Revelation

The Revelation Given to John

Approximate date: 50s-70s C.E. or 80s-90 C.E.
Time period: deteriorating circumstances for the First Century Believers in the Roman Empire
Author: the Apostle John
Location of author: the island of Patmos
Target audience and their location: the congregations of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea (all in Asia Minor)

The Book of Revelation, perhaps more than any other text in the Apostolic Scriptures, is one of the most confusing, as well as controversial, for Bible readers to digest. Also commonly known as the Apocalypse, because of its Greek title Apokalupsis Iēsou Christou (1:1), various questions and puzzles are presented. There are a wide variety of opinions concerning how the Book of Revelation should be approached and interpreted, and what it communicated to those in ancient times, as well as what it says to those living in modern times. As its third verse astutely informs each of us, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near” (1:3, NASU). How “near” the accomplishment of the prophecy has been, has certainly been a vigorously debated issue in the history of Revelation’s interpretation.

The author of Revelation identifies himself in the text as being someone named “John” (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8). Church Fathers from the Second and Third Centuries, including Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Clement and Origin of Alexandria, and Irenaeus, believed that the author of Revelation was the Apostle John.[1] “So strong is this evidence that it is difficult to believe that they all made a mistake in confusing the John in the Apocalypse with John the apostle” (Guthrie),[2] as though another John were shown the Revelation by the Messiah. The following is a selection of key quotations from early Christian leaders to keep in mind about the composition of the Book of Revelation:

[T]here was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell [Revelation 20:4-5] a thousand years in Jerusalem; and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 81).[3]

In a still clearer light has John, in the Apocalypse, indicated to the Lord’s disciples what shall happen in the last times… (Irenaeus Against Heresies 5.26.1; cf. 50.30.3).[4]

Now the Apostle John, in the Apocalypse, describes a sword which proceeded from the mouth of God as “a doubly sharp, two-edged one” [Revelation 1:16] (Tertullian Against Marcion 3.14.24).[5]

While a wide number of conservatives today believe in genuine Johannine authorship of the Book of Revelation,[6] some wonder about it, and liberals tend to doubt that the author of Revelation was John the son of Zebedee. Alternative authors for the Book of Revelation include a possible John the Elder/Presbyter,[7] some kind of pseudepigraphal writer[8] or a traveling prophet,[9] perhaps named John.[10] It is at least assumed, though, “Since the name John [Yochanan or Iōannēs] was exclusively a Jewish name until it came to be used by Christians beginning in the 2nd century, the Jewish origin of the author is certain” (Aune, EDB).[11] While it is not impossible that a John the Elder/Presbyter could have been the author, given his possible presence in Asia Minor (cf. Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 3.39.6), it has been contested by conservatives on various grounds.[12]

There are two main views one will encounter for the dating of the composition of the Book of Revelation. Some date Revelation being written from around 54-68 C.E., during the reign of Nero Caesar. Others date Revelation being written in the reign of Domitian Caesar, from around 81-96 C.E.[13] The latter view would follow Irenaeus’ assessment that Revelation was composed “towards the end of Domitian’s reign” (Against Heresies 5.30.3; cf. Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 3.18-20; 5.8.6).[14] The dating of Revelation’s composition is often influenced by one’s eschatological position of either preterism or futurism, meaning whether the events of Revelation occurred in the late First and early Second Centuries C.E., or to a wide degree remain to be fulfilled sometime in the future. Liberals, who tend to adhere to forms of preterism, often lean toward the early date.[15] Preterists largely ask the question, “Was Nero the antichrist of Revelation?” However, it would be too much to starkly divide conservatives and liberals among the futuristic and preterist camps, as some of the latter do lean toward a late First Century date for Revelation.[16] One newer proposal, seen among some liberals, is that the text was written over a long period within the First Century.[17] Conservatives who adhere to a late First Century composition of the Book of Revelation, generally dating around 90 C.E., follow the traditions of Second and Third Century Christianity.

The actual language and grammar of Revelation are very intriguing to scholars. It is widely recognized by theologians that there are many difficult-to-approach Hebraisms or Aramaisms in the text,[18] as the native language of the author was not Greek. A variety of perspectives are offered by interpreters. “[O]f no other NT writer perhaps may it be so truly said that he ‘thinks in Aramaic and writes in Greek’” (IDB).[19] Black points out, “the grammar of Revelation…reflects the work of a Semitic-speaking person who is just learning Greek.”[20] Why this is the case has been a matter of great academic discussion. Ladd indicates, “Undoubtedly the book reflects Semitic influences, but some of its solecisms appear to be deliberate, and possibly the writer’s emotional state accounts for others” (ISBE).[21] To this, Guthrie observes how “the Greek of the Apocalypse is not simply an inaccurate form of Greek such as a learner writes before he has mastered the laws of the language, but a mixture of correct and incorrect forms which appear to be due to choice, not to accident, carelessness or ignorance.”[22] While the Greek style of the Book of Revelation is not high, some of the forms one may encounter might be deliberate due to the genre of the text, and deliberate connections intended to be made to the Prophets of the Tanach. Gundry offers the appropriate summary,

“It is true that from a grammatical and literary standpoint the Greek style of Revelation is inferior to that of the gospel and epistles [of John]. But in part the ‘bad grammar’ may be deliberate, for purposes of emphasis and allusion to Old Testament passages in Hebraic style, rather than due to ignorance or blundering. In part the ‘bad grammar’ may also stem from an ecstatic state of mind, due to John’s having received prophecies in the form of visions. Or writing as a prisoner on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, he did not have the advantage of an amanuensis to smooth out his rough style, as he probably did have for his gospel and epistles.”[23]

The author of Revelation identifies his location as being the island of Patmos: “John…was on the island called Patmos” (1:9). Patmos was an island approximately 15 miles west of Ephesus.[24] The initial audience of the Book of Revelation is clearly identified in the first three chapters, as it was composed for seven congregations in Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. These were all Greek-speaking congregations. Those who deny genuine Johannine authorship of the text tend to place the composition of the Book of Revelation somewhere in Asia Minor.[25]

While some Messianics would like to believe that Revelation was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, no extant, authenticated text has surfaced to substantiate such wishes. Theologian C.C. Torrey advocated in the early Twentieth Century that Revelation was originally written in Aramaic, but many of his claims have been dismissed by both liberals and conservatives per no available manuscript to substantiate his theory. In fact, “The book of Revelation was definitively rejected by the Eastern Syrian Church. It was not included in the early Syriac translation of the NT, the Peshitta” (ABD).[26] That the Book of Revelation was a Greek composition, with definitely detectable Hebraic or Aramaic style, to clue in the reader to concepts seen in the Tanach, is likely the best approach for one to take. The “bad grammar” of Revelation could have been deliberately overlooked by those who originally received the text, and not corrected by them, because of the strong apocalyptic nature of the work—and perhaps even more so the warning, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book” (22:18, NASU).

The Book of Revelation is divided into two principal parts.[27] Chs. 1-3 of Revelation include letters from Yeshua the Messiah directed to specific assemblies that existed in ancient times.[28] This part of Revelation is primarily directed to a late First Century-early Second Century audience. The thrust of the text is an unveiling by Yeshua to encourage these Believers through their persecution, and that they will be vindicated by His eventual return. From chs. 4-22, we see the presentation of some significant imagery and depictions of good clashing with evil, leading to the ultimate defeat of evil, the judgment upon all unrepentant sinners, and the inauguration of the New Creation. How this is to all take place in history, or whether much of this has already taken place in history, has been discussed and debated by many voices throughout Christian religious history. The overarching theme of the Book of Revelation, no matter what interpretational vantage point is chosen, is “the mind and purpose of God as seen in redemptive history” (IDB).[29] The Book of Revelation is to ultimately have a message of hope for those in distress, as the Lord will right the wrongs of this fallen Earth.

