Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 1:10

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Day;   Inspiration;   Jesus, the Christ;   Sabbath;   Trumpet;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Holy Spirit;   Theophanies;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the;   Sabbath, the;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Cherub;   Feasts;   Inspiration;   Prophets;   Sabbath;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Revelation, book of;   Sabbath;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Apocalyptic;   Church, the;   Create, Creation;   Holy Spirit;   Lord's Day, the;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Ascension of Christ;   Sabbath;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day;   Trumpets;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day;   Prophet;   Sabbath;   Synagogue;   Trumpets, Feast of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day;   Revelation, the Book of;   Sabbath;   Worship;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Lord's Day;   Time;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apocalypse;   Calendar, the Christian;   Day;   Holy Spirit (2);   Lord's Day;   Lord's Supper. (I.);   Name ;   Patmos ;   Revelation (2);   Sabbath ;   Time;   Trump Trumpet ;   Voice;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day, the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Golden candlesticks;   Sabbath;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Lord (2);   Sabbath;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day, the;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Feasts;   Inspiration;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Gold;   Great;   Inspiration;   Lord's Day;   Parousia;   Revelation of John:;   Sabbath;   Trance;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Bat Ḳ;   Sabbath and Sunday;  
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 30;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I was in the Spirit - That is, I received the Spirit of prophecy, and was under its influence when the first vision was exhibited.

The Lord's day - The first day of the week, observed as the Christian Sabbath, because on it Jesus Christ rose from the dead; therefore it was called the Lord's day, and has taken place of the Jewish Sabbath throughout the Christian world.

And heard behind me a great voice - This voice came unexpectedly and suddenly. He felt himself under the Divine afflatus; but did not know what scenes were to be represented.

As of a trumpet - This was calculated to call in every wandering thought, to fix his attention, and solemnize his whole frame. Thus God prepared Moses to receive the law. See Exodus 19:16, Exodus 19:19, etc.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I was in the Spirit - This cannot refer to his own spirit, for such an expression would be unintelligible. The language then must refer to some unusual state, or to some influence that had been brought to bear upon him from without, that was appropriate to such a day. The word “Spirit” may refer either to the Holy Spirit, or to some state of mind such as the Holy Spirit produces - a spirit of elevated devotion, a state of high and uncommon religious enjoyment. It is clear that John does not mean here to say that he was under the influence of the Holy Spirit in such a sense as that he was inspired, for the command to make a record, as well as the visions, came subsequently to the time referred to. The fair meaning of the passage is, that he was at that time favored, in a large measure, with the influences of the Holy Spirit - the spirit of true devotion; that he had a high state of religious enjoyment, and was in a condition not inappropriate to the remarkable communications which were made to him on that day.

The state of mind in which he was at the time here referred to, is not such as the prophets are often represented to have been in when under the prophetic inspiration (compare Ezekiel 1:1; Ezekiel 8:3; Ezekiel 40:2; Jeremiah 24:1), and which was often accompanied with an entire prostration of bodily strength (compare Numbers 24:4); 1 Samuel 19:24; Ezekiel 1:28; Daniel 10:8-10; Revelation 1:17), but such as any Christian may experience when in a high state of religious enjoyment. He was not yet under the prophetic ecstasy (compare Acts 10:10; Acts 11:5; Acts 22:17), but was, though in a lonely and barren island, and far away from the privileges of the sanctuary, permitted to enjoy, in a high degree, the consolations of religion - an illustration of the great truth that God can meet his people anywhere; that, when in solitude and in circumstances of outward affliction, when persecuted and cast out, when deprived of the public means of grace and the society of religious friends, He can meet them with the abundant consolations of His grace, and pour joy and peace into their souls. This state was not inappropriate to the revelations which were about to be made to John, but this itself was not that state. It was a state which seems to have resulted from the fact, that on that desert island he devoted the day to the worship of God, and, by honoring the day dedicated to the memory of the risen Saviour, found, what all will find, that it was attended with rick spiritual influences on his soul.

On the Lord‘s day - The word rendered here as “Lord‘s” ( κυριακῇ kuriakē), occurs only in this place and in 1 Corinthians 11:20, where it is applied to the Lord‘s supper. It properly means “pertaining to the Lord”; and, so far as this word is concerned, it might mean a day “pertaining to the Lord,” in any sense, or for any reason; either because he claimed it as his own, and had set it apart for his own service, or because it was designed to commemorate some important event pertaining to him, or because it was observed in honor of him. It is clear:

(1) That this refers to some day which was distinguished from all other days of the week, and which would be sufficiently designated by the use of this term.

(2) that it was a day which was for some reason regarded as especially a day of the Lord, or especially devoted to him.

(3) it would further appear that this was a day particularly devoted to the Lord Jesus; for:

(a)that is the natural meaning of the word “Lord” as used in the New Testament (compare the notes on Acts 1:24); and

(b)if the Jewish Sabbath were intended to be designated, the word “Sabbath” would have been used.

The term was used generally by the early Christians to denote the first day of the week. It occurs twice in the Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians (about 101 a.d.), who calls the Lord‘s day “the queen and prince of all days.” Chrysostom (on Exodus 19:13; Numbers 10:10; Judges 7:18, etc.; 1 Samuel 13:3; 2 Samuel 15:10.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

In the Spirit ... Not much is known of this state of being "in the Spirit"; but, evidently, all of the Scripture writers were in such a state when they received their divine revelation. Jesus said of David, "How then doth David in the Spirit call him Lord?" (Matthew 22:43). Many speculations about this have yielded little or no valuable information.

On the Lord's day ... This expression is found only here in the New Testament, "and beyond all reasonable doubt it means on Sunday."[33] "There is every reason to believe the church used the word in protest against Caesar-worship."[34] Some have thought this means the day of judgment, indicating that John was transported by the vision to the time of the final judgment; but the judgment is invariably "the day of the Lord" in the New Testament. Here, "Lord's day" is a similar construction to "Lord's supper" (1 Corinthians 11:20). "It means `belonging to the Lord', or `consecrated to the Lord'."[35] The Greek construction rules out the interpretation that would make this mean the judgment.[36] According to Deissmann, from A.D. 30 and continuing until 98-117, one day of every month was called "Augustus Day" ([@hemera] [@Sebaste]); and it certainly could have been that the Christians started referring to the first day of the week as "the Lord's day" in opposition to the current idolatry directed toward Roman emperors. It is preposterous to suppose that "the Lord's day" is a reference to the Jewish sabbath. Saturday was a day of the week upon which Jesus spent the entire twenty-four hours of it in the tomb! On the other hand, Sunday was the day Jesus rose from the dead, the very same day the apostles met him in the upper room, and a week later on another Sunday the Lord appeared to his assembled apostles again. Sunday was the day the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost; it was the day the disciples came together to break bread (Acts 20:7); it was the day the collection was taken up (1 Corinthians 16:2); and, added to all of this, the invariable Christian tradition of more than nineteen centuries makes Sunday the day of Christian assemblies, a custom still observed all over the world. "The Lord's day" is thus an exceedingly appropriate title for the day.

A great voice, as of a trumpet ... "This voice was presumably that of the Son of man."[37] Dake counted over sixty usages of the word "great" in the Book of Revelation.[38] Bruce, however, did not believe the great trumpet-like voice mentioned here was that of the Lord, basing his opinion on the fact that the Lord's voice is said to be like the sound of many waters (Revelation 1:15).[39] He viewed it as a herald-like prelude to the appearance of the Great Conqueror. This would appear to be the better interpretation.

[33] T. Randell, op. cit., p. 5.

[34] Finis Jennings Dake, Revelation Expounded (Lawrenceville, Georgia: Dake, 1950), p. 32.

[35] Ralph Earle, op. cit., p. 479.

[36] Ibid.

[37] G. R. Beasley-Murray, op. cit., p. 1282.

[38] Finis Jennings Dake, op. cit., p. 33.

[39] F. F. Bruce, A New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1969), p. 535.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day,.... Not on the Jewish sabbath, which was now abolished, nor was that ever called the Lord's day, and had John meant that, he would have said on the sabbath day; much less the Jewish passover, but the first day of the week is designed; so the Ethiopic version renders it "on the first day"; and is so called just as the ordinance of the supper is called the Lord's supper, being instituted by the Lord, and the Lord's table, 1 Corinthians 10:21, and that because it was the day in which our Lord rose from the dead, Mark 16:9; and in which he appeared at different times to his disciples, John 20:19, and which the primitive churches set apart for his worship and service, and on which they met together to hear the word, and attend on ordinances, Acts 20:7; and Justin MartyrF26Apolog. 2. p. 98, 99. tells us, who lived within about fifty years after this time, that on the day called τη του ηλιου ημερα, "Sunday", (by the Greeks,) the Christians met together in one place, and read the Scriptures, and prayed together, and administered the ordinance of the supper; and this, he adds, was the first day in which God created the World, and our Saviour Jesus Christ rose from the dead; yea, BarnabasF1Epist. c. 11. p. 244. Ed. Voss. , the companion of the Apostle Paul, calls this day the eighth day, in distinction from the seventh day sabbath of the Jews, and which he says is the beginning of another world; and therefore we keep the eighth day, adds he, joyfully, in which Jesus rose from the dead, and being manifested, ascended unto heaven: and this day was known by the ancients by the name of "the Lord's day"; as by IgnatiusF2Epist. ad. Magnes. c. 9. , IrenaeusF3Apud Script. Quaest. & Respons. ad Orthodox. inter Justin. Opera, p. 468. , TertullianF4De Corona, c. 3. , OrigenF5Homil. in Exod. fol. 41. 7. , and others; for it must be some day that was known by this name, otherwise it is mentioned to no purpose, because it would not be distinctive from others; for which reason it cannot merely design the day in which John saw this vision, because the Lord appeared on it to him, for this would not distinguish it from any other day. Some have conjectured that this was not the weekly Lord's day observed by the Christians, but the anniversary of Christ's resurrection; and so the Ethiopians still call Easter "Schambatah Crostos", the sabbath of Christ: to understand it of the former is best. Now, though John was driven from the house and worship of God, and could not join with the saints in the public worship of that day; yet he was employed in spiritual contemplations and exercises, and was under a more than ordinary influence of the Spirit of God; and his spirit or soul was wholly intent upon, and taken up with divine and spiritual things, with visions and representations that were made unto his mind, which he perceived in his spirit, and not with the organs of his body; he was in an ecstasy of spirit, and knew not scarcely whether he was in the body or out of it:

and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet; which was the voice of the Son of God, as appears by what it uttered, Revelation 1:11; and is afterwards said to be as the sound of many waters; and it was behind him, as in Isaiah 30:21, it came to him at an unawares, and surprised him, while he was in deep meditation on spiritual things: and it was a very "great" one; it was the voice of a great person, of the Son of God, and expressed great things, and was very sonorous and loud, it was like the sound of a trumpet; and this was partly to awaken the attention of John to it, and partly to express the certainty of the relation he gives of what it said; had it been a low muttering voice, it might be questioned whether John rightly understood it, and whether he might not be mistaken in the account of what he heard; but it being so loud and clear, there is no room for such a doubt,

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I was in the h Spirit on the i Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

(h) This is a holy trance expressed, with which the prophets were entranced, and being carried out of the world, conversed with God: and so Ezekiel says often, that he was carried from place to place by the Spirit, and that the Spirit of the Lord came on him.

(i) He calls it the Lord's day, which Paul calls the first day of the week; (1 Corinthians 16:2).

