Revelation 5

The Book with Seven Seals

1 I saw in the right hand of Him who 1sat on the throne a 2book written inside and on the back, 3sealed up with seven seals.
2 And I saw a 4strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?"
3 And no one 5in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it.
4 Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it;
5 and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the 6Lion that is 7from the tribe of Judah, the 8Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals."
6 And I saw between * the throne (with the four living creatures ) and 9the elders a 10Lamb standing, as if 11slain, having seven 12horns and 13seven eyes, which are 14the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.
7 And He came and took 15the book out of the right hand of Him who 16sat on the throne.
8 When He had taken the book, the 17four living creatures and the 18twenty-four * elders 19fell down before the 20Lamb, each one holding a 21harp and 22golden bowls full of incense, which are the 23prayers of the saints.
9 And they sang a 24new song, saying, "25Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were 26slain, and 27purchased for God with Your blood men from 28every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
10 "You have made them to be a 29kingdom and 30priests to our God; and they will 31reign upon the earth."

Angels Exalt the Lamb

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels 32around the throne and the 33living creatures and the 34elders; and the number of them was 35myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
12 saying with a loud voice, "36Worthy is the 37Lamb that was 38slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."
13 And 39every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who 40sits on the throne, and to the 41Lamb, 42be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."
14 And the 43four living creatures kept saying, "44Amen." And the 45elders 46fell down and worshiped.

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Revelation 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

A book sealed with seven seals, which could be opened by none but Christ, who took the book to open it. (1-7) Upon which all honour is ascribed to him, as worthy to open it. (8-14)

Verses 1-7 The apostle saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, a roll of parchments in the form usual in those times, and sealed with seven seals. This represented the secret purposes of God about to be revealed. The designs and methods of Divine Providence, toward the church and the world, are stated, fixed, and made a matter of record. The counsels of God are altogether hidden from the eye and understanding of the creature. The several parts are not unsealed and opened at once, but after each other, till the whole mystery of God's counsel and conduct is finished in the world. The creatures cannot open it, nor read it; the Lord only can do so. Those who see most of God, are most desirous to see more; and those who have seen his glory, desire to know his will. But even good men may be too eager and hasty to look into the mysteries of the Divine conduct. Such desires, if not soon answered, turn to grief and sorrow. If John wept much because he could not look into the book of God's decrees, what reason have many to shed floods of tears for their ignorance of the gospel of Christ! of that on which everlasting salvation depends! We need not weep that we cannot foresee future events respecting ourselves in this world; the eager expectation of future prospects, or the foresight of future calamities, would alike unfit us for present duties and conflicts, or render our prosperous days distressing. Yet we may desire to learn, from the promises and prophecies of Scripture, what will be the final event to believers and to the church; and the Incarnate Son has prevailed, that we should learn all that we need to know. Christ stands as Mediator between God and both ministers and people. He is called a Lion, but he appears as a Lamb slain. He appears with the marks of his sufferings, to show that he pleads for us in heaven, in virtue of his satisfaction. He appears as a Lamb, having seven horns and seven eyes; perfect power to execute all the will of God, and perfect wisdom to understand it, and to do it in the most effectual manner. The Father put the book of his eternal counsels into the hand of Christ, and Christ readily and gladly took it into his hand; for he delights to make known the will of his Father; and the Holy Spirit is given by him to reveal the truth and will of God.

Verses 8-14 It is matter of joy to all the world, to see that God deals with men in grace and mercy through the Redeemer. He governs the world, not merely as a Creator, but as our Saviour. The harps were instruments of praise; the vials were full of odours, or incense, which signify the prayers of the saints: prayer and praise should always go together. Christ has redeemed his people from the bondage of sin, guilt, and Satan. He has not only purchased liberty for them, but the highest honour and preferment; he made them kings and priests; kings, to rule over their own spirits, and to overcome the world, and the evil one; and he makes them priests; giving them access to himself, and liberty to offer up spiritual sacrifices. What words can more fully declare that Christ is, and ought to be worshipped, equally with the Father, by all creatures, to all eternity! Happy those who shall adore and praise in heaven, and who shall for ever bless the Lamb, who delivered and set them apart for himself by his blood. How worthy art thou, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of our highest praises! All creatures should proclaim thy greatness, and adore thy majesty.

