« PreviousContinue »
15. Και οι πόδες αυτου όμοιοι χαλκολιβάνω ώς εν καμίνω πεπυρωμένω, και η φονή αυτού ως φωνή υδάτων πολλών.
15. And his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters,
i The voice of a multitude" and the “ voice as the sound of many waters,” are practically the same simile. “Many waters” are put in this book for many peoples (R. xvii. 15).
“Feet ... like the appearance of glowing brass,” is found also in Ezech. i. 7. Daniel's prophecy is chiefly in view here. He interprets the vision of the statue with feet part of iron and part of clay (ii. 33, 42), as the Roman Empire, "breaking in pieces and treading down the rest with his feet” (vii. 7). He gives the vision of the Lord with, “ feet like in appearance to glittering brass ” (x. 6), apparently as the antithesis to the feet of clay. More powerful than the feet of the Beast, to trample down his enemies. Trampling is a figure used by Ezechiel also at xxv. 6, and by Isaias lviii. 3, “I have trampled on them in my indignation.” See R. xiv. 20, where the wine-press is " trodden."
16. Και έχων εν τη δεξιά χειρί αυτού αστέρας επτά, και έκ του στόματος αυτού ρομφαία δίστομος οξεία εκπορευομένη, και η όψις αυτού ως ο ήλιος φαίνει εν τη δυνάμει αυτού. .
16. And he had in his right hand seven stars; and from his mouth came out a sharp two-edged sword; and his face shone as the sun shineth in its full strength.
The seven stars are explained later, “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches” (R. i. 20). The prophet Daniel says, “But they that are learned shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that instruct many to justice as stars for all eternity” (xii. 3). These stars “instruct many to justice." They are upheld in the right hand of God. Their importance could not be more clearly indicated. The two-edged sword represents sentence of eternal reward, or punishment. “The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Eph. vi. 17). “For the word of God is living and effectual and more penetrating than any two-edged sword" (Heb. iv. 12). “And his face shone as the sun” is reminiscent of the Transfiguration (Matt. xvii. 2). “And his face as the appearance of lightning ” (Dan. x. 6).
17. Και ότε είδον αυτόν, έπεσα προς τους πόδας αυτού ως νεκρός και έθηκεν την δεξιάν αυτού επ' εμέ λέγων Μη φοβού· εγώ είμαι ο πρώτος και ο έσχατος.
17. And when I saw him I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me saying, Fear not. I am the first and the last.
In Daniel viii. 17, 18 and x. 7-10, we have a similar vision. Daniel was afraid and fell on his face, but was touched and sat upright. S. John recognised Jesus Christ glorified, and “ fell at his feet as dead." In like manner, after the Transfiguration, S. John fell and was raised up by our Lord (Matt. xvii. 6, 7).
I am the first and the last connects with R. i. 8, “ I am Alpha and Omega.”
18. Και ο ζων, και εγενόμην νεκρός και ιδού ζών είμι εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων, και έχω τας κλεις του θανάτου και του άδου.
18. And alive and was dead and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and hell.
Our Lord tells His beloved disciple that He is the same Jesus Christ who died upon the cross, and yet lives for ever and ever; who has conquered death and hell, and holds the keys of death and hell. Keys are the symbols of power. At Rev. vi. 8 we are told that death and hell follow after Him-i.e., are in His power. And at Rev. xx. 14, "the general judgment,” we are told that death and hell are cast into the pool of fire.
“Ω ζών. The living God is taken from the O.T. “Living for ever” is also O.T. Deut. xxxii. 40.
19. Γράψον ούν & είδες και ά εισίν και 8 μέλλει γίνεσθαι μετά ταύτα.
19. Write therefore the things which thou hast seen, and which are, and which must be done hereafter.
Write “the things which thou hast seen”-i.e., the past visions; "which are," the events in progress-viz., the Jewish war, and Nero's persecution ; "and which must be done hereafter,” the coming revelation of the future-the latter, extending
to the day of judgment, for the information and guidance of the Seven Churches.
S. John was commanded to write down past events, present events, and future events. It has been supposed by some that he wrote down our Lord's words as he heard them, and the Angel's words, and the visions as they passed before him. But that is not the word of command, and the reference to past events seems to preclude the idea. “What thou seest write in a book and send to the seven Churches” (R. i. 11) conveys the idea of writing a book about the visions, which could not be done at one sitting. The question is a very important one, as it touches the composition of the Book of Revelation. If the Seer wrote down his visions at once, he must have been prepared beforehand with papyrus, pen and ink, and a table to write on. It would take many hours to inscribe a papyrus roll, about fifteen feet long, with Greek uncials. His writing could not keep pace with passing visions, interspersed with a running commentary by saints and angels. Hence the question arises, were the visions seen at different times? As we have seen at R. i. 10, the exhausting effect of prophetic ecstasy may be inferred from Dan. vii. 15, 28, viii. 27 and x. 8. The visions may have been given at separate times. A second ecstasy is indicated at R. iv. 2. The Seer says, “I was in the spirit (év zveúpati) on the Lord's day” (R. i. 10). If év mrveúuati means “prophetic ecstasy” S. John would have been unable to write whilst the visions were in progress. Further light is thrown on this question at R. x. 3, 4. The Seer heard the voices of seven thunders. “And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write." But he was ordered not to write the things which the seven thunders had spoken. The seven thunders comprised a considerable revelation, not intended for publication. They were evidently listened to and remembered by S. John. Afterwards he "was about to write." In like manner his other visions may have been memorised and written down afterwards. It seems that S. John was given clear and precise knowledge of the future, and was told what to write, and what not to write, without restriction as to time. The result is this Book, written under Divine guidance, at Patmos. The composition of the Book bears out this conclusion. S. John conveys to the Servants of God the knowledge intended for them, by means of visions and extracts from the Old Testament prophecies, which form a cryptograph, intelligible to them, but not to outsiders.
20. Το μυστήριον των επτά αστέρων ούς είδες επί της δεξιάς μου, και τας επτά λυχνίας τας χρυσας: οι επτά αστέρες άγγελοι των επτά εκκλησιών εισιν, και αι λυχνίαι αι επτά επτά εκκλησίαι εισίν.
20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches,
Mvotnplov means a hidden mystery. It prepares us for the mysterious symbolism of the Churches. The mystery of the seven stars and the seven golden candlesticks is thus explained. First as to the stars. They are the Angels of the Churches. Angels and Apostles have much the same meaning in Greek. "Ayyelos means “one sent”_"a messenger.” ’Amootoros, from 'ATOOTéw," to send forth," also means “a messenger.” The Angels are living men to correspond with living Churches. They are the successors of the Apostles. “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. xvi. 18). “Feed my lambs,” “ feed my sheep” (Jhn. xxi. 16, 17). These men are held in the right hand of God as regards the true faith (R. i. 16). The number seven indicates the whole series of Angels. They are held responsible for the spiritual condition of the Church, and that responsibility filters down, through the Bishops, to the other Clergy.
The seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches, all united together on a common stem like the lamp of the Tabernacle. And God is in the midst of them (R. i. 13) according to His promise, “I am with you all days, even till the consummation of the world” (Matt. xxviii. 20). Again," I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever, the Spirit of Truth " (Jhn. xiv. 16, 17). See later, “ He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches" (R. ii. 7, notes).
The reader will note that the object of the Book is to make known the future to the Servants of God, men of Apostolic character; that the Angels of the Churches are the successors of the Apostles; that the Seer was ordered to write the Book of Revelation and send it to the Seven Churches (R. i. 11); and that the Seer addresses the Book to the “angels" of the Seven Churches in the name of the Holy Trinity.