Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 1:19

Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Vision;   Word of God;   Scofield Reference Index - Christ;   Churches;   Inspiration;   Theophanies;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Books;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Inspiration;   Prophets;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Ascension of Christ;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apocalypse;   Family;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Golden candlesticks;   Laodicea;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Three;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Inspiration;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for January 18;   Every Day Light - Devotion for October 30;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Write the things which thou hast seen - These visions and prophecies are for general instruction, and therefore every circumstance must be faithfully recorded. What he had seen was to be written; what he was about to see, relative to the seven Churches, must be also written; and what he was to see afterwards, concerning other Churches and states, to be recorded likewise.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Write the things which thou hast seen - An account of the vision which thou hast had, Revelation 1:10-18.

And the things which are - Give an account of those things which thou hast seen as designed to represent the condition of the seven churches. He had seen not only the Saviour, but he had seen seven lampstands, and seven stars in the hand of the Saviour, and he is now commanded to record the meaning of these symbols as referring to things then actually existing in the seven churches. This interpretation is demanded by Revelation 1:20.

And the things which shall be hereafter - The Greek phrase rendered “hereafter” - μετὰ ταῦτα meta tauta- means “after these things”; that is, he was to make a correct representation of the things which then were, and then to record what would occur “after these things:” to wit, of the images, symbols, and truths, which would be disclosed to him after what he had already seen. The expression refers to future times. He does not say for how long a time; but the revelations which were to be made referred to events which were to occur beyond those which were then taking place. Nothing can be argued from the use of this language in regard to the length of time embraced in the revelation-whether it extended only for a few years or whether it embraced all coming time. The more natural interpretation, however, would seem to be, that it would stretch far into future years, and that it was designed to give at least an outline of what would be the character of the future in general.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-1.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Write therefore the things which thou sawest, and the things which are, and the things which shall come to pass hereafter.

This is John's commission to write the vision for the benefit of the seven churches, and for all generations. Of course, the three things mentioned which John was to write have often been understood as an outline of the book, the things which he saw referring to Revelation 1, the things which are pertaining to Revelation 2 and Revelation 3, and the things that shall be "hereafter" referring to the balance of the prophecy. However, we agree with Smith who said, "This classification does not help much in interpretation."[52] Furthermore, he pointed out that the word "hereafter" is used eight other times in Revelation 4:1; 7:1; 7:9; 9:12; 15:5; 18:1; 19:1; 20:3! It is very difficult to reconcile this repeated use of "hereafter" with the theory that everything in the book was fulfilled "shortly" after it was written. Erdman also objected strongly to the "popular view" that this verse gives us a three-fold outline of Revelation.[53] Caird also thought that, "It is better to take the words "things which thou sawest" to mean the whole of John's vision."[54] It is the view of this interpreter that in each of the cycles covered by the prophecy there are things past, present, and future in all of them. For example, the judgment, mentioned over and over again, is a future event; and it is mentioned no less than seven times, each mention of it coming in a different section of the book.

[52] Wilbur M. Smith, Wycliffe Bible Commentary, New Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), p. 1059.

[53] Charles R. Erdman, The Revelation of John (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1936), p. 42.

[54] G. R. Caird, op. cit., p. 26.

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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 1:19". "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

Write the things which thou hast seen,.... The Alexandrian copy and some others, and the Complutensian edition, read, "write therefore the things", &c. meaning what he had now seen, the vision of one like to the son of man, amidst the golden candlesticks, with seven stars in his right hand, and as above described; this was what he had seen Revelation 1:12; for it does not refer to what he had seen of Christ in the days of his flesh, but to what he had now seen in this representation of him:

and the things which are; the state of the churches of Christ in the apostolic age, and at that time signified by the Ephesian church, and that part of the Smyrnean which John lived to see:

and the things which shall be hereafter; from hence unto the end of the world, in successive generations, signified by the rest of the churches, and in the visions of the seals, trumpets, and vials.

