Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 1:8

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
New American Standard Version
    Jump to:
  1. Adam Clarke Commentary
  2. Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
  3. The Biblical Illustrator
  4. Coffman Commentaries on the Bible
  5. John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible
  6. Geneva Study Bible
  7. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
  8. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
  9. Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary
  10. Vincent's Word Studies
  11. Wesley's Explanatory Notes
  12. Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
  13. John Trapp Complete Commentary
  14. Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible
  15. Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
  16. Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
  17. Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible
  18. Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture
  19. Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament
  20. Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
  21. Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible
  22. Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
  23. Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation
  24. Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament
  25. Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
  26. George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
  27. E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
  28. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
  29. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
  30. Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
  31. Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation
  32. Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation
  33. E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament
  34. Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation
  35. Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms
  36. Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
  37. The Expositor's Greek Testament
  38. The Bible Study New Testament

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Alpha;   Jesus Continued;   Omega;   Scofield Reference Index - Christ;   Churches;   Inspiration;   Thompson Chain Reference - Alpha;   Eternal;   God;   I Am's of Christ;   Mutability-Immutability;   Names;   Omega;   Titles and Names;   The Topic Concordance - Jesus Christ;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Christ Is God;   Titles and Names of Christ;   Trinity, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - A;   Cherub;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - God;   Jesus christ;   Prophecy, prophet;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Destroy, Destruction;   Time;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Ascension of Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - A;   Jehovah;   Key;   Omega;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Alpha;   Cross;   Omega;   Revelation of John, the;   Sacrifice;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Alpha and Omega;   I Am;   Omega;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Alpha and Omega;   Asia;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Alpha and Omega;   Alpha and Omega (2);   Apocalypse;   Christ in Art;   God;   Mediator;   Numbers;   Praise;   Revelation, Book of;   Sin (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Almighty;   Alpha;   Beginning;   God;   Omega ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Alpha;   Christ;   Jesus christ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Alpha;   Names titles and offices of christ;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Alpha;   Ome'ga,;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Almighty;   Alpha;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Omega;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Alpha and Omega;   Christ, Offices of;   God, Names of;   Inspiration;   Omnipotence;   Parousia;   Revelation of John:;   Unchangeable;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Alpha;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for November 3;   Every Day Light - Devotion for October 30;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I am Alpha and Omega - I am from eternity to eternity. This mode of speech is borrowed from the Jews, who express the whole compass of things by א aleph and ת tau, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet; but as St. John was writing in Greek, he accommodates the whole to the Greek alphabet, of which Α alpha and Ω omega are the first and last letters. With the rabbins ת ועד מא meeleph vead tau, "from aleph to tau," expressed the whole of a matter, from the beginning to the end. So in Yalcut Rubeni, fol. 17, 4: Adam transgressed the whole law from aleph to tau; i.e., from the beginning to the end.

Ibid., fol. 48, 4: Abraham observed the law, from aleph to tau; i.e., he kept it entirely, from beginning to end.

Ibid., fol. 128, 3: When the holy blessed God pronounced a blessing on the Israelites, he did it from aleph to tau; i.e., he did it perfectly.

The beginning and the ending - That is, as aleph or alpha is the beginning of the alphabet, so am I the author and cause of all things; as tau or omega is the end or last letter of the alphabet, so am I the end of all thinks, the destroyer as well as the establisher of all things. This clause is wanting in almost every MS. and version of importance. It appears to have been added first as an explanatory note, and in process of time crept into the text. Griesbach has left it out of the text. It is worthy of remark, that as the union of א aleph tau in Hebrew make את eth, which the rabbins interpret of the first matter out of which all things were formed, (see on Genesis 1:1; (note)); so the union of Α alpha and Ω omega, in Greek, makes the verb αω, I breathe, and may very properly, in such a symbolical book, point out Him in whom we live, and move, and have our being; for, having formed man out of the dust of the earth, he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul; and it is by the inspiration or inbreathing of his Spirit that the souls of men are quickened, made alive from the dead, and fitted for life eternal. He adds also that he is the Almighty, the all-powerful framer of the universe, and the inspirer of men.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I am Alpha and Omega - These are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, and denote properly the first and the last. So in Revelation 22:13, where the two expressions are united, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” So in Revelation 1:17, the speaker says of himself, “I am the first and the last.” Among the Jewish rabbis it was common to use the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet to denote the whole of anything, from beginning to end. Thus, it is said, “Adam transgressed the whole law, from ‹Aleph (א ) to Taw ( ).” “Abraham kept the whole law, from ‹Aleph (א ) to Taw ( ).” The language here is what would properly denote “eternity” in the being to whom it is applied, and could be used in reference to no one but the true God. It means that he is the beginning and the end of all things; that he was at the commencement, and will be at the close; and it is thus equivalent to saying that he has always existed, and that he will always exist. Compare Isaiah 41:4, “I the Lord, the first, and with the last”; Isaiah 44:6, “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God”; Isaiah 48:12, “I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.” There can be no doubt that the language here would be naturally understood as implying divinity, and it could be properly applied to no one but the true God. The obvious interpretation here would be to apply this to the Lord Jesus; for:

(a)it is he who is spoken of in the verses preceding, and

(b)there can be no doubt that the same language is applied to him in Revelation 1:11.

As there is, however, a difference of reading in this place in the Greek text, and as it can. not be absolutely certain that the writer meant to refer to the Lord Jesus specifically here, this cannot be adduced with propriety as a proof-text to demonstrate his divinity. Many mss., instead of “Lord,” κυρίος kuriosread “God,” Θεὸς Theosand this reading is adopted by Griesbach, Tittman, and Hahn, and is now regarded as the correct reading. There is no real incongruity in supposing, also, that the writer here meant to refer to God as such, since the introduction of a reference to him would not be inappropriate to his manifest design. Besides, a portion of the language used here, “which is, and was, and is to come,” is what would more naturally suggest a reference to God as such, than to the Lord Jesus Christ. See Revelation 1:4. The object for which this passage referring to the “first and the last - to him who was, and is, and is to come,” is introduced here evidently is, to show that as he was clothed with omnipotence, and would continue to exist through all ages to come as he had existed in all ages past, there could be no doubt about his ability to execute all which it is said he would execute.

Saith the Lord - Or, saith God, according to what is now regarded as the correct reading.

Which is, and which was, … - See the notes on Revelation 1:4.

The Almighty - An appellation often applied to God, meaning that he has all power, and used here to denote that he is able to accomplish what is disclosed in this book.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-1.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Revelation 1:8

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.

Christ all in all

I. Of creation.

II. Of history.

III. Of Scripture.

IV. Of salvation.

V. In the life of the believer.

VI. In the Christian Church. (D. R. Key, M. A.)

Alpha and Omega

I. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of human aspirations. He meets men’s strongest yearnings.

1. It is so in reference to theological aspirations.

2. Immortal aspirations are likewise met in Jesus. Men believe in a hereafter. On the last page of life’s book we do not write Finis, but “To be continued in our next.” Christ ministers to this yearning for immortality. “I go to prepare a place for you”; “This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise”; “Where I am there also shall My servant be.”

II. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of human character. Christ comprehended in Himself every form of excellence. No virtue was lacking; each grace was present. A visitor in Spain, delighted with the paintings of Rubens, asked where his bad pictures were? He failed to discover them. Inquire for the defects of Christ, and you cannot get an answer.

III. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega of human privilege. What is true of the Bible is true also of Christ. It meets all moral needs. There is a bridge in a certain Austrian city on whose parapets stand twelve statues of the Saviour. He is represented in various relationships, as, for instance, prophet, priest, king, physician, pilot, shepherd, sower, carpenter. The country people, coming into town soon after dawn with produce for the market, pause before the sower or the shepherd Christ, and offer their prayers through Him. The artisans, two hours later, repairing to the workshop, bend before the carpenter Christ. Later on the sailor kneels at the feet of the pilot Christ. And in the warm sunlight of the forenoon invalids, creeping out to enjoy the fresh air, rest under the shadow of the Great Physician. Apt symbol of our Lord’s adaptation to universal necessities! He is all and in all. (T. R. Stevenson.)

Christ the Alpha and Omega

I. As it respects the relation in which He stands to the covenant of grace.

II. As it relates to the personal enjoyments and salvation of the true believer.

III. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the great works of nature and providence. (T. Hutchings.)

The first and the last

I. First, consider the title as expressive of the eternal duration of our Saviour’s existence. “I am the first,” He says, and thereby claims precedence of all created beings and things. He is before all things, and by Him are all things. “I am the first,” He says, and thereby claims to be coeval with the Father; for if the Father existed prior to Himself He could not be said to be the first. It is a most direct and unequivocal assertion of His divinity. He, as the God-man, the Divine taking upon Him the human, is the Centre and the Sun, the Alpha and Omega, of His own world. This statement is supported by the second part of His title. It points us to an impenetrable future, as the first does to an illimitable past. He is the Omega no less than the Alpha; the end even as He is the beginning. His existence bounds all being. As no one preceded Him, so no one can outlive Him. The Father does not live longer than the Son. What could show more clearly that He is dependent on none; that all are dependent on Him. It is of no small importance that you should practically realise this truth. It bears on our conduct, for if the Saviour be what this title claims, He is not to be regarded as a mere man, however holy and divinely endowed, but to be worshipped even as the Father is worshipped. It is conducive to our comfort, for, to say nothing of the efficacy which His dignity imparts to His atoning work, it is a blessed thing to know, amid the trials and the vicissitudes of this changing scene, that there is a Friend who ever lives and who is ever the same.

II. Then we consider the title as expressive of our Saviour’s action in all the movements of the universe. The self-existent and independent one must necessarily be the author and upholder of all created existence. Observe

1. How unlimited is the power which is thus attributed to our Lord. The fact of creation is in one point of view the most stupendous of which we have any knowledge. While all this is awful, is it not delightful to reflect how that power is wielded by our best Friend, by One whose heart is as tender as His arm is strong, and wielded for the welfare of those who put their trust in Him?

2. He carries all things forward to their consummation. He terminates as well as originates all the processes of the universe--all beings, all things, all existence. We are not to think of Him as severed from Bib works, but as pervading and upholding them, and still conducting them all. He is the centre of all forces, the fountain of all law, the sustainer of all existence. Look around you in your own world; in the multitude of the activities that you witness you behold the exercise of His power. It is seen in the flowing river, in the restless ocean, in the rising and setting sun, in the still or stormy atmosphere, in all activities of organic substance, in animal and vegetable life. It is His power that bursts in the budding of the plant; His beauty which is unfolded in the opening flower; it is His providence which shapes the life of the buzzing insect, His will that determines the mode and manner of its death. Even the smallest grain of dust takes its shape from His hands; He directs the course of every particle of spray, every feather and every snowflake in the breeze. There is nothing too minute for His care, as there is nothing too great for His might. Look into the inner world of the soul, and with equal certainty you can discern His movements there. Not only did He lay down His life to provide redemption for us, but by His Spirit He applies that redemption to the individual soul. The work of grace in its beginning, its continuance, its consummation, is all of Him. There is human instrumentality, but the efficiency is all Divine.

