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his Revelation to Servants of God (R. i. 1). And to priests (R. i. 6). He addresses them now as “ your brother and sharer in tribulation.” He had shared in the sufferings-oxid.— foretold for the Apostles (Jhn. xvi. 33). So had the brethren he addressed. They are therefore men of Apostolic standing. Oxifres, meaning “pressure,” is put metaphorically for oppression, and suffering. In this Book, it stands for persecution (see R. vii. 14). TTouovň—“ patience"-chimes with this thought. It is exemplified in the letter to the Apostolic Church at R. ii. 3. “And thou hast patience and hast borne for my name, and hast not failed.” “ Sharers"_" in the kingdom," assumes that “the Servants” knew about the kingdom.
S. John was in the Island, called Patmos, one of the Sporades, in the Ægean Sea, about twelve miles S.W. of Ephesus. It is a rocky and barren place, but it has an excellent harbour. It is now known as Patino, and has about 4,000 inhabitants.
“S. John was at Patmos for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus.” These expressions correspond with those used in the opening sentence of the Book. (R. i. 2). Aià Tòv λόγον του Θεού would seem to show that he was at Patmos for the purpose of receiving his revelation. Professor Van den Biesen, S.T.D., in the Catholic Encyclopedia,” says, “It is true that the more probable meaning of this phrase is 'in order to hear the word of God,' etc., and not banished because of the word of God, etc.” (Apocalypse). S. John does not say anywhere that he was banished or exiled. But at R. xx. 4, we have the phrase,“ beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God”-πεπελεκισμένων διά την μαρτυρίαν Ιησού kal dià tòv lóyov toll Oe00. This refers to the martyrs. It is held by some writers that it shows that sia tov Móyov, above, connotes suffering. But that does not necessarily follow. The Revelation was signified by an angel to John, where eonuavev (signified) means explained. This angel explains at R. xix. 10, "that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy"“ μαρτυρία Ιησού έστιν το πνεύμα της προφητείας.” And at R. xxii. 9 the same angel explains “I am of thy brethren the prophets.” He speaks of “the prophecy of this book,” showing that he refers to “prophets” in the Ó.T. sense, and that he salutes S. John as a prophet by reason of the prophecy of this Book, written at Patmos.
10. Έγενόμην εν πνεύματι εν τη κυριακή ημέρα, και ήκουσα οπίσω μου φωνήν μεγάλην ως σάλπιγγος.
10. I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
In the spirit means rapt in the spirit, in a state of trance. Prof. M. Stuart says, " That John means to assert, in the case before us, that he was in a pneumatic state, i.e., under peculiar and extraordinary divine influence, seems philologically certain" (Com. on the Apoc.). This state is described in the Acts of the Apostles as êvêkotáOEL—"in ecstasy," a suspension of the functions of the natural senses, whilst absorbed in the contemplation of the supernatural. So Ezechiel, “ The spirit took me up and I heard behind me the voice " iii. 12). See also Ezech. iii. 14, viii. 3, xi. 24, and xl. 2; Jer. xxiv. I; Amos vii. I, 4, 7, viii. 1; Zach. iii. 1. In S. Paul's second Epistle to the Corinthians we have an account of the condition of ecstasy: “I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body I know not, or out of the body, I know not, God knoweth), such an one rapt even to the third heaven" (2 Cor. xii. 2). The state of prophetic rapture was physically exhausting as we know from Ezech. iii. 14, 15, 23; and Dan. vii. 15, 28, viii. 27. Accordingly we find indications in the Book that the Revelation was given to S. John at intervals, in successive raptures, viz., here, and also at iv. I, at xvii. 3, and at xxi. 10. Prof. M. Stuart thinks that uetà tauta—"after these things"-indicates a fresh ecstasy, as well as a new phase of Revelation, at vii. I, 9, xv. 5, xviii. 1, and at xix. 1.
The Lord's day is not mentioned elsewhere in the N.T. Bishop Melito of Sardis, c. 170 A.D., wrote a discourse “ On the Lord's Day,” according to Eusebius (H. E. iv. 26). S. Chrysostom tells us that “ It was called the Lord's day because the Lord rose from the dead on this day" (Com. on Ps. cxix.). It was the first day of the week, the Christian Sunday, an appropriate day for a vision of the risen Lord.