The language of Revelation is apocalyptic, and much of its terminology is symbolic.[30] Generally speaking, there are four distinct schools of interpretation relating to the Book of Revelation:[31]

  1. Preterists hold to the view that Revelation was written in the mid-First Century, during the reign of Nero Caesar, and that most of the events prophesied in Revelation, as well as in passages like Matthew 24, were largely fulfilled by the early Second Century. Preterists generally think that Nero was the antichrist of the Book of Revelation, and largely make up a liberal segment of Christian eschatology.
  2. Historicists hold to the view that Revelation speaks to the many centuries of Christianity, and should be interpreted in light of the history of the Church. Historical events in Christian history are represented by the imagery of Revelation. Many of the early Reformers were historicists, as are some Roman Catholic theologians today.
  3. Futurists hold to the view that Revelation was written in the late First Century, and although it had a message for the early Believers (chs. 1-3), it largely speaks to events to occur in the distant future (chs. 4-18), and believe in a literal thousand-year reign of Yeshua on Planet Earth. The majority of the early Church Fathers were futurists, as are many evangelical Christians today, and most people in the Messianic movement. Futurists may all be described as being pre-millennialists, believing that the Messiah returns before His thousand-year reign. There are distinct viewpoints within the pre-millennial camp, however, notably the “rapture debate” between pre- and post-tribulationists.
  4. Idealists are those who widely do not take sides in the actual debate over what Revelation means, but simply believe that it speaks of the Messiah’s final battle over Satan, sin, and evil in the world. Some Roman Catholic theologians are idealists.[32]

It is notable that there are futurists who adhere to some of the elements of the other three groups, as some concede that a wider portion of Revelation may have been more applicable for the late First-early Second Century Believers than others. Likewise, there are problems with futurists who focus so much on the different symbols of Revelation, trying to attach them to modern political entities or institutions, that it can be forgotten that Revelation’s words are rooted within the First Century struggles of the early Believers in the Roman Empire: “John pictures [the] eschatological climax against the backdrop of events in his own day” (Carson and Moo; cf. 1 John 2:18),[33] and there may very well be important insights lost from overlooking this. In stark contrast to this, “Liberal scholars largely endorse the ‘preterist’ view and repudiate the predictive elements of the book” (Beasley-Murray, NBCR).[34] In general terms, all interpreters of the Book of Revelation have been interested in comparing and contrasting the condition of the John who was shown things to come by the Messiah, and previous servants and prophets of God in the Tanach or Old Testament who were given visions.[35] All should be agreed that the arrival of God’s Kingdom, and the final defeat of evil, are positive and worthwhile spiritual themes to consider.[36]

It is very easy to realize the fact that the Book of Revelation is the only text in the Apostolic Scriptures that is “exclusively prophetic in character” (Tenney, NIDB).[37] No reader can deny the deep, ancient Jewish symbolism encountered in the Book of Revelation,[38] as seen in ancient literature like the Dead Sea Scrolls or Pseudepigrapha.[39] More important to Revelation’s ancient background in the First Century, though, would be its significant reliance upon Tanach texts like Ezekiel, Daniel, or Zechariah.[40] “[I]t is recognized by virtually all scholars that [this] work reflects a mind soaked in the OT, and [its] language is dominated by it” (Beasley-Murray).[41] It can be easily observed that if one’s approach to the Prophets of the Tanach is not strong, then it is quite easy to overlook important themes of the Book of Revelation. Yet at the same time, Carson and Moo offer the worthwhile thought, “The complicated character of Revelation therefore suggests that we should not place it neatly into one genre category. Elements of prophecy, apocalypse, and letter are combined in a way that has no close parallel in other literature.”[42] With this, it cannot go unnoticed that not all are agreed as to whether or not the prophecies delivered in Revelation occur in a strict sequential order, or if some of the scenes overlap and/or occur somewhat simultaneously to some degree. The Book of Revelation definitely does sit in a class by itself.

“The Book of Revelation is acknowledged to be a closed book by the majority of modern readers. This is largely due to the unfamiliarity of the prophetic books of the OT, [and] the almost total ignorance of Jewish apocalyptic writings and the historical setting of the book which determines its contents” (Beasley-Murray).[43] The Book of Revelation was debated in the early centuries of the emerging Christian Church, and in later history some of the Protestant Reformers even questioned its place in the canon. “Erasmus, Luther, and Zwingli questioned the Johannine authorship because it teaches a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ” (Beasley-Murray, NBCR).[44] In some past Christian exegesis, it cannot be avoided that many have struggled over 20:1-6 and its view that a thousand-year reign of the Messiah will occur. It has been considered “abhorrent because of its alleged Jewish roots and materialism” (Carson and Moo),[45] but with a more futuristic view of the Book of Revelation revived in the Twentieth Century, such a negative view of a literal Millennial Kingdom is not at all held by a wide number of contemporary evangelical Christians. That the Book of Revelation features elements of a high Christology, presenting Yeshua the Messiah as Divine, also cannot be overlooked (1:8,[46] 12-20;[47] 22:13[48]). Because the Book of Revelation is such a confusing text for many, and that there is such a diversity of views and opinions, quite a few Christians today hold to the sentiment that they will just finally deal with the Book of Revelation when the end-times are upon us.

Most in today’s broad Messianic movement are futurists of some sort. As can be expected, specific interpretations of sections of the Book of Revelation vary. Many Messianic approaches to and interpretations of sections of Revelation are essential carbon-copies of dispensational, pre-tribulational views concerning “the rapture of the Church.” Many other interpretations of Revelation are post-tribulational in nature, and either align with well known viewpoints seen in non-dispensational sectors of evangelical Christianity, or may present their own levels of uniqueness.

Contemporary Messianic discussions regarding the Book of Revelation include debates over what the “churches” represent; whether or not “Babylon” exclusively represents Rome and Roman Catholicism, and the proper attitude we should have regarding it; and debate over what “666” really means. It cannot go unavoided that “Most of the tyrants of history, from Nero to Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler, as well as the pope of the Roman Catholic Church, have at one time and another been said both to answer to the description of the beast and to furnish the numerical values attaching to their names” (IDB).[49] There are some Messianic prophecy teachers who have floated out names of world leaders’ names equaling 666 in Hebrew gematria, similar to what many Christian prophecy teachers have done. Messianics surely debate over who the 144,000 sealed witnesses are (7:4-8), and why among the tribes of Israel the tribe of Dan is missing.[50]

While there are definitely discussions over different pre-millennial eschatological scenarios regarding the Book of Revelation among Messianics, debates over what is literal, symbolic, representative, or figurative are likely on the theological horizon as well. While this can involve how different apocalyptic figures and players are to be manifested in future history, one area where this is most likely to receive a significant amount of attention is in relation to the Eternal State.[51] In the past half-century in Protestant Christian theological studies, debates over the final destiny of the unrepentant condemned has significantly waged on,[52] and this is soon coming to the Messianic movement. How literal or figurative is the Lake of Fire? Are the condemned to be subject to a burning inferno of being “fried” for eternity in fire and hazardous chemicals (the literal view of Hell)? Are the condemned to be snuffed out of existence (annihilationism)? Is the Lake of Fire just a literary description, along with diverse others, that depicts an eternal banishment from the presence of God, and where the unrighteous still must exist for all eternity (the metaphorical view of Hell)?[53] It cannot go unnoticed that the Book of Revelation, while closing with the redeemed in the holy city of New Jerusalem (21:10-22:5), also closes with the unrighteous condemned separated out from the Holy City (22:15).

Bibliography
Aune, David E. “Revelation, Book of,” in EDB, pp 1124-1127.
Beasley-Murray, G.R. “The Revelation,” in NBCR, pp 1279-1310.
__________________. “Revelation, Book of,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & its Developments, pp 1025-1038.
Bowman, J.W. “Revelation, Book of,” in IDB, 4:58-71.
Carson, D.A., and Douglas J. Moo. “Revelation,” in An Introduction to the Old Testament, pp 697-725.
Fiorenza, E. Shüssler. “Revelation, Book of,” in IDBSup, pp 744-746.
Gundry, Robert H. “Revelation: Jesus is Coming!” in A Survey of the New Testament, pp 457-476.
Guthrie, Donald. “The Book of Revelation,” in New Testament Introduction, pp 929-985.
Johnson, Alan. “Revelation,” in EXP, 12:399-603.
Ladd, G.E. “Revelation, Book of,” in ISBE, 4:171-177.
Stuckenbruck, Loren T. “Revelation,” in ECB, pp 1535-1572.
Tenney, Merrill C. “Revelation, Book of the,” in NIDB, pp 859-861.
Tree of Life—The New Covenant, pp 459-485.
Walvoord, John F. “Revelation,” in BKCNT, pp 925-991.
Yarbro Collins, Adela. “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 5:694-708.


NOTES for Introduction

[1] J.W. Bowman, “Revelation, Book of,” in IDB, 4:60; Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 930-931; Adela Yarbro Collins, “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 5:702; Carson and Moo, pp 700-701.

[2] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 933.

[3] BibleWorks 8.0: Schaff, Early Church Fathers.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 932-938; Carson and Moo, pp 702-705.

