The Scroll and the Lamb
1And I saw that the one seated on the throne was holding in # 5:1 Or “upon (the palm of) his right hand.” The scroll is being offered to anyone who can break open its seals. his right hand an unopened scroll with writing on the inside and on the outside, # 5:1 See Isa. 29:11; Ezek. 2:9–10; Dan. 12:4. The revelation God gave to Daniel was to be sealed, but what John saw was a book that is to be broken open. and it was sealed with seven seals. 2Then I saw an incredibly powerful angel # 5:2 There are twenty-six unidentified angels mentioned in the book of Revelation. Additionally, there are possibly fifteen angels identified as men. proclaiming # 5:2 The Greek word for “proclaiming” is related to the task of a herald to shout out a royal proclamation. with a great, loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and able to break # 5:2 Or “release” or “untie.” its seven seals?” 3But no person could be found, living or dead, in all of creation # 5:3 Or “on heaven or on earth or under the earth.” —no one was worthy to open the scroll and read its contents. 4So I broke down weeping with intense sorrow, because there was found no one worthy to break open the scroll and read its contents. # 5:4 Or “look into it.” Some see this scroll as the title deed of the universe that contains the right of ownership and the timing and plans of fulfilling the eternal destiny of all creation.
5Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping. Look! The mighty Lion of Judah’s tribe, # 5:5 See Gen. 49:10. the root of David—he has conquered! He is the worthy one who can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6Then I saw a young Lamb # 5:6 Or “Lambkin.” Jesus is both a fierce Lion and a gentle Lamb. The Lamb holds the scroll. standing before # 5:6 Or “in the middle of the throne (area).” the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders. He appeared to have been slaughtered but was now alive! # 5:6 This is our Lord Jesus Christ with the marks of sacrifice still upon him. He had seven horns # 5:6 Horns are a picture of power and authority (Ps. 89:17; Dan. 7:8), while seven is the number of perfection. Perfect authority now belongs to the Lamb who was slain. and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out to the ends of the earth.
7I saw the young Lamb approach the throne and take the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat there. 8And when the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures saw the Lamb had taken the scroll, they fell facedown at the feet of the Lamb and worshiped him. Each of them had a harp and golden bowls brimming full of sweet fragrant incense—which are the prayers of God’s holy lovers. 9And they were all singing this new song of praise to the Lamb:
“Because you were slaughtered for us,
you are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals.
Your blood was the price paid to redeem us.
You purchased us to bring us to God
out of every tribe, language, people group, and nation.
10You have chosen us to serve our God
and formed us into a kingdom of priests
who reign # 5:10 The present tense of the Greek verb indicates that the reign of believers on earth has already begun. See Henry Alford, Alford’s Greek Testament: An Exegetical and Critical Commentary, vol. 4, 1875 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980); Henry Barclay Swete, Commentary on Revelation (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1977); G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, A Commentary on the Greek Text, The New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999). on the earth.”
Angelic Worship of the Lamb
11Then I looked, and I heard the voices of myriads of angels in circles around the throne, as well as the voices of the living creatures and the elders—myriads and myriads! # 5:11 Or “ten thousands of ten thousands, and thousands of thousands.” If taken literally, this would exceed 110 million angels. 12And as I watched, all of them were singing with thunderous voices:
“Worthy is Christ the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive great power and might, wealth and wisdom, and honor, glory, and praise!”
13Then every living being joined the angelic choir. Every creature in heaven and on earth, under the earth, in the sea, and everything in them, were worshiping with one voice, saying:
“Praise, honor, glory, and dominion
be to God-Enthroned
and to Christ the Lamb
forever and ever!”
14Then the four living creatures responded:
And the twenty-four elders threw themselves facedown to the ground and worshiped. # 5:14 This powerful scene of heavenly worship begins near the throne and then races outwardly to every being in heaven until it extends even further, cascading upon the earth like a waterfall.