Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 1:3

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Word of God;   Scofield Reference Index - Churches;   Holy Spirit;   Inspiration;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible, the;   Word;   Word of God;   The Topic Concordance - Blessings;   Hearing;   Obedience;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Blessed, the;   Prophecy;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic literature;   Canon;   Inspiration;   Prophecy, prophet;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Beatitudes;   Holy Spirit, Gifts of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Ascension of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Blessing and Cursing;   Prophecy, Prophets;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Angels of the Seven Churches;   Asia;   Patmos;   Prophet;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apocalypse;   Blessedness;   Reader;   Reading ;   Word;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Writing;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom or Church of Christ, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Parousia;   Revelation of John:;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Apocalypse;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 30;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Blessed is he that readeth - This is to be understood of the happiness or security of the persons who, reading and hearing the prophecies of those things which were to come to pass shortly, took proper measures to escape from the impending evils.

The time is at hand - Either in which they shall be all fulfilled, or begin to be fulfilled. See the note on Revelation 1:1.

These three verses contain the introduction; now the dedication to the seven Churches commences.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Blessed is he that readeth - That is, it is to be regarded as a privilege attended with many blessings, to be permitted to mark the disclosures to be made in this book; the important revelations respecting future times. Prof. Stuart supposes that this refers to a public reading, and that the phrase “those who hear the words of this prophecy,” refers to those who listened to the public reader, and that both the reader and hearer should regard themselves as highly favored. It is, however, more in accordance with the usual meaning of the word rendered “read,” to suppose that it refers to the act of one‘s reading for himself; to learn by reading. So Robinson (Lexicon) understands it. The Greek word, indeed, would bear the other interpretation (see Luke 4:16; Acts 13:27; Acts 15:21; 2 Corinthians 3:15); but as this book was sent abroad to be read by Christians, and not merely to be in the hands of the ministers of religion to be read by them to others, it is more natural to interpret the word in the usual sense.

And hear the words of this prophecy - As they shall be declared or repeated by others; or perhaps the word “hear” is used in a sense that is not uncommon, that of giving attention to; taking heed to. The general sense is, that they were to be regarded as highly favored who became acquainted in any way with what is here communicated. The writer does not say that they were blessed who understood it, or that they who read or heard it would fully understand it; but it is clearly implied, that there would be so far an understanding of its meaning as to make it a felicitous condition to have been made acquainted with it. An author could not be supposed to say that one should regard his condition as a favored one who merely heard words that he could not understand, or who had placed before him magnificent symbols that had to him no meaning. The word “prophecy” is used here in its more strict sense as denoting the disclosure of future events - a large portion of the book being of this nature. It is here synonymous with “Revelation” in Revelation 1:1.

And keep those things which are written therein - Keep in mind those things which relate to the future; and obey those things which arc required as truth and duty. The blessing which results from having in possession the revealed truth of God is not merely in reading it, or in hearing it: it results from the fact that the truth is properly regarded, and exerts a suitable influence over our lives. Compare Psalm 19:11; “And in keeping of them there is great reward.”

For the time is at hand - See Revelation 1:1. The word used here - ἐγγύς engus- has the same signification substantially as the word “shortly” in Revelation 1:1. It would apply to any event whose beginning was soon to occur, though the end might be remote, for the series of events might stretch far into the future. It cannot be doubted, however, that the writer meant to press upon them the importance of attending to these things, from the fact that either entirely or in part these things were soon to happen. It may be inferred from this verse, that it is possible so to “understand” this book, as that it may convey useful instruction. This is the only book in the Bible of which a special blessing is pronounced on him who reads it; but assuredly a blessing would not be pronounced on the perusal of a book which is entirely unintelligible. While, therefore, there may be many obscurities in this book, it is also to be assumed that it may be so far understood as to be useful to Christians, in supporting their faith, and giving them elevated views of the final triumph of religion, and of the glory of the world to come. Anything is a blessing which enables us with well-founded hope and joy to look forward to the heavenly world.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-1.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein: for the time is at hand.

It was noted above that "shortly come to pass" cannot be applied to all that is revealed in the prophecy; but the last clause here surely indicates that some of the events foretold would soon occur, the very imminence of them leading to this double beatitude which was to be heeded by the persons who originally received the epistle. Regarding the events which were indeed imminent, the great persecution about to break forth against the Christians was most certainly one of the things in view. "There is general agreement that John expected persecution of the church by the Roman Empire."[6] Frank L. Cox noted that, "This is the first of seven beatitudes in the book, the other six being found in Revelation 14:13; Revelation 16:15; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:7, and Revelation 22:14."[7] Regarding this one, Beasley-Murray wrote:

The blessing invoked is on the one reading aloud to the congregation and on those hearing and observing that which is enjoined. There are two classes here, not three, the last two participles being governed by one subject.[8]

The words of this prophecy ... Although the book is called "Revelation" in Revelation 1:1, it is here also called "this prophecy," a title for it which appears five other times in Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:10; Revelation 22:18; and Revelation 22:19.

[6] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 12.

[7] Frank L. Cox, Revelation in 26 Lessons (Nashville: The Gospel Advocate Company, 1956), p. 2.

[8] G. R. Beasley-Murray, New Bible Commentary, Revised (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1970), p. 1280.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "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

Blessed is he that readeth,.... This book the Revelation, privately, in his closet or family, carefully and diligently, with a desire of understanding it; or publicly in the church of God, and endeavours open and explain it to others; and may allude to the reading of the law and the prophets in the synagogues, which were not barely read, but expounded; see Acts 13:15; and the rather this may be thought to be the sense of the words, since there is a change of number in the next clause,

and they that hear the words of this prophecy; that listen attentively to the reading and exposition of this book, and have ears to hear, so as to understand the prophecies contained in it: for the whole, when delivered to John, was a prophecy of things to come: but some versions read the number alike in both clauses; as either, "blessed is he that readeth, and he that heareth", as the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions; or "blessed are they that read, and they that hear", as the Arabic version:

and keep those things which are written therein; the last version adds, "concerning this frail world"; who not only read, and hear, but put in practice what they read and hear; for there are some things in this book which are of a practical nature, especially in the epistles to the seven churches; or the sense is, happy are those persons that observe, and take notice of what is written herein, and meditate upon them, and well weigh them in their minds, and retain them in their memories. Now, though eternal happiness does not depend upon, nor is procured by any of these means, as reading, hearing, and observing; yet there is a real happiness, a true pleasure, that does attend these things, which may stir up to a regard unto them; and for which purpose the following words are added:

for the time is at hand; when thee things should begin to be fulfilled.