III. Again, consider the title as intimating that all things exist on our Saviour’s account, and actually and ultimately tend to the promotion of His glory. It is not a subject for dogmatism, scarcely for speculation, when we say that the purpose of creation was the manifestation of the Divine attributes, to give expression and embodiment to the truth, the purity, the beauty, the wisdom, the goodness, and the perfection of the attributes which exist in the Divine mind, that God might complacently behold and rest in His works, and that His intelligent creatures, beholding these perfections in the visible universe, might respond to those expressions of the Divine with devout and joyful adoration. Christ came to restore the Divine order which sin had interrupted, and all creation, true to the purpose of its existence, co-operates with Him for this end. His Incarnation is not an isolated fact; it is the centre of the universe, pointing to the past order which has been broken and is yet to be restored. (W. Landels.)

The A and the Z

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last; so that Christ in this text represents Himself as the A and the Z. That is one reason why I like the Bible; its illustrations are so easy to understand. When it represents the gospel as a hammer, everybody knows it is to knock something to pieces; or as salt, everybody who has put down meat in barrels knows it is to keep things from spoiling; or as a salve, that is to cure the old sores of the heart. Anybody who knows the a b c understands that the text means that Christ is the Beginning and the End in everything good.

I. He is the A and the Z of the physical universe. By Him were all things made that are made. It is exciting to see a ship launched. The people gather in a temporary gallery erected for their accommodation. The spectators are breathless, waiting for the impediments to be removed, when down the ship rushes with terrific velocity, the planks smoking, the water tossing, the flags flying, the people huzzaing, bands of music playing. But my Lord Jesus saw this ship of a world launched with its furnaces of volcano, and flags of cloud, and masts of mountain, and beams of thunderbolt, while the morning stars shouted, and the orchestras of heaven played, “Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty!” The same hand that put up this universe will pull it down.

II. Christ is the A and the Z of the Bible. Here is a long lane, overshadowed by fine trees, leading up to a mansion. What is the use of the lane if there were no mansion at the end? There is no use in the Old Testament, except as a grand avenue to lead us up to the Gospel Dispensation. You may go early to a concert. Before the curtain is hoisted, you hear the musicians tuning up the violins, and getting ready all the instruments. After a while the curtain is hoisted, and the concert begins. All the statements, parables, orations, and miracles of the Old Testament were merely preparatory, and when all was ready, in the time of Christ, the curtain hoists, and there pours forth the Oratorio of the Messiah--all nations joining in the Hallelujah Chorus.

III. Christ is the A and the Z of the Christian ministry. A sermon that has no Christ in it is a dead failure. The minister who devotes his pulpit to anything but Christ is an impostor. What the world wants now is to be told in the most direct way of Jesus Christ, who comes to save men from eternal damnation. Christ the Light, Christ the Sacrifice, Christ the Rock, Christ the Star, Christ the Balm, Christ the Guide.

IV. Christ is the A and the Z in the world’s rescue. When the world broke loose, the only hand swung out to catch it was that of Jesus.

V. Christ is the A and the Z in Heaven. He is the most honoured personage in all the land. He is known as a World-Liberator. The first one that a soul entering heaven looks for is Jesus. At His feet break the doxologies. Around His throne circle the chief glories. At heaven’s beginning--Christ, the Alpha. Then travel far on down the years of eternity, and stop at the end of the remotest age, and see if the song has not taken up some other burthen, and some other throne has not become the centre of heaven’s chief attractions. But no; you hear it thrummed on the harps and poured from the trumpets and shouted in universal acclaim, “Christ, the Omega!” (T. De Witt Talmage.)

The Alpha and Omega

I. The Lord Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, because he is the manifestation of God. The use of the various letters is just to articulate your truest self--to render intelligible to others your thoughts and wishes, your feelings and your purposes. And in this sense Immanuel is the Alpha and Omega of the ever-blessed Godhead. He is the articulation of Jehovah’s mind. He is the Word of God. He is the visible embodiment of all that is in the invisible Three-One. Whatever the mind of the Lord Jesus is, the same is the mind of God; whatever the dispositions of the Lord Jesus are known to be, the same are the dispositions of Him whom no man can see; and whatever perfections were seen in the person of Christ, the same perfections reside in the great I Am.

II. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, because of His All-Sufficiency. Like the literal Alpha and Omega, He includes everything within Himself. He is the beginning and the ending, which is, and was, and is to come--the Almighty--the All-sufficient. There is nothing which a believer needs but he will find it in the Lord Jesus.

1. A sufficient Saviour. His name was called “Jesus,” because He saves His people from their sins. You can do nothing which more truly honours Him, than to trust your salvation entirely to Him.

2. A most attractive and assimilating pattern of all moral excellence. In His direct operations on the mind, the Holy Spirit is the immediate sanctifier of God’s people; but it is by revealing the great model of all excellence in the person of the Lord Jesus, that the Holy Spirit changes them into the same likeness.

2. A wise Counsellor and unerring Guide. He knows the end from the beginning; He sees the issue of every undertaking, not only in time, but in eternity. His counsel is wonderful, for it meets the very case; and--what cannot be said of much good advice--He can not only give the best counsel, but He can make you willing to take it. In His ever-living Word, He has left principles available in all the casuistry which ever can occur in your experience--formulae which only need to be filled up with your particular case, and the doubt is at once dispelled--the path is at once made plain.

III. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, because all things that concern the Church are in Him summed up or “recapitulated.” In His person the Church on earth finds its access to God, and the earnest of its everlasting life; and in that same person the Church of the glorified finds the guarantee of permanent joy--the stability of its bliss secured. All that belong to Him are safe within the circle of the changeless love and all-embracing might of Him who filleth all in all.

IV. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, because He is the first and the last, the beginning and the ending--He that liveth and is alive for evermore. There is a power which bade Lebanon rise, and a power which can bid Lebanon and his continental roots subside in fiat chaos again. The day will come when that hoary deep must die--when old Ocean will lift up his waves and clap his cymbal hands no more. Yes, old apparatus of the universe, obsolete version of a system fast verging to decay, ye soon must vanish, and make room for a world where there is no more sea, and for cities which don’t need the sun. But when ye are gone the Fountain of Life will still include in His all-encircling fulness everything that lives. (Jas. Hamilton.)

The security of the Church amid the vicissitudes of time

I. This important information the Saviour is pleased to communicate in this passage.

1. The figurative mode of expression He employs.

2. The evident sense of His communication. Christ precedes all things by the eternity of His nature; He pervades all things by the omnipresence of His Spirit; He survives all things by the immortality of His nature.

II. The solemn confirmation Christ deigns to afford. He announces--

1. The eternity of His duration.

2. The omnipotency in His possession. Christ says that He is the Almighty.

III. The blessed consolation the Saviour designs to bestow.

1. The security it affords to the believer amid the calamitous changes of life.

2. The stability of the Church amid the overthrow of empires.

3. The immortality of the Christian amid the ravages of death. (J. Blackburn.)

Christ--the Alpha

Take Christ first, before you think of doing anything else. Did He not say, “Without Me you can do nothing”? So, then, all you do without Him is sheer nothing, however pious and noble it may appear in the eyes of men. Is Ha not the Alpha, and is not the Alpha the first letter? Then do not try to put a letter before it; do not say to yourself, “I will try to obtain a true recognition of my sins, and then I will go to Jesus and obtain salvation.” This is beginning with the Z instead of with the Alpha. By doing so you make yourself like that fool who said, “I will learn to swim first, and then I will go into the water.” Do you want to know your sins truly? Who is to give you that knowledge but Christ? Do you want to become better and more heavenly minded? Who can give you that godly disposition of heart but Christ? (T. Guthrie.)

The Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.--

The eternity of God

I. The different senses in which the words eternal, immortal, and everlasting, are used by the sacred writers.

1. Sometimes they signify nothing more but only a long duration (Genesis 17:8; Numbers 10:8; Genesis 49:26; Habakkuk 3:6; 1 Samuel 3:13; Exodus 21:6).

2. The next sense they are used in is to denote a duration continuing as long as the subject exists, and then putting it in a state out of which it shall never be restored (Numbers 24:20; Deuteronomy 13:16; Jude 1:7).

3. In other places of Scripture the words “eternal” and “for ever” signify in a higher sense a duration, not figuratively, but properly and literally everlasting, without end, though not without beginning. Thus angels and the souls of men are eternal, or immortal.

4. The last and highest and most absolutely perfect sense of the words “eternal” and “everlasting,” is when they signify a duration of inexhaustible and never-falling permanency, both without beginning and without end. And not only so, but including also necessary and independent existence, so as in no manner whatsoever to derive from any other.

II. Some observations concerning this doctrine of the eternity of God in particular.

1. This eternity is a perfection, an attribute, by which God is very frequently described in Scripture, in order to raise in our minds a just veneration of His Divine majesty (Deuteronomy 33:27; Romans 16:26; Isaiah 57:15; 1 Samuel 15:29; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:16; Psalms 102:24).

2. Not only in Scripture is God frequently described by this attribute of eternity, but even under the light of nature also is He represented to us after the same manner. For since it is in some degree a perfection to be, and a greater degree of that perfection, to continue in being, it is evident, when we conceive of God the most perfect being, we must conceive Him to be infinite in this perfection also, as well as in others. Again, it is evident even to the meanest capacity which considers things at all, that He who first gave being to all other things could not possibly have any beginning Himself, and that He who hath already existed from all eternity, independently and of Himself, cannot possibly be liable to be deprived of His being, and must therefore necessarily exist for an eternity to come.

3. The true notion of the Divine eternity does not consist in making past things to be still present, and things future to be already come, which is an express contradiction. The eternal, supreme cause has such a perfect, independent, and unchangeable comprehension of all things, that in every point or instance of His eternal duration, all things past, present, and to come, must be, not indeed themselves present at once, but they must be as entirely known and represented to Him in one single thought or view, and all things present and future be as absolutely under His power and direction (Psalms 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8).

III. What use this meditation may be to us in practice.

1. This attribute of eternity, absolute, necessary, and independent, is one of the principal characters by which the true God of the universe is distinguished from false Gods.

2. The consideration of the eternity of God is an argument why His providence ought not to be cavilled at, nor His promises doubted of, even though there be no present appearance of the performances of His promises, and no present way of explaining the methods of His providence.

3. The consideration of God’s eternity is a sure ground of trust and confidence, of hope and cheerfulness, to good men at all times, seeing His protection may be relied on and depended upon for ever.

4. The consideration of this Divine perfection, the eternity of God, is a ground for frail and mortal man to hope for pity and compassion from Him.

5. The consideration of God’s being eternal leads us to a right knowledge and just sense of the excellency of that reward, wherewith He will finally crown those who obey His commandments.

6. If God is eternal this consideration ought to be matter of infinite terror to all impenitent sinners; that He who liveth for ever, as He will reward His servants eternally, so He can punish His enemies as long as He pleases, for there is no end of His power. (S. Clarke, D. D.)

