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Revelation 1:20: Directions for Interpretation, Part 2

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Verse 20:[1] The mystery (Rev. 1:16) of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, (Rev. 1:12) and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are (Mal. 2:7; Rev. 2:1, etc.) the angels of the seven churches: and (Zech. 4:2; Matt. 5:15; Phil. 2:15) the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

[The sacrament, etc., τὸ μυστήριον, etc.] Supply, also write this (Grotius, thus Zegers, Piscator, Cotterius). He μετωνυμικῶς/metonymically calls μυστήριον, a mystery, that which is signified by mystical figures, as in Daniel 2:27; Ephesians 5:32; thus also Revelation 17:7 (Grotius). The mystery (or, secret [Vatablus, Castalio]) of the seven stars (Piscator, Beza, etc.); that is, That which the stars obscurely indicate (Cotterius).

[And the seven lampstands] It is briefly spoken, as next, the seven stars, in the place of the mystery of the seven lampstands, and of the seven stars.[2] There are similar expressions in Genesis 41:26; Ezekiel 5:5; Daniel 4:21, 22; 7:17, 23; 8:20, 21; Luke 8:12 (Grotius).

[Golden] These Churches, although most impure, are thus called (Lightfoot’s Harmony, Chronicle, and Order of the New Testament 154), so that might be signified, 1. the excellence of the visible Church before all other societies; 2. the office of the Church and its members, that all those might be after the likeness of pure gold, even those that endure trial (Durham).

[The seven stars are the Angels of the seven Churches] That is, They signify or represent the Angels, etc. (Durham, Pareus). Such an expression is found in Genesis 41:27 and in 1 Corinthians 10:4; etc. (Pareus). The Angels here are, either, 1. true and incorporeal, the guardians and overseers of those Churches (Origen in Ribera). But to these agree not at all things that follow, for example, that they left their first love,[3] that they are commanded to repent,[4] and to be faithful unto death[5] (Estius). Or, 2. the Bishops, or Pastors (Camerarius, Zegers, Pareus, Grotius, Hammond, Estius, Menochius, Ribera, Cotterius), the Governors or Presidents of the Churches; who announce to those the word of life, as it is evident from a comparison with Judges 2:1; Isaiah 33:7;[6] Haggai 1:13;[7] Malachi 2:7;[8] 3:1[9] (Cluverus). The Ancients write that these seven were individual Bishops, even Metropolitans (Hammond). We said on Malachi 2:7, following David Kimchi,[10] that the High Priests were called Angels by the Hebrews (Grotius, similarly Hammond); because after the likeness of Angels they were conveying the commandments of God to the people, and the prayers of the people to God. We have also shown that this sort of speech had gone from the Hebrews to the Egyptians, who also themselves called τὸν ἀρχιερέα, the high priest, ἄγγελον, an angel. To the High Priests of the Temple correspond the Foremost Presbyters in the Christian Church, οἱ προεστῶτες, the governors, in Justin, which on account of their excellence were called ἐπίσκοποι/bishops. In a similar way, to the Priests and Levites correspond Presbyters and Deacons, as it is able to be understood out of Isaiah 66:21. Indeed, not all the functions are the same, but there is an adequacy τοῦ ἀναλόγου, in the analogy, because of which the communication of the names takes place. These ἄγγελοι/angels of those Churches had been ordained by John himself, and those were followed by other Bishops in succession in their order, as Tertullian relates to us, and Irenæus before him (Grotius). Now, to this opinion they oppose, 1. that there were many Bishops, or Presbyers, in Ephesus, from a comparison with Acts 20:17, 28 (certain interpreters in Hammond). Response: All those were not Bishops in Ephesus, but the Bishops of Asia gathered in Miletus (Hammond). [See what things are said on that passage in the Synopsis.] 2. That concerning the Angel in Thyatira He speaks in the Plural number, ὑμῖν δὲ—καὶ λοιποῖς, but to you and to the rest, etc., Revelation 2:24 (certain interpreters in Hammond). In ancient manuscripts that καὶ/and is wanting, and the words are thus read, ὑμῖν δὲ λέγω λοιποῖς, etc., but to the rest of you I say, etc.[11] (Hammond). 3. That, since the ministers of these Churches were undoubtedly many, those remaining ministers come here, either, under the name of the candlesticks, and are enumerated with the people, which is absurd; or, under the name of the stars, that is, the Angels. Many, however, are able to be designated by one Angel, just as by one beast, Revelation 13, and one head, Revelation 17. And the diversity of phrases is here to be noted: speaking of the candlesticks he says, the seven candlesticks are the seven Churches; but concerning the stars he speaks indefinitely, the seven stars are Angels of the seven Churches (Durham). Bishops, moreover, or Pastors, are called Angels, both, 1. because of the extraordinary affinity with those, in the knowledge of divine things; in similar holiness and chastity, Luke 15:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7; both in the intensity of