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suppose that in the instance before us, such has been the case.
For nearly the whole of this title is found quoted by the ancient Fathers, by Dionysius of Alexandria, and by Origen * Add to this, that the greater part of it is to be found, expressed in the same words, in the body of the work t. It is therefore of similar authority. And the subsequent notes will shew, that the expressions contained in it are concordant in their meaning and doctrine with other passages of sacred Scripture.
Ver. 1. The Revelation.] We have many revelations from our Lord Jesus Christ. This delivered to his servant John, is one of them. Not only on this account, but because the prepositive article is omitted in the Greek, it may seem most proper to express the word erosclubs by “ a revelation,” and not " the " revelation,” but it is not necessary to make this alteration. For, by long usage and acceptance in the Christian Church, it is now accounted the Revelation.
Ib. IVhich God gave unto him.] The scheme of the Christian revelation is mediatorial throughout. God giveth to the Son I, dispensing knowledge and favour through him.
Ib. Which must come to pass in a short time.) The same expression is seen to recur at the close of the book ģ; and we may collect from it, that the events foretold in this prophecy begin to be fulfilled even from the time of its delivery, and are to follow in a rapid succession until the final consummation. In
• Euseb, Hist. Eccl. lib. vii, c. 25.
+ See ch, xxii. 6, 7. | John iii. 35. v. 19, 27. viii, 28, 38. xii. 15. xiv. 6, 10. Phil, ji. 9. Ch. xxii, 6.
Daniel, Daniel, ch. ii. 28, 29, 45, we have the same words, α δει γενεσθαι : there they are coupled with επ' εσχατων TWY ileg osv : the events were 'to take place in the latter days; but these latter days are said by Saint John, to have commenced in his time, that is, at the close of the apostolic age, and to be the antichristian days *. Thus we learn that the antichristian times, revealed to the prophet Daniel, are the same which are now to be disclosed in the Apocalypse.
Ib. Signified them.] Egypavev, expressed them by Ompele signs significative, for onuevo has precisely this meaning in ch. xii. 1.
Ib. Unto his servant John.] John the Evangelist, one of the twelve Apostles, as will appear from the Dissertation preceding these notes.
Ver. 2. Who bare record of the word of God, &c.] Tltis may
be understood to allude to the former testimony of St. John, which he had delivered in his Gospel, or to the testimony which he had just now recorded of the visions seen by him in Patmos ; or to both.
Ver, 3. Blessed is he who readeth, &c.] The same kind of blessing is pronounced in Matt. xiii. 16, Luke xi. 28, 2 Pet, i, 19, on those who cultivate spiritual knowledge, who attend with faith to the light of “Prophecy, shining in a dark place, until the day “ dawn,” &c. But to knowledge must be added practice; “ If ye know these things, happy are ye
if ye do them [.” The word tugew is used in this sense more frequently by Saint John, than by any
* 1 Joh. ii. 18.
+ See, says Daubuz, Jamblic. de Myst. Æg. sect. iii. c. 15. where onumuw is used in the very same signification. | Job, xiii. 17.
other sacred wiiter. And it is with great propriety applied to this book of prophecy, in which much practical exhortation is interspersed; more especially in the three first chapters.
Ib. For the time is near.) The time which is here announced as fast approaching, seems to be that, wherein the Son of God, having obtained the victory over those powers who oppose the progress of his
pass final sentence upon all; when“ he " cometh in the clouds of heaven,” as represented in the seventh verse of this chapter.
By comparing Deut. xxxii. 3, 5. Is. xiii. 6. Joel ii. 1, 15. Phil. iv. 5. 1 Pet. iv. 7, we shall perceive that it is usual with the Divine Spirit to announce this greai day as near, when yet at considerable distance, measured by years, and applied to successive ages. The reason of which may be, that this great day is always near to every individual; who, at the time of his departure from this world, will have made up his account. And the warning is here applied to individuals, for such are addressed in the beginning of the verse. It has been observed also, that, in the Scriptures, we are never exhorted to prepare for death, but always for the coming of the Lord. .
The Address, or Salutation, and the Doxology.
CHAP. I. VER. 4-8.
4 Ιωάννης ταϊς έπια 4. John to the seven
εκκλησίαις ταϊς εν Churches which are in τη 'Ασία: χάρις Asia.
Grace be unto qui y cipim an you, and peace, from ó ár, xj o nv, xjö Him which is, and ερχόμενοι και από which was, and which των επλα ονευμά- is to come; and from T», á lisan) iva- the seven spirits which
πιον τα θρόνε αυτά are before his Throne; 3 Και άπο ΙησέXρισ- 5 And from Jesus Christ,
τε, ο μάρλυς ο καιρός, the faithful witness, ó węwlótoxa(ix] the first-born of the των νεκρών, και ο άρ- dead, and the ruler of ху
των βασιλέων the kings of the earth. Tas gas raya- Unto Him who loveth saili nuās, xy hó - us, and hath washed σαλι ημάς από των us from our sins in his kuagtião štün in 6 blood, Aud hath made τα αίματι αυτέ,
us a kingdom; hath 6 Και εποίησιν ημάς made us priests, unto
βασιλείαν ιερείς το God even bis Father; Seợ walgi auto to him be the glory ευτώ ή δόξα και το
and the dominion for κράτος εις τες αιώνας ever and ever. Amen.
Tūv aiónwv, suno. 7 Behold, he cometh 7 Ιδε, έρχέλαι μετά with the clouds, and των εφελών, και
every eye shall see him, ψάλαι αυτός σας
and all they who have οφθαλμός, και οίτινες
pierced him; and all αυτόν έξικέλησαν
the Tribes of the earth και κόψονται επ' αυ
shall wail because of τον σάσαι αι φυλαι him; even so, amen. This yñs vai, aux
8 I am the Alpha and
4 John to the seven
churches which are in
are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ,
who is the faithful wit-
us from our sins in his 6 own blood, And hath
made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for
ever and ever. Amen, 7 Behold, he cometh
with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail
because of him: even 8 so, Amen. I am Alpha
and Omega, the-be
8 'Εγώ είμι το Α και το
Ω, λέγει Κύριος και Oods, ó ér, xy o no, και ο ερχόμενος, και σανίοκράτως. .
the Omega, saith the
ginning and the end, ing, saith the Lord, which is, tpd whicla was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Ver. 4. To the seven Churches which are in Asia.] This book, being written in an epistolary form, begins, like other Apostolic Epistles, with a Salutation, followed by a Doxology. It is addressed to the seven Churches, which are afterwards mentioned by name. They were situated in the proconsular province properly called Asia, which, at the time when the Apocalypse was written, is reported by historians to have contained five hundred great cities. Of these, Ephesus, Smyra, and Pergamos, (being three of our seven,) long contested for the pre-eminence. And when a Heathen Temple was to be erected in this province, in honour of the Emperor Tiberius, and of the Roman Senate, eleven Cities contended for the possession of this Temple: and, among these, were five of the seven ; for Sardis also and Laodicea entered the lists on this occasion. They were certainly therefore cities of great account The order in which they are here named is that probably in which they were visited by the Apostle Saint John, who, both before and after his banishment to Patmos, superintended them all, residing principally at Ephesus f. It is the order also in which epistles written by Saint John from Patmos would be inost
• Tacit. Annal. iv. 55. Gibbon's Hist. i. 60. Inscriptions upon medals still extant, and relating to this contest, may be seen in a note of Michaelis to sect. i, of the 20th chapter of his lotroduction to the N. T. Euseb. Eccl. Hist, lib. iii. c. 20,