Revelation 5:6
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
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(6) And I beheld, and lo . . .—Better, And I saw (omit “and lo”) in the midst of the throne and of the four living beings, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb (or, a little Lamb), standing as if having been slain. The position of the Lamb is described from the seer’s point of view: the Lamb is not on the throne, but in the middle front of it, and so apparently between the living creatures, and in the midst of the circle formed by the twenty-four elders. The passage is most striking. The Evangelist is told of the Lion which will open the seals: he looks, and lo, it is a Lamb! yes, a little Lamb—for the word is diminutive. There is deep significance in this. When we read of the Lion, we think of power and majesty, and we are right; all power in heaven and earth is Christ’s, but it is power manifested in seeming weakness. The waters of Shiloah are mightier than the Euphrates (Isaiah 8:6-8); righteousness and purity, meekness and gentleness, are greater than carnal weapons (comp. 2Corinthians 6:6-7; Ephesians 6:11, el al.); the Lamb mightier than the roaring lion which goeth about seeking whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8). But it is a Lamb as if it had been slain. The wound-marks are there, butit is not dead; it is standing, for it represents Him who though He died is alive for evermore; but the signs of suffering and death are visible, for it is not the Lamb, but the suffering Lamb, which is exalted; it is not the Christ, but the Christ crucified, which is the power of God; the Christ lifted up from the earth draws all men unto Him (John 12:32; 1Corinthians 1:23-24); the corn of wheat which dies brings forth fruit (John 12:24). As such He is the worship of the Church and the world which He has redeemed. (See Revelation 5:8-9; comp. Revelation 7:14.) The reference to earlier Scriptures (Exodus 12:46; Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; John 1:36; 1Corinthians 5:7-8) is not to be overlooked. From the tokens of suffering the seer passes to the tokens of strength and wisdom which he saw in the Lamb. He describes it as “having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth (or, which are being sent forth) into all the earth.” The horn is the strength of the animal which carries it. It is so used in the blessing of Joseph: “His horns are like the horns of a wild bull” (“unicorns” in Authorised version); “with them shall he push the people together,” &c. (Deuteronomy 33:17; comp. Psalm 89:24; Psalm 148:14). The seven horns denote completeness or fulness of strength. The seven eyes, like the seven lamps (Revelation 4:5), represent the Holy Spirit in H’s manifold girts of grace; but as they are described as eyes of the Lamb, they betoken His omniscience who is in heaven and yet, by His Spirit, everywhere (Matthew 28:20); whose eye is on all events, great and small; whose eyes behold the children of men. Note, also, that the seven spirits are ascribed to the Son as well as to the Father. (Comp. John 14:26; John 15:26.) The seven spirits are said to be “sent”; the word is from the same root as the word “apostle.” There is an apostolate of the Spirit as well as an apostolate of the Church; and, if we adopt the version here which gives the present participle, this spiritual apostolate is being continually exerted; the seven spirits are in process of being sent out by Him who says to this one “Go,” and he goeth; to the twelve, “Go ye into all the world,” .and sends His Spirit to confer on His people grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.



Revelation 5:6John received a double commission, to write the things which are and the things which shall be. The things which are signify, I suppose, the unseen realities which flashed upon the inward eye of the solitary seer for a moment in symbol when the door was opened in Heaven. All that is here is seeming and illusion; the only substantial existences lie within the veil. And of all those ‘things which are,’ in timeless, eternal being, this vision of the throned ‘Lamb, as it had been slain’ is the centre.

Between the Great White Throne and the outer ring of worshippers, representing in the ‘living creatures’ the crown and glory of creatural life, and in the elders, the crown and glory of redeemed humanity, stands the Lamb slain, which is the symbolical way of declaring that for ever and ever, through Christ and for the sake of His sacrifice, there pass to the universe all Divine gifts, and there rise from the universe all thankfulness and praise. His manhood is perpetual, the influence of His sacrifice in the Divine administration and government never ceases.

The attributes with which this verse clothes that slain Lamb are incongruous; but, perhaps, by reason of their very incongruity all the more striking and significant. The ‘seven horns’ are the familiar emblem of perfect power; the ‘seven eyes’ are interpreted by the seer himself to express the fullness of the Divine Spirit.

The eye seems a singular symbol for the Spirit, but it may be used as suggesting the swiftest and subtlest way in which the influences of a human spirit pass out into the external universe. At all events, whatever may have been the reason for the selection of the emblem, the interpretation of it lies here, in the words of our text itself. The teaching of this emblem, then, is: ‘He, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received the promise of the Father, sheds forth this.’ The whole fullness of spiritual Divine power is in the hand of Christ to impart to the world.

I. The ‘slain Lamb’ is the Lord and Giver of the Spirit.

He ‘hath the seven Spirits of God’ in the simplest sense of all, that the manhood of our Brother who died on the Cross for us, lifted up to the right hand of God, is there invested and glorified with every fullness of the Divine Spirit, and with all the mysteries of the life of God. Whatsoever there is, in Deity, of spirit and power; whatsoever of swift flashing energy; whatsoever of gentleness and grace; whatsoever of holiness and splendor; all inheres in the Man Christ Jesus; unto whom even in His earthly lowliness and humiliation the Spirit was not given by measure, but unto whom in the loftiness of His heavenly life that Spirit is given in yet more wondrous fashion than in His humiliation. For I suppose that the exaltation with which Christ is exalted is not only a change of position, but in some sense His manhood is progressive; and now in the Heavens is yet fuller of the indwelling Spirit than it was here upon earth.

But it is not as the recipient, but as the bestower of the Spirit, that He comes before us in the great words of my text. All that He has of God, He has that He may give. Whatsoever is His is ours; we share in His fullness and we possess His grace. He gives His own life, and that is the very central idea of Christianity.