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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
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "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

he that readeth, and they that hear — namely, the public reader in Church assemblies, and his hearers. In the first instance, he by whom John sent the book from Patmos to the seven churches, read it publicly: a usage most scriptural and profitable. A special blessing attends him who reads or hears the apocalyptic “prophecy” with a view to keeping the things therein (as there is but one article to “they that hear and keep those things,” not two classes, but only one is meant: “they who not only hear, but also keep those things,” Romans 2:13); even though he find not the key to its interpretation, he finds a stimulus to faith, hope, and patient waiting for Christ. Note: the term “prophecy” has relation to the human medium or prophet inspired, here John: “Revelation” to the Divine Being who reveals His will, here Jesus Christ. God gave the revelation to Jesus: He by His angel revealed it to John, who was to make it known to the Church.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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 1:3". "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

Blessed (μακαριοςmakarios). As in Matthew 5:3. This endorses the book as a whole.

He that readeth (ο αναγινωσκωνho anaginōskōn). Present active singular articular participle of αναγινωσκωanaginōskō (as in Luke 4:16). Christians in their public worship followed the Jewish custom of public reading of the Scriptures (2 Corinthians 3:14.). The church reader (αναγνωστηςanagnōstēs lector) gradually acquired an official position. John expects this book to be read in each of the seven churches mentioned (Revelation 1:4) and elsewhere. Today the public reading of the Bible is an important part of worship that is often poorly done.

They that hear (οι ακουοντεςhoi akouontes). Present active plural articular participle of ακουωakouō (the audience).

And keep (και τηρουντεςkai tērountes). Present active participle of τηρεωtēreō a common Johannine word (1 John 2:4, etc.). Cf. Matthew 7:24. “The content of the Apocalypse is not merely prediction; moral counsel and religious instruction are the primary burdens of its pages” (Moffatt).

Written (γεγραμμεναgegrammena). Perfect passive participle of γραπωgraphō the time is at hand (ο γαρ καιρος εγγυςho gar kairos eggus). Reason for listening and keeping. On καιροςkairos see Matthew 12:1, time of crisis as in 1 Corinthians 7:29. How near εγγυςeggus (at hand) is we do not know any more than we do about εν ταχειen tachei (shortly) in Revelation 1:1.

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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 1:3". "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

Blessed ( μακάριος )

See on Matthew 5:3.

He that readeth ( ὁ ἀναγινώσκων )

See on Luke 4:16. The Reader in the Church. See 2 Corinthians 3:14. They that hear, the congregation. The words imply a public, official reading, in full religious assembly for worship. The passage is of some weight in determining the date of this book. The stated reading of the Apostolical writings did not exist as a received form before the destruction of Jerusalem, a.d. 70.

And keep ( καὶ τηροῦντες )

The absence of the article from τηροῦντες keeping(compare οἱ ἀκούντες theythat hear ), shows that the hearers and the keepers form one class. Τηρεῖν tokeep, is a peculiarly Johannine word, and is characteristic of Revelation as of the other writings in its own peculiar sense of “keeping” in the exercise of active and strenuous care, rather than of watching over to preserve. See on reserved, 1 Peter 1:4.

Prophecy

See on prophet, Luke 7:26.

Which are written ( τὰ γεγραμμένα )

Perfect participle, have been written, and therefore stand written.

The time ( ὁ καιρὸς )

See on Matthew 12:1.

At hand ( ἐγγύς )

Lit., near. See on shortly, Revelation 1:1.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "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

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Happy is he that readeth, and they that hear, the words of this prophecy — Some have miserably handled this book. Hence others are afraid to touch it; and, while they desire to know all things else, reject only the knowledge of those which God hath shown. They inquire after anything rather than this; as if it were written, "Happy is he that doth not read this prophecy." Nay, but happy is he that readeth, and they that hear, and keep the words thereof - Especially at this time, when so considerable a part of them is on the point of being fulfilled. Nor are helps wanting whereby any sincere and diligent inquirer may understand what he reads therein. The book itself is written in the most accurate manner possible. It distinguishes the several things whereof it treats by seven epistles, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven phials; each of which sevens is divided into four and three. Many things the book itself explains; as the seven stars; the seven candlesticks; the lamb, his seven horns and seven eyes; the incense; the dragon; the heads and horns of the beasts; the fine linen; the testimony of Jesus: and much light arises from comparing it with the ancient prophecies, and the predictions in the other books of the New Testament. In this book our Lord has comprised what was wanting in those prophecies touching the time which followed his ascension and the end of the Jewish polity. Accordingly, it reaches from the old Jerusalem to the new, reducing all things into one sum, in the exactest order, and with a near resemblance to the ancient prophets. The introduction and conclusion agree with Daniel; the description of the man child, and the promises to Sion, with Isaiah; the judgment of Babylon, with Jeremiah; again, the determination of times, with Daniel; the architecture of the holy city, with Ezekiel; the emblems of the horses, candlesticks, etc., with Zechariah. Many things largely described by the prophets are here summarily repeated; and frequently in the same words. To them we may then usefully have recourse. Yet the Revelation suffices for the explaining itself, even if we do not yet understand those prophecies; yea, it casts much light upon them. Frequently, likewise, where there is a resemblance between them, there is a difference also; the Revelation, as it were, taking a stock from one of the old prophets, and inserting a new graft into it. Thus Zechariah speaks of two olive trees; and so does St. John; but with a different meaning. Daniel has a beast with ten horns; so has St. John; but not with quite the same signification. And here the difference of words, emblems, things, times, ought studiously to be observed. Our Lord foretold many things before his passion; but not all things; for it was not yet seasonable. Many things, likewise, his Spirit foretold in the writings of the apostles, so far as the necessities of those times required: now he comprises them all in one short book; therein presupposing all the other prophecies, and at the same time explaining, continuing, and perfecting them in one thread. It is right therefore to compare them; but not to measure the fulness of these by the scantiness of those preceding. Christ, when on earth, foretold what would come to pass in a short time; adding a brief description of the last things. Here he foretells the intermediate things; so that both put together constitute one complete chain of prophecy. This book is therefore not only the sum and the key of all the prophecies which preceded, but likewise a supplement to all; the seals being closed before. Of consequence, it contains many particulars not revealed in any other part of scripture. They have therefore little gratitude to God for such a revelation, reserved for the exaltation of Christ, who boldly reject whatever they find here which was not revealed, or not so clearly, in other parts of scripture.

He that readeth and they that hear — St. John probably sent this book by a single person into Asia, who read it in the churches, while many heard. But this, likewise, in a secondary sense, refers to all that shall duly read or hear it in all ages.