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

13 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

(13) The sum of this prophecy, that the apostle must write whatever he sees, adding nothing, nor taking away anything (Revelation 1:2). Here there are two parts: one is a narration of those things which are, that is, which then were at that time, contained in the second and third chapter: the other part is of those things which were to come, contained in the rest of this book.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The oldest manuscripts read, “Write therefore” (inasmuch as I, “the First and Last,” have the keys of death, and vouchsafe to thee this vision for the comfort and warning of the Church).

things which are — “the things which thou hast seen” are those narrated in this chapter (compare Revelation 1:11). “The things which are” imply the present state of things in the churches when John was writing, as represented in the second and third chapters. “The things which shall be hereafter,” the things symbolically represented concerning the future history of the fourth through twenty-second chapters. Alford translates, “What things they signify”; but the antithesis of the next clause forbids this, “the things which shall be hereafter,” Greek, “which are about to come to pass.” The plural (Greek) “are,” instead of the usual Greek construction singular, is owing to churches and persons being meant by things” in the clause, “the things which are.”

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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 1:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-1.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Therefore (ουνoun). In view of Christ‘s words about himself in Revelation 1:18 and the command in Revelation 1:11.

Which thou sawest (α ειδεςha eides). The vision of the Glorified Christ in Revelation 1:13-18.

The things which are (α εισινha eisin). Plural verb (individualising the items) though αha is neuter plural, certainly the messages to the seven churches (1:20-3:22) in relation to the world in general, possibly also partly epexegetic or explanatory of α ειδεςha eides things which shall come to pass hereafter (α μελλει γινεσται μετα ταυταha mellei ginesthai meta tauta). Present middle infinitive with μελλειmellei though both aorist and future are also used. Singular verb here (μελλειmellei) blending in a single view the future. In a rough outline this part begins in Revelation 4:1 and goes to end of chapter 22, though the future appears also in chapters 2 and 3 and the present occurs in 4 to 22 and the elements in the vision of Christ (Revelation 1:13-18) reappear repeatedly.

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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 1:19". "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

Write

See on Revelation 1:11. Add therefore.

The things which are ( ἅ εἰσιν )

Some render, what they are; i.e., what they signify; but the reference of μετὰ ταῦτα afterthese, hereafter to ἅ εἰσιν whichare, seems to be decisive in favor of the former rendering, which besides is the more natural.

Shall be ( μέλλει γίνεσθαι )

Not the future of the verb to be, but are about ( μέλλει ) to come to pass ( γίνεσθαι ). Compare Revelation 1:1, “must come to pass.” Here the thought is not the prophetic necessity, but the sequence of events.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "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

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Write the things which thou hast seen — This day: which accordingly are written, Revelation 1:11-18.

And which are — The instructions relating to the present state of the seven churches. These are written, Revelation 1:20-Re.

And which shall be hereafter — To the end of the world; written, Revelation 4:1, etc.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-1.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

hereafter

things that are to be after these, i.e. after the churches.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 1:19". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-1.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Ver. 19. Write the things which thou hast seen] That is, the gospel, the history of Christ (as some think), which he wrote at Ephesus after his return from Patmos, over forty years after our Saviour’s death.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-1.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

19.] Write therefore (‘because I have vouchsafed thee this vision,—I whose majesty is such, and whose manifested loving-kindness to thee.’ The connexion is better thus than with Revelation 1:11, as some: “Now that thy fear is over, write what I bade thee,” Hengst. So Aret., who remarks, “ ἔκστασις memoriam lædit.” But it is very doubtful whether Revelation 1:11 is spoken by our Lord at all: see there) the things which thou sawest (just now: the vision which was but now vouchsafed thee), and what things they signify (two meanings of ἃ εἰσίν are possible. 1) ‘the things which are,’ viz. which exist at the present time. This has been taken by Arethas, Lyra, Corn.-a-lap., Grot., Calov., Vitr., Beng., Wolf, Züll., Hengst., Ebrard, Lücke, Düsterd., al. 2) as above, ‘what things they (the ἃ εἶδες) signify:’ so Alcas., Aretius, Eichhorn, Heinr., Ewald, De W. In deciding between these, we have the following considerations: a) the use of the plural εἰσίν, as marking off this clause in meaning from the next, which has ἃ μέλλει γενέσθαι. If this latter is sing., why not this? Is it not because the μέλλει γενέσθαι merely signifies the future time, in which this latter class, en masse, were to happen, whereas this ἃ εἰσί imports, what these things, each of them, severally, mean? And b) this seems to be borne out by the double repetition of εἰσιν in the next verse, both times unquestionably in this meaning. So that I have no hesitation in taking the meaning given above), and the things which are about to happen after these (viz. after ἃ εἶδες: the next vision, beginning with ch. 4., which itself opens with μετὰ ταῦτα εἶδον. I would take γενέσθαι in the sense of happening, not in the wide ages of history, but in apocalyptic vision: seeing that, ταῦτα meaning ἃ εἶδες, a present vision, ἃ μέλλει γενέσθαι will by analogy mean the things which shall succeed these, i. e. a future vision. Notice, it is not ἃ δεῖγενέσθαι as in Revelation 1:1; not the necessity of prophecy, but only the sequence of things seen);