There are very many imperfect views of Christ’s work afloat in the world. The lowest of them, the most imperfect, so imperfect and fragmentary as scarcely to be worth calling Christianity at all, is the view which recognizes Him as being merely Example, Guide, Teacher. High above that there comes the view which is common amongst orthodox people of the more superficial type - the view which is, I am afraid, still too common amongst us - which regards the whole work of Jesus Christ as terminated upon the Cross. It thinks of Him as being something infinitely more than Teacher and Guide and Example, but it stops at the thought of His great reconciling death as being the completion of His work, and hears Him say from the Cross, ‘It is finished,’ with a faith which, however genuine, cannot but be considered as imperfect unless it is completed with the remembrance that it was but one volume of His work that was finished when He died upon the Cross. His death was really a transition to a form of work which if not loftier was at all events other than the work which was completed upon Calvary. His earthly life finished His perfect obedience as Pattern and as Son; His death on the Cross finished His mighty work of self-surrender and sacrifice, which is propitiation and atonement for the sins of the whole world. His life on earth and His death on the Cross taken together finished His great work of revealing the Father in so far as that revelation depended upon outward, objective facts. But His life on earth and His death on the Cross did not even begin the work, but only laid the foundation for it, of communicating to men the life which was in Himself. He lived that He might complete obedience and manifest the Father. He died that He might ‘put away sin’ and reveal the Father still more fully. And now, exalted at the right hand of God, He works on through the ages in that which is the fruit of His Cross and the crown of His sacrifice, the communication to men, moment by moment, of His own perfect life, that they too may live for ever and be like Him.

He died that we might not die; He lives that the life which we live in the flesh may be His life and not ours. We may not draw comparisons between the greatness of the various departments of our Master’s work, but we can say that His earthly life and His death of shame are the foundation of the work which He does to-day. And so, dear brethren, whilst nineteen centuries ago His triumphant words, ‘It is finished,’ rang out the knell of sin’s dominion, and the first hope for the world’s emancipation, another voice, far ahead still in the centuries, waits to be spoken; and not until the world has been filled with the glory of His Cross and the power of His life shall it be proclaimed: ‘It is done !’

The interspace between these two is filled with the activity of that slain Lamb who, by His death, has become the Lord of the Spirit; and through His blood is able to communicate to all men the life of His own soul. The Lord of the Spirit is the Lamb that was slain.

II. Then let me ask you to look, secondly, at the representation here given of the infinite variety of gifts which Christ bestows.

Throughout this Book of the Revelation we find this remarkable expression, in which the Spirit of God is not spoken of as in His personal unity, but as in sevenfold variety. So at the beginning of the letter we find the salutation, ‘Grace and peace from Him which is and was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His Throne.’ And again we read, in one of the letters to the churches: ‘These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars’; the correspondence being marked between the number of each. And again we read in the earlier part of this same vision, in the preceding chapter, that before the throne there were seven torches flaming, ‘which are the seven Spirits of God.’ And so, again, in my text, we read, ‘seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.’

Now it is obvious that there is not any question here of the personality and unity of the Divine Spirit, which is sufficiently recognized in other parts of the Apocalypse, such as ‘the Spirit and the Bride say: “Come!”‘ and the like; but that the thing before the Evangelist’s mind is the variety of the operations and activities of that one Spirit.

And the number ‘seven,’ of course, at once suggests the idea of perfection and completeness.

So that the thought emerges of the endless, boundless, manifoldness, and wonderful diversity of the operations of this great life-spirit that streams from Jesus Christ.

Think of the number of designations by which that Spirit is described in the New Testament. In regard to all that belongs to intellectual life, He is ‘the Spirit of wisdom’ and of ‘illumination in the knowledge of Christ,’ He is ‘the Spirit of Truth.’ In regard to all that belongs to the spiritual life. He is ‘the Spirit of holiness,’ the ‘Spirit of liberty’; the Spirit of self-control, or as rendered in our Bible, ‘of a sound mind’; the ‘Spirit of love.’ In regard to all that belongs to the practical life, He is ‘the Spirit of counsel and of might,’ the ‘Spirit of power.’ In regard to all that belongs to the religious life, He is ‘the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba! Father!’; the ‘Spirit of grace and of supplication,’ the ‘Spirit of life.’ So over the whole round of man’s capacity and nature, all his intellectual, moral, practical, and religious being, there are gifts which fit each side and each part of it.

Think of the variety of the symbols under which He is presented: ‘the oil,’ with its soft, gentle flow; ‘the fire,’ with its swift transmuting, purifying energy; the water, refreshing, fertilizing, cleansing; the breath, quickening, vitalizing, purifying the blood; the wind, gentle as the sigh of an infant, loud and mighty as a hurricane, sometimes scarcely lifting the leaves upon the tender spring herbage, sometimes laying the city low in a low place. It is various in manifestation, graduating through all degrees, applying to every side of human nature, capable of all functions that our weakness requires, helping our infirmities, making intercession for us and in us, with unutterable groanings, sealing and confirming our possession of His grace; searching the deep things of God and revealing them to us; guiding into all truth, freeing us from the law of sin and death. There are diversities of operation, but the same Spirit. It is protean, and takes every shape that our necessities require.

Think of all men’s diverse weaknesses, miseries, sins, cravings - every one of them an open door through which God’s grace may come; every one of them a form provided into which the rich molten ore of this golden Spirit may flow. Whatsoever a man needs, that he will find in the infinite variety of the spiritual help and strength which the Lamb slain is ready to give. It is like the old fable of the manna, which the Rabbis tell us tasted upon each lip precisely what each man chose. So this nourishment from above becomes to every man what each man requires. "Water will take the shape of any vessel into which you choose to pour it; the Spirit of God assumes the form that is imposed upon it by our weaknesses and needs. And if you want to know the exhaustless variety of the seven Spirits which the Lamb gives, find out the multiplicity and measure, the manifoldness and the depth, of man’s necessities, of weakness, of sorrow, and sin, and you will know how much the Spirit of God is able to bestow and still remain full and unexhausted.

III. Still further, my text suggests the unbroken continuity of the gifts which the slain Lamb has to give.

The language of the original, for any of you that can consult it, will show you that the word ‘sent’ might be rendered ‘being sent,’ expressive of a continual impartation.

Ah! God’s Spirit is not given once in a way and then stops. It is given, not by fits and starts. People talk about ‘revivals,’ as if there were times when the Spirit of God came down more abundantly than at other times upon the world, or upon churches, or upon individuals. It is not so. There are variations in our receptiveness; there are no variations in its steady efflux. Does the sun shine at different rates, are its beams cut off sometimes, or poured out with less energy, or is it only the position of the earth that makes the difference between the summer and the winter, the days and the nights, whilst the great central orb is raying out at the same rate all through the murky darkness, all through the frosty days? And so the gifts of Jesus Christ pour out from Him at a uniform continuous rate, with no breaks in the golden beams, with no pauses in the continual flow. Pentecost is far back, but the fire that was kindled then has not died down into grey ashes. It is long since that stream began to flow, but it is not yet shrunken in its banks. For ever and for ever, with unbroken continuity, whether men receive or whether they forbear. He shines on, communicating Himself and pouring out the Spirit of grace, ay! even into a non-receiving world! How much sunshine seems to be lost, how much of that Spirit’s influence seems lost, and yet it pours on for ever.

