Revelation 1:12: The Menorah of the World

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

Verse 12:[1] And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, (Rev. 1:20; Ex. 25:37; Zech. 4:2) I saw seven golden candlesticks…

[And[2] (or, therefore, a copulative in the place of a transitive [Piscator]) I turned (now, he properly says that he looked back, because the voice was heard from behind [Grotius]) so that I might see the voice] That is, the Author of the voice (Piscator, Menochius, similarly Beza, Drusius, Grotius, Durham, Lyra, Lapide), by Metonymy of effect (Piscator): or, that I might see, that is, that I might hear (Drusius), or understand (Drusius, thus Zegers, Ribera, Lapide, Menochius, Brightman), as in Genesis 42:1 (Drusius); Exodus 20:18 (Drusius, Ribera, Lapide). Others: He calls Christ the voice, because He is not to be known [now] after the flesh, but in the Word, where we, hearing Him, see Him (Cotterius).

[Which was speaking, ἐλάλει] In some manuscripts it is λαλεῖ, as if in the present tense[3] (Grotius).

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me; that is, to see the person whose voice I heard speaking to me: or else, by seeing is meant understanding; but that he might have done without turning; he therefore turned, hoping to see the person that spake.

[Seven golden candlesticks] Just as in the Temple there was one Lampstand with seven lamps, Numbers 8:2; Zechariah 4:2, so now for a sign of Grace multiplied seven lampstands have seven lamps. By these are signified in the first place the seven Asiatic Church, then by those other Churches also like unto them, made for this purpose, that they might shine upon the Earth (Grotius), and bear openly the lights of life (Cotterius). See Matthew 5:16; John 5:35; Philippians 2:15. The number seven, as Philo[4] explains, signifies Purity; indeed Gold, Immunity from all rust: to which what is in Revelation 21:18, 21 also has regard. What sort of Churches they ought to be are here described (Grotius). The Churches are called candlesticks because however apt for light they appear, like a candlestick, they are not able to have it unless it be conveyed from elsewhere; however, golden, because of strength and permanence, and the excellence of charity and heavenly doctrine, which does not have admixture of false doctrine, like the doctrine of the Philosophers (Ribera).

And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks: by these seven candlesticks which he saw, are meant the seven c