’s will and testament with respect to planet earth and all creation (Rev.4:11), He (according to the legal analogy) would not be able to open His own will.

45.  The symbolism here is that no action could be taken until the seals were broken in the proper, legal, and authoritative way by a bona fide heir.

46.  Further, one must recognize that all the might, power, glory, rank, character, and ability of angels did not qualify them to open the scroll; the rightful heir had to be human.

47.  The kinsman redeemer had to be one that is qualified to reclaim the lost inheritance, is human and someone that could redeem sinful mankind and restore his property.

48.  He could neither be an angel nor a sinful man, since that would disqualify him from being worthy.

49.  That the elements of qualification that this worth providing redemption resides only in Christ, are recorded in Rev.5:5-10.

50.  It was never God’s plan for the earth and the human race to be ruled by angels, and especially not by Satan and the fallen angels he controls.  Heb. 2:5,8,14-15

51.  It is probably not surprising that no one on the earth was qualified to open the book since that is the habitation of Satan, his demons, and sinful men.

52.  The last phrase under the earth would encompass everyone that had previously lived and died noting that not one of the greatest men of history could come close to being qualified to execute the contents of this document.

53.  The three phrases should then be taken together to indicate the universal knowledge about the fact that a qualified executor had not come forward.


EXEGESIS VERSES 4 – 5:

 

GNT Revelation 5:4 kai. e;klaion polu,( o[ti ouvdei.j a;xioj eu`re,qh avnoi/xai to. bibli,on ou;te ble,pein auvto,Å

 

NAS Revelation 5:4 And I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it;   kai, (ch)  e;klaion klai,w (viIPFa--1s; "I continually wept/began to weep/shed tears/cry")  polu,( polu,j (adv; "greatly/profusely"; indicative of intensive grief)  o[ti (causal conj.)  ouvdei,j (neg. card. adj./nm-s; "no one/not even one")  eu`re,qh eu`ri,skw (viap--3s; "was found")  a;xioj (a--nm-s; "worthy"; same as 5:2)  avnoi/xai avnoi,gw (misc. inf./aa; "to open")  to, bibli,on (d.a. + n-an-s; "the book")  ou;te (cc; ascensive; "not even")  ble,pein ble,pw (misc. inf./pa; "to look" into supplied for sense)  auvto,Å auvto,j (npan3s; ref. the book)

 

GNT Revelation 5:5 kai. ei-j evk tw/n presbute,rwn le,gei moi( Mh. klai/e( ivdou. evni,khsen o` le,wn o` evk th/j fulh/j VIou,da( h` r`i,za Daui,d( avnoi/xai to. bibli,on kai. ta.j e`pta. sfragi/daj auvtou/Å

 

NAS Revelation 5:5 and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping;   kai, (ch)  ei-j (card. adj./nm-s; "one")  evk (pAbl.; "from/of")  tw/n o`  presbute,rwn presbu,teroj (d.a. + ap-Ablm-p; "the elders")  le,gei le,gw (vipa--3s)  moi( evgw, (npd-1s; ref. John)  Mh, (neg. +)  klai/e( klai,w (vImp.pa--2s; "stop weeping/crying")    behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David,    ivdou, (part.; "behold")  o`  le,wn (d.a. + n-nm-s; "the Lion")  o` (d.a./nms; "the One/that is")  evk (pAbl)  th/j h` fulh/j fulh, (d.a. + n-Ablf-s; "the tribe/peoples/clan")  VIou,da( VIou,daj (n-gm-s; "of Judah")  h` r`i,za (d.a. + n-nf-s; lit. a" root"  of a plant; used Hebraistically of a descendant or offspring)  Daui,d( (n-gm-s; "of David")     has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals."   evni,khsen nika,w (viaa--3s; "has overcome/had tactical victory"; place forward in the Greek for emphasis)  avnoi/xai avnoi,gw (inf. of result/aa; "so as to open")  to, bibli,on (d.a. + n-an-s)  kai, (cc)  auvtou/Å auvto,j (npgn3s; ref. the book; "its")  ta.j h` (d.a./afp; +)  e`pta, (card. adj./af-p; +)  sfragi/daj sfragi,j (n-af-p; "the seven seals")

ANALYSIS VERSES 4 – 5:

1.      Realizing there was no one qualified to step forward and meet the angels challenge of vs.2, John is overcome emotionally and tells us, “And I began to weep greatly”.

2.      It is obvious that some time had transpired in anticipation of a response to the angel and after exhausting the potential resources of vs.3, John became emotionally distressed, “because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it”.

3.      John’s use of the imperfect (continual action) of the verb “weep” coupled with the adjective “greatly/polu,j – polus/great, much or many) has the nuance of “profusely” in this context.

4.      Some have translated this phrase “I wept and wept”, while the NET translates it as an ingressive as does our NAS, “I began to weep bitterly”.

5.      Both nuances are applicable and the matter of fact is that John openly and freely wept.

6.      The thrust of the Greek verb “weep/klai,w – klaio” focuses on tears that come from the source of extreme sorrow, pain or grief and is associated with lamenting or mourning (Joh.16:20; Rev.18:9,11,15,19).

7.      Two suggestions have been advanced by commentaries as to why John suddenly begins to weep:

A.     One view pictures that John was upset about the fact that the scroll could not be opened, his curiosity could not be satisfied and this deeply disturbed him to the point of tears.

B.     The other view states that John was maladjusted to the truth by virtue of his lack of understanding and this disorientation produced his sorrow.

C.     It is true that if a believer does not have sufficient doctrine in a particular area to provide the proper understanding that he can endure unnecessary sorrow as Mary and the disciples did.  Joh.11:32-33; 16:6

D.     The common denominator between both views is that both inscribe to John inappropriate behavior; the first implying a childish action and the second a spiritual disorientation.

8.      However, when one understands the nature of what is transpiring here, as John did, his tears were completely fitting and appropriate for the situation based on true spiritual orientation.

9.      He understood that this scroll was necessary to complete the eternal plan of redemption and that effectively the plan of God was now at a standstill, since the destiny of the creation remains sealed.

10.  This obviously gave him time to ponder the reality of man’s destiny.

11.  His weeping is designed to highlight the helpless estate of God’s creation, to include the elect angels of providing the resolution to the A/C.  Cp.Rom.5:6; Heb.2:16

12.  Due to the inability of anyone else in the entire universe to solve mankind’s problems, in a sense, he represents mankind’s experience of tears, pain, loss and sorrow under Satan’s domain.

13.  Apart from some intervention, the whole world was destined to lie in the power of the evil one as John described it in his first epistle and mankind would never enjoy the full benefits of salvation.  1Joh.5:19

14.  It is the doctrine in John’s soul in realization of the reprobation of mankind and the grace provided through one Man, Jesus Christ, as our only source of salvation that moves this Apostle to tears.

15.  John’s lament is then interrupted in vs.5, “and one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping’”.

16.  It is totally apropos that one of the elders now speaks up commanding John to “Stop weeping”.

17.  It is the elders that are representative of the resurrected Church now existing in their glorified bodies in full possession of the mind of Christ.

18.  This elder experientially is no longer bound by the helpless estate of finite fleshly man and represents the freedom for all believers in no longer finding sorrow or grief in contemplation of the realities of God’s plan.  Rev.21:4

19.  By using an elder to communicate to John in the event of his emotionally charged contemplation of the doctrine at hand, a fresh reality is presented to John.

20.  And that is that in the 3rd heaven, contemplations that we experience on earth causing emotional grief are finally removed and there is only a single focus on the triumphs of God’s plan.

21.  With that reality now before John, he is then able to regain emotional control as the elder points to the victory he is to focus on, “behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals”.

22.  The final Person introduced in this heavenly scene now takes center stage and is introduced as the One that has overcome reiterating the victory He has secured in the A/C.

23.  The force of the entirety of the elder’s words to John is not designed to fill in any theological gap in John’s thinking, but simply to reorient his emotions towards that which is totally edifying designed to bring +H.

24.  In other words, while the book of Revelation reveals the grim reality of fallen and negative man, it is further designed to encourage and comfort the believer knowing that its judgments will usher in victory in the A/C.

25.  This in turn will ultimately produce an eternal state that will never again give men reason to contemplate the sad state of affairs that came upon man.