Men talk about Christianity as being effete. People to-day look back upon the earlier ages, and say: ‘Where is the Lord God of Elijah?’ The earlier ages had nothing that you and I have not, and Christianity will not die out, and God’s Church will not die out, until the sun that endureth for ever is shorn of its beams and forgets to shine. The seven Spirits are streaming out as they were at the beginning, and as - blessed be God! - they shall do to the end.

IV. And, lastly, my text suggests a universal diffusion of these gifts. ‘Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.’ The words are a quotation from a remarkable prophecy in the book of Zechariah, which speaks about the ‘seven eyes of God,’ running - ‘To and fro over all the earth.’

There are no limitations of these gifts to any one race or nation as there were in the old times, nor any limitations either to a democracy. ‘On My servants and on My handmaidens will I pour out of My Spirit.’ In olden days the mountain-tops were touched with the rays, and all the lowly valleys lay deep in the shadow and the darkness. Now the risen sunshine pours down into the deepest clefts, and no heart so poor, so illiterate, so ignorant but that it may receive the full sunshine of that Spirit.

Of course, in the very widest of all senses the words are true of the universal diffusion of spiritual gifts from Christ; for all the light with which men see is His light; and all the eyes with which they have ever looked at truth, or beauty, or goodness, come from Him who is ‘the Master-light of all our seeing.’ And poet, and painter, and thinker, and teacher, and philanthropist, and every man that has helped his fellows or has had any glimpse of any angle or bit of the Divine perfection, has seen because the eye of the class or order. Christianity as the true Lord has been in some measure granted to him, and ‘the inspiration of the Almighty has given him understanding.’

But the universal diffusion of spiritual gifts of this sort is not what is meant in my text. It means the gifts of a higher religious character. And I need not remind you of how over broad lands that were heathen when John in his rocky Patmos got this vision, there has now dawned the glory of Christ and the knowledge of His name. Think of all the treasures of the literature of the Christian Church in Latin and African and Teutonic lands that have come since the day when this chapter was written. Think of what Britain was then and of what it is to-day. Remember the heroisms, holinesses, illuminations that have shone over these then barbarous lands since that time; and understand how it has all come because from the Lamb by the Throne there has been sent out over all the earth the Spirit that is wisdom and holiness and life.

And think how steadily down through layers of society that were regarded as outcast and contemptible in the time of the founding of the Church, there has trickled and filtered the knowledge of Himself and of His grace; and how amongst the poor and the humble and the outcast, amongst the profligate and the sinful, there have sprung up flowers of holiness and beauty all undreamed of before; and we shall understand how all classes in all lands may receive a portion of the sevenfold Spirit.

Every Christian man and woman is inspired, not to be a teacher of infallible truth, but inspired in the true and deep sense that in them dwells the Spirit of Jesus Christ. ‘If any man have not the Spirit he is none of His.’ All of us, weak, sinful as we are, ignorant and bewildered often, may possess that Divine life to live in our hearts.

Only, dear brethren, remember it is the slain Lamb that gives the Spirit. And unless we are looking to that Lamb slain as our hope and confidence, we shall not receive it. A maimed Christianity that has a Christ, but no slain Lamb, has little of His Spirit; but if you trust to His Sacrifice, and rest your whole hopes on His Cross, then there will come into your hearts His own mighty grace, and ‘the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus will make you free from the law of sin and death.’

Revelation 5:6-7. And I beheld, and lo, &c. — Upon this I observed, in my vision, a new representation; in, or on, the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures — Within the circle which they made round him; and in the midst of the elders — Making a larger circle round him and them; stood a Lamb — Αρνιον εστηκος, a lamb standing. He no more falls on his face; the days of his weakness and mourning are ended! He is now in a posture of readiness to execute all his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King; as it had been slain — For sacrifice; bearing the recent marks of slaughter, in the wounds and blood on its throat and breast. And because he was slain, he was now worthy to open the book, (Revelation 5:9,) to the joy of his own people and the terror of his enemies. Nor was this lamb only represented as a sacrifice; but having seven horns and seven eyes — Emblematical of perfect power and perfect knowledge, whereby he is able to accomplish what is contained in the book; namely, by his almighty and all-wise Spirit, even to reveal future events respecting the world and the church, and to accomplish all God’s designs of providence and grace. To these seven horns and seven eyes answer the seven seals and the seven-fold song of praise, Revelation 5:12. In Zechariah, likewise, (Zechariah 3:9; Zechariah 4:10,) mention is made of the seven eyes of the Lord, which go forth over all the earth. Which (both the horns and the eyes) are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth — They represent that divine wisdom and energy which operate everywhere; or that effectual working of the Spirit of God, which goes through the whole creation: and that in the natural as well as spiritual world. For could mere matter act or think? Could it gravitate or attract? Just as much as it could think or speak. And he came — Here we have an instance of the accomplishment of the words recorded Psalm 2:8, Ask of me and I will give thee, &c: and took the book, &c. — It is one state of exaltation that reaches from our Lord’s ascension to his coming in glory, yet this state admits of various degrees. At his ascension, angels, and principalities, and powers, were subjected to him. Ten days after he received from the Father, and sent, the Holy Ghost. And now he took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne — Who gave it to him as a signal of his delivering to him all power in heaven and earth. He received it in token of his being both able and willing to fulfil all that was written therein.