[7] Bowman, “Revelation, Book of,” in IDB, 4:60; Yarbro Collins, “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 5:702.

[8] Cf. E. Shüssler Fiorenza, “Revelation, Book of,” in IDBSup, 745.

[9] Yarbro Collins, “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 7:702-703.

[10] Cf. G.R. Beasley-Murray, “Revelation, Book of,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & its Developments, 1033.

[11] David E. Aune, “Revelation, Book of,” in EDB, 1125.

[12] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 945-946.

[13] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 948-952; Beasley-Murray, “Revelation, Book of,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & its Developments, 1028; Carson and Moo, pp 711-712.

[14] BibleWorks 8.0: Schaff, Early Church Fathers.

[15] G.E. Ladd, “Revelation, Book of,” in ISBE, 4:172; G.R. Beasley-Murray, “The Revelation,” in NBCR, 1279.

[16] Bowman, “Revelation, Book of,” in IDB, 4:60, 4:61; Yarbro Collins, “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 5:700-701; Loren T. Stuckenbruck, “Revelation,” in ECB, pp 1535-1536.

[17] Aune, “Revelation, Book of,” in EDB, 1125.

[18] Merrill C. Tenney, “Revelation, Book of the,” in NIDB, 860; Beasley-Murray, “Revelation, Book of,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & its Developments, 1032; Aune, “Revelation, Book of,” in EDB, 1125.

[19] Bowman, “Revelation, Book of,” in IDB, 4:59.

[20] David Alan Black, It’s Still Greek to Me (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 150.

[21] Ladd, “Revelation, Book of,” in ISBE, 2:172.

[22] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 939.

[23] Gundry, “Revelation: Jesus is Coming!” in A Survey of the New Testament, 458.

[24] Ladd, “Revelation, Book of,” in ISBE, 4:171.

[25] Yarbro Collins, “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 5:701.

[26] Yarbro Collins, “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 5:695; cf. Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 932.

[27] Cf. Yarbro Collins, “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 5:698-699.

[28] Cf. Bowman, “Revelation, Book of,” in IDB, 4:59; Beasley-Murray, “Revelation, Book of,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & its Developments, pp 1026-1027.

[29] Bowman, “Revelation, Book of,” in IDB, 4:58.

[30] Cf. Beasley-Murray, “Revelation, Book of,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & its Developments, pp 1034-1035.

[31] Bowman, “Revelation, Book of,” in IDB, 4:61; Ladd, “Revelation, Book of,” in ISBE, 4:173-174; Yarbro Collins, “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 4:706-707; Carson and Moo, pp 719-721.

[32] For a further discussion, consult C. Marvin Pate, ed., Four Views on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998).

[33] Carson and Moo, 720.

[34] Beasley-Murray, in NBCR, 1279.

[35] Ladd, “Revelation, Book of,” in ISBE, 4:172-173.

[36] Cf. Ibid., 4:174.

[37] Tenney, “Revelation, Book of the,” in NIDB, 859.

[38] Yarbro Collins, “Revelation, Book of,” in ABD, 5:704.

[39] Cf. Ibid., 5:703-704.

[40] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 965-966.

[41] Beasley-Murray, “Revelation, Book of,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & its Developments, 1026.

[42] Carson and Moo, pp 715-716.

[43] Beasley-Murray, “Revelation, Book of,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & its Developments, 1025.

[44] Beasley-Murray, in NBCR, 925.

[45] Carson and Moo, 701.

[46] Isaiah 41:4.

[47] Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12.

[48] Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 48:12.

[49] Bowman, “Revelation, Book of,” in IDB, 4:67.

[50] Cf. Ladd, “Revelation, Book of,” in ISBE, 4:175.

[51] Cf. Ibid., 4:176.

[52] Consult William V. Crockett, ed., Four Views on Hell (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996).

[53] Consult the article Why Hell Must Be Eternal,” appearing in the book After the Afterlife by J.K. McKee, for a Messianic evaluation of the subject matter, which is favorable to the metaphorical view of eternal punishment.


1

Introduction and Salutation

 1 The revelation of Yeshua the Messiah, which God gave Him to show to His servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah, even to all that he saw.
 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
 4 John to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne;
 5 and from Yeshua the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the Earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood,
 6 and He made us to be a kingdom, to be priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
 7 BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS [Daniel 7:13][1], and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the Earth will mourn over Him.[2] Even so. Amen.
 8 “I AM the Alpha and the Omega,”[3] says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

A Vision of Messiah

 9 I John, your brother and partner with you in the tribulation and Kingdom and perseverance which are in Yeshua, was on the island that is called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony of Yeshua.
 10 I was in the Spirit on Day of the Lord[4], and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet,
 11 saying, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven assemblies: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
 12 And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;
 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a Son of Man[5], clothed with a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden girdle.[6]
 14 And His head and His hair were white as white wool, white as snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire;
 15 and His feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.[7]
 16 And He held in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth was proceeding a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the Sun shining in its strength.
 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,
 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Sheol.
 19 “Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.
 20 “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven assemblies, and the seven lampstands are seven assemblies.”


NOTES for Revelation 1

[1] I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of Heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him” (Daniel 7:13, PME).

[2] The CJB has bolded “will see him…pierced him…all the tribes of the Land will mourn him” noting a possible allusion to Zechariah 12:10, 12, 14: “‘and I will pour out on the house of David and on those living in Yerushalayim a spirit of grace and prayer; and they will look to me, whom they pierced.’ They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son; they will be in bitterness on his behalf like the bitterness for a firstborn son…Then the land will mourn, each family by itself—the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Natan by itself, and their wives by themselves…all the remaining families, each by itself, and their wives by themselves” (CJB).

[3] Grk. Egō eimi to alpha kai to ō.

The rendering here follows that of a Messianic version like the TLV; other Messianic versions tend to not use the Greek designations, but rather their Hebrew equivalents: “I am the Alef and the Tav” (HRV/The Messianic Writings). The Complete Jewish Bible actually uses English equivalents: “I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z’.”

[4] Grk. en tē Kuriakē hēmera; the rendering chosen here follows other Messianic versions: “on the Day of the Lord” (CJB/TLV); The Messianic Writings has “the day of the Everpresent Lord.”

It is to be recognized that related terminology is used in various Christian writings of the late First-early Second Century C.E. in regard to the first day, or Sunday, as involving some kind of significance for Believers:

“On the Lord’s own day [Kata Kuriakē de Kuriou] gather together and break bread and give thanks, having first confessed your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure” (Didache 14:1; Michael W. Holmes, ed. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, third edition [Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007], 365).

“If, then, those who had lived according to ancient practices came to the newness of hope, no longer keeping the sabbath but living in accordance with the Lord’s day [mēketi Sabbatizontes alla kata Kurikakēn zōntes]…” (Ignatius Epistle to the Magnesians 9.1; Ibid., 209).

While not widespread among Christian examiners, it has to be recognized (or at least passively acknowledged), especially given the content of material in the Book of Revelation which will follow, how, “Might not John’s reference be to the Day of the Lord?…There are many ways of referring to the Day of the Lord, and Revelation 1:10 may be one more” (J.C. Laansma, “Lord’s Day,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments, 682), even though this is widely dismissed.

Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, 791, as a Messianic Jewish interpreter, asserts, and most rightfully so, that “Yochanan [John] is reporting the unique experience of having seen God’s final Judgment.” This would surely be supportive of “the Day of the Lord” being the best rendering for tē Kuriakē hēmera, even with the emphasis being more on the person of the Lord, than the actual day or period.

[5] Grk. homoion huion anthrōpou; “‘like a son of man’” (NIV) in quotation marks; “like the/a Son of Man” (NRSV/HCSB and CJB) with the title capitalized.

[6] The CJB has bolded “like a Son of Man, wearing a robe down to his feet…a gold band around” noting a possible allusion to Daniel 7:13: “I kept watching the night visions, when I saw, coming with the clouds of heaven, someone like a son of man. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence” (CJB).

[7] The CJB has bolded “high eyes like a fiery flame, his feet like burnished brass…his voice like the sound of” noting a possible allusion to Daniel 10:5-6; Ezekiel 1:24; 43:2:

“when I looked up, and there before me was a man dressed in linen wearing a belt made of fine Ufaz gold. His body was like beryl, his face looked like lightning and his eyes like fiery torches; his arms and feet were the color of burnished bronze; and when he spoke, it sounded like the roar of a crowd” (Daniel 10:5-6, CJB).