26.  That the One now in view is Jesus Christ is made clear with all of the ascriptions/titles given to Him in our verse following with the ultimate title as the “Lamb” in vss.6ff

27.  That Christ has not been visible to John up to this point has been explained by some due to the fact that He was veiled by the great glory that proceeded from the Father.  Rev.4:3

28.  However, that Christ is in resurrection body, He could have just as easily made Himself invisible to John’s eyes.  Luk.24:31

29.  In either case, He is obviously separate from the One seated on the throne (vs.1) as He is seen to be standing (vs.6) and later comes and takes the book out of the right hand of the Father (vs.7).

30.  Again, this dramatic scene is designed to highlight the unique qualifications, power and legal right of Christ to open the scroll and execute its contents.

30.  While not expressed very well in the New American Standard, the verb “nika,w – nikao/overcome” follows the interjection behold and is placed forward in the sentence to emphasize its importance.

31.  This is readily understood to be a culminative aorist, which is used to stress the cessation of an action or state i.e., He has conquered completely and does not have to struggle any longer.

32.  The fact that He has overcome points to His tactical victory in the angelic conflict over Satan (Joh.12:31; 16:11), sin (Joh.1:29; Heb.4:15) and death (Rom.1:4; Rev.1:5,18).

33.  Part of his strategic victory included the disarming of God’s enemies and that all things were placed under His authority, guaranteeing His future inheritance and rule.  Col.2:15; Heb.2:8

34.  The aorist infinitive of “avnoi,gw – anoigo/to open is used to express the natural result of the main verb “nika,w – nikao/has overcome”, as opposed to the actual result, since He has not opened the scroll at the time of speaking.

35.  He is introduced by a combination of titles that are taken from the Old Testament, both of which are used of the future messianic deliverer.

36.  The first is taken from the prophecy of Jacob that is recorded in Gen.49:9-10, which formed the basis for the tribe of Judah taking the lion as their standard.

37.  First, this title denotes that the humanity of Messiah would come through the tribe of Judah and, more importantly, recognizes Jesus Christ as the ultimate king just as the lion is the king of the beasts.  Rev.15:3; 19:16

38.  This analogy with a lion is designed to convey several important truths about Christ:

  1. The lion is known for its incredible strength, pointing to His omnipotence.  Judg.14:18; Pro.30:30
  2. Its roar that is designed to strike fear into the hearts of His enemies about the matter of His impending judgments.  Jer.25:30
  3. Lions also do not kill when it is not necessary, only when there is a need; this is analogous to the fact that Christ will only execute the judgments of God when righteousness demands it.  Isa.5:16; 11:4; 16:4-5; Jer.11:20
  4. Further, the NAS’s translation “that is” is literally the definite article “o` - ho/the One” and points to this Lion as the definitive King as opposed to the counterfeit Satan that is also pictured as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  1Pet.5:8

39.  The second title has confused many interpreters that assume that the terms root and branch are interchangeable and mean the same thing.

40.  There are two different Hebrew terms for root and branch, just as there are in the Greek, and English languages.

  1. vr,vo – shoresh; root, which is used to emphasize the source of one’s existence, whether personal or corporate.  Jud.5:14; Isa.11:1
  2. rc,nE – netser; branch; which means branch, shoot, or sprout and emphasizes that which comes from the one as a descendant.  Isa.11:1; Dan.11:7
  3. r`i,za – hriza; root, is also used metaphorically to refer to the cause, reason, origin, or source.  ITim.6:10; Rev.22:16
  4. klh/ma – klema; branch; is used only 4 times in the New Testament and only in a metaphorical sense to refer to believers.  Joh.15:2-6

41.  When Christ is referred to as the Root of David, it is to emphasize His deity, which created David and to whom David owes his existence.

42.  When He is referred to as the branch or offspring of David it is designed to emphasize His humanity and the fact that He is the One that will fulfill the particulars of the Davidic Covenant.

43.  When we see Him as both the root and offspring of David, it is designed to emphasize both His deity and humanity; the total person of the hypostatic union.  Rev.22:16

44.  It is the root of Jesse and the branch of David that will ultimately establish the Millennial kingdom that is characterized by peace and understanding.  Isa.11:1-10

45.  It is interesting to note that there is an historical progression of the revelation of person of Christ, beginning with the prophecy in Genesis, moving to His relationship with David, and culminating with His work and His appearance in history as the lamb of God.  Joh.1:29

46.  Jesus Christ is worthy as the One whose lineage proves that He is:

  1. The Son of David, who has title to the throne of David.
  2. The Son of Abraham, the promised seed who has title to the land grant of the Abrahamic Covenant.
  3. The Son of Man, who was destined to rule over the world and has title deed to the earth.
  4. The Son of God, who is the Heir of all things.

47.  The elder focuses John on the One that has the proper credentials in His human lineage and has the proper ability and power in His Person that is qualified to open the scroll and execute the provisions of the document.

48.  Some have suggested that the distinction between opening the scroll and opening the seals is that the former refers to Christ’s authority and right to reveal the prophecies of this book to John and to the church, while the latter focuses on His authority to break the seals and unleash the judgments of Daniel's 70th week.


EXEGESIS VERSES 6 – 7:

 

GNT Revelation 5:6 Kai. ei=don evn me,sw| tou/ qro,nou kai. tw/n tessa,rwn zw,|wn kai. evn me,sw| tw/n presbute,rwn avrni,on e`sthko.j w`j evsfagme,non e;cwn ke,rata e`pta. kai. ovfqalmou.j e`pta. oi[ eivsin ta. Îe`pta.Ð pneu,mata tou/ qeou/ avpestalme,noi eivj pa/san th.n gh/nÅ

 

NAS Revelation 5:6 And I saw (corrected) in between the throne and the four living creatures, also in the midst of the elders,   Kai, (cc)  ei=don o`ra,w (viaa--1s)  evn (pL +)  me,sw| me,soj (ap-Ln-s; "in the midst/middle of")  tou/ o` qro,nou qro,noj (d.a. + n-gm-s)  kai, (cc)  tw/n o` tessa,rwn te,ssarej (d.a. + card. adj./gn-p; "of the four")  zw,|wn zw/|on (n-gn-p; "living creatures/beings")  kai, (adjunct. conj.; "also")  evn (pL +)  me,sw| me,soj (ap-Ln-s; "in the midst of")  tw/n o` presbute,rwn presbu,teroj (d.a. + ap-gm-p; "the elders")    a Lamb standing, as if slain,   avrni,on (n-nn-s; "a little lamb"; diminutive of avrh,n - aren/sheep/lamb"; used 30x and only in John's writings; 1x in the gospel of baby believers [Joh.21:15]; all other times in Rev. and metaphorically, 1x of the false prophet [Rev.13:11], all other times of Christ; further note the this is in the nominative case [the subject] rather than the accusative case as the object of "saw")  e`sthko.j i[sthmi (adj. ptc./PF/a/nn-s; "standing"; with existing results)  w`j (compar.conj.; "as/in such a way as if")  evsfagme,non sfa,zw (adj. ptc./PF/p/nn-s; "having been slain/slaughtered as a religious sacrifice"; used 10x and only in John's writings; 2x, 1Joh.3:12; 8x Rev.)    having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.   e;cwn e;cw(adj. ptc./p/a/nm-s; "having"; note the gender change from neuter to masculine)  e`pta, (card. adj./an-p; "seven")   ke,rata ke,raj (n-an-p; "horns"; lit. an animal horn; used symbolically of power and might, especially of ruling authority; used 11x; 1x, Luk.1:69; other 2x in Rev.)  kai, (cc)  e`pta, (card. adj./am-p; "seven")  ovfqalmou.j ovfqalmo,j (n-am-p; "eyes")  oi[ o[j (rel. pro./nm-p; "which")  eivsin eivmi, (vipa--3p)  ta. to, e`pta, (d.a. + card. adj./nn-p; "the seven")  pneu,mata pneu/ma (n-nn-p; "spirits"; ref. the Holy Spirit)  tou/ o` qeou/ qeo,j (d.a. + n-gm-s)  avpestalme,noi avposte,llw (adj. ptc./PF/p/nm-p; "having been sent/commission")  eivj (pa; "into")  pa/san pa/j (a--af-s; "all")  th.n h` gh/nÅ gh/ (d.a. + n-af-s; "the earth")

 

GNT Revelation 5:7 kai. h=lqen kai. ei;lhfen evk th/j dexia/j tou/ kaqhme,nou evpi. tou/ qro,nouÅ

 

NAS Revelation 5:7 And He came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.  kai, (cc)  h=lqen e;rcomai (viaa--3s; "He came"; ref. the Lamb)  kai,(cc)  ei;lhfen lamba,nw (viPFa--3s; "He took/received it"; existing results)  evk (pAbl)  th/j h` dexia/j dexio,j (d.a. + ap-Ablf-s; "the right hand")  tou/ o` kaqhme,nou ka,qhmai (subs. ptc./p/d/gm-s; "of Him who sat/the One sitting")  evpi, (pg)  tou/ o` qro,nouÅ qro,noj (d.a. + n-gm-s)

ANALYSIS VERSES 6 – 7:

 

1.      While on the surface the grammar of vs.6 might suggest that the Lamb John now sees is in the middle or midst of the throne, the parenthetical insert by the NAS rightly recognizes Jesus Christ is not literally inside the throne, but simply close to it.

