Chapter 5 - the Lamb of Yehovah ("the LORD") Who is Worthy to Open the Scroll

Revelation Chapter 5: the Lamb of Yehovah Who is worthy to open the scroll sealed with seven seals; worship of the Lamb by all creatures in Heaven and on Earth

5:1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

    This apparently is the same scroll that, over six hundred years earlier, Daniel was told to seal “. . . until the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4). Just before he was told to seal the book (scroll), it was revealed to him that at that time (the time of the end) a “king” would come who would “. . . do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished” (Daniel 11:36). Daniel was also told that his people (Israel) will be delivered (from the tribulation caused by the evil king) and that the resurrection of those whose names are written in the Book of Life will occur at that time (Daniel 12:1-2). As we proceed through the Revelation, it will be clear that it is the revelation of the details of those events prophesied in Daniel and those contained in the scroll that was sealed by Daniel.

5:2-4 Then I saw a (a) strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And (b) no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.

  • This “strong angel” appears to be in a special class of angels including Michael the archangel. Daniel 10:13, 21 states that “Michael, the chief prince . . . upholds (Hebrew: ‘stands strong with’) me.” Strong angels are also seen in connection with two other momentous events in Revelation - the proclamation that there would be no more delay (in the execution of Yehovah’s wrath) (10:6) and the prophecy of the final destruction of modern prophesied Babylon (18:21).
  • The importance of the scroll is highlighted in that no one in all of Elohim’s ("God's") creation was found worthy to open it, and John wept because of that. “Under the earth” (also in 5:13) may refer to under the surface of the earth (cf. Exodus 20:4) or to the realm of the dead or of demons (cf. Philippians 2:10).

5:5-7 But (a) one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold (b) the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of [Yehovah] sent out into all the earth. (c) Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

  • As the four creatures draw John’s attention to the events of the six seals, the 24 elders also have another role besides worship: bearing witness to Yeshua ("Jesus") and His redeemed Ones (cf. 7:14).
  • Three of the Bible’s identifiers of Elohim the Son come together in one magnificent description: the Lion of Judah (cf. Hosea 5:14), the Root of David (cf. 22:16), and the Lamb of Yehovah (cf. Genesis 22:8; John 1:36). And although He was Yehovah the Father’s helpless, sacrificial Lamb, He now lives with all the attributes of Yehovah, confirming that the Son and the Father are One. Also showing that the Son and the Father are One are the seven spirits of Yahovah, who belong to the Son as well as to the Father (cf. 1:4). In this verse, we see the spirits being sent out into all the earth in their roles as the active omnipotence (horns) and omniscience (eyes) of the Lamb during the Final Seven Years.
  • In Heaven and Earth, only the Lamb is worthy to take the scroll out of the right hand (the symbol of power and favor) of the Father.

5:8-10 Now when He had taken the scroll, (a) the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a (b) new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals, for You were slain, and have redeemed us to [Yehovah] by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”

  • In 4:4, 11, the four living creatures and 24 elders worship Yehovah the Father; here, they worship Elohim ("God") the Son who is worthy to open the scroll’s seals because He has paid the ultimate price for the redemption of the Saints (the redeemed of the Jews (Israelites) and the Followers of Yeshua). The Son is pleased by the singing and harp playing (the symbol of worship music in the Bible). (King Saul was pleased by David’s harp playing - 1 Samuel 16:23.) And the Son is pleased by the prayers of the Saints, which are probably prayers for deliverance and vengeance (cf. 6:10).
  • The beginning of the events of the Final Seven Years with the breaking of the seals is the occasion for the singing of the new song celebrating the redemption of the Saints and their soon-coming reign on the millennial earth (explained in the commentary on Chapter 20).

5:11-14 (a) Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and (b) the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive (c) power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” And (d) every creature which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.

  • This is the climax of the throne room scene, setting the stage for what is about to happen on Earth.
  • Millions (an innumerable multitude) of heavenly beings surround the Lamb who is in the “midst of the throne” (5:6).
  • The worthiness of the Lamb is perfectly summed up in seven attributes.
  • This is the grande finale of Chapters 2-5: Every creature” in Heaven, on Earth, under the earth, and in the seas worships both Elohim the Son and Elohim the Father.

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In chapter four, even though Yahuah the Son introduced John into the scene of the throne of Yahuah the Father, the Son is almost invisible during the worship …

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Common English translations of Hebrew and Messianic terms used in this commentary:

Yehovah - the LORD or GOD
Yah - I Am (the short form         of Yehovah)
Elohim - God
El - God (the short form of         Elohim)
Adonai - my Lord or Master
Yeshua - Jesus
Followers of Yeshua - 
Messiah - Christ
Assembly of Followers of
     Yeshua - the Church
Antimessiah - Antichrist
BBM - Before the Birth of
     the Messiah (rather than
     BC or BCE)
ABM - After the Birth of the      Messiah (rather than AD
    or CE)

For a complete explanation of Hebrew terms used, go to Important Terms and Concepts.

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