5:1-7 The apostle saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, a roll of parchments in the form usual in those times, and sealed with seven seals. This represented the secret purposes of God about to be revealed. The designs and methods of Divine Providence, toward the church and the world, are stated, fixed, and made a matter of record. The counsels of God are altogether hidden from the eye and understanding of the creature. The several parts are not unsealed and opened at once, but after each other, till the whole mystery of God's counsel and conduct is finished in the world. The creatures cannot open it, nor read it; the Lord only can do so. Those who see most of God, are most desirous to see more; and those who have seen his glory, desire to know his will. But even good men may be too eager and hasty to look into the mysteries of the Divine conduct. Such desires, if not soon answered, turn to grief and sorrow. If John wept much because he could not look into the book of God's decrees, what reason have many to shed floods of tears for their ignorance of the gospel of Christ! of that on which everlasting salvation depends! We need not weep that we cannot foresee future events respecting ourselves in this world; the eager expectation of future prospects, or the foresight of future calamities, would alike unfit us for present duties and conflicts, or render our prosperous days distressing. Yet we may desire to learn, from the promises and prophecies of Scripture, what will be the final event to believers and to the church; and the Incarnate Son has prevailed, that we should learn all that we need to know. Christ stands as Mediator between God and both ministers and people. He is called a Lion, but he appears as a Lamb slain. He appears with the marks of his sufferings, to show that he pleads for us in heaven, in virtue of his satisfaction. He appears as a Lamb, having seven horns and seven eyes; perfect power to execute all the will of God, and perfect wisdom to understand it, and to do it in the most effectual manner. The Father put the book of his eternal counsels into the hand of Christ, and Christ readily and gladly took it into his hand; for he delights to make known the will of his Father; and the Holy Spirit is given by him to reveal the truth and will of God.And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne - We are not to suppose that he was in the center of the throne itself, but he was a conspicuous object when the throne and the elders and the living beings were seen. He was so placed as to seem to be in the midst of the group made up of the throne, the living beings, and the elders.

And of the four beasts - See the notes at Revelation 4:6.

Stood a Lamb - An appellation often given to the Messiah, for two reasons:

(1) because the lamb was an emblem of innocence and,

(2) because a lamb was offered commonly in sacrifice. Compare the notes on John 1:29.

As it had been slain - That is, in some way having the appearance of having been slain; having some marks or indications about it that it had been slain. What those were the writer does not specify. If it were covered with blood, or there were marks of mortal wounds, it would be all that the representation demands. The great work which the Redeemer performed - that of making an atonement for sin - was thus represented to John in such a way that he at once recognized him, and saw the reason why the office of breaking the seals was entrusted to him. It should be remarked that this representation is merely symbolic, and we are not to suppose that the Redeemer really assumed this form, or that he appears in this form in heaven. We should no more suppose that the Redeemer appear: literally as a lamb in heaven with numerous eyes and horns, than that there is a literal throne and a sea of glass there; that there are "seats" there, and "elders," and "crowns of gold."

Having seven horns - Emblems of authority and power - for the horn is a symbol of power and dominion. Compare Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Kings 22:11; Jeremiah 48:25; Zechariah 1:18; Daniel 7:24. The propriety of this symbol is laid in the fact that the strength of an animal is in the horn, and that it is by this that he obtains a victory over other animals. The number seven here seems to be designed, as in other places, to denote completeness. See the notes on Revelation 1:4. The meaning is, that he had so large a number as to denote complete dominion.

And seven eyes - Symbols of intelligence. The number seven here also denotes completeness; and the idea is, that he is able to survey all things. John does not say anything as to the relative arrangement of the horns and eyes on the "Lamb," and it is vain to attempt to conjecture how it was. The whole representation is symbolical, and we may understand the meaning of the symbol without being able to form an exact conception of the figure as it appeared to him.

Which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth - See the notes on Revelation 1:4. That is, which represent the seven Spirits of God; or the manifold operations of the one Divine Spirit. As the eye is the symbol of intelligence - outward objects being made visible to us by that - so it may well represent an all-pervading spirit that surveys and sees all things. The eye, in this view, among the Egyptians was an emblem of the Deity. By the "seven Spirits" here the same thing is doubtless intended as in Revelation 1:4; and if, as there supposed, the reference is to the Holy Spirit considered with respect to his manifold operations, the meaning here is, that the operations of that Spirit are to be regarded as connected with the work of the Redeemer. Thus, all the operations of the Spirit are connected with, and are a part of, the work of redemption. The expression "sent forth into all the earth," refers to the fact that that Spirit prevades all things The Spirit of God is often represented as sent or poured out; and the meaning here is, that his operations are as if he was sent out to survey all things and to operate everywhere. Compare 1 Corinthians 12:6-11.

6. I beheld, and, lo—One oldest manuscript, A, omits "and, lo." Another, B, Cyprian, &c., support, "and, lo," but omit, "and I beheld."

in the midst of the throne—that is, not on the throne (compare Re 5:7), but in the midst of the company (Re 4:4) which was "round about the throne."

Lamb—Greek, "arnion"; always found in Revelation exclusively, except in Joh 21:15 alone: it expresses endearment, namely, the endearing relation in which Christ now stands to us, as the consequence of His previous relation as the sacrificial Lamb. So also our relation to Him: He the precious Lamb, we His dear lambs, one with Him. Bengel thinks there is in Greek, "arnion," the idea of taking the lead of the flock. Another object of the form Greek, "arnion," the Lamb, is to put Him in the more marked contrast to Greek, "therion," the Beast. Elsewhere Greek, "amnos," is found, applying to Him as the paschal, sacrificial Lamb (Isa 53:7, Septuagint; Joh 1:29, 36; Ac 8:32; 1Pe 1:19).

as it had been slain—bearing marks of His past death wounds. He was standing, though bearing the marks of one slain. In the midst of heavenly glory Christ crucified is still the prominent object.

seven horns—that is, perfect might, "seven" symbolizing perfection; "horns," might, in contrast to the horns of the Antichristian world powers, Re 17:3; &c.; Da 7:7, 20; 8:3.

seven eyes … the seven Spirits … sent forth—So one oldest manuscript, A. But B reads, "being sent forth." As the seven lamps before the throne represent the Spirit of God immanent in the Godhead, so the seven eyes of the Lamb represent the same sevenfold Spirit profluent from the incarnate Redeemer in His world-wide energy. The Greek for "sent forth," apostellomena, or else apestalmenoi, is akin to the term "apostle," reminding us of the Spirit-impelled labors of Christ's apostles and minister throughout the world: if the present tense be read, as seems best, the idea will be that of those labors continually going on unto the end. "Eyes" symbolize His all-watchful and wise providence for His Church, and against her foes.

And I beheld; hearing the mention of a Lion of the tribe of Judah, he looks about wistly to see if he could see any justifying that representation.

And, lo, in the midst the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb: instead of a Lion he seeth a Lamb; Christ Jesus, called a Lamb by this apostle, John 1:29,36, and very often in this book; a Lamb, for whiteness and innocency, 1 Peter 1:19, for meekness and patience, Acts 8:32, but here with reference to the paschal lamb.