2.      The corrected translation “And I saw between the throne and the four living creatures, also in the midst of the elders” makes clear that Christ is between the throne and four living creatures, which is also center of the 24 elders.

3.      This is further confirmed by the fact that He later comes toward the throne in order to take the scroll from the Father in vs.7.

4.      The reason that the Greek phrase evn me,sw| - en meso/in the midst/between is repeated is to emphasize the central place that the Lamb occupies with respect to the entire plan of God, the angels, and the Church.

5.      It denotes His person as inseparable and the hub of Whom the entirety of the POG revolves around.

6.      John formally sees Christ here for the first time since he was translated from earth to Heaven; however, this vision of the God/man is quite different from his initial vision on Patmos in chptr.1, where Christ appeared as one like a son of man.  Rev.1:13

7.      The various ways He is presented in this book are each significant and are designed to signify (indicate through a sign) some truth about His Person or work.

8.      While the vision in Rev.1 was designed to emphasize the glorified resurrected hypostasis, this vision is designed to focus us on His work as our substitutionary sacrifice.

9.      It is now His work in Person that is viewed as the qualifying mark making Him the inheritor of God’s testament qualified to open the scroll i.e., rei vindicatio and Kinsman redeemer.

10.  While these visuals of Christ are presented to John in image likeness as to actual appearance, they are not literal hard copies, but simply manifestations resembling these things designed to teach the realities about the person and work of Christ.

11.  One of the first things that should stand out to the exegete is the nominative cases of the noun and two participles in the following phrase, “a Lamb standing, as if slain”.

12.  This case of subject is in lieu of the accusative as the direct object of the verb “I saw”.

13.  This nominative of appellation is designed to appeal to the reader that the noun “Lamb” is to be seen as a proper name as indicated by its capitalizing in the NAS.

14.  It is used as a title for Christ another 28x out of 29 in the book of Revelation.

15.  The use of the nominative here is to introduce a constant reminder for the readers of this book with every instance of its use that apart from the work of Christ on the cross, there would be no one found worthy to open this scroll and advance the POG.

16.  The term that John uses for lamb is not the normal one we find in the gospels or epistles for Jesus Christ but is a diminutive better translated as “little  Lamb.

17.  This term is used to convey not only the docile nature of a young lamb, but its complete innocence.  Mat.11:29; Luk.23:47; Heb.7:26

18.  John’s view of Christ in this fashion undoubtedly would have recalled the very words of the teaching of John the Baptist as he proclaimed, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."   Joh.1:19

19.  These words summarize the very mission of Jesus at the 1st advent and give us a clue to understanding the significance of Jesus' death and resurrection.

20.  This teaching is grounded in the OT Levitical system of sacrifice that was designed to teach the doctrine of substitutionary atonement.

21.  In fact, there are two very significant references to the Lamb in the OT, both of which find their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

  1. The Passover lamb.  Exo.12:3-5,21
  2. The lamb metaphor of Isa.53:7-9.

22.  His sacrifice is clearly in view as seen in the phrase as if slain that is designed to symbolize His sacrifice, the marks of which are still on His resurrection body.  Joh.20:24-27

23.  Further, the Greek verb sfa,zw – sphazo/slain, is used most often of animals that were killed as a religious sacrifice by slitting the throat.

24.  Therefore, the symbolism in this chapter is designed to convey the spiritual realities that Jesus Christ, the root and offspring of David, is both the conquering and sovereign Messiah (the Lion of the tribe of Judah) and the suffering Messiah (the sacrificial Lamb).

25.  While the vast majority of believers at the 1st advent were not clear on how these two realities were related, both these aspects are discernable in the OT prophecies.  Isa.53 (1st Advent); Isa.63:1-6 (2nd Advent)

26.  The fact that the Lamb is standing is quite significant since it is designed to emphasize that although the Lamb had been slain, yet He now appeared very much alive through the principle of resurrection emphasizing eternal life.  Cp.Rev.1:18

27.  Beyond that, it is indicative of the fact that He has risen to His feet and is a definite sign that the process of subduing the Evil One is about to commence.  Psa.110:1; Act.3:19-21

28.  The perfect tenses of the two participles “standing” and “slain” indicate that Christ’s work on the cross and resurrection is a one time event with eternal and permanent results.  1Pet.3:18

29.  The next grammatical anomaly of this verse is introduced by the 3rd participle “having” that completes the description of Christ, “having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth”.

30.  This particular participle e;cw – echo, now assumes the natural case of the accusative as antecedent to the following descriptions of vs.7 and now also assumes a masculine gender with respect to Christ in contrast to the neuter gender of His titles as the Lamb.

31.  The theological teaching behind these changes is two-fold:

A.     Christ as a Lamb standing, as if slain is viewed only as Deity can now present Christ resurrected as present, yet dead from the past.

B.     Christ having seven horns and seven eyes views Christ as He is presented now in the present and as all literally view Him in reality.

C.     In other words, the neuter gender emphasizes Deity in its natural gender and the masculine gender emphasizes Christ’s physical humanity.

D.     In turn the nominative and accusative cases present Christ as both the subject and object of viewing.

E.      The subject is God the Son as a sacrifice, the object is the glorification of His humanity.

32.  The Greek is presented in such a way as it truly represents Christ in the hypostatic union.

33.  What John saw was literally God in the flesh the unique God/man.  Joh.1:14

34.  While the emphasis contextually is on His humanity as the sacrificial Lamb, grammatically it emphasizes His Deity as the subject in view.

35.  Vice versa, while the emphasis in the remainder of the verse contextually is on His “having” the attributes of Deity, grammatically it emphasizes His humanity.

36.  The grammar itself emphasizes the complete union and harmony of both His Deity and humanity together as dependent upon another in attributes, yet One in Person as necessary to qualify Christ as the Kinsman redeemer.

37.  Only a God/man can present Himself as one that was slain, yet lives, and One that is true humanity, yet inherent in His humanity possesses eternal life and all the power and omniscience necessary to impart that life to redeem the world.

38.  And it is His omnipotence and omniscience that His humanity now possesses in its glorified state that is the focus of the remainder of what John saw in vs.6b.

39.  In so many words, grammatically John is describing a scenario of Christ as it applied to the 1st Advent under kenosis and as it now applies in His glorified state that ushers in the 2nd Advent.

40.  John focuses first on the seven horns that we would conclude were on His head.

41.  Horns symbolize the concept of power and it is evident that horned creatures’ power or strength is viewed as residing in their horns.

42.  The number seven is designed to denote the principle of perfect or complete power and emphasizes that the slain Lamb is now in possession of omnipotence.

43.  During the incarnation, Jesus Christ could not simply tap into His deity and avail Himself of the power of God; however, the glorified God/man now possesses the attribute of omnipotence as part of His person and may exercise it as He sees fit.  Mat.28:18; Rom.1:4; Phi.3:21; Rev.11:17

44.  At the 1st Advent Jesus did not manifest the full nature of His power; when He comes as the Lion He will manifest His complete power over all that exists.

45.  Furthermore, this omnipotence must be expressed through His Deity (ac/neut./pl – horns) as even His glorified humanity by itself would be restricted in its expression.  Cp.Eze.1:16b that denotes Christ humanity in the 3rd heaven dependent upon His Deity (wheels in correlation to the living beings) in execution of His judgment.

46.  The fact that the Lamb has seven eyes is designed to demonstrate the reality that the glorified God/man also possesses the attribute of omniscience as a part of His person.

47.  Again, while it was true that He possessed all the fullness of Deity at the 1st Advent, He now can exercise these attributes at His will.

48.  Eyes are used in the WOG to denote intelligence, and this figure is designed to teach us about the complete wisdom and knowledge of the glorified God/man, particularly as it relates to judgment.

49.  The number seven is used once again to denote His comprehensive knowledge of all things, motives, etc. that render Him fully capable of executing righteous judgment on every person.  Joh.5:22,27; Rev.14:7

50.  The seven eyes are again identified for us as the seven Spirits of God, which is a comprehensive way of indicting the 3rd Person of the Godhead, God the Holy Spirit.

