Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 1:14

His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Colors;   Jesus, the Christ;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Christ;   Churches;   Inspiration;   Theophanies;   Thompson Chain Reference - Appearance, Christ;   Christ;   Face;   Glorified Christ, the;   The Topic Concordance - Jesus Christ;   War/weapons;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Lamps;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Prophets;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Glory;   Worship;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Color, Symbolic Meaning of;   Fire;   Humility;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Ascension of Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Fire;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Angels;   Michael;   Wool;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Fire;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Colours;   Hair;   Wool;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels (2);   Apocalypse;   Colours;   Eye;   Fire;   Fire ;   Glory (2);   Hair;   Hair (2);   Justification;   Mediator;   Transfiguration (2);   Wool ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Snow;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Fire;   Golden candlesticks;   Laodicea;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Hair;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Black;   Fire;   Flame;   Hair;   Head;   White;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Amen;   Inspiration;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Color;   Fire;   Flame;   Hair;   Parousia;   Revelation of John:;   Snow;   Wool;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ancient of Days;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 30;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

His head and his hairs were white like wool - This was not only an emblem of his antiquity, but it was the evidence of his glory; for the whiteness or splendor of his head and hair doubtless proceeded from the rays of light and glory which encircled his head, and darted from it in all directions. The splendor around the head was termed by the Romans nimbus, and by us a glory; and was represented round the heads of gods, deified persons, and saints. It is used in the same way through almost all the nations of the earth.

His eyes were as a flame of fire - To denote his omniscience, and the all-penetrating nature of the Divine knowledge.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow - Exceedingly or perfectly white - the first suggestion to the mind of the apostle being that of wool, and then the thought occurring of its extreme whiteness resembling snow - the purest white of which the mind conceives. The comparison with wool and snow to denote anything especially white is not uncommon. See Isaiah 1:18. Prof. Stuart supposes that this means, not that his hairs were literally white, as if with age, which he says would be incongruous to one just risen from the dead, clothed with immortal youth and vigor, but that it means radiant, bright, resplendent - similar to what occurred on the transfiguration of the Saviour, Matthew 17:2. But to this it may be replied:

(a)That this would not accord well with that with which his hair is compared - snow and wool, particularly the latter.

(b)The usual meaning of the word is more obvious here, and not at all inappropriate.

The representation was suited to signify majesty and authority; and this would be best accomplished by the image of one who was venerable in years. Thus, in the vision that appeared to Daniel Daniel 7:9, it is said of him who is there called the “Ancient of Days,” that “his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool.” It is not improbable that John had that representation in his eye, and that therefore he would be impressed with the conviction that this was a manifestation of a divine person. We are not necessarily to suppose that this is the form in which the Saviour always appears now in heaven, anymore than we are to suppose that God appears always in the form in which he was manifested to Isaiah Isaiah 6:1, to Daniel Daniel 7:9, or to Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu in the mount, Exodus 24:10-11. The representation is, that this form was assumed for the purpose of impressing the mind of the apostle with a sense of his majesty and glory.

And his eyes were as a flame of fire - Bright, sharp, penetrating; as if everything was light before them, or they would penetrate into the thoughts of people. Such a representation is not uncommon. We speak of a lightning glance, a fiery look, etc. In Daniel 10:6, it is said of the man who appeared to the prophet on the banks of the river Hiddekel, that his eyes were “as lamps of fire.” Numerous instances of this comparison from the Greek and Latin Classics may be seen in Wetstein, in loco.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-1.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.

This description of the white hair is a "deliberate reminiscence of Daniel 7:9, where it belongs to the Ancient of Days."[47] This application to Jesus Christ of the attributes of deity is a recurring phenomenon in Revelation. There are also a number of other reflections of the Book of Daniel, not only in this passage, but throughout the book.

His eyes were a flame of fire ... This indicates the omniscience of Christ, the ability to penetrate all disguises and to judge things as they are, not as they might pretend to be.