The words of this prophecy — It is a revelation with regard to Christ who gives it; a prophecy, with regard to John who delivers it to the churches.

And keep the things which are written therein — In such a manner as the nature of them requires; namely, with repentance, faith, patience, prayer, obedience, watchfulness, constancy. It behoves every Christian, at all opportunities, to read what is written in the oracles of God; and to read this precious book in particular, frequently, reverently, and attentively.

For the time — Of its beginning to be accomplished.

Is near — Even when St. John wrote. How much nearer to us is even the full accomplishment of this weighty prophecy!

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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 1:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-1.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

He that readeth, and they that hear. In ancient times, very few could read, and of those who could read, very few could have direct access to such a book as this. Comparatively few copies of such a work could be made, and of course the multitude must depend for their knowledge of its contents upon hearing it read in public assemblies--And keep; keep in mind.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-1.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Ver. 3. Blessed is he that readeth] sc. With attention, affection, application, and practice; as knowing that this book hath tot sacramenta, quot verba, so many words, so many mysteries (Jerome epist, ad Paulin.); and that these words are vivenda non legenda, not more to be read than to be lived, as one said once of the 119th Psalm. (Aegid. Abbas Norimberg.) Neither must we only live up to the words of this prophecy, but die for it also, and be content to be burned with it, if called thereto; as that holy martyr, who when he saw the Revelation cast into the fire with him, cried out, O beata Apocalypsis, quam bene mecum agitur qui tecum comburar! O blessed Revelation, how happy am I to be burned in thy company!

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-1.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

3.] Blessed is (or be, in the ordinary meaning of μακάριος: not necessarily referring on to eternal blessedness, as Hengst.) he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy and observe the things written in it; for the time is near (it can hardly be reasonably denied that in the ὁ ἀναγινώσκων and the οἱ ἀκούοντες, the Apostle had in his mind the one public reader and the many hearers. Ebrard attempts to deny this, but it seems to me unsuccessfully. His instance of St. John’s passing from a singular to a plural, πᾶς ὀφθαλμός, καὶ οἵτινες αὐτὸν ἐξεκέντησαν, Revelation 1:7, would be applicable only if we had here πᾶς ὁ ἀναγινώσκων. Considering that no such transition is elsewhere found, we can hardly escape the inference that it was intended. And so the great majority of Commentators: so Andreas (“plures uno legente possunt audire,” Gloss. ord.), Bed(2) (“doctores et auditores”), Lyra (“qui legit, quantum ad doctores: qui audiunt, quantum ad discipulos”), &c.: Bengel (“unus, ille primum, per quem Johannes librum ex Patmo in Asiam misit, legebat publice in ecclesiis, et multi audiebant”), Ewald, Hengst., De Wette, Stern, Gräber, &c. Others have explained the change of number variously: e. g., Beza, ex Hebraismo; Cotter (in Pool), “quia soli legimus, audimus conjuncti:” Ribera, “quoniam multo plures audiunt, quam legunt:” &c. If the words are to be understood as above, they form at least a solemn rebuke to the practice of the Church of England, which omits with one or two exceptions the whole of this book from her public readings. Not one word of the precious messages of the Spirit to the Churches is ever heard in the public services of a Church never weary of appealing to her Scriptural liturgies. Surely it is high time, that such an omission should be supplied. Notice that not three classes of persons, but two only, are here indicated: he that reads, and they that hear and do. Had there been an article before τηροῦντες, these latter would have formed a separate class from the ἀκούοντες.

The E. V. is right in the sense, in rendering τῆς προφ., ‘this prophecy:’ it = τῆς προφ. τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου, ch. Revelation 22:7. τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ γεγραμμένα are the several exhortations to repentance, faith, patience, obedience, prayer, watchfulness, stedfastness, which are scattered up and down in the prophecy. The time being near makes the book of the more importance, and the blessedness of reading and observing it greater. The nearness spoken of is to be understood as the ἐν τάχει, Revelation 1:1, which see. We know little now of relative nearness and distance in point of time: when the day of the Lord shall have opened our eyes to the true measure, we shall see, how near it always was).