charity, and in vigilance, Isaiah 62:6; Ezekiel 3:17; 33:7, compared with Psalm 91:11; Daniel 4:13, 17, 23; and in excellence of office (Cluverus). Both are called by God to sacred duties (Durham), to announce the will of God (Cluverus, thus Ribera, Lapide), and to advance the salvation of men, Isaiah 35:4; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 4:1; 2 Corinthians 5:20, compared with Psalm 103:20; Hebrews 1:14 (Cluverus): and, 2. so that they themselves might be recalled to their duty, and to Angelic sanctity, which they ought to take upon themselves; and so that the people might be recalled to the honor which is owed to them. Now, the same are called stars, so that might be signified, 1. the extraordinary dignity of the office; 2. the use and end of the office, namely, that they might enlighten others, Matthew 5:14; 3. the dependence of those upon Christ, the sun of righteousness, from whom they borrow all their light, and without whose influx they also shall be dark (Durham); 4. the constancy of the ministers in the same faith, as fixed stars are always turned in the same orbit, etc. (Cluverus). Why Stars signify Bishops, we said in Revelation 1:16 (Grotius).

[And, etc., καὶ αἱ ἑπτὰ λυχνίαι ἃς εἶδες, etc.] In some manuscripts, ἃς εἶδες, which thou sawest, is wanting, as also in the Latin[12] (Grotius). And those seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven Churches (Beza, Piscator), that is, images of the Churches (Piscator): or, they signify Churches (Pareus). The Churches are called candlesticks, 1. because they are placed openly in the sight of all, Matthew 5:14, 15; 2. because they display to this world lying in darkness a lamp and a torch, Isaiah 60:2, 3; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 (Cluverus), and in these Christ set up His lights, 1 Corinthians 12:28 (Durham), which shine most clearly in doctrine and piety (Cluverus). [Here, those seven Churches are designated, which are named above and below, as all admit. But beyond this literal sense, others are not wanting, and those most learned men, who maintain that a mystical and Prophetic sense is beneath that, concerning which something is to be said here.] Here, the Churches signify the multitude of the faithful, not so much in distinct places, as in distinct times. Wherefore the seven Churches of Asia are a figure of all the Churches (Cocceius); and, beyond the literal sense, they have been designated so that they might be types or exemplars of as many ages, or states of the Church, succeeding in that order in which the Churches are here enumerated from the beginning to the end (Mede’s Works 5:1107). I doubt not that by these seven Churches is denoted mystically and Prophetically the entire holy Catholic Church (especially to the extent that it was situated within the bounds of the Roman Empire, which Prophecy and other Prophecies of the Apocalypse appear especially to regard), divided, according to the opinion of Petrus Galatinus,[13] into seven succeeding ages, or into seven Intervals unto the end of the world (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 1); and that for the sevenfold, and more conspicuous, diversity of their manners and conditions (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 3:1). The first Interval, in which the Church of Christ is represented under the Title of Ephesus, began thirty years before the Apocalypse was written; and its terminus was in the tenth year of Nero, indeed in the sixty-third of Christ. Therefore it represents the past state of the Church, which also is indicated in Revelation 1:18, 19, Write, says He, what things thou hast already seen, in the past times of thy life, namely, the state of the Ephesian Church; and what things are, that is, the state of the Smyrnean Church, in which also thou thyself art installed (for the ten persecutions had at that time already begun, and the second persecution was oppressing John); and what things are going to be hereafter, namely, in the Remainder of the Period of the Smyrnean Church, and in the Periods of the remaining and succeeding of the seven Churches. The second Interval, under the name of the Smyrnean Church, began when the first ended, and proceeded thence beyond 300 AD. The third, under the name of Pergamos, thence near unto the end of the persecution of the Albigenses and Waldenses.[14] The fourth, under the name of Thyatira, from that time all the way until whole Nations defected from the Pope, and Protestantism was made the religion of Nations. The fifth, under the name of Sardis, thence unto the final Vial. The sixth, under the name of Philadelphia, thence unto the fourth Thunder. The seventh, under the name of Laodicea, thence unto the return of Christ unto judgment (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 1). [The opinion of the Reverend Forbes does not differ very much, which consequently it pleases to subjoin here from his own words, but briefly:] 1. The Church of Ephesus has a relation to the primitive Church, in which the Apostles were yet living, and the Apostolical men, and their disciples, when errors were suppressed and the truth was prevailing: but through the omission of the former charity the way was made for the next, more sorrowful, step. 2. The Church of Smyrna, to those times in which Heretics prevailed, like the Arians, etc. 3. Pergamos, to those times in which error grows in such a way that Antichrist sits in the Temple of God, Revelation 13, and the true Church goes into seclusion, Revelation 11. 