As it had been slain; for he appears wounded and pierced, as if he had been slain; and to show that he was equal with the Father, he appears in the midst of the throne; and in the midst of the elders, and of the four living creatures, to show his presence with his church and ministers, Matthew 28:20, and his walking (as was said, Revelation 2:1) in the midst of is churches, which were the golden candlesticks there mentioned.

Having seven horns; he appeareth now with seven horns, which are members in which the beasts’ strength, power, and beauty is much seen, to denote his glory and beauty, and the power he had now received to offend and conquer all his enemies.

And seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God; and with seven eyes, which were the seven Spirits of God, mentioned Revelation 1:4 4:5; endued with the Spirit of God, (which is also called his Spirit), not given to him by measure.

Sent forth into all the earth; which spiritual gifts and perfections he exerciseth over all the earth, both with relation to his church, and to his church’s enemies.

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts,.... These words, "in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts", are left out in the Syriac version:

and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb; John, upon the intimation given him by the elder, lift up his eyes, and with great earnestness looked about, and saw the person he pointed at, though not in the form of a lion, but in the appearance of a lamb, to which Christ, both in the Old and New Testament, is often compared; and that very aptly, for his innocence and purity of nature; for his harmless and inoffensive conversation; and for his meek and humble deportment throughout the whole of his life; and for his patience at the time of his sufferings and death; and for his usefulness both for food and clothing to his people; and chiefly for his sacrifice for them, typified both by the passover lamb, and by the lambs of the daily sacrifice: hence it follows,

as it had been slain; or "as having been slain"; Christ had been really slain by the wicked hands of the Jews, and not in appearance only; the as, here, is not a note of mere similitude and likeness, but of reality and truth; see John 1:14; but he was now risen from the dead, and therefore is said to have been slain some time before, though now alive; and he appeared to have the marks of his sufferings and death upon him, as he had after his resurrection the print of the nails and spear, in his hands, feet, and side; and he was as a lamb that had been newly or lately slain: and it may denote the continued efficacy of his blood, to cleanse from all sin, and of his sacrifice to take it away; he was as a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, with respect to the continual virtue of his blood and sacrifice; and he will be, on the same account, the Lamb as it had been slain, unto the end of the world. The position and situation of this Lamb were, he "stood in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders"; he "stood", being risen from the dead, and ascended up into heaven, but was not as yet set down upon the throne with his Father, but was very near it; he stood before it, ready to be placed upon it, and receive his power and his kingdom; he stood between the throne, and between the living creatures, and the elders, being the Mediator between God, and his church, and people; he, appeared before the throne for them, as their advocate, and stood ready to give them all the assistance, and to do them all the good he could: and this his situation may also denote, that he is continually in view, is always in the sight of God, as the Lamb that had been slain; his blood is carried within the vail, is sprinkled upon the mercy seat, and is always in sight, and calls for peace and pardon; and God the Father always looks upon it, and to his righteousness, sacrifice, and satisfaction, on account of his people: moreover, his being in the midst of the four living creatures, and elders, may signify his presence in his churches, and with his ministers, which he has promised them to the end of the world. This Lamb is further represented,

as having seven horns; it is very unusual for a lamb to have horns, and especially seven: these horns are expressive of the power of Christ, of his dominion and government, even of his kingly power and authority; so kings are signified by horns in Daniel 8:20; and Christ himself is called the horn of David, and the horn of salvation, Psalm 132:17; and signify, that upon his resurrection from the dead, and ascension to heaven, he was made and declared Lord and Christ; and the number "seven" expresses the fulness and perfection of his power and authority, having, as Mediator, all power in heaves and in earth given him; and what is above all power, might, dominion, and every name in this world, and that to come; and may have some relation to the seven states of his churches in so many periods of time; and show not only that he has power sufficient to protect and defend his people in all times, and to push at and destroy his and their enemies, but to open the then sealed book, and unloose the seals: and as another qualification for this work, it follows,

and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth; which some understand of angels, and of a sufficient number of them, which belong to Christ, and are at his command, and who are ready to do his will, and to be sent forth by him, into the several parts of the earth, to execute his pleasure: but these rather design the Spirit of God and his gifts, which Christ received without measure, both in his human nature, at his incarnation, and after his resurrection from the dead, and ascension; which he bestowed on his apostles and ministering servants, whom he sent forth into all the world, to preach his Gospel with them; and which he has, more or less, ever since continued to do. The Ethiopic version reads in the singular number, "and this is the Spirit of God which is sent into all the earth"; See Gill on Revelation 1:4; these "seven eyes" may design the perfect knowledge of Christ, his foresight of future events, and his all wise providence, which is always and everywhere concerned to fulfil and accomplish them; so that he is every way qualified to take the book of future events, as to the church and world, and reveal it, open and explain it, and fulfil the things contained in it; see Zechariah 3:9.

And I beheld, and, lo, {7} in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

(7) The sum of this revelation: Christ the mediator takes and opens the book Re 5:6,7. Therefore this revelation describes the person of Christ. The person is described this way: Christ the mediator between God, angels and men, as the eternal word of God, and our redeemer: as the Lamb of God, standing as slain and making intercession for us by the power and merit of his everlasting sacrifice, is armed with the Spirit of God, that is, with the power and wisdom of God effectually to the government of this whole world.

Revelation 5:6. ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ θρονοῦ

καὶ ἐν μέσῳ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων. Incorrectly, Ebrard: “The Lamb appears in the midst of the throne, so as at the same time to sit in the centre of the four living beings, and in the centre of the twenty-four elders sitting around without, forming a more remote concentric circle,”—a truly monstrous idea,—the Lamb sitting[1892] in the midst of the throne. The double ἘΝ ΜΈΣῼ designates, in the Heb. way,[1893] the two limits between which the Lamb stands,[1894] viz., in the space whose centre, the throne, is beside the four beings, and which is bounded externally by the circle[1895] of the elders. Yet we must not necessarily understand that the Lamb stood on the crystal sea,[1896] as De Wette does, who, in accordance with his explanation of Revelation 4:6, finds a parallel in Hebrews 9:24. Of the sea of glass, and the position of the Lamb with regard to it, there is nothing at all to be said here; as for the rest, we may point to Revelation 7:17, Revelation 22:1, as against De Wette.

