Poole on Revelation 4:1: Revelation of Future Things

Verse 1:[1] After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and (Rev. 1:10) the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, (Rev. 11:12) Come up hither, (Rev. 1:19; 22:6) and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.


[After these things] At another time, concerning which it was not needful to note anything particular (Grotius). After the first Vision, which I to this point recounted (Ribera, similarly Pareus, Gomar, Durham): that is to say, it was not yet the end of the Visions (Pareus). That μετὰ ταῦτα, after these things, is able to denote either, matter diverse from the former, or, a Vision diverse from the former. For here it is possible to gather, neither a certain order of the Visions, nor a time of their completion. Therefore, it is not necessary that what is represented in this Vision, namely, the destruction of the Jews, begin no earlier than the preceding Vision was completed (Hammond).


After this; after I had the first vision, mentioned Revelation 1, and had written what it was the pleasure of God I should write to the churches, in a book, perceiving the way God designed to reveal himself to me was by vision.


[I looked] A Vision is denoted, not fixed, but vague and uncertain. That is to say, I strained with my eyes, so that, since revelations of hidden things had been promised to me, with my eyes I might drink in what things were offered; and thus I composed myself for receiving them (Cotterius). It indicates a pious desire, and his serious concern, not resting in the preceding visions, but anticipating additional ones (Forbes). Others: Εἶδον is here to be taken like the Hebrew חָזָה, to see, after the use of the Prophets;[2] whence a Prophecy is called חָזוֹן, a vision, and a Prophet, חֺזֶה, a seer; and it is best explained by the following, I was in spirit (Hammond). Εἶδον, חָזֵ֣ה הֲוֵ֔ית, I was looking, Daniel 4:10[3] (Grotius).


I looked; I looked again, hoping and being desirous to see something further as to the mind of God.



[And behold (understanding, there was [Beza, Piscator]) an open door (this signifies that God was going to reveal wonderful and heavenly things to John [Grotius, similarly Ribera, Lapide, Forbes, Menochius]: Thus the heavens appeared opened both to John, Matthew 3:16 [Forbes], in which place see what things are said [Grotius]; and to Stephen, Acts 7:56, and to Jacob, Genesis 28;17: And what this phrase signifies the Lord clearly shows, when, promising a more plentiful dispensation of heavenly things, afterwards, says he, ye shall see the heavens opened[4] [Forbes]) in heaven] That is, either, 1. in the Church (Cotterius, certain interpreters in Durham), in which God dwells as in heaven (Cotterius), which often in this Book, and in the Scripture, is called heaven (Durham). Thus the open door will be a revelation of Sacred Scripture, which is kept in the Church, and through which we penetrate into heavenly secrets (certain interpreters in Pareus). Here, He declares that those things were going to be opened to John, namely, what things both at that time and in coming generations were going to be done in the Church, as in a certain kind of heaven, over which that highest Majesty exhibited in this chapter presides and rules (Zegers). Or, 2. the third heaven, concerning which there is a treatment in 2 Corinthians 12:2 (Durham, similarly Pareus, Gomar), the door of which is opened, so that John might be able to see God sitting on His throne, etc. (Menochius).


[And the first voice (namely, of God the Father, who is the ultimate author of the Apocalypse, Revelation 1:1 [Cotterius])] That is, Either the first of all those that he was going to hear afterwards (Ribera): or, that which he had heard in the first vision, Revelation 1:10, 12 (Grotius, similarly Ribera, Menochius, Pareus, Forbes). And first is here in the place of former, as in Revelation 2:4 and 1 Timothy 5:12 (Pareus).


[As of a trumpet (that is, loud [Cluverus, Grotius], and full of authority [Grotius], namely, the voice of Christ [Grotius, Cluverus], as we saw above [Cluverus]) speaking with me] Thus at the opening of the door of the Temple a trumpet sounded, to which it is here alluded (Lightfoot’s Harmony, Chronicle, and Order of the New Testament 155).


[Saying, λέγουσα] Supply ἦν/was: which sort of particles are often understood in this Book (Grotius). It was saying (Beza, Piscator).


[Come up hither] As formerly Jerusalem, so also the Church, as a high place, is to be surmounted by ascent; for, although it is militant in the earth, it is the same as Jerusalem ἄνω/above, Galatians 4:26 (Cotterius). Come up, as by scaling Jacob’s ladder[5] (Grotius): By which an ascent above the earth and earthly affections is required of John and all the readers of this prophecy, so that they might penetrate into the secret things of God (Forbes, similarly Napier, Durham). Question: Of what sort was this Vision and ascent? Response: Not real (Tirinus), for heaven does not