4. Thyatira, to that time in which the Church begins in the first degree to emerge from servitude, and Antichrist to incline towards ruin. 5. The Church of Sardis has a relation to those reformed Evangelical Churches, in which Balaam and Jezabel are, that is, Antichrist is, no longer tolerated; which Churches, nevertheless, acquiescing in imperfect beginnings, and content with the denial of Babel alone, are not striving to foster the life of God in themselves, nor pressing on to a perfect reformation with fitting zeal. 6. The relation of Philadelphia is to those Churches which, not clinging to imperfect beginnings, with Babylon left behind, labor to complete the construction of Zion, and pant for a perfect reformation, so that the key of David alone might open and close in the house of God. 7. Laodicea exhibits to us a type of those Churches which appear to themselves richly endowed and stable, and to that same extent flee to Babel, so that they devolve into security; and, what is worse, in external things, in which neither the honor of the house of God, nor the true vigor and wealth of the Church, consists, they glory and seek splendor; but in things pertaining to the worship of God they are tepid, which is the nearest step to Atheism (Forbes). Now, many things confirm this opinion: 1. Why otherwise would he write to these Churches only (Forbes’ Commentary on the Apocalypse 2:785)? Certainly there were many other Churches (More, thus Mede), and indeed Churches more celebrated, such as those of Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, which were no less in need of admonition (Mede’s Works 5:10:1107); and on account of vices and virtues of this sort, and the enduring of hard matters, equally noted. You will say that Asia Minor was, as it were, the Diocese of John. However, John was altogether passive in these Visions, neither did he write otherwise than as he was moved by the Holy Spirit, who is no respecter of persons; it would have been a remarkable thing that He would greet these Churches so attentively, and would pass over all the rest ungreeted. 2. That He does not here review the Churches by name, nor does He call them the seven Churches of Asia, but only the seven Churches in general (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 2); neither does he say, αἱ ἑπτὰ, etc., the seven, etc., but ἑπτὰ, etc., seven, etc. (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 3:1). 3. The number seven (Mede, More), which signifies universality in the Prophetic style, as it is obvious (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 2:7); and it is the number designating the revolutions of times, as it is proven from the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials (Mede), in which this number signifies the entire succession of the particular events. 4. The titles, which in this chapter are attributed to Christ, for example, Who is, and who was, and who is to come, verse 4, which indicates that those things are to be treated which extend from the beginning of the Church unto its furthest ages. Then, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last. Which does not at all agree with the short duration of those Churches. And, He was holding in His right hand seven stars, verse 16 (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 2), that is, all the Angels of all the Churches (Cocceius), since they are equally sustained and governed by the hand of Christ (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 2). And Christ walks among all the Churches (Cocceius). 5. That He calls the Bishops or Pastors Angels, which Prophetic style is proper to this Book; in which all the things of the Angels are ascribed to the Ministers, which sense belongs to the argument and is here beneath the Prophetic sense (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 2). 6. A comparison of this Vision of the seven Churches, with the Vision of the seven Seals, and of the opened Book (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 1); of which the preludes, introduced with equal pomp, with the sound of a Trumpet, and the glorious appearance of Christ in the midst of the Church, in the former standing and walking in the midst of the Candlesticks, in the latter sitting in the midst of the Living Creatures and Elders, altogether make it appear true, that both visions are of the same burden and scope, and hence extend from the beginning of the Church unto the end of the World (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 2:4, 5). 7. That it is not probable that the Spirit of God, in this Book of Prophecies, in which all things have such august extent and Majesty, desired to introduce a prolix vision consisting of seven parts, in which parts there would be nothing at all Prophetic; but only the Praises, and Reprehensions, etc., of seven particular Churches only (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 2:9). 