Cross References 46

  • 1. Revelation 4:9; Revelation 5:7, 13
  • 2. Ezekiel 2:9, 10
  • 3. Isaiah 29:11; Daniel 12:4
  • 4. Revelation 10:1; Revelation 18:21
  • 5. Philippians 2:10; Revelation 5:13
  • 6. Genesis 49:9
  • 7. Hebrews 7:14
  • 8. Isaiah 11:1, 10; Romans 15:12; Revelation 22:16
  • 9. Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:8, 14
  • 10. John 1:29; Revelation 5:8, 12; Revelation 13:8
  • 11. Revelation 5:9, 12; Revelation 13:8
  • 12. Daniel 8:3
  • 13. Zechariah 3:9; Zechariah 4:10
  • 14. Revelation 1:4
  • 15. Revelation 5:1
  • 16. Revelation 5:1
  • 17. Revelation 4:6; Revelation 5:6, 11, 14
  • 18. Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:14
  • 19. Revelation 4:10
  • 20. John 1:29; Revelation 5:6, 12; Revelation 13:8
  • 21. Revelation 14:2; Revelation 15:2
  • 22. Revelation 15:7
  • 23. Psalms 141:2; Revelation 8:3
  • 24. Psalms 33:3; Psalms 40:3; Psalms 98:1; Psalms 149:1; Isaiah 42:10; Revelation 14:3; Revelation 15:3
  • 25. Revelation 4:11
  • 26. Revelation 5:6, 12; Revelation 13:8
  • 27. 1 Corinthians 6:20; Revelation 14:3
  • 28. Daniel 3:4; Daniel 5:19; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 10:11; Revelation 11:9; Revelation 13:7; Revelation 14:6; Revelation 17:15
  • 29. Revelation 1:6
  • 30. Revelation 1:6
  • 31. Revelation 3:21; Revelation 20:4
  • 32. Revelation 4:4
  • 33. Revelation 4:6; Revelation 5:6, 8, 14
  • 34. Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:6, 14
  • 35. Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 12:22; Jude 14; Revelation 9:16
  • 36. Revelation 1:6; Revelation 4:11; Revelation 5:9
  • 37. John 1:29; Revelation 5:6, 13; Revelation 13:8
  • 38. John 1:29; Revelation 5:6, 13; Revelation 13:8
  • 39. Philippians 2:10; Revelation 5:3
  • 40. Revelation 5:1
  • 41. John 1:29; Revelation 5:6, 12; Revelation 13:8
  • 42. Romans 11:36; Revelation 1:6
  • 43. Revelation 4:6; Revelation 5:6, 8, 11
  • 44. 1 Corinthians 14:16; Revelation 7:12; Revelation 19:4
  • 45. Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:6, 8
  • 46. Revelation 4:10

Footnotes 10

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains the vision of the sealed book, and the opening of it by Christ, which occasions universal joy among all ranks and sorts of creatures. The book is described by the place where it was, in the right hand of God; by the uncommon manner in which it was written within and without; and by the seven seals it was sealed with, Re 5:1, next follows a proclamation made by a mighty angel, with a loud voice, to find out a person worthy and able to open this book, and loose its seals, Re 5:2, upon which a declaration is made, that none could be found in heaven, earth, or hell, Re 5:3, which had such an effect upon John, that it set him a weeping, Re 5:4, but was comforted by one of the elders suggesting, that there was a person that could, and would do it, when he calls the lion of the tribe of Judah, and the root of David, which are names of Christ, Re 5:5, of which he was assured by what he quickly saw, namely, the same person the elder spoke of, described by his position, standing between the throne, and the living creatures, and elders; and by his similitude and likeness, as a Lamb that had been lately slain, with seven horns and eyes in him; and by what he did, he went and took the book out of the right hand of God, his Father, Re 5:6,7. This occasioned a general joy among all kind of creatures; first among the four living creatures, and four and twenty elders, who are described by what they had, harps and golden vials, the one for praise, the other for prayer; and by what they did, they fell down in a worshipping posture before the Lamb, and sung the new song of redeeming love to him; in which they ascribe worthiness to him, to take the book and open its seals; declare their redemption unto God, by his blood, out of all nations of the earth; take notice of the honour done them by him, in making them kings and priests to God; and express their assurance that they shall reign with him on earth, Re 5:8-10, and next an innumerable company of angels join the living creatures and elders, in a doxology or ascription of glory to him, Re 5:11,12, yea, every creature in heaven and earth, upon it, and under it, and in the sea, are introduced as giving glory both to him that sat upon the throne, and to the Lamb, Re 5:13, and the whole is closed by the living creatures saying "Amen", to all, and by the elders prostrating themselves, and worshipping the living and eternal God, Re 5:14.

Revelation 5 Commentaries

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