CH. Revelation 1:4 to Revelation 3:22.] INTRODUCTION TO THE PROPHECY, in the form of a sevenfold Epistle to the seven churches of Asia. And herein, Revelation 1:4-6, address and greeting, ending with doxology. (Ebrard, who seems to love singularity for its own sake, objects to the above arrangement, because the sevenfold epistle has not yet begun, and prefers calling this a dedicatory title to the whole book. But the other view is far simpler and better. The sevenfold Epistle is clearly before St. John’s mind, and, full of the images of the vision which he had seen, he only interrupts it by solemn ejaculatory references to the glories of that vision and the sublime announcement of the Lord’s coming, and then hastens on to introduce it by a prefatory account of his own circumstances when the Epistles were entrusted to him and of the appearance of the Lord who thus entrusted them.) John to the seven churches which are in Asia (the form of address is exactly that in the Epistles of St. Paul: see Romans 1:1 ff., 1 Corinthians 1:1 ff., &c. That St. Paul in Rom. and elsewhere is careful to designate himself and his office, and St. John introduces himself without any such designation, belongs doubtless in part to the individual character of the two Apostles, but is besides a strong testimony that the John who here writes needed no such designation in the eyes of those to whom he was writing. See this, and other evidence as to the authorship, urged in the prolegomena. See on the seven churches prolegg. § iii. 7 ff. ἀσία, as always in the N. T., is the proconsular province so called. “Constabat,—ut a Cicerone alicubi dicitur illa proconsularis Asia, quæ inter præcipuas Romani orbis provincias olim habita,—ex Phrygia, Mysia, Caria, Lydia; sub quibus insuper, sub Mysia nempe et Lydia, intelligi debent Ionia et Æolis, ac addi præterea vicinæ maris Ægæi insulæ. Qui amplissimus terrarum tractus, præ aliis Romani orbis provinciis, ingenti imprimis urbium, et multarum ex iis insignium et magnarum, numero gaudebat. Dicebatur Proconsularis, quod eadem a viro consulari sub Proconsulis nomine regebatur.” Spanheim de usu numismatum, p. 610 (from Hengstenb.)); grace be to you and peace (so St. Paul in all his Epistles except the two to Timothy) from Him who is and who was and who is to come (a paraphrase of the unspeakable name יהוה, resembling the paraphrase אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה in Exodus 3:14, for which the Jerusalem Targum has, as here, qui fuit, est, et erit: as has the Targum of Jonathan in Deuteronomy 32:39, Schemoth R. 3. f. 105. 2: “Dixit Deus S. B. ad Mosen: Ego fui et adhuc sum, et ero in posterum.” Schöttg., Wetst., De Wette. “ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, instants, i. e., futurus: ut Marc. 10:30. Caret lingua Hebræa participio quale est ἐσόμενος.” Ewald. Each of the appellations by itself is to be regarded as a proper name— ὁ ὤν,— ὁ ἦν (not ὃ ἦν: the imperf.—or aor.—being used in the lack of a past participle of εἰμί), and ὁ ἐρχόμενος: and it follows from what is remarked above that the meaning of ἐρχόμενος is not here to be pressed as referring to any future coming, any more than in its English representative, “He that is to come.” By doing so we should confuse the meaning of the compound appellation which evidently is all to be applied to the Father, ὡς αὐτοῦ περιέχοντος ἐν ἑαυτῷ πάντων τῶν ὄντων τὴν ἀρχὴν καὶ τὰ μέσα καὶ τὰ τελευταῖα, as the second alternative in the Catena. In the first (Arethas?) ὁ ὤν is supposed to mean the Father ( ἐγὼ εἰμὶ ὁ ὤν, as said to Moses), ὁ ἦν the Son ( ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος), and ὁ ἐρχόμενος the Spirit, as ever proceeding forth and descending on the Church. Hengstenb., who presses the literal sense of ἐρχόμενος, avoids this confusion, but falls into that of making the covenant Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, come to judge the world and the Church. At least so it would seem: for when he comes to this the weak part of his exegesis, he obscures his meaning by raising a cloud of rhetorical description of what shall take place at that coming. He connects ἐρχόμενος with ἰδοὺ ἔρχεται μετὰ τῶν νεφ. below, in spite of the καὶ ἀπὸκαὶ ἀπό intervening. It is needless to say, that that ἔρχεται is to be referred to the last subject only, viz. to ἰησοῦς χριστός. And wherever the ἔρχομαι ταχύ, with which he also connects it, occurs, it is distinctly said of the glorified Saviour), and from the seven spirits which (are) before His throne (Andreas, in catena, takes these for the seven principal angels (ch. Revelation 8:2): so Clem.-Alex(3), Beza, Lyra, Ribera, Hammond, Bossuet, Wetst., al. But this is highly improbable, as these angels are never called πνεύματα, and as surely mere creatures, however exalted, would not be equalized with the Father and the Son as fountains of grace. The common view is doubtless right, which regards the seven as τὰς ἐνεργείας τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος (so τινές in catena: Andr(4), Victorin(5), Primas(6), al.):—“Thou the anointing Spirit art, Who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart:” but rather perhaps to be regarded as expressing His plenitude and perfection, than to be separately assigned as (but qu.?) in the following lines of the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus. The key to this expression, which is an anticipation of the visions afterwards to be related, is ch. Revelation 5:6, where see notes: as also on ch. Revelation 4:5. The ἑπτά can hardly be entirely without allusion to the ἑπτὰ ἐκκλησίαι, and to the sevenfold imagery throughout. The number seven denotes completeness, and, as Schöttgen shews h. 1., was much noted by the Jewish Commentators as occurring in the O. T. The seven spirits betoken the completeness and universality of working of God’s Holy Spirit, as the seven churches typify and indicate the whole church. The reference to Isaiah 11:2 is but lamely made out, there being there but six energies of the Spirit mentioned. That to Zechariah 4:2; Zechariah 4:10 is more to the point: see notes as above.

The , without its verb, is solœcistic), and from Jesus Christ (as we have before had the Father and the Holy Spirit mentioned as the sources of grace and peace; so now the Son, coming last, on account of that which is to follow respecting Him: “quia de illo continuanda erat oratio,” Vitr., who also notices that what follows has respect to His threefold office of Prophet, King, and Priest: see however below), the faithful witness (see John 18:37, εἰς τοῦτο ἐλήλυθα εἰς τὸν κόσμον, ἵνα μαρτυρήσω τῇ ἀληθείᾳ. It is to the general mission of the Redeemer to bear witness to the truth, and not merely to the apocalyptic portion of His testimony which is to follow (De W.), that this title must be referred. This book (Revelation 1:2) is ἡ μαρτυρία ἰησοῦ χρ.: but the title reaches far wider. Embracing as it does that μαρτυρία before Pontius Pilate, and indeed that of His whole life of witnessing to the truth, we can perhaps hardly say that it marks out his prophetic office with sufficient distinctness for us to believe it indicated here), the first-born of the dead (death is regarded as the womb of the earth, from which the resurrection is the birth: see note on ref. Col.: and Acts 2:24 note. πρωτότοκος must not with Hengst. be diluted into πρῶτος. The ἀπαρχὴ τῶν κεκοιμημένων, 1 Corinthians 15:20, is quite a different figure), and the Ruler of the kings of the earth (this kingly office of Christ is reached through his death and resurrection. In Ps. 88:27, the combination of titles is much as here, κἀγὼ πρωτότοκον θήσομαι αὐτόν, ὑψηλὸν παρὰ τοῖς βασιλεῦσι τῆς γῆς. See also Isaiah 55:4, ἰδοὺ μαρτύριον ἐν ἔθνεσιν ἔδωκα αὐτόν, ἄρχοντα καὶ προστάσσοντα ἔθνεσιν. “That which the Tempter held forth to Jesus, Matthew 4:8, on condition of worshipping him, He has now attained by the way of his humiliation unto death: viz. victory over the world, John 16:33.” De Wette). Now follows, consequent upon the glorious titles of Christ which have been enumerated, an ascription of praise to Him for His inestimable love to us. Unto Him that loveth us ( ἀγαπῶντι,—present part., not imperf. as Bengel,—includes in itself ἀγαπήσαντι, which is the feebler, as it is the more obvious reading. It is His ever-abiding character, that He loveth His own, John 13:1; out of that love sprang the mighty act of love which follows: but it did not exhaust its infinite depth: it endures now, as then. The waiting till He become, in the unfolding of the Father’s purposes, the acknowledged Head over his Church, is in reality as great a proof of that love now, as the Cross was then) and washed (or, loosed) us from our sins in His blood (the aor. points to a definite event, viz. his sacrifice of Himself. In such an image as this, which occurs again ch. Revelation 7:14 we have enwrapped together the double virtue of the atoning blood of Christ in justification, the deliverance from the guilt of sin, and sanctification, the deliverance from the power of sin: the forensic and the inherent purity, of both which it is the efficient medium: of the former by its application in faith, of the latter by such faith, in its power, uniting us to Him who is filled with the Spirit of holiness. See 1 John 1:7 and note),

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". 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

Observe here, that great encouragement which the spirit of God gives to all Christians to read and regard, to consider and meditate upon the things contained in this divine book, that is, the necessary parts of Christianity, which are here mixed with darker passages; all must read, study, and practise these, that hope for blessedness: Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.