ENDNOTE:

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

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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 1:14". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow,.... In allusion to the white head and hairs of old men, said to be hoary, or like the hoar frost, and compared to an almond tree in bloom, Ecclesiastes 12:5; and here to wool and snow for whiteness; see Ezekiel 27:18; and according to the JewsF16T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 54. 1. Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Sabbat, c. 5. sect. 2. , צמר לבן, "white wool", is the wool of a lamb just born, about which a cloth is bound, that it may not be defiled; now these metaphors are expressive of the antiquity of Christ, who is the everlasting Father, and whose goings forth were of old, even from everlasting; and of his senile gravity and prudence, for with the Ancient is wisdom; he is the wisdom of God, in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid; and also of his glory and majesty, being the brightness of his Father's glory; and likewise of his true and proper deity, since this description is the same with that of the Ancient of days in Daniel 7:9; for by his head is not here meant either God the Father, who is sometimes called the head of Christ, 1 Corinthians 11:3, nor his divine nature, which is the chief and principal in him, nor his headship over the church; nor do his hairs intend his elect, which grow upon him, and are nourished by him, and are so called for their number, weakness, and purity:

and his eyes were as a flame of fire: see Daniel 10:6; which may design the omniscience of Christ, which reaches to all persons, and things, and is very searching and penetrating, and discovers and brings to light things the most dark and obscure; and also Christ's eyes of love upon his own people, which have both heat and light; Christ's love never waxes cold, and, being shed abroad in the hearts of his people, warms theirs; and in the light of his gracious countenance do they see light; and his love, like flames of fire, melts their souls into a true and genuine repentance for sin: or else, rather his eyes of wrath and vengeance, as set upon his enemies, are here meant: which will be fierce and furious, bring swift and sudden destruction on them, before which there is no standing, and from which there is no fleeing. It is said of Augustus Caesar, that he had fiery eyesF17Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 8. p. 13. 55. ,

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

- Greek, “But,” or “And.”

like woolGreek, “like white wool.” The color is the point of comparison; signifying purity and glory. (So in Isaiah 1:18). Not age, for hoary hairs are the sign of decay.

eyes  …  as  …  flame — all-searching and penetrating like fire: at the same time, also, implying consuming indignation against sin, especially at His coming “in flaming fire, taking vengeance” on all the ungodly, which is confirmed as the meaning here, by Revelation 19:11, Revelation 19:12.

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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 1:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-1.html. 1871-8.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

14. His head and His hands were white as wool, white as snow.” This clause describes His antiquity, setting forth the fact that He is uncreated, and has existed from all eternity. “His eyes are as a flame of fire.” This certifies His omniscience. The eye is the great receptacle of knowledge, and symbolizes all the senses.

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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/revelation-1.html.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

As white wool (ως εριον λευκονhōs erion leukon). ΕριονErion (wool) in N.T. only here and Hebrews 9:19, though old word. The person of the Lord Jesus is here described in language largely from Daniel 7:9 (the Ancient of Days).

White as snow (ως χιωνhōs chiōn). Just “as snow,” also in Daniel 7:9. In N.T. only here and Matthew 28:3.

As a flame of fire (ως πλοχ πυροςhōs phlox puros). In Daniel 7:9 the throne of the Ancient of Days is πλοχ πυροςphlox puros while in Daniel 10:6 the eyes of the Ancient of Days are λαμπαδες πυροςlampades puros (lamps of fire). See also Revelation 2:18; Revelation 19:12 for this bold metaphor (like Hebrews 1:7).

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

White ( λευκαὶ )

See on Luke 9:29. Compare Daniel 7:9.

Wool - snow

This combination to represent whiteness occurs in Daniel 7:9, and Isaiah 1:18. Snow, in Psalm 51:7.

Flame of fire

Compare Daniel 10:6. Fire, in Scripture, is the expression of divine anger. The figure may include the thought of the clear and penetrating insight of the Son of Man; but it also expresses His indignation at the sin which His divine insight detects. Compare Revelation 19:11, Revelation 19:12. So Homer, of Agamemnon in a rage: “His eyes were like shining fire” (“Iliad,” i., 104); also of Athene, when she appears to Achilles: “Her eyes appeared dreadful to him” (“Iliad,” i., 200).

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

His head and his hair - That is, the hair of his head, not his whole head.

Were white as white wool — Like the Ancient of Days, represented in Daniel's vision, Daniel 7:9. Wool is commonly supposed to be an emblem of eternity.

As snow — Betokening his spotless purity.

And his eyes as a flame of fire — Piercing through all things; a token of his omniscience.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-1.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

Ver. 14. White like wool] Noting his antiquity, or rather his eternity and unspeakable purity. Thales, one of the heathen sages, called God πρεσβυτατον των οντων, the most ancient of beings. (Diog. Laert.)

