Revelation 1
1
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2
Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
4
John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
8
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
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 twoedged 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 hast 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.


previous|next
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Revelation
Book: Revelation
Chapter: 1

Overview:
The Divine origin, the design, and the importance of this
Book. (1-3) The Apostle John salutes the Seven churches of Asia.
(4-8) Declares when, where, and how, the Revelation was made to
him. (9-11) His Vision, in which he saw Christ appear. (12-20)

1-3 This Book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ; the whole
Bible is So; for all Revelation comes through Christ, and all
relates to him. Its principal subject is to discover the
purposes of God concerning the affairs of the Church, and of the
nations as connected therewith, to the End of the world. These
events would surely come to pass; and they would begin to come
to pass very shortly. Though Christ is himself God, and has
Light and Life in himself, yet, as Mediator between God and Man,
he receives instructions from the Father. To him we owe the
knowledge of what we are to expect from God, and what he expects
from us. The subject of this Revelation was, the things that
must shortly come to pass. On all who read or hear the words of
the Prophecy, a blessing is pronounced. Those are Well employed
who search the Bible. It is not enough that we read and hear,
but we must keep the things that are written, in our memories,
in our minds, in our affections, and in practice, and we shall
be blessed in the deed. Even the mysteries and difficulties of
this Book are united with discoveries of God, suited to impress
the mind with awe, and to purify the soul of the reader, though
he may not discern the prophetic meaning. No part of Scripture
more fully states the Gospel, and warns against the evil of Sin.

4-8 There can be No true peace, where there is not true Grace;
and where Grace goeth before, peace will follow. This blessing
is in the name of God, of the Holy Trinity, it is an act of
adoration. The Father is first named; he is described as the
Jehovah who is, and who was, and who is to come, eternal,
unchangeable. The Holy Spirit is called the Seven spirits, the
perfect Spirit of God, in whom there is a diversity of Gifts and
operations. The Lord Jesus Christ was from eternity, a Witness
to all the counsels of God. He is the First-born from the dead,
who will By his own power raise up his people. He is the Prince
of the Kings of the Earth; By him their counsels are overruled,
and to him they are accountable. Sin leaves a stain of guilt and
pollution upon the soul. Nothing can fetch out this stain but
the Blood of Christ; and Christ shed his own Blood to satisfy
Divine Justice, and purchase Pardon and purity for his people.
Christ has made believers Kings and priests to God and his
Father. As such they overcome the world, mortify Sin, govern
their own spirits, resist Satan, prevail with God in Prayer, and
shall Judge the world. He has made them priests, given them
access to God, enabled them to offer spiritual and acceptable
sacrifices, and for these favours they are bound to ascribe to
him dominion and Glory for ever. He will Judge the world.
Attention is called to that great Day when all will see the
Wisdom and happiness of the friends of Christ, and the Madness
and misery of his enemies. Let us think frequently upon the
second Coming of Christ. He shall come, to the terror of those
who wound and crucify him By apostasy: he shall come, to the
astonishment of the whole world of the ungodly. He is the
Beginning and the End; all things are from him and for him; he
is the Almighty; the same eternal and unchanged One. And if we
would be numbered with his saints in Glory Everlasting, we must
now willingly submit to him, receive him, and honour him as a
Saviour, who we believe will come to be our Judge. Alas, that
there should be many, who would wish never to die, and that
there should not be a Day of Judgment!

9-11 It was the Apostle's comfort that he did not suffer as an
evil-doer, but for the Testimony of Jesus, for bearing Witness
to Christ as the Immanuel, the Saviour; and the Spirit of Glory
and of God rested upon this persecuted Apostle. The Day and time
when he had this Vision was the Lord's Day, the Christian
Sabbath, the first Day of the Week, observed in remembrance of
the Resurrection of Christ. Let us who Call him "Our Lord,"
honour him On his own Day. The name shows how this sacred Day
should be observed; the Lord's Day should be wholly devoted to
the Lord, and none of its hours employed in a sensual, worldly
manner, or in amusements. He was in a serious, heavenly,
spiritual frame, under the gracious influences of the Spirit of
God. Those who would enjoy Communion with God On the Lord's Day,
must seek to draw their thoughts and affections from earthly
things. And if believers are kept On the Lord's holy Day, from
public ordinances and the Communion of saints, By necessity and
not By choice, they may look for comfort in meditation and
secret duties, from the influences of the Spirit; and By hearing
the voice and contemplating the Glory of their beloved Saviour,
from whose gracious words and power No confinement or outward
circumstances can separate them. An Alarm was given as with the
sound of the trumpet, and then the Apostle heard the voice of
Christ.

12-20 The churches receive their Light from Christ and the
Gospel, and Hold it forth to others. They are golden
candlesticks; they should be precious and pure; not only the
ministers, but the members of the churches; their Light should
So shine before men, as to engage others to give Glory to God.
And the Apostle saw as though of the Lord Jesus Christ appeared
in the midst of the golden candlesticks. He is with his churches
always, to the End of the world, filling them with Light, and
Life, and Love. He was clothed with a robe down to the feet,
perhaps representing his Righteousness and priesthood, as
Mediator. This vest was girt with a golden Girdle, which may
denote how precious are his Love and Affection for his people.
His head and hairs White like Wool and as Snow, may signify his
majesty, purity, and eternity. His eyes as a Flame of Fire, may
represent his knowledge of the secrets of all hearts, and of the
most distant events. His feet like fine Brass burning in a
Furnace, may denote the firmness of his appointments, and the
excellence of his proceedings. His voice as the sound of many
waters, may represent the power of his Word, to remove or to
destroy. The Seven Stars were emblems of the ministers of the
Seven churches to which the Apostle was ordered to write, and
whom Christ upheld and directed. The Sword represented his
Justice, and his Word, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul
and Spirit, Heb 4:12. His countenance was like the Sun, when
it shines clearly and powerfully; its strength too bright and
dazzling for mortal eyes to behold. The Apostle was overpowered
with the greatness of the lustre and Glory in which Christ
appeared. We may Well be contented to walk By Faith, while here
upon Earth. The Lord Jesus spake words of comfort; Fear not.
Words of instruction; telling who thus appeared. And his Divine
nature; the First and the Last. His former sufferings; I was
dead: the very same whom his disciples saw upon the Cross. His
resurrection and Life; I have conquered Death, and am partaker
of endless Life. His office and authority; sovereign dominion in
and over the invisible world, as the Judge of all, from whose
sentence there is No Appeal. Let us listen to the voice of
Christ, and receive the tokens of his Love, for what can he
withhold from those for whose sins he has died? May we then obey
his Word, and give up ourselves wholly to him who directs all
things aright.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.