The eternity of God the Son

Contemplate God our Saviour--

I. As He was.

1. He was--in the bosom of the Father from all eternity.

2. He was--a little helpless babe, born in a stable, cradled in a manger.

3. He was--“a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

4. He was--a sacrifice for sin.

5. He was--again on earth forty days (Acts 1:3).

II. He is--His present state and circumstances.

1. He is--glorified.

2. He is--the head of His Church.

3. He is--preparing a place for us.

4. He is--in a state of expectation.

III. He is to come.

1. His second advent is as certain as His first, and depends upon it.

2. He is to come--suddenly and unexpectedly.

3. He is to come--with power and great glory.

4. He is to come--for the final consummation of all things. (Dean Close.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Revelation 1:8". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/revelation-1.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Who is the speaker in this verse, Jesus Christ, or God the Father? In view of the eternal power and authority of Christ, already stressed, it would appear that John is here emphasizing the Deity of Christ. Earle quoted Plummer as being of that opinion and also pointed out that J. B. Smith gave extensive quotations to show that all of the ancients attributed these words to Jesus Christ.[22] In a sense, of course, it makes little difference, because the same things are true of Christ that are true of God the Father. It makes for better unity in the passage to ascribe Revelation 1:8 to Christ.

Alpha and the Omega ... These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and are here used figuratively to stand for the entirety of anything. Such a comparison seems to have existed for ages. The Hebrews said of Abraham that, "he kept the law from Aleph to Tav (first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet). "From A to Izzard" was a colonial proverb in America with the same meaning. ("Izzard" was an early American name for the letter Z).

Plummer pointed out that the use of this figure is progressively expanded in Revelation. Note:

Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8).

The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 21:6)

The Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13).SIZE>

Since the usage of this expression in subsequent passages of Revelation undoubtedly refers to Christ, there is no good reason why it should not be applied to him here.

Who was and is and is to come ... See full comment on this under Revelation 1:4.

The Almighty ... Scholars make a big point out of this word's being one of the "the Septuagint's renditions of Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts"[23] but there is no reason for not applying it also to Christ who was prophetically designated as "The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6). That this is indeed a proper and appropriate title of Jesus Christ will vividly appear in subsequent chapters of this magnificent prophecy. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is often referred to as God. For more complete elaboration of this see in my Commentary on Hebrews, p. 31. Furthermore, he himself used the Old Testament "I AM" no less than eight times. See under Revelation 1:4. Also, of those eight New Testament usages of the "I AM" title for Jesus Christ, five of them are in the gospel of John; and the appearance of two more such usages here in the first chapter of Revelation emphasizes the close correspondence between it and the other Johannine works. The same mind lies behind all of them.

[22] Ralph Earle, op. cit., p. 477.

[23] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 19.

Copyright Statement
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 1:8". "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

I am Alpha and Omega,.... These are the words of Christ himself, appearing at once, and confirming what John had said of him, concerning his person, offices, and future coming: Alpha is the first letter, and Omega the last in the Greek alphabet, and signifies that Christ is the first and the last, as it is interpreted in Revelation 1:11, and is a character often given to the divine Being in prophetic writings; see Isaiah 41:4; and is no small proof of the proper deity of Christ. Alpha is used by the Jews for the chief of persons or things,

"Macmas and Mezonicha (names of places) are אלפא לסלת, "Alpha for fine flour";

that is, the best fine flour is there, they are the chief places for it: and again,

"Tekoah is אלפא לשמן, "Alpha for oil",

or the chief place for oil; the best oil was to be had thereF19Misn. Menachot, c. 8. sect. 1. 3. & Bartenora in ib. So Alpha penulatorum, "the chief of beggars", in Martial, l. 50. 2. Ep. 57. : so Christ, he is the Alpha, the chief as to his divine nature, being God over all, blessed for ever; and in his divine sonship, none, angels or men, are in such sense the Son of God as he is; and in all his offices, of prophet, priest, and King; he is the prophet, the great prophet of the church, never man spake like him, or taught as he did; he is the most excellent priest, that exceeds Aaron and all his sons, having an unchangeable priesthood; and he is the King of kings, and Lord of lords; he has the chief place in the church, he is the head of it, and has in all things the preeminence; he is the chief in honour and dignity, is at the right hand of God, and has a name above every name: he also in some sense may be said to be the Omega, the last and the lowest; as in his state of humiliation, he was not only made lower than the angels, but than man; he was despised and rejected of men, and scarcely reckoned a man, a worm, and no man; and he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. Moreover, these letters, Alpha and Omega, being the first and the last in the alphabet, may stand for the whole; and it seems to be a proverbial expression taken from the Jews, who use the phrase, from Aleph to Tau, for the whole of any thing, which two letters in the Hebrew alphabet stand in the same place as these; accordingly the Syriac version renders it Olaph and Tau; and the Arabic version Aleph and Ye. It is said in Ezekiel 9:6, "begin at my sanctuary",

"R. Joseph taught, do not read "my sanctuary", but "sanctified ones", these are the children of men who confirm "the whole law", מאלף ועד תיו, "from Aleph to Tau";

the same as from Alpha to Omega, or from one end to the other: and a little after,

"says R. Levi, Tau is the end of the seal of the holy blessed God, for says R. Chanina, the seal of the holy blessed God is אמת, "truth": says R. Samuel bar Nachmani, these are the children of men who confirm the whole law "from Aleph to Tau"F20T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 55. 1. & Avoda Zara, fol. 4. 1. Echa Rabbati, fol. 52. 1. Baal Hatturim in Deut. xxxiii. 21. & Raziel, fol. 9. & 12. & Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 70. 1, 2. .

So Christ, he is the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the chief, the whole of things; as of the covenant of grace, he is the first and last of it, he is the Mediator, surety, and messenger of it, and the ratifier and confirmer of it, he is the covenant itself, all its blessings and promises are in him; he is the sum and substance of the Scriptures, both of the law and of the Gospel; he is the fulfilling end of the law, and he is the subject matter of the Gospel; he stands in the first verse in Genesis, and in the last of the Revelation; he is the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the whole and all in the business of salvation, in the affair of justification before God, in the sanctification of his people, in their adoption, and eternal glorification; he stands first and last in the book of God's purposes and decrees, in the book of the covenant, in the book of the creatures, or creation, being the first cause, and last end of all things, in the book of Providence, and in the book of the Scriptures: likewise, as these two letters include all the rest, this phrase may be expressive of the perfection of Christ, who as God has the fulness of the Godhead, all the perfections of the divine nature in him; and, as man, is in all things made like unto his brethren; and, as Mediator, has all fulness of power, wisdom, grace, and righteousness in him, in whom all the saints are complete; and this may also denote his eternity, he having none before him, nor any after him; and which also is signified by some other following expressions:

the beginning and the ending; the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, leave out this; which seems to be explanative of the former clause, Alpha being the beginning of the alphabet, and Omega the ending of it; and properly belongs to Christ, who knows no beginning, nor will he have any end with respect to time, being from everlasting to everlasting; and agrees with him as the first cause of all things, both of the old and new creation, and the last end to which they are all referred, being made for his pleasure, honour, and glory: these things now

saith the Lord; that is, the Lord Jesus Christ; the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read, "the Lord God"; and the Ethiopic version only God:

which is, and which was, and which is to come; who is God over all, "was" God from all eternity, and is to come as such; which he will show by: his omniscience and omnipotence, displayed in the judgment of the world: who "is" now a Saviour of all that come to God by him; "was" so under the Old Testament dispensation, being the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; and "is to come", as such, and shall appear a second time unto salvation to them that look for him: particularly this phrase is expressive of the eternity of Christ, who is, was, and ever will be; and of his immutability, who is the same he was, and will be for ever the same he is, and was, unchangeable in his person, in his love, and in the virtue of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; he is the same today, yesterday, and for ever. This same phrase is used of God the Father in Revelation 1:4; and is a further proof of the deity of Christ; and which is still more confirmed by the following character,

the Almighty; as he appears to be, by creating all things but of nothing; by upholding all creatures in their beings; by the miracles he wrought on earth; by the resurrection of himself from the dead; by obtaining eternal redemption for his people; and by his having the care and government of them upon him, whom he keeps, upholds, bears, and carries to the end, through all their infirmities, afflictions, temptations, and trials,

Copyright Statement
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 1:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

6 I am f Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

(6) A confirmation of the greeting earlier, taken from the words of God himself: in which he affirms his operation in every single creature, the immutable eternity that is in himself, and his omnipotence in all things: and concludes in the unity of his own essence, that Trinity of persons which was spoken of before.

(f) I am he before whom there was nothing, indeed, by whom everything that is made, was made: and I shall remain though everything else should perish.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Greek, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” The first and last letters of the alphabet. God in Christ comprises all that goes between, as well as the first and last.

the beginning and the ending — omitted in the oldest manuscripts, though found in Vulgate and Coptic. Transcribers probably inserted the clause from Revelation 21:6. In Christ, Genesis, the Alpha of the Old Testament, and Revelation, the Omega of the New Testament, meet together: the last book presenting to us man and God reconciled in Paradise, as the first book presented man at the beginning innocent and in God‘s favor in Paradise. Accomplishing finally what I begin. Always the same; before the dragon, the beast, false prophet, and all foes. An anticipatory consolation to the saints under the coming trials of the Church.

the Lord — The oldest manuscripts read “the Lord God.”

AlmightyHebrew, “{Shaddai},” and “Jehovah Sabaoth,” that is, “of hosts”; commanding all the hosts or powers in heaven and earth, so able to overcome all His Church‘s foes. It occurs often in Revelation, but nowhere else in the New Testament save 2 Corinthians 6:18, a quotation from Isaiah.

Copyright Statement
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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "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

The Alpha and the Omega (το Αλπα και το Οto Alpha kai to O). The first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, each with its own neuter (grammatical gender) article. This description of the eternity of God recurs in Revelation 21:6 with the added explanation η αρχη και το τελοςhē archē kai to telos (the Beginning and the End) and of Christ in Revelation 22:13 with the still further explanation ο πρωτος και ο εσχατοςho prōtos kai ho eschatos (the First and the Last). This last phrase appears also in Revelation 1:17; Revelation 2:8 without το Αλπα και το Οto Alpha kai to O The change of speaker here is unannounced, as in Revelation 16:15; Revelation 18:20. Only here and Revelation 21:5. is God introduced as the speaker. The eternity of God guarantees the prophecy just made.

The Lord God (Κυριος ο τεοςKurios ho theos). “The Lord the God.” Common phrase in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 6:3, Ezekiel 6:11; Ezekiel 7:2, etc.) and in this book (Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7; Revelation 19:6; Revelation 21:22). See Revelation 1:4; Revelation 4:8 for the triple use of οho etc. to express the eternity of God.

The Almighty (ο παντοκρατωρho pantokratōr). Late compound (παςpās and κρατεωkrateō), in Cretan inscription and a legal papyrus, common in lxx and Christian papyri, in N.T. only in 2 Corinthians 6:18 and Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:6, Revelation 19:15; Revelation 21:22.

Copyright Statement
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 1:8". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

CRITICAL AND EXEGETICAL NOTES

Rev . Alpha and Omega.—First and last letters of the Greek alphabet, regarded as including all the letters between. So Christ bears relation to the whole story of humanity, from its beginning to its close. Recalling Rev 1:4, we incline to refer this verse to God rather than to Jesus. R.V. has, "saith the Lord God."

