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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 5

Geneva Study BibleGeneva Study Bible

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Verse 1

5:1 And {1} I saw in the {2} right hand of him that sat on the throne {3} a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

(1) A passing to the second principal cause, which is the Son of God, God and man, the mediator of all, as the eternal word of God the Father, manifest in the flesh. This chapter has two parts: one that prepares the way to the revelation, by rehearsal of the occasions that occurred in the first four verses Revelation 5:2-5 . Another, the history of the revelation of Christ, from there to the end of the chapter Revelation 5:6-14 .

(2) That is, in the very right hand of God.

(3) Here are shown the occasions for which the principal cause, and this revelation was also necessary: the same are three, the first a present vision of the book of the counsels of God, concerning the government of this whole world, which book is said to be laid up with the Father as it were in his hand: but shut up and unknown to all creature, in this verse. The second is a religious desire of the angels of God to understand the mysteries of this book 1 Peter 1:12, Revelation 5:2 . The third is a lamentation of John and all the godly, moved by the same desire Revelation 5:4 when they saw that it was an impossible thing for any creature to do: which is declared in Revelation 5:3 .

Verse 3

5:3 {4} And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

(4) Thus neither of them that are in heaven, nor of them who are in the earth. Now this counting of parts, is sufficient to the denying of the whole; For of the creatures, one sort is in heaven, above the earth: another in the earth, and another under the earth in the sea, as is later declared in Revelation 5:13 .

Verse 5

5:5 {5} And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the {6} Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

(5) The second part of this chapter, in which is set down the revelation of the Son, as was said before. This part contains first a history of the way God prepared John to understand this revelation, in this verse. Secondly, the revelation of the Son himself, to Revelation 5:6-7 . Thirdly, the events of this revelation in the rest of the chapter. The manner now, is here described in two parts: one from outside him, by speech, in this verse: another within, by opening the eyes of John (which before were shut) that he might see, in the verse following.

(6) That is, most mighty and most approved Prince: according to the use of the Hebrew speech.

Verse 6

5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, {7} 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) The sum of this revelation: Christ the mediator takes and opens the book Revelation 5:6-7 . Therefore this revelation describes the person of Christ. The person is described this way: Christ the mediator between God, angels and men, as the eternal word of God, and our redeemer: as the Lamb of God, standing as slain and making intercession for us by the power and merit of his everlasting sacrifice, is armed with the Spirit of God, that is, with the power and wisdom of God effectually to the government of this whole world.

Verse 7

5:7 {8} And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

(8) The fact of Christ the Mediator: that he comes to open it. That he opened it is first expressed Revelation 6:1 .

Verse 8

5:8 {9} 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 {10} harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the {a} prayers of saints.

(9) Now follows the end, the events of the revelation previously spoken of: that all the holy angels and men sang to him: both the chief Revelation 5:9-10 and common order of angels Revelation 5:11-12 and of all things created Revelation 5:13 the princes of both sorts agreeing to it, Revelation 5:14 .

(10) The symbols or signs of praise, sweet in savour and acceptable to God;

(a) See Revelation 8:3 .

Verse 9

5:9 And they sung a {b} new {11} song, saying, {12} 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;

(b) No common song.

(11) That is, composed according to the present matter, the Lamb having received the book as it were with his feet and opened it with his horns, as it is said in the Song of Solomon

(12) The song of the nobles or princes standing by the throne, consisting of a publication of the praise of Christ and a confirmation of the same from his blessings, both which we have received from him (as are the suffering of his death, our redemption upon the cross by his blood, in this verse: and our communion with him in kingdom and priesthood which long ago he has granted to us with himself and which we hereafter hope to obtain, as our kingdom to come, in Christ, Revelation 5:10 .

Verse 11

5:11 {13} And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: {14} and the number of them was {c} ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

(13) The consent of the common order of angels, answering in melody to their princes that stood by the throne.

(14) A finite number, but almost infinite, as in Daniel 7:10 .

(c) This means a great number.

Verse 12

5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to {d} receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

(d) To have all praise given to him, as to the mightest and wisest

Verse 13

5:13 {15} 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.

(15) The consent of all the common multitude of the creatures.

Verse 14

5:14 {16} And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four [and] twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

(16) A confirmation of the praise given before, from the consent of the nobles, expressed in word and signs, as once or twice before this.

Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gsb/revelation-5.html. 1599-1645.
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