Hence note, That although the book of the Revelation be in itself a very abstruse and mysterious part of holy scripture, yet Christians ought not to be debarred, much less to debar themselves, from reading of it, and consulting with it: blessed is he that readeth, that is, attentively, understandingly, and affectionately; and blessed is he that keepeth the things that are written, that is, in his mind and memory, in his affection and practice, so as to adhere to the truth, whatever trials and temptations it may expose him to.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". 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 1:3. Commendation of the book, which, to those who receive and keep it, may be a source of blessedness in the near impending and decisive time.

΄ακάριος refers alone(529) to the participation in the kingdom of glory, which follows the conflict and tribulation of the preceding judgments, but not at the same time,(530) that the godly are to be preserved amid these judgments.

ἀναγινώσκων καὶ οἱ ἀκούοντεσ, κ. τ. λ. These are not, in spite of the change of singular and plural, to be regarded the same subject;(531) but by the ἀναγιν. the public reader, and by the οἱ ἀκούοντες the hearing congregations, are designated.(532) This exposition is not “more tasteless,” but is far more natural, than that according to which ἁκούειν(533) means, not simply “to hear,” but “to lend the ear of understanding.”

τ. λογ. τ. προφ. By this John names this book,(534) because what he is to publish in the same in writing ( τὰ γεγρ. ἐν αὐτῆ) is a divine revelation, of which he as a prophet is the interpreter.(535)

By the mere hearing, of course, nothing is accomplished: hence John adds to what is said elsewhere only in Revelation 22:7 : καὶ τηροῦντεσ, κ. τ. λ. The τηρεῖν is properly explained in conformity with its meaning by supplying mentally, “in their hearts;”(536) only, still further, that so far as what is written in the book contains, directly or indirectly, the commandments of fidelity, patience, etc., the additional relation which prevails in the combination τηρ. τὰς ἐντολάς(537) results.(538)

γὰρ καιρὸς ἐγγύς. Foundation for the commendation of the book which has just been expressed: the time(539) which will bring blessedness to the faithful is at hand;(540) blessed, therefore, he who takes to heart the instruction here offered.(541) Notice here how in Revelation 11:18, Revelation 22:10, cf. Revelation 12:12; Revelation 12:14, the expression καιρός is used, i.e., the fixed, expected point of time; while χρόνος, on the other hand, is time in general, according to the conception of duration, and is otherwise more external and chronological.(542)

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". 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 1:3. ΄ακάριος, blessed) There are some who wretchedly handle this most sacred book with restless curiosity. And from this it comes to pass that others, running into the contrary extreme, are unwilling to hear even the name of the Apocalypse, by which they ought to be stirred up: and on account of the singular multitude of unfortunate interpretations and conjectures which are without accomplishment, they distrust the book itself. Thence, whereas they wish to know all things, they reject the only method of knowing those things which the Lord shews as about to happen. Hence they esteem the endeavour to investigate the truth in this book as useless labour; they consider sloth as moderation, silence as prudence, and they regard and inquire about anything in preference to this, just as though it had been written: Blessed is he who does not read, and they who do not hear, etc. Let them see that they do not, in devising every pretext for refusing the heavenly gift, show weariness towards God (Isaiah 7:12-13), and that they be not found UNGRATEFUL towards Christ. But rather, Blessed is he who reads, and they who hear and keep; especially in our times, which are not far distant from a great change of affairs, as we shall see. It is better, in inquiring into the times, if only faith, hope, and love have the chief place in our heart, to attempt as much as possible, and to incur ridicule (Genesis 37:19), than, with the brave spirits of the world, to despise admonitions which appear paradoxical, and to be crushed with the accomplishment of the events, Daniel 2:34; Daniel 2:45, compared with Matthew 22:44, at the end; or, after the manner of the Jews, to be repeatedly expecting events already long accomplished. The Jews curse those who reckon the times of the Messiah: the Apocalypse blesses the good hearers of prophecy, which comprises the near approach of the time and the calculation of the intermediate times. The mournful variety of interpretations, it is true, increases daily: whence it happens that a kind of cloud is spread over the eyes of many, so that, although the truth is clearly placed before them, they admit it either less, or certainly not more, than they do specious inventions. And yet there are not wanting aids to understanding, in the case of all who rightly employ them, without throwing away the hope of understanding them.

I. The foundation of all is a pure text, restored from the best copies.

II. This book is most closely jointed: it arranges a multiplicity of subjects by means of seven epistles, seals, trumpets, and vials; it divides each of these sets of seven into a set of four, and of three; it interprets many things of itself, and declares what are the seven stars; the seven candlesticks; the Lamb, and His seven horns and seven eyes; the incense; the dragon; the three spirits, like frogs; the heads and horns of the beast; the waters, where the whore sits; the fine linen; the testimony of Jesus; the second death; the Lamb’s wife. It supplies us with most convenient formulæ: the first woe is past, etc.; the number of a man, the measure of a man, which is that of an angel, etc.

III. The comparing of the ancient prophets is of service; and the evidence of the predictions of Jesus and the Apostles in the other books of the New Testament, and especially the evidence of the letter of the Apocalypse itself, and its own peculiar character, attempered with prophetic tropes. We will explain this particular point somewhat more fully.

1) The Lord Jesus has comprised in the Apocalypse the Remainder [Supplement] of the old prophecy, which belongs to the times subsequent to His Ascension and the coming of the Comforter, and the end of the Jewish system. And thus the book reaches from the old Jerusalem to the new Jerusalem, all things being reduced to one sum and to harmonious order; and it has great similarity to the ancient prophets. The beginning and the conclusion agree with Daniel; the description of the male child, and the promises given to Sion, agree with Isaiah; the judgment of Babylon, with Jeremiah; the fixing of the times, again, with Daniel, who followed Jeremiah; the architecture of the holy city, with Ezekiel, who followed Isaiah; the emblems of horses, of candlesticks, etc., with Zechariah. From these prophets many things more fully described by them are now repeated in a summary manner, and often in the same words. Therefore reference must be had to them. Nevertheless the Apocalypse has a kind of αὐτάρκειαν (self-completeness), and is of itself sufficient for its own interpretation, although you may not yet understand the old prophets, where they speak of the same things: in fact, this often supplies a clue for the understanding of those. Often also, under the agreement which there is between the Apocalypse and the old prophets, there lies concealed a certain difference; and the Apocalypse derives its stock from some ancient prophet, on which it inserts a new scion. Thus, for instance, Zechariah mentions two olive trees; John also has the same, but in a different meaning. Daniel has a beast with ten horns; John also has the same, but not altogether in the same sense. Here the difference in the words, the emblems, the circumstances, the times, ought studiously to be observed. But the plan of the Tabernacle erected and described by Moses is also of great value. For those heavenly things, unto the example and shadow of which the Levitical priests served, are accurately exhibited in the Apocalypse: Hebrews 8:5.

