Revelation of John 5A book; a scroll, written on both sides to denote the fulness of its contents, rolled up and sealed with seven seals. Compare Eze 2:9,10. The successive opening of the seals represents the gradual unfolding of the counsels of God in the history of this world. This represented the purposes of God with regard to events which were future, and which no one could know except God, and those to whom he should reveal them. Loose the seals; so as to read the book, and make known the events described in it. No one can understand the designs of infinite love, except so far as Christ shall reveal them. All should therefore look to him as their prophet, as well as their priest and king; that by his word they may be made wise to salvation, and be furnished thoroughly for every good work. Look thereon; so as to learn what it contained. The Lion of the tribe of Juda; Christ, who sprung from the tribe of Judah, and unites in himself the attributes of the lion and the lamb.The Root of David; see note to chap Re 22:16.Hath prevailed; literally, hath conquered. He has conquered death and hell, been exalted to the right hand of God, and received all power in heaven and earth, in which is included the right to unseal the book of God's decrees. Seven horns; the symbol of perfect power.Seven eyes; the symbol of perfect knowledge. They are immediately explained to mean the seven spirits of God; that is, the Holy Spirit in his fulness of wisdom, sent forth by the Father and the Son. Joh 14:16,26; Joh 15:26; 16:7; Ac 2:33. Exceedingly diverse as well as infinite glories unite in the Son of God: the lion and the lamb; power and meekness; riches and poverty; authority and subjection; majesty and love; dignity and condescension; justice and mercy; holiness and grace. The four beasts and four and twenty elders; here, as in verse Re 5:14, and in chapter Re 4:9,10, the four living ones begin the adoration of God, and then the four and twenty elders follow.Golden vials; rather, golden bowls or goblets. The harps, the bowls, and the new song seem to belong to the elders, and not to the four living creatures. Compare verse Re 5:14, where the worship of the four living creatures is distinguished from that of the four and twenty elders.Which are the prayers; showing the acceptableness to God of humble, believing, affectionate, and fervent prayer. A new song; the song of redeeming love, through the atonement and righteousness of Christ. Kings and priests; see note to chap Re 1:6.On the earth; ultimately over all the earth, and for ever in heaven. Many angels; they are distinct from the four living creatures, though in a certain sense, included in them as a part of God's universal creation, just as the multitudes of the redeemed in chap Re 7:9; 14:1; 15:2; 19:6, are included in the four and twenty elders, who represent the entire church of God in all ages. Power--blessing; let the reader notice the seven ascriptions--power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, blessing--which represent the fulness of adoration given to the Lamb, because in him dwells the fulness of the godhead. Every creature; the song of adoration that began with the living creatures and elders, and was then taken up by the angels, now spreads itself through the whole created universe; and as the echo of it comes back to the throne of God, the living creatures say, Amen, and the elders fall down and worship. In paying divine honors to Christ, Christians on earth imitate saints and angels in heaven, and prepare to mingle in their society, join in their employments, and partake of their joys for ever.
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