MAIN HOMILETICS OF THE PARAGRAPH.—Rev

The Eternity of God.—It is thought by many that this must be a description of the Lord Jesus, and a distinct assertion of His divinity. But it would appear more simple and natural to regard it as a solemn repetition of Rev, especially as the words "the beginning and the ending" are of doubtful authority. Among the Rabbins the expression from א to ω is a common one, employed to designate the whole of anything, from the beginning to the end. Stuart regards God as the speaker. But elsewhere (Rev 1:17; Rev 22:13) the same thing is directly asserted of Christ, whom we believe to be one with the Father in nature, but other than the Father in manifestation. We can form no proper conception of beings that had no beginning. We had; everybody with whom we have to do had; everything around us had. And it is almost as impossible for us to conceive of beings that have no ending. Everybody and everything seems to have a limited existence, and the apparently simple idea of the continuity of life our minds seem unable really to grasp. At least so far as the earth-life is concerned, everything has a beginning and an ending. See, then, what a sublime assertion of Divine superiority is made when we are required to form three conceptions of God.

1. He exists. It is all that can be said about Him. He is the "I am," dependent on nobody and nothing, adversely affected by nobody and nothing.

2. He always did exist. Carry the story of the world back, if you will, through millions of ages, God was before the first age begun. What changes He must have seen! How little He is affected by changes that seem overwhelming to us!

3. He always will exist. To say nothing of the little story of that Christian age, the whole story of the world's ages is as nothing in His sight. Egypt gone, Babylon gone, Rome gone, but God abides. The seemingly long history of the world—of humanity in the world—is but an episode in His eternity, and readily grasped in one vision by Him. What grounds of fear can that Church have which is His Church in the World?

SUGGESTIVE NOTES AND SERMON SKETCHES

Rev . The Eternal Life of Christ in Heaven.—One fact confers peculiar interest on the book of Revelation. Christ speaks by His Spirit in all Scripture, but here we have Him speaking in His own person to the mortal followers He left behind Him. But a change has passed over Him since the times of Capernaum and Bethany. Yet, notwithstanding all the pomp of celestial grandeur, how remarkable is the minuteness of anxiety which the messages of this wonderful Being manifest! He is represented as walking in the midst of seven golden lamps, which are Churches, to typify His indwelling presence and pervading care; and each Church is warned with a precision and particularity that evince how impossible it is to evade His scrutiny or defeat His purposes of retribution. What His present relation may be to other worlds we know not, but we do know that His relation to us is as intimate and incessant as if no other object existed to occupy His thoughts. In His highest glory we are all personally interested. All His powers and privileges of being our eternal Governor, Guide, and Friend, are founded on the great declaration, "I am alive for evermore." Christ, who "liveth for evermore," is set forth in two great characters, in both of which His eternal life in glory is momentous to our interests. In relation to sin He is a mediator of justification and holiness; in relation to death and pain, He is the author of endless life and glory.

1. As regards the conflict with sin, He justifies and sanctifies. Both are based upon the redemption through blood: it is the sacrifice that gives our Mediator the right, either to vindicate or purify His faithful.

(1) How, then, is the perpetuity of Christ in heaven connected with the work of our justication? In the epistle to the Hebrews we are shown the immeasurable superiority of the dispensation of Christ to the typical dispensation of Aaron. It shows us that the covenant of Christ is better, for it is a covenant of grace; the consecration of Christ better, for it was attested with the solemnity of a Divine oath; the tabernacle of Christ better, for it is the eternal heaven; the sacrifice of Christ better, for it alone can truly take away sins; the priesthood of Christ better, for it is everlasting, after the order of Melchizedek. The writer establishes the pre-eminence of the sacrifice and the priesthood, by insisting on the singleness of the sacrifice and the perpetuity of the priesthood. This priesthood of Christ, then, being perpetual, yet employing but a single sacrificial act, it must consist in a constant reference to that sacrifice of which His own blessed person stands in heaven as the undying memorial. He became human that He might save; His perpetuated humanity is, in heaven, the token and warrant of salvation, the vestment of the Divine priesthood; that we should be there recognised as blessed, it is enough that the Son of God be there recognised as a man.

(2) The eternal life of Christ in heaven is yet more directly the fountain of blessing to us, in being the immediate source, not only of justification, but also of holiness; not only of gracious acceptance into the favour of God, but of all the bright train of inward graces by which that favour effectuates itself in us. It is the perpetual lesson of Scripture that we should fix our hearts in entire dependence on Christ Jesus. He suspends us on Himself for our whole spiritual existence; He will have us trace every emotion of faith, hope, and love, to His bounty. This communication of Himself is no less necessary in heaven than on earth. If the holiness be everlasting, the source that supplies it must be everlasting too. We have no reason to suppose that the dependence on Christ shall ever cease; our very exaltation shall be but to feel that dependence more nearly, to lean on that Arm more trustingly, to look up to those Divine Eyes with more affectionate confidence. He is "alive for evermore," that He may be to us the everlasting fountain of our holiness. The abiding sanctity of His nature is the condition of ours. In the eternal laws of the Divine reason, it is decreed that Christ shall be the authorised dispenser of spiritual blessedness to His redeemed, that every grace shall flow through this channel, or cease to flow. II. Christ is "alive for evermore" as the eternal antagonist and conqueror of physical evil, pain, and death. He is the radiant centre of life itself, and happiness, to all that truly lives. He has the "keys of death and of Hades," that is, He possesses the power of liberating from the bonds of death those confined in the intermediate state. Human death is the result of human sin. The eternal overthrow of sin, by the eternal life of Christ, involves the overthrow of that which is but a consequence of sin, and the conquest of death is the conquest of all—pain, disquietude, disease—that disposes to it, and in it ultimately terminates. First and second death are spoken of. Christ is the destroyer of one, the ruler and restricter of the other. The first form of death results on the sin of nature, and is therefore universal as it is; the second form, which perhaps is naturally the sequel or maturity of the former, is, by the mercy of God, restricted to unpardoned guilt. There is an eternal alliance, in the primitive counsel of God, between life and happiness. Even on earth, beings are made alive in order to be happy; this is the original law, and general rule. Scripture uses the word "life" to imply "felicity," and "eternal life" to imply "eternal felicity." Glorious alliance. It shall be bound eternally in heaven, when He who is "alive for evermore," shall, in the power and diffusion of that life, spread around Him happiness with it coextensive and commingled. Every blessing that belongs to our inheritance centres in this great truth, that He who "was dead" is now "alive for evermore." In Him newly born, we in Him die, rise, and ascend; our life is the reflection of His, if, spiritually quickened by Him, we too, like Him, are even now, and hereafter are destined yet more gloriously to be, "alive for evermore."—W. Archer Butler, M.A.

ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 1

Rev . Alpha and Omega.—It would be both more correct and expressive to render this sentence, "I am the Alpha and the Omega." In the Early Church these two letters came to be frequently used as symbols of Christ. Sometimes the letters were suspended from the upper arms of St. Andrew's cross. Very many works of Christian antiquity were adorned with them. They were also worn on rings and seals, frequently in the form of a monogram. Shortly after the death of Constantine (A.D. 337) the letters were stamped on the current coin of the Roman Empire. The use of the symbol in the primitive Church amounted to a quotation of Rev 22:13, and was regarded as a confession of faith in Christ's own assertion of His infinite and Divine nature. The Arians, who denied the divinity of Christ, avoided the employment of the symbol, but after the outbreak of that heresy its use became almost universal among the orthodox. It is worthy of remark that Alpha is once used by an ancient writer in the same sense as our A1.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/revelation-1.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Vincent's Word Studies

Alpha and Omega ( τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω )

Rev., rightly, gives the article, “the Alpha,” etc. The words are explained by the gloss, properly omitted from the text, the beginning and the ending. The Rabbinical writers used the phrase from Aleph to Tav, to signify completely, from beginning to end. Thus one says, “Adam transgressed the whole law from Aleph even to Tav.” Compare Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:6.

The Lord ( ὁ Κύριος )

See on Matthew 21:3. The best texts read Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς theLord the God. Rev., the Lord God.

Which is, etc.

See on Revelation 1:4. “God, as the old tradition declares, holding in His hand the beginning, middle, and end of all that is” (Plato, “Laws,” 715).

The Almighty ( ὁ παντοκράτωρ )

Used only once outside of Revelation, in 2 Corinthians 6:18, where it is a quotation. Constantly in the Septuagint.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "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

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God — Alpha is the first, Omega, the last, letter in the Greek alphabet. Let his enemies boast and rage ever so much in the intermediate time, yet the Lord God is both the Alpha, or beginning, and the Omega, or end, of all things. God is the beginning, as he is the Author and Creator of all things, and as he proposes, declares, and promises so great things: he is the end, as he brings all the things which are here revealed to a complete and glorious conclusion. Again, the beginning and end of a thing is in scripture styled the whole thing. Therefore God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end; that is, one who is all things, and always the same.

Copyright Statement
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 1:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-1.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Alpha and Omega. These are the names of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and so are used metaphorically in the sense here indicated.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-1.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Ver. 8. Which is, and which was] The Father is called "He that is," Exodus 3:14. The Son "He that was," John 1:1. The Holy Ghost, "He that cometh," John 16:8-13, as Aretius observeth. Or, by this periphrasis may be understood the indeterminable eternity of the Son of God. Much like whereunto both in sound and sense is that which the heathens ascribed to their Jupiter in that solemn hymn of theirs. (Pausan.)

ζευς ην, ζευς εστι, ζευς εσσεται, ω μεγαλε ζευ.

"God was, and God is, God shall be for ever a great God."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 1:8. I am Alpha and Omega, "I was before all worlds, and shall continue the same, when all the revolutions of this world are over, and the final scenes relating to it shall be concluded." This verse affords us a glorious attestation to the Divinity of our great Lord and Saviour; and, though some have endeavoured to weaken its force by interpreting the words as spoken by the Father, every unprejudiced reader must discern that nothing can be more inconsistent with the context. Besides, most of the phrases which are here used, are afterwards applied to our Lord Jesus Christ. See Colossians 1:17. Hebrews 1:3.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-1.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. That what was applied to God the Father, at the fourth verse, namely, that he was, is, and is to come, is here by Christ applied to himself at the eighth verse: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, which was, and is to come.

Alpha is the first, Omega the last, letter of the Greek alphabet, and as such they enclose all the rest. Christ calling himself the first and the last, that is, the first cause and the last end, (as nothing began before him, so nothing can outlast him,) he does hereby discover his divinity to us, that he is co-essential and consubstantial with the Father, the same attribute being given to both: understand we then that this text plainly speaks the godhead of Christ, against the Socinians.