51.  This represents the fact that the Holy Spirit was given to Christ without measure (Joh.3:34) and while limited under kenosis (Mat.24:36), its full realization is now reality in His glorified state.

52.  This indicates that omniscience is now literally a part of His human abilities not solely dependent upon His Deity (ac/masc./pl – eyes), though it operates in tandem with His Deity.  Again, Cp.Eze.1:26b that correlates His humanity operating in tandem with His Deity in overseeing His judgment.

53.  The fact that these Spirits are sent out into all the earth is designed to convey the doctrine of eternal procession, the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that always views the Spirit as being sent out from the Father and the Son.  Joh.14:26; 15:26; 16:7; Act.2:33

54.  The perfect participle views the Holy Spirit as having been sent from God in the past with the present result that He continues to go into all the earth.

55.  It again indicates that at no time in history, including Daniel’s 70th week that God does not first provide grace via the communication of His word before He instills His judgment in wrath.

56.  As John continues to observe this scene, the Lamb now moves from His position “And He came, and He took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne”.

57.  While the actual Greek and English of vs.7 may not seem very profound, it is clear from what follows that this is one of the most eschatologically significant events.

58.  The fact that the Father released the scroll to the Lamb demonstrates His approval of the Lamb’s right or authority to take the scroll and proceed; it is His silent stamp endorsement of the Lamb as His qualified heir of testament.

59.  Once the Lamb has taken the scroll, there is nothing left but for Him to open the seals and set into motion the decreed events that will comprise Daniel's 70th week, which eventuate in the 2nd Advent.


 EXEGESIS VERSE 8:

GNT Revelation 5:8 kai. o[te e;laben to. bibli,on( ta. te,ssara zw/|a kai. oi` ei;kosi te,ssarej presbu,teroi e;pesan evnw,pion tou/ avrni,ou e;contej e[kastoj kiqa,ran kai. fia,laj crusa/j gemou,saj qumiama,twn( ai[ eivsin ai` proseucai. tw/n a`gi,wn(

 

NAS Revelation 5:8 And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, kai, (ch)  o[te (temp. conj.; "when")  e;laben lamba,nw (viaa--3s; "He had taken/received")  to,  bibli,on( (d.a. + n-an-s)  ta. to, te,ssara te,ssarej (d.a. + card. adj./nn-p; "the four")  zw/|a zw/|on (n-nn-p; "living beings/creatures")  kai, (cc)  oi` o` ei;kosi te,ssarej (d.a. + card.adj./nmp + card.adj./nm-p; "the twenty four")  presbu,teroi presbu,teroj (ap-nm-p; "elders")  e;pesan pi,ptw (viaa--3p; "fell down") evnw,pion (pg; "before/in front of")  tou/ to, avrni,ou avrni,on (n-gn-s; "the Lamb")  having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  e;contej e;cw (adj. ptc./p/a/nm-p; "having")  e[kastoj (ap-nm-s; "each one/individually/every singly one")  kiqa,ran kiqa,ra (n-af-s; "a harp/lyre”; a stringed triangular shaped musical instrument; used 4x)  kai, (cc)  crusa/j crusou/j (a--af-p; "golden")   fia,laj fia,lh (n-af-p; "bowls/shallow containers broad and flat"; used 12x and only in Rev.)  gemou,saj ge,mw (adj. ptc./p/a/af-p; "filled up with")  qumiama,twn( qumi,ama (n-gn-p; "incense/aromatic substances burned producing pleasant olfactory sensation"; used 6x)  ai[ o[j (rel. pro./nf-p; "which"; ref. the bowls)  eivsin eivmi, (vipa--3p)  ai` o` proseucai. proseuch, (d.a. + n-nf-p; "the prayers")  tw/n o` a`gi,wn( a[gioj (d.a. + ap-gm-p; "saints/holy ones"; obvious ref. to believers)

ANALYSIS VERSE 8:

 

1.      The eschatological gravity and significance of vs.7 is now expressed in vss.8-14 as it relates to the A/C and the Church.

2.      The timing of the event is keyed to the temporal conjuction “when/o[te – hote” immediately inserted in vs.8a, “And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb”.

3.      The Greek verb “taken/lamba,nw – lambano” can mean either to take or to receive and is quite fitting here since the Father has intentionally relinquished the scroll to the Son.

4.      It indicates that the time for the execution of God’s judgment upon the world is now at hand further indicating that this entire heavenly scene is designed to show the transition from the Church Age to Daniel’s 70th week.

5.      Upon Christ’s receipt of the scroll, instantaneously John observes the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders prostrating themselves in the presence of the Lamb in an act of humble worship.

6.      That the living beings and the elders are again operating in tandem looks to their representative symbolism of the entire angelic host and the Church in acknowledgment to Christ as the resolution to the A/C.

7.      They clearly recognize the importance of the scroll being given to the Son, and their worship is symbolic of the worship that all elect angels and redeemed men rightly offer to the Lamb.

8.      The fact that they are worshipping the Lamb and are not censured in any way is the supreme indication of the Deity of the Lamb of God, who now receives this honor in the presence of the Father.

9.      These two groups recognize that the greatest turning point in human history has been initiated to take place and they express their reverence for the Lamb by paying homage at His feet.

10.  This is designed to reinforce the truth that Christ is the unique celebrity of heaven and ought to occupy the same position of esteem in thinking of believers on earth.

11.  In vs.8b, John observes that the living beings and elders are now in possession of two pertinent objects, “having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense”.

12.  The grammatical question that arises in this verse concerns the plural subjects the four living creatures and the 24 elders, and whether or not both are in view in the adjective “e]kastojhekastos/each one”, which is the subject of the participle “e;cw –echw/having”.

13.  Some state that a problem exists in that the grammar is not conclusive, as the adjective “each one” can refer to both the living creatures and the elders or limited simply to the elders, who are the nearest antecedent masculine noun in this case.

14.  The most natural reading is that the living beings are included and without jumping through a bunch of hoops to justify the grammar, one only needs to recognize that the beings are angels whose revealed gender is masculine and John simply employs a participle encompassing the proper gender of both parties.

15.  Some that limit this just to the elders have further suggested that there is no verse in the OT or NT that suggests that angels have harps or sing (vs.9), which is clearly refuted in Isa.11:14 (of Satan) and Job 38:7.

16.  The biblical fact is that both musical instruments and singing are part of heavenly worship by both angels and man.

17.  The only other literal use of “harp” in Revelation indicates that this particular instrument is a sign of victory in the A/C, as it is seen being held by those victorious over the antichrist.  Rev.15:2

18.  That each one of the living creatures and elders possessed a harp indicates that their worship of Christ is in anticipation of the forthcoming victory the opening of the scroll ushers in.

19.  Instrumental musicians are further observed as part of priestly prophesying under David (1Chr.25:1,6) and is most befitting here in a scenario of angels and believers whose worship is tantamount to prophesying the Lamb’s upcoming victory in service to Him in His heavenly temple.

20.  During the time of the 1st and 2nd Temples, half of the 38,000 Levitical priests played on two types of harps, singing melodies that no one else was permitted to learn.

21.  This secret knowledge was passed from father to son until the destruction of the 2nd Temple and since that time the special knowledge of this music has been said to be hidden.

22.  Because of the sacredness of the music of the Temple instruments, many Orthodox Jewish communities do not use any instrumental music in their synagogues as a sign of mourning over the Temple.

23.  In our case, this instrument is employ to indicate that the knowledge of the scroll is no longer hidden and is being used to celebrate the occasion of Christ assuming His inheritance through His executive powers.  Psa.33:2-4

24.  While not stated explicitly, this further implies that there will be musical accompaniment to the various songs that will be sung in heaven.  Rev.5:9; 14:3; 15:3

25.  The second thing John notes are golden bowls full of incense that are immediately defined for us by John, “which are the prayers of the saints”.

26.  The King James Version here badly translates the term “fia,lh – phiale” as vials, but the term actually means a container that is broad and shallow in shape and is better translated bowls or deep saucers.

27.  Another grammatical issue arises in light of the fact that the relative pronoun o]j – hos actually refers to the bowls and not the word incense, which is neuter in gender.

28.  This is readily resolved by the fact that John is referring to the bowls and their contents as a collective whole just as we do in English.  “A bowl of cereal”

29.  The idea conveyed is that the bowls emphasize the act of prayer and the incense emphasizes the prayer’s content.  Cp.Exo.30:9; Lev.10:1

30.  The fact that the bowls are made of gold is designed to convey the Divine nature of prayer, as well as its supreme value to believers and to God.