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-1.html. 1863-1878.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

This chapter concludes with a solemn charge given by our Saviour to St. John, to write and record the vision of the seven stars, and seven golden candlesticks, which he had newly seen; letting him into the mystery of both, by telling him, that the seven stars are seven angels; that is, signify seven angels; and the seven candlesticks are, that is, signify seven churches, and represent them.

In like manner, when Christ says in the sacrament, This is my body, the meaning is, this bread signifies and represents my body.

Here note, That the bishops and governors, the pastors and teachers, of the church are called angels, because they are sent by God on his message, because they had their commission from him; and to signify that unspotted purity which be found with them, both in life and doctrine; and they are represented by stars, to denote their dignity and duty, their usefulness and beneficialness, the swiftness and constancy of their motion, but especially in regard to their nature.

A star is of the same nature with the heavens, celestial; not earthly, not elementary: ministers should be heavenly, holy, blameless, inoffensive; they should teach by tongue and hand, and instruct by lip and life. God grant that in our hearts we may experimentally find the works of holiness, and in our lives express the power of holiness. Amen.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-1.html. 1700-1703.

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

Revelation 1:19. It is impossible for the οὐν, without reference to Revelation 1:17-18, to serve only to recall the command, Revelation 1:11.(842) Hengstenb. better combines the reference to Revelation 1:11 with that to Revelation 1:17-18 : “When, therefore, this fear is removed, do what I have bidden thee.” But, apart from the fact that it is very doubtful whether, Revelation 1:11, Christ himself has spoken, this reference to Revelation 1:17-18, which even does not correspond to the meaning of these verses, is highly unsatisfactory. Grotius seems with greater correctness to remark, “Because you see that I am so powerful.” The Lord, therefore, bases upon the revelation of his own majesty (Revelation 1:17-18) communicated to the prophet, the command to write, i.e., to give written witness to the churches (Revelation 1:1 sqq.); since the contents of this revelation, which is to be communicated, is essentially nothing else than the full unfolding of what has been beheld by the prophet (Revelation 1:12 sqq.), and the majesty of Christ disclosed by the Lord himself in significant words (Revelation 1:17-18). For the Living One will come; who was dead (Revelation 1:18), whom they have pierced (Revelation 1:7), but who is alive in eternity, whom John beheld, and was commissioned by the Coming One himself to proclaim his advent.

This is also given by the sense of the following words, which more accurately designate the subjects to be written of: εἰδες, κ. τ. λ. There can be no doubt that the εἰδες refers to the vision above narrated. The καὶ εἰσὶν, moreover, after its reference to εἰδ., or to κ. μελλ., κ. τ. λ., is fixed, means either “and what it is,” i.e., signifies;(843) or, “and what is,” i.e., the present relations.(844) The latter is far more natural, especially as the antithesis between εἰσὶν and μέλλει γεν. is marked particularly by the retrospection of the μετὰ ταῦτα to the εἰσὶν. Yet it must not be said that the εἶδες in ch. 1, εἰσὶν in chs. 2 and 3, and μελλ., κ. τ. λ., are comprised; but, rather, the epistles already contain the future, and the succeeding chapters the present; yea, the entire book bears the true prophetic stamp in this, that what is future is also prophesied of the present.(845) That in Revelation 1:20 a point of the vision, Revelation 1:12 sqq., is actually indicated,(846) can be decided concerning the meaning of the εἶδες the less, as by the εἶδες the entire vision, Revelation 1:12 sqq., is meant.(847)

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Write the things which thou hast seen; either the things which thou hast seen from the beginning of the gospel; for John, Matthew 4:21, was a companion of Christ from the time presently following his baptism and temptations: or, the vision of me which thou hast now had; which I judge most probably the sense, not understanding why our Lord should set John to write what (though they were not yet written, yet) Christ knew should be written in another book by John himself, viz. in his Gospel, and by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, in their histories of the Gospel, and in the Acts of the Apostles; especially considering they were to be written plainly, so as he who runs may read them; and what John was to write here, was to be written enigmatically, and darkly represented in visions: and it is against reason to think the same things should be first revealed plainly, and then more darkly, and both by direction from God.

