1:1 The 1 a Revelation of b Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his angel unto his servant John:
1 AD The dragon watches the Church of the Jews, which was ready to travail:
She brings forth, flees and hides herself, while Christ was yet on the earth.
34 AD The dragon persecutes Christ ascending to heaven, he fights and is
thrown down: and after persecutes the Church of the Jews.
67 AD The Church of the Jews is received into the wilderness for three years
and a half.
70 AD When the Church of the Jews was overthrown, the dragon invaded the
catholic church: all this is in the twelfth chapter. The dragon is bound for a
thousand years in chapter twenty. The dragon raises up the beast with seven
heads, and the beast with two heads, which make havock of the catholic church
and her prophets for 1260 years after the passion of Christ in (Revelation
97 AD The seven churches are admonished of things present, somewhat before the
end of Domitian his reign, and are forewarned of the persecution to come under
Trajan for ten years, chapter 2,3. God by word and signs provokes the world,
and seals the godly in chapter 6 and 7. He shows examples of his wrath on all
creatures, mankind excepted in chapter 8.
1073 AD The dragon is let loose after a thousand years, and Gregory the
seventh, being Pope, rages against Henry the third, then Emperor in chapter
1217 AD The dragon vexes the world for 150 years to Gregory the ninth, who
wrote the Decretals, and most cruelly persecuted the Emperor Fredrick the
1295 AD The dragon kills the prophets after 1260 years, when Boniface the
eighth was Pope, who was the author of the sixth book of the Decretals: he
excommunicated Philip the French King.
1300 AD Boniface celebrates the Jubile.
1301 AD About this time was a great earthquake, which overthrew many houses in
1305 AD Prophecy ceases for three years and a half, until Benedict the second
succeeded after Boniface the eighth. Prophecy is revived in chapter 11. The
dragon and the two beasts question prophecy in chapter 13. Christ defends his
Church in word and deed, chapter 14, and with threats and arms, chapter 16.
Christ gives his Church victory over the harlot, chapter 17 and 18. Over the
two beasts, chapter 19. Over the dragon and death, chapter 20. The Church is
fully glorified in heaven with eternal glory, in Christ Jesus, chapter 21 and
(1) This chapter has two principal parts, the
title or inscription, which stands in place of an introduction: and a
narration going before the whole prophecy of this book. The inscription is
double, general and particular. In (Revelation
1:1) the general inscription contains the kind of prophecy, the author,
end, matter, instruments, and manner of communication the same, in (Revelation
1:2) the most religious faithfulness of the apostle as public witness and
the use of communicating the same, taken from the promise of God, and from the
circumstance of the time, (Revelation
(a) An opening of secret and hidden things.
(b) Which the Son opened to us out of his
Father's bosom by angels.
John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, 3
from him c which is, and which was, and
which is to come; and from 4 the d
seven Spirits which are before his throne;
(2) This is the particular or singular
inscription, in which salutation is written to certain churches by name, who
represent the catholic church: and the certainty and truth of this is
declared, from the author of it, in (Revelation
1:8). (3) That is, from God the Father,
eternal, immortal, immutable: wholly unchangeable, John declares in a form of
speech which is undeclined. For there is no incongruity in this place, where,
of necessity the words must be adapted to the mystery, not the mystery
corrupted or impaired by the words.
(c) These three, Is, Was, and Shall be, signify
the word Jehovah, which is the proper name for God. (4)
That is, from the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son. This
Spirit is one in person according to his subsistence: but in communication of
his power, and in demonstration of his divine works in those seven churches,
perfectly manifests himself as if there were many spirits, every one perfectly
working in his own church. Which is why in (Revelation
5:6) they are called the seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb, as if to
say, as his most absolute power and wisdom. In (Revelation
3:1) Christ is said to have those seven spirits of God, and in (Revelation
4:5) it is said that seven lamps burn before his throne, which also are
those seven spirits of God. That this place ought to be so understood, it is
thus proved. For first, grace and peace is asked by prayer from this Spirit,
which is a divine work, and an action incommunicable in respect to God.
Secondly, he is placed between the Father and the Son, as set in the same
degree of dignity and operation with them, besides, he is before the throne,
as of the same substance with the Father and the Son: as the seven eyes and
seven horns of the Lamb. Moreover, these spirits are never said to adore God,
as all other things are. Finally, this is the power by which the Lamb opened
the book, and loosed the seven seals of it, when no one could be found among
all creatures by whom the book might be opened (Revelation
5:1-10); Of these things long ago Master John Luide of Oxford wrote to me.
