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CHAP. I.

'f^pHE Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it << by his angel unto his servant John:

2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and "keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

The book opens (ver. i, .2, 3.) with the title or inscription of the book itself; the scope and design of it, to foretel things which should shortly begin to be fulfilled, and succeed in their due season and order, till all were accomplished; and the blessing pronounced on him wbo shall read and explain it, and' on them who sliall hear and attend to it. The distinction is remarkable of him that readeth., and of them that hear; for books being then in manuscript were in much fewer hands, and it was a much readier way to publish a prophecy or any thing

by by public- reading: than by. transcribing copies. It was too the custom of that age to read all the apostolical writings in the congregations of the faithful; but now only some sew parts of this book are appointed to be read on certain festivals*

4 John to the seven churches, which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace from him which is, and which was, and which is ta come; and from the seven spirits which are before his throne;

5 And from Jesus Christ, ivbo is the faithful witness, and the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings' of the earth: Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father j 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 sp, Amen.

S I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning «nd the ending, faith the Lord, which is,

and,

. and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty..

The apostle dedicates his book (ver. 4, 5, 6,) to the seven churches of the Lydian or proconsular Asia, wishing them grace and peace from the eternal God as the author and giver; and from the seven spirits, the representatives and ministers of the Holy Ghost, as the instruments; and from Jesus Christ as the mediator, who is mentioned last, because the subsequent discourse more immediately relates to him- To the dedication he subjoins a short and solemn preface (ver. 7, 8.) to show the great authority of the divine person, who had commissioned him. to write the Revelation,

9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the ile that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

10 I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,;

;i 1 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seestj, , - write write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodlcea.

12 And I turned to fee the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven Candlesticks, ,one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow i and his eyes' •were as a flame of fire;

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the found of many waters. • A

1 K 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance ivas as the fun mineth in his strength.

if And when I saw him, I fell at hia

feet as dead: and he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last; •! :•'

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18 I a$n he that liveth, and was dead j and behold I am alive for ever jnore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. . ..... ; ,^.u t_:

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are,. and the

• things which (hall be hereafter.

20. The mystery of the seven stars which

thou sawest in my right hand, and the - seven golden candlesticks. The seven .stars

are the angels of the seven churches: and '-the seven .candlesticks which thpu sawest,

are the; ;seyen churches, j •

He then (ver. 9—20.) mentions the place* where the Revelation was given, and describes the' manner and circumstances of the first vision.- The place, where the Revelation was given, was Patmos a desolate iland in the Archipelago, whither he was banished for the confession of the gospel. This happened in the reign of Nero more probably than in that of Domitian. It is indeed the more general opinion, that the Apocalyps was written in Domitian's reign; and this opinion is founded upon

\ .. the

(9) fren. advert Hæresy Lib* (1) Ensebil Chron. Lib. r. «. Cap. 30. p. 449. Edit. Edit. Scalig. p. 80. Gr. p. 44. ttrabe. 'Lap Vide etiam p.164'. Libri

poiterioris.

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