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I wasGreek, “I came to be”; “I became.”

in the Spirit — in a state of ecstasy; the outer world being shut out, and the inner and higher life or spirit being taken full possession of by God‘s Spirit, so that an immediate connection with the invisible world is established. While the prophet “speaks” in the Spirit, the apocalyptic seer is in the Spirit in his whole person. The spirit only (that which connects us with God and the invisible world) is active, or rather recipient, in the apocalyptic state. With Christ this being “in the Spirit” was not the exception, but His continual state.

on the Lord‘s day — Though forcibly detained from Church communion with the brethren in the sanctuary on the Lord‘s day, the weekly commemoration of the resurrection, John was holding spiritual communion with them. This is the earliest mention of the term, “the Lord‘s day.” But the consecration of the day to worship, almsgiving, and the Lord‘s Supper, is implied in Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; compare John 20:19-26. The name corresponds to “the Lord‘s Supper,” 1 Corinthians 11:20. Ignatius seems to allude to “the Lord‘s day” [Epistle to the Magnesians, 9], and Irenaeus [Quaest ad Orthod., 115] (in Justin Martyr). Justin Martyr [Apology, 2.98], etc., “On Sunday we all hold our joint meeting; for the first day is that on which God, having removed darkness and chaos, made the world, and Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead. On the day before Saturday they crucified Him; and on the day after Saturday, which is Sunday, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught these things.” To the Lord‘s day Pliny doubtless refers [Epistles, Book X., p. 97], “The Christians on a fixed day before dawn meet and sing a hymn to Christ as God,” etc. Tertullian [The Chaplet, 3], “On the Lord‘s day we deem it wrong to fast.” Melito, bishop of Sardis (second century), wrote a book on the Lord‘s day [Eusebius 4.26]. Also, Dionysius of Corinth, in Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History, 4.23, 8]. Clement of Alexandria [Miscellanies, 5. and 7.12]; Origen [Against Celsus, 8. 22]. The theory that the day of Christ‘s second coming is meant, is untenable. “The day of the Lord” is different in the Greek from “the Lord‘s (an adjective) day,” which latter in the ancient Church always designates our Sunday, though it is not impossible that the two shall coincide (at least in some parts of the earth), whence a tradition is mentioned in Jerome [Commentary on Matthew, 25], that the Lord‘s coming was expected especially on the Paschal Lord‘s day. The visions of the Apocalypse, the seals, trumpets, and vials, etc., are grouped in sevens, and naturally begin on the first day of the seven, the birthday of the Church, whose future they set forth [Wordsworth].

great voice — summoning solemn attention; Greek order, “I heard a voice behind me great (loud) as (that) of a trumpet.” The trumpet summoned to religious feasts, and accompanies God‘s revelations of Himself.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I was in the Spirit (εγενομην εν πνευματιegenomēn en pneumati). Rather, “I came to be (as in Revelation 1:9) in the Spirit,” came into an ecstatic condition as in Acts 10:10.; Acts 22:17, not the normal spiritual condition (ειναι εν πνευματιeinai en pneumati Romans 8:9).

On the Lord‘s Day (εν τηι κυριακηι ημεραιen tēi kuriakēi hēmerāi). Deissmann has proven (Bible Studies, p. 217f.; Light, etc., p. 357ff.) from inscriptions and papyri that the word κυριακοςkuriakos was in common use for the sense “imperial” as imperial finance and imperial treasury and from papyri and ostraca that ημερα Σεβαστηhēmera Sebastē (Augustus Day) was the first day of each month, Emperor‘s Day on which money payments were made (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:1.). It was easy, therefore, for the Christians to take this term, already in use, and apply it to the first day of the week in honour of the Lord Jesus Christ‘s resurrection on that day (Didache 14, Ignatius Magn. 9). In the N.T. the word occurs only here and 1 Corinthians 11:20 (κυριακον δειπνον τε Λορδς Συππερkuriakon deipnon the Lord's Supper). It has no reference to ημερα κυριουhēmera kuriou (the day of judgment, 2 Peter 3:10).

Behind me (οπισω μουopisō mou). “The unexpected, overpowering entrance of the divine voice” (Vincent). Cf. Ezekiel 3:12.

Voice (πωνηνphōnēn). Of Christ, as is plain in Revelation 1:12.

As of a trumpet (ως σαλπιγγοςhōs salpiggos). So in Revelation 4:1 referring to this.

Saying (λεγουσηςlegousēs). Present active participle genitive case agreeing with σαλπιγγοςsalpiggos rather than λεγουσανlegousan accusative agreeing with πωνηνphōnēn So on purpose, as is clear from Revelation 4:1, where λαλουσηςlalousēs also agrees with σαλπιγγοςsalpiggos f0).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

I was ( ἐγενόμην )

See on Revelation 1:9.

In the Spirit ( ἐν πνεύμην )

The phrase I was in the Spirit occurs only here and Revelation 4:2: in the Spirit, in Revelation 17:3; Revelation 21:10. The phrase denotes a state of trance or spiritual ecstasy. Compare Acts 10:10; 2 Corinthians 12:2, 2 Corinthians 12:4. “Connection with surrounding objects through the senses is suspended, and a connection with the invisible world takes place” (Ebrard). “A divine release from the ordinary ways of men” (Plato, “Phaedrus,” 265).

“You ask, 'How can we know the infinite?' I answer, not by reason. It is the office of reason to distinguish and define. The infinite, therefore, cannot be ranked among its objects. You can only apprehend the infinite by a faculty superior to reason; by entering into a state in which you are your finite self no longer; in which the divine essence is communicated to you. This is ecstacy. It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness … . But this sublime condition is not of permanent duration. It is only now and then that we can enjoy this elevation (mercifully made possible for us) above the limits of the body and the world … . All that tends to purify and elevate the mind will assist you in this attainment, and facilitate the approach and the recurrence of these happy intervals. There are then different roads by which this end may be reached. The love of beauty which exalts the poet; that devotion to the One, and that ascent of science which makes the ambition of the philosopher; and that love and those prayers by which some devout and ardent soul tends in its moral purity towards perfection. These are the great highways conducting to heights above the actual and the particular, where we stand in the immediate presence of the Infinite who shines out as from the deeps of the soul” (Letter of Plotinus, about A D. 260).

Richard of St. Victor (died 1173) lays down six stages of contemplation: two in the province of the imagination, two in the province of reason, and two in the province of intelligence. The third heaven is open only to the eye of intelligence - that eye whose vision is clarified by divine grace and a holy life. In the highest degrees of contemplation penitence avails more than science; sighs obtain what is impossible to reason. Some good men have been ever unable to attain the highest stage; few are fully winged with all the six pinions of contemplation. In the ecstasy he describes, there is supposed to be a dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit as by the sword of the Spirit of God. The body sleeps, and the soul and all the visible world is shut away. The spirit is joined to the Lord, and, one with Him, transcends itself and all the limitations of human thought.

Sufism is the mystical asceticism of Mohammedanism. The ecstasy of a Sufi saint is thus described:

“My tongue clave fever-dry, my blood ran fire,

My nights were sleepless with consuming lore,

Till night and day sped past - as flies a lance

Grazing a buckler's rim; a hundred faiths

Seemed there as one; a hundred thousand years

No longer than a moment. In that hour

All past eternity and all to come

Was gathered up in one stupendous Now, -

Let understanding marvel as it may.

Where men see clouds, on the ninth heaven I gaze,

And see the throne of God. All heaven and hell

Are bare to me and all men's destinies,

The heavens and earth, they vanish at my glance:

The dead rise at my look. I tear the veil

From all the world, and in the hall of heaven

I set me central, radiant as the Sun.”

Vaughan, “Hours with the Mystics,” ii., 19

Beatrice says to Dante:

“We from the greatest body

Have issued to the heaven that is pure light;

Light intellectual replete with love,

Love of true good replete with ecstasy,

Ecstasy that transcendeth every sweetness.”

Dante says:

“I perceived myself

To be uplifted over my own power,

And I with vision new rekindled me,

Such that no light whatever is so pure

But that mine eyes were fortified against it.”

Paradiso,” xxx., 38-60.

Again, just before the consummate beatific vision, Dante says:

“And I, who to the end of all desires

Was now approaching, even as I ought

The ardor of desire within me ended.

Bernard was beckoning unto me, and smiling,

That I should upward look; but I already

Was of my own accord such as he wished;

Because my sight, becoming purified,

Was entering more and more into the ray

Of the High Light which of itself is true.

From that time forward what I saw was greater

Than our discourse, that to such vision yields,

And yields the memory unto such excess.”

Paradiso,” xxxiii., 46-57.

On the Lord's day ( ἐν κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ )

The phrase occurs only here in the New Testament. The first day of the week, the festival of the Lord's resurrection. Not, as some, the day of judgment, which in the New Testament is expressed by ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ Κυρίου theday of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:2); or ἡμέρα Κυρίου theday of the Lord, the article being omitted (2 Peter 3:10); or ἡμέρα Χριστοῦ theday of Christ (Philippians 2:16). The usual New Testament expression for the first day of the week is ἡ μία τῶν σαββάτων (Luke 24:1; see on Acts 20:7).

Behind me

The unexpected, overpowering entrance of the divine voice. Compare Ezekiel 3:12.

Of a trumpet ( σάλπιγγος )

Properly, a war trumpet.

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The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

I was in the Spirit — That is, in a trance, a prophetic vision; so overwhelmed with the power, and filled with the light, of the Holy Spirit, as to be insensible of outward things, and wholly taken up with spiritual and divine. What follows is one single, connected vision, which St. John saw in one day; and therefore he that would understand it should carry his thought straight on through the whole, without interruption. The other prophetic books are collections of distinct prophecies, given upon various occasions: but here is one single treatise, whereof all the parts exactly depend on each other. Chapter iv1Revelation4:1 is connected with chapter i19; Revelation 1:19 and what is delivered in the fourth chapter goes on directly to the twenty-second.

On the Lord's day — On this our Lord rose from the dead: on this the ancients believed he will come to judgment. It was, therefore, with the utmost propriety that St. John on this day both saw and described his coming.

And I heard behind me — St. John had his face to the east: our Lord, likewise, in this appearance looked eastward toward Asia, whither the apostle was to write.

A great voice, as of a trumpet — Which was peculiarly proper to proclaim the coming of the great King, and his victory over all his enemies.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

On the Lord's day; the first day of the week, being the Christian Sabbath. It is called the Lord's day on account of its being the day on which our Lord rose from the dead.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

voice The theophanies. Revelation 1:9-20; Genesis 12:7

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 1:10". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary


‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.’

Revelation 1:10

Our subject is the question of Sunday observance as distinct from Sabbath observance, the Christian institution of the Lord’s Day, and its place in our religious life.

I. That it was not regarded as the true successor of the old Sabbath there are clear signs in Apostolic times. In the concessions made to the Judaic Christians by the advanced party in the Apostolic Church would, we doubt not, be included the joint observance of the two days—the last and the first. The double observance was long continued in the Eastern Church. It should, moreover, not be forgotten that the application of the name ‘Sabbath’ to the Christian rest-day is of modern origin. It is true that St. Augustine uses the phrase ‘Our Sabbath’; but this is only a parallel with such a phrase as ‘Christ our Passover.’ The word first appears in a treatise issued in 1595. We owe the name to Puritanism, and in recognising our indebtedness to this source, we may seasonably reflect that the Reformers had left untouched the pre-Reformation abuses of the Lord’s day.

II. The immediate followers of our Lord had no inclination to secularise their new rest-day of evangelic freedom.—A duty that none show a disposition to neglect it is needless to enforce. If we hear so little in the Apostolic records and writings of the Christian obligation of hallowing the Lord’s day, we believe the main reason of this to be, that those early believers in the ardour and devotion of a fresh young faith, were prone rather to turn every weekday into a Sunday of holy fellowship and service than feel the slightest wish to make secular the weekly day of rest. Passing to the early testimonies subsequent to New Testament times, we have no hesitation in affirming that there is no historical fact enjoying better proof than this—that the observance of the day by intermission of toil and by special religious exercises was the constant practice of the Christian Church from the days of the Apostles.