Now the Holy Spirit is named before Christ because a long speech about Christ
(d) These are the seven spirits, which are later
called the horns and eyes of the Lamb in (Revelation
5:6) and are now acting as a guard waiting on God.
1:5 And from Jesus Christ, 5
[who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the
prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our
sins in his own blood,
(5) A most ample and honourable commendation of
Christ, first from his offices of the priesthood and kingdom: secondly from
his benefits, as his love toward us, and washing us with his blood, in this
verse, and communication of his kingdom and priesthood with us: thirdly, from
his eternal glory and power, which is always to be celebrated by us; (Revelation
1:6) Finally, from the accomplishment of all things once to be effected by
him, at his second coming, at which time he shall openly destroy the wicked,
and comfort the godly in the truth; (Revelation
1:7 Behold, he cometh with
clouds; and every e eye shall see him,
and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail
because of him. Even so, Amen.
(e) All men.
1:8 6 I am f
Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and
which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
(6) A confirmation of the greeting earlier, taken
from the words of God himself: in which he affirms his operation in every
single creature, the immutable eternity that is in himself, and his
omnipotence in all things: and concludes in the unity of his own essence, that
Trinity of persons which was spoken of before.
(f) I am he before whom there was nothing,
indeed, by whom everything that is made, was made: and I shall remain though
everything else should perish.
1:9 7 I John,
who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and
patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is g
called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
(7) The narration, opening the way to the
declaring of the authority and calling of John the evangelist in this singular
revelation, and to procure faith and credit to this prophecy. This is the
second part of this chapter, consisting of a proposition, and an exposition.
The proposition shows, in (Revelation
1:9) first who was called to this revelation, in what place, and how
occupied. Then at what time, and by what means, namely, by the Spirit and the
word, and that on the Lord's day, which ever since the resurrection of
Christ, was consecrated for Christians: that is to say, to be a day of rest,
as in (Revelation
1:10) Thirdly, who is the author that calls him, and what is the sum of
(g) Patmos is one of the islands of Sporas, where
John was banished according to some historians.
1:10 I was in the h
Spirit on the i Lord's day, and heard
behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
(h) This is a holy trance expressed, with which
the prophets were entranced, and being carried out of the world, conversed
with God: and so Ezekiel says often, that he was carried from place to place
by the Spirit, and that the Spirit of the Lord came on him.
(i) He calls it the Lord's day, which Paul
calls the first day of the week; (1 Corinthians
And I turned to k see the voice that
spake with me. 9 And being turned, I saw
seven golden candlesticks;
(8) The exposition, declaring the third and last
point of the proposition (for the other points are evident of themselves) in
which is he first speaks of the author of his calling (till verse 17), and
secondly, of the calling itself (Revelation
1:17-20). First of all the occasion is noted in this verse, in that John
turned himself towards the vision, and after he sets down the description of
the author, in the following verses, (Revelation
(k) To see him whose voice I had heard. (9)
The description of the Author, who is Christ: by the candlesticks that stand
about him, that is, the churches that stand before him, and depend upon his
direction. In (Revelation
1:13) he is described by his properties, that he is provided with wisdom
and dexterity for the achieving of great things, and in (Revelation
1:14) with ancient gravity and most excellent sight of the eye. In (Revelation
1:15) he is described with strength invincible and with a mighty word, and
1:16) by his ruling of the ministry of his servants in the Church by the
sword of his word, and enlightening all things with his countenance, and
mightily providing for everyone by his divine providence.
10 And when I saw him, I fell at his
feet as dead. 11 And he laid his right
hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; 12
I am the first and the last:
(10) A religious fear, that goes before the
calling of the saints, and their full confirmation to take on them the
vocation of God.
(11) A divine confirmation of this calling,
partly by sign, and partly by word of power.
(12) A most elegant description of this calling
contained in three things, which are necessary to a just vocation: first the
authority of him who calls, for he is the beginning and end of all things, in
this verse, for he is eternal and omnipotent (Revelation
1:8). Secondly the sum of his prophetic calling and revelation (Revelation
1:9). Lastly a declaration of those persons to whom this prophecy is by
the commandment of God directed in the description of it (Revelation
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things
which shall be hereafter;
(13) The sum of this prophecy, that the apostle
must write whatever he sees, adding nothing, nor taking away anything (Revelation
1:2). Here there are two parts: one is a narration of those things which
are, that is, which then were at that time, contained in the second and third
chapter: the other part is of those things which were to come, contained in
the rest of this book.
1:20 14 The
mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven
golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the l
angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are
the seven churches.
(14) That is, the thing which was mystical
signified by the particulars of the vision before going.
(l) By angels he means the ministers of the