And the things which are; the present affairs of the church; we have the history till Paul was carried prisoner to Rome, (which was about the 60th year after Christ), in the Acts of the apostles; so that I conceive the farthest that John looked back was but thirty-five years; for he was in Patmos about the year 93, and is conceived to have written this book, 96. Hence the matter of the Revelation is easily concluded:

1. The things which were the present affairs of the church, Anno 96, or looking back only to 60, which things are supposed to be written by John, in Revelation 2:3.

And the things which shall be hereafter; to the end of the world, under the reign of the dragon, (the pagan Roman empire), and the reign of antichrist, or the beast, for one thousand two hundred and sixty years, and from thence until Christ shall come to judgment.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". 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

Этот стих представляет собой план всей книги.

ты видел Относится к видению, которое Иоанну было дано (гл. 1).

что есть Означает письма к церквам (гл. 2 и 3).

что будет после сего Относится к откровению будущей истории (гл. 4–22).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-1.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The things which thou hast seen; in the vision just described.

Which are; the present state of the seven churches, chaps Revelation 2:1-29; Revelation 3:1-22.

Which shall be; the revelations of future events which he is about to receive.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus Christ repeated His instruction to John to write down the things God was revealing to him ( Revelation 1:11). The repetition of "write" from Revelation 1:11 indicates that the "therefore" is resuming the earlier command where it left off. [Note: Thomas, Revelation 1-7, p113.] Now Jesus gave John more specific instructions.

This verse provides an inspired outline of the Book of Revelation. Some of what John was to record he had already seen, namely, the Man standing among the seven golden lampstands with the seven stars in His hand ( Revelation 1:12-16). Some had to do with present conditions in the churches as exemplified by the seven churches (chs2-3). Some had to do with revelations about the times after conditions represented by the seven churches ended (chs4-22). [Note: See idem, "John"s Apocalyptic Outline," Bibliotheca Sacra123:492 (October-December1966):334-41.] Beale, who described himself as an "eclectic idealist," held that all three clauses refer to the entire book. [Note: Beale, pp48, 168.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-1.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 1:19. Write therefore, not simply in continuation of the ‘write’ of Revelation 1:11, or because the apostle has recovered from his fear, but ‘Write, seeing that I am what I have now revealed Myself to be.’ The following clauses of this verse are attended with great difficulty, and very various opinions have been entertained regarding them. Here it is only possible to remark that the things which thou sawest, although most naturally referred to the vision of Revelation 1:10-18, are not necessarily confined to what concerns Jesus in himself. In these verses He is described as the Head of His Church, as One who has His Church summed up in Him; and we are thus led not merely to the thought of His individuality, but to that of the fortunes of His people. This being so, the following clauses of the verse are to be regarded as a resolution of the vision into the two parts in which it finds its application to the history of the Church, so that we ought to translate both the things which are, and the things which shall come to pass after these things. ‘The things which are’ then give expression to the present condition of the Church, as she follows her Lord in humiliation and suffering in the world; ‘the things which shall come to pass after these things’ to the glory that awaits her when, all her trials over, she shall enter upon her reward in the world to come. The verse, therefore, consists of two parts rather than three, although the second part is again divided into two. There appears to be no sufficient reason for rendering the second clause of the verse ‘what they are’ instead of ‘the things which are.’ The plural verb in that clause is better accounted for by the thought of the mingled condition, partly sorrow and defeat, partly joy and triumph, of the Church on earth, while hereafter it shall be wholly joy and wholly triumph.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-1.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Write. The texts add "therefore".

hast seen = sawest, as Revelation 1:2.

the . . . are = what thoy are, i.e. what they signify.

and = even.

shall be = are about to happen.

hereafter. Literally after (Greek. meta.) these things (Greek. tauta). Hebrew idiom; compare Genesis 22:1. First of ten occurrences in Rev.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "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

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

A B C 'Aleph (') read, 'Write therefore' (since I, "the First and the Last," have the keys of death, and vouchsafe this vision for the comfort and warning of the Church).

