And I saw, when the Lamb opened one of the seals
Of the sealed book; one of the seven seals of it, as read the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, and the Oriental versions, and the Complutensian edition; that is, the first; so "one" is used for first in ( Genesis 1:5 ) ( Matthew 28:1 ) ; and as appears from the following seals being called second, third, fourth These seals express events to be fulfilled; and therefore cannot respect the steps towards, and the signs of Jerusalem's destruction, and that itself, which had been accomplished some years before the vision of the seals; and which vision would have been needless: and these are called seals, because they were sealed among God's treasure, or were resolved on, and decreed by him; and because they were hidden and unknown until they came to pass; and when they were come to pass, they were pledges of what God would do in the destruction of Rome Papal, as here in the destruction of Rome Pagan: for these seals, at least the first six of them, concern the Pagan empire, and the state of the church in it; and are so many gradual steps to the ruin of it, and to the advancing and increasing of the kingdom of Christ; and these, with the seven trumpets, which the last seal introduces, reach from the times of the apostles to the end of time, as appears from ( Revelation 10:6 Revelation 10:7 ) . Now the opening of these seals is the revealing of the events signified by them, and expressed in the hieroglyphics here made use of, and the fulfilment of them;
and I heard as it were the noise of thunder;
a voice very loud and sonorous, exciting the attention of John:
one of the four beasts saying, come and see;
this was the of the four living creatures, for the word one is used in the same sense as in the foregoing clause; and this creature was like to a lion, ( Revelation 4:7 ) ; wherefore his voice was loud, as when a lion roars, ( Revelation 10:3 ) , and is fitly compared to thunder: there is no need to look out for any particular person, as intended by this living creature; or to conclude him to be Peter, as Grotius, who was dead before this seal was opened; or Quadratus, Aristides, and Justin Martyr, who courageously appeared in the Christian cause, and made very excellent apologies for it, with success, since these lived under the second seal; it is enough in general to understand the ministers of the Gospel, who, as sons of thunder, loudly and publicly preached the Gospel, and, as lions, boldly and bravely defended, and took notice of the power and providence of God in succeeding their ministry, and in weakening the kingdom of Satan in the Gentile world, and particularly in the Roman empire; and therefore are represented as calling to John to "come and see"; observe and take notice of the following hieroglyphic, representing the success of the Gospel ministry, (yzx at) , "come and see", is a phrase often used by the Jews, to stir up attention to what is about to be said; (See Gill on John 1:46).