Worthy Is the Lamb
Revelation 5, verses 1-5
r05a
Text
Comments
.1 ¶ And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.   In the right hand Literally "on the right." The word "hand" is not in the original although it may be inferred ex1506. Epi, the preposition translated "in," has several spatial relationship meanings. From the context we may read "at," "in," or "on." The choice does not appear to affect our conclusions. The view of the One on the throne and the scroll indicates judgment da0710. Also see on v7.
  Throne As described in chapter 4 re0402. Also indicating judgment ps00907.
  Book A scroll. The codex a stack of leaves attached on one edge is said to have appeared after John's time.
  Written within ... backside The book was full. The court had sufficient evidence ge1516, re2211, mal0317, re1805. It was time to deal with the record ec1213.
  Sealed with seven seals Implying a completed record.
.2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?   Strong angel We may see this individual as Satan who had challenged Christ at the time of the war in heaven re1207. Also see mr0326 and 2co1114; re0911.
.3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.   No man ... was able On the surface, the challenge of being able to open and look at a book would not seem to call for searching the whole universe. See note.
.4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.   I wept much This is strange. Why would it matter that a qualified book opener could not be found? See note below.
.5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.   Elders Our representatives in heaven re0404.
  Weep not Or "stop weeping."
  Lion See ge4909.
  Root of David From is1101, and verse 10 of the same chapter. It is applied to Christ ro1512, mt2109.
  Prevailed From nikao, "to conquer." See note.
  Loose ... seals We can see that this is more than an account of the past or future.
.6 ¶ And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
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Translation note
The word "backside" in verse 1 is from opisthen which is an adverb of time or place. It also occurs in mt0920, mt1523, mr0527, lu0844, lu2326, and re0406. "Loosen" is a good translation although "break" is acceptable. There are stronger words which mean "to break." For "loose" or "loosen" the Greek is luo. The word "open" in chapter 6 is from anoigo.
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Note for verse 3
No one was found
    In an earlier version of this page, I expanded on the idea that Christ was worthy because He was a man a human. The KJV says, "no man was found." A kind pastor who read this explained that the Greek word oudeis means "no one" or "no thing." So not even an animal or an angel could open the book. Then he noted ". . .  yet it is a lion, a root and a Lamb that is found to describe the one who is worthy." Of course we humans are included among the excluded.
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Notes for verse 4
Why did John weep?
    God reveals truth to His prophets not just through what they hear re0110 and see re0112 but also by the feelings that are given to them re1010f. Peter's insight helps clarify. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). The word "moved" has a broader meaning than seeing or hearing.
    The situation into which the prophet John was placed was traumatic (v4). He "wept much" because "no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon." But this doesn't explain why he would weep. We could understand feeling crushed after knowing what a book says, but John wept because it could not be opened, read, or looked at. Let's examine the passage for clues:
    "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon." (Rev. 5:2- 4)
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Exhibit A for the court
   Read zc0301-4. I believe we are seeing the Zechariah situation here in different symbols! Satan is saying to God, "The people of earth are mine. The facts are recorded jn0333. Look at the record of showing what these sinners have done. They have broken your law and deserve to die ro0323; ro0623. Look, their righteousness is like rags." And Jesus says, "They have asked for forgiveness and cleansing. I have answered their prayers and pulled them from the fire. I have paid the price for their sins and have provided for them the rich robes of my own righteousness. The gift of God is eternal life."
   And in he0214f we see how Christ delivers those who are in bondage.
   Through His sacrifice, the Lamb's seven horns (of all power) can break the seven seals, and His seven eyes of the Spirit (which see all things in the earth) can accurately read the record! (see v6).
   Now we can understand why John cried. The record was full and complete. The whole human race was guilty of death. Satan had the evidence. His condemnation bore the seals of authenticity!
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What a magnificent, wonderful Redeemer! He did it all just for you and just for me!

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Notes for verse 5
The only one qualified See verses 5 and 6 above.
   So Jesus met the criteria. He is in the line of David. He is "the man Christ Jesus" 1ti0205. And He is divine jn0101. Why was the divine and human Christ qualified as a substitute? The text says he "prevailed." The Greek word is nikao and generally means "to overcome" as it is translated in the verse that introduced the throne room scene of chapter 4: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Rev. 3:21). Jesus was qualified because he never sinned he0415. We, too, may become overcomers, but we still have a criminal record! He did not. That is not all. His divinity was needed to show that God is not selfish.
    Jesus is worthy to open the scroll and break the seals to set us free. Now we are coming to some very significant concepts. Why does His sinlessness qualify Him? Why did Satan make this an issue? Why was Christ's humanity necessary? Because humans fell and He stands in their place our place.
    Satan's claim to being the king of this world is based on his lie that sin does really not lead to death ge0304, that it should not be punished, that it is the good life! But because Christ overcame sin, He gives us the power to overcome ph0413. To see how Satan accuses us, read the insights in the book of Job jb0106.
    Since Eve and Adam opted to accept Satan's lie thus rejecting God's word, Satan has claimed humans as his people. In sinning, we confirm the decision of our first parents, choosing to follow Satan. Having human followers is his claim to ownership of this planet. Jesus recognized Satan as prince of this world (John 14:30 jn1430), but Satan is not to become king. This is at issue in the preadvent judgment. Look at the vision given to Daniel after being shown the court seated and the books opened before the Ancient of Days:
   "And there was given him [the Son of Man] dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Dan. 7:14)
    Christ is seen in the midst of the throne, the living ones, and the elders. We can see here His connection with God and man. We see him also in ez0126.

How Jesus becomes king
   Jesus will be king because some people, under the rule and evil tendencies of Satan, are examined before the witnesses in heaven and found to have overcome by His blood re1211. Christ's kingdom could be by force. But because we may choose to obey (in His strength), we may be, for all eternity, free in His love and peace! The fairness of God's way will never again be doubted na0109.
   Jesus is qualified to be the effective slain lamb, because He was the perfect living lamb. He died in our place bearing the guilt of our sins. He has a right, before the universe, to be our substitute because, by His sinless life, He showed that humans, in His strength, could overcome sin. The standard of righteousness is God's law. Of course the law does not produce righteousness ga0321; it defines it ro0707, ro0803f, 1jo0304.
   We may be obedient to every requirement of God as we accept the gift of a share of the divine nature 2pe0104.
   This is why the strong angel was hoping that "no man" would be able to break his deadly hold. Jesus would not only be a perfect human, but He would be have a right to provide the strength for us sinners to be victors, too!

    Worthy is the Lamb that was slain! Click to hear.


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