Christ calling himself the first and the last, takes to himself absolute perfection and power, sovereignty and dignity, eternity and divinity; he is the first, because he was before all beginning, and because he shall continue for ever, without end, because he is the end of all things, and because when we have attained him, we are at the highest and last of our attainments; we rest, and have no more to seek when we have found Christ, for he brings us to the Father, in whom we have eternal rest through himself, the Son: and the last title Christ assumes to himself, namely, the Almighty, bespeaks his divinity; he is God Almighty, able to accomplish all his promises to his people, and to execute his threatenings on his enemies; and if the adversaries of our Saviour's godhead in the glass of this text do not see his divinity, it is not because they cannot, but they will not see. I am, says Christ, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, which was, and is to come, the Almighty.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-1.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 1:8. τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ω) We ought not here to read and pronounce ω as ω μέγα; for ω μέγα is opposed to ο μικρῷ. ω, as the last letter of the Greek alphabet, is here opposed to the alpha. John wrote in Greek. This passage is one of great solemnity: in which a few, with Apringius, add ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος,(15) for the sake of explanation, as is thought, in the Notes assigned to Vatablus, namely, from the parallel passages. But let us look to the parallel passages. They are four (not reckoning the 11th verse, on which we shall speak below).

I.) τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ω, Alpha and O: ch. Revelation 1:8.

II.) πρῶτος καὶ ἔσχατος, The First and the Last: ch. Revelation 1:17, Revelation 2:8.

III.) τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ω, ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος, Alpha and O, The Beginning and the End: ch. Revelation 21:6.

IV.) τὀ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ω, πρῶτος καὶ ἔσχατος, ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος, Alpha and O, The First and the Last, The Beginning and the End: ch. Revelation 22:13.

Therefore, in the beginning of the book, one clause is used, first concerning the Father, ch. Revelation 1:8, comp. with ch. Revelation 4:8, then concerning Christ, ch. Revelation 1:17. At the end of the book the language becomes more copious, and two clauses are used concerning the Father, sitting upon the throne, ch. Revelation 21:6, and three concerning Christ, as coming, ch. Revelation 22:13. We shall presently see, that one sentiment is frequently expressed in this book in Greek and Hebrew. And that is the case here also. The Father is called τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ω, in Greek. He also, in the mind of John, who thinks, as we shall presently see, in Hebrew, is The Beginning and The End, which is expressed in Hebrew by א and ת, the first and the last letter of the Hebrews. And the same takes place with respect to Christ.

The fourth passage, consisting of three clauses, affords us a remarkable handle [argument]. Its third clause is never used without the first; therefore its use is to explain the first. The second is sometimes used without the first; therefore, as in Isaiah, so in the Apocalypse, it has its own signification by itself. The first and the third are applied to the Father also, ch. 21; the second, to Christ alone, ch. Revelation 1:17. Alpha and the Beginning is God; as He Himself, the Creator and Author of all things, proposes, declares, and promises such great things. ω and the End is the Same; as He brings the Apocalypse, especially in the trumpet of the seventh angel, to its accomplishment, completion, and most desired and glorious end. And thus also is Christ. The first and last of anything, in Scripture phraseology, is the thing itself, or the very whole. See 1 Samuel 3:12; Ecclesiastes 10:13; 2 Chronicles 35:27. The Greeks say in a proverb, prow and stern. Therefore Alpha and ω, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, is One and all, and always the Same. Comp. Psalms 8 at the beginning and the end, where the Design and the Accomplishment are described. Thus, in a grand sense, the end depends upon the origin. Under this majestic title, Alpha and ω, etc., the Apocalypse contains in the beginning the Protest of God against the dragon, and of Christ against the beast and other enemies; and in the end, the triumph gained over the enemies. For, as the book advances, the enemies arise to assail, but are utterly destroyed, so that they nowhere appear. It is also a Protest against all false gods and false christs, who are about to come to nothing. For before the first revelation of God in creation, and after the last revelation of Him in the final consummation, there is no other God; all false gods have both been set up and removed in the intermediate time: and so, before the coming of Christ in the flesh, and after His coming to judgment, there is no other Christ; all false christs have had their being in the intermediate time. And when all things shall be made subject unto the Son of God, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that made all things subject unto Him, that God may be all in all: 1 Corinthians 15:28.— κύριος, the Lord) The whole of this passage is majestic; and the magnificent and full title of God here employed, requires fuller consideration.

§ 1. We will only lay down the rudimentary principle: and in this, many observations will flow together, which may neither entirely please any one (for I do not even satisfy myself), nor entirely displease; and therefore they are subjoined for the selection and more mature examination of any one who pleases.

§ 2. The title has four parts [members]:

1) κύριος, the Lord.

2) θεός, God.

3) ὢν καὶ ἦν καὶ ἐρχόμενος, Who is, and who was, and who is to come.

4) παντοκράτωρ, the Almighty. It will be convenient to examine these parts in inverted order.

§ 3. The fourth, παντοκράτωρ, the Almighty, in the old Testament answers to two Hebrew words: for in Job it is often put for שדי, but absolutely, not in apposition with other Divine names: therefore a parallelism is not to be fixed there. See below, § 24, respecting the passage in Exodus 6. The other word, which the title παντοκράτωρ comprises in the other passages, is Sabaoth.

§ 4. Sabaoth is not a Divine name in the nominative case, but it enters into the nomenclature of God, when He is called Jehovah of Sabaoth, God of Sabaoth, Jehovah God of Sabaoth, that is, of hosts.

§ 5. This title does not occur in Genesis: its first beginnings are found in Exodus 7:4, I will bring forth Mine armies, My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt; and ch. Exodus 12:41, All the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. There appeared to Joshua, when he had passed over the Jordan, One who called Himself by this title, the Captain of Jehovah’s army: Joshua 5:14-15. Thence, in the books of Samuel and Kings, in the Chronicles, in the Psalms, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and most of the minor prophets, before the Babylonish captivity and after it, this expression concerning the Lord God of Sabaoth is of very frequent occurrence. The LXX. translators rendered it in various ways; but they chiefly employ the epithet παντοκράτωρ, and say, κύριος παντοκράτωρ, κύριος θεὸς παντοκράτωρ. This word is nowhere found in the other books of the New Testament, except at 2 Corinthians 6:18, and that in an express quotation of a passage in Isaiah. In the Apocalypse alone it is of frequent occurrence.

§ 6. The word Sabaoth denotes armies or great forces, and particularly indeed those of the Israelites; but generally all in heaven and in earth, because Jehovah is the God of all: and thence παντοκράτωρ expresses the Almighty [All-swaying]. To Him alone all warfare is subservient; and the whole agency of that warfare is stirred up and comes to its height in the Apocalypse.

§ 7. Since these things are so, the Third part, ὢν καὶ ἦν καὶ ἐρχόμενος, cannot but answer to the Hebrew יהוה: for the epithet, παντοκράτωρ, is never used, unless either θεὸς or יהוה immediately precede. The former precedes, with an interval between, in the present: therefore יהוה is immediately preceding. Moreover either the three clauses taken together, ὢν, καὶ ἦν, καὶ ἐρχόμενος, answer to the name יהוה, or the third, ἐρχόμενος, undoubtedly does so.

§ 8. He who יהוה, shall be, is called ἐρχόμενος; and yet He is not called ἐσόμενος, but with great skill, ἐρχόμενος, lest there should appear to be any detraction from His present being, and that His coming may be more clearly expressed. About to be, in Hebrew הבא, coming; comp. John 16:13; and so other languages.

§ 9. There is great dispute as to the manner in which the name יהוה is to be read, and how widely its signification extends. Some, because the points of the name אלהים frequently, and of the name אדני very frequently, are added to it, introduce other vowels, and, for instance, read it as יִהְוֶה Iihvaeh.

§ 10. But even if the name יהוה always had vowels belonging to the other names of God, and never its own, attributed to it in our copies, yet it might be read Jehovah, equally with Iihvaeh. But many things prove that Jehovah even must be the reading.

§ 11. The Hebrews were careful never to pronounce the name יהוה, except with the greatest purity; wherefore, where the prefixes introduced a change of vowels, they very frequently substituted the name אדני, having vowels approaching very closely to יהוה. But wherever יְהֹוָה is written, it is evidently to be read Jehovah. On this one account alone they retained Scheva under Jod: as also the Chaldean paraphrasers do, in that very contraction in their writing, which represents the name Jehovah and Adonai. As יֱהֹוָה is written by means of the points of the name אלהים, so by means of the points of the name אדני it might be written יֲהֹוָה, unless it were of itself to be pronounced יְהֹוָה. Proper names, as Jehojakim, and many others, which are formed from the name יְהֹוָה, and Greek forms of writing this name, being spread abroad among those of foreign lands, have been long ago collected by the learned.

§ 12. There is an incomparable and admirable compounding of the name יהוה from יְהִי Shall be, and הִוֶֹה Being, and הָוָה Was. This paraphrase of the Divine Name by three tenses flowed on to the most ancient Greek poets and to the Talmudical writers. Passages are given in Wolf, T. iv. Curar. in N. T. p. 436. But the Apocalypse has the greatest strength.

§ 13. The second part, θεὸς, presents no difficulty. The name θεὸς, derived from θέω, I place, bespeaks the Author of all things. But the first, κύριος, requires some mention.

§ 14. Jo. Pearson, in his Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, p. 261, endeavours to bring the matter to this, that the word κύριος, inasmuch as it answers to יהוה, is derived from κύρω, I am. But the instances which he brings forward from the Tragic writers in particular, all imply a kind of fortuitous being; so that κύρω, or rather κυρῶ, answers to the verb ὑπάρχω, no more than it does to the verb τυγχάνω in meaning, and to the verb קרה in its very sound. He who shall thoroughly perceive the force of the noun κῦρος, by which it not only denotes moral influence, but also natural stability and firmness, will readily acknowledge that the noun κύριος is a suitable word for translating the noun יהוה, the threefold expression of time being set aside; and that it certainly denotes Him who is.

§ 15. As often as the noun θεὸς is appended to the noun κύριος, the latter answers to the proper noun יהוה; and this is its meaning in the present passage also.

§ 16. Now, since mention is so often made of God in the Old Testament, and in all the instances which occur, these titles only, amounting to three at the most, Jehovah, God, Almighty, are accustomed to be used in one place, what reason is there for the use of four here in the Apocalypse, the word κύριος being prefixed to the other three?

§ 17. The Apocalypse often expresses a thing in a twofold manner, in Hebrew and in Greek, as ναὶ, ἀμήν· ἀβαδδὼν, ἀπολλύων· διάβολος, σαταιᾶς· κατἡγωρ, κατηγορῶν. The names of enemies are expressed in the twofold idiom: and previously the name of the Lord God Himself is expressed in a twofold manner.

§ 18. In the Divine title which we are considering, the first and second members are put by themselves in Greek; but the third and fourth members, which have the same meaning as the two former, are only used for this purpose, that they may bring to the memory of the reader the Hebrew יהוה צבאות. For although the noun יהוה itself might be expressed by Greek letters, yet it never was so expressed among the people of God. The God of the Jews and Gentiles is described by a Greek and Hebrew name.

§ 19. The first and third members are parallel, each having the force of a proper name; to the first is added θεὀς, to the third παντοκράτωρ, each of them being an appellative.

§ 20. Thus far have we considered this passage separately: it now comes to be compared with the parallel passages. For here the expression employed is ὢν καὶ ἦν καὶ ἐρχόμενος, and ἦν καὶ ὢν καὶ ἐρχόμενος, ch. Revelation 4:8; and afterwards, ὢν καὶ ἦν; and finally, ὤν. See below on ch. Revelation 11:17, Revelation 19:1.

