Revelation chapter 5

God the Father holds a book that is sealed shut in seven different ways. Sadly, nobody can open it. Then Jesus Christ appears and takes the book. [UPDATED]

 


 

THE LAMB OPENS THE BOOK

 

VERSE 1. I saw, in the right hand of him who sat on the throne, a book written inside and outside, sealed shut with seven seals.

right hand. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ. More verses about the right hand.

seven. There are a lot of instances of the number “seven” in the Book of Revelation. Here is our list of all we have found.

seven seals. This will come up again and again in the verses that follow.

 

VERSE 2. I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to break its seals?”

NLT translation. And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?

a mighty angel. The Greek word for “mighty” is ἰσχυρός (“ischuros”). It means mighty, powerful, vehement, sure. Some translations render it “strong.”

Does the existence of a strong angel imply that other angels are not strong?

Isaiah 29:11. All vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is educated, saying, “Read this, please;” and he says, “I can’t, for it is sealed;”

 

VERSE 3. No one in heaven above, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book or to look in it.

no one in heaven above. None of those in heaven could open the scroll.

or on the earth. No living human could open the scroll.

or under the earth. No deceased human could open the scroll.

 

VERSE 4. Then I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look in it.

I wept much. To not be able to read the Scriptures is a sad thing indeed.

no one was found worthy. Having someone who can open the Scriptures for you is a precious gift from God!

 

VERSE 5. One of the elders said to me, “Don’t weep. Behold, the Lion who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome: he who opens the book and its seven seals.”

One of the elders. They made their first appearance in Revelation 4:4. That verse said there are 24 elders seated around a throne.

the Lion who is of the tribe of Judah. That is, Jesus Christ.

the Root of David. That is, Jesus Christ.

has overcome. Jesus Christ is the overcomer. He overcame sin and death.

he who opens the book and its seven seals. Jesus Christ is the only one that can break the seals and open the book.

 

VERSE 6. I saw in the middle of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.

a Lamb. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. He takes away the sins of the world.

standing. Jesus Christ takes a stand. He stands for you and for me and for everybody.

as though it had been slain. Jesus Christ was slain. He truly died. His death was not an illusion. It was not faked.

seven. There are a lot of instances of the number “seven” in the Book of Revelation. Here is our list of all we have found.

seven Spirits of God. Now we have a tiny inkling of what the sevenfold Spirit of God is. They are either the seven “horns” or the seven “eyes” of Jesus Christ.

 

VERSE 7. Then he came, and he took it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne.

Then he came, and he took it. Jesus Christ walks up to the throne of God the Father and takes the scroll.

right hand. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ. More verses about the right hand.

 

VERSE 8. Now when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

fell down before the Lamb. They fell prostrate before the Lamb. This posture is reserved for the worship of God Almighty. They are worshipping the Lamb as God.

golden bowls full of incense. During their assemblies, some denominations use incense. They say it is symbolic of the prayers of the assembly, rising up to God. This explanation probably stems from this verse.

 

VERSE 9. They sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the book and to open its seals: for you were killed, and bought us for God with your blood out of every tribe, language, people, and nation,

You are worthy. Jesus Christ is worthy. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!

bought us for God with your blood. This is the result of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

out of every tribe, language, people, and nation. The outreach of Jesus Christ extends to every person who is alive right now.

It extends to every person who has ever lived in the past.

And it extends to every person who will ever live in the future.

There is no person who is exempt from his loving outreach.

 

VERSE 10. and made us kings and priests to our God, and we will reign on the earth.”

and made us … priests. The Greek word for priests here is ἱερεύς (“hiereus”). It means one who offers a sacrifice to God.

All believers can offer to God a sacrifice of praise. Making a priestly sacrifice is not limited to a priestly caste.

we will reign on the earth. Many people interpret this to mean that priests are in command and make the big decisions and boss people around.

However, a casual glance at Jesus Christ reveals how his people are to rule. They rule by servanthood. They place themselves last, and tend to the needs of others.

Very few of Christian leaders lead in Christlike way.

 

VERSE 11. I saw, and I heard something like a voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders. The number of them was ten thousands of ten thousands, and thousands of thousands;

ten thousands of ten thousands. That is, 100 million. This suggests that there are at least 100 million angels.

 

VERSE 12. saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who has been killed to receive the power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing!”

Worthy is the Lamb who has been killed. That is, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.”

 

VERSE 13. I heard every created thing which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion, forever and ever! Amen!”

every created thing. Every living entity is giving praise to the Lamb who was slain. That is, to Jesus Christ.

 

VERSE 14. The four living creatures said, “Amen!” Then the elders fell down and worshiped.

The elders fell down and worshiped. Again, the 24 elders worship the Lamb who was slain.

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

Author: Todd Van Natta

I was given a great gift. It is to be passionate about Jesus Christ and the Bible and the spiritual life. I am a Christian believer. I believe in Jesus Christ. I’m in love with Jesus! I believe the Bible. I love the Bible. For decades, I've been reading it cover-to-cover, again and again and again. I’ve memorized a whole lot of Bible verses. Most of all, I want the Bible to help us fall more deeply in love with God the Father, with Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, with other people, and with ourselves. And I've been reading the great writings from the entire Christian heritage for decades. At Explore the Faith, I share what I have discovered.

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