I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…
1. What John heard. It was "a voice." It was not a mere sound, but it was a voice. Words are the expression of thoughts, the language of mind, the utterance of the heart, and the wishes of the soul; they are the medium of mental and moral communication of man with man, of mind with mind. The voice of God is the utterance of His will, the revelation of His mercy, and the medium of Divine communication with man.
2. Whose voice was this he heard? It was the voice of the Son of Man, a brother and a friend. It was a voice infinitely gracious, unutterably tender, full of compassion.
3. What was the voice which the prophet heard? It was "a great voice."(1) It was great in its author, the great God and our Saviour.
(2) It was great in its nature, its power and excellence, magnitude and mystery.
(3) It was great in its subject, the plans and arrangements of providence and grace.
(4) It was great in its design, to arouse the regards of a slumbering world.
4. What the voice resembled. It was "as of a trumpet." It was not a mere sound, but an articulate voice. It was as the voice of a trumpet, sonorous, powerful, solemn, and majestic; gracious, awful, clear, and commanding; giving forth a distinct and certain sound. It was as the trumpet of the God of Israel, the symbol of His presence.
5. Whence the voice came: "I heard a voice behind me." It came from behind as the voice of a Watchman, whose eye never slumbers, whose eye never sleeps. It came from behind as the voice of a Teacher: "Thine eyes shall see thy teachers; and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, or when ye turn to the left."
Parallel VersesKJV: 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 called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.