As a flame of fire] Sharp and terrible, such as pierce into the inward parts, Hebrews 4:13. {See Trapp on "Hebrews 4:13"} The school of nature teacheth, that the fiery eye needeth not outward light; that seeth extra mittendo, by sending out a ray, &c.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 1:14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, The hairs of his head, &c. The word Λευκος, which we translate white, properly signifies "of great lustre." Thus ch. Revelation 20:11. I saw a great white throne, that is, "a throne with glorious lustre." This being an appearance of the Shechinah, is to be considered, as that always was, a representation of the divine Presence, Majesty, and Glory. Therefore the glory in which the Shechinah appeared in ancient prophecy, is very properly applicable to it.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-1.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

14.] and his head and his hairs (were) white like white wool, as snow (by the κεφαλή is perhaps indicated the forehead; not the face, which is afterwards described. It is only in colour, not in material, that His hair is compared to white wool; and the ὡς χιών is afterwards added to impress this still more. The whiteness signifies purity and glory, not as Aug(11) (Expos. ad Galat., c. 40, vol. iii. p. 2134: “quia et Dominus non nisi ob antiquitatem veritatis in Apocalypsi albo capite apparuit”), Vitr., Stern, al., eternity, either here or in Daniel 7:9), and his eyes as a flame of fire (so Daniel 10:6; representing perhaps, as Vitr., “perspicaciam divinæ et puræ mentis, omnia arcana pervadentis.” This may be, notwithstanding that Gabriel has eyes like lamps of fire in Daniel. Though omniscience could not be ascribed to him, the figure might be relatively consistent. But it is perhaps better to consider these physical details rather as in themselves characteristic, than as emblematic of attributes lying “beneath” them. The “fiery eye,” among the sons of men, is indicative of energy and power of command: so also in the Son of man Himself):

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-1.html. 1863-1878.

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

Revelation 1:14. To the general conception δὲ κεφαλὴ αὐτοῦ, the part which properly pertains to the description is attached by the more accurately determining καὶ.(763) Thus there is a dependence on the δὲ κεφαλὴ αὐτοῦ, corresponding to which are the special particulars, each of which is designated with the addition of αὐτοῦ; viz., οἱ ὀφθ. αὐτοῦ, οἱ ποδ. αὐτοῦ, and φων. αὐτοῦ, while the καὶ αἱ τριχ. is without the αὐτοῦ.(764) The order of thought is not, therefore, as De Wette proposes, first concerning the whole of the head, to which also face and beard belong, and then especially to the hair of the head.

The whiteness of the hair signifies neither the freedom from sin of Christ’s earthly life,(765) nor in general the holiness peculiar to him;(766) nor does it designate merely the heavenly light-nature.(767) Christ rather appears here to the Christian prophet in the same divine brilliancy in which Daniel(768) beheld not the Son of man, but the Ancient of days, whose eternity is designated by the whiteness of his hair. This interpretation(769) is justified not only by the type in Daniel, but also by the fact that Christ represents himself as the Eternal One, like the Father, Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:8, in his words, corresponding to his manifestation, Revelation 1:17-18; cf. Revelation 2:8. The eyes, “as a flame of fire,”(770) are, as all the other features, not without significant reference to the revelation itself.(771) By Revelation 2:18, Revelation 19:12,(772) the idea is presented not of omniscience in general,(773) also not of punitive justice,(774) or of holiness consuming all that is impure(775) without regard to omniscience, but of omniscience combined with holy wrath directed against all that is unholy.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 1:14. κεφαλὴ καὶ αἱ τρίχες) ἕν διὰ δυοῖν: that is, the hair of His head. Thus John saw it.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow: whiteness signifies purity; whiteness of hair signifies old age ordinarily, which commonly is attended with more prudence, as having most experience: hence this appearance of Christ may denote both his purity and wisdom, and that he is the Ancient of days; see Daniel 7:9,13,22; though there the term of Ancient of days belongs to God the Father, yet it also agreeth to Christ, who is equal with the Father, as to his Divine nature.