31.  That the bowls are full emphasizes the extent and abundance of the prayers that are contained therein.

32.  The idea of prayers being represented as incense is nothing new in the scripture and was recognized by adjusted believers via their doctrinal understanding of the Tabernacle and the altar of incense.  Psa.141:2; Luk.1:10

33.  The imagery here is taken from the Tabernacle (later from the Temple) and specifically from the altar of incense that was located in the Holy Place just before the veil that separated it from the Most Holy Place.  Exo.30:1-8

34.  The typology of the altar of incense:

  1. The altar was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold illustrating the hypostatic union.
  2. The size of the altar 1 x 1 x 2 speaks of the Father and the Son and teaches that all prayer is to be directed to the Father through the Son.  Joh.16:23-24
  3. The purpose of the altar was burning incense, which is analogous to believers’ prayers as they both ascend upward to God.
  4. The correct ingredients in the correct proportion were all that God honored, which is designed to demonstrate the necessity of correct content in prayer.  Joh.15:7; Jam.4:3
  5. Offering strange incense is analogous to prayer that is composed of wrong content.
  6. The horns on the altar speak of the power of prayer.  Jam.5:16
  7. The fact that incense was to be offered regularly, morning and evening, teaches the necessity of consistence and persistence in prayer.  1The.5:17
  8. Incense was to be offered at the same time as the trimming of the wicks for the lampstand illustrating the need for rebound in prayer.  Mat.6:12
  9. The altar sat directly before the veil separating the holy place from the most holy place and indicates that the believer in time has access to the third Heaven via prayer.  Mat.6:9; Heb.4:16
  10. The priest burning incense typifies the believer in time offering up prayers that glorify God.

35.  The contents of the prayers of these saints are not disclosed, but the fact that they are brought up at this point indicates that they have something to do with the execution of the document that is the subject of this chapter.

36.  As some have suggested, these prayers are likely the prayers of believers begging God to judge Satan and his demons, liberate mankind, and free creation from its curse.

37.  This is in line with the types of prayers that Jesus Christ provided in the model prayer when He said Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  Mat.6:10

38.  The question now arises as to the identity of the saints, who are referenced here for the first time in this book.

39.  One question that must be addressed, which certainly goes a long way toward the interpretation, is whether these prayers are viewed as past actions or are to be viewed as currently occurring.

40.  If they are viewed as past events, then there is no reason to limit the term saints and it may be taken in its broadest sense as referring to all believers of all time.

41.  If they are prayers that are being offered as John observes this scene, the saints are limited to those believers alive on planet earth during Daniel's 70th week.

42.  This is the most natural sense of the term as it is seen in use with the present tense of the “to be” verb in the phrase “which are”.

43.  Further, we must remember that we are no longer in the Church Age, having resumed the final seven years of the Age of Israel.

44.  These prayers should then be viewed as prayers coming from adjusted +V believers during Daniel’s 70th week that seek the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, which will be ushered in with the breaking of the sealed document.  Cp.Rev.6:9-11


EXEGESIS VERSES 9 – 10:

 

GNT Revelation 5:9 kai. a;|dousin wv|dh.n kainh.n le,gontej( :Axioj ei= labei/n to. bibli,on kai. avnoi/xai ta.j sfragi/daj auvtou/( o[ti evsfa,ghj kai. hvgo,rasaj tw/| qew/| evn tw/| ai[mati, sou evk pa,shj fulh/j kai. glw,sshj kai. laou/ kai. e;qnouj

 

NAS Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book, and to break its seals;  kai, (cc)  a;|dousin a;|dw (vipa--3p; "they sang/are singing"; epistolary present; used 5x)  kainh.n kaino,j (a--af-s; "a new"; new in quality, not time) wv|dh.n wv|dh, (n-af-s; "song"; used 7x)   le,gontej( le,gw (circ. ptc./p/a/nm-p; "saying")  :Axioj (a--nm-s; "worthy")  ei= eivmi, (vipa--2s)  labei/n lamba,nw (compl. inf./aa; "to receive/take")  to, bibli,on (d.a. + n-an-s)  kai, (cc)  avnoi/xai avnoi,gw (compl. inf./aa; "to open/break/gain access")  auvtou/( auvto,j (npgn3s; ref. the book)  ta.j h` sfragi/daj sfragi,j (d.a. + n-af-p; "seals")     for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.   o[ti (causal conj.)  evsfa,ghj sfa,zw (viap--2s; "You were slain")  kai,(cc)  hvgo,rasaj avgora,zw (viaa--2s; "purchased/bought"; lit. to buy in the market place)  tw/| o` qew/| qeo,j (d.a. + n-dm-s)  evn (pI; "with")  sou su, (npg-2s; ref. the Lamb)  tw/| o` ai[mati, ai-ma (d.a. + n-In-s; "the blood/death"; denotes the price of purchase and tender used) "men" supplied  evk (pAbl)  pa,shj pa/j (a--gf-s; "every")  fulh/j fulh, (n-Ablf-s; "tribe/clan/family")  kai, (cc)  glw,sshj glw/ssa (n-Ablf-s; "tongue/language")  kai, (cc)  laou/ lao,j (n-Ablm-s; "people/race")  kai, (cc)  e;qnouj e;qnoj (n-Abln-s; "nation/country)

 

GNT Revelation 5:10 kai. evpoi,hsaj auvtou.j tw/| qew/| h`mw/n basilei,an kai. i`erei/j( kai. basileu,sousin evpi. th/j gh/jÅ

 

NAS Revelation 5:10 "And You made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth."  kai, (cc)  evpoi,hsaj poie,w (viaa--2s)  auvtou.j auvto,j (npam3p; ref. the accumulation of all peoples of vs.9) "to be" supplied  basilei,an basilei,a (n-af-s; "a kingdom")  kai, (cc)  i`erei/j( i`ereu,j (n-am-p; "priests")  h`mw/n evgw, (npg-1p; ref. living beings and elders)  tw/| o` qew/| qeo,j (d.a. + n-dm-s) kai, (cc)  basileu,sousin basileu,w (vifa--3p; "they will rule/reign/govern")   evpi, (pg)  th/j h` gh/jÅ gh/ (d.a. + n-gf-s; "the earth")

ANALYSIS VERSES 9 – 10:

 

1.      As a form of worship, the 4 living creatures and 24 elders now sing a praise hymn that is designed to proclaim the truth of BD.

2.      Singing, though not the primary form of worship, has been ordained for the local church to engage in as a form of communicating, teaching and exhorting one another with thankfulness for the doctrine in our souls.  Eph.5:19; Col.3:16

3.      This application of doctrine is not limited in time and will be a constant reality for all in Ph3.

4.      The song in view in vs.9 is prophetic in nature and gives the basis for praise given to the Lamb as John records the words, “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book, and to break its seals’”.

5.      The literary present of “singing/sang/a;dw – ado” further supports our premise that the saints in view in vs.8 are those existing in the present time of Daniel’s 70th week, since these in view are functioning also during this time, albeit in the 3rd heaven.

6.      The Greek adjective “kaino,j – kainos/new” does not refer to that which is new in time, but to that which is new in quality, unused or fresh.

7.      This song is only possible upon the conclusion of the CA based on the diversity of humanity in view as described in vs.9b and the future tense of “they will reign” in vs.10.

8.      Further, this song will always have the quality of being fresh and appropriate for every occasion hereto forth.

9.      The basis of the Lamb’s worthiness to receive/take the scroll and break it seals is found in the causal clause that follows introduced by the conjunction “o;ti – hoti/for or because”.

10.  This conjunction introduces 4 specific reasons that comprise the worthiness of Christ as stipulated in vs.9b-10:

A.     You were slain.

B.     And purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

C.     And you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God

D.     And they will reign upon the earth.

11.  These 4 reasons form a natural, historical and logical progression that begins with the work of Christ on the cross and culminates in the future reign of the Church during the Millennium.

12.  The first reason looks to the historic past and focuses on the cross and the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ as He bore the sins of the world.