“I heard the sound of their wings when they moved; it was like the sound of rushing water, like the voice of Shaddai, like the noise of a tumultuous crowd or army. When they stopped, they lowered their wings” (Ezekiel 1:24, CJB).

“There I saw the glory of the God of Isra’el approaching from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water, and the earth shone with his glory” (Ezekiel 43:2, CJB).


2

The Message to Ephesus

 1 “To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write: ‘These things says the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
 2 ‘I know your works and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evildoers, and you tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them to be false;
 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.
 4 ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
 5 ‘Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the works you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent.
 6 ‘Yet this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
 7 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.’

The Message to Smyrna

 8 “And to the angel of the assembly in Smyrna write: These things says the first and the last, who was dead, and came to life:
 9 ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but your are rich), and the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and they art not, but are a synagogue of Satan[1].
 10 ‘Do not fear the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the Devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
 11 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’

The Message to Pergamum

 12 “And to the angel of the assembly in Pergamum write: These things says the One who has the sharp two-edged sword:
 13 ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith, even in the days of Antipas My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
 14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who was teaching Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.
 15 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
 16 ‘Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.
 17 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it.’

The Message to Thyatira

 18 “And to the angel of the assembly in Thyatira write: These things says the Son of God, who has His eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze:
 19 ‘I know your works, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your latter works exceed the first.
 20 ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and seduces My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
 21 ‘And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her fornication.
 22 ‘Behold, I am casting her onto a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works.
 23 ‘And I will kill her children with death; and all the assemblies will know that I am He[2] who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your works.
 24 ‘But I say to you, to the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they say—I cast no other burden upon you.
 25 ‘Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.
 26 ‘And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My works until the end, TO HIM WILL I GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;
 27 AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES [Psalm 2:8, 9][3], as I also have received authority from My Father;
 28 and I will give him the morning star.
 29 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.’


NOTES for Revelation 2

[1] In its most neutral context, given the various classical usages of the Greek term sunagōgē (sunagwgh,; LS, 766), sunagōgē tou Satana can be rendered as “a gathering of Satan” or “an assembly of Satan” (New American Bible) or “an assembly of the Accuser” (The Messianic Writings). A paraphrased version like the Good News Bible actually has, “they are a group that belongs to Satan,” followed by The Message, “who in fact belong to Satan’s crowd.”

No responsible reader of 2:9 should think of all Jewish people as composing a gathering of the Adversary’s forces; the statement made here should be kept in view of a specific group of Jews in a synagogue, which opposed the work of Yeshua in Smyrna.

[2] Grk. hoti egō eimi.

[3] Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the Earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware” (Psalm 2:8-9, PME).


3

The Message to Sardis

 1 “And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write: These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: ‘I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
 2 ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your works completed in the sight of My God.
 3 ‘Remember therefore how you received and heard; and keep it and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you.
 4 ‘But you have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy.
 5 ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.
 6 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.’

The Message to Philadelphia

 7 “And to the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia write: These things says He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens:[1]
 8 ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
 9 ‘Behold, I cause those of the synagogue of Satan[2], of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
 10 ‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the Earth.
 11 ‘I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one take your crown.
 12 ‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will never go out from it any more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of Heaven from My God, and My new name.
 13 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.’

The Message to Laodicea

 14 “And to the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Ruler of the creation of God:
 15 ‘I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot.
 16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of My mouth.
 17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,”[3] and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be manifest; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.
 19 ‘As many as I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.
 20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.
 21 ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
 22 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.’”


NOTES for Revelation 3

[1] The CJB has bolded “the key of David, who, if he opens something, no one else can shut it, and if he closes something, no one else can open it” noting a possible allusion to Isaiah 22:22: “I will place the key of David’s house on his shoulder; no one will shut what he opens; no one will open what he shuts” (CJB).

[2] Grk. tēs sunagōgēs tou Satana; “that group that belongs to Satan” (Good News Bible); see observations on 2:9.

[3] The CJB has bolded “I am rich, I have gotten rich” noting a possible allusion to Hosea 12:9: “Efrayim says, ‘I have gotten so rich! I have made me a fortune! And in all my profits no one will find anything wrong or sinful’” (CJB).


4

The Heavenly Worship

 1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door opened in Heaven, and the first voice which I heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you the things which must take place after these things.”
 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in Heaven, and One sitting on the throne.
 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.
 4 And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.
 5 And from the throne proceed flashes of lightning and voices and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;
 6 and before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass like crystal; and in the midst of the throne and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.
 7 And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like a human being, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.[1]
 8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings,[2] are full of eyes around and within; and they do not rest day and night, saying, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, who was and who is and who is to come” [Isaiah 6:3][3].
 9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,
 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
 11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”


NOTES for Revelation 4

[1] The CJB has bolded “The first…a lion, the second…an ox, the third…a face…human, and the fourth…eagle” noting a possible allusion to Ezekiel 1:5-10:

“Inside, there appeared to be four living creatures that looked like human beings; but each one had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight, with feet like calves’ hoofs. They glittered like burnished bronze. Beneath their wings they had human hands on their four sides. The four of them had faces and wings as follows: they touched one another with their wings; they did not turn when they moved, but each one moved straight forward; as for the appearance of their faces, they had human faces [in front], each of the four had a lion’s face on the right, each of the four had a bull’s face on the left, and each of the four had an eagle’s face [toward the rear]” (CJB).

[2] The CJB has bolded “Each…had six wings” noting a possible allusion to Isaiah 6:2: “S’rafim stood over him, each with six wings—two for covering his face, two for covering his feet and two for flying” (CJB).

[3] And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is YHWH of Hosts, the whole Earth is full of His glory’” (Isaiah 6:3, PME).


5

The Scroll and the Lamb

 1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?”
 3 And no one in Heaven, or on the Earth, or under the Earth, was able to open the book or to look into it.
 4 And I was weeping greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it;
 5 and one of the elders said to me, “Weep not; behold, the Lion who is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
 6 And I saw in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the Earth.
 7 And He came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
 8 And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones.
 9 And they sing a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to open its seals; for You were slain and purchased for God with Your blood people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
 10 “and made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the Earth.”
 11 And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive the power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
 13 And every created thing which is in Heaven and on the Earth and under the Earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be
the blessing and the honor and the glory and the dominion forever and ever.”
 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshipped.


6

The Seals

 1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.”
 2 And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer.
 3 And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.”
 4 And another horse came out, a red horse; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the Earth, and that people would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
 5 And when He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” And I saw, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
 6 And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A choenix[1] of wheat for a denarius, and three choenix of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”
 7 And when He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.”
 8 And I saw, and behold, a pale horse; and he who sat upon it, his name was Death; and Sheol was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the Earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with death and by the wild beasts of the Earth.
 9 And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they had;
 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Master, the holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the Earth?”
 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest yet a while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers and sisters who were to be killed even as they were, would be completed also.
 12 And I saw when He opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the Earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind.
 14 And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
 15 And the kings of the Earth and the great ones and the military commanders and the rich and the strong, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
 16 and calling to the mountains and to the rocks, they said, “Fall on us and hide us[2] from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
 17 for the great day of Their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”


NOTES for Revelation 6

[1] Grk. choinix; “choenix” (HRV, Brown and Comfort, 865); “a dry measure, oft. used for grain, approximately equivalent to one quart or one liter, quart.” (BDAG, 1086); most often rendered by modern versions as “quart” (RSV/NASU/NRSV/ESV); “two pounds” (TNIV).

[2] The CJB has bolded “and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us’” noting a possible allusion to Hosea 10:8: “Destruction will come to the high places of Aven, that is, to the sin of Isra’el. Thorns and thistles will grow over their altars; and they will say to the mountains, ‘Cover us!’ and to the hills, ‘Fall on us!’” (CJB).


7

The 144,000 of Israel Sealed

 1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the Earth, holding back the four winds of the Earth, so that no wind would blow on the Earth or on the sea or on any tree.
 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the Sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the Earth and the sea,
 3 saying, “Do not harm the Earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”
 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the children of Israel:
 5 from the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,
 6 from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,
 7 from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,
 8 from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

The Multitude from Every Nation

 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could number, from every nation and from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches in their hands;
 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
 12 saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
 13 And one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where have they come?”
 14 And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
 15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.
 16 “They will hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither will the sun strike them, nor any heat;[1]
 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of living waters;[2] and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”[3]


NOTES for Revelation 7

[1] The CJB has bolded “They will never again be hungry, they will never again be thirsty, the sun will not beat down on them, nor will any burning heat” noting a possible allusion to Isaiah 49:10: “They will be neither hungry nor thirsty; neither scorching wind nor sun will strike them; for he who has mercy on them will lead them and guide them to springs of water” (CJB).

