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when he met S. Peter, fell at his feet and worshipped him (TT porekúyncev). “But Peter lifted him up saying, Arise, I myself also am a man" (Acts x. 25-26). İt is evident from S. Peter's remark that the Messianic Jews of the first century objected to the very prevalent custom of saluting great men by worshipful prostration.
9. Και λέγει μοι "Όρα μή· σύνδουλός σου είμι και των αδελφών σου των προφητών και των τηρούντων τους λόγους του βιβλίου τούτου, τω Θεώ προσκύνησον.
9. And he said to me, See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them who keep the words of the prophecy of this book, Adore God.
This is practically a repetition of the scene enacted at R, xix. 10, only the angel further discloses his identity. “Of thy brethren the prophets, and of them who keep the words of the prophecy of this book.” This throws a light on, “Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this Book." See R. i. 3 and xxii, 18. But the pith of the instruction in this incident is in its last words, “ Adore God." Worship no creature however exalted. Hence it finds a place in the concluding words of this Book, as a final caution against Cæsar worship.
10. Και λέγει μοι Μή σφραγίσης τους λόγους της προφητείας του βιβλίου τούτου, ο καιρός γαρ εγγύς έστιν.
10. And he saith to me, Seal not the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.
The Prophet Isaias is told to " bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples (Isa. viii. 16). So also Dan. viii. 26: “Seal up the vision, because it shall come to pass after many days." It is to be sealed up as referring to a future generation. And again, Dan. xii. 4: " But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time appointed.” The time appointed was in the distant future. But here S. John is told not to seal the book, for the time is at hand.
Daniel's prophecy which related to the destruction of the Temple, the fall of Jerusalem, the dispersal of the Jews and the final rupture of the Jewish Covenant was in the minds of the "servants of God," to whom this Book was sent. That prophecy transcended in importance every other in the Hebrew outlook at the time of writing. Hence the warning "the time is at
hand," i.e., the Kingdom is at hand. We cannot suppose that in the last chapter of his Revelation the prophet . John, himself, had any illusion as to the time of the second coming. The two sentences concerning the fall of the Temple and the end of the world, bracketed together in the synoptic Gospels, are not found in the Gospel of S. John.
But this admonition seems to have an eschatological signification for us, taking it in connection with verse 12, which follows.
ΙΙ. Ο αδικών αδικησάτω έτι, και ο ρυπαρός ρυπανθήτω έτι, και ο δίκαιος δικαιοσύνην ποιησάτω έτι, και ο άγιος αγιασθήτω έτι. .
II. He that hurteth, let him hurt still ; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still ; and he that is just, let him be justified still; and he that is holy, let him be sanctified still.
This sentence renews the teaching of the Book as regards the "patience" of the saints, at R. xiii. 10, where see notes. For though the Book had buried Rome prophetically, Rome was still alive. Therefore, “He that hurteth” (Nero), “let him hurt still,” and “let him be filthy still.” But let the just and the holy persevere, for “ Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me,” see next verse. Deliverance is at hand. The Churches of Lyons and Vienne, in Gaul, wrote to the Churches of Asia, A.D. 177, that a persecution was then raging, that the above Scripture might be fulfilled.
12. Ιδού έρχομαι ταχύ, και ο μισθός μου μετ' εμού, , αποδούναι εκάστω ως το έργον έστιν αυτού.
12. Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me to render to every man according to his works.
“Behold I come quickly” may be taken here in a restricted sense with reference to, "He that hurteth"-Nero. This was written in the year 67, and in July 68 Nero perished. The speaker is Jesus Christ (see R. xxii. 16). To render to every one according to his works is in accordance with repeated statements (R. ii. 23, xx. 12, 13).
But ó uiolós pov, “my reward," connects with R. xi. 18, where the day of judgment is in view, “ To render a reward (Tòv uiolòv) to thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, little and great." This may have a special application to our own time.
13. Εγώ το άλφα και το ω, ο πρώτος και ο έσχατος, η αρχή και το τέλος.
13. I am alpha and omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God” (R. i. 8). At R. i. 17. Christ says, “I am the first and the last." See also R. ii. 8 and xxi. 6. Here the marks of the Father and of the Son are blended together.
Ι4. Μακάριοι οι πλύνοντες τας στολάς αυτών, ίνα έσται η εξουσια αυτών επί το ξύλον της ζωής, και τους πυλώσιν εισέλθωσιν εις την πολίν. .
14. Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates unto the city.
The Vulgate has "in sanguine Agni.” Douay, “in the blood of the Lamb."
The Revelation was written partly to encourage the martyrs to wash their robes in their own blood. It is clearly understood that they are made white in the blood of the Lamb (R. vii. 14). “To him that overcometh (TỘ VIK@UTI), I will give to eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of my God” (R. ii. 7). To vik@vti generally connotes martyrdom. The martyrs have therefore a right to the tree of life, which is in the New Jerusalem (R. xxii. 2). Consequently, they may “enter in by the gates,” even though each gate be guarded by an angel of the twelve tribes of Israel (R. xxi. 12); a final word of encouragement to Gentile Christians. All men may overcome and enter the gates of heaven otherwise than by martyrdom. But one great object of this Book was to encourage the martyrs. Τάς στολάς in this book always indicates the robes of the martyrs. See R. vi. 11, and vii. 9, notes.
