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Revelation 5:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, close sealed with seven seals.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And I saw on the right hand of him that sat upon the throne a book, written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And I saw, upon the right hand of him that was sitting upon the throne, a scroll; written within, and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And I saw upon the right hand of Him who is sitting upon the throne a scroll, written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And I saw, in the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book, written within and without, sealed with seven seals.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And I saw in ye right hand of him that sate on the Throne, a booke written within, & on the backeside, sealed with seuen seales.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— AND I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a writing which was written within and on the back, and sealed with seven seals.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And I saw, at the right hand of him who sat on the throne, a book, which was written within and on the back side, and which was sealed with seven seals.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
I saw 1492
{1492} Prime
εἰδῶ
eido
{i-do'}
A primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent, G3700 and G3708; properly to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perfect only) to know.
z5627
<5627> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2138 plus 1 in a variant reading in a footnote
in 1909
{1909} Prime
ἐπί
epi
{ep-ee'}
A primary preposition properly meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], that is, over, upon, etc.; of rest (with the dative case) at, on, etc.; of direction (with the accusative case) towards, upon, etc.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
right hand 1188
{1188} Prime
δεξιός
dexios
{dex-ee-os'}
From G1209; the right side or (feminine) hand (as that which usually takes).
of him that sat 2521
{2521} Prime
κάθημαι
kathemai
{kath'-ay-mahee}
From G2596 and ἧμαι [[hemai]] (to sit; akin to the base of G1476); to sit down; figuratively to remain, reside.
z5740
<5740> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 544
on 1909
{1909} Prime
ἐπί
epi
{ep-ee'}
A primary preposition properly meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], that is, over, upon, etc.; of rest (with the dative case) at, on, etc.; of direction (with the accusative case) towards, upon, etc.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
throne 2362
{2362} Prime
θρόνος
thronos
{thron'-os}
From θράω [[thrao]] (to sit); a stately seat ('throne'); by implication power or (concretely) a potentate.
a book 975
{0975} Prime
βιβλίον
biblion
{bib-lee'-on}
A diminutive of G0976; a roll.
written 1125
{1125} Prime
γράφω
grapho
{graf'-o}
A primary verb; to 'grave', especially to write; figuratively to describe.
z5772
<5772> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 463
within 2081
{2081} Prime
ἔσωθεν
esothen
{es'-o-then}
From G2080; from inside; also used as equivalent to G2080 (inside).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
on the backside, 3693
{3693} Prime
ὄπισθεν
opisthen
{op'-is-then}
From ὄπις [[opis]] (regard; from G3700) with enclitic of source; from the rear (as a secure aspect), that is, at the back (adverb and preposition of palce or time).
sealed 2696
{2696} Prime
κατασφραγίζω
katasphragizo
{kat-as-frag-id'-zo}
From G2596 and G4972; to seal closely.
z5772
<5772> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 463
with seven 2033
{2033} Prime
ἑπτά
hepta
{hep-tah'}
A primary number; seven.
seals. 4973
{4973} Prime
σφραγίς
sphragis
{sfrag-ece'}
Probably strengthened from G5420; a signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by implication the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness), literally or figuratively.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Revelation 5:1

_ _ Revelation 5:1-14. The book with seven seals: None worthy to open it but the lamb: He takes it amidst the praises of the redeemed, and of the whole heavenly host.

_ _ in, etc. — Greek, “(lying) upon the right hand.” His right hand was open and on it lay the book. On God’s part there was no withholding of His future purposes as contained in the book: the only obstacle to unsealing it is stated in Revelation 5:3 [Alford].

_ _ book — rather, as accords with the ancient form of books, and with the writing on the backside, “a roll.” The writing on the back implies fullness and completeness, so that nothing more needs to be added (Revelation 22:18). The roll, or book, appears from the context to be “the title-deed of man’s inheritance” [De Burgh] redeemed by Christ, and contains the successive steps by which He shall recover it from its usurper and obtain actual possession of the kingdom already “purchased” for Himself and His elect saints. However, no portion of the roll is said to be unfolded and read; but simply the seals are successively opened, giving final access to its contents being read as a perfect whole, which shall not be until the events symbolized by the seals shall have been past, when Ephesians 3:10 shall receive its complete accomplishment, and the Lamb shall reveal God’s providential plans in redemption in all their manifold beauties. Thus the opening of the seals will mean the successive steps by which God in Christ clears the way for the final opening and reading of the book at the visible setting up of the kingdom of Christ. Compare, at the grand consummation, Revelation 20:12, “Another book was opened ... the book of life”; Revelation 22:19. None is worthy to do so save the Lamb, for He alone as such has redeemed man’s forfeited inheritance, of which the book is the title-deed. The question (Revelation 5:2) is not (as commonly supposed), Who should reveal the destinies of the Church (for this any inspired prophet would be competent to do)? but, Who has the WORTH to give man a new title to his lost inheritance? [De Burgh].