2) The Lord foretold many things before His passion; for instance, Matthew 13:22, and those which follow; John 14:15; but He did not foretell all things: for it was not yet the befitting time. Many things predicted by the Spirit of Christ are contained, in a scattered form, in the Epistles of John and the other apostles; namely, according as the necessity of those primitive times required. Now the Lord comprises all in one short book, having reference to the earlier ones, presupposing them, explaining, continuing, and interweaving them. It is altogether right, therefore, that we should compare them; but not to bring into comparison the fulness of these with the brevity of those.

In the Evangelists Christ predicted the things which were about to happen before the dictation of the Apocalypse to John, and added a description of the Last things: in the Apocalypse he also mentioned intermediate events. From both, one whole as it were is made up.

3) In this book there is set forth to view, not only a summary and key of prophecy, both that which has long preceded and that which is recent, but also a supplement, the seals having been before closed. Therefore it cannot but contain many things now for the first time revealed, and not found in the remaining books of Scripture, as Gomarus and Cluverus admit. They therefore show little gratitude towards a revelation of such dignity as this, and reserved too for Christ’s exalted state, who, if anything is for the first time revealed in it, or is described in more exact and definite terms, are on that account more slow to value it, and more cautious in receiving, or more bold in rejecting it. The importance of the argument, and the shortness of the book, prove that every word is of the greatest significance.

ἀναγινώσκων καὶ οἱ ἀκούοντες, he who reads and they who hear) One person, and, in the first instance, he, by whom John sent the book from Patmos into Asia, used to read publicly in the churches and many used to hear. Scripture highly commends the public reading of itself: Deuteronomy 31:11; Nehemiah 8:8; Jeremiah 36:6; Luke 4:16; Acts 15:21; Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27; 1 Timothy 4:13. There would be more edification, if teachers would speak less of themselves, or, at any rate, if Scripture were more fully read to the multitude who are unlearned.— τῆς προφητείας, of the prophecy) In relation to Jesus Christ, it is a revelation; it is a prophecy in relation to John; and it is not until he is mentioned that the word prophecy is introduced. Prophecies support their claims by their own, and therefore by Divine authority; this is especially the case with the Apocalypse, which, on this account, does not quote the old prophecies, unless in a summary way, and that once only: ch. Revelation 10:7. In the other books of the New Testament the prophecies of the Old Testament are quoted, and for this reason, that their fulfilment may be proved; in the Apocalypse they are not quoted. Hence it came to pass, that when Surenhusius, for instance, had deduced quotations from the Old Testament, through each of the Evangelists, through the Acts of the Apostles, through the Pauline and General Epistles, he had nothing to bring forward as a quotation in the Apocalypse. In like manner Franc. Junius brought his Parallels to an end, thus writing at the conclusion: There are indeed innumerable words, many sentiments, and not a few arguments throughout the whole book of the Apocalypse, which, with the greatest dignity, savour of the Old Testament; but their interpretation does not appear to belong to the present subject; both because the passages of Scripture ARE NOT ADDUCED BY NAME (expressly), or is any particular authority alleged, from which they are drawn, but, for the most part, two, three, or more passages are most skilfully and elegantly joined together; and also because, if any one should attempt this, he must of necessity undertake the interpretation of the whole book of the Apocalypse.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". 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

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy: from hence is well concluded, that this is a portion of holy writ to be read publicly and privately, otherwise no blessing would have been pronounced to the readers or the hearers of it. It is also well from hence concluded, that this book is no history of things done, but a prediction of things to come to pass; for though prophecy in some scriptures signifieth more largely the revelation of the Divine will, yet here it must signify strictly.

And keep those things which are written therein; that keep it in memory, and live in view of it, and as persons that believe it; they are blessed, as they will from it be comforted, concerning all the sufferings of the church, and people of God.

For the time is at hand; the season for the accomplishment of these things is nigh, not past, but the time when they shall begin to happen is not very far off.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". 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

Блажен Это единственная книга Библии, которая начинается благословением тому, кто слушает, как ее читают и объясняют, а затем смиренно реагирует. Это первое из семи блаженств, названных в книге (ст. 3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).

время близко Время означает эпохи, эры или времена, годы. Грядет следующая великая эпоха истории Божьего спасения. Но хотя пришествие Христа близко, оно может откладываться на довольно долгое время, так, что люди начинают спрашивать, придет ли Он когда-нибудь (ср. Мф. 24:36-39; 2Пет. 3:3, 4).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-1.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Keep those things; remember the truths herein taught, and do the duties required.

The time is at hand; see note to verse Revelation 1:1.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Blessed is he who reads, and they who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things which are written in it, for the time is at hand.’

The book was intended to be read to churches and a special blessing is promised to the one who does the reading and to those who receive its message and respond to it. Books to be read in church were those which were seen as the inspired word of God (later a clear distinction would certainly be made between books to be read in the churches because they were accepted as the word of God and those which could be read as spiritually useful but not the word of God). Thus John is claiming that this is the inspired word of God.

‘For the time is at hand.’ It is not a book just about the distant future. It is writing about something of imminent concern for the churches. It has present relevance for them, and its events will apply to their times and their lives.

John begins by describing the source of his revelation.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Those who read, hear, and obey this prophecy will receive a special blessing from God. John put himself on a par with the Old Testament prophets (cf. Revelation 10:8-11) and distinguished this book from Jewish apocalyptic literature. [Note: See Hall W. Harris, "A Theology of John"s Writings," in A Biblical Theology of the New Testament, p174; and David Hill, "Prophecy and Prophets in the Revelation of St. John," New Testament Studies18 (1971-72):401-18.] This is the first of seven blessings that John mentioned in Revelation ( Revelation 14:13; Revelation 16:15; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:14; cf. Luke 11:28). John used the number seven, which commonly signified completeness and a work of God, 54times. The Greek word translated "time" (kairos) describes a period of time rather than a point in time. The time when God will fulfill these prophecies was "near" when John wrote this book. "Near" is the translation of the Greek word eggus meaning at hand, imminent. The fulfillment could begin at any time. [Note: Mounce, p65; Johnson, pp416-17; Ladd, p22.]

