Revelation 1:14

14 1The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. 2His eyes were like a flame of fire,

Revelation 1:14 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 1:14

His head and [his] hairs [were] white like wool, as white as
In allusion to the white head and hairs of old men, said to be hoary, or like the hoar frost, and compared to an almond tree in bloom, ( Ecclesiastes 12:5 ) ; and here to wool and snow for whiteness; see ( Ezekiel 27:18 ) ; and according to the Jews F16, (Nbl rmu) , "white wool", is the wool of a lamb just born, about which a cloth is bound, that it may not be defiled; now these metaphors are expressive of the antiquity of Christ, who is the everlasting Father, and whose goings forth were of old, even from everlasting; and of his senile gravity and prudence, for with the Ancient is wisdom; he is the wisdom of God, in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid; and also of his glory and majesty, being the brightness of his Father's glory; and likewise of his true and proper deity, since this description is the same with that of the Ancient of days in ( Daniel 7:9 ) ; for by his head is not here meant either God the Father, who is sometimes called the head of Christ, ( 1 Corinthians 11:3 ) , nor his divine nature, which is the chief and principal in him, nor his headship over the church; nor do his hairs intend his elect, which grow upon him, and are nourished by him, and are so called for their number, weakness, and purity:

and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire:
see ( Daniel 10:6 ) ; which may design the omniscience of Christ, which reaches to all persons, and things, and is very searching and penetrating, and discovers and brings to light things the most dark and obscure; and also Christ's eyes of love upon his own people, which have both heat and light; Christ's love never waxes cold, and, being shed abroad in the hearts of his people, warms theirs; and in the light of his gracious countenance do they see light; and his love, like flames of fire, melts their souls into a true and genuine repentance for sin: or else, rather his eyes of wrath and vengeance, as set upon his enemies, are here meant: which will be fierce and furious, bring swift and sudden destruction on them, before which there is no standing, and from which there is no fleeing. It is said of Augustus Caesar, that he had fiery eyes F17.


F16 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 54. 1. Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Sabbat, c. 5. sect. 2.
F17 Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 8. p. 13. 55.

Revelation 1:14 In-Context

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.
14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,
15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Daniel 7:9
  • 2. Revelation 2:18; Revelation 19:12; [Daniel 10:6]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.