13.  This perfectly fulfilled the typology of the Passover lamb and was clearly declared to be the purpose of the First Advent.  Joh.1:29

14.  The ritual of the Passover lamb and the fulfillment in Christ explained (Exo.12:3-13):

  1. The lamb was to be selected on the 10th day of the month; fulfilled by the triumphal entry on Monday of Passover week, when Jesus Christ presented Himself to the nation.  Luk.19:28-38
  2. The fact that the lamb has to be an unblemished male pointed to the reality that Jesus Christ had to be free from sin.  Joh.8:46; 2Cor.5:21
  3. Observing the lamb for four days typified that Jesus Christ would be observed during the Incarnation; this observation was designed to make certain that there was no defect in the lamb.
  4. Further, allowing the lamb to bond with the family was analogous to Jesus Christ “bonding” with humanity by becoming fully human.  Heb.2:14
  5. Cutting the lamb’s throat and allowing it to bleed to death portrayed the spiritual death of Christ.
  6. Applying the blood to the doorposts and lintel teach the doctrine of propitiation (the satisfaction of God’s righteousness).
  7. The roasting of the lamb was designed to convey the connection between the spiritual death of Christ and our expiation (removal of the guilt of sin) in judgment.
  8. Eating symbolizes faith in the person and work of Christ.
  9. Unleavened bread points to the absolute righteousness of Jesus’ humanity.
  10. The bitter herbs symbolize the sufferings of Christ, of which we become partakers.  2Cor.1:5; 1Pet.4:13
  11. The fact that it was not to be eaten raw or boiled teaches God’s rejection of various false forms of salvation apart from Divine judgment.
  12. That the lamb was to be prepared intact with its head and entrails was designed to teach the reality that the Christ was preserved bodily with His inner resources of Bible doctrine.  Joh.19:36
  13. The four-fold instructions for eating the Passover indicated that this was preparatory to another event, which teaches that salvation Ph1 is introductory to our service in Ph2.
  14. The death of the firstborn is designed to picture the second death.

15.  The actual Greek term for slain is the same verb that was used in vs.6 and emphasizes the actual slaughter of a sacrificial victim.

16.  The nature of His sacrifice as the Lamb of God is detailed in the prophetic passages about His substitutionary atonement on our behalf.  Isa.53:7 cp. Mat.26:63

17.  His sacrifice had the effect of purchasing mankind for God that is a reference to the doctrine of redemption.

18.  Redemption is the soteriological doctrine that is defined as purchasing back something that has been lost, by the payment of a ransom.

19.  People are redeemed from something; namely, from the marketplace or slavery to sin; people are redeemed by something; namely by the payment of a price, the blood of Christ; people are redeemed to something; namely, to a state of freedom.

20.  The human race is born with a sin nature/STA that each person inherits from Adam, by virtue of the genetic realities that govern procreation.  Rom.5:12-14

21.  This doctrine focuses on all mankind as residing in the slave market of sin (slaves to the STA and destined to a life of sin and death), who can only be freed by a qualified redeemer.

22.  In order to redeem fallen mankind, Christ had to be willing to pay the price for all the sins that had been committed in the slave camp. 

23.  The ransom price in this case is called the blood of Christ, a reference to His spiritual death on the cross where He effectively dealt with this issue of sins.  Mar.10:45; 1Pet.1:18-19

24.  In order to be qualified and accomplish this task, Jesus Christ had to be human, yet not be enslaved as the other members of the human race were, which was accomplished via the virgin birth and His impeccable life.

25.  Further, He had to be willing to redeem mankind through the payment of the required ransom.  Luk.22:42; Rom.5:19; Phi.2:8

26.  As He voluntarily offered His spiritual life to pay the penalty for sin that God’s righteousness demanded, He obtained eternal redemption.  Heb.9:12

27.  There is a sense in which all mankind has been set free from the slave market positionally; however, only those that accept their deliverance by placing their faith in Him enjoy the benefits of experiential forgiveness.  Eph.1:7; Col.1:14

28.  The believer in Jesus Christ has been redeemed from sin; this includes the penalty of sin (spiritual death), the power of sin (the domination of the STA), and ultimately the presence of sin (resurrection body minus an STA).

29.  The believer should also now recognize that life in the slave camp was futile and he has been delivered into that which constitutes life in its fullest sense.  1Pet.1:18; Joh.10:10; Gal.5:1

30.  While it is the soul of the believer that is redeemed at the point of salvation, this doctrine forms the basis for the redemption of the body.  Psa.34:22; Rom.8:23

31.  Redemption removes the condemnation that comes through the Mosaic Law.  Gal.3:10-13

32.  Our verse indicates that this accomplished redemption was executed on behalf of God Himself and looks at the experiential reality (rather than the potential) as seen in the statements of vs.10.

33.  The price of redemption is declared to be Your blood, just as Christ indicated in the ritual He established the night before His death.  Mat.26:28

34.  The particular recipients of the redemption that was provided in Christ are defined as men from every tribe, tongue/language, people, and nation.

35.  This all-inclusive grouping of words to denote the divisions of mankind is designed to convey the fact that there will be representatives from every conceivable category of humanity in the Church.

36.  It also celebrates our unique spiritual heritage as a nation among the nations, and demonstrates that there is no room for arrogance based on any supposed superiority of heritage, culture, etc.  Cp.Mat.21:43

37.  The song then concludes with an historical statement of fact that limits the emphasis to the Church as now applied as seen in the almost identical comments of Rev.1:6.

38.  The theological question that must be addressed in this verse has to do with the accusative of auvto,j –autos/them and how this group in view is to be identified.

39.  There are those that state that this accusative must be objective in nature, which would mean that the 24 elders do not include themselves among those that have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb.

40.  The fact that they speak of the membership of the Church in the 3rd person does not ipso facto mean that they are not part of that membership.

41.  In fact, the emphasis throughout this section is on the worthiness of the Lamb and when the 24 elders speak in the third person it is designed to avoid calling attention to themselves and to continue their celebration of His work.

42.  Further, while the 24 elders are leaders of the Church and have received some portion of their SG3, it is clear that the Church at large will not receive certain aspects of corporate SG3 until the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom. 

43.  This is made explicit by the use of the future tense they will rule upon the earth, which clearly indicates that they are not ruling at the time of speaking.

44.  This future reality concludes the redemptive plan of God that was set in motion when Christ voluntarily offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin, and these believers are now enjoying the ultimate freedom as they reign as a kingdom and priests on earth.

45.  Again, this song/passage is prophetic of the fact that the earthly domain of Satan that was forfeited by man at the fall, will ultimately be returned to mankind through Jesus Christ.


EXEGESIS VERSES 11 – 12:

GNT Revelation 5:11 Kai. ei=don( kai. h;kousa fwnh.n avgge,lwn pollw/n ku,klw| tou/ qro,nou kai. tw/n zw,|wn kai. tw/n presbute,rwn( kai. h=n o` avriqmo.j auvtw/n muria,dej muria,dwn kai. cilia,dej cilia,dwn

 

NAS Revelation 5:11 And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders;   Kai, (cc)  ei=don( o`ra,w (viaa--1s; "looked/saw")  kai, (cc)  h;kousa avkou,w (viaa--1s; "heard")  fwnh.n fwnh, (n-af-s; "voices/sounds") pollw/n polu,j (a--gm-p; "many")   avgge,lwn a;ggeloj (n-gm-p)  ku,klw| ku,klw| (pg; "all around")  tou/ o` qro,nou qro,noj (d.a. + n-gm-s)  kai, (cc)  tw/n o` zw,|wn zw/|on (d.a. + n-gn-p; "the living beings")  kai, (cc)  tw/n o` presbute,rwn( presbu,teroj (d.a. + ap-gm-p; "the elders")    and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,   kai, (cs)  o` avriqmo,j (d.a. + n-nm-s; "sum/total/number")  auvtw/n auvto,j (npgm3p; ref. the angels)  h=n eivmi, (viIPFa--3s)   muria,dej muria,j (n-nf-p; "myriads"; lit. 10,000s)  muria,dwn muria,j (n-gf-p; "of myriads"; i.e.; countless 10,000's)  kai, (cc)  cil;ia,dej cilia,j (n-nf-p; "thousands")  cilia,dwn cilia,j (n-gf-p; "of thousands"; countless 1000's; total number is  +millions)

 

GNT Revelation 5:12 le,gontej fwnh/| mega,lh|( :Axio,n evstin to. avrni,on to. evsfagme,non labei/n th.n du,namin kai. plou/ton kai. sofi,an kai. ivscu.n kai. timh.n kai. do,xan kai. euvlogi,anÅ

 

NAS Revelation 5:12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain   le,gontej le,gw (circ. ptc./p/a/nm-p; "saying") mega,lh|( me,gaj (a--If-s; "with a great/loud")  fwnh, (n-If-s)  :Axio,n a;xioj (a--nn-s; "Worthy")  evstin eivmi, (vipa--3s)  to, avrni,on (d.a. + n-Pred.nn-s; "the Lamb")  to, evsfagme,non sfa,zw (adj. ptc./PF/p/nn-s; "having been slain/sacrificed"; PF denotes once for all times)    to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."   labei/n lamba,nw (compl. inf./aa; "to receive")  th.n h` du,namin du,namij (d.a. + n-af-s; "the power/might/ability")  kai, (cc)  plou/ton plou/toj (n-am-s; "riches/wealth")  kai, (cc)  sofi,an sofi,a (n-af-s; "wisdom/intelligence") kai, (cc)  ivscu.n ivscu,j (n-af-s; "strength /force/might/power exercised") kai, (cc)  timh.n timh, (n-af-s; "honor/esteem/dignity bestowed")  kai, (cc)  do,xan do,xa (n-af-s; "glory")  kai, (cc)  euvlogi,anÅ euvlogi,a (n-af-s; "praise/blessing")

ANALYSIS VERSES 11 – 12:

1.      In anticipation of Christ establishing His Millennial reign, the praise and worship of the Lamb continues.

2.      John continues to observe the impressive scene before him and records, “And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders”.