[2] The CJB has bolded “will shepherd them, will lead them to springs of living water” noting a possible allusion to Isaiah 49:10; Jeremiah 2:13; Ezekiel 34:23; Psalm 23:1-2:

“They will be neither hungry nor thirsty; neither scorching wind nor sun will strike them; for he who has mercy on them will lead them and guide them to springs of water” (Isaiah 49:10, CJB).

“For my people have committed two evils: they have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, and dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water!” (Jeremiah 2:13, CJB).

“I will raise up one shepherd to be in charge of them, and he will let them feed—my servant David. He will pasture them and be their shepherd” (Ezekiel 34:23, CJB).

“A psalm of David: ADONAI is my shepherd; I lack nothing. He has me lie down in grassy pastures, he leads me by quiet water” (Psalm 23:1-2, CJB).

[3] The CJB has bolded “and God will wipe every tear from their eyes” noting a possible allusion to Isaiah 25:8: “He will swallow up death forever. Adonai ELOHIM will wipe away the tears from every face, and he will remove from all the earth the disgrace his people suffer. For ADONAI has spoken” (CJB).


8

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer

 1 And when He opened the seventh seal, there was a silence in Heaven for about half an hour.
 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he would add it to the prayers of all the holy ones upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the holy ones, went up before God out of the angel’s hand.
 5 And the angel took the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the Earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

The Trumpets

 6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
 7 And the first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown on the Earth; and a third of the Earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
 8 And the second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood;
 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea, which had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.
 10 And the third angel sounded, and a great star fell from Heaven, burning as a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters;
 11 and the name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood; and many people died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
 12 And the fourth angel sounded, and a third of the Sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them would be darkened, and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.
 13 And I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe, to those who dwell on the Earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”


9

 1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fallen from Heaven to the Earth; and the key of the pit of the abyss was given to him.
 2 And he opened the pit of the abyss; and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the Sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.
 3 And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the Earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the Earth have power.
 4 And they were told to not hurt the grass of the Earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
 5 And they were not permitted to kill them, but that they would be tormented five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion, when it stings a person.
 6 And in those days people will seek death and will not find it; and they will long to die and death flees from them.
 7 And the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads, as it were, crowns like gold, and their faces were like human faces.
 8 And they had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.
 9 And they had breastplates, as it were, like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.
 10 And they have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt people for five months.
 11 They have as king over them the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon[1], and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon[2].
 12 The first woe is past; behold, two woes are coming after these things.
 13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
 14 one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
 15 And the four angels were released, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, so that they would kill a third of humanity.
 16 And the number of the armies of the mounted troops was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
 17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders were having breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.
 18 By these three plagues a third of humanity was killed, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone, which was proceeding out of their mouths.
 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouth, and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads; and with them they inflict harm.
 20 And the rest of humanity, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so that they would not worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;[3]
 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their fornication nor of their thefts.


NOTES for Revelation 9

[1] Grk. Abaddōn; “indeclinable, [Avadon]…ruin, destruction (from [avad] to perish)…as a proper name it is given to the angel-prince of the infernal regions, the minister of death and author of havoc on earth, and is rendered in Greek by [Apolluōn] Destroyer” (Thayer, 1).

[2] Grk. Apolluōn; “Apollyon, the Destroyer, tr. of [Abaddōn] (q.v., which itself is a tr. of [Avaddon]) Rv 9:11. (Whether the writer of Rv implied a connection with the deity Apollo cannot be determined. Indeed, it is questionable” (BDAG, 116).

[3] The CJB has bolded “idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk” noting a possible allusion to Psalms 115:4-7; 135:15-17; Daniel 5:23:

“Their idols are mere silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but they can’t speak; they have eyes, but they can’t see; they have ears, but they can’t hear; they have noses, but they can’t smell; they have hands, but they can’t feel; they have feet, but they can’t walk; with their throats they can’t make a sound” (Psalm 115:4-7, CJB).

“The idols of the nations are mere silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but they can’t speak; they have eyes, but they can’t see; they have ears, but they can’t listen; and they have no breath in their mouths” (Psalm 135:15-17, CJB).

“Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven by having them bring you the vessels from his house; and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them; then you offered praise to your gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood and stone, which can’t see, hear or know anything. Meanwhile, God, who holds your very breath in his hands, and to whom belongs everything you do, you have not glorified” (Daniel 5:23, CJB).


10

The Angel and the Little Scroll

 1 And I saw another strong angel coming down out of Heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the Sun, and his feet like pillars of fire;
 2 and he had in his hand a little book which was opened. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land;
 3 and he cried out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring; and when he cried out, the seven thunders uttered their voices.
 4 And when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from Heaven saying, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders have spoken, and do not write them.”
 5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to Heaven,[1]
 6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT [Genesis 14:19[2], 22[3]; Exodus 20:11[4]; Nehemiah 9:6[5]; Psalm 146:6[6]], that there will be delay no longer,
 7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, just as He declared to His servants the prophets.
 8 And the voice which I heard from Heaven, I heard it again speaking with me, and saying, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.”
 9 And I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it, and eat it up; and it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”
 10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.
 11 And they said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”


NOTES for Revelation 10

[1] The CJB has bolded “lifted his right hand toward heaven” noting a possible allusion to Deuteronomy 32:40; Daniel 12:7:

“For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, ‘As surely as I am alive forever’” (Deuteronomy 32:40, CJB).

“The man dressed in linen who was above the water of the river raised his right and left hands toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times and a half, and that it will be when the the power of the holy people is no longer being shattered that all these things will end” (Daniel 12:7, CJB).

[2] And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of Heaven and Earth’” (Genesis 14:19, PME).

[3] And Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have sworn to YHWH God Most High, possessor of Heaven and Earth’” (Genesis 14:22, PME).

[4] For in six days YHWH made the Heavens and the Earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore YHWH blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:11, PME).

[5] You alone are YHWH. You have made the Heavens, the Heaven of Heavens with all their host, the Earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them and the Heavenly host bows down before You” (Nehemiah 9:6, PME).

[6] who made Heaven and Earth, the sea and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever” (Psalm 146:6, PME).


11

The Two Witnesses

 1 And there was given to me a measuring rod like a staff; with someone saying, “Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it.
 2 “And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
 3 “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands, having stood before the Lord of the Earth.
 5 And if anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and if anyone would desire to harm them, in this manner he must be killed.
 6 These have the power to shut the sky, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the Earth with every plague, as often as they desire.
 7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.
 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was executed on a wooden scaffold.[1]
 9 And from among the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will be those who look upon their dead bodies for three and a half days, and not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.
 10 And those who dwell on the Earth rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the Earth.
 11 And after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who beheld them.
 12 And they heard a loud voice from Heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up into Heaven in the cloud, and their enemies beheld them.
 13 And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth of the city fell; and seven thousand names of people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of Heaven.
 14 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

The Seventh Trumpet

 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in Heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of His Messiah; and He will reign forever and ever.”
 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God,
 17 saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty,[2] who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and begun to reign.
 18 “And the nations were enraged,[3] and Your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and the time to give the reward to Your servants the prophets and to the holy ones and to those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the Earth.”
 19 And the temple of God which is in Heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and severe hail.


NOTES for Revelation 11

[1] Grk. noun stauros or verb equiv. stauroō; “to fasten to a cross, crucify” (BDAG, 941). History fully attests that criminals in the Roman Empire were crucified upon some kind of a cross. It was an extremely brutal, humiliating, and painful way to suffer and die. It was intended to serve as a public warning to others not to infuriate the Roman state:

“Under the Roman Empire, crucifixion normally included a flogging beforehand. At times the cross was only one vertical stake. Frequently, however, there was a cross-piece attached either at the top to give the shape of a ‘T’ (crux comissa) or just below the top, as in the form most familiar in Christian symbolism (crux immissa). The victims carried the cross or at least a transverse beam (patibulum) to the place of the execution, where they were stripped and bound or nailed to the beam, raised up, and seated on a sedile or small wooden peg in the upright beam. Ropes bound the shoulders or torso to the cross. The feet or heels of the victims were bound or nailed to the upright stake. As crucifixion damaged no vital organs, death could come slowly, sometimes after several days of atrocious pain” (Gerald G. O’Collins, “Crucifixion,” in ABD, 1:1208-1209).

