Revelation 5

Chapter 5

Vision of the Lamb.[a] 1 Then I saw in the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I beheld a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 But there was no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth who was able to open the scroll and examine it.

4 I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and examine it. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and thus has won the right to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

6 Then I saw, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders, a Lamb that had been slain. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into the entire world. 7 He came forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne.

8 When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before the Lamb. Each of the elders was holding a harp, and they had gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They sang a new song:[b]

“You are worthy to receive the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
people of every tribe and language, nation and race.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on earth.”

11 In my vision, I heard the voices of a multitude of angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. These angels numbered thousands upon thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand of them. 12 And they cried out with a loud voice:

“Worthy is the Lamb that was sacrificed
to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength,
honor and glory and praise.”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To the one seated on the throne
and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might
forever and ever.”

14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders prostrated themselves in worship.

Footnotes

  1. Revelation 5:1 As we have seen, the whole universe sings of the limitless power of the Creator. But he is also the Master of the universe, and the book he holds in his hand represents the destiny of the world. The book is held closed by seven seals, i.e., it contains the totality of the events of history, though in a hidden fashion, which no one can unveil.
    However, a mediator of the Revelation does exist. He is the Messiah, who is designated here by the titles foretold of him in the Old Testament: the lion of Judah (see Gen 49:9) to whom victory is promised (see Isa 11:1, 10; see also 2 Sam 7), the Messiah King, shoot of the stock from which David was descended.
    It is Christ in the power of his Resurrection who receives the mastery over the destinies of the entire universe. He is represented in his glory after the manner of a Lamb slain but standing (the figure of the Paschal Lamb is the main title for Christ in this Book, used twenty-eight times). This unusual expression is intended to recall Passover, the passover lamb, and the sacrificial Death of Christ for the redemption of the human race, but also to assert that he is ever living and the conqueror of death. The seven horns symbolize an infinite power.
    The one with infinite power is the Redeemer who has acquired the people by his Blood. The Creator ratifies this and places in Christ’s hands the succession of events until their fulfillment. Then the angels, the elders, and all the great figures in heaven that can be imagined will each come in turn to render the worship due to the Master of time, and the entire universe unites to acclaim the risen one. Indeed, the coming of Christ is a capital turning point, and a new song is required to celebrate it (see Phil 2).
  2. Revelation 5:9 New song: a song that celebrates a new act of divine deliverance (see Rev 14:3; Pss 33:3; 96:1; 144:9; Isa 42:10). With your blood you purchased for God people: the theme of Christ’s sacrificial Death (see Mk 10:45; 1 Cor 6:20).

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