ἀρνίον ἑστηκὸς ὡς ἐσφαγμένον. The diminutive form, which is in general peculiar to the Apoc.,[1897] serves here to strengthen the contrast between the announced “Lion,” and the form of “a little lamb” which is now presented. Entirely remote is the reference to the brief life of the Lord in comparison with the extreme age of the elders.[1898] Incorrect also is the remark that ἀρνίον, from the masc. ἀρήν, is used with respect to the flock that is to follow;[1899] for the diminutive, which is not at all from ἀμνός, is entirely without this exclusive designation of sex,[1900] and the context itself (ὡς ἐσφαγμ.) bars the reference to the leading of a flock.

Great as in other respects is the contrast between the “Lion” and “the little Lamb,” yet there is also a deep harmony of the two views; for as the struggles of the Lion presupposed in Revelation 5:5, i.e., his patient suffering and death, concur with the slaying of the Lamb, so also the victory of the Lion gained in conflict, which becomes manifest in the resurrection, is appropriated by the little Lamb, since it “stands as one slain.” The ἐστηκός clearly declares that it is living,[1901] while it at the same time (ὡς ἐσφαγμένον) appears as one that had (previously) been led to the shambles and slain. The word σφάζειν, properly “to open the throat with a knife, so that the blood flows out,” designates pre-eminently the slaying in making a sacrifice,[1902] but also any other slaying,[1903] and any form of putting to death.[1904] By ὡς the ἐσφαγμένον is not “especially emphasized as significantly presented,”[1905] as though equivalent to ώς in passages like Revelation 17:12; Matthew 7:29; John 1:14; Romans 15:15, where the reality of a relation in its normative or fundamental significance is marked,—for in this way, in the present passage, the absurd and actually false idea would result, that the Lamb stood as one slain, i.e., at that time dead; but the ῶς[1906] serves rather to reconcile the opposition between the ἑστηκός and ἐσφαγμένον, as the Lamb standing (and therefore living) is represented as “one slain,” i.e., as such an one whose still-visible scars show that it has once been slain.[1907] John, therefore, applies to the Lamb the very same that the Lord, in Revelation 1:18, says of himself. There is in this view no violation whatever of the laws of the plastic art.[1908]

The Lamb had a twofold emblem: κέρατα ἑπτὰ, the symbol of perfect power,[1909] and ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐπτά, which is expressly interpreted οἵ εἰσι τὰ πνεύματα τοῦ θεοῦ ἀπεσταλμένα εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν. The reference of the spirits of God, symbolized by the seven eyes,[1910] to the omniscience of the Lord,[1911] is too limited. The correct interpretation is determined by the context itself (ἀπεσταλμένα). The (seven) spirits of God are also, here,[1912] the potencies which in their independent reality are present with God, and by means of which he works on and in the world. That Christ has[1913] these spirits (this Spirit) of God, is symbolized here by the seven eyes of the Lamb, just as before the throne of God (the Father) the same Spirit appears as seven lamps.[1914] This, moreover, in no way compels the conception, that the vision has changed after the manner of a dream, and now where the seven eyes of the Lamb are represented, the seven lamps have vanished,[1915] as indeed the belonging of the Spirit to the Enthroned One, as also to the Lamb, is intended to be symbolically represented.

Erroneous is the explanation of Beda: “The septiform spirit in Christ is because of the eminence of its power compared to horns, and because of the illumination of grace to eyes.”[1916] But if even grammatically it is not impossible for the οἵ, which introduces the explanatory sentence, to refer to ὀφθαλμούς and κέρατα, the annexed interpretation, οἵ εἰστ τὰ πνεύμ., κ.τ.λ., applies only to the ὀφθαλμούς, and not at the same time to the κέρατα. It would, of course, be in itself inconceivable,[1917] if one and the same thing were represented by two symbols, perhaps in two different connections: but here are two symbols, which throughout do not designate the same thing; for while by the “horns,” a symbol known already from the O. T., and therefore applied by John without any particular hint, the attribute of power is symbolized, the eyes, according to the express interpretation of the text, designate in no way an attribute of the Lamb, but the Spirit really present with God and the Lamb together (the Father and the Son), and belonging in like manner to them both, who is here indeed to be regarded according to the standard of the symbol (ὀφθαλμ.) pre-eminently as the One seeing through all things.[1918] Because Christ has the Spirit, he knows every thing, even things upon earth, whither the Spirit is sent,—the doings of his enemies, the state of his own people, etc.

[1892] ἑστηκός; which Alcas., just as correctly, translates by “lying.”

[1893] Cf. Leviticus 27:12; Leviticus 27:14 : וּבַּין—בֵין. LXX.: ἀναμέσον

καὶ ἀναμέσον.

[1894] Ew., De Wette, Hengstenb.

[1895] Cf. Revelation 4:4.

[1896] Revelation 4:6.

[1897] Revelation 5:8; Revelation 5:12-13, Revelation 6:1; Revelation 6:16, Revelation 7:9; Revelation 7:14, Revelation 12:11, Revelation 13:8, Revelation 17:14. Cf., on the other hand, John 1:29; John 1:36; 1 Peter 1:19; Acts 8:32 : ὁ ἀμνός. The expression τὰ ἀρνία μου, John 21:5, whereby Christ designates his believers—cf. Meyer on the passage—does not belong here, because used here in an especial way, upon the basis of Isaiah 53:7, to designate Christ himself. Against Hengstenb.

[1898] Against Bengel and Hengstenb.

[1899] Beng.

[1900] Cf. Psalm 114:4; Psalm 114:6; Jeremiah 11:19; John 21:15.

[1901] Grot., etc.

[1902] Cf. Exodus 12:6.

[1903] Isaiah 53:7.

