Revelation 1:4

To the seven churches which are in Asia (tai epta ekklhsiai tai en th Asiai). Dative case as in a letter ( Galatians 1:1 ). John is writing, but the revelation is from God and Christ through an angel. It is the Roman province of Asia which included the western part of Phrygia. There were churches also at Troas ( Acts 20:5 ) and at Colossal and Hierapolis ( Colossians 1:1 ; Colossians 2:1 ; Colossians 4:13 ) and possibly at Magnesia and Tralles. But these seven were the best points of communication with seven districts (Ramsay) and, besides, seven is a favorite number of completion (like the full week) in the book ( Colossians 1:4 Colossians 1:12 Colossians 1:16 ; Colossians 4:5 ; Colossians 5:1 Colossians 5:6 ; Colossians 8:2 ; Colossians 10:3 ; Colossians 11:13 ; Colossians 12:3 ; Colossians 13:1 ; Colossians 14:6 ). From him which is (apo o wn). This use of the articular nominative participle of eimi after apo instead of the ablative is not due to ignorance or a mere slip (lapsu pennae), for in the next line we have the regular idiom with apo twn epta pneumatwn. It is evidently on purpose to call attention to the eternity and unchangeableness of God. Used of God in Exodus 3:14 . And which was (kai o hn). Here again there is a deliberate change from the articular participle to the relative use of o (used in place of o to preserve identity of form in the three instances like Ionic relative and since no aorist participle of eimi existed). The oracle in Pausanias X. 12 has it: Zeu hn, Zeu esti, Zeu essetai (Zeus was, Zeus is, Zeus will be). Which is to come (o ercomeno). "The Coming One," futuristic use of the present participle instead of o esomeno. See the same idiom in verse Exodus 8 ; Exodus 4:8 and (without o ercomeno) in Exodus 11:17 ; Exodus 16:5 . From the seven spirits (apo twn epta pneumatwn). A difficult symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit here on a par with God and Christ, a conclusion borne out by the symbolic use of the seven spirits in Exodus 3:1 ; Exodus 4:5 ; Exodus 5:6 (from Zechariah 4:2-10 ). There is the one Holy Spirit with seven manifestations here to the seven churches (Swete, The Holy Spirit in the N.T., p. 374), unity in diversity ( 1 Corinthians 12:4 ). Which are (twn article Aleph A, a relative P). Before his throne (enwpion tou qronou autou). As in 1 Corinthians 4:5 .