". . . the Apocalyptist claims for his book that it shall take rank with the prophetic books of the O.T. ..." [Note: Swete, p3.]

"A "revelation" of the end of history is given not for the satisfaction of curiosity, but to inspire living in accordance with the reality unveiled." [Note: G. R. Beasley-Murray, The Book of Revelation, p52.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-1.html. 2012.

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

(5) The admonitions of the visions.

1. "Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear-1:3.

This is, first, a reference to the person whose task it was to explain the visions, designated as he that readeth; and second, to the auditors assembled to receive it, as they that hear. As previously mentioned, there were specially endowed teachers, spiritually gifted men, in all of the churches (1 Corinthians 12:1-31), who could read and decode the revelation that was signified. The language of verse 3 indicates the need of the explanatory reading.

2. "The words of this prophecy"--1:3.

These words were prophetic in the sense of being visional. In this use of the word prophecy, it was apocalyptic only of things already beginning to occur. It was not the foretelling of far future events not connected with the experiences of his servants to whom and for whom the apocalypse was delivered.

3. "And keep those things which are written therein" --1:3.

The manifest meaning of this phrase is that his servants should remember the signified portents, and the monitory exhortations of the visions, for they would come within the experiences of their own time.

4. "For the time is at hand"--1:3.

There can be no reason to assign any other meaning to this phrase at hand than that which it had in the announcement of John the Baptist that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matthew 3:2), or of Jesus that the kingdom of God was at hand (Mark 1:14-15). The language and the context of it can mean only one thing--that these events were imminent. The sole reason for the admonition to read and hear and keep the things signified is stated in the clause of this verse: for the time is at hand. If the things written therein pertained to the remote future rather than to the immediate future, there was no application for such a warning.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-1.html. 1966.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 1:3. The mention of the source of the revelation, and of the perfect faithfulness with which it has been recorded, are now fitly followed by a blessing pronounced upon such as receive and keep it. The allusion in he that readeth is to the public reading of books of Scripture in the congregation or in any assembly of Christians. One read, many heard; hence the change of number when we pass from the former to the latter. But the book must not only be heard, it must be ‘kept;’ that is, not simply must it be obeyed, it must be preserved or treasured in the heart, that there it may become the spirit and the rule of life. Thus, also, it follows that the things written therein are not to be limited to those exhortations to repentance, faith, patience, etc., which accompany the visions; they include all the words of the prophecy. The visions, indeed, are the main foundation and purport of the whole book. They reveal that future upon the knowledge of which the practical exhortations rest. Finally, the blessedness of thus ‘keeping’ the revelation is enforced by the thought that the time, the distinct and definite season, when all shall be accomplished, is at hand (comp. Revelation 1:1). And it was at hand, though 1800 years have passed since the words were spoken. We shall see, as we proceed, that the book deals with principles which have been exhibiting themselves throughout the whole period of the Church’s history. Thus the things written in it were ‘at hand’ in the days of the Apostle; they have always been ‘at hand’ to cheer the saints of God in the midst of their pilgrimage and warfare; they are ‘at hand’ now; for the words have never ceased to be fulfilled, ‘Lo, I am with you alway;’ ‘In the world ye have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "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

Blessed = Happy. Greek. makarios, by which the Septuagint renders the Hebrew "ashrey. See App-63. First of seven occurance in Rev. (fifty in N.T.)

this = the.

prophecy. Occurs seven times (App-10) in Rev.

keep. See Luke 2:19, Luke 2:51. Occurs eleven times in Rev.

those = the.

therein = in (Greek. en) it.

time. Greek. kairos. Compare App-195.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "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

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

He that readeth, and they that hear, [ ho (Greek #3588) anaginooskoon (Greek #314)] - the public reader in church assemblies, and his hearers. Firstly, he by whom John sent the book, from Patmos to the seven churches, read it publicly. A special blessing attends him who reads or hears the apocalyptic "prophecy" with a view to keeping the things (as one article combines 'they that hear and keep:' not two classes, but only one-`they who not only hear, but also keep those things,' Romans 2:13): even though he find not the key, he finds a stimulus to faith, hope, and patient waiting for Christ. "Prophecy" relates to the human medium inspired-here John; "Revelation," to the Divine Being who reveals His will-here Christ. God gave the Revelation to Jesus: He, by His angel, revealed it to John, to make it known to the Church.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "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

(3) Blessed is he that readeth. . . . prophecy.—Any declaration of the principles of the divine government, with indications of their exemplification in coming history, is a prophecy. Sometimes the history which exemplifies these principles is immediate, sometimes more remote; in other cases (as, I venture to believe, is the case with the predictions of this book) the events are both immediate and remote. The prophecy gives us the rule, with some typical application illustrative of its method of working; after-history affords us the working out of various examples. We, then, as living actors in the world, have not only to read and hear, but to keep—keep in mind and action those principles which preside over the development of all human history (James 1:22). The word “keep” is in itself a proof to me that the whole fulfilment of the Apocalypse could not have been exhausted in the earliest times, nor reserved to the latest times of the Church’s history, but that its predictions are applicable in all eras.

The time is at hand.—In the apostolic mind this was always true, though the restless idleness of the Thessalonians was blamed (2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12). The spirit of vigilance and of ever readiness for both the providential advents and the final advent of the Christ was enjoined. (Comp. Romans 13:12; James 5:9; 2 Peter 3:8-9.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Blessed
22:7; Proverbs 8:34; Daniel 12:12,13; Luke 11:28
for
22:6,10,12,20; Romans 13:11; James 5:8,9; 1 Peter 4:7; 2 Peter 3:8
Reciprocal: Proverbs 7:1 - keep;  Jeremiah 9:12 - the wise;  Jeremiah 51:61 - read;  Daniel 9:2 - understood;  Matthew 24:15 - whoso;  Mark 13:14 - let him;  Luke 21:8 - and the time;  Revelation 1:1 - which must;  Revelation 3:11 - I come;  Revelation 7:2 - to whom;  Revelation 13:18 - Here;  Revelation 22:18 - heareth;  Revelation 22:19 - and from

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "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

Blessed means happy and it is said of those who read the words of this prophecy or book. But the blessing is not on those who read it only, but they also must hcar it which means to give heed to it. The writer does not stop there but adds the condition that they shall keep ("observe"-—Thayer) them. These three significant terms certainly do not agree with the notion that the book of Revelation is one to be ignored by Bible students. Time is at hand. That Isaiah, the general program that was to extend down through the centuries was soon to begin.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". 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 1:3

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

"Blessed is he that readeth"

That Isaiah, so readeth, as that he understandeth what he readeth { Acts 8:30} [ginwskein a anaginwskein]; understandeth thou what thou readeth? and so expoundeth what he readeth that the people may understand the reading, as they did, { Nehemiah 8:8} and as the Apostle Paul did. { Acts 28:23}

"And they that hear the Words of this Prophecy"

that Isaiah, They that are diligent hearers, who hear what the Spirit speaketh thereby to the churches, { Isaiah 55:3; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:11; Revelation 2:17} not being forgetful hearers, but believing hearers, { Hebrews 4:2} and doers, { James 1:22; James 1:25} "and keep those things which are written therein".