3.      As we have pointed out, eyewitness testimony is the preferred method of validating facts and John does this some 45 times in this book, and 27 times he declares that I heard.

4.      This vast company of angels that John now sees and hears are definitely finite, but of such quantity not easily numbered, which is seen in fact that he says, “and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands”.

5.      The literal sense of the phrase is ten thousands of ten thousands and thousands of thousands with a sum total minimally referring to millions if not billions of angels.

6.      This great audience of angelic hosts now expands the expression of praise to Christ looking forward to the resolution of the A/C.

7.      While the song of the living beings and 24 elders in the previous verses was expressed in the 2nd person, the following statements that come from the multitude of angels are expressed in the 3rd person.

8.      This views the angels as an outside party viewing the POG as applied to history and mankind versus the elders and living beings representing the intimate association with Christ in execution of that history.

9.      Further, while the angels speak of His sacrifice, they do not mention anything about redemption since it does not apply to them.

10.  Many interpreters are adamant in saying that the angels now joined the song, but this is not what the text says as vs.12a makes clear, “saying with a loud voice”, indicating that their words are spoken and not sung.

11.  The surface language of vs.11 may give the impression that the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders are involved in this great statement, but they are not.

12.  The term voice is to be limited to the angels that have just been introduced and not to the two groups that follow in vs.11a.

13.  They are in the genitive because they are also the objects of the preposition “ku,klw| - kuklo/around/in a circle” picturing the angels as surrounding the throne, the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders in their entirety.

14.  One very important point is that the noun “fwnh, - phone/sound/voice” is singular, while those speaking are the plural company of innumerable angels.

15.  This is designed to express their unity and the fact that this very large throng speaks with a single voice in praise of the lamb.

16.  In fact, John is more interested in what they say than in the vast numbers of them as he immediately moves to the content of their comments.

17.  This group, speaking as one great voice, express their effusive (overenthusiastic) praise and adoration for Christ proclaiming, “‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing’”.

18.  It is certainly clear that John not only understood exactly what they were saying, he was able to write it down for posterity.

19.  This serves to contradict those that engage in the practice of the temporary gift of tongues, many of whom claim that there is some sort of angelic language they use based on their abuse of 1Cor.13:1.

20.  Those that advocate this non-biblical practice suggest that there is a heavenly language that the angels speak in that they can also do through their “gift of tongues”.

21.  In fact, in vs.9, the Greek term “tongue/glw/ssa – glossa” makes it clear that this term denotes a bona fide language and is the same term used to indicate the temporary gift of tongues.  1Cor.12:10,28,30; 13:1,8, etc.

22.  It is clear in this book that when angels speak they are readily understood by those they speak to and are not speaking in some incoherent and mysterious gibberish that cannot be understood by the hearer.  Cp.Rev.14:6-10; 10:9; 17:7; etc.

23.  Once again, they express the core truth that the worthiness of the Lamb is based on His spiritual sacrifice that provided the potential for all mankind to be saved.

24.  Very often, the Greek verb “sfa,zw – sphazo/slaughtered/slain” is used in a perfect tense to denote the fact that Jesus Christ still bears the marks of His sacrifice in His resurrection body as well as emphasizing its eternal consequence.

25.  Further, this constant reference to His sacrifice is designed to point to His humanity, in which He bore our sins on the cross.  1Pet.2:24

26.  One should not lose sight of the momentous nature of this assembly i.e., the Lamb in His humanity is now beginning to receive the glory that has historically been reserved for God alone.

27.  What follows is a sevenfold series of things that the Lamb is worthy to receive, which are all governed by a single definite article in order to tie these individual items together as one group.

28.  In other words, the Lamb is not only worthy to receive each thing mentioned; He is worthy to have the entire package.

29.  The first term “du,namij – dunamis/power” refers to inherent ability or capability to succeed by virtue of having the necessary strength, skill, resources, etc.

30.  The ability in view is the absolute ability of God to accomplish all that He determines to do with this capability now fully residing in the glorified Lamb and which He is about to use to take possession of His inheritance

31.  The second term “plou/toj – ploutos/riches” refers to an abundance of external possessions and is used of both material wealth and spiritual wealth.  Mat.13:22; Rom. 2:4

32.  The true wealth is the riches of the glory of God (Rom. 9:23) that is now embodied in the glorified Lamb, who possesses all the riches of the Divine essence in His person.

33.  The 3rd thing that the Lamb is worthy to receive is seen in the Greek term “sofi,a –sophia/wisdom” that refers to the ability to use knowledge to arrive at and execute the proper course of action.

34.  The wisdom of God refers to His omniscience, His knowledge of all things past, present, and future and this faculty now is given full expression in the glorified God/man with the wisdom of His humanity in tandem with His Deity.

35.  The 4th term is “ivscu,j – ischus” often translated by the words strength, power, or might, and refers to the strength or force that is necessary to effect an outcome.

36.  While there may be some overlapping of meaning between this term and the first one, both are definitely related to the Divine attribute of omnipotence.

33.  The 5th term is “timh, - time/honor” that basically denotes the worth ascribed to a person with recognition of the person’s value by virtue of His qualities, attributes, rank, or office, and can include the ideas of respect and reverence.

34.  The 6th  term “do,xa – doxa/glory” first means an opinion, a judgment or view, then an estimate, whether good or bad, about someone, and the resulting praise, honor, or glory.

35.  While there is a sense in which the word refers to the overt splendor, majesty, and brilliance of something that makes it attractive, the sense here is to be taken as the overt praise, glory, distinction, or renown that is accorded to a person.

36.  When it is coupled with the noun honor, as it is here, the Greeks thought that it denoted the splendid condition of the estimate of one’s value and the overt recognition of it (paid honor).

37.  The final term in our list is “euvlogi,a – eulogia/blessing” that literally means good or fair speech that was designed to praise, laud, or bless another person.

38.  Certainly Jesus Christ is worthy to receive every accolade that every creature ever offers Him since by Him all things were created—all things have been created by Him and for Him, and in Him all things hold together.  Col.1:16-17

39.  As the eternal Creator, God the Son then took upon Himself humanity in order to redeem those that had been lost in the fall.

40.  He perfectly fulfilled every detail of God’s plan and is rightly exalted to the right hand of the Father and this seven-fold set of blessings is given to Him.

41.  This is part of His SG3, the fact that God also highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name.  Phi.2:9

42.  While that exaltation began with His resurrection and ascension, certain physical aspects of His exaltation await the resurrection of the Church and the reception of God’s will and testament.

43.  There is nothing recorded in the WOG that indicates that this type of overt glorification of Christ is occurring in Heaven at this time, again suggesting that this all awaits the conclusion of the C/A and the assembly of the Royal Family in Heaven.


