Revelation 22:16

I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches
The Revelation of Jesus Christ (the contents of which are recorded by this book), was given by God to the Son Who then sent and signified it by His angel to John (Rev. Rev. 1:1+). See commentary on Revelation 1:1. Testify is μαρτυρῆσαι [martyrēsai] : testify or witness. See commentary on Revelation 1:2.

To you is ὑμῖν [hymin] : to you all [plural]. The primary recipients of the testimony which John was told to write to were the Seven Churches of Asia (Rev. Rev. 1:11+). Even so, each letter to the churches includes the injunction: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. Rev. 2:7+, Rev. 2:11+, Rev. 2:17+, Rev. 2:29+. Rev. 3:6+, Rev. 3:13+, Rev. 3:22+). This indicates that the message of the book of Revelation is to go out to whomever has a spiritual ear to hear (Rev. Rev. 13:9+).

This is the first mention of the church (ἐκκλεσία [ekklesia] ) since the letters to the Seven Churches of Asia (Rev. Rev. 3:22+). We believe this is another indication of the pretribulational Rapture of the Church. The church will be excluded from the events of the Tribulation and so is not mentioned after chapter 3 until now. See Rapture. See commentary on Revelation 4:1.

I am the Root and the Offspring of David
Jesus is the Root (offspring) of Jesse, David’s father (Isa. Isa. 11:10). Thus, He is the offspring of David and qualifies as heir to the Davidic throne (Isa. Isa. 9:7; Mtt. Mat. 1:1; Luke Luke 3:31; Acts Acts 13:23; Rom. Rom. 1:3-4;). See commentary on Revelation 5:5.

There is also a sense in which Jesus is the source out of which David came, for Jesus is the origin of creation (John John 1:3, John 1:10; Eph. Eph. 3:9; Col. Col. 1:16; Heb. Heb. 1:2; Rev. Rev. 3:14+). This dual relationship of Jesus to the line of David was the source of the riddle which the Pharisees were unable to answer:

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore. (Mtt. Mat. 22:41-46)

The solution to the riddle is found in the eternality and incarnation of Jesus. In His deity, Jesus is the God of David, hence David’s Lord. In His humanity, Jesus is in the line of descent from David—the son of David. Thus, Jesus is both David’s master and his son.

Jesus . . . in His humanity is the root and offspring of David, but as to His deity, He is the Shechinah Glory, as seen in the brightness and visibility of the light of the morning star.1

the Bright and Morning Star
The bright and morning star is ὁ ἀστηρ ὁ λαμπρὸς ὁ πρωϊνός [ho astēr ho lampros ho prōinos] : the star, the bright, the early one belonging to the morning.2 John the Baptist was to go before Jesus, the Dayspring:

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke Luke 1:76-79)

Dayspring is ἀνατολὴ [anatolē] : the place of rising, the dawn.3 Jesus is the bright and morning star because He is “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John John 1:9). He is the “Sun of Righteousness” who “shall arise with healing in His wings” (Mal. Mal. 4:2). Jesus promised to give the overcomer in the church at Thyatira “the morning star” (Rev. Rev. 2:28+).

His coming in power and glory is the sun-rise for Israel and the Gentiles, the breaking of the millennial day. But for His Church He comes first as the morning-star, as the morning-star in the eastern sky precedes the rising of the sun in all His glory. The Lord will come as the morning-star some time in the interval between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel and as the Sun of Righteousness after that week has come to an end.4

See commentary on Revelation 2:28.

Until Jesus returns, we have the prophetic word, such as this very book, to serve as a beacon of hope while we continue in this dark world:

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2Pe. 2Pe. 1:19-21)

The morning star rises in the hearts of men who trust Him by faith even before He arrives to herald the dawn of a new day and the beginning of His Millennial Kingdom on earth. Only those who are motivated arise before the dawn to look for the morning star which heralds the approaching day:

Yes, the day is not here—but lo, the harbinger of the day, the Morning Star! It shines in the night, but it prophesies the coming sunrise. “The assembly (ecclesia—the Church) sees Him in the now far spent night as the Morning Star, recognizes Him, while watching for Him, according to His own Word, in His bright heavenly character—a character which does not wake a sleeping world, but is the delight and joy of those who watch. When the sun arises, He will not be thus known: the earth will never so know Him, bright as the (coming) day will be” (Darby).5


Notes

1 Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 546.

2 Frederick William Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 725.

3 Ibid., 62.

4 Arno C. Gaebelein, The Revelation (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1961), Rev. 22:16.

5 William R. Newell, Revelation: Chapter by Chapter (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1994,c1935), 365.

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