8. A comparison with Revelation 1:19, what things are, and what things are going to be hereafter, that is to say, what things indeed were at that time arising in the truth of the history of the time, indeed according to the character of those seven Churches, and expressed for the instruction of the same: Yet in such a way that future things were at that time being revealed for the instruction of all in all eras. 9. The very sentences of the Epistles evince this; both, because in these by admirable wisdom the diverse cases, whatever were able to happen in all Churches, were expressed vividly; and, because those seven have a typical relation unto the universal Church militant according to its various stages and conditions, inasmuch as they show the special qualities and attributes that were suited to express His particular dispensation towards each one (Forbes). 10. That all the names of these Churches, even by an easy verbal Allusion (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 3:3), which is most common in the Prophetic style (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 2:9), have an Appellative signification (as Grotius also observed, who even interprets all the Churches Mystically because of the names [More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 2:8] [see on verse 11]), and manifestly denote the quality and condition of those Mystically understood (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 3:3), as it is clearly evident in Smyrna, Pergamos, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, and as it is altogether plausible also to obtain in the rest (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 1:1). [Whoever desires to know more concerning this matter, and to understand the special explications and applications of the individual Epistles according to their mind, let him seek it in the Authors mentioned, and also in Brightman and Forbes. For our plan calls us to the literal interpretation of the rest. Now, some things are to be prefaced here in general concerning those things which are common to all the Epistles.] Christ writes in an epistolary form (Cotterius, thus More), [partly, 1.] out of a benevolent affection for the Churches: Under the Law He thus speaks, I am thy God, etc. Hear, O heavens, etc. Here He deals with greater clemency (Cotterius): [Partly, 2.] because this was adapted to His Intention (which was that He might animate them to act and suffer well, etc., and deter them from every sort of sin), as that which plainly bears the form of a certain personal colloquy with men, and in that way arouses their attention more strongly, etc. (More’s Prophetical Exposition of the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia 1:5). 2. John indeed writes the whole Apocalypse and sends it to the Churches, but he himself does not write to the Churches (Cotterius). These letters were not sent separately from the others, but all at the same time were written out in a common Epistle, of which sort is this whole Prophecy; and thence each Church sought what was regarding itself separately (Brightman). That little clause, what the Spirit says to the Churches, sufficiently indicates that, although those things which are said in the individual Epistles were written properly to one particular Church, they are spoken unto the whole and pertain to all the Churches (Pererius). 3. These Epistles are delivered, not with obscure trappings, like the Apocalypse, but with perspicacious words: which I attribute to the nature of the thing, for it treats of faith and life and manners; which matter is altogether necessary to be understood; the mysteries not so (Cotterius). 4. The scope of the Epistles is immediate, that He might stir, teach, correct, etc., these seven Churches, and therefore they are not primarily Prophetic for the representation of particular Churches in succeeding ages. Yet they are manifestly useful and applicable to the rest of the Churches set in the same condition (Durham). Seven is the number of universality, and a sign of a great multitude. And hence the Apocalypse was sent to the seven Churches, and on account of that was claimed by all the Churches, to which Churches those things have regard. Now, the seven most famous Churches were adduced for a type, since all Churches are of this sort. Now, whatever is said to those is to be applied to others, either literally, or by turning it into other things of the same sort, as, for example, by Balaam, Jezabel, etc., are to be understood whatever heretics, seducers, and scandalous men (Cotterius). 