And his eyes were as a flame of fire; such an appearance is applied to God, Ezekiel 1:27 Daniel 10:6; and to Christ, Revelation 19:12, to denote either Christ’s knowledge, wisdom, and omniscience; or his grace in purifying souls, as fire doth metals; or his wrath and anger against his enemies.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-1.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

белая волна, как снег (Волна – это шерсть. – Прим. ред.) «Белый» означает не монохромный белый свет, но яркий, ослепительный (ср. Дан. 7:9), подобно облаку славы (шехине), это картина Его святости.

очи Его, как пламень огненный Подобно двум лазерам, глаза великого Господа проникают взглядом глубины Его Церкви (2:18; 19:12; Евр. 4:13).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-1.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And his eyes were as a flame of fire.’

Compare Daniel 10:6 where the angel has ‘eyes like flaming torches’. Fire is constantly used to depict visions of the other world, for example on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:17) and in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:27), (for its use of angels compare Hebrews 1:7), because of its unique splendour and purity. Perhaps it has within it here the idea of eyes of piercing judgment, for fire is the supreme tester (1 Corinthians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 1:7; Revelation 2:18; Revelation 19:12).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

His head, even His hair, was very white, as Daniel described the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9 (i.e, God the Father). John sometimes first stated a general term and then followed it up with a more specific one, as here (i.e, head and hair). [Note: Beckwith, pp241-42, 438.] White hair often represents wisdom and the dignity of age in Scripture.

"...Revelation borrows components of complex OT figures, not the figures themselves." [Note: Thomas E. McComiskey, "Alteration of OT Imagery in the Book of Revelation: Its Hermeneutical and Theological Significance," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society36:3 (September1993):310.]

Thus we should not import everything that Old Testament figures teach in their contexts into Revelation. In Daniel 7:9, for example, the person with the white hair is God, but the white hair symbolizes wisdom. It may be improper to conclude that God meant John to understand that the person with the white hair in Revelation 1:14 is God. He definitely meant him to understand that the person with the white hair was wise.

John referred the images of God the Father in the Old Testament to Jesus Christ thus granting to Jesus the attributes and titles previously reserved for the Father (cf. Revelation 1:18; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 5:12; Revelation 22:13). [Note: Swete, p16.] This is one way of stressing the equality of Jesus with the Father, here specifically His eternal pre-existence.

His eyes were similar to blazing fire, evidently an allusion to His piercing judgment and omniscient understanding (cf. Revelation 2:18, Revelation 19:12; Daniel 10:6; Mark 3:5; Mark 3:34; Mark 10:21; Mark 10:23; Mark 11:11; Luke 22:61).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-1.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

His head. Read "And His head".

like. The texts read "as". Compare this and the following verses: with Ezekiel 1:7. Daniel 7:9; Daniel 10:6.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

Greek, 'But.'

Like wool - Greek, 'like white wool.' The colour is the point of comparison: signifying lovely purity. So in Isaiah 1:18. Not age; for hoary hairs indicate decay. Still, He is "the ancient of days" (Daniel 7:9).

Eyes were as a flame - all-searching, penetrating like fire; also, consuming indignation against sin, especially at His coming "in flaming fire, taking vengeance" on all the ungodly. Confirmed by Revelation 19:11-12.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow.—The whiteness here is thought by some to be the token of the transfiguration in light of the glorified person of the Redeemer. “It is the glorious white which is the colour and livery of heaven.” This doubtless is true; but it appears to me a mistake to say that there is no hint here of age. It is argued that the white hair of age is a token of decay, and that no such token would have place here; but surely this is straining a point, and making a mere emblem an argument. Age and youth alike have their glories; the glory of young men is their strength; the hoary head, too, the token of experience, dignity, authority, is the glory of age. Physically, white hair may be a sign of decay; typically it never is, else the effort to produce the appearance of it in the persons of monarchs and judges would never have been made. The white head is never in public sentiment other than the venerable sign of ripe knowledge, mature judgment, and solid wisdom; and as such it well betokens that full wisdom and authority which is wielded by the Ancient of Days, who, though always the same in the fresh dew of youth, is yet from everlasting, the captain of salvation, perfect through suffering, radiant in the glorious youthhood of heaven, venerable in that eternal wisdom and glory which He had with the Father before the world. (Comp. Daniel 7:9.) “He was one,” Saadias Gaon beautifully says, “with the appearance of an old man, and like an old man full of mercies. His white hair, His white garments, indicated the pure, kind intentions He had to purify His people from their sins.”