Things which are. "The things which thou hast seen" are those in this chapter (cf. Revelation 1:11); "the things which are," the present state of the churches when John was writing (Revelation 2:1-29 and Revelation 3:1-22); "the things which shall be hereafter," the things symbolically represented concerning the future, (Revelation 22:1-21.) Alford, 'What things they signify;' but the antithesis, next clause, forbids this, 'the things which are about to come to pass hereafter.' The plural [ eisin (Greek #1526)] "are," instead of the usual Greek singular, is owing to churches and persons being meant by "the things which are."

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "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

(19) Write the things which thou hast seen (better, sawest).—It is well to notice the small connecting word “then,” which has been omitted in the English. It gives the practical thought to the whole of the previous vision. This vision is to be described for the benefit of the Church of Christ, that she may never forget Him who is the foundation on which she rests; the true fountain of her life; and in whom she will find the source of that renewing power to which the last Note alludes. In the history of the faith it will be always true that they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:28-31). Lest, then, at any time the saints of God should be tempted to cry that “their judgment was passed over from their God,” the Evangelist is bidden first to detail this vision of Him who is the Life and Captain of His people. He is also to write the things which are—those eternal principles and truths which underlie all the phenomena of human history; or the things which concern the present state of the churches—and the things which are about to be after these things—those great and wondrous scenes of the fortunes of the Church and of the world which will be unfolded.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
the things
11,12-20
and the things which are
2:1-3
and the things which shall be
4:1-22
Reciprocal: Isaiah 48:6 - showed;  Jeremiah 30:2 - GeneralJeremiah 51:60 - GeneralDaniel 2:45 - the great;  Daniel 7:1 - he wrote;  Amos 3:7 - but;  Habakkuk 2:2 - Write;  John 16:13 - he will show;  Revelation 1:2 - and of all;  Revelation 19:9 - Write;  Revelation 21:5 - Write

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-1.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

A THREEFOLD DIVISION OF THE BOOK.

COMMAND TO WRITE REPEATED.

Revelation 1:19. — "Write therefore what thou hast seen, and the things that are, and the things that are about to be after these things."

It will be observed that between the first command to write (v. 11) and the second (v. 19), we have the glorious appearance of Christ beheld by the Seer in vision (vv. 12-16), and this he is to record. The word "therefore" (omitted in the Authorised Version) is important here, as connecting the command to write with the dignity of the speaker. Divine greatness, combined with human tenderness in the Lord, have done their mighty moral work in the soul of John; hence the introduction of the word "therefore" as linking the command with the divine consolation, conveyed in two of the most precious verses (vv. 17, 18) in the Apocalypse.

THE THREE GREAT DIVISIONS.

The great divisions of the book are here written for the instruction of the Church of God. "What thou hast seen" refers to the vision of Christ just beheld (vv. 12-16). "The things that are" refer to the several successive, broadly-defined features of the professing Church, and of Christ's relation thereto, till its final rejection, not yet accomplished (Revelation 2:1-29; Revelation 3:1-22). "The things that are about to be after these things." In this third division the world and the Jews, and, we may add, the corrupt and apostate Church, i.e., that which is to be "spued out," are embraced in this strictly prophetic part of the Apocalypse (Revelation 4:1-11 — 22: 5).

Nothing has more contributed to throw discredit on prophetic studies than the erroneous principle on which it has been sought to understand this book. Here is the key for its interpretation hanging at the door. Take it down, use it, and enter in. There is simplicity and consistency in apportioning the main contents of the book to a past, a present, and a future. You cannot consistently lift events out of the future, or third division, and place them in the second. Each division has its own group of events, and to transpose them is to wrest Scripture. The breaking of the Seals, the blowing of the Trumpets, and the pouring out of the Vials are, with numerous other prophetic events, embraced in the third division, i.e., are comprised within the time contemplated in Revelation 4:1-11 — 22: 5, and that supposes the close of the Church's sojourn on earth.