EXEGESIS VERSES 13 – 14:

GNT Revelation 5:13 kai. pa/n kti,sma o] evn tw/| ouvranw/| kai. evpi. th/j gh/j kai. u`poka,tw th/j gh/j kai. evpi. th/j qala,sshj kai. ta. evn auvtoi/j pa,nta h;kousa le,gontaj( Tw/| kaqhme,nw| evpi. tw/| qro,nw| kai. tw/| avrni,w| h` euvlogi,a kai. h` timh. kai. h` do,xa kai. to. kra,toj eivj tou.j aivw/naj tw/n aivw,nwnÅ

 

NAS Revelation 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them,  kai, (cc)  pa/n pa/j (a--an-s; "every")  kti,sma (n-an-s; "created thing/creature"; used 4x)  o] o[j (rel. pro./nn-s; "which")  evn (pL)  tw/| o` ouvranw/| ouvrano,j (d.a. + n-Lm-s; "the heaven")  kai, (cc)  evpi, (pg)  th/j` h` gh/j gh/ (d.a. + n-gf-s; "the earth")  kai, (cc)  u`poka,tw (pg; "under/below/beneath")  th/j h` gh/j gh/ (d.a. + n-gf-s)  kai, (cc)  evpi, (pg)  th/j h` qala,sshj qa,lassa (d.a. + n-gf-s; "the sea")  kai, (cc)  ta. to, pa,nta pa/j (d.a. + ap-an-p; "all things")  evn (pI)  auvtoi/j auvto,j (npLn3p; "them"; in these things; all animate life)  I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb,    h;kousa avkou,w (viaa--1s)  le,gontaj( le,gw (circ. ptc./p/a/am-p)  Tw/| o` kaqhme,nw| ka,qhmai (d.a. + subs. ptc./p/d/dm-s; "To the One sitting"; ref. the Father) evpi, (pd)  tw/| o` qro,nw| qro,noj (d.a. + n-dm-s)  kai, (cc)  tw/| to, avrni,w| avrni,on (d.a. + n-dn-s; "the Lamb")    be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."   "be" supplied   h` euvlogi,a (d.a. + n-nf-s; "the blessing/praise")  kai, (cc)  h`  timh, (d.a. + n-nf-s; "the honor")  kai, (cc)  h` do,xa (d.a. + n-nf-s; "the glory")  kai, (cc)  to, kra,toj (d.a. + n-nn-s; "the sovereignty/ dominion/power of rule over")  eivj (pa +)  tou.j o`  aivw/naj aivw,n (d.a. + n-am-p+)  tw/n o` aivw,nwnÅ aivw,n (d.a. + n-gm-p; "into the ages of the ages/forever and ever")

 

GNT Revelation 5:14 kai. ta. te,ssara zw/|a e;legon( VAmh,nÅ kai. oi` presbu,teroi e;pesan kai. proseku,nhsanÅ

 

NAS Revelation 5:14 And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.  kai, (cc)  ta. to, te,ssara te,ssarej (d.a. + card. adj./nn-p)  zw/|a zw/|on (n-nn-p; "beings")  e;legon( le,gw (viIPFa--3p; "kept saying")  VAmh,nÅ (part.; "I believe/Amen") kai, (cc) oi` o` presbu,teroi presbu,teroj (d.a. + ap-nm-p)  e;pesan pi,ptw (viaa--3p; "fell down")  kai, (cc)  proseku,nhsanÅ proskune,w (viaa--3p; "worshipped")

ANALYSIS VERSES 13 – 14:

1.      What began as a song from the living creatures and 24 elders widening to a chorus of praise by the elect angels, now develops into a ceremony producing a compiled universal praise for the Lamb.

2.      The essence of this final praise looks to the prophetic fulfillment of the combined praises and finalization of Christ’s rule as emphasized in the term dominion indicating the establishing of His kingdom.

3.      Further, John does not indicate any visual experience regarding this praise as with the first two sets of participants, only that he “heard” them.  Vs.13b

4.      This implies that these participants are to be viewed as residing as part of the earthly scene in reality, even though they may be mentioned as currently being in the 3rd heaven.

5.      This final audience in view are now described for us by John as being, “And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them”.

6.      In interpreting the identification of God’s creation in view, first one must realize that the adjective “pa,j – pas/every” does not always refer to the totality of things.

7.      This is evidenced by the fact that the living beings and elders are involved in their own function of worship in vs.14 as an aside to the events of vs.13.

8.      The totality of the subjects in view in vs.13 is restricted to the term “kti,sma – ktisma/created thing”.

9.      This noun is used only 4x in the NT and the other 3x is restricted to animate life as applied to fauna and flora (1Tim.4:4, context of dietary code; Rev.8:9, animal life) and in reference to humanity as God’s creatures (Jam.1:18).

10.  As we would expect, every created thing which is in heaven looks to the Church that currently is in heaven during the period of the tribulation, but is now pictured prophetically in giving praise in conjunction with Christ’s Kingly ordination on terra firma.

11.  They are then seen in correlation with all other humanity and animate life on planet earth, under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them.

12.  This looks to the surviving believers of the tribulation in harmony with creation itself in conjunction with the resurrected Church in giving the Lamb glory for His victory.

13.  No matter where animate life may reside, they will in unison acknowledge the new reign of Christ on earth.

14.  That animate life of lower creation is also viewed as participating is seen in the masculine gender of the participle “I heard saying” that personifies them as welcoming this new event.

15.  The Bible makes clear that all of creation has been subjected to futility as a result of man’s fall and the curse upon the environment.  Gen.3:17 cp. Rom.8:18-22

16.  As Roman’s makes clear, even the environment and its creation eagerly waits for the event of the 2nd Advent and are further personified as being enslaved desiring freedom from the curse.

17.  The world of animate creatures will respond favorably to the reign of Messiah as the curse is lifted during His Millennial rule.  Isa.11:6-9; 65:25

18.  As the lower creation has suffered the agonies of being corrupted by the rule of Satan, his stain will be permanently removed from the animal kingdom.

19.  The words of praise personified and real are now directed “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” ascribing the same worship to the Lamb as is given to the Father.

20.  Again, this is unequivocal proof of the Divinity of the Lamb.

21.  The language used for praise in vs.13 is very similar to what the angels ascribed to Christ in vs.12, with one new term being employed, “be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever”.

22.  The 1st term in this verse, which was the final term in the previous verse, “euvlogi,a – eulogia/blessing”, literally means good or fair speech that was designed to praise, laud, or bless another person.

23.  The Father and the Son are worthy of every ascription of praise and verbal honor that can be bestowed on them by virtue of their exalted person and work.

24.  The 2nd term “honor” again denotes the worth ascribed to a person, recognition of the person’s value by virtue of His qualities, attributes, rank, or office, and can include the ideas of respect and reverence.

25.  The Father and the Son are worthy of the highest estimation that one can imagine; apart from their will nothing would exist.

26.  The 3rd term “glory” first means an opinion, a judgment or view, then an estimate, whether good or bad, about someone, and the resulting praise, honor, or glory.

27.  While there is a sense in which the word refers to the overt splendor, majesty, and brilliance of something that makes it attractive, the sense here is to be taken as the overt praise, glory, distinction, or renown that is accorded to a person.

28.  When it is coupled with the noun honor, as it is here, the Greeks thought that it denoted the splendid condition of the estimate of one’s value and the overt recognition of it (honor that was overtly expressed).

29.  The 4th and added term “kra,toj – kratos” is translated by the terms might, power, strength and dominion.

30.  The term is another one of the Greek words that denotes the principle of power and specifically, this term focuses on the power to rule wisely, to administrate a kingdom.

31.  This term can also indicate the power necessary to get possession of something, to obtain something, and emphasizes the fact that the Lamb is destined to prevail over the rebellion of mankind and Satan and visibly take control of the government of the earth.

32.  The final phrase, “forever and ever” is designed to denote the fact that this is no temporary condition and that the Father and the Son are worthy to receive these honors now and for all eternity.

33.  Vs.14 contains the final words and actions to this ceremony of praise as John notes, “And the four living creatures kept saying, ‘Amen.’ And the elders fell down and worshiped.

34.  As earlier indicated, it is apparent that these have not been involved in the universal worship of vs.13.

35.  This is totally apropos as the living beings are viewed as part of the angelic host and further, the silence of the elders in this case denotes prophetically that their verbal praise as a part of this universal scene too is reserved to await their return to planet earth.

36.  The living being’s response is simply to keep saying “Amen” repeatedly, a term that is derived from the Hebrew “!mea' – amen”, and expresses a certain affirmation in response to what has been said as that which “I believe”.

37.  It is simply transliterated into the Greek “avmh,n – amen”, and is usually translated by the Greek form “ge,noito – genoito” that has the nuance of “so be it” or “let it become so”.

38.  It is a used as a particle of strong affirmation and personal assent to what has been said, and as seen is used to indicate the belief that this is the way it should be.

39.  The compilation of total universal praise went from the representatives of the throne and the Church, to the entire angelic host to culminate with the entirety of the Church and all other surviving believers of the tribulation to include animate creation itself.

40.  Further, it is noted that there is no stray voice, no dissent, and no division as all are united together in praise and worship for the Father and the Lamb.

41.  This emphasizes that true peace, harmony, freedom and worship comes in the form of like-mindedness to the truth of BD.