III. On the vexed practical question of allowable or unallowable pleasure-taking on Sunday we cannot embark.—Keeping to the Apostolic principle, ‘Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind,’ we shall not stray far from the right and the true. But one prefatory reflection is offered here which may help us in settling details. Before we are capable of appreciating the true worth of the Christian’s Sunday, can it ever be a really pleasurable day? Ought we to try to make it the happiest day of the week to those whose whole lives are one long ‘grieving of the Holy Spirit of God,’ between whose souls and the Divine source of all truest happiness there stretches ‘a great gulf fixed,’ unbridged, or, being bridged, uncrossed by their reluctant feet? And may we not be deterred from the attempt to render this good gift of our Father acceptable to the Christless by reflecting that the same principle that would make it pleasurable to them, while thus, would turn heaven itself into a paradise for worldlings, and degrade its pure joys into the hollow pleasures of selfish fashion? The Church’s work is surely other than this: it is not to bring down the things of God to the level of the world, but, through her ceaseless ministries of loving suasion, to lift men up towards the altitude of the things of God.

—Bishop A. Pearson.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

Ver. 10. I was in the Spirit] Acted by him, and carried out of himself, as the demoniac is said to be in the unclean spirit, as being acted and agitated by him. {See Trapp on "2 Peter 1:21"}

On the Lord’s day] The first day of the week, the Christian sabbath, Matthew 24:20, called the Lord’s day, from Christ the author of it; as is likewise the Lord’s supper, and the Lord’s Church, kirk, κυριακη, the very word here used. To sanctify this sabbath was in the primitives a badge of a Christian. For when the question was asked, Servasti Dominicum? Keepest thou the sabbath? The answer was returned, Christianus sum, intermittere non possum, I am a Christian, I must keep the Lord’s day. This day was also called anciently dies lucis, the day of light (as Junius observeth), partly because baptism (which the ancients called φωτισμον), was administered on that day; but principally, because by the duties of this day rightly performed, the minds of men are illuminated, and they translated out of darkness into Christ’s marvellous light.

And heard behind me] Not before me; implying that the Spirit calleth upon us, being secure, passing by, and not regarding those things it calls for.

As of a trumpet] To teach us that the things here delivered to the Church must be ever sounding in our ears and hearts, indwelling richly in us, Colossians 3:16. I confess the matter is very mysterious and obscure. Hence Cajetan’s exponat cui Deus concesserit, Let him expound it that can; I can say little to it. Hence Calvin (as Bodine reports him, Method. Hist. vii.) being asked his opinion about the Revelation, ingenuously confessed, se penitus ignorare quid velit tam obscurus scriptor, &c., That he, for his part, knew not what to make of it. Hence also Graserus, Mihi inquit, tota Apocalypsis valde obscura videtur; et talis cuius explicatio citra periculum vix queat tentari; Methinks, saith he, the whole book of the Revelation is wondrous dark, and indeed such as without danger of doing amiss, a man can hardly take in hand to interpret. I confess that I have hitherto profited less by the reading of no part of the Bible than by this so very dark a prophecy: thus he. Howbeit difficulty doth but whet on heroic spirits; and obscurity should not weaken but waken our diligence. God would have us to inquire into these things, though they be far above us; what else meaneth this trumpet, and that blessing so solemnly proclaimed with the sound of a trumpet, to him that readeth, and those that hear the words of this prophecy? Revelation 1:3. All cannot read, but all must hear. And let him that readeth or heareth, understand, Matthew 24:15. What if there be a veil laid over this Revelation, will it not be ratified by reading, and by degrees wholly worn away? Especially, if when we open the book we pray with David, "Lord, open mine eyes, that I may see the wondrous things of thy word:" and not pray only, but weep, as St John did, till this sealed book were opened.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Revelation 1:10

The Lord's Day.

I. What is the meaning of the expression, "the Lord's Day"? Does it mean the day of judgment, and is St. John saying that in an ecstacy he beheld the last judgment of God? Undoubtedly "the day of the Lord" is an expression often applied to the day of judgment in the Old and New Testaments, but such a meaning would not serve St. John's purpose here; he is plainly giving the date of his great vision, not the scene to which it introduced him, and just as he says that it took place in the isle of Patmos, thus marking the place, so he says that it was on the Lord's Day, thus marking the time. Does the phrase, then, mean the annual feast of our Lord's resurrection from the dead—our Easter Day? That day, as we know from the Epistle to the Corinthians, we are to keep "not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth"; but it could hardly have served for a date, because in those days, as some time afterwards, there were different opinions in the Church as to the day on which properly the festival should be kept. If the Lord's Day had meant Easter Day, it would not have settled the date of the revelation without some further specification. Does the phrase, then, mean the Sabbath day of the Mosaic law? If St. John had meant the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, he would certainly have used the word "Sabbath"; he would not have used another word which the Christian Church, from the day of: he Apostles downwards, has applied, not to the seventh day of the week, but to the first. There is indeed no real reason for doubting that by the Lord's Day St. John meant the first day of the week, or, as we should say, Sunday. Our Lord Jesus Christ has made that day in a special sense His own by rising on it from the dead and by connecting it with His first six appearances after His resurrection.

II. What are the principles which are recognised in the observance of the "Lord's Day" by the Church of Christ? (1) The first principle embodied is the duty of consecrating a certain portion of time, at least one-seventh, to the service of God. This principle is common to the Jewish Sabbath and to the Christian Lord's Day. And such a consecration implies two things: it implies a separation of the thing or person consecrated from all others and a communication to it or him of a quality of holiness or purity which was not possessed before. (2) A second principle in the Lord's Day is the periodical suspension of human toil. This also is common to the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Lord's Day. The Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Lord's Day, while agreeing in affirming two principles, differ in two noteworthy respects: (1) they differ in being kept on distinct days; (2) in the reason or motive for observing them. The Christian motive for observing the Lord's Day is the resurrection of Christ from the dead; that truth is to the Christian creed what the creation of the world out of nothing is to the Jewish creed; it is the fundamental truth on which all else that is distinctively Christian rests, and it is just as much put forward by the Christian Apostles as is the creation of all things out of nothing by the Jewish creed. (3) A third principle is the necessity of the public worship of God. The cessation of ordinary work is not enjoined upon Christians only that they may while away the time or spend it in self-pleasing or in something worse. The Lord's Day is the day of days, on which Jesus our Lord has a first claim. In the Church of Jesus the first duty of the Christian is to seek to hold converse with the risen Lord.

H. P. Liddon, From the Christian World Pulpit.

Christianity would seem to have altered the law of the Sabbath precisely where we might have expected it might be altered—in those parts which were of positive, not of moral, obligation. Our Saviour, who, being the coeternal Son of God, is Lord also of the Sabbath day, modified the mode in which it is to be hallowed partly by relaxing the literal strictness of the precept, "Thou shalt do no manner of work," and permitting works of necessity and of mercy, but principally by removing the false glosses with which superstition and human traditions had disfigured the true meaning of the commandment.

I. Even if the Decalogue or the Fourth Commandment were abrogated by the Gospel, and the Lord's Day were but a Christian ordinance sanctioned by our Lord, either immediately by His own presence and approval, or mediately by His Apostles acting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we should still be bound to keep it in the same way as if it were the Sabbath transferred from the old dispensation to the new, if, at least, the early Christians may be admitted as witnesses of the meaning of what on this supposition was their own ordinance. With them the first day of the week was not a day of unnecessary work or a day of amusement, but a holy day, set apart from the rest for special public worship and cheerful thanksgiving. So much, indeed, might be inferred from the very name, "the Lord's Day." Chrysostom, Augustine, and others warned Christians against the example of the Jews of their days who made the Sabbath a time for dancing, banqueting, and luxurious self-indulgence. The truth is, Christians held the first day of the week to be the Lord's Day, and kept it as such, not with idle scrupulosity, but with honesty of purpose. Accordingly any work, however laborious, if necessary or compulsory, they would have done with a quiet conscience; but unnecessary work they would have felt a sin. A slave unable to obtain his freedom would have done his master's bidding unhesitatingly and cheerfully; a free man would not have followed his worldly calling on the Lord's Day. Amusements would have been felt more discordant with the Lord's Day than work. They were not necessary; they could not be compulsory; they had nothing to do with the special service of God for which that day was hallowed. They were, therefore, simply wrong. "It is commanded you," writes St. Augustine, "to observe the Sabbath spiritually, not as the Jews observe theirs, in carnal ease—for they wish to have leisure for their trifles and their luxuries—for a Jew would be better employed in doing something useful in his field than in sitting turbulently in the theatre."

II. It is a matter of little practical moment, then, the obligation on which our observance of the Sunday rests. Whether it is the primal Sabbath, re-enacted on Sinai and continued in the Christian code with modifications in its positive and non-essential details, or whether it is the Christian ordinance of the Lord's Day to be understood and interpreted by the practice of the early Christians, it is undoubtedly a day set apart and holy to the Lord. It is His special portion of our time, dedicated to Him for His glory and for our good. Its peculiar duties are public worship, religious meditation and instruction, and the celebration of the Lord's Supper in remembrance of Christ. Its spirit is a calm and collected mind, undisturbed by worldly cares and unexcited by worldly amusements, in tune with holy thoughts and the exercises of religion, and open to all the cheerful influences of home and family affection, and charity, and benevolence.

III. With this general principle before us, (1) we must be very slow to judge and very cautious to condemn others for their manner of observing the Lord's Day. They have the same rule with us; they are to apply it by the aid of their own conscience. To their own Master they stand or fall. (2) But though indulgent in our judgment of others, we must not be too indulgent of ourselves. Scruples and nice distinctions, indeed, austerity and gloom, the obedience of the letter, not of the spirit, are alien, it has been said, to the true character of the Christian Lord's Day; and he who is free from such scruples and doubts, as he is always the happiest, will often be the holiest man. A healthy faith and a devout heart will usually discern by a kind of spiritual instinct what may and what may not be done. But the important practical rule for all of us is this: "Let every one be fully persuaded in his own mind." (3) We must be careful not to impose needless labour on others, and should help and encourage them, as well as we may, to enjoy rest on the day of rest. "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, holy of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

J. Jackson, Penny Pulpit, New Series, No. 627.

References: Revelation 1:10.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 267. Revelation 1:10-20.—Expositor, 1st series, vol. ii., p. 115. Revelation 1:12-17.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vii., No. 357.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 1:10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, That is, the day which we in general call Sunday; denominated the Lord's day, in memory of his resurrection from the dead. That the primitive Christians set this day apart for religious worship, appears both from St. Paul's Epistles, and from Justin Martyr's Apology, Ignatius, Tertullian, &c. It should be observed, that this Revelation was given on the Lord's day, when the apostle's heart and affections, as we may reasonably suppose, were peculiarly sublimed by the meditations and devotions of the day, and rendered more capable of receiving divine inspiration. The heavenly visions were vouchsafed to St. John, as they were before to Daniel, (ch. Revelation 9:20.) after supplication and prayer; and there being two kinds of prophetic revelation, in a vision, and a dream, the Jews accounted a vision superior to a dream, as representing things more perfectly, and to the life; so that this book is represented as the highest degree of prophetic revelation.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae



Revelation 1:10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.

WE are told by our blessed Lord, “Not to fear those who can only kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.” The truth is, that whilst men are wreaking their vengeance upon the body, they cannot obstruct God’s communications to the soul, or destroy the happiness of those whom they desire to torment. Paul and Silas have borne testimony to this: for, with their feet fastened in the stocks, and their backs torn with scourges, they “sang praises to God aloud at midnight.” St. John, too, when he was “banished to the Isle of Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ:” and was there “a companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ,” participating, in his advanced age, the afflictions with which all the seven Churches of Asia had been visited; he, I say, received more abundant manifestations of God’s love to his soul, and was honoured there with revelations more full and complete, than were ever vouchsafed to any other child of man. And we also, if suffering for the sake of Jesus Christ, may expect that, “as our afflictions abound, so also shall our consolations abound by Christ [Note: 2 Corinthians 1:5.].”

