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grand agent of this Revelation, to him who so loved us as to die for our salvation, (Pyle,) and to prepare for his faithful servants a kingdom in which they are
to reign with him,” (Matt. xxv. 34 ; Luke xii. 32; 2 Tim. ii. 12; 1 Cor. iv. 8. vi. 2, 3,) and to become
a kingdom of priests, a royal priesthood to God even his Father, (1 Pet. ii. 5. 9.)
Ver. 7. Behold he cometh, &c.] The Son of God is now described as coming in the clouds of heaven, in the glory of the Father, (as foretold in Dan. vii. 13; Matt. xxiv. 30,) to preside at the great day of judgment, terrible to obstinate sinners, and to his unrepentant enemies, especially those Jews who demanded of Pilate his crucifixion; and whose descendants, continuing to reject his salvation, seem more particularly described here, as the pulai rīs yñs, the tribes of the land, the holy land, to whom he " came as his own, but they received him not,” (Johni. 11.) These shall bewail themselves, (Kolovrai, mid. voice,) seeing his glory, and their own shame and danger. (See Zech. xii. 10; and Louth, in loc.) And such also shall be the wretched condition of those professed Christians, of every age and nation, who by sin, as the apostle says, “ crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame, (Heb. vi. 6.)
Ver. 8. I am Alpha and Omega.] In the same spirit of pious exultation, St. John continues to proclaim the supreme dignity of the Son of God; employing the very words in which the Saviour had ascribed to himself in the vision the divine attributes, by which, in sublime union with the Father, he fills eternity, and exercises almighty power. This is no new doctrine, but the same which pervades the whole of the New Testament. (See John i. 1-13. v. 26, 19, 22. xiv. 11. xvi. 15; Col. i. 16, 17; Heb. i. 2, 3, 8; 1 John v. 20; also Isaiah xliv. 6.) He is the first and the last, the original Creator, and final Judge of the world ; to whose illustrious advent, and complete triumph over the enemies of his Church, the prophet, who had already seen it exhibited in vision, exultingly adverts, even before he begins his narration.
The appearance of the Lord Jesus, with the symbols
of his Power, and the commission given by him to St. John, to write what he beholds.
Chap. i. ver. 9, to the end. 9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last : and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia ; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword : and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17 And when I saw him. I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19 Write the things which thou liast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Ver. 9. I John, &c.] John the apostle, who was banished by the emperor Domitian to the isle of Patmos, where he was favoured with this prophetic vision. See Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. iii. cap. 18.
Ver. 10. The Lord's Day.] The Christian Sabbath. Lowman.
A trumpet.] The trumpet was the voice of God, at the awful delivery of the divine Law from Mount Sinai, (Exod. xix. 16;) and so shall be again at the last day, 1 Thess. iv. 16; 1 Cor. xv. 52.
Ver. 12. To see the voice.] To see who it was that uttered the voice. Daubuz.
Seven golden candlesticks,] or lamp-bearers. These are explained, in verse 20, to signify the seven Churches, or the universal Church of Christ, which bears aloft the spiritual light of divine knowledge, for the information and direction of the world. (See Note, ver. 4.) The Lord Jesus has himself supplied this light, and is therefore fitly represented as in the midst of these lamp-bearers, this his universal Church. So Irenæus, (lib. v. cap. 20.)
Ver. 13. Like unto the Son of Man, &c.] So our Lord is propbetically styled in Dan. x. 16; and so he usually styled himself in the Gospel. But from the writer of this vision having noted this likeness, we are led to conclude, that he was one of the disciples who had seen the Lord in his human appearance. And what John could this be, at so late a period as when this Revelation was written, but John the apostle and evangelist? He, of all the apostles, seems to have been reserved for this important purpose. The likeness might be preserved, although the appearance of the divine Saviour was far more glorious than when he trod the earth in a human form. But St. John was one of those apostles who “had also seen his excellent glory,” when he was transfigured before them on the holy mount, (Matt. xvii. 2; 2 Pet. i. 17 ;) and also after his resurrection, when bis personal appearance was so altered by the change from mortality, that the disciples at first with difficulty acknowledged him. He is habited like a priest, as in Exodus xxviii. xxxix. being “a Priest for ever, " ever living to make intercession for us,” (Heb. iv. 20'; vii. 25.) The brightness of his appearance is similar to that of other glorified appearances described in holy writ, (Matt. xvii. 2; Dan. vii. 9. x. 5, 6.)
Ver. 15. His feet like fine brass.] More properly smelting brass. See Schleusner in voc. Xalxodißavov; also Grotius and Vitringa in Locum.
Ver. 16. Seven stars.] By our Lord himself, ver. 20, these are explained to signify the angels of the seven Churches.
And from his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.] This is the weapon by which our Lord and his followers are to conquer at the last, (ch. xix. 15,
21.) In a passage of Isaiah, prophetical of our Saviour, it is said : “ He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked,” (Isa. xi. 4 ;) agreeably to which, “ the sword of the Spirit” is called by St. Paul “ the word of God,” (Eph. vi. 17 ;) and is the weapon with which (even “ with the Spirit of his mouth,”) the Lord will destroy the man of sin, (2 Thess. ii. 8.) These passages afford considerable light to the expression before us; and show clearly the nature of the weapons by which our Lord and his Church are to gain their victories; not by the usual instruments of human warfare, but by the preaching of his word in evangelical purity and truth.
From the whole of this description we collect, that the Person appearing to the prophet St. John in this vision, is no other than the only begotten Son of God; which, if it should be at all doubted by the reader, who has advanced only so far in this book of Revelation, will become abundantly manifest in the addresses to the seven Churches, where this great Personage will be seen to apply to himself, under the name of “ the Son of God," the particulars of the description. (See ch. ii. 18.)
Ver. 17. As dead.] The effect here described is such as might be expected, from the conflict of passions in the breast of the apostle; of surprise and delight, of fear and joy. For it was the appearance of “the Son of man,” who on earth had blessed St. John with his peculiar love; but it was, at the same time, his glorified appearance, Godlike and awful.
His right hand.] The right hand, in Scripture, bestows protection, and conveys spiritual gifts, (Psa. xviii. 35. xx. 6; Acts viii. 18.) The touch