A Messianic version the CJB often uses an alternative like “execution-stake,” instead of the more traditional “cross” for stauros, some of which is intended to counter traditional Jewish hostility to the sign of the cross. A Messianic version like the TLV, however, will frequently use the traditional “cross” for stauros, although it may also use “execution-stake” as well. The PME uses the new alternative, “wooden scaffold.”

[2] The CJB has bolded “ADONAI, God of heaven’s armies” noting a possible allusion to Amos 3:13; 4:13:

“As a shepherd rescues from the mouth of a lion a couple of leg bones or a piece of an ear; so the people of Isra’el in Shomron will be rescued, huddled under cushions in the corners of their beds. ‘Hear, and testify against the house of Ya’akov,’ says Adonai ELOHIM Elohei-Tzva’ot” (Amos 3:13, CJB).

“him who forms mountains and creates wind, who declares to humankind his thoughts, who turns the morning to darkness and strides on the heights of the earth—Adonai ELOHEITzva’ot is his name” (Amos 4:13, CJB).

[3] The CJB has bolded “The Goyim raged” noting a possible allusion to Psalm 2:1: “Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain?” (CJB).


12

The Woman and the Dragon

 1 And a great sign appeared in Heaven: a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;
 2 and she was with child; and she was crying out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
 3 And another sign appeared in Heaven: and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.
 4 And his tail sweeps away a third of the stars of Heaven, and cast them to the Earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who is about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he may devour her child.
 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule[1] all the nations with a rod of iron;[2] and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.
 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there they would nourish her one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
 7 And there was war in Heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war,
 8 and he was not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in Heaven.
 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was thrown down to the Earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
 10 And I heard a loud voice in Heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have come, for the Accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.
 11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.
 12 “Therefore rejoice, O Heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the Earth and to the sea, because the Devil has gone down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short time.”
 13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the Earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.
14 And the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time,[3] from the presence of the serpent.
 15 And the serpent spewed like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.
 16 And the Earth helped the woman, and the Earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon spewed out of his mouth.
 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yeshua.


NOTES for Revelation 12

[1] Grk. verb poimainō; “to be shepherd” (LS, 652).

[2] The CJB has bolded “will…all the nations with a staff of iron” noting a possible allusion to Psalm 2:9: “You will break them with an iron rod, shatter them like a clay pot” (Psalm 2:9, CJB).

[3] The CJB has bolded “a season and two seasons and half a season” noting a possible allusion to Daniel 7:25; 12:7:

“He will speak words against the Most High and try to exhaust the holy ones of the Most High. He will attempt to alter the seasons and the law; and [the holy ones] will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25, CJB).

“The man dressed in linen who was above the water of the river raised his right and left hands toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times and a half, and that it will be when the the power of the holy people is no longer being shattered that all these things will end” (Daniel 12:7, CJB).


13

The Two Beasts

 1 And he stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.
 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it were slain to death, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole Earth was amazed and followed after the beast;
 4 and they worshipped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? And who is able to wage war with him?”
 5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking great boasts and blasphemies; and there was given to him authority, to act for forty-two months.
 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in Heaven.
 7 And it was given to him to make war with the holy ones and to overcome them; and there was given to him authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.
 8 And all who dwell on the Earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.[1]
 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
 10 If anyone is meant for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed.[2] Here is the perseverance and the faith of the holy ones.
 11 And I saw another beast coming up out of the Earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.
 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the Earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
 13 And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of Heaven to the Earth in front of people.
 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the Earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the Earth to make an image to the beast who has the wound of the sword and yet lived.
 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image to the beast, that the image of the beast would even speak, and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast be killed.
 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead,
 17 and that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is a human number; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.


NOTES for Revelation 12

[1] There can be debates between Calvinist and Arminians over how to approach Revelation 13:8, and subsequently translate: kai proskunēsousin auton pantes hoi katoikountes epi tēs gēs, hou ou gegraptai to onoma autou en tō bibliō tēs zōēs tou arniou tou esphagmenou apo katabolēs kosmou, “and will worship it all the ones dwelling on the earth, of whom has not been written the name – in the book – of life of the lamb – having been slain from [the] foundation of [the] world” (Brown and Comfort, 884). Even Messianic versions like the CJB and TLV are not immune to having differences:

“Everyone living on earth will worship it except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb slaughtered before the world was founded” (CJB).

“All who dwell on the earth shall worship him—everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life of the Lamb who was slain” (TLV).

Is the emphasis of the clause apo katabolēs kosmou upon Yeshua as the Lamb of God, or upon those whose names were written in the book of life? Those who favor the former, will notably base it on apo katabolēs kosmou appearing later in 17:8, where names being written in the book of life before the foundation of the world is in view. Those who hold to an Arminian soteriology should not have an issue, because the key is actually for people not to have their names blotted out of the book of life, as those in Sardis are warned (3:5).

[2] The CJB has bolded “If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity…If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he is to be killed!” noting a possible allusion to Jeremiah 15:2; 43:11:

“And when they ask you where they should go, tell them that this is what ADONAI says: ‘Those destined for death—to death! Those destined for the sword—to the sword! Those destined for famine—to famine! Those destined for captivity—to captivity!’” (Jeremiah 15:2, CJB).

“He will come and attack the land of Egypt. Those destined for death—to death! Those destined for captivity—to captivity! Those destined for the sword—to the sword!” (Jeremiah 43:11, CJB).


14

The Song of the 144,000

 1 And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father, written on their foreheads.
 2 And I heard a voice from Heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the voice of harpists playing their harps.
 3 And they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the Earth.
 4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins.[1] These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were purchased from among humanity as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
 5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

The Messages of the Three Angels

 6 And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal good news to proclaim to those who dwell on the Earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;
 7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the Heaven and the Earth and sea and springs of water.”
 8 And another, a second angel, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great,[2] she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her fornication.”
 9 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand,
 10 he also will drink of the wine of the anger of God, which is mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
 11 “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
 12 Here is the perseverance of the holy ones, those who keep the commandments of God and the faithfulness of Yeshua[3].
 13 And I heard a voice from Heaven saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their works follow with them.”

The Harvest of the Earth

 14 And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man[4], having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.
 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Send forth your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the Earth is ripe.”
 16 And He who sat on the cloud cast His sickle on the Earth; and the Earth was reaped.
 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in Heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
 18 And another angel came out from the altar, he who has power over fire; and he called out with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Send forth your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the Earth; for her grapes are ripe.”
 19 And the angel cast his sickle to the Earth, and gathered the vintage of the Earth, and cast it into the great wine press of the anger of God.
 20 And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand and six hundred stadia[5].


NOTES for Revelation 14

[1] Grk. parthenoi gar eisin; “for they have kept themselves chaste” (NASU); “celibates for they are” (Brown and Comfort, 886); “for celibates they are” (Marshall, 755).

[2] The CJB has bolded “She has fallen! She has Fallen! Bavel the Great” noting a possible allusion to Isaiah 21:9: “Then, as they appeared—the cavalry, horsemen in pairs—he spoke these words: ‘She has fallen! She has fallen—Bavel! All the carved images of her gods lie shattered on the ground’” (CJB).

[3] Grk. tēn pistin Iēsou; the rendering “ the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah” treats the genitive clause as subjective (cf. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 115); it has been more traditionally approached as an objective genitive: “their faith in Jesus” (NASU).

The subjective “faithfulness” is employed to represent the Son’s willful obedience to the Father, to be submissive to die for the sins of humanity.

[4] Grk. homoion huion anthrōpou; “‘like a son of man’” (NIV) in quotation marks; “like the/a Son of Man” (NRSV/HCSB and CJB) with the title capitalized.

The CJB has bolded “like a Son of Man” noting a possible allusion to Daniel 7:13: “I kept watching the night visions, when I saw, coming with the clouds of heaven, someone like a son of man. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence” (CJB).

[5] “two hundred miles” (NASU).


15

The Angels with the Last Plagues

 1 And I saw another sign in Heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the anger of God is finished.
 2 And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had come off victorious from the beast and from his image and from the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.
 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty;[1] righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations.[2]
 4 “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy; FOR ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU [Psalm 86:9[3]; Malachi 1:11[4]]; for Your righteous acts have been made manifest.”
 5 And after these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in Heaven was opened,
 6 and out of the temple came the seven angels who had the seven plagues, clothed in linen, clear and bright, and girded around their breasts with golden girdles.
 7 And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the anger of God, who lives forever and ever.
 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.