§ 21. When God appeared to Moses in the bush, He called Himself אהיה, I will be. In Exodus 3:14 He supplies this reason for His name: I will be what I will be, as He had said to Moses at the 12th verse of the same chapter, I will be with thee. Afterwards He Himself expresses the name, commanding Moses to say, אהיה I WILL BE hath sent me. The Verb אהיה becomes a Noun, as ἦν, the Article being prefixed: and ἦν itself is a befitting phrase, as in Aristotle, εὐθὺς τὸ ἔσται καὶ τὸ μέλλεα, ἕτερον, l. ii. de gener. et corrupt, c. 11.

§ 22. This Name having been proclaimed to Moses, throughout the same vision, and afterwards throughout the whole writing of the Old Testament, the name יהוה is mentioned. אהיה of the first person might have appeared suitable there, where the Lord is speaking of Himself, and יהוה of the third person, where angels and men are the speakers. And yet Moses was commanded to say, אהיה I WILL BE hath sent me; and the Lord also calls Himself יהוה Jehovah: and the name אהיה is not afterwards repeated, whereas the name יהוה is of constant occurrence. It is plain therefore that the name יהוה adds to the meaning of the name אהיה something beyond the mere difference between the first and third person; since first of all the Lord called Himself I shall be, and presently afterwards He began to call Himself by the habitual title, He shall be—Being—He was.

§ 23. The name יהוה is read of old, before the times of Moses, and mentioned in such a manner that we may be assured that Moses did not, from an idiom arising not until his own time, introduce the expression into the times of Enoch, Abraham, etc.: Genesis 4:26; Genesis 13:4; Genesis 14:22; Genesis 15:2; Genesis 15:7, etc.

§ 24. Again, it is plain that this revelation was made to Moses, and by the instrumentality of Moses to the Israelites, by which revelation the name Jehovah became known to them in a new way. We lately quoted the passage, Exodus 3:15. A second is to be added, Exodus 6:3 : I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, באל שדי, as a God abounding in all good things: but under My name Jehovah I was not made known to them. In which passage ב is prefixed to the word אל, and, as denoting the aspect under which one is regarded, may be befittingly rendered by the French en, as, for instance, they say, Vivre en Chrétien. When God appeared to Abraham, He called Himself אל שדי, Genesis 17:1 : and from this Isaac and Jacob often so called Him. At that time also He was called Jehovah, but by a less solemn use. It was not until the time of Moses that He Himself ordered that this should be His name for ever, and that this should be the memorial of Him from generation to generation: Exodus 3:15. Then He made for Himself an eternal name, by the transaction itself: Isaiah 63:12. Let the passage he looked to, Exodus 15:3, and the whole of that song.

§ 25. יהוה is used from הוה, to be: and this name of Himself may be regarded either absolutely, as He who is from eternity to eternity is in Himself; or relatively, as He becomes known to His people in His character as He who is, by accomplishing His promise by the work itself.

§ 26. In the former sense, the name יהוה was celebrated, even in the days of the Patriarchs; but under the other sense, which was added not until the time of Moses, the Lord made Himself known to the Israelites, by that great work of leading them forth from Egypt.

§ 27. By such means He admirably, as it were, contracted the meaning of His name יהוה, so that, just as God, although being the God of all, yet was no other, and was called no other, and wished to be called no other, than the God of Israel, so יהוה, He who is, was no other than He who is to Israel, or, in other words, who affords and exhibits Himself to Israel. He truly said, I will be to you, as He afterwards said, I will not be to you: Hosea 1:9. In a similar manner, as often as God performed some remarkable work, we read that He or His name was known: Psalms 76:1; Psalms 83:18; Isaiah 52:6; Ezekiel 39:7.

§ 28. Therefore in the time of Moses He called Himself as it were afresh, אהיה, I will be. He does not say, I will be what I was, I will be what I am; but אהיה אשר אהיה, I will be what I will be: where there is implied the declaration of a benefit to be almost immediately bestowed. That is, I will be to the Israelites the character which, by the very fact, I will be in regard to their fathers, both what I said to them I would be, and what it behoves Me to be to them, namely, by now at length fulfilling the promise which I formerly gave. And thus the meaning of the future prevailed in אהיה, including both a recapitulation of the revelations and promises of God, which had been given to the fathers, and a declaration of the event now to be exhibited, by the bringing the people out of Egypt.

§ 29. The name אהיה, afterwards swelling out into the name יהוה, transmitted at the same time the same meaning of the future to the name יהוה, so that in the very form of the name the future might be conspicuous, and from thence there might be an advance to the present with the past.

§ 30. יהוה is the same precisely as ἐρχόμενος καὶ ὢν καὶ ἦν. So suitable was the language of the Old Testament. But in the Apocalypse the order is inverted by an elegance of construction not to be despised, except by the supercilious; and in ch. Revelation 4:8 He is said to be ἦν καὶ ὢν καὶ ἐρχόμενος, where, in the natural order of the times, the four beasts celebrate the praises of the Lord in a summary form of expression, as He has exhibited Himself, and does, and will exhibit Himself. But here, ch. Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:8, both by the pen of John, and by His own mouth, He is styled ὢν καὶ ἦν καὶ ἐρχόμενος; and so by a fresh idiom, but one which is founded on the Divine nature itself, the ὢν, as the principal and radical word, is placed first, with a remarkable prelude and token of that change, by which subsequently both the ἐρχόμενος and the ἦν, as we have noticed, § 20, betake themselves to [pass into] the ὢν.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". 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

Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet, as Aleph and Tau are in the Hebrew alphabet: the meaning of these is expounded,

the beginning and the ending; he who was before all, and shall continue to exist when all creatures shall cease to be; the first and the last, as the same terms are expounded, Revelation 22:13: so Isaiah 41:4 43:13.

Which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty: see Revelation 1:4: He addeth the Almighty, to show that he was able to make his words good. Thus in this verse, omnipotency, eternity, and immutability, are all applied to God, and particularly predicated of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". 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

Альфа и Омега Это первая и последняя буквы греческого алфавита. Алфавит является верным способом сохранения и передачи знаний. 26 букв английского алфавита или 33 русского, образующие бесконечные комбинации, могут сохранять и выражать все знание. Христос – это высший алфавит, нет ничего вне Его знаний, так же как нет неизвестных факторов, которые могут отменить или предотвратить Его второе пришествие (ср. Кол. 2:3).

Вседержитель Выражение «Бог Вседержитель» встречается в Откровении 8 раз, подчеркивая, что сила Бога возвышается над всеми катаклизмами, которые там описаны (см. также 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:15; 21:22). Он осуществляет суверенное наблюдение за каждым человеком, вещью и событием, и ни одна молекула во вселенной не находится за пределами Его власти.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-1.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Alpha and Omega; these are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and by thus applying them to himself, Christ shows that he is the cause and end of all things. Compare Isaiah 44:6.

Is-was-is to come; a description of Christ as Jehovah, self-existent, unchangeable, and eternal. See note to verse Revelation 1:4.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

(8) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

What a blessed verse is here! It should seem, that no sooner had the beloved Apostle ended, as in the verse before, his rapturous expressions, in contemplating the Person of his Lord; but Jesus instantly appeared, and delivered himself in these most precious words, as if confirming all that his servant had said of him. I am Alpha and Omega. Thrice in this Chapter, here, and again at Revelation 1:11; Rev_1:17, the Lord Jesus takes to himself these characters of distinction. And, to confirm it yet more finally, and fully, in the last Chapter of this book of the Revelation, as if to leave the impression in full force upon the minds of his people through all ages of his Church, he repeats those names, and puts the whole together: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, Revelation 22:13.

Now let us pause, and consider these solemn words as they are. And then say, what can be stronger, in proof of eternity, and all divine perfections? Alpha is the first letter in the Greek Alphabet, and Omega the last. There is none that comes before, neither any that comes after. Now, these are the distinguishing characters of Jehovah. None is before, none after. Hence we find the Lord taking to himself these attributes, as so many standards of character, in confirmation of his Godhead. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any! And this is said at a time when the Lord had been using the same language as is here used saying: I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Let the Reader compare the scriptures, and he must be led to see, that the language is one and the same, and from the same Almighty speaker, Isaiah 44:6-8; see also Isaiah 41:4 and Isaiah 48:12.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/revelation-1.html. 1828.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’

At this point God is seen as dramatically stepping in to make His declaration over the whole revelation, reinforcing John’s words in Revelation 1:4.

Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Thus He is declaring Himself to be the beginning and the ending, the One Who sums up everything in Himself from start to finish. But there may also be the idea that every letter in this revelation comes directly from Him. That each letter is rooted in Him (compare Revelation 22:18-19), as is all that happens.

He is ‘the Almighty’. The word means the all-powerful One, the Omnipotent One. In the Septuagint it translates ‘the God of hosts’, the One Who is over all that is ( Hosea 12:5; Amos 3:13; Amos 4:13; Amos 5:14). He is the One Who ‘forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness and treads on the high places of the earth, the Lord, the God of hosts is his name’ (Amos 4:13).

He is also the ever existing One Who is there with His people, the One Who always was, the One Who always will be. As ‘the One Who is’ He controls history and destinies, as ‘the One Who was’ He created all things and fashioned history, as the One Who ‘is coming’ He sums up the future. And He is the Almighty (compare 2 Corinthians 6:18). All things are in His hands. So as the people of God face up to what is to come they can rest in the confidence of the overall power of their protector, the ruler of time and of history and of all that is and will be.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

God confirmed the preceding forecast with a solemn affirmation of His eternity and omnipotence. Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and signify here God"s comprehensive control over all things including time. This is probably a merism, a figure of speech in which two extremes represent the whole. John strengthened this point further with present, past, and future references (cf. Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Hebrews 13:8). He is the originator and terminator of all things. God is not only Lord of the future. He is also powerful enough to bring what John just predicted to pass. He is the "Almighty."

"A weighing of evidence, especially in light of the OT "flavor" of the expression and a recollection that the Father in the OT refers to Himself as "I am" (i.e, the Tetragrammaton, Exodus 3:14; cf. Isaiah 48:12), tips the balance ever so slightly to the side of concluding that God the Father speaks in Revelation 1:8....

"God"s declaration in Revelation 1:8 thus ends with a note of authority. The omnipotent one will surely implement what His prophet has predicted by way of future judgment." [Note: Thomas, Revelation 1-7, pp80, 81. Cf. Harris, p182.]

John frequently used "Almighty" as a key name for God in Revelation ( Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7; Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:6; Revelation 19:15; Revelation 21:22).

This whole introduction points to the main event of the following Revelation, the return of Jesus Christ at His second coming ( Revelation 19:11-16). It also presents the triune God as Lord of time (past, present, and future), faithful to His promises, and powerful enough to bring these events to pass. In Genesis, Moses also emphasized God"s power and faithfulness more than any other of His attributes. The last Bible book stresses these qualities of God as does the first Bible book.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "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. "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending"--1:8.