His eyes were as a flame of fire.—Comp. Revelation 19:12; Daniel 10:6. The eyes of the Lord, which are in every place, beholding the evil and the good, are here described as like unto fire, to express not merely indignation (He had looked once on the Jewish rulers in indignation) against evil, but determination to consume it; for our God is a consuming fire, purging away sin from those who forsake sin, and consuming in their sin those who refuse to be separated from it. (See Revelation 20:9; Daniel 7:9-10; Jude 1:7.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
and his hairs
Daniel 7:9; Matthew 28:3
and his eyes
2:18; 19:12; Daniel 10:6
Reciprocal: Job 10:4 - seest thou;  Job 41:18 - the eyelids;  Song of Solomon 5:11 - his locks;  Song of Solomon 7:5 - the hair;  Ezekiel 1:27 - the appearance of fire;  Ezekiel 8:2 - I beheld

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-1.html.

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

When white is used as a symbol, it indicates purity and glory. Flame of fire. The first word indicates that the eyes are active and penetrating. Fire will consume dross and rid a situation of that which is objectionable.

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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-1.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 1:14

Revelation 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

"His Head and his Hairs were white like Wool, as white as Snow"

The whiteness of his Head and Hairs signify, that Christ is co-eternal with the Father, who is called the Ancient of Days. { Daniel 7:9-13}

"And his Eyes were as a flame of Fire"

The prophet Daniel had such a representation of Christ in his vision. { Daniel 10:6} And his Eyes as lamps of Fire. So Revelation 19:12-13 hereby is described Christ's omnisciency. { Hebrews 4:12-13}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-1.html.

D.S. Clark's Commentary on Revelation

V:14. "His head as white as snow." Not age with its weakness and senility; but maturity and Wisdom of Solomon, purity and goodness. "Be ye holy for I am holy."

"His eyes as a flame of fire." No night so dark as to dim his vision. No path so tortuous and crooked that he cannot follow it. No secret so hidden that it does not blaze before him. No heart that he does not read like an open page. No deed so buried that it does not stand out before him. Nothing so forgotten that it will not come to light. That eye sees through everything.

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

Revelation 1:14. But his head and his hair were white as white wool, as the snow, and his eyes as aflame of fire. The mentioning separately of the head and hair, while in Daniel mention is made simply of the hair of the head, is to be explained from the contrast in respect to the feet in Revelation 1:15—comp. 2 Samuel 14:25, where it is said of Absalom, that "from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him." In Revelation 1:13 we have the clothing, in Revelation 1:14-15 the uncovered parts. The fundamental passage for the first half, is Daniel 7:9, "I beheld till the thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days sat down, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head as fine wool." The blinding whiteness of the hair (the addition, "as snow," supplies the idea of glittering splendour), denotes not the untarnished purity of Christ, which would be out of place here, where he appears to encourage and to frighten, but his holiness, majesty, glory, to which also we are led by the connection in which it stands with eyes like a flame of fire. Comp. upon whiteness as the colour of serene splendour, the symbolical representation of glory ch. Revelation 4:4, John 17:5, "And glorify me. O Father, with thyself, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was," corresponds as to meaning. The second half rests on Daniel 10:6, where it is said of Michael, the Logos, "His body was as Tarsis, his countenance like the lightning, and his eyes as torches of fire, and his arms and his feet like burning brass." According to this passage, by the eyes like a flame of fire, is denoted neither the power of vision or the omniscience of Christ, nor his beauty, but only the energetic character of his punitive righteousness, in accordance with the common symbolism of Scripture, which uniformly employs fire as the image of anger. For in that passage the eyes as torches of fire appear in the midst of warlike accompaniments, between the countenance like lightning, and the arms and feet like burning brass, ready to destroy everything that comes in their way. We are led also to the same result by a comparison of the other passage in Daniel 7:9 which forms the basis of the first half. After the words already quoted, it follows there, "His throne was pure flame of fire, and its wheels burned with fire;" comp. Daniel 7:10, "A stream of fire went out from him." The Lord appears there to execute judgment on the world. His holiness and glory, shadowed forth under the colour of his clothing and his hair, shews that no one can escape out of his hand. His punitive righteousness imaged by the flame of fire shews that he possesses the energetic will to punish his adversaries. A similar combination of holiness and anger represented under the image of fire meets us in the descriptions given by Ezekiel, Ezekiel 1:27, Ezekiel 8:2, of the Lord when appearing for judgment. The parallel passages also in the Revelation itself shew that the eye as a flame of fire is the eye sparkling with indignation; that from it streams forth the fiery zeal, which shall consume the adversaries (Hebrews 10:27) as well within as without his church; so that there comes forth the admonition, Be afraid, and also, Be not afraid. In ch. Revelation 19:12 the words, "and his eyes are as a flame of fire," are followed by; "and in righteousness he judges and makes war;" while in Revelation 1:15 he is represented as" having a sharp sword going out of his mouth." In ch. Revelation 2:18, eyes as of a flame of fire, and feet like burning brass, are united together, and both appear as the ground at once of threatening and of promise to those in Thyatira. Woe to those who have against them him whose hair is white as wool and as snow, and whose eyes' are as a flame of fire. Happy they who have him on their side. Though the whole world should be leagued together against him, he can laugh them to scorn.