NOTES for Revelation 15

[1] The CJB has bolded “ADONAI, God of heaven’s armies” noting a possible allusion to Amos 3:13; 4:13:

“As a shepherd rescues from the mouth of a lion a couple of leg bones or a piece of an ear; so the people of Isra’el in Shomron will be rescued, huddled under cushions in the corners of their beds. ‘Hear, and testify against the house of Ya’akov,’ says Adonai ELOHIM Elohei-Tzva’ot” (Amos 3:13, CJB).

“him who forms mountains and creates wind, who declares to humankind his thoughts, who turns the morning to darkness and strides on the heights of the earth—Adonai ELOHEITzva’ot is his name” (Amos 4:13, CJB).

[2] Be aware of some of the textual variants which read with “ages” (aiōnōn) or “saints/holy ones” (hagiōn). Cf. Metzger, Textual Commentary, pp 753-754.

[3] All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord; and they shall glorify Your name” (Psalm 86:9, PME).

[4] “‘For from the rising of the Sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,’ says YHWH of Hosts” (Malachi 1:11, PME).


16

The Bowls of Great Wrath

 1 And I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the Earth the seven bowls of the anger of God.”
 2 And the first angel went, and poured out his bowl into the Earth; and it became a bad and evil sore upon the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his image.
 3 And the second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like the blood of a corpse; and every living thing died, the things that were in the sea.
 4 And the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and it became blood.
 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because you judged these things;
 6 for they poured out the blood of the holy ones and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink—they are deserving.”
 7 And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty,[1] true and righteous are Your judgments.”
 8 And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the Sun; and it was given to it to scorch people with fire.
 9 And people were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues; and they did not repent, to give Him glory.
 10 And the fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain,
 11 and they blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their works.
 12 And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the sunrising.
 13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs;
 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk around naked, and they see his shame.”)
 16 And they gathered them together in the place which is called in Hebrew Har-Magedon[2].
 17 And the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.”
 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as had not been since humanity came upon the Earth—so great an earthquake, so mighty.
 19 And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
 21 And great hail, about the weight of a talent[3], was coming down from Heaven upon people; and people blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague is extremely great.


NOTES for Revelation 16

[1] The CJB has bolded “ADONAI, God of heaven’s armies” noting a possible allusion to Amos 3:13; 4:13:

“As a shepherd rescues from the mouth of a lion a couple of leg bones or a piece of an ear; so the people of Isra’el in Shomron will be rescued, huddled under cushions in the corners of their beds. ‘Hear, and testify against the house of Ya’akov,’ says Adonai ELOHIM Elohei-Tzva’ot” (Amos 3:13, CJB).

“him who forms mountains and creates wind, who declares to humankind his thoughts, who turns the morning to darkness and strides on the heights of the earth—Adonai ELOHEITzva’ot is his name” (Amos 4:13, CJB).

[2] Heb. Har Megiddo; Grk. Harmageddōn.

[3] “about one hundred pounds” (NASU).


17

The Great Harlot and the Beast

 1 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters,
 2 with whom the kings of the Earth committed fornication, and those who dwell on the Earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
 4 And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the unclean things of her fornication,
 5 and upon her forehead a name was written, “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
 6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the holy ones, and with the blood of the witnesses[1] of Yeshua. And when I saw her, I wondered with a great wonder.
 7 And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast who carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
 8 “The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to perdition. And those who dwell on the Earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.
 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,
 10 and they are seven kings; the five are fallen, the one is, the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a little while.
 11 “And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to perdition.
 12 “And the ten horns who you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.
 13 “These have one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
 14 “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
 15 And he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.
 16 “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.
 17 “For God has put in their hearts to carry out His intention by having one purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God be accomplished.
 18 “And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the Earth.”


NOTES for Revelation 17

[1] Grk. marturōn; or “martyrs” (RSV/ESV).


18

The Fall of Babylon

 1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from Heaven, having great authority, and the Earth was illumined with his glory.
 2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great![1] She has become a habitation of demons and a haunt of every unclean spirit, and a haunt of every unclean and hateful bird.
 3 “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her fornication, and the kings of the Earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the Earth have become rich by the power of her sensuality.”
 4 And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues;
 5 for her sins have piled up to Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
 6 “Render to her as she even has rendered, and double to her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix for her double.
 7 “As much as she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, so much give her of torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I SIT as A QUEEN, AND AM NO WIDOW [Isaiah 47:7][2], and will never see mourning.’
 8 “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
 9 “And the kings of the Earth, who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her, will weep and wail over her, when they see the smoke of her burning,
 10 “standing far off because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’
 11 “And the merchants of the Earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo any more;
 12 cargo of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet; and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from costly wood and bronze and iron and marble,
 13 and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargo of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives.
 14 “And the fruit which your soul longed for has gone from you, and all things that were delicacies and bright are lost from you, and will never be found again.
 15 “The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand far off because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning,
 16 saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls;
 17 for in one hour such great riches are made desolate!’ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by sea, stood far off,
 18 and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’
 19 “And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships in the sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been made desolate.’
 20 “Rejoice over her, O Heaven, and you holy ones and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her.”
 21 And a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.
 22 “And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any more; and no artisan of any craft will be found in you any more; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any more;
 23 and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any more; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any more; for your merchants were the great ones of the Earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.
 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones and of all who have been slain on the Earth.”


NOTES for Revelation 18

[1] The CJB has bolded “Bavel the Great!” noting a possible allusion to Isaiah 21:9: “Then, as they appeared—the cavalry, horsemen in pairs—he spoke these words: ‘She has fallen! She has fallen—Bavel! All the carved images of her gods lie shattered on the ground’” (CJB).

[2] Yet you said, ‘I shall be a queen forever.’ These things you did not consider, nor remember the outcome of them” (Isaiah 47:7, PME).


19

 1 After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in Heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;
 2 FOR HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS [Psalm 19:9[1]; 119:137[2]]; for He has judged the great prostitute who was corrupting the Earth with her fornication, and He has AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS SERVANTS AT HER HAND [Deuteronomy 32:43[3]; 2 Kings 9:7[4]; Psalm 79:10[5]].
 3 And a second time they say, “Hallelujah! And HER SMOKE GOES UP FOREVER AND EVER” [Isaiah 34:10][6].
 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God who sits on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

 5 And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.”
 6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude and as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty,[7] reigns.
 7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.”
 8 And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the holy ones.
 9 And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”
 10 And I fell down at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold the testimony of Yeshua; worship God. For the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy.”

The Rider on the White Horse

 11 And I saw Heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
 12 And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written which no one knows but Himself.
 13 And He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.
 14 And the armies which are in Heaven were following Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
 15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule[8] them with a rod of iron;[9] and He treads the wine press of the anger of the wrath of God, the Almighty.
 16 And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh[10], “KINGS OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
 17 And I saw an angel standing in the Sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in midheaven, “Come, gather for the great supper of God;
 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty ones and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all, both free and slaves, and small and great.”
 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the Earth and their armies, gathered to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.
 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
 21 And the rest were killed with the sword of Him who sits upon the horse, the sword which came from His mouth, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.


NOTES for Revelation 19

[1] The precepts of YHWH are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of YHWH is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalm 19:8, PME).

[2] Righteous are You, O YHWH, and upright are Your judgments” (Psalm 119:137, PME).

[3] Rejoice, O nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people” (Deuteronomy 32:43, PME).

[4] And you shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of YHWH, at the hand of Jezebel” (2 Kings 9:7, PME).

[5] Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Let there be known among the nations in our sight, vengeance for the blood of Your servants, which has been shed” (Psalm 79:10, PME).

[6] It shall not be quenched night or day; its smoke shall go up forever; from generation to generation it shall be desolate; none shall pass through it forever and ever” (Isaiah 34:10, PME).

[7] The CJB has bolded “ADONAI, God of heaven’s armies” noting a possible allusion to Amos 3:13; 4:13:

“As a shepherd rescues from the mouth of a lion a couple of leg bones or a piece of an ear; so the people of Isra’el in Shomron will be rescued, huddled under cushions in the corners of their beds. ‘Hear, and testify against the house of Ya’akov,’ says Adonai ELOHIM Elohei-Tzva’ot” (Amos 3:13, CJB).