These are the first and the last letters in the Greek alphabet, and they correspond to the Yea and Amen of the Hebrew equivalent. The one in verse 7, and the other in verse 8, appear to be an affirmation and ratification of the things about to be signified as being the irrevocable testimony of Jesus Christ.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "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 1:8. This conclusion is strengthened by the words of the eighth verse, in which the emphasis lies upon the Almighty, thus bringing into prominence that all-powerful might in which Jesus goes forth to be victorious over His enemies. It is Christ, ‘the Lord,’ who speaks, and who says that He is the Alpha and the Omega; that He is God (for we are not to read the two words Lord God together); that He is he which is, and which was, and which is to come; and that all culminates in His title the Almighty. To suppose that the words are spoken by the Father is to introduce a thought not strictly corresponding to what precedes. The unity of the whole passage is only preserved by ascribing them to the exalted and glorified Redeemer. The words are thus highly important as witnessing to the true Divinity of Christ, and in particular to His possessing the same eternity as the Almighty.

Thus, in the assurance that the Lord will come in His might for the accomplishment of His plans, the Seer is prepared to enter upon a description of the visions which he had enjoyed.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-1.html. 1879-90.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 1:8. I am Alpha and Omega, saith the Lord — Alpha is the first, Omega the last letter in the Greek alphabet. Let his enemies boast and rage ever so much in the intermediate time, yet he is both the Alpha, or beginning, and the Omega, or end, of all things. Grotius and Bengelius read, λεγει κυριος ο θεος, saith the Lord God a reading with which the Vulgate accords, having, it seems, understood the verse as spoken by the Father. Accordingly Bengelius’s note is, “God is the beginning, as he is the Author and Creator of all things, and as he proposes, declares, and promises such great things. He is the end, as he brings all the things which are here revealed to a complete and glorious conclusion. Again, the beginning and end of a thing is, in Scripture, styled the whole thing. Therefore, God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end; that is, one who is all things, and always the same.” See Wesley. It will, however, as Doddridge observes, be difficult to give sufficient proof that the words of this verse were spoken by the Father. “Most of the phrases which are here used concerning this glorious Person, are afterward used concerning our Lord Jesus Christ; and παντοκρατωρ, almighty, though in ecclesiastical writers of the earliest ages it is generally appropriated to the Father, may, according to the Syriac version, be rendered, He who holds; that is, superintends, supports, and governs all; and then it is applied to Christ, Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3. But if, after all, the words should be understood as spoken by the Father, our Lord’s applying so many of these titles afterward to himself, plainly proves his partaking with the Father in the glory peculiar to the divine nature, and incommunicable to any creature.” See Bishop Pearson on the Creed, p. 175.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/revelation-1.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

I am Alpha, and Omega. These, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, signify the same as what follows, the beginning, and the end, the first cause and last end of all intelligent beings, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty: These words agree only to him, who is the true God, and here are applied to our blessed Redeemer, who is to come and judge all. (Witham)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Alpha and Omega = The Alpha and the Omega. See Revelation 1:17; Revelation 22:13.

the . . . ending. The texts omit.

LORD. The texts read "LORD God" (see App-4).

LORD. App-98.

Almighty App-98. The Greek word occurs nine (App-10) times in Rev. Only once elsewhere (2 Corinthians 6:18) in N.T.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "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

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

'I am the Alpha and the Omega'-the first and last letters of the alphabet. God in Christ comprises all between, as well as first and last.

The beginning and the ending. Omitted in 'Aleph (') A B C, through in the Vulgate and Coptic. Transcribers probably inserted it from Revelation 21:6. In Christ, Genesis, the Alpha of Scripture, and Revelation, the Omega, meet; the last presenting man and God reconciled in Paradise, as the first presented man at the beginning innocent and in God's favour in Paradise. Accomplishing finally what I begin. Always the same: before the dragon, the beast, false prophet, and all foes. Anticipatory consolation under the Church's coming trials.

The Lord. 'Aleph (') A B C read, 'the Lord God.'

Almighty - Hebrew, Shaday (Hebrew #7706) and Yahweh (Hebrew #3068) Tsaba'owt (Hebrew #6635); i:e., of hosts: commanding all the powers in heaven and earth, so able to overcome all our foes. Often in Revelation, but nowhere else in the New Testament, except 2 Corinthians 6:18, quoted from Isaiah.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "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

(8) The beginning and the ending.—These words are of doubtful authority; they are in all probability taken from Revelation 22:13, and interpolated here. The description of the verse applies, with little doubt, to our Lord, and the words are a strong declaration of His divinity.

The Almighty.—The word thus rendered is, with one exception (2 Corinthians 6:18), peculiar to this book in the New Testament.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Alpha
11,17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13; Isaiah 41:4; 43:10; 44:6; 48:12
which is
4
the Almighty
4:8; 11:17; 16:14; 19:15; 21:22; Genesis 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 43:14; 48:3; Genesis 49:25; Exodus 6:3; Numbers 24:4; Isaiah 9:6; 2 Corinthians 6:18
Reciprocal: Genesis 2:4 - Lord;  Exodus 3:14 - I AM hath;  Exodus 23:21 - my name;  Ruth 1:20 - the Almighty;  Psalm 90:2 - even from;  Psalm 93:2 - thou;  Psalm 102:24 - thy years;  Psalm 102:27 - thou art;  Proverbs 18:10 - name;  Isaiah 43:13 - before;  Lamentations 5:19 - remainest;  Habakkuk 1:12 - thou not;  Zechariah 13:7 - the man;  Malachi 3:6 - I change not;  John 1:1 - the beginning;  John 8:58 - I am;  Romans 16:26 - everlasting;  2 Corinthians 1:19 - was not;  Philippians 3:21 - the working;  Colossians 1:17 - he;  Colossians 1:18 - the beginning;  1 Timothy 6:16 - only;  Hebrews 12:2 - the author;  Hebrews 13:8 - General1 John 1:1 - That which;  Revelation 16:5 - which art

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-1.html.

Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation

The Fullness Of The God-Man.

Revelation 1:8.

Here the voice of the Son of God breaks in and interrupts the utterance of the apostle. John had been speaking of Jesus; and now Jesus speaks. He speaks of Himself, but in new figures, and in a new style of language. We are carried back to the first chapter of the Gospel of John, and the first chapter of the first Epistle of John; yet the language is not the same. It is a peculiar declaration of the eternity and infinity of the Christ of God—a declaration specially suited to the present book, as unfolding the ages yet to come, in which this glorious One is to be all in all. It is the ascription to Christ of one of the special and incommunicable names of Godhead. In verse 4 this name is given to the Father; now it is given to the Son, or rather to Jesus Christ—"the Christ of God," the "Word made flesh."

The name as given in full is, "the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning and the ending; the first and the last; the Lord; who is, and who was, and who is to come; the Almighty." This is the full name, when its various parts are put together. It is the unfolding of the one name, Jehovah; for as the sunbeam is composed of many parts and colors, so is this great name "Jehovah" divisible into such parts as the above, which proclaim to us the manifold fullness of God, and reveal to us His divine character and nature as the infinite and eternal Lord.

The following may be given as the meaning of the above symbols—Christ the fullness of all things, created and uncreated. We may thus set them in order—

I. In Christ is the fullness of WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE. He is "the Alpha and the Omega;" and as these letters form the beginning and ending of the Greek alphabet, we suppose they are meant to denote all that can be contained in the language of man. Wisdom beyond that of all Greek philosophy is in Him; "in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

II. In Christ is the fullness of all CREATION. He is "the beginning and the ending." The "first-born of every creature" is His name (Colossians 1:15). "He is the beginning" (Colossians 1:18), as well as "in the beginning" (John 1:1); and as such, He is the Creator of all things in heaven and in earth (Colossians 1:16); the circumference as well as the center of the universe.

III. In Christ is the fullness of all SPACE. He is "the first and the last." That which man calls space, from its one extremity (if we may use the word) to the other extremity is all in Him.

IV. In Christ is the fullness of all TIME. He is "from everlasting to everlasting, God." Past, present, and future are His. "Who was, and who is, and who is to come." The fullness of the past eternity is His; the fullness of the future eternity is His; and the fullness of the vast present is also His. The infinity of time belongs to Him; He is Himself that infinity. The eternal past is His; and His is the eternal future. He is living eternity.

V. In Christ is the fullness of all POWER. His name is "the Almighty;" the Lord God Omnipotent, to whom all power is given in heaven and on earth. As the Creator of the vast universe; as the sustainer of all being; as the Redeemer of His Church; as "the Lord strong in battle;" as "able to save to the uttermost," "mighty to save;" as the binder of Satan; as the destroyer of Antichrist; as the renewer of the earth—He is Almighty. And when the great day of His wrath is come, who shall be able to stand?

Thus, Jesus here reveals Himself in this book of the Revelation; for all these excellences come forth into special manifestation in this glorious book, which may well be called the fifth gospel—the record of Christ in heaven—the unveiling of His love and power. He is the same Jesus, with unchanged heart, and undiminished love, bending in grace and pity over this earth, "His well-beloved world;" as it has been called. For here we have the "long-suffering" and the "salvation" of which Paul and James and Peter speak in their epistles—"The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy;" "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance;" "who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

All fullness is in Jesus—the fullness of the God-man; divine and human fullness; the fullness of love and power; the fullness of grace and glory. It is the very fullness which we need—and it is accessible to us; free to us; brought down to earth and placed at our side; pressed upon us, that we may take it and use it all. It is a fullness which eye has not seen nor ear heard. It contains "unsearchable riches." Being the fullness of Him who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, it is altogether suitable, so that no one can say there is not in it provision to suit my need. It is of this fullness that He Himself speaks elsewhere, when he says, "I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white clothing, that you may be clothed; and eye-salve with which to anoint your eyes, that you may see."

In this fullness there is something infinitely attractive. It is as gracious as it is glorious. It is fitted to win us. It is God"s provision for the needy. How large and excellent!

From this fullness no one is excluded. It is open on every side, that all may partake. "Every one" and "whoever" are the words in which the invitation is made. What can be wider or freer? How could eternal life be brought nearer, or made more accessible? Jesus stands beside you; He presents you with Himself. What more could He do? What more could you ask or need than this?

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Bonar, Horatius. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bch/revelation-1.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

A DIVINE ANNOUNCEMENT (Revelation 1:8).

8. — "I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." The announcement of these divine titles forms a fitting conclusion to the introduction. The dignity of the speaker and the character of His utterances demand profound attention. We listen here not to the voice of Christ as man, but God Himself is the speaker. He announces His own titles and glories. "I am the Alpha and the Omega" — first and last letters of the Greek alphabet — would intimate His relationship to creation. God is the source, the beginning of all truth revealed, of all promise given, and of all testimony committed to men. In this respect He is "the Alpha." But He is also the end. His glory is the goal. Everything finds its answer in Him. Our course, our testing lie between these points, God the Alpha and God the Omega. To Him as the end all gravitate. On our hands the threads are broken; in His hands they have never been rent. In the midst of failed and failing circumstances, and the Church ecclesiastically a ruin amidst the wrecked testimony of the ages, God's voice is heard above the din and strife. The beginning of all testimony is in God, and the end, too, centres in Him. In Him as the Omega is finished what as the Alpha He began.

