Revelation 1:1

The Revelation (apokalupsi). Late and rare word outside of N.T. (once in Plutarch and so in the vernacular Koin), only once in the Gospels ( Luke 2:32 ), but in LXX and common in the Epistles ( 2 Thessalonians 1:7 ), though only here in this book besides the title, from apokaluptw, old verb, to uncover, to unveil. In the Epistles apokalupsi is used for insight into truth ( Ephesians 1:17 ) or for the revelation of God or Christ at the second coming of Christ ( 2 Thessalonians 1:7 ; 1 Peter 1:7 ). It is interesting to compare apokalupsi with epipaneia ( 2 Thessalonians 2:8 ) and panerwsi ( 1 Corinthians 12:7 ). The precise meaning here turns on the genitive following. Of Jesus Christ (Ihsou Cristou). Hort takes it as objective genitive (revelation about Jesus Christ), but Swete rightly argues for the subjective genitive because of the next clause. Gave him (edwken autoi). It is the Son who received the revelation from the Father, as is usual ( John 5:20 John 5:26 , etc.). To shew (deixai). First aorist active infinitive of deiknumi, purpose of God in giving the revelation to Christ. Unto his servants (toi douloi autou). Believers in general and not just to officials. Dative case. God's servants (or Christ's). Must shortly come to pass (dei genesqai en tacei). Second aorist middle infinitive of ginomai with dei. See this same adjunct (en tacei) in Luke 18:8 ; Romans 16:20 ; Revelation 22:6 . It is a relative term to be judged in the light of 2 Peter 3:8 according to God's clock, not ours. And yet undoubtedly the hopes of the early Christians looked for a speedy return of the Lord Jesus. This vivid panorama must be read in the light of that glorious hope and of the blazing fires of persecution from Rome. Sent and signified (eshmanen aposteila). "Having sent (first aorist active participle of apostellw, Matthew 10:16 and again in Revelation 22:6 of God sending his angel) signified" (first aorist active indicative of shmainw, from shma, sign or token, for which see John 12:33 ; Acts 11:28 ). See Acts 12:1 for shmeion, though shmainw (only here in the Apocalypse) suits admirably the symbolic character of the book. By his angel (dia tou aggelou autou). Christ's angel as Christ is the subject of the verb eshmanen, as in 22:16 Christ sends his angel, though in Acts 22:6 God sends. Unto his servant John (twi doulwi autou Iwanei). Dative case. John gives his name here, though not in Gospel or Epistles, because "prophecy requires the guarantee of the individual who is inspired to utter it" (Milligan). "The genesis of the Apocalypse has now been traced from its origin in the Mind of God to the moment when it reached its human interpreter" (Swete). "Jesus is the medium of all revelation" (Moffatt).