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Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-1.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14.As (Revelation 1:16) his face was like the sun, so this sun bore a “corona” of hairs of dazzling whiteness.

White like wool—But that is not quite white enough, and so as snow. The whiteness is not indicative of age, but, like the whiteness of the priest’s robe, of purity, and of that celestial lustre characterizing the whole figure. See note, Revelation 1:16.

Eyes’ fireFire, we are told, denotes wrath, and so these eyes denote flaming wrath—for which there is no demand. How often does love find fire in the eyes of its object, and admiration find fire in the eye of genius. These are celestial eyes, beaming, burning, blazing with divine brilliancy; clairvoyant to look with omniscience into and through all visible things. In reality, however, the intensity and power of the eyes are simply in keeping with the supernatural splendour of the whole figure, stature, hair, and voice.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-1.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 1:14. .; another conventional simile for celestial beings. . . ., a pleonastic expression; either = “his head, i.e. his hair,” or “his forehead and his hair”; scarcely a hendiadys for “the hair of the head” (Bengel). Jewish tradition rationalised the white hairs into a proof of God’s activity as a wise old teacher (Chag. 14, cf.Proverbs 20:27 f.), and the Daniel-vision might suggest the fine paradox between the divine energy and this apparent sign of weakness. But such traits are probably poetical, not allegorical, in John’s vision; they body forth his conception of Jesus as divine. In Egyptian theology a similar trait belongs to Ani after beatification. The whole conception of the messiah in the Apocalypse resembles that outlined in Enoch (Similitudes, xxxvii.–lxxi.), where he also possesses pre-existence as Son of man (xlviii) sits on his throne of glory (xlvii. 3) for judgment, rules all men (lxii. 6), and slays the wicked with the word of his mouth (xlii. 2); but this particular transference to the messiah (Revelation 1:14; Revelation 1:17-18, Revelation 2:8, Revelation 22:12-13), of what is in Daniel predicated of God as the world-judge, seems to form a specifically N.T. idea, unmediated even in Enoch (xlvi. 1), although the association of priestly and judicial attributes with those of royalty was easy for an Oriental (it is predicated of the messiah by Jonathan ben Usiel on Zechariah 4:12-13). , like Slav. En. i. 5, from Daniel 10:6; cf. Suet. August. 79, “oculos habuit claros et nitidos, quibus etiam existimari uoluit inesse quiddam diuini uigoris; gaudebat-que si quis sibi acrius contuenti quasi ad fulgorem solis uultum submitteret”. Divine beauty was generally manifested (Verg. Aen. ver. 647 f.) in glowing eyes (insight and indignation), the countenance and the voice; here also (Revelation 1:15) in feet to crush all opposition. The messiah is not crowned, however (cf. later, Revelation 19:12). . = some hard (as yet unidentified) metal which gleamed after smelting. The most probable meaning of this obscure hybrid term is that suggested by Suidas: · , ( . actually occuring in LXX, Ezekiel 1:27). The reference then is to amber or to some composition like brass or (copper) bronze; only, it contains gold (cf. vulg. = aurichalcum, a valuable and gleaming metal). Abbott (201) sees a corruption of some phrase like , while others suggest and (i.e., glowing white brass). Haussleiter would upon inadequate grounds omit . . . (219–24).

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-1.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

14. His hair was white. Not with age, but with heavenly glory! White symbolizes purity and victory.

 

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:14". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.