"Behind me" in prophetic language means," after me” in point of time, and refers to the future.
The“ voice of the trumpet" is heard in Exodus, in connection with the vision which God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai (xix. 16 f.).
11. Λεγούσης. “ο βλέπεις γράψον εις βιβλίων και πέμψον ταις επτά εκκλησίαις, εις "Έφεσον και εις Σμύρναν και εις Πέργαμον και εις Θυάτειρα και είς Σάρδεις και εις Φιλαδελφίαν και εις Λαοδικίαν.
11. Saying, What thou seest write in a book, and send to the seven churches (which are in Asia), to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamos and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.
What thou seest refers to the whole series of visions. They were to be written down in a book for the benefit of the Seven Churches. Bißríov denotes a papyrus MS. as distinguished from a parchment MS. See 2 Tim. iv. 13. I'payov eis, is found in this usage, only here and in the Gospel of S. John. It indicates a command to write a book about the visions (see R. i. 19). We have seen, in the foreword, the meaning of these Churches, and the symbolism of seven. Christians were not allowed to build churches for public worship till the reign of Septimus Severus, A.D. 211 (Gib. D. and F., c. xvi.). The words “which are in Asia," are not in the Greek codices. Brandscheid and Swete omit them. They emphasise the literal or local interpretation of the Letters. The Churches S. John had in view were not in Asia. Asia is put for futurity.
12. Και επέστρεψα βλέπεις την φωνήν ήτις ελάλει μετ' έμου και επιστρέψας είδαν επτά λυχνιάς χρυσας,
12. And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me, and being turned I saw seven golden candlesticks.
So in Exodus, the people saw the voice of the trumpet (xx. 18). S. John turning to see what lay behind him-i.e., in the future, saw seven golden candlesticks, which we are told later (verse 20) are the seven churches. The seven golden candlesticks were made by Moses and the Israelites after a pattern explained by God (Exod. xxv. 31, 40). They were placed in the Tabernacle of the Temple. They were the light of the Temple. Jesus said of his disciples, "Ye are the light of the world” (Matt. v. 14). The Church of Christ is the light of the world. The Seven Churches, symbolised by the seven candlesticks, are the Light of the World foreseen by S. John. The importance of these seven lights of the future is seen as the Revelation progresses. Auxvia is a lamp-stand. Candles and candlesticks are modern. See Illustration, p. 99.
13. Και εν μέσω των λυχνιών όμοιον υιόν ανθρώπου, , ενδεδυμένον ποδήρη και περιεζωσμένον προς τους μαστούς ζώνην χρυσής
13. And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
“One like the Son of Man," is put by Daniel for the Messias (Dan. vii. 13). Jesus Christ called Himself the Son of Man frequently to mark the fulfilment of prophecies. The expression occurs many times in S. John's Gospel (Jhn. i. 51, iii. 13, 14, v. 27, vi. 27, 53, 62, viii. 28, xii. 23, 34, xiii. 31). The garment coming down to the feet and the girdle, indicate the sacerdotal office of the High Priesthood (Exod. xxviii. 4). The verb évoúw means “to get into" a garment, and may have reference to the seamless robe of the Son of Man.
It will be noticed that the English version differs from the Greek. The Greek runs, " in the midst of the candlesticks," the English," in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks." The Vulgate has In medio septem ; but Bd. and S. both omit seven golden.
14. Η δε κεφαλή αυτού και αι τρίχες λευκαι ως έριον λευκόν, ως χιών, και οι οφθαλμοί αυτού ως φλόξ πυρός.
14. And his head and hair were white, as white wool and as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire.
In Dan. vii. 9, "the Ancient of days” is clothed with a garment " white as snow," with hair " like pure wool.” The Seer gives attributes of the Father to God the Son frequently. See Ř. i. 8, notes. “ His head and hair were white" = “devral.” The same word is used at R. xiv. 14 for the cloud on which the Son of Man is seated. SS. Matthew and Luke use the same word in describing our Lord's transfiguration which S. John witnessed (Matt. xvii. 2; Luke ix. 29). It means shining white. In Daniel's vision, we have "behold a man clothed in linen, and his loins were girded with the finest gold. And his body was like the chrysolite, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as a burning lamp, and his arms and all downward even to the feet, like in appearance to glittering brass, and the voice of his word like the voice of a multitude (Dan. x. 5, 6).