[1904] Revelation 13:3; Revelation 5:6. Christ, crucified and risen, is in the centre. To him all things bow and sing. It is prosaic to attempt any local definition, as though the author had some architectural plan in his mind (ἐν μ. = “half-way up the throne,” or by repetition = “between,” cf. Genesis 1:7), or to wonder how so prominent a figure had hitherto escaped his notice. Plainly the ἀρνίον did not originally belong to the mise-en-scène of iv., though the symbol may have none the less had an astral origin (= Ram, in Persian zodiac). The prophet brilliantly suggests, what was a commonplace of early Christianity, that the royal authority of Jesus was due to his suffering for men, but the framework of the sketch is drawn from messianic dogmas which tended to make Christ here a figure rather than a personality.—ἀρνίον (like θηρίον, diminutive only in form) is not aries (so variously Havet and Selwyn, 204–208), nor substituted (Vischer, Rauch) for the “lion” of the original Jewish source, but probably applied (cf. Hort on 1 Peter 1:19) to Jesus from the messianic interpretation of Isaiah 16:1 or Isaiah 53:7, though the allusions elsewhere to the Exodus (Exodus 15:2 f.) and the Johannine predilection for the paschal Lamb suggest that the latter was also in the prophet’s mind. The collocation of lion and lamb is not harder than that of lion and root (Revelation 5:5), and such an editor as Vischer and others postulate would not have left “lion” in Revelation 5:5 unchanged. Christ is erect and living (cf. Revelation 14:1 and Abbott’s Joh. Vocabulary, 1725), ὡς ἐσφαγμένον (as could be seen from the wound on the throat), yet endowed with complete power (κέρατα, Oriental symbol of force, cf. reff. and the rams’ horns of the Egyptian sun-god) and knowledge. For ἀρνίον and ἀμνός, cf. Abbott, 210 f. In Enoch lxxxix. 44 f. (Gk.) David is ἄρνα prior to his coronation and Solomon “a little sheep” (i.e., a lamb).—ὀφθαλμοὺς κ.τ.λ., the function ascribed by Plutarch (de defectu orac. 13) to daemons as the spies and scouts of God on earth. The naïve symbolism is borrowed from the organisation of an ancient realm, whose ruler had to secure constant and accurate information regarding the various provinces under his control. News (as the Tel-el-Amarna correspondence vividly shows) was essential to an Oriental monarch. The representation of Osiris in Egyptian mythology consisted of an eye and a sceptre (cf. Revelation 2:27), denoting foresight and force (Plut. de Iside, 51), while the “eyes” and “ears” of a Parthian monarch were officials or officers who kept him informed of all that transpired throughout the country. Elsewhere the seven spirits are identified with seven torches, but John is more concerned to express from time to time his religious ideas than to preserve any homogeneity of symbolism (seven eyes similarly varied in Zech. cf. reff.). The inconsistency cannot, in a writing of this nature, be taken as evidence of interpolation or of divergent sources, though it may be an editorial gloss. An analogous idea underlies Plutarch’s explanation of the “travelling” power of Isis (Iside, 60), for which he adduces the old Greek etymology (= knowledge and movement, θεὸς from θέειν “to run”); and this etymology in turn (cf. Otto on Theoph. ad Autolyc. i. 4) reaches back to a star cultus.—N.B. In the Apoc. ἀρνίον, which is opposed to θηρίον and is always (except Revelation 13:11 f.) used of Jesus, denotes not only the atoning sacrificial aspect of Christ (Revelation 5:6; Revelation 5:9 f., 12, Revelation 12:11) but his triumphant power (horned) over outsiders (Revelation 17:14) and his own people (Revelation 7:16 f.). Neither the diminutive (cf. below, on Revelation 12:17) nor the associations of innocence and gentleness are to be pressed (cf. Spitta, Streitfragen der Gesch. Jesu, 1907, 173 f.). The term becomes almost semi-technical in the Apocalypse. As a pre-Christian symbol, it is quite obscure. The text and origin of the striking passage in Test. Ios. xix. do not permit much more than the inference that the leader there (a μόσχος) becomes an ἀμνός, who, supported by Judah the lion, ἐνίκησεν πάντα τὰ θηρία. The virginbirth is probably a Christian interpolation. No sure root for the symbolism has yet been found in astro-theology (Jeremiah 15 f.). For attempts to trace back the idea to Babylonian soil, cf. Hommel in Exp. Times, 14:106 f., Havet, 324 f., and Zimmern in Schrader, 597 f. One Babylonian text does mention the blood of the lamb as a sacrificial substitute for man, which is all the more significant as the texts of the cultus are almost wholly destitute of any allusion to the significance of the blood in sacrifice. But no influence of this on pre-Christian messianism, or of contemporary cults on this element of Christian symbolism, can be made out from the extant evidence. In any case, it would merely supply the form for expressing a reality of the Christian experience.

6. and lo] Should be omitted: the construction is, “And I saw in the midst of … a Lamb standing.”

in the midst of the throne] See on Revelation 4:6. In this passage, the sense might be merely “in the centre of the (semicircular?) space surrounded by …,” but Revelation 7:17 disproves this. If it be not rash to attempt to work out the details of the picture, I would conjecture that the four living creatures were under the four corners of the Throne, with their heads and wings projecting beyond it: and the Lamb stood in the midst of the front of it, appearing as proceeding from between the feet of Him Who sat thereon.

stood] Expressed by a participle, and with the true reading (see above) should be so translated, “I saw … a Lamb standing.”

Lamb] See Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; John 1:36. Too much importance has been given to the fact that St John uses a different Greek word here from that in his Gospel, and in the LXX. of Isaiah. It is doubtful whether the LXX. is used in the O. T. references in this Book; and the form here used is a diminutive and a neuter. It is awkward to use a neuter noun of a Person, but in this Book St John boldly uses masculines in reference to the Lamb (as in his Gospel he once or twice does in reference to the Spirit): while in the Gospel he is less regardless of grammatical rules, and therefore prefers the masc. form.

as it had been slain] The true construction calls attention to the paradox, a Lamb appearing with its throat cut, yet not lying dead or dying, but standing. It serves to typify “Him that liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). The risen Christ bore, and doubtless bears, the wounds of His Passion unaltered—unhealed, though apparently not bleeding, John 20:25; John 20:27.

seven horns and seven eyes] The Spirit is to Him both strength and wisdom. The horn is throughout the Bible the symbol of conquering might and glory: see e.g. 1 Kings 22:11; Zechariah 1:18 sqq., while 1 Samuel 2:1, &c. shew that divine glory as well as earthly may be so expressed. For the seven eyes, see Zechariah 3:9; Zechariah 4:10. It is hardly fanciful to observe on the combination of horns and eyes, that a bull shuts his eyes when he charges. Sagacity in discerning truth in all its aspects, and power and promptitude in resolve and execution, are excellences scarcely ever combined in the great men of the world, the one usually varies inversely as the other; but “Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24) unites both.

seven spirits] Revelation 1:4, Revelation 4:5.

sent forth, &c.] Taken, of course, from Zechariah 4:10 already referred to. The seven lamps of Revelation 4:5 represent the Spirit as eternally proceeding from and belonging to the Father: these represent Him as sent by the Son and belonging to the Son.

