Revelation 5

5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him [God] who sat on the throne [God is sovereign] a scroll [content: the course of human history] with writing on both sides [a scroll with writing on both sides is called an opisthograph] and sealed [wax seals impressed with a signet ring] with seven seals.

5:2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy [both qualified and powerful enough; one with authority] to break the seals and open the scroll?”

5:3 But no one in heaven [the angels] or on earth [no human leader] or under the earth [the dead; possibly reference to evil spirits] could open the scroll or even look inside it.

5:4 I wept and wept [indicates strong emotion] because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

5:5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion [only place in NT where Jesus is called a Lion; represents power] of the tribe of Judah [cf. Gen. 49:9], the Root of David [cf. Isa. 11:1], has triumphed [has won the victory over sin and death through His life, death, and resurrection]. He is able [because He is victorious] to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

5:6 Then I saw a Lamb [links the Messiah to the OT Passover lamb; cf. Jn. 1:36], looking as if it had been slain [the Lamb still bore the marks of death; cf. 1 Pet. 1:18-19], standing [indicates Lamb was alive] in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven [signifies perfection] horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God [probably a symbolic reference to the Holy Spirit] sent out into all the earth.

5:7 He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.

5:8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb [thus acknowledging the deity of the Lamb]. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers [petitions] of the saints [those set apart for God’s purposes].

5:9 And they sang [music is a part of worship] a new [one never before heard in heaven] song [a song that focused on Jesus’ redemptive activity on the cross]: “You [the One who has authority to take and open scroll] are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because [the reason He is worthy] you were slain [refers to the earthly death of Jesus of Nazareth], and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests [a privilege and a responsibility; priests represent the people to God and God to the people] to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth [some scholars see this as reference to future eschatological kingdom reign of Christ].

5:11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand [an exceeding great throng]. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.

5:12 In a loud voice they [the “many angels”] sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, [note sevenfold doxology…] to receive [note that the Lamb received all of the things that He did not receive while on the earth…] [1] power [he was born and died in weakness on earth] and [2] wealth [“he became poor” while on earth (2 Cor. 8:9)] and [3] wisdom [men on earth thought Him a fool] and [4] strength [He hungered, thirsted, and became weary on earth] and [5] honor [He experienced humiliation on earth] and [6] glory [he was mocked by those who crucified Him] and [7] praise [He became a curse for us on earth (Gal. 3:13)]!”

5:13 Then I heard [cf. Phil. 2:9-11…] every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne [God] and to the Lamb [Christ] be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

5:14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

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