In confirmation of this, I will shew,

I. How far this experience of St. John may be realized in us—

When it is said, that “He was in the Spirit” on the Lord’s day, I conceive that we are to understand, he was in a trance or ecstacy, somewhat similar to that of the Apostle Paul, who was “caught up into the third heavens, and knew not whether he was in the body, or out of the body [Note: 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. with Revelation 4:2.].” Yet, as it was the Lord’s day, a day kept sacred by the Christian Church, in commemoration of the resurrection of our blessed Lord [Note: On the first day of the week our Lord appeared to his Disciples: on that day, in the following week, he appeared to them again, John 20:19; John 20:26. From that time the Church assembled on that day for holy exercises, Acts 20:7; and it was ever afterwards kept holy, 1 Corinthians 16:2.], we may be sure that he was in a frame of mind becoming the Sabbath of the Lord. Now, I readily acknowledge, that, as far as relates to any thing miraculous, Christians of the present day have no warrant to expect any communications similar to those which were vouchsafed to John: but of spiritual blessings it is the privilege of every Christian to participate; and on the Sabbath-day he ought to experience a more abundant effusion of them on his soul.

1. The Lord’s day is set apart for that end—

[It is a day on which all worldly business should be suspended, and the soul be wholly given up to divine and spiritual employments. The ceremonial part of the Sabbath may be considered as abrogated, together with the rest of the Mosaic ritual: but the moral observance of it is as much in force as ever. Even in Paradise that was enjoined, and therefore we are assured it is of perpetual obligation: and the kind of observance which it demands, is well described by the prophet: “Thou shalt turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and shalt call the Sabbath a delight; the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words [Note: Isaiah 58:13.].” Here we see how the Sabbath should be sanctified: every thing that is earthly and carnal should be banished from our minds; and our whole conversation and employment should have a direct reference to God, and to the concerns either of our own souls, or of the Redeemer’s kingdom in the world.]

2. Our frame of mind should be suited to it—

[If we regard the Lord’s day as we ought, “then,” as the prophet says, “shall we delight ourselves in the Lord; and he will cause us to ride upon the high places of the earth, and will feed us with the heritage of Jacob our father [Note: Isaiah 58:14.].” Six days God has given us for earthly labour: the seventh should be wholly his; our thoughts and desires going out after him; our souls rising to him in sweet meditation, and in holy intercourse; our praises ascending from the altar of our hearts, and all our sacrifices doubled. In a word, we should then “dwell in God, and have God dwelling in us;” so near should be our access to him, so intimate our communion with him, so entirely our souls surrendered up to him. On every day we should be “a people near unto God;” but on the Sabbath more especially we should be able to say, “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ [Note: 1 John 1:3.].” In this sense we should “be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” To “be filled with the Spirit,” is as much our privilege, as it was of the Apostles [Note: Ephesians 5:18.]. To “pray in the Holy Ghost,” to “walk in the Spirit,” and “live in the Spirit,” are not peculiar to any order of men, or any age of the Church: they are duties enjoined on all [Note: Jude, ver. 20. Galatians 5:25.]: and if we serve our God with the fidelity that becomes us, these things will characterize our whole lives, whilst they will preeminently appear on the Sabbath-day.]

That we may not think lightly of this privilege, let me proceed to state,

II. The special call we have to seek it—

To illustrate this, I would observe,

1. Our necessities require it—

[By our intercourse with the world, we are, to a certain degree, clogged and fettered, so that we cannot run our race with the steadiness that we could wish. But, on the Sabbathday, all “these weights are laid aside,” and our garments being girt about us, we make our way with augmented rapidity [Note: Hebrews 12:1.]. If I may be permitted to use so familiar an expression, we are going down, like a clock, throughout the week; and need to be wound up on the Sabbath-day, for further exertions in the service of our God. And who has ever truly sanctified his Sabbaths, without being able to attest, that they have been made effectual for this blessed end? Like Elijah, we have a long journey before us; and we eat richly of the provision which God has made for us. But God sets a second feast before us: and we rise and eat again; and are thus strengthened for exertions, which would have far surpassed our natural strength [Note: 1 Kings 19:5-8.]. Yes, a second ordinance has been the means of completing that, which the first had only begun. Indeed, God often so peculiarly adapts the provisions of his house to our peculiar necessities, that it seems as if the minister had been informed of our particular case, and had been addressing himself to us alone. And here I may put it to the conscience of every individual amongst us, and ask him, Whether he has not actually found that he has suffered loss in his soul, when he has neglected to improve a Sabbath, and spent it in vain pursuits? Nay, I may further ask, Whether a very great portion of the enormities committed, amongst those who call themselves Christians, may not, in a great measure, be traced to a neglect of the Sabbath-day? I may justly say then, that “the Sabbath was made for man [Note: Mark 2:27.],” even for the supplying of our spiritual necessities; and that those necessities loudly call upon us to sanctify that day unto the Lord.]

2. The ordinances are unprofitable to us without it—

[Whence is it that so many attend upon divine ordinances from year to year, and never derive any saving benefit from them? It is because they do not ever seek to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s-day. When they wake in the morning, they have no distinct consciousness, that it is a day to be consecrated wholly to the Lord. When they rise, they do not earnestly implore help from God, to enable them to improve their time aright, and to sanctify to them the ordinances of his grace. When they come up to the house of God, they do not endeavour to get their minds duly impressed with a sense of the importance of the work in which they are engaged. When hearing the blessed word of God, they do not receive it as the word of God himself to their souls: nor, when his seed has been sown in their hearts, do they go and harrow it in by prayer. They attend on the duties of the Sabbath as a form; and never call themselves to an account at the close of the day, how they have improved it, or what blessing they have obtained, or whether they are one jot nearer to heaven. Is it to be wondered at that these persons never make any advance in religion? What kind of a crop would the husbandman have, if he were equally careless about his agricultural pursuits? Here, then, is the true reason why the most faithful ministers labour, as it respects the greater part of their hearers, in vain. A person who has attained to the age of forty-two has had no less than six entire years of Sabbaths. What might not such an one have attained, if he had improved them for the end for which they were given? what knowledge of divine truth, what enjoyment of the Divine presence, and what meetness for the heavenly inheritance? Yet are there many who have made no more advance in any of these things, than if no such opportunities had ever been afforded them. I charge you, brethren, that, whatever guilt you may have contracted by your abuse of past Sabbaths, you begin this day to improve them for your eternal good, that they may not rise up in judgment against you, to your everlasting confusion.]

3. The Sabbath thus improved, will be a foretaste of the eternal Sabbath to our souls—

[There is a rest remaining for the people of God. And, O! what a rest will that be!—an entire rest of the soul in God! a total absence of every disquieting thought! a complete enjoyment of the Divine presence, and a perfect exercise of all our faculties in His service! In proportion as we spend the Lord’s day aright, this is our frame in this life: and our Sabbaths on earth are a preparation for, and a prelude to, our eternal rest. Say, brethren, is it not desirable to enjoy, thus, what I may call a heaven upon earth? Do not grudge the labour or the self-denial that are necessary for the attainment of this state. Richly will the fruit repay the culture, and the recompence reward the toil experienced in the pursuit of it. See on a dying bed those who have employed their Sabbaths according to the will of God: will you find no difference between them and the careless votaries of pleasure? And, follow the two to the bar of judgment; and will you find no great distinction between them there? I say then, to every one amongst you, Fulfil your duties to the world, with zeal and diligence, on the six days that are allotted you, though not without a careful waiting upon God; for you may be “not slothful in business, and yet fervent in spirit, serving the Lord:” but, on the Sabbath, live exclusively for God, and seek to be wholly “in the Spirit on the Lord’s-day.”]

And now suffer, I pray you, a word of exhortation—

[Consider, brethren, how many Sabbaths you have lost; and not one of them can ever be recalled. Consider, too, how few may yet remain to you. It is possible that, to some one here present, this very Sabbath may be the last. O! what bitter regret will arise in your minds, if you are called into eternity before the interests of your immortal souls have been secured! Do not delay this necessary work: do not arm death with terrors so appalling, as those must be which you will have to encounter in a dying hour, on a retrospect of your past advantages, and in the prospect of your future doom. Reflect, rather, how glorious your prospects will be on the borders of eternity, if now you give yourselves up wholly to your God; and how “abundant an entrance will then be ministered unto you into the everlasting kingdom of your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” I would that you would all set that day before you; and then I should have but little occasion to press upon you a due improvement of the Lord’s day. But, I readily acknowledge, you cannot do this of yourselves. Yet you are not thereby justified: for the Spirit of God. should assuredly be poured out upon you, if you would seek his influences; and through his mighty agency you should be raised to holy contemplations and to heavenly delights. May a Pentecostal effusion of that blessed Spirit be now experienced amongst you, and your present delight in God be a pledge and foretaste of your eternal blessedness!]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. 1832.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 1:10. With ἐγενόμην ἐν πνεύματι we dare not immediately combine ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ, in the sense: “I saw in the Spirit the day of judgment;” i.e., “I foresaw it represented.”(702) In contradiction with this(703) are, the fact that the presentation of γίνεσθαι ἐν πνεύ΄ατι is in itself complete, the expression κυριακὴ ἡ΄έρα, and the circumstance that the contents of the book are not limited to the day of judgment. The ἐν πνεύ΄ατι(704) designates essentially nothing else than the ἐν ἐκστάσει of Acts 22:18; Acts 11:5. Yet by πνεῦ΄α,(705) the Divine Spirit, in his objectivity,(706) cannot be understood,(707) but the πνεῦμα must by all means be interpreted subjectively.(708) The antithesis is γιν. ἐν ἑαυτῷ,(709) or, according to 1 Corinthians 14:14 sqq., ἐν τῷ νοί.(710) The ἐν πνεύματι is understood in one way, Romans 8:9, and in another also in Matthew 22:43; Mark 12:36, where the subjective πνεῦμα is designated as sanctified or prophetically illumined by the objective Spirit of God; while in the present passage, as well as in Revelation 4:2, and especially Revelation 21:10, the reference to the efficacy of the Holy Ghost is in no way removed, but by πνεῦμα is understood only the higher, spiritual nature of man,(711) in virtue of which he is capable of receiving a revelation, having visions, and being ἐν ἐκστάσει.

The κυριακὴ ἡμέρα(712) is the first day of the week, the Sunday, which was celebrated as the day of the Lord’s resurrection.(713) On the holy day, John was especially well prepared to receive the divine revelation. [See Note XXV., p. 125.] But there is no foundation for understanding the κυριακὴ ἡμ. of an Easter Day,(714) or for assigning to that Sunday(715) the fulfilment of the expectation, attested by Jerome, that Christ will return on Easter Day.(716)

ὁπίσω μου refers not to the fact that a revelation of the invisible God is presented,(717) nor that John must first be prepared by hearing for the impending sight, as no one can see God without dying.(718) Against both these views, is the fact that John not only actually sees Christ, but also experiences the complete effect thereof.(719) It is also not to be said that “here clearly the awakening to ecstatic consciousness is described,” as though John at first had seen nothing, “at least, nothing remarkable,” but only first heard;(720) for “the awakening to ecstatic consciousness,”(721) which is not everywhere represented, has already occurred, since John hears or sees,(722) viz., in the Spirit. It is only the unexpected, surprising utterance of the divine voice that is here stated.(723) A comparison may, at all events, be made with Ezekiel 3:12, where, however, the presentation seems to be conditioned by the development of the scene itself.