The divisions do not overlap. The first is a complete vision by itself. The second is as distinct as either the first or third. The successive phases of Church history, traced from the close of the first century, are a full and comprehensive account by themselves. The third division is so plainly a prophetic outline that neither its details nor principles can be made to fit into the present. "The things that are" are running their course. The Church is yet publicly recognised and owned of God, and it is its history which is chronicled by the Spirit of inspiration in chapters 2 and 3, and not that of Jews and Gentiles to which the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials apply. Introduce these now and you make the Church the present subject of judicial judgment, which, in point of fact, it is not. It is the loathsome rejection of the professing Church (Revelation 3:1-22; Revelation 16:1-21) which terminates its history as God's public witness on earth, and introduces us into the prophetic scenes of the last days. The Church fills up the gap between the break with Israel and the resumption of divine dealing with the ancient people. Ecclesiastical history forms, in brief, "the things that are," whereas a prophetic crisis of but a few years is the period covered by the "things that are about to be after these things." History characterises the second division. Prophecy is the distinguishing feature of the third division. Ecclesiastical history for nearly nineteen centuries is graphically and energetically sketched in chapters 2 and 3.

The great political consummation is unfolded in Revelation 6:1-17; Revelation 7:1-17; Revelation 8:1-13; Revelation 9:1-21; Revelation 10:1-11; Revelation 11:1-19; Revelation 12:1-17; Revelation 13:1-18; Revelation 14:1-20; Revelation 15:1-8; Revelation 16:1-21; Revelation 17:1-18; Revelation 18:1-24; Revelation 19:1-21. The apostate civil power, guilty and rebellious Judah, and the whore — the corruptness of the earth — are the special subjects of God's providential dealings in judgment. It has been sought to distinguish between "fulfilled" and "unfulfilled" prophecy. All prophecy is concentrated in the close of the seventieth week of Daniel (Daniel 9:25-27), although it may have commenced centuries before. The desolation of Jerusalem by the Gentiles, foretold by the Lord thirty-seven years before its capture by Titus (Luke 21:1-38), culminates at that great gathering point of all prophecy, the Coming of the Son of Man (v. 27). Hence no prophecy has had an exhaustive fulfilment. The broken threads of prophecy are resumed with Israel at the close of the Church period. The principles of the coming apostasy are actively at work; the circumstances are forming, and it may be some of the main actors of the prophetic crisis are presently alive and ready for action when the devil begins to play his terrible role. But so long as the Church is recognised of God the full development of evil is hindered. The Holy Ghost in the Church is the main check to the awful outburst of evil, i.e., the denial of all divine authority (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8). The "things that are" must necessarily terminate before any of the prophetic events embraced within the "things which shall be after these" can have their place. The character of the present forbids any application of the future save in present moral power.

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Bibliographical Information
Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-1.html.

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

The subject matter of what John is to write is divided into three parts, namely, what he hast seen, are, and shall be; past, present and future. However the past goes back only to the things he had seen since coming as an exile to Patmos.

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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". 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 1:19

Revelation 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

The commission which Jesus Christ gave his servant John, { Revelation 1:11} is here repeated and enlarged; wherein also we have a summary division of this whole Book of the Revelation into three parts. First, the then present state and condition of the church of God, and particularly of the seven churches in Asia;

"the things which are,"

as then they were represented unto John in the first three chapters of this book. { Revelation 1:1-20} { Revelation 2:1-29} { Revelation 3:1-22} Secondly,

"the things which thou hast seen"

which were not yet come to pass, touching the Roman pagan state, and, the condition of the church of God under those heathen powers, and their persecutions and revolutions, as they were represented unto John in the4, 5, 6, Chapters of this Book. { Revelation 4:1-11} { Revelation 5:1-14} { Revelation 6:1-17} Thirdly,

"and the things which shall be hereafter"

That Isaiah, to say, the Roman, Asian, and papal state, and the condition of the church of God under those anti-Christian powers, and their persecutions, together with all the great revolutions which shall be in states, kingdoms and churches, from the apostles days unto the end of this present evil world, in order unto the setting up the everlasting kingdom of the LORD Jesus Christ, and the coming down of the New Jerusalem from God out of heaven, which shall be hereafter in that world which is to come; together with Christ's coming to Judgment, (called the eternal judgment; Hebrews 6:1-2), which things John had revealed unto him by Jesus Christ, in the other chapters of this book; especially { Revelation 13:1-18} { Revelation 16:1-21} { Revelation 18:1-24} { Revelation 19:1-21} { Revelation 20:1-15} { Revelation 21:1-27} { Revelation 22:1-21} of this prophecy of the Revelation.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-1.html.