“him who forms mountains and creates wind, who declares to humankind his thoughts, who turns the morning to darkness and strides on the heights of the earth—Adonai ELOHEITzva’ot is his name” (Amos 4:13, CJB).

[8] Grk. verb poimainō; “shepherd” (LITV).

[9] The CJB has bolded “He will…them with a staff of iron” noting a possible allusion to Psalm 2:9: “You will break them with an iron rod, shatter them like a clay pot” (CJB).

[10] Noting the instruction of Leviticus 19:28 which prohibits tattooing, the publishers of the ISR Scriptures (2009) have claimed that the Book of Revelation was originally written in Hebrew, and that 19:16 contains a mistranslation, with the suggestion that “thigh” (mēros) should actually be “banner.” In their view,

“If this word was written in Hebrew, it would have been regel. It’s possible though, that the copiers of Revelation could have overlooked the small extension on the dalet, which would have made it a resh. If the word was degel [‘standard, banner,’ BDB, 186] it would have meant ‘banner’” (p 1229).

It cannot go unnoticed how three major Hebrew New Testament versions render the Greek mēros or “thigh” with yarekh (Salkinson-Ginsburg, Delitzsch, 1991 UBSHNT) in 19:16. This appears in Torah passages such as Genesis 24:2 or 47:29, where swearing to one’s elder takes place, or in Genesis 32:25 when Jacob’s hip is dislocated. Given the rather symbolic or allegorical functions of much of the vocabulary of the Book of Revelation, it would seem somewhat out of place to insist on “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (which the Sacred Name ISR Scriptures has as, “SOVEREIGN OF SOVEREIGNS AND MASTER OF MASTERS”) being actually tattooed on the Messiah’s literal thigh. Some other, more representative interpretations of what the “thigh” represents, should be considered, such as His fidelity to Divine promises.


20

The Thousand Years

 1 And I saw an angel coming down from Heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,
 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended; after these things he must be released for a little while.
 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Yeshua and for the word of God, and who did not worship the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Messiah a thousand years.
 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
 6 Blessed and holy is he who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Messiah and will reign with Him a thousand years.

The Defeat of Satan

 7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison,
 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the Earth, Gog and Magog,[1] to gather them together for the war; the number of them is as the sand of the sea.
 9 And they came up over the broad plain of the Earth and surrounded the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city, and fire came down from Heaven and devoured them.
 10 And the Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Judgment at the Great White Throne

 11 And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence Earth and Heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their works.
 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Sheol gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their works.
 14 And death and Sheol were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
 15 And if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


NOTES for Revelation 20

[1] The CJB has bolded “Gog and Magog” noting a possible allusion to Ezekiel 38:2: “Human being, turn your face toward Gog (of the land of Magog), chief prince of Meshekh and Tuval; and prophesy against him” (CJB).


21

The New Heavens and the New Earth

 1 And I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth;[1] for the first Heaven and the first Earth passed away; and the sea is no more.
 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with human beings, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His peoples[2], and God Himself will be with them, and be their God.[3]
 4 And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more; the first things have passed away.”
 5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write: for these words are faithful and true.”
 6 And He said to me, “It is done![4] I am the Alpha and the Omega[5], the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life.
 7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My child.
 8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem

 9 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God,
 11 having the glory of God. Her radiance was like a very precious stone, like a jasper, clear as crystal;
 12 having a great and high wall, having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.
 13 There are three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west.
 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
 15 And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, and its gates and its wall.
 16 And the city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its width; and he measured the city with the rod, twelve thousand stadia[6]; its length and width and height are equal.
 17 And he measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits[7], according to human measurement, which is also angelic measurement.
 18 And the material of its wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;
 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.
 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was from a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
 22 And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple.
 23 And the city has no need of the Sun or of the Moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
 24 And the nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the Earth bring their glory into it.
 25 And its gates will never be shut by day (for there will be no night there);
 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;
 27 and nothing common[8] shall ever enter into it, or the one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.


NOTES for Revelation 21

[1] The CJB has bolded “a new heaven and a new earth” noting a possible allusion to Isaiah 65:17; 66:22:

“For, look! I create new heavens and a new earth; past things will not be remembered, they will no more come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17, CJB).

“‘For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,’ says ADONAI, “so will your descendants and your name continue’” (Isaiah 66:22, CJB).

[2] Grk. autoi laoi.

[3] The CJB has bolded “and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and he himself, God-with-them, will be their God” noting a possible allusion to Leviticus 26:11-12; Isaiah 7:14; 8:8, 10; Jeremiah 31:34; Ezekiel 37:27; 2 Chronicles 6:18:

“I will put my tabernacle among you, and I will not reject you, but I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Leviticus 26:11-12, CJB).

“Therefore Adonai himself will give you people a sign: the young woman* will become pregnant, bear a son and name him ‘Immanu El [God is with us]” (Isaiah 7:14, CJB).

“‘It will sweep through Y’hudah, flooding everything and passing on. It will reach even up to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the whole expanse of the land.’ God is with us!…devise a plan, but it will come to nothing; say anything you like, but it won’t happen; because God is with us” (Isaiah 8:8, 10, CJB).

“No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know ADONAI’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:33, CJB).

“My home will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Ezekiel 37:27, CJB).

“But can God actually live with human beings on the earth? Why, heaven itself, even the heaven of heavens, cannot contain you; so how much less this house I have built?” (2 Chronicles 6:18, CJB).

[4] Grk. gegonan; “They are come to pass” (ASV); “they have come to pass” (Brown and Comfort, 908).

[5] Grk. egō [eimi] to alpha kai to ō.

The rendering here follows that of a Messianic version like the TLV; other Messianic versions tend to not use the Greek designations, but rather their Hebrew equivalents: “I am the Alef and the Tav” (HRV/The Messianic Writings). The Complete Jewish Bible actually uses English equivalents: “I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z’.”

[6] “fifteen hundred miles” (NASU).

[7] “seventy-two yards” (NASU).

[8] Grk. koinos; “unholy” (TLV); “profane” (HCSB); “profane thing” (Brown and Comfort, 911); “defiled” would also seem to be appropriate.


22

 1 And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,
 2 in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
 3 And there will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will serve Him;
 4 and they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.
 5 And there will no longer be night; and they do not have any need of a lamp nor the light of the Sun, for the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

The Coming of Messiah

 6 And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.
 7 “And behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
 8 And I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
 9 And he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book; worship God.”
 10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book,[1] for the time is near.
 11 “Let the one who does evil, still do evil; and let the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and let the one who is is holy, still keep himself holy.”
 12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to each one according to his work.
 13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega[2], the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes,[3] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
 16 “I, Yeshua, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the assemblies. I AM[4] the root and the offspring of David, the bright the morning star.”
 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes freely take the water of life.
 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
 20 He who testifies these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Yeshua.
 21 The grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all. Amen.


NOTES for Revelation 22

[1] The CJB has bolded “seal up the words of the prophecy in this book” noting a possible allusion to Daniel 12:4: “But you, Dani’el, keep these words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rush here and there as knowledge increases” (CJB).

[2] The rendering here follows that of a Messianic version like the TLV; other Messianic versions tend to not use the Greek designations, but rather their Hebrew equivalents: “I am the Alef and the Tav” (HRV/The Messianic Writings). The Complete Jewish Bible actually uses English equivalents: “I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z’.”

[3] Revelation 22:14 reads differently in the Greek Textus Receptus, than it does in the critical Greek texts used today for most English Bible versions. In the KJV, Revelation 22:14 reads as follows:

“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

In modern English Bibles, using critical Greek texts, the verse reads slightly differently:

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city” (NASU).

Some may claim foul play with the Scriptures, and that texts have been deliberately altered to support a particular doctrinal bias. However, the reading “Blessed are those who wash their robes” is older. Metzger, Textual Commentary, 765 notes that the change happened rather innocently, because in ancient times the Greek Scriptures were copied with one person reading the text out loud, and multiple scribes copying it. This inevitably led to some textual deviations occurring:

“Instead of [plunontes tas stolas autōn], supported by {alef} {alpha} about 15 minuscules (including 1006 2020 2053) itar vg copsa al, the Textus Receptus, following 046 most minuscules itgig syrph, h copbo al, reads the somewhat similar sounding words [poiountes tas entolas autou]. The latter reading appears to be a scribal emendation, for elsewhere the author uses the expression [tērein tas entolas] (12.17; 14.12).”

[4] Grk. egō eimi.