The mighty, loud(724) voice is like the sound of a trumpet. In connection with the use of the ὡς σάλπιγγος(725) purely as a comparison, the remark is not applicable that the assembling of congregations, and the appearances or revelations of God and Christ, are announced with the sound of a trumpet.(726)

The voice which imparts the command, Revelation 1:11,(727) belongs not to “an angel speaking in the person of Christ,”(728) nor to the angel mentioned in Revelation 1:1,(729) nor to God speaking in distinction from Christ, who speaks in Revelation 1:15.(730) It has been thought that the voice proceeds from him whom John, Revelation 1:12 sqq., sees, and therefore from Christ himself;(731) but on account of Revelation 4:1, this cannot be admitted. It is therefore, as in Revelation 4:1, Revelation 10:4; Revelation 10:8, entirely undecided as to whom this voice belongs. This also agrees very well with the ὁπίσω μου.

κυριακὴν ἁγίαν ἡμέραν διάγομεν (“We keep the holy Lord’s day”). Barnabas, Ep., c. Revelation 15 : ἄγομεν τὴν ἡμέραν τὴν ὀγδόην εἰς εὐφροσύνην, ἐν καὶ ἰησοῦς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, κ. τ. λ. (“We devote the eighth day to gladness, on which also Jesus rose from the dead”), etc.


XXV. Revelation 1:10. ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ

Trench: “Some have assumed, from this passage, that ἡμέρα κυριακή was a designation of Sunday already familiar among Christians. This, however, seems a mistake. The name had, probably, its origin here. A little later, we find ἡμέρα κυριακή familiar to Ignatius, as Dominica solemnia to Tertullian (De Anima, c. 9; cf. Dionysius of Corinth, quoted by Eusebius, H. E., iv. 23, 8; Clement of Alexandria, Strom., vii. 12; Origen, Con. Cels., viii. 22). But, though the name ‘the Lord’s Day’ will very probably have had here its rise (the actual form of the phrase may have been suggested by κυριακὸν δεῖπνον, 1 Corinthians 11:20), the thing, the celebration of the first day of the week as that on which the Lord brake the bands of death, and became the head of a new creation, called therefore sometimes ἀναστάσιμος ἡμέρα,—this was as old as Christianity itself (John 20:24-29; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20:7; Epistle of Barnabas, c. 17).” A refutation of the interpretation as “the day of the Lord’s coming” is given in Alford.


XXV. Revelation 1:10. ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ

Trench: “Some have assumed, from this passage, that ἡμέρα κυριακή was a designation of Sunday already familiar among Christians. This, however, seems a mistake. The name had, probably, its origin here. A little later, we find ἡμέρα κυριακή familiar to Ignatius, as Dominica solemnia to Tertullian (De Anima, c. 9; cf. Dionysius of Corinth, quoted by Eusebius, H. E., iv. 23, 8; Clement of Alexandria, Strom., vii. 12; Origen, Con. Cels., viii. 22). But, though the name ‘the Lord’s Day’ will very probably have had here its rise (the actual form of the phrase may have been suggested by κυριακὸν δεῖπνον, 1 Corinthians 11:20), the thing, the celebration of the first day of the week as that on which the Lord brake the bands of death, and became the head of a new creation, called therefore sometimes ἀναστάσιμος ἡμέρα,—this was as old as Christianity itself (John 20:24-29; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20:7; Epistle of Barnabas, c. 17).” A refutation of the interpretation as “the day of the Lord’s coming” is given in Alford.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 1:10. ἐγενόμην) A sentence consisting of three members: ἐγενόμην· ἐγενόμην· καὶ ἤκουσα: Revelation 1:9-10.— ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ, on the Lord’s day) That there is a Lord’s day, and that it is so called, is plain even from this passage: moreover, that the Lord’s day is that day which was called by the Gentiles the day of the Sun, which is the first day of every week, and which is opposed to the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, is clear from the universal stimony of Christian antiquity. We may also learn the reason of this title from the Scripture itself of the New Testament. Many seek the origin of the title in the fact of the Lord’s Resurrection on that day. This indeed is true, but it cannot have been the principal or the only reason. The days of the Lord’s Nativity, of His Baptism, Transfiguration, Cross, Resurrection, Ascension, and Coming in glory, are all remarkable. Which of these is in the highest sense the Lord’s day? The Lord’s Supper is the supper of the Lord: the Lord’s day is the day of our Lord Jesus Christ; under which name the style of the apostle denotes the one day of His coming, which also is spoken of absolutely as the day, or that day. The opinion of the ancient Christians is not at variance with this view; respecting which opinion these things are read in Jerome on that passage, at midnight, Matthew 25 : Let us say something, which perhaps may be useful to the reader. There is a tradition of the Jews, that Christ will come at midnight, in consonance with the time in Egypt, when the passover was celebrated, and the destroying angel came, and the Lord passed over the tents [of Israel]: the door-posts of our foreheads, too, have been consecrated with the blood of a Lamb. Whence I suppose, also that the apostolical tradition has continued, that on the eve of the passover it is not permitted to dismiss the people before midnight, expecting the coming of Christ: and when that time shall have passed, security being now presumed upon, all keep the festival. The Lord was expected on every Lord’s day, although the solemn expectation of His Coming was especially celebrated before the Paschal Lord’s day. The seventh day is a memorial of the creation: the first day is a memorial of the final consummation. The former is the day of Jehovah: the latter, the day of the Lord. Undoubtedly, whoever perceives beforehand in his mind, that the first day of the week is called the Lord’s day, because that is the day of the Lord’s coming, he then, and not till then, perceives with what remarkable propriety it happened to John, that he should, on the Lord’s day, both see and describe the Lord as coming.

I once thought that the vision, which Ezekiel relates from ch. 40, was on the day of the Sabbath, and that that day of the Sabbath might be compared with the Lord’s day mentioned in this passage; but I now of my own accord give up that idea. For indeed, in the year of the world 3374, in which Calvisius places that vision, the first day of Tisri was the Sabbath; but the vision was three years afterwards, on the tenth day of Tisri, in the middle of the week. The Lord’s day opens another inquiry. Irenæus, nearly a contemporary writer, affirms that the Apocalypse was seen πρὸς τῷ τέλει, at the end of the reign of Domitian; and, besides others, Newton vainly opposes him, in his Observ. on the Ap. p. 163. See Exeg. Germ. p. 174. But Domitian was slain in the 96th year Dion., on the 18th Sept., on the Lord’s day: and since Irenæus thus accurately marks the time of the vision by the well-known death of the persecutor, it will be most safe to depart as little as possible from the very day. But what if that Lord’s day in that year was the 3d April, that is, the paschal feast; or the 19th June: comp. Ord. Temp. p. 389 [Ed. ii. p. 334, sq.]; or the 18th of September itself? I define nothing: I follow the footsteps of Irenæus. At any rate, the fact of the Apocalypse being given before the death of Domitian supplies another observation. Apollonius of Tyana was addressing the people at Ephesus, and in the middle of his speech he exclaimed, Strike the tyrant; and again, Be of good courage, the tyrant is slain. And on that day, and at that hour, Domitian was slain at Rome. Whether Apollonius had been aware of the conspiracy against Domitian, or perceived from any other source what was taking place, the Apocalypse at the same time supplied the Ephesians with a much greater discovery of future events, to check the followers of Apollonius, and to vindicate the glory of Jesus Christ.— ἤκουσα ὀπίσω μου, I heard behind me) John’s face had been turned towards the east; and in like manner the Lord, while He appears to him, directed His face to the east, towards Asia, to which the writing was to be sent.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I was in the Spirit; not only in spiritual employment, suppose meditation and prayer, but in an ecstasy; my soul was (as it were) separated from my body, and under the more than ordinary influence and communications of the Spirit, as Acts 10:10 11:5 16:9 18:9.

On the Lord’s day; upon the Christian sabbath, called the Lord’s day, ( as the eucharist, or breaking of bread, is called the Lord’s supper, 1 Corinthians 11:20), because Christ instituted it; or, because the end of its institution was the remembrance of Christ’s resurrection, (as the end of the Lord’s supper was the commemoration of Christ’s death), or because it was instituted for the honour of Christ.

And heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet: John in the isle of Patmos was keeping the Christian sabbath in spiritual services, meditation and prayer, and fell into a trance, wherein he had a more immediate communion with the Holy Spirit, which begun with his hearing a loud voice, as it were, behind him, as loud as the sound of a trumpet.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

в духе Это не было сном. Не во сне, а наяву Иоанн был перенесен божественной силой из материального мира в мир сверхъестественных ощущений. Святой Дух обострил его чувства, чтобы он мог воспринять откровение от Господа (ср. Деян. 10:11).

день воскресный То же, что в других местах «Божий день», «день Господень». Эта фраза появляется во многих ранних христианских писаниях и относится к воскресению – дню Воскресения Господня. Некоторые предполагают, что фраза означает «День Господа», но такой перевод не соответствует оригиналу, где слово имеет форму прилагательного «Господень».

громкий голос Во всей книге Откровение громкий звук голоса подчеркивает торжественность того, что Бог собирается открыть.

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Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

In the Spirit; under his miraculous and prophetical influence.

The Lord’s day; the first day of the week, commemorating the Lord’s resurrection, and observed as a day of divine worship, the Christian Sabbath.

A great voice; that of Jesus Christ. Verse Revelation 1:13. The fact that the first day of the week was regarded by the apostles and first Christians as, in a special sense, the Lord’s day, and that it was known and kept as such, devoted to divine worship and acts of beneficence throughout the churches, indicates the will of God that it should be observed in all coming ages as the Christian Sabbath. 1 Corinthians 16:2.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘I was in Spirit on the Lord’s day.’

The phrase ‘in Spirit’ refers in Revelation to the work of the Spirit in bringing John to a specific point or place so that he may receive a vision, moving backwards and forwards in space and time (Revelation 4:2; Revelation 17:3; Revelation 21:10). Compare also Ezekiel in Ezekiel 3:12; Ezekiel 3:14; Ezekiel 8:3; Ezekiel 11:1; Ezekiel 11:24; Ezekiel 37:1; Ezekiel 43:5.

‘On the Lord’s day.’ This is the only occasion where such a phrase is connected with being ‘in the Spirit’. And this suggests that it is not just a reference to the day on which it happened, for that is never considered important anywhere else, but rather to a reference to where the Spirit took him. Thus we must question whether it means what we call ‘Sunday’.

Sunday is not called ‘the Lord’s day’ (he kyriake hemera) anywhere in Scripture, and as far as we know the term was not elsewhere used in that way until the early second century, when it was possibly by mistaken implication from this book. In fact the technical term in the New Testament for what we call Sunday was ‘the first day of the week’. This was true when 1 Corinthians was written (1 Corinthians 16:2) and also when Luke was writing (Acts 20:7).

So in view of the fact that the phrase ‘in the Spirit’ occurs three times more in Revelation (Revelation 4:2; Revelation 17:3; Revelation 21:10), in each case when John is introduced to particular revelations, it seems certain that this phrase here refers to such a revelation and this would suggest that the phrase ‘the Lord’s day’ parallels to some extent references to ‘the day of the Lord’, that great day when God would act to bring about His final purposes.

But the change of phraseology prevents direct connection. Had John meant ‘the day of the Lord’ he would have said so. While in Hebrew, and therefore in the Old Testament, a phrase directly parallel to ‘the Lord’s day’ is not linguistically possible, it would have been possible in the New. But when the phrase ‘the day of the Lord’ also occurs in the New Testament, as it often does, it is always in the same form as in the Old Testament. It is a technical term directly imitating the Hebrew. Thus had he meant that John would have used it here.