Harold Norris' Commentary on the Book of Revelation

2. It is important that we realize that THE BOOK DEALS WITH WHAT IS TAKING PLACE NOW AS WELL AS WHAT WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE FUTURE. In the first verse John reminds us that he was given a revelation of "what must soon take place."

In verse19 John is told to write "what you see, what Isaiah, and what is to take place hereafter."

Song of Solomon, the book of Revelation is about things WHICH ARE NOW TAKING PLACE. "The things which are."Also "things which are to take place hereafter." Verses1, 3,19 of the first chapter make plain the fact that the book of Revelation has a message for EVERY generation. For NOW as well as the events of John"s day in the past or events still future.

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

Revelation 1:19. Write therefore what thou hast seen, and what is, and what shall be done afterwards. The therefore, which is wanting in Luther, is the connecting link with Revelation 1:11 : Since therefore thy fear has been removed, do what I now enjoin thee. Bengel: "After John had been raised up, the command to write was with emphasis repeated, and the discourse of our Lord, which had been interrupted, was continued." The execution of that command is to be understood as first taking place at the end of ch. 3, after John had fully received the commission. Bengel says: "When this was uttered, John immediately wrote what with us forms the first chapter. The second and third chapters were afterwards dictated to him." But according to this view the description of what John saw would not be connected with the salutation. John must first write what he saw. It is this which we find written in ch. Revelation 1:11-18. He had seen the Lord as light and as fire in his surpassing glory and in the glow of his fiery indignation, rich in help for his own people, threatening destruction to the world as hostile to God and Christ, and to the unfaithful among his professing people—had seen also the seven stars in his hand, and the seven golden candlesticks, in the midst of which he walked.—he must further write what is. He must unfold the internal state of the seven angels and the seven churches, as is done in the seven epistles. This also is an important object of prophecy, with which the holy men of the Old Testament occupied themselves as much as with the unveiling of the future. The reality of things is not less concealed from the natural eye than the future. Laodicea said, "I am rich and have need of nothing, and knew not that she was wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." "If you all prophecy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all. And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth" (1 Corinthians 14:24-25).

John, finally, must write what shall be done afterwards. This is the second part of the contents of the seven epistles. Along with discoveries of the real state of the churches, these contain announcements of the coming of the Lord, threatenings against the insincere, promises to those who should overcome, all in close connection with the condition of the particular angels and their several churches.

The explanations of the verse that deviate from the one now given rest upon the supposition, already proved to be erroneous, that we have here the introduction to the whole book. They all agree in conceiving the words before us to contain the plan of the entire Apocalypse. But the groundlessness of this supposition can be easily pointed out. First, in Revelation 1:11, it is said, "What thou seest, write in a book." Here, on the other hand, "What thou sawest, and what is, and what shall be afterwards." The command here is a resumption of the command in Revelation 1:11, as the therefore plainly shews. So that all the three things named here must be comprehended under the description there of" What thou seest." What was already seen were the seven lamps with the Lord in their midst, and the seven stars. The things described as being, and as going to be hereafter, cannot be referred to the indeterminate, but must be understood of the object of the seeing, and through this reference must receive their more immediate determination, and their inclusion in the "what thou seest" of Revelation 1:11. The word must point to the present state of the lamps and stars in their relation to the Lord and their future fate. Then, it is only in the view now adopted that Revelation 1:20 fits properly in to the preceding context. It drags behind in a quite unsuitable manner, if in the words, "what is and what shall be done afterwards," the reference to the lamps and to the stars is given up. To these considerations we may still add the special reasons, which are furnished by the other explanations. Bengel and others refer the things which John saw to ch. Revelation 1:11-18; the "what is" to the seven epistles; the "what shall be hereafter," to ch. Revelation 4:1 onwards to the end of the book. But the "what is" would very imperfectly indicate the contents of the epistles. These are taken up, in their promises and threatenings, with that also which shall be hereafter. Besides, the epistles represent "what is" not generally, but only in respect to the seven churches. But if we derive here the limitation from the preceding context, then we must also limit the import of" what shall be afterwards." Finally, it is against the reference of this last clause to the portion Revelation 4:1 to the end, that we have there an entirely new beginning, new in respect to the state of inspiration and new in respect to the scene. Still weaker is another exposition: "what thou hast seen," ch. Revelation 1:11-18, what (it) is, what is thereby signified, and "what shall be done afterwards," ch. Revelation 4:1-11; Revelation 4:5. The necessity for shoving in an it is alone a proof of the arbitrariness of this mode of explanation; and then the contrast, what thou sawest, and what it is, is a strange one. John had seen nothing else than spiritual lamps, and spiritual stars. The are suits well, comp. Revelation 1:20, but not in the sense in which it is here taken. The what is, and the what shall be done afterwards, also plainly form a contrast—the present and the future that is yet to be developed out of it. Lastly, according to this exposition, the very thing would be passed over in silence, which comes out so prominently in what follows, the reference to the present state of the churches. The whole meaning of the epistles is destroyed by it. These receive the character of a non-essential intercalation, to which no respect is had in the plan.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-1.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19.Write—This command naturally appears to presuppose immediate writing; precluding the notion of John’s penning the Apocalypse after leaving Patmos. He is to be a recorder of speeches made. Doubtless the authority that could command the dead was competent to enable his hand to write, if need be, with all the rapidity and accuracy of a modern stenographic reporter. —therefore—is found in the Greek, in all the MSS., and in all the Versions except our English. It is an important, a hinging, word. It was for this write that the Christophany takes place. Because of my personal presentation in glorious form, and my authenticating self-annunciation, therefore write.