_ _ sealed ... seven sealsGreek, “sealed up,” or “firmly sealed.” The number seven (divided into four, the world-wide number, and three, the divine) abounds in Revelation and expresses completeness. Thus, the seven seals, representing all power given to the Lamb; the seven trumpets, by which the world kingdoms are shaken and overthrown, and the Lamb’s kingdom ushered in; and the seven vials, by which the beast’s kingdom is destroyed.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Revelation 5:1-5

_ _ Hitherto the apostle had seen only the great God, the governor of all things, now,

_ _ I. He is favoured with a sight of the model and methods of his government, as they are all written down in a book which he holds in his hand; and this we are now to consider as shut up and sealed in the hand of God. Observe, 1. The designs and methods of divine Providence towards the church and the world are stated and fixed; they are resolved upon and agreed to, as that which is written in a book. The great design is laid, every part adjusted, all determined, and every thing passed into decree and made a matter of record. The original and first draught of this book is the book of God's decrees, laid up in his own cabinet, in his eternal mind: but there is a transcript of so much as was necessary to be known in the book of the scriptures in general, in the prophetical part of the scripture especially, and in this prophecy in particular. 2. God holds this book in his right hand, to declare the authority of the book, and his readiness and resolution to execute all the contents thereof, all the counsels and purposes therein recorded. 3. This book in the hand of God is shut up and sealed; it is known to none but himself, till he allows it to be opened. Known unto God, and to him alone, are all his works, from the beginning of the world; but it is his glory to conceal the matter as he pleases. The times and seasons, and their great events, he hath kept in his own hand and power. 4. It is sealed with seven seals. This tells us with what inscrutable secrecy the counsels of God are laid, how impenetrable by the eye and intellect of the creature; and also points us to seven several parts of this book of God's counsels. Each part seems to have its particular seal, and, when opened, discovers its proper events; these seven parts are not unsealed and opened at once, but successively, one scene of Providence introducing another, and explaining it, till the whole mystery of God's counsel and conduct be finished in the world.

_ _ II. He heard a proclamation made concerning this sealed book. 1. The crier was a strong angel; not that there are any weak ones among the angels in heaven, though there are many among the angels of the churches. This angel seems to come out, not only as a crier, but as a champion, with a challenge to any or all the creatures to try the strength of their wisdom in opening the counsels of God; and, as a champion, he cried with a loud voice, that every creature might hear. 2. The cry or challenge proclaimed was, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? Revelation 5:2. If there by any creature who thinks himself sufficient either to explain or execute the counsels of God, let him stand forth, and make the attempt.” 3. None in heaven or earth could accept the challenge and undertake the task: none in heaven, none of the glorious holy angels, though before the throne of God, and the ministers of his providence; they with all their wisdom cannot dive into the decrees of God: none on earth, no man, the wisest or the best of men, none of the magicians and soothsayers, none of the prophets of God, any further than he reveals his mind to them: none under the earth, none of the fallen angels, none of the spirits of men departed, though they should return to our world, can open this book. Satan himself, with all his subtlety, cannot do it; the creatures cannot open it, nor look on it; they cannot read it. God only can do it.

