Revelation 1:17: The Overpowering Glory of Christ

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

Verse 17:[1] And (Ezek. 1:28) when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And (Dan. 8:18; 10:10) he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; (Is. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 2:8; 22:13; 1:11) I am the first and the last…



[I fell, etc.] Because of fear (Grotius, thus Menochius, Piscator), as in Joshua 5:14 (Grotius); Daniel 8:17; 10:8, 9 (Grotius, Cluverus). See also Matthew 17:6 (Grotius). This is the weakness of human nature (Cluverus), rising from the sense partly of that immense difference, and partly of the enmity, between God and men (Durham).


I fell at his feet as dead; astonished at the majesty and glory of the appearance: see Joshua 5:14; Daniel 8:17, 18; Matthew 17:6; Acts 9:4.


[He placed His right hand, etc.] That is, to console and strengthen me (Piscator, similarly Cluverus, Durham), and so that He might ordain me to the Prophetic office (Cluverus). With this gesture and word simultaneously He raised me up, as the Angel raised Daniel up in Daniel 8:18; 10:10, 11 (Grotius).


And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; to comfort me, and let me know, that I had no reason to be afraid, he would do me no harm.



[I am the first (that is, the Creator of all things [Menochius, thus Tirinus, Ribera], the highest with respect to dignity, with a power very much greater than any previously: Concerning this signification of the word πρῶτος/first, see on John 1:15[2] [Grotius]) and the last] That is, the end of all things (Menochius), and the consummator (Tirinus), and the future judge (Ribera): or, the most despised of men, Isaiah 53:3, seized, mocked, beaten, lashed with whips, sentenced to punishment, even that of slaves (Grotius).


I am the first and the last: see Revelation 1:8, 11.

[1] Greek: καὶ ὅτε εἶδον αὐτόν, ἔπεσα πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ὡς νεκρός· καὶ ἐπέθηκε τὴν δεξιὰν αὐτοῦ χεῖρα ἐπ᾽ ἐμέ, λέγων μοι, Μὴ φοβοῦ· ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος.


[2] John 1:15b: “…This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before (πρῶτός/preceding) me.”

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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