The fact is that in the New Testament ‘the Lord’s’ always means ‘Christ’s’. Compare for this ‘the Lord’s supper’ (1 Corinthians 11:20), and also see 1 Corinthians 7:22; 1 Corinthians 10:21; 1 Corinthians 11:26; 1 Corinthians 11:29; Galatians 1:19. So this is rather referring to ‘the Lord Christ’s day’, for which compare 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 5:5; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 1:10; Philippians 2:16. This is confirmed by the immediately following vision of Christ as about to act on His day.

So in this vision John is transported to ‘Christ’s day’ or, as he puts it literally, ‘the Lord’s day’, to the time when the Lord Christ is about to have His day, the day awaited from the beginning of time.

This is in contrast with the present time. At present it is ‘man’s day’ (1 Corinthians 4:3 - which is of similar construction) rather than the Lord’s day (1 Corinthians 4:5). But that is now about to pass and man will learn at Christ’s return that man has had his day. So John is brought face to face with the glorified Christ at the point when He is ready to bring this age to completion and to carry out the final judgment.

The Day of Christ differs from the Day of the Lord in that the former refers to the day in terms of Christian accountability whereas the latter refers to the time of God’s judgments on the world, although this latter signifies more than that for it culminates in the new Heavens and the new earth (2 Peter 3:10-13) connecting the two. But John’s message is specifically to Christians and he is concerned to refer the day specifically to them so that it is ‘Christ’s day’ that he refers to.

It should be noted that this reference to time refers only to this particular vision. There are therefore no specific grounds for referring the phrase ‘the Lord’s day’ to any other visions in Revelation, for they move backward and forward in time.

The significance of this first vision is to remind the churches that Christ is coming, that the day of Christ is imminent, and that He is, as it were, poised on the point of returning for His people, something which will encourage them in what lies ahead. It is to remind them that they must therefore be in readiness for that Coming.

Later in Revelation 19 that coming will be described in terms which clearly connect with this vision. So in vision John is taken forward in time (he was not aware of how long it would be) so that he can report back to the churches that he has seen the glory of the Coming One for Whom they are waiting, standing as it were at the gate, ready to return, thus stressing the imminence of His return.

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Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Holy Spirit appears to have caught John up and projected him in his spirit to a future time in a vision (cf. Revelation 4:2; Revelation 17:3; Revelation 21:10; Ezekiel 3:12; Ezekiel 3:14; Ezekiel 8:3; Ezekiel 11:1; Ezekiel 11:24; Ezekiel 43:5). [Note: See F. J. A. Hort, The Apocalypse of St. John, p15.]

The "Lord"s day" probably refers to Sunday. [Note: Swete, p13; Morris, p51; Newell, p24; Johnson, pp424-25; Mounce, p76; Beasley-Murray, p65; Aune, p84; Ladd, p31; Beale, pp203-4; Roger T. Beckwith and Wilfred Stott, This is The Day: The Biblical Doctrine of the Christian Sabbath in its Jewish and Early Christian Setting.] But it could refer to the future day of the Lord spoken of frequently elsewhere in Scripture. [Note: E. W. Bullinger, The Apocalypse or "The Day of the Lord," p152; Walvoord, p42; Smith, p324.] The New Testament writers never called Sunday the Lord"s day elsewhere in Scripture. This term became common after the apostolic age. [Note: Thomas, Revelation 1-7, p91.]

A loud trumpet-like voice instructed John to write down what he saw and send it to seven churches in Asia Minor. The trumpet reference probably implies that submission to its command was necessary. The voice belonged to Jesus Christ ( Revelation 1:12; Revelation 1:17-18).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

3. "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day"--1:10.

The claim that John was in the spirit means that he was in visional rapture, not in the Holy Spirit, but in the state described of Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:1-21, and of Peter in Acts 10:1-48. As though out of the body, John was in a state in which the external objects and material surroundings were as though they did not exist--he had for the time passed out of the physical world into the spiritual state. This was not the effect of any natural cause, but rather the result of the interposition of supernatural power.

The words visions and dreams are not synonymous, and their meanings are not identical, though sometimes they are used indiscriminately in the Scriptures, as in Genesis 46:2; Numbers 12:6; Job 20:8; and Daniel 2:28. In the vision, the subject may be awake, as in 2 Kings 6:17; Acts 23:11; Acts 27:23 --in a state of supernatural ecstasy. But in the dreams through which God revealed his purposes and his will, and in the divine purpose, to him was also imparted the powers of interpretation.

The examples of such dreams were numerous, as in Genesis 20:3-6; Genesis 28:12-14; 1 Samuel 28:6; Daniel 2:1-45; and Joel 2:28. This power to interpret was, of course, supernatural and, therefore, the dreams and visions belonged only to the supernatural prophetical and apostolic ages and ceased with them.

Since the complete revelation of God's will for the redemption of man and the edification of his church has been delivered, and its inspired documents committed to the apostolic records of the New Testament, there can be no need or reason for their existence, and no confidence can be held in the claims and pretensions of individuals and cults presuming to employ them, and such presumption can only be labelled as false and impious.

The verse under consideration states that John was in the spirit on the Lord's day. The preposition on is the same in the Greek as in, and the context must determine the distinction. The use of it here means in the midst of the Lord's day. It is not a reference to the first day of the week, but to the day in which the Lord accomplished these events, as used in Isaiah 13:9 in which Isaiah described the destruction of ancient Babylon as the day of the Lord; and in Zechariah 14:1 where Zechariah referred to the destruction of Jerusalem as the day of the Lord. The phrase meant the day of events connected with the judgments of the Lord. 2 Timothy 1:18 referred to the day of God's mercy, meaning the time in which his mercy is extended to men. In this sense the phrase in the Lord's day is used in Revelation 1:10; it means in day of the rapture into which the Lord had placed John--that he had been transported into the midst of the scenes of the vision as though he was, himself, in the day of their happening.

(4) The voice of the Son of man.

1. "And heard behind me a great voice"--1:10.

This part of the scene was not occult, but auditory. John heard this voice, and it came from behind him, from a point where he was not looking. The great voice was "as a trumpet"--a signal, as if to announce the approach of a solemn epiphany, a divine presence.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". 1966.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary



In Dominica die, Greek: en te kuriake emera.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Spirit. App-101. See Revelation 4:2; Revelation 17:3; Revelation 21:10.

on = in (Greek. en).

the Lord"s day = the day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:12, &c), the Hebrew terms for which are equivalent to the Greek he kuriake hemera, the Lord"s day. Occurances: 1 Thessalonians 5:2. 2 Thessalonians 2:2 (with texts). 2 Peter 3:16. Not our Sunday.

trumpet. In O.T. connected with war and the day of the Lord. See Zephaniah 1:14-16; &c. This verse (10) is the key to understanding the book of Revelation: John was taken "in the power of The Holy Spirit", from (A.D. 96) on to a time past this present time, to the future ("the day of the Lord"), and shown things both past and that are future.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

I was - `I came to be:' 'I became.'

In the Spirit - in a state of ecstasy: the outer world shut out: the inner spirit, being taken possession of by God's Spirit, establishing an immediate connection with the invisible world. While the prophet 'speaks' in the Spirit, the apocalyptic seer is in the Spirit wholly. The spirit alone (which connects us with God) is active, or recipient, in the apocalyptic state. With Christ this being "in the Spirit" was not the exception, but invariable.

On the Lord's day. Though forcibly detained from church communion with the brethren on "the Lord's day," the weekly commemoration of the resurrection, John was enjoying spiritual communion. The earliest mention of the term. But the consecration of the day to worship, almsgiving, and the Lord's supper, is implied, Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2 : cf. John 20:19-26. It corresponds to "the Lord's supper," 1 Corinthians 11:20. Ignatius alludes to "the "Lord's day" ('Ad Magnes,' 9:), and Irenaeus, in the 'Quaests. ad Orthod.,' 115: (in Justin Martyr). Justin Martyr, 'Apology,' 2:, 98, etc., 'On Sunday we hold our joint meeting: for the first day is that on which God, having removed darkness, made the world, and Jesus Christ our Saviour rose from the dead. On the day before Saturday they crucified Him; on the day after Saturday, Sunday, having appeared to His apostles, He taught.' To it Pliny refers ('Ep.,' 97:, b. 10:): 'The Christians, on a fixed day, before dawn, meet and sing a hymn to Christ as God,' etc.

(second Tertullian, 'De Coron.,' 3:, 'On the Lord's day we deem it wrong to fast.' Melito, Bishop of Sardis (second century), wrote a book on the Lord's day ('Eusebius,' 4:, 26). Also Dionysius of Corinth (A.D. 170 AD), in Eusebius, 'Ecclesiastical History,' 4:, 23, 8; Clement of Alexandrinus (A.D. 194 AD), 'Stromata,' 5: and 7:, 12; Origen, 'C. Cels.,' 8:, 22. Romans 14:5-6, refers not to the Sabbath, but to days of Jewish observance: "He that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it," is not in 'Aleph ( a ) A B C Delta G f g, Vulgate. The theory that the day of Christ's second coming is meant, is untenable. 'The day of the Lord' is different from [ hee (Greek #3588) kuriakee (Greek #2960) heemera (Greek #2250)] "the Lord's (an adjective) day," which in the ancient Church always designates Sunday, though possibly the two shall coincide (at least in parts of the earth), whence a tradition is in Jerome, on Matthew 25:1-46, that the Lord's coming was expected on the Paschal Lord's day. The visions of the Apocalypse, seals, trumpets, and vials, etc., are grouped in sevens, and naturally begin on the first day of the seven, the birthday of the Church, whose future they set forth (Wordsworth).

Great voice - summoning solemn attention: Greek order, 'Aleph (') C h, Vulgate, 'I heard behind me a voice great (loud) as (that) of a trumpet.' The trumpet summoned to religious feasts, accompanying God's revelation of Himself.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) I was (or, I became) in the Spirit.—The mind, drawn onward by the contemplation of things spiritual, is abstracted from the immediate consciousness of outward earthly forms of life. In great natures this power is usually strong. Socrates is related to have stood rapt in thought for hours, and even days, unconscious of the midday heat, or the mocking wonder of his comrades. To high-souled men, set upon the spiritual welfare of the race, this power of detaching themselves from the influence of the outward is the result of their earnestness; the things spiritual are to them the real; the things seen are temporal. It is the Holy Spirit alone which can give the power of this spiritual abstraction; but it is through the ordinary use of means that this power is bestowed. In St. John’s case it was on the Lord’s Day that this spiritual rapture was vouchsafed.