_ _ III. He felt a great concern in himself about this matter: the apostle wept much; it was a great disappointment to him. By what he had seen in him who sat upon the throne, he was very desirous to see and know more of his mind and will: this desire, when not presently gratified, filled him with sorrow, and fetched many tears from his eyes. Here observe, 1. Those who have seen most of God in this world are most desirous to see more; and those who have seen his glory desire to know his will. 2. Good men may be too eager and to hasty to look into the mysteries of divine conduct. 3. Such desires, not presently answered, turn to grief and sorrow. Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

_ _ IV. The apostle was comforted and encouraged to hope this sealed book would yet be opened. Here observe, 1. Who it was that gave John the hint: One of the elders. God had revealed it to his church. If angels do not refuse to learn from the church, ministers should not disdain to do it. God can make his people to instruct and inform their teachers when he pleases. 2. Who it was that would do the thing — the Lord Jesus Christ, called the lion of the tribe of Judah, according to his human nature, alluding to Jacob's prophecy (Genesis 49:10), and the root of David according to his divine nature, though a branch of David according to the flesh. He who is a middle person, God and man, and bears the office of Mediator between God and man, is fit and worthy to open and execute all the counsels of God towards men. And this he does in his mediatorial state and capacity, as the root of David and the offspring of Judah, and as the King and head of the Israel of God; and he will do it, to the consolation and joy of all his people.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Revelation 5:1

And I saw — This is a continuation of the same narrative. In the right hand — The emblem of his all — ruling power. He held it openly, in order to give it to him that was worthy. It is scarce needful to observe, that there is not in heaven any real book of parchment or paper or that Christ does not really stand there, in the shape of a lion or of a lamb. Neither is there on earth any monstrous beast with seven heads and ten horns. But as there is upon earth something which, in its kind, answers such a representation; so there are in heaven divine counsels and transactions answerable to these figurative expressions. All this was represented to St. John at Patmos, in one day, by way of vision. But the accomplishment of it extends from that time throughout all ages. Writings serve to inform us of distant and of future things. And hence things which are yet to come are figuratively said to be "written in God's book;" so were at that time the contents of this weighty prophecy. But the book was sealed. Now comes the opening and accomplishing also of the great things that are, as it were, the letters of it. A book written within and without — That is, no part of it blank, full of matter. Sealed with seven seals — According to the seven principal parts contained in it, one on the outside of each. The usual books of the ancients were not like ours, but were volumes or long pieces of parchment, rolled upon a long stick, as we frequently roll silks. Such was this represented, which was sealed with seven seals. Not as if the apostle saw all the seals at once; for there were seven volumes wrapped up one within another, each of which was sealed: so that upon opening and unrolling the first, the second appeared to be sealed up till that was opened, and so on to the seventh. The book and its seals represent all power in heaven and earth given to Christ. A copy of this book is contained in the following chapters. By "the trumpets," contained under the seventh seal, the kingdom of the world is shaken, that it may at length become the kingdom of Christ. By "the vials," under the seventh trumpet, the power of the beast, and whatsoever is connected with it, is broken. This sum of all we should have continually before our eyes: so the whole Revelation flows in its natural order.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Revelation 5:1

And (1) I saw in the (2) right hand of him that sat on the throne (3) a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

(1) A passing to the second principal cause, which is the Son of God, God and man, the mediator of all, as the eternal word of God the Father, manifest in the flesh. This chapter has two parts: one that prepares the way to the revelation, by rehearsal of the occasions that occurred in the first four verses (Revelation 5:2-5). Another, the history of the revelation of Christ, from there to the end of the chapter (Revelation 5:6-14). (2) That is, in the very right hand of God. (3) Here are shown the occasions for which the principal cause, and this revelation was also necessary: the same are three, the first a present vision of the book of the counsels of God, concerning the government of this whole world, which book is said to be laid up with the Father as it were in his hand: but shut up and unknown to all creature, in this verse. The second is a religious desire of the angels of God to understand the mysteries of this book (1 Peter 1:12) (Revelation 5:2). The third is a lamentation of John and all the godly, moved by the same desire (Revelation 5:4) when they saw that it was an impossible thing for any creature to do: which is declared in (Revelation 5:3).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
that sat:

Revelation 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and [there was] a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

a book:

Revelation 10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and [his] left [foot] on the earth,
Revelation 10:8-11 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go [and] take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. ... And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
Ezekiel 2:9-10 And when I looked, behold, an hand [was] sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book [was] therein; ... And he spread it before me; and it [was] written within and without: and [there was] written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

sealed:

Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
Isaiah 29:11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which [men] deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it [is] sealed:
Daniel 8:26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told [is] true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it [shall be] for many days.
Daniel 12:4-9 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. ... And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
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Is 8:16; 29:11; 34:16. Ezk 2:9. Dn 8:26; 12:4. Rv 4:3; 6:1; 10:2, 8.

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