Chapter 5

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1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Commentary for Revelation 5

A book sealed with seven seals, which could be opened by none but Christ, who took the book to open it. (1-7) Upon which all honour is ascribed to him, as worthy to open it. (8-14)1-7 The apostle saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, a roll of parchments in the form usual in those times, and sealed with seven seals. This represented the secret purposes of God about to be revealed. The designs and methods of Divine Providence, toward the church and the world, are stated, fixed, and made a matter of record. The counsels of God are altogether hidden from the eye and understanding of the creature. The several parts are not unsealed and opened at once, but after each other, till the whole mystery of God's counsel and conduct is finished in the world. The creatures cannot open it, nor read it; the Lord only can do so. Those who see most of God, are most desirous to see more; and those who have seen his glory, desire to know his will. But even good men may be too eager and hasty to look into the mysteries of the Divine conduct. Such desires, if not soon answered, turn to grief and sorrow. If John wept much because he could not look into the book of God's decrees, what reason have many to shed floods of tears for their ignorance of the gospel of Christ! of that on which everlasting salvation depends! We need not weep that we cannot foresee future events respecting ourselves in this world; the eager expectation of future prospects, or the foresight of future calamities, would alike unfit us for present duties and conflicts, or render our prosperous days distressing. Yet we may desire to learn, from the promises and prophecies of Scripture, what will be the final event to believers and to the church; and the Incarnate Son has prevailed, that we should learn all that we need to know. Christ stands as Mediator between God and both ministers and people. He is called a Lion, but he appears as a Lamb slain. He appears with the marks of his sufferings, to show that he pleads for us in heaven, in virtue of his satisfaction. He appears as a Lamb, having seven horns and seven eyes; perfect power to execute all the will of God, and perfect wisdom to understand it, and to do it in the most effectual manner. The Father put the book of his eternal counsels into the hand of Christ, and Christ readily and gladly took it into his hand; for he delights to make known the will of his Father; and the Holy Spirit is given by him to reveal the truth and will of God.

8-14 It is matter of joy to all the world, to see that God deals with men in grace and mercy through the Redeemer. He governs the world, not merely as a Creator, but as our Saviour. The harps were instruments of praise; the vials were full of odours, or incense, which signify the prayers of the saints: prayer and praise should always go together. Christ has redeemed his people from the bondage of sin, guilt, and Satan. He has not only purchased liberty for them, but the highest honour and preferment; he made them kings and priests; kings, to rule over their own spirits, and to overcome the world, and the evil one; and he makes them priests; giving them access to himself, and liberty to offer up spiritual sacrifices. What words can more fully declare that Christ is, and ought to be worshipped, equally with the Father, by all creatures, to all eternity! Happy those who shall adore and praise in heaven, and who shall for ever bless the Lamb, who delivered and set them apart for himself by his blood. How worthy art thou, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of our highest praises! All creatures should proclaim thy greatness, and adore thy majesty.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Revelation 5

  • who are the 24 Elders in Rev.5:8, Why are they particularly significant to us?
  • Chris - in Reply on Revelation 5:8
    Ted, this is actually a very good question & I'm unsure whether an accurate answer can be given, simply because there's not a lot of information given, apart from what is learnt in Revelation.

    If I look at each of the references on these 24 Elders, we see: they sat around God's Throne, in white raiment, wearing gold crowns. Jesus was seen in the midst of the Elders. They knew the people arrayed in white who stood around the Throne as those coming out of great tribulation. They were redeemed by God, so experienced His Salvation. They always fell before the Throne in adoration & worship.

    What then do we make of their origin? Taking those Scriptures that speak of them, it seems that they could have comprised those saints of old (whether patriarchs, or apostles, or special leaders of the Churches). They wore crowns, of which Paul, Peter, James & John speak of in: Phil 4:1; 1 Thes 2:19; 2 Tim 2:5, 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Pet 5:4; Rev 2:10, signifying that they were recognized for their faithfulness & ministry on Earth. Their special position in the midst of God's Throne, unlike the other saints, indicates a place of recognition & privilege, but noting, they always fell before the One Who lives forever, in worship & praise for His Work of redemption.

    So armed with those Scriptures on the Elders, one would have to form one's own opinion as to who they were specifically. They were certainly not identified with the angels or other beings in Heaven, but were there from the company of the redeemed.
  • who are the twentyfour elders?
  • Paul - in Reply on Revelation 5
    A brother in Christ did an excellent study and it looks like they are two from each of the twelve boundaries on the earth, going back to when the Lord separated the people and confounded their language Genesis 11.
  • Thomas Bridges on Revelation 5
    (thomas) our father loves us. cast out satan. heal our body. blessings to him . through jesus golden son. blessings to one true queen of heaven .there son. chosen to redeme us. through the cross.i ask prayer for diliverance through heaven aderation of there profecy abel madrea. through the holy ghost.i believe in one god father almighty
    i ask prayer for medical finacial peace through blessing to there saints aderation of mother. i ask this through holy ghost. that i give up the ghost to face judgment. ipray this with you .
    our father who art though in heaven.i ask prayer for noah's tribe omaha n buffalo nation
    (chyenne) i am . 0-6-7 through 7 10 16 jesus-moses-mother.i love thee god777
  • Barbara Batchelor on Revelation 5
    God is good he will be with us till the end .
  • Patty Tozi on Revelation 5
    Our God is a Mighty God!!! Our God is Near us every Moment of our Life. Thru the Blood of His Son Jesus We will come to Him at the Ending of Our Life. Our God to us is Compassion- - Great Love-- Protector- - Strength-- and Counselor: Our God is our Mighty Warrior as we walk in this Evil World!!! PRAISE HIM CONSTANTLY:
  • Gary Sparks on Revelation 5
    Jesus is portrayed as a Lion and as a Lamb. What a significant contrast! He is a Lion who has fought the Devil for us and has won the victory for us. He is a Lamb who has given Himself like a pure lamb without spot or wrinkle to satisfy the justice of God. As a Lion, no one in the spiritual forest can defeat Him. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords! John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb"...
  • ALEX on Revelation 5
  • Charles Northup on Revelation 5
    I see beast and creatures in heaven and in Genesis when creation took place I see what beast are and creatures are and they are not man. So in revelation these beasts and creatures in heaven are not man either. But thousands x thousands and thousands and thousands are angles and elders. wow! Can you imagine Apostle John and what he must of thought when this vision was over? wow


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Who was worthy to open the sealed book in John's vision?
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