Next we are introduced to the divine greatness of the speaker, who is none other than the Lord God of the Old Testament (Genesis 2:1-25, etc.).

Who is the Lord God? Jehovah Elohim, the God of men and of Israel, Who has been pleased to put Himself into moral relationship with both, speaks once again from Heaven. What a calm to the soul amidst the rush of life! Here the voice of the Eternal, and at once the murmur within and the din without are stilled. In the explanatory words which follow, "Which is, and which was, and which is to come," the essential and ever-abiding nature of His Being as Jehovah is stated. The three clauses form the interpretation of the Name Jehovah. The third member of the text, "which is to come," would at first sight seem to indicate an actual coming, but it is not so. The force of the whole is to present an eternal Is, yet not simply eternal existence, but a positive relation to the past and future.

How fitting that this truly weighty introduction should close with the title of God as the "Almighty," a title which has been a rock of strength to His afflicted people in all ages. "The Almighty" is not simply the witness of omnipotent power, but signifies Almighty in "sustaining resources," and it will be found in the course of this book that the circumstances of God's people make many a demand on this strong Name; hence its frequency in the Apocalypse, found only once elsewhere in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 6:18), and then as a quotation from Isaiah. "Almighty" used singly, or in conjunction with other names, occurs about sixty times, half of these instances in the ancient book of Job. Almighty God is a title full of strength and consolation. He is Almighty in sustaining His people, yet equally Almighty in judgment on His enemies.

It is to be noted that the Authorised Version of verse eight both interpolates and omits. The words, "the beginning and the ending," are right in the text of Revelation 21:6 and Revelation 22:13, but wrong here. "God" after "Lord" is also an important omission. These and other blemishes are corrected in the Revised Version of 1881. It must be remembered that the excellent and, in general, godly men, who translated the Scriptures in 1611 had not the advantages of their successors in 1881. Neither the Vatican, Sinaitic (both most ancient of Biblical MSS.), nor the Alexandrian Codex were available to the translators of our noble Authorised Version.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "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 pronoun I refers to Christ because he is the one who is to come in the clouds. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet (the language in which the New Testament was written). It is a figure to indicate completeness, similar to saying a man knows his business "from A to Z." Beginning and ending denotes the same idea as the other figure, the particular words being selected because Christ was present at all of the works of God from the beginning ( John 1:1-3; Ephesians 3:9). Isaiah, was and is to come has the same meaning as in verse4. The Almighty. This phrase belongs primarily to God the Father, but since God is a name for the Deity or Godhead, and Christ is a member of that family, it is proper to ascribe the title to Him also. He is called "The everlasting Father" in Isaiah 9:6, and it can be understood only because of His relation to the Deity.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". 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 1:8

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which Isaiah, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

"Alpha and Omega"

that Isaiah, the first and the last. Revelation 22:13

"The beginning and the end"

Isaiah 46:9-10 both eternal and unchangeable.

"Which Isaiah, and was, and is to come"

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

"The Almighty"

Revelation 4:8; Revelation 4:11 whose name is JEHOVAH. Jeremiah 23:6 God over all blessed for ever. Romans 9:5

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-1.html.

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

Revelation 1:8. There follows now in Revelation 1:8 the second introductory statement of what the prophet had to say for the consolation of the church in its faint and distressed condition. I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and comes, the Almighty.

Luther follows here a double false reading. In a few critical helps, after the Alpha and the Omega, there is introduced from the parallel passages: the beginning and the end. In some also God is wanting after the Lord; a reading which has proceeded from the idea, that the person who speaks in the verse could be no other than Christ, to whom the title, the Lord God, is not applied.

The Alpha as the first and the Omega as the last letter in the Greek alphabet, denotes the beginning and the end. Corresponding to this is "the first and the last" in ch. Revelation 1:17, Revelation 2:8. In ch. Revelation 21:6 the two expressions, Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, occur together; and in the full-toned conclusion at ch. Revelation 22:13, we have the whole three, Alpha and Omega, first and last, beginning and end. The fact that the beginning and the end never occur elsewhere but in connection with Alpha and Omega, while the latter, and the other expression also, the first and the last, are found alone, shews that "the beginning and the end" is only to be regarded as an accompaniment of Alpha and Omega. And these words are appropriated to this purpose, because they begin with the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and so fitly indicate in what character the Alpha and Omega here come into consideration—only in respect to their place in the alphabet. The speaker is not Christ, but neither is it God the Father in contrast to Christ (against this decides, besides the relation to Revelation 1:7, the circumstance of the Alpha and the Omega being also attributed to Christ), but God in the undivided oneness of his being, without respect to the difference of persons. It may now be asked, in what respect God is here called the Alpha and the Omega? We are not to understand it of simple existence. For, then there would be no truth in the thought, that the personal existence preserves even the enemies by whom the church is brought into distress; and there could be derived from it nothing but a very small degree of consolatory power. The great question which then agitated the minds of believers, was about the superiority—whether the world would maintain the ascendancy, which it then claimed and seemed to possess; or whether it should belong to the God of the Christians. This question is answered by the declaration, I am the Alpha and the Omega. The emphasis is to be laid upon the Omega. It is as much as: I am as the Alpha, therefore also the Omega. The beginning is the surety for the end. The unconditional supremacy of God over the world, which is placed before our eyes by the Beginning, since God made heaven and earth, since he spake and it was done, commanded and it stood fast, is also brought again into notice by the end. If any one finds the end a cause of vexation, let him only lose himself in the beginning; let him dive into the word, "Before the mountains were brought forth, etc." and his anxiety will disappear. Let the world enlarge itself in the middle as it may, the church knows from the beginning, that the victory at the end must be God's. The designations of God serve the purpose of tracing up to a necessity in the divine nature the declaration, that he will maintain his supremacy, as at the beginning, so also at the end. The epithet, Lord God, corresponds to the Old Testament combination, Jehovah Elohim, i.e. Jehovah the only God, the sole possessor of Godhead, Jehovah besides whom there is no God and no Saviour—comp. on Jehovah Elohim my Betir. II. p. 311, ss. The words that follow in the latter part of the verse unfold what is contained in the "Lord God;" and with a twofold respect corresponding to each: "Who is, and who was, and who comes," the substance of the Lord; and "the Almighty," the substance of God. The Old Testament Zabaoth,[Note: Bengel: In the books of Samuel and Kings, in Chronicles and Psalms, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and most of the minor prophets, before the Babylonish captivity and after it, very frequent mention is made of the Lord God of hosts. The LXX. render the epithet variously, but most commonly use παντοκρά τωπ, ὁ κύ ριος, ὁ θεὸ ς, ὁ παντοκρά τως. The word is nowhere found in the other books of the New Testament, excepting in 2 Corinthians 6:18, with an express reference to a passage in Isaiah. In the Apocalypse alone it frequently occurs. Such being the ease, the Heb. Jehovah cannot but answer to the third member, ὁ ὦ ν καὶ ὁ ἦ ν καὶ ὁ ἐ ρχομενος. For the epithet ὁ παντοκρά τωρ is never put, without either θεὸ ς or Jehovah immediately preceding.]which corresponds to it, serves along with Elohim to prevent all narrow views respecting Jehovah, all that would shut him up into a limited sphere. It was such a God, that belonged to the beginning, and such also must necessarily belong to the end; and the church can smile at those who would put themselves in opposition to him.

The Introductory section is followed by a narrative, Revelation 1:9-20, telling how John had received from Christ the commission to write to the seven churches, and containing an extended representation of the appearance of Christ, which was admirably fitted to prepare the minds of men for the contents of the epistles—to dispose sinners to repentance, and to kindle hope in the bosoms of the desponding.[Note: The section partakes of the character of the whole first vision, which is thus described by Vitringa: "The first vision exhibits the internal state of the universal church through all times under the emblem of the seven churches of Asia, from Revelation 1:9 to the beginning of ch. 4. Almost all the other visions have respect to the external state of the church."]It proclaims with emphasis at once, Fear, and Fear not.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-1.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.I’ the LordGod should be added as the true reading.

The Almighty—Who speaks here, God or Christ? The words seem to mean the former, the close connexion with the preceding verse suggests the latter. Most certainly there is no other utterer than he that cometh, in Revelation 1:7. We must, therefore, find that it is Christ who speaks: yet Christ reinforced by, identified with, and speaking for, the whole Trinity. See note on Revelation 20:12. Stuart cautions us against adducing this as a proof text in favour of the divinity of Christ. We think it one of the most trinitarian texts in the New Testament.

Alpha and Omega—The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and so expressing the literal thought “the beginning and the ending,” which by a false reading is wrongly found in this verse, transferred from Revelation 21:6, where it rightly belongs.

So the rabbinical Jalkut Rub., fol. 147, says, “Adam transgressed the whole law, from Aleph to Tov.”

[image]

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-1.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 1:8. Only here and in Revelation 21:5 f. is God introduced as the speaker, in the Apocalypse. The advent of the Christ, which marks the end of the age, is brought about by God, who overrules ( always of God in Apocalypse, otherwise the first part of the title might have suggested Christ) even the anomalies and contradictions of history for this providential climax. By the opening of the second century had become the first title of God in the Roman creed; the Apocalypse, indifferent to the former epithet, reproduces the latter owing to its Hebraic sympathies, : Coleridge used to declare that one chief defect in Spinoza was that the Jewish philosopher started with It is instead of with I am. : not the finality (Oesterley, Encycl. Relig. and Ethics, i. 1, 2), but the all-inclusive power of God, which comes fully into play in the new order of things inaugurated by the second advent. The symbolism which is here put in a Greek form had been developed in rabbinic speculation upon . With this and the following passage, cf. the papyrus of Ani (E. B. D. 12): “He leadeth in his train that which is and that which is not yet.’ Homage to thee, King of kings, and Lord of lords, who from the womb of Nut hast ruled the world and Akert [the Egyptian Hades]. Thy body is of bright and shining metal, thy head is of azure blue, and the brilliance of the turquoise encircleth thee.” For the connexion of a presentiment of the end (Revelation 1:7-8) with an impulse to warn contemporaries (9 f.) see 4 Esd. 14:10 f., where the warning of the world’s near close is followed by an injunction to the prophet to “set thine house in order, reprove thy people, console the humble among them”; whereupon the commission to write under inspiration is given.

Revelation 1:9 to Revelation 3:22, an address to Asiatic Christendom (as represented by seven churches) which in high prophetic and oracular style rallies Christians to their genuine oracle of revelation in Jesus and his prophetic spirit. At a time when local oracles (for the famous one of Apollo near Miletus, see Friedlander, iii, 561 f.), besides those in Greece and Syria and Egypt, were eagerly frequented, it was of moment to lay stress on what had superseded all such media for the faithful. Cf. Minuc. Felix, Oct. 7, “pleni et mixti deo uates futura praecerpunt, dant cautelam periculis, morbis medelam, spem afflictis, operam miseris, solacium calamitatibus, laboribus leuamentum”.

Revelation 1:9-20, introductory vision.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-1.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

8. I am the Alpha and the Omega. The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet – the beginning and the end (Isaiah 41:4). All things begin and end in God (The Father – see also Revelation 21:5-6. But notice Colossians 1:15-16).

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:8". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.