Things’ seen—The Christophany, the annunciation, and the symbols of stars and candlesticks.

Things which are—The present facts and conditions of the seven Churches as symbolic of the normal condition of all Churches.

Which shall be—The future destinies of the Churches as dependent on their present conduct. We might, indeed, suppose from the comprehensive terms of this threefold range of topics, that the whole book is here included in the commission. But the symbols of stars and angels indicate that the things of the seven Churches, and the constituency they represent, are alone embraced.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-1.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 1:19. , at the command of him who has authority over the other world and the future (resuming Revelation 1:11. now that the paralysing fear of Revelation 1:17 has been removed). Like the author of 4th Esdras, this prophet is far more interested in history than in the chronological speculations which engrossed many of the older apocalyptists. The sense of . . . is not, write the vision already seen ( , Revelation 1:10-18), the present ( , Revelation 1:20 to Revelation 3:20, the state of the churches, mainly conceived as it exists now and here), and the future ( , i.e., Revelation 4:1 f.), as though the words were a rough programme of the whole book; nor, as other editors (e.g., Spitta) unconvincingly suggest, is = “what they mean,” epexegetic of , or (cf.Revelation 10:7, Revelation 15:1) in a future perfect sense (Selwyn). The following chapters cannot be regarded merely as interpretations of Revelation 1:10-18, and the juxtaposition of . (from LXX of Isaiah 48:6) fixes the temporal meaning of here, even although the other meaning occurs in a different context in Revelation 1:20. Besides, Revelation 1:10-18 is out of all proportion to the other two divisions, to which indeed it forms a brief prelude. The real sense is that the contents of the vision ( , like in Revelation 1:11, being proleptic) consist of what is and what is to be, these divisions of present and future underlying the whole subsequent Apocalypse. The neut. plur. with a plural verb and a singular in the same sentence, indicates forcibly the indifference of the author to the niceties of Hellenistic grammar. For the whole see Daniel 2:29-30, also Barn. i.: “The Lord ( ) hath disclosed to us by the prophets things past and present, giving us also a taste of the firstfruits of the future”; v.: “We ought, therefore, to be exceedingly thankful to the Lord for disclosing the past to us and making us wise in the present; yea as regards the future even we are not void of understanding”. Moral stimulus and discipline were the object of such visions: as Tertullian declares of the Mortanist seers: “uidunt uisiones et ponentes faciem deorsum etiam uoces audiunt manifestas tarn salutares quam occultas” (de exhort. cast. 10).

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-1.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

19. Write. John is to preserve this vision so that all may share its message. Now. Current events, dating from the First Coming of Christ. Afterward. Those things which had not yet happened. The curtain of both the present and the future is lifted.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:19". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.