“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.”
King James Version (KJV)
5:1 And I saw - This is a continuation of the same narrative. In the right hand - The emblem of his all - ruling power. He held it openly, in order to give it to him that was worthy. It is scarce needful to observe, that there is not in heaven any real book of parchment or paper or that Christ does not really stand there, in the shape of a lion or of a lamb. Neither is there on earth any monstrous beast with seven heads and ten horns. But as there is upon earth something which, in its kind, answers such a representation; so there are in heaven divine counsels and transactions answerable to these figurative expressions. All this was represented to St. John at Patmos, in one day, by way of vision. But the accomplishment of it extends from that time throughout all ages. Writings serve to inform us of distant and of future things. And hence things which are yet to come are figuratively said to be written in God's book; so were at that time the contents of this weighty prophecy. But the book was sealed. Now comes the opening and accomplishing also of the great things that are, as it were, the letters of it. A book written within and without - That is, no part of it blank, full of matter. Sealed with seven seals - According to the seven principal parts contained in it, one on the outside of each. The usual books of the ancients were not like ours, but were volumes or long pieces of parchment, rolled upon a long stick, as we frequently roll silks. Such was this represented, which was sealed with seven seals. Not as if the apostle saw all the seals at once; for there were seven volumes wrapped up one within another, each of which was sealed: so that upon opening and unrolling the first, the second appeared to be sealed up till that was opened, and so on to the seventh. The book and its seals represent all power in heaven and earth given to Christ. A copy of this book is contained in the following chapters. By the trumpets, contained under the seventh seal, the kingdom of the world is shaken, that it may at length become the kingdom of Christ. By the vials, under the seventh trumpet, the power of the beast, and whatsoever is connected with it, is broken. This sum of all we should have continually before our eyes: so the whole Revelation flows in its natural order.
Re 5:1,2 The Book with Seven Seals SUMMARY OF REVELATION 5: The Book in the Hand of God. John's Grief Because No One Can Open It. The Assurance of the Elder. The Lamb That Had Been Slain. The New Song. The Grand Chorus of Angels, Elders, and Living Creatures. And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book. The book is in the right hand of God. It is not a printed book, such as we have one our shelves. There were no printed books then in existence. It is a manuscript, written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. Written upon both sides, and rolled together in the form of a scroll, and sealed with seven seals. We learn, what is recorded in the next chapter, that these seals were so arranged that when they were loosened in succession each one permitted a part of the book to be read. Possibly there were seven leaves to the book, since as each seal was loosed, a leaf of the book was revealed. The parchment was written on each side; the book was full, complete, nothing more to be added to what it contained. This sealed book is the book of the future, sealed to human vision, unknown even to the angels of heaven, and containing the record of "what shall be hereafter", to the end of time (Re 1:19).