The Lord’s day.—There is no ground whatever for the futurist interpretation that this expression refers to the “Day of the Lord,” as in 2 Thessalonians 2:2. The phrase in this latter passage is totally different. The phrase here is. en te kuriake hemera. The adjective is applied by St. Paul (perhaps coined by him for the purpose) to the Lord’s Supper: from the Supper it came to be applied to the day on which Christians met for the breaking of bread. The day is still called κυριακὴ (kuriake) in the Levant. On the Lord’s Day the vision came to the Apostle. It was the hour of sweetest, closest communion, when the memories of Christ risen, and the fellowship he had enjoyed at Ephesus, would work on his spirit, and aid in raising him in highest adoration, like St. Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). When so rapt, he heard a voice, strong, clear, and resonant as a trumpet. The Apostle’s voice could not be heard among his beloved flock at Ephesus; but there was a voice which would reach from the exile at Patmos, not to Ephesus and its sister churches, but to all churches and throughout all time. The mouth which persecution closes God opens, and bids it speak to the world. So St. Paul, through the Epistles of his Captivity, still speaks. Luther, by his translation of the Bible, spoke from his confinement at Wartburg; and Bunyan, by his divine allegory, shows how feeble were the walls of his cell at Bedford to silence the voice of God. If speech be silver and silence golden, it is also true in the history of the Church that from the captivity of her teachers she has received her most abiding treasures.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
4:2; 17:3; 21:10; Matthew 22:43; Acts 10:10-33; 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
on the
John 20:19,26; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2
4:1; 10:3-8
Reciprocal: Exodus 16:23 - rest;  Exodus 19:16 - voice;  Exodus 24:16 - seventh day;  Leviticus 23:3 - GeneralNumbers 24:4 - falling;  Numbers 28:9 - GeneralPsalm 118:24 - the day;  Isaiah 56:6 - every;  Isaiah 58:1 - like;  Isaiah 58:13 - call;  Jeremiah 17:22 - neither do;  Ezekiel 3:12 - a voice;  Ezekiel 8:3 - the spirit;  Ezekiel 9:1 - cried;  Ezekiel 11:1 - the spirit;  Ezekiel 37:1 - hand;  Ezekiel 40:1 - hand;  Matthew 12:8 - GeneralMark 2:28 - GeneralMark 16:9 - the first;  Luke 1:41 - was;  Luke 2:27 - by;  Luke 6:5 - GeneralActs 21:4 - we;  Acts 22:17 - while;  1 Thessalonians 4:16 - with the trump;  2 Timothy 3:12 - shall;  Revelation 14:2 - of a

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 1:10. — "I became in (the) Spirit on the Lord's day." All Christians are "in Christ," in contrast with their former state "in Adam," and are "in the Spirit" in contrast with their previous condition "in the flesh." No Christian can ever be found again in either "Adam" or "flesh," both describing a past condition. In the former is signified that you are of that race of which "Adam" is head; in the latter is intimated the morally fallen condition in which the race is found. But being in the Spirit (Romans 8:1-39), as every Christian undoubtedly is, does not convey the force of "I became in (the) Spirit." The meaning is, that John was held, controlled, and characterised by an absolute subservience to the Spirit. Taken out from the consciousness of everyday life and circumstances, he found himself in another state of being. From the absence of the article before "Spirit," it must not be inferred that the Holy Spirit is not meant. It is not the Holy Spirit as a Person, nor our own spirit that is referred to, but the omission of the article marks the phrase as indicating a characteristic state, a state characterised by the Holy Ghost, and one in which the human spirit and the whole inner being were for the time absorbed (compare Ezekiel 11:24 with 2 Corinthians 12:2-3). Paul in his ecstatic state was not allowed then, nor afterwards, to record what he saw and heard. John, on the contrary, was commanded to do both.

The same form of words is found in the introduction to the subsequent visions recorded in Revelation 4:1-11; Revelation 5:1-14, etc. The scene of the spiritual state of ecstasy of Revelation 1:1-20 is on earth, whereas that of chapter 4 is in Heaven.

The whole contents of the book of Revelation were communicated in vision on the most interesting day of the week, "the Lord's day." The eight visions detailed in Zechariah were seen in one night (Zechariah 1:8 — 6). The visions of Daniel were also beheld in the night (Daniel 7:1-28).


10. — "The Lord's day" occurs but once in the Holy Scriptures, afterwards it became the common appellation of the Christian's special day of rest and worship. That the first day of the week is meant seems evident from the following considerations: First, the difference of the expression used in the original from that employed to set forth the prophetic "day of the Lord," for which see 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2. Second, the character of the first vision (vv. 12-20), which is of present application. Christ glorified in the midst of the churches could have neither place nor meaning in the period of coming judgment, spoken of in both Testaments as the "day of the Lord," and which is dependent upon the setting aside of the Church as a public witness for God on earth. These, and other considerations, forbid the application of the disputed term to the "day of the Lord," yet future.

Two great facts stamp their character on the first day of the week, the resurrection of the Lord from the dead (John 20:1-31) and the founding of the Church at Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16, with Acts 2:1-47). Thus, "the Lord's day" is no ordinary day, nor is "the Lord's supper" an ordinary meal. Both the "day" and the "supper" are distinctively His. The sacred character of the "day" and of the "supper" should be maintained in their fullest integrity. The rude hand of the spoiler would rob us of these precious heirlooms which significantly speak to the Church of His resurrection and of His death.

10. — "I heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet." The position of the Seer is significant. His back is to the Church and his face toward the kingdom. Ecclesiastical ruin foretold by Paul (Acts 20:28-32; Romans 11:1-36; 2 Timothy 3:1-17) had already set in. The polemical element in the writings of John was chiefly directed against Cerinthus (contemporary with the apostle) and others, who had commenced a vigorous and satanic crusade against Christianity. Certain Gnostic heresies, the principles of which were denounced by Paul in his Corinthian and Colossian epistles, were more fully developed in John's day, and in the second century had their distinctive schools, all in open and flagrant opposition to the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Added to these Church dangers was the persecuting power of the world. Little wonder, therefore, that the gaze of the aged and honoured prisoner was directed onward to the glory and strength of the kingdom, when right would be vindicated and wrong punished. But the Lord was not done with the Church, if John in spirit had turned his back upon it. He was to hear and see, and so must turn round and get occupied with that which was present to the Lord.

The "great voice as of a trumpet" would intimate that a matter of public importance had to be communicated, one in which the whole Church was interested. Moreover, the vision which John was called to witness behind him is introductory to the whole series subsequently revealed, thus fixing the commencement of these revelations. How fitting that the first vision presented to the rapt gaze of the Seer should be Christ in manhood, yet in power and majesty in the midst of the churches.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation".

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

In the Spirit means he was in a spiritual rapture in which he could hear and see things that could not ordinarily be heard and seen. Lord"s Day. The New testament religion has no holy days as did that of the Old. However, the Lord arose from the dead on the first day of the week ( Mark 16:9), the church was started on the first day of the week ( Leviticus 23:16; Acts 2:1-47), the disciples met on the first day of the week to break bread ( Acts 20:7), and the congregational collection of money was made on the first day of the week ( 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). These facts would give the first day of the week some distinction tilt:-1!ftri.s said of no other day. The conclusion is clear that the same day is what is meant by the Lord': day in our verse. As of a trumpet. The comparison is made because that kind of instrument had a vibratory sound that was intense in quality and far reaching in volume. John does not mean he thought he heard a trumpet, for verse12says he turned to "see the voice." But the voice was so impressive that John likened it to a trumpet. Heard behind me is significant. By coming up behind John he could hear the voice before seeing the tremendous display of spiritual imagery accompanying it.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 1:10

Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,


To be in the "Spirit" here, is not only to be in a spiritual frame, as the true worshippers are, who worship God in spirit and truth, John 4:23, praying in the spirit, and signing in the spirit, {as 1 Corinthians 14:15} but also to be in a spiritual rapture, or ecstasies, as Peter was, when he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened; { Acts 10:10-11} or, as Paul was, when he was caught up into the third heaven into the visions and revelations of Christ. { 2 Corinthians 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 12:4; 2 Corinthians 12:7}

"on the Lord's day"

The time when John was in the "Spirit" is here called, "the LORD'S DAY." Had the text been here, "in the day of the LORD" or, "in that day of the LORD" it might have been understood and expounded of any notable day of the LORD recorded in the Holy Scripture; (as 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; and 2 Peter 3:10). But the text here being "on the LORD'S day," it must be understood and expounded of that day only and most properly so called; which was well known to all the churches of saints to belong peculiarly unto Christ, then being the day of His resurrection, on which day the disciples met together to break bread, Acts 10:7 being the first day of the week. The like propriety of speech we have so expressed by the apostle; { 1 Corinthians 11:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25} "the LORD'S Supper;" which was indeed Instituted by the LORD himself. And the Lord's Day, properly so called here, was the first day of the week, {as Matthew 28:1} In the end of the Sabbath; that was, the seventh day Sabbath, which then was done away, as it began to dawn "towards the first of Sabbaths;" {so Mark 16:12} [Valde mane une Sabbatrum; the Sabbath being finished,] ( to which, the seventh day Sabbath being now ended) very early in the morning, that Isaiah, early of the first of Sabbaths. And the reader may observe, that where in our English translation the LORD'S day is called the first day of the week, it is in the Greek text called the first of Sabbaths. This is the gospel Sabbath that remaineth unto the people of God, from the day of Christ's resurrection unto His Second Coming. As the Lord's Supper ought to be celebrated in remembrance of Christ's death; { 1 Corinthians 11:24-25} so the Lord's Day ought to be observed in remembrance of his resurrection from the dead.

"And heard behind me a great Voice, as of a Trumpet"

This vision (and all the visions of God) consists of two parts, viz, something heard and something seen. That which the apostle heard was a voice behind him, (according to God's promise, Isaiah 30:20-21) an articulate voice, words that he understood, and whereby he was directed what he ought to do in the day of his exile; when he could not preach unto the churches in Asia; which direction is given in the next verse. It is called [a great voice], to wit, the voice of the great God our Saviour Jesus Christ; as of a trumpet, {as Isaiah 58:1} that Isaiah, a loud voice, and thereby a certain and distinct sound and voice of words in a tongue or language, which John did well understand, as appears by the verse following.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation".

D.S. Clark's Commentary on Revelation

V:10. "In the spirit." We cannot describe this psychological state other than to suppose that all the channels of his being were open toward God, ready for the reception of any divine communication. Had he not been "in the spirit," but spending the holy day after the modern fashion, it is needless to say no voice or vision would have come to him. The man who is in the spirit on the Lord"s day is the one who hears God speak and gets his message.

"The Lord"s day," — evidently the Christian Sabbath or the first day of the week, indicating what day the apostles observed.

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Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

The Appearance of Christ

Revelation 1:10. I was[Note: The ἐ γενό μην after the corresponding ἐ γενό μην in Revelation 1:9, not: I became, but I was.](there I was) in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet. To be in the Spirit means being in the element and state of the Spirit. In a certain sense all Christians are in the Spirit, comp. Romans 8:5, Romans 8:9, Galatians 5:25. But here by being in the Spirit is meant being so in the highest sense, in a theopneustic state, in which the natural life is entirely overcome. Parallel is Paul's being in a trance, Acts 22:17, comp. Acts 10:10, Acts 11:5. Opposed is Peter's being again in or with himself γενό μενος ἐ ν ἑ αυτῷ, in Acts 12:11, which is immediately preceded by: forthwith the angel departed from him. In vain has Züllig denied that being in the Spirit could stand for being in a state of ecstacy. His exposition: I was on the Lord's day in a kind of transport, is at once put to flight by ch. Revelation 4:2 : and immediately I was in the Spirit, where he must explain: presently was I there in a kind of transport. John also is here not in the Spirit on the Lord's day, the day of the future judgment, but he speaks throughout from the stand-point of the actual present.

There can be no doubt that the declaration, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord"s day," primarily refers only to the first series, which is a whole by itself. Hence at the beginning of the second series we have the corresponding: I was in the Spirit, ch. Revelation 4:2. It is naturally to be supposed, however, that the contents of the whole book were communicated on the same day. For the day of the Lord is, at least, quite as closely connected with the contents of the following visions. No other day is ever so much as hinted at. The half-hour in ch. Revelation 8:1 is a measure of time, serving to indicate, that in the space of a limited period the whole was shut up. Zechariah also receives the entire series of his visions, which are formally independent of each other, in a single night.

The assertion, I was in the Spirit, is turned into a lie, whenever one assumes that the prophet had laboured long at his work. The word: he spake and it was done, applies also here. It is affirmed, that the book shews everywhere the marks of great art and careful preparation. But this is partly to be explained from the consideration, that in the state of ecstacy holy men were raised far above themselves, and must not be judged by a measure which is obtained from their ordinary condition. Then, much appears to us art, or even unnatural conceit, which was quite natural and easy to the sacred bards and seers, such as their arrangements according to symbolical numbers. In any other respect, the supposition of art and laborious preparation rests upon the arbitrary hypothesis of expositors, who have pressed their own conceits upon the book, in particular have substituted in place of a series of visions, formally independent of each other, a single whole arranged after a regular plan. Finally, John's being in the Spirit was only the bursting forth for which a manifold and profound preparation paved the way.