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-1.html.

D.S. Clark's Commentary on Revelation

V:3. "Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear." Some would read and some would hear. Of printed Bibles there was none, and manuscripts were scarce. It was customary to have manuscripts read to the churches and frequently to circulate them among a group of churches; so that there would be many more hearers than readers. This manuscript was evidently sent to the churches to be read in their hearing.

"Blessed is he that keepeth" etc. Obedience is the ground of blessing. "For the time is at hand." Again the writer stresses the nearness of the events foretold. He says in effect: "Read and circulate this book quickly. Give serious heed to its warnings and admonitions. Get its courage and strength, for the times of judgment and martyrdom herein depicted are already at your doors." Those to whom this book was addressed were being forewarned that they might be forearmed.

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Harold Norris' Commentary on the Book of Revelation

ONE OF THE SEVEN BEATITUDES OF REVELATION

1.

"Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near." ( Revelation 1:3). I bear personal testimony to the fact that a blessing is given to the reader and hearer of John"s book of Revelation. I have been reading the book for55 years since I found Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord. I, together with many other Christians was puzzled by most of the book because I did not understand the Apocalyptic style of literature in which it was written. Thirty years ago I found the KEY to the interpretation of John"s Apocalypse. Since finding this KEY I have found ever increasing blessing in my reading. Whenever I pick up this book I find new truths in its symbolism which I had not seen previously. It is my experience that any reader who tries to be consistent in interpretation of the symbolism of this book will be blessed in that study. This is my main reason for sharing my interpretation of this book with you--I desire that this blessing be yours. John"s Revelation tells in unfamiliar language the eternal message of salvation which is also declared in the rest of the New Testament. It is not so much a picture of events still future as a revelation of a conflict within every man between good and evil which is going on now. This agelong conflict is going on in the world-order, between God and the devil. The thrilling revelation of this book is that it reveals the victory of Christ over all evil in every life which is fully surrendered to Him. This is a book with a rich blessing to the reader who sees in it the revelation of victory now and in the finalities in Jesus Christ.

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Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Blessed—A beautiful and solemn warning to his readers, both of his own and subsequent ages. At the same time, it expresses his own solemn reverence for his own work. Blessing and woe are dependent on the spirit in which the truths of this book are read and reduced to practice. [See malediction at Revelation 22:18, with note.] Similar benedictions, with a blessed, recur in our Apocalypse, Revelation 19:9; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:14. The nature of that blessedness to the apocalyptic conqueror appears by anticipation in Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:11; Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 3:12; Revelation 3:21.

He that readeth’ they that hear—One public reader and a congregation of hearers. See our vol. iii, p. 5. For beyond question our John expected that his apocalypsis would be received as a divine authority by his sevenfold circle of Churches, would be publicly read in the public congregation, would be deposited in their archives, and would be a thing of perpetuity until the great white throne of chap. 20 should appear. And so these seven Churches did receive it. They received it as the work of no other John in existence would be received.

Keep those things—Square their lives according to their requirements. Awful is the weight with which our Seer presses his work upon the spirit and heart of his audience. No woe is, indeed, here announced; but the blessed is pronounced with a solemn implication that acceptance before the white throne is fearfully conditioned upon a deep obedience to the requisitions of the book that predicts its future appearance.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-1.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 1:3. The first of the seven beatitudes in the Apocalypse (Revelation 14:13, Revelation 16:15, Revelation 19:9, Revelation 20:6, Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:14), endorsing the book as a whole. In the worship of the Christian communities one member read aloud, originally from the O.T. as in the synagogues, and afterwards from Christian literature as well (apostolic epistles, Colossians 4:16, and sub-apostolic epistles), while the rest of the audience listened (Eus. H. E. iv. 23). In its present form the Apocalypse was composed with this object in view. Cf. Justin’s description of the Christinn assemblies on Sunday, when, as the first business, (Apol. i. 67). The art of reading was not a general accomplishment in the circles from which the Christian societies were for the most part recruited, and this office of reader ( ), as distinct from that of the president, soon became one of the regular minor positions in the worship of the church. Here the reader’s function resembles that of Baruch (cf.Jeremiah 22:5-6). , . . ., carefully heeding the warnings of the book, observing its injunctions, and expecting the fulfilment of its predictions, instead of losing heart and faith (Luke 18:8). Cf. Hipp. De Antich. 2 and En. civ. 12, “books will be given to the righteous and the wise to become a cause of joy and uprightness and much wisdom”. The content of the Apocalypse is not merely prediction; moral counsel and religious instruction are the primary burden of its pages. The bliss of the obedient and attentive, however, is bound up with the certainty that the crisis at which the predictions of the book are to be realised is imminent; they have not to wait long for the fulfilment of their hopes. This, with the assurance of God’s interest and intervention, represented the ethical content of early Christian prediction, which would have been otherwise a mere satisfaction of curiosity; see on Revelation 1:19.

[Note onRevelation 1:1-3. If this inscription (absent from no MS.) is due to the author, it must have been added (so Bruston, Jülicher, Hirscht, Holtzm., Bs.), like the of Thucydides, after he had finished the book as a whole. But possibly it was inserted by the later hand of an editor or redactor (Völter, Erbes, Briggs, Hilg., Forbes, Wellhausen, J. Weiss, Simcox = elders of Ephesus, John 21:24) rather than of a copyist (Spitta, Sabatier, Schön), who reproduced the Johannine style of the Apocalypse proper. At the same time, the change from the third to the first person (Revelation 1:9) is not unexampled (cf.Jeremiah 1:1-4 f.; Ezekiel 1:1-4; Enoch repeatedly), and forms no sure proof of an original text overlaid with editorial touches; nor is a certain sententious objectivity (cf. Herod, Revelation 1:1, Revelation 2:23, etc.) unnatural at the commencement of a book, when the writer has occasion to introduce himself. The real introduction begins at Revelation 1:4 (cf.Revelation 22:21).]

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-1.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

3. Happy is the one who reads. This refers to the “lector” who read the Scriptures aloud. This blessing is for the one who reads, those who listen and obey.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.