Revelation 5:6. Ἀρνίον) Ἀμνὸς is used absolutely, John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19 : now, ἀρνίον is used, with reference to the flock about to follow Him. Κριὸς, ἀμνὸς, and ἀρνίον differ in age. Orig. t. 2, f. 140, on John 1:29. Ἀρνίον, a young lamb; as far, however, as it combines the idea of the male sex, it properly looks to the taking the lead of the flock.[66]

[66] Ἀμνὸς is used in the Gospel of John, which describes the life and death of Jesus, as the paschal, sacrificial Lamb. In John 21:15 alone, ἀρνία is used: so in Rev. also, ἀρνίον. Ἀρνίον, being a diminutive, expresses endearment; viz. the endearing relation in which Jesus, now glorified, stands to us, as the consequence of His previous relation, as the sacrificed ἀμνός on earth: so also our relation to Him: He the “precious Lamb,” we one with Him and His dear lambs; Isaiah 40:11.—E.

Verse 6. - And I beheld. Again a new feature of the vision is indicated (see on ver. 1). And, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders. For a description of the position of the throne and the living beings and the elders, see Revelation 4:6. The passage would, perhaps, be more plainly rendered, "Between the throne and the four living creatures on the one hand, and the elders on the other, stood," etc. The repetition of "in the midst" is a Hebraism (cf. Genesis 1:4, 6, 7, LXX.). The Lamb would thus occupy a central position, where he would be visible to all. Stood a Lamb. The Greek word ἀρνίον, which is here employed, and which is constantly used throughout the Apocalypse, occurs elsewhere in the New Testament only in John 21:15. The Lamb of John 1:29 is ἀμνός. This word has therefore been brought forward as an evidence that the writer of the Gospel was not also the writer of the Apocalypse, since, when the word is applied as a title of our Lord, the term differs. But the passage John 1:29 is a quotation from Isaiah, and the writer naturally adheres to the form found in the LXX. version in that place. But on other occasions, when he is free to employ his own diction, as in John 21:15 and in the Apocalypse, he invariably employs the term ἀρνίον. Some have found in the fact that ἀρνίον (avalon) is originally a diminutive form of ἀμνός (amnos), a reference to, the lowliness and meekness of our Lord; and they see a contrast in the power indicated by the seven horns. But such interpretations, however helpful and suggestive, are not warranted by anything in the grammar of the word; since, although no doubt originally a diminutive, the word had lost all such force in St. John's time; so much so, that the varying cases were formed from both words. As it had been Main. We are here confronted with what Stuart calls an "aesthetical difficulty." How could the Lamb, which was alive, standing, and active, exhibit any appearance which would give St. John the idea that it had been slain? Similarly, in the following verses, how could the Lamb take the book, or the four living beings handle harps and bowls, or the elders play on harps while also holding bowls? In the first place, it is perfectly immaterial to inquire. St. John is not giving a circumstantial narrative of certain historical facts which occurred in the material, sensible world; but he is reproducing ideas conveyed to him in some way (certainly not through the senses), which ideas are symbolical of events occurring in the natural and spiritual worlds, and of the condition of men or bodies of men. Therefore, if we can ascertain what these mental pictures are intended to portray to us, it matters not in what way the ideas were conveyed to the mind of the seer. In the second place, it must be remembered that the whole is a vision; and that although St. John says, "I saw," in point of fact none of the mental impressions which he obtained were conveyed through the senses. Just as a person relating a dream says, "I saw," when in reality his eyes had been shut and his senses asleep, so the writer here says, "I saw;" and just as in a dream we receive distinct ideas concerning an object without knowing how or why we know the particular fact, and that, too, when such qualities seem contradictory to others with which the object is invested, and yet no incongruity is apparent to us, so St. John realized that these objects possessed qualities which, in the sensible world, would have been impossible. Having seven horns. Throughout the Bible an emblem of power. Moses blessed the tribe of Joseph in the words, "His horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth" (Deuteronomy 33:17). Hannah sang, "Mine horn is exalted" (1 Samuel 2:1). The seven denotes perfection (see on Revelation 1:4; 5:1, etc.). The symbol, therefore, attributes to the Lamb complete power (cf. the words of Christ in Matthew 28:18, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth"). And seven eyes. The seven eyes symbolize perfect knowledge - omniscience (cf. Zechariah 4:10, "They shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth;" and 2 Chronicles 16:9, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him"). Which are the seven Spirits of God. "Which" refers to the seven eyes (cf. Revelation 1:4, "The seven Spirits which are before his throne;" and Revelation 3:1, "He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;" and Revelation 4:5, "Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God"). The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, with his sevenfold gifts, is indicated by these symbols of illumination. For he illuminates and makes brighter those in whom he dwells, and renders clearer to them those things outside themselves, and enables them more fully to appreciate the manifold wisdom of God. Sent forth into all the earth. That is, the seven Spirits are sent forth (ἀπεσταλμένα; though, as πνεύματα, "the spirits," are also ὀφθαλμοί, "the eyes," A reads ἀπεσταλμένοι). Revelation 5:6And lo!


In the midst of

Not on the throne, but perhaps in the space in the center of which is the throne, and which is surrounded by the twenty-four elders.

A Lamb (ἀρνίον)

The diminutive, very frequent in Revelation, and once in the Gospel of John (John 21:15). Nowhere else in the New Testament. Compare Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29, John 1:36. Christ had just been spoken of as a lion. He now appears as a lamb. Some interpreters emphasize the idea of gentleness, others that of sacrifice.

Slain (ἐσφαγμένον)

The verb indicates violence, butchery. See on 1 John 3:12. It is also the sacrificial word. Exodus 12:6.

Stood (ἑστηκὸς)

Rev., more correctly, standing. Though slaughtered the lamb stands. Christ, though slain, is risen and living.

Seven horns and seven eyes

See remarks on the Apocalyptic imagery, Revelation 1:16. The horn is the emblem of might. See 1 Samuel 2:10; 1 Kings 22:11; Psalm 112:9; Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:20 sqq.; Luke 1:69. Compare Matthew 28:18. The eyes represent the discerning Spirit of God in its operation upon all created things.

Sent forth (ἀπεσταλμένα)

See on Mark 3:14.

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