15. "Έξω οι κύνες και οι φαρμακοι και οι πόρνοι και οι φονείς και οι ειδωλολάτραι και πας φιλών και ποιών ψεύδος. .
15. Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and the unchaste, and murderers, and servers of idols, and everyone that loveth and maketh a lie.
“Without are dogs.” The common village pariah dog in the East is a scavenger, and an unclean animal. The Jews despised dogs ; a sentiment frequently reflected in the O.T. (Deut. xxiii. 18; 4 Kings viii. 13; Psalms xxi. 17; Prov. xxvi. 11).
The idolatrous sinners enumerated above are classed with dogs! They are the same class of sinners who were previously condemned to the pool of fire (R. xxi. 8). Sorcerers, fornicators, idolaters and liars, connote Cæsar worshippers. They are in view down to the last lines of the Book. Oi trópvoc-translated “ fornicators" at R. xxi. 8-is here rendered "the unchaste." Πόρνοι, πορνεία and πορνεύειν are used frequently in this Book for the lewd feasts of idolatry. “Maketh a lie" applies to those who trump up old lies and invent new ones against the Church. In S. John's writings “liars” are the inventors and propagators of heresies.
16. 'Εγώ Ιησούς έπεμψα τον άγγελός μου μαρτυρήσαι υμίν ταύτα επί ταϊς εκκλησίαις. εγώ είμι η ρίζα και το γένος Δαυείδ, ο αστηρ ο λαμπρός ο πρωϊνός.
16. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and stock of David, the bright and morning star.
The Speaker reveals Himself as Jesus Christ. He repeats R. i. I and R. xxii. 6. “Sent my angel to testify," but no longer to the "servants,” but êtrì tais ekranoiáis, " for the sake of," "on account of," "the Churches." This recalls the opening words of the Book, “ John to the Seven Churches which are in Asia” (R. i. 4). It invests those Churches with an importance which the local Churches never had. It looks forward to the end of time. “These things" include post-millennial events, even twentieth century events! This shows that “the Seven Churches” represent the secular existence of the Church till the end of time. Therefore the Seven Churches must be progressive phases of the one true Church.
“My angel "=S. John the Baptist (Marc i. 2).
“I am the root and stock of David” recalls R. v. 5 and Isa. xi. 1, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.” Dr. Swete holds that yévos here means "Offspring,” as in Acts xvii. 28, showing that the Speaker is the true Messianic progeny of David, as foretold in the O.T. The Book was sent to the Hebrew servants of God, who would welcome this Messianic stamp. The “morning star” is promised to him " that shall overcome and keep my works unto the end” in the Church of Thyatira (R. ii. 28). The "morning star” is taken to be a symbol of the dawn. Christ's kingdom, like the star of Bethlehem, ushered in a new day.
17. Και το πνεύμα και η νύμφη λέγουσιν "Ερχου, και ο ακούων είπάτω, "Έρχου, και ο διψών εργέσθω, και θέλων λαβέτω ύδωρ ζωής δωρεάν. .
17. And the spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that thirsteth, let him come; and he that will, let him take the water of life freely.
These final words seem to have a wide application. It is the call of the Church, the Holy Spirit calls: the “Bride”-the Church-calls. “He that heareth," that is," he that hath an ear to hear," who has studied and learned the call of this Book, " let him say, Come,” which seems to be a command to exegetes to publish their results. The last two Popes, Leo XIII. and Pius X., have voiced this appeal, see pp. viii
. and 83. He that thirsteth, i.e., thirsteth for knowledge, he who is anxious for the truth, let him come. Let everyone that wishes take the water of life freely. The river of the “ water of life clear as crystal proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (R. xxii. I). It flows through the living Church to living men, and the Church offers it freely to all. In heaven "they shall not hunger or thirst any more" (R. vii. 16). Therefore these invitations are meant for us.
18. Μαρτυρώ εγώ παντί τω ακούοντι τους λόγους της προφητείας του βιβλίου τούτου· εάν τις επιθη επ' αυτά, επιθήσει ο Θεός επ' αυτόν τας πληγάς τας γεγραμμένας εν τω βιβλίω τούτω. .
18. For I testify to every one that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book : If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book.
“For I testify” corresponds with “I Jesus" at R. xxii. 16, and " He that giveth testimony” at R. xxii. 20. Hence this warning comes from Jesus Christ. We have a final declaration of the nature of the Book. It is a prophecy, in the sense of a prediction. It is “the Revelation of Jesus Christ." It is on that account a most sacred Book. In the Gospel accounts of His life on earth our Lord never wrote except on one occasion, when the woman was taken in adultery, then “ bowing himself down, (He) wrote with his finger on the ground (Jhn. viii. 6, 8). But He dictated a great part of this Book, i.e., the Letters to the Seven Churches, and He speaks to us frequently directly from its pages. He foresaw the vast literature that would spring up in connection with the Book; how it would be twisted and turned to suit the ends and aims