The key to the right understanding of the day of the Lord is supplied by Revelation 1:5, where Christ is called the first-begotten from the dead, and by Revelation 1:18, where likewise reference is made to the resurrection as the pledge that he will quicken his people out of death. These passages prove,

1. That the day of the Lord is the day of the resurrection, as the day on which Christ was manifested above all others as the Lord, comp. Romans 1:4.

2. That it was so named, not because of what the church should do on that day, but because of what the Lord did on it, as a figure and pledge of what he is still going to do on it.[Note: Augustinus: Dominicus hic dies ideo dicitur, quia eo die dominus resurrexit; vel ut ipso nomine doceret, ilium diem domino consecratum esse debere.]It follows, however, from what the Lord has done on that day, that it is to be sanctified by the church, and that John so responded to this call, so yielded himself to the death-subduing power of Christ, as thereby to make himself capable and worthy of receiving the Revelation. The only point regarding which a doubt can be entertained, is whether, under the day of the Lord's[Note: The name was certainly in John's time not in common use, but was first introduced by him; perhaps, the Lord's day was formed after the Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:20.]the weekly or yearly celebration of the resurrection is to be understood. Both were even in the apostolic age singled out from the rest. The reasons for the weekly celebration have recently been set forth by Weitzel in his Christliche Passafeier der ersten drei Jahrhunderte. Even on the very first weekly return of the resurrection-day we find the apostles gathered together, in remembrance of that which had taken place eight days before, if haply the Lord might again appear; and the day was distinguished anew by a manifestation of the risen Lord, John 20:24-29. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 16:2, singles out the first day of the week as that on which the Corinthians were to lay past their contributions. On the first day of the week we find the Christians met at Troas to celebrate the Supper, Acts 20:7. Exactly seven days before had Paul arrived there: he would a second time observe the sacred day in the midst of them. The proof that the annual celebration of the day of the resurrection was also observed in a solemn manner from the first age, has likewise been produced by Weitzel. This follows, indeed, as a matter of course: the celebration of the weekly festival is hardly to be conceived without that of the yearly. Farther, from the connection of the oldest churches with the Jewish synagogue, there was only the choice left of keeping a Jewish or a Christian holyday. And finally, from the fully accredited tradition of an observance by John in regard to the Christian Passover, it appears on the most credible testimonies that the Passover-feast peculiar to Lesser Asia was introduced there on the authority of John. The knowledge possessed by the ancient church of the internal connection between the resurrection of Christ and his second coming, led to a particularly energetic, celebration of that yearly festival.[Note: Jerome on Matthew 25 : Dicamus alquid quod forsitan lectori utile sit. Traditio Judaeorum est Christum mediu nocte venturum in similitudine . AEgyptii temporis, quando Pascha celebratum est exterminator venit.

Unde reor et traditionem Apostolicam permansisse, ut in die vigiliarum Paschae ante noctis dimidium populos dimittire non licent, expectantes adventum Christi; et postquam illud fempus transierit, securitate praesumta festum cunctis agentibus diem.]Beyond doubt, Easter day was a very suitable one for receiving the Revelation, the fundamental idea of which is that Christ will come to deliver his church from death. However, since it is certain that the weekly commemoration of the resurrection had then begun, every one must naturally think of that, when he hears of the day of the Lord, and the yearly festival could not have been designated in this simple manner, but must have had some mark of distinction, as it is called by the Fathers the holy, the great, the splendid day of the Lord. "On the Sunday," says Bengel, "John received the Revelation, and a spiritual meditation of this book is truly Sunday work." It is the proper Sunday-book. Every Sunday, if spent under its influence, will awaken in us the hope of the Maranatha, which is so full of consolation especially for our times.

John hears behind him a voice. This took place because he must first hear. Had he immediately seen, he would not have been able to hear, but with a "Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and dwell among a people of unclean lips," he would have fallen prostrate on the ground; comp. Revelation 1:17. But here the reference to the church must presently come forth.

The great voice is as of a trumpet. Allusion is made to the Old Testament use of the trumpet as the sign for calling the people together, and intimating, that the Lord had something to say to them; comp. Numbers 10:2, Exodus 19:16-19, Joel 2:1, where in the immediate prospect of the day of the Lord Israel is called by the sound of the trumpet before an angry God, Joel 2:15, Matthew 24:31, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where the trumpet calls the members of the church before the Lord at his second coming. So here also the voice of the trumpet announces that the Lord has important tidings to communicate to his church, and summons them straight to his throne, that they may there receive the word of warning and consolation.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10.Was—Became, again; the word designates his transition.

In the Spirit—Spirit-wrapt. Compare Revelation 4:2; Revelation 21:10. If the man’s own spirit were meant, we might suppose the thought to be that the consciousness had ascended from the lower ground of sense, and so mounted into the spirit as to be in communication with the spirit world.

But the divine Spirit is doubtless meant; and the thought is, that the human spirit is in the divine Spirit as in a divine atmosphere, in which things of the spirit world are seen, known, and uttered. So, “How then does David in spirit call him Lord?” Matthew 22:43. “No man speaking by (Greek in) the Spirit of God, calleth Jesus accursed.” 1 Corinthians 12:3. In that supernatural state a mental production is put forth impossible to the same man’s natural powers alone. This Apocalypse is, indeed, the product of John’s mind, yet of his mind raised into a higher spiritual atmosphere. As in a divinely inspired waking dream, he thinks through a series of divine conceptions with an immediate spontaneity. The conceptions are divinely suggested to his mind, and so are, by him, thought and recorded. Under divine stimulation the language of his narrative, save where reciting the words of others, is his own.

The Lord’s day—A phrase parallel to “the Lord’s supper,” 1 Corinthians 11:20, (where see note,) and similarly indicating that the institution was established by our Lord. See our notes on Mark 2:27; John 20:26; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2.

The early Christian writers applied the word sabbath to the Jewish Saturday-sabbath, and called the Christian sabbath “the Lord’s day,” yet without thereby admitting that the Lord’s day was not the decalogue sabbath. It was of the heretical sect of Ebionites that Theodoret said, “They keep the sabbath according to Jewish law, and sanctify the Lord’s day in like manner as we do.” Says Stuart: “A party in the Christian Church adhered to this usage so long and so tenaciously that finally the Council of Laodicea (about A.D. 350) made a decree that “Christians should no longer keep the seventh day by refraining from labour.” The Church historian, Eusebius, who had all the Christian literature on the subject at command, is quoted by Stuart as saying, in his commentary on Psalm xcii: “The Word,” (that is, Christ,) “by the new covenant, translated and transferred the feast of the sabbath to the morning light, and gave as the symbol of true rest—namely, the Lord’s day—the first day of the light in which the Saviour’ obtained the victory over death, etc. On this day’ we assemble, after an interval of six days, and celebrate the holy spiritual sabbath; even all nations redeemed by him throughout the world, and do those things according to the spiritual laws which were decreed for the priests to do on the sabbath.’ All things whatever that it was their duty to do on the sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord’s day, as more appropriate to it, because it has a precedence, and is first in rank; and more honourable than the Jewish sabbath. It is traditionally handed down to us, that we should meet together on this day; and it is ordered that we should do these things announced in the Psalm.”

And heard behind me—This sublime Christophany must dawn upon St. John gradually, lest he be fatally overpowered, as in fact he was laid by it as dead. Revelation 1:17. He first only hears, and that a voice, loud, indeed, but behind him. He turns, and the candlesticks first are seen, and then the radiant person.

A great voice— Not the voice of Christ, as appears by Revelation 4:1; where see note, and also Revelation 10:4.


[REFERENCES.—1. Port of La Scala; 2. Port of Sapsila; 3. Port of Gricon; 4. Port Merica; 5. Small Western Creek; 6. Port of Diacorta; 7. Town and Monastery of Patmos; 8. Cave of the Apocalypse. Below figure 8 is traced the paved road from the harbour to the town on the hill, leaving the Apocalyptic Grotto, or cave, on the left hand.]


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 1:10. Ecstasy or spiritual rapture, the supreme characteristic of prophets in Did. xi. 7 (where the unpardonable sin is to criticise a prophet ), was not an uncommon experience in early Christianity, which was profoundly conscious of living in the long-looked for messianic age (Acts 2:17 f., cf.Ephesians 3:5), when such phenomena were to be a matter of course. Throughout the Apocalypse (Revelation 21:5, etc.) John first sees, then writes; the two are not simultaneous. While the Apocaiypse is thus the record of a vision ( , Revelation 9:17), the usual accompaniments of a vision—i.e., prayer and fasting—are significantly absent from the description of this inaugural scene, which is reticent and simple as compared, e.g., with a passage like Asc. Isa. iv. 10–16. It is possible, however, that the prophet was engaged in prayer when the trance or vision overtook him (like Peter, Acts 10:9-11, cf. Ign. ad Polyc. ii. 2, , ), since the day of weekly Christian worship is specially mentioned on which, though separated from the churches (was there one at Patmos?), he probably was wrapt in meditations (on the resurrection of Christ) appropriate to the hour. The Imperial or Lord’s day, first mentioned here in early Christian literature (so Did. xiv., Gosp. Peter 11, etc.) contains an implicit allusion to the ethnic custom, prevalent in Asia Minor, of designating the first day of the month (or week?) as in honour of the emperor’s birthday (see Thieme’s Inschr. Maeander, 1906, 15, and Deissmann in E.Bi. 2813 f.). Christians, too, have their imperial day (cf. Introd. § 2), to celebrate the birthday of their heavenly king. With his mind absorbed in the thought of the exalted Jesus and stored with O.T. messianic conceptions from Daniel and Ezekiel, the prophet had the following ecstasy in which the thoughts of Jesus and of the church already present to his mind are fused into one vision. He recalls in spirit the usual church-service with its praises, prayers, sudden voices, and silences. (Compare Ign. Magn. ix. , , .) John’s service of God (Revelation 1:2) involved suffering, instead of exempting him from the trials of ordinary Christians; the subsequent visions and utterances prove not merely that in his exile he had fallen back upon the O.T. prophets for consolation but that (cf.2 Corinthians 11:28-29) he was anxiously brooding over the condition of his churches on the mainland. Cf. Dio Chrys. Orat. xiii. 422, where the philosopher dates the consciousness of his vocation from the period of his exile. Upon the other hand, the main criterion of a false prophet (Eus. H. E.Revelation 1:17; Revelation 1:2), apart from covetousness, was speech , i.e., the arrogant, ignorant, frenzied rapture affected by pagan Cagliostros, who were destitute of any unselfish religious concern for other people. , the regular method of spiritualistic voices and appearances: , loud and clear, not an unusual expression for voices heard in a trance (cf. Martyr. Polyc. xxii. 2, Moscow MS). The following Christophany falls into rhythmical expression. As a revelation of the Lord (Revelation 1:1, cf.2 Corinthians 12:1), with which we may contrast Emerson’s saying (“I conceive a man as always spoken to from behind and unable to turn his head and see the speaker”), it exhibits several of the leading functions discharged by Jesus in the Apocalypse, where he appears as (a) the revealer of secrets (Revelation 1:1 f., Revelation 5:5), (b) the guardian and champion of the saints (Revelation 1:2-3, etc.), (c) the medium, through sacrifice, of their relationship to God, (d) associated with God in rewarding them, and (e) in the preliminary overthrow of evil which accompanies the triumph of righteousness. Compare the main elements of the divine nature as conceived by the popular religion of contemporary Phrygia, viz., (a) prophetic power, (b) healing and purifying power, and (c) divine authority (symbolised by the axe): C. B. P., ii. 357.



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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:10". The Expositor's Greek Testament. 1897-1910.