5. Although the Epistles especially have regard unto the Churches (Pererius), whence it is said in a little clause of each Epistle, what the Spirit says to the Churches (Durham); yet unto the Bishops, or Pastors, they are sent expressly (Pererius, Cotterius), and that on account of that closest connection between them, in which the Churches are included under them and are represented by them (Durham); and because both the care of the flocks and the mysteries of the kingdom are committed to them, Ezekiel 3; 33; 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2; Hebrews 13:17 (Cluverus), and because the condition of the minister and of the flock is almost the same (Durham, similarly Cluverus), and the safety of the assembly especially depends upon the soundness of the Pastors (Brightman), their faithfulness and diligence (Cluverus); and finally, because the order instituted by Christ required this; for God does not reveal His mind immediately to the people, but to ministers, and by them to the people (Durham): A Pastor is a ταμίας/dispenser of doctrine, exhortation, refutation, etc. (Brightman). Now, what things here are said to be written to the Pastors, are elsewhere said to be written to the Churches (Cluverus, similarly Durham), as in Revelation 1:11 (Brightman, Durham), and in the conclusions of these Epistles. Correctly, Andreas Cæsarius, He speaks by the Angel to the Church, as if someone were to speak by a Pedagogue to a student. For what things belong to the student pertain to the instructor, whether accolades, or demerits, since it is his whole study that he might produce a disciple similar to himself (Cluverus). 6. In the beginning of each Epistle Christ is introduced as marking and commending Himself by one of those ten descriptions, with which He appeared adorned in His own body, Revelation 1, or, by a certain one of the sentences of that (Pererius). The individual things that he saw in the vision, he repeats in the words of Christ (Ribera). Now, those titles of Christ are selected which best serve the scope of each Epistle, and they correspond to the condition of each Church (Durham), and to the matter concerning which Christ addresses them. Thus Revelation 2:1, He holds the stars…in the midst of the lamps, etc., agrees with verse 5, I will remove thy lamp; Revelation 2:8, who was dead and lives, with verse 10, I will give to thee the crown of life; Revelation 2:12, who had the sword, with verse 16, I will wage war against them with the sword; Revelation 2:18, eyes like a flame…and feet…like chalcolibanum, verse 23, I am He who thoroughly examines, etc., and verse 27, they shall be crushed. Thus Revelation 3:7, who is holy and true, who has the key, etc., agrees with verse 8, I set before thee an open door, and with verse 10, I will preserve thee, etc., doubt it not, for I am holy and true (Cotterius). 7. Here, the wisdom and mercy of God are to be observed, who mixes encouragements in the midst of rebuke, etc. (Pererius out of Rupertus). 8. Christ uses extraordinary artiface and order. In the second epistle, the cross is heavier than in the first. In the second epistle, the Nicolaitans teach, whose works only are in the first. The scandal is placed in work in the third, in teaching in the fourth. In the first is the tree of life; in the second life itself; in the third, a new name is given to one living; in the fourth, the kingdom unto the people; in the fifth, he is clothed in white garments; in the sixth, he is made a pillar of the Temple, which is greater; in the seventh he sits on the throne, which is the greatest (Cotterius).

The mystery of the seven stars, and the seven golden candlesticks: see Revelation 1:12, 16. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; that is, they signify the angels of the seven churches. By angels he means God’s messengers and ambassadors to the seven churches, called angels, both in respect of their office, being the ambassadors of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:20, and of that holiness which they should show forth in their doctrine and life. To interpret the term of angels by nature, seems not agreeable to what we shall hereafter meet with said to some of them; Christ would never have ordered John to have charged them with a loss of their first love, or to admonish them to be faithful unto death, or to repent. Whether the term angel denoteth any particular superior minister or bishop in those churches, or is to be taken collectively for all the ministers in those churches, I shall not dispute. Certain it is, ἄγγελος/angel signifieth no more than is common to all ministers, namely, to be God’s messengers, and move upon his errand. And the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches; the seven churches mentioned Revelation 1:11: or else, seven being the number of perfection, all the churches, which are fitly represented by candlesticks, in the same sense as they are called pillars of truth in Paul’s Epistle to Timothy,[15] because they have not the light they show from themselves, only hold it forth from Christ. But it is the opinion of very learned writers upon this book, that our Lord, by these seven churches, signifies all the churches of Christ to the end of the world; and by what he saith to them, designs to show what shall be the state of the churches in all ages, and what their duty is. That by the church of Ephesus, was represented the purest state of all the Christian churches, which determined thirty years before this book was written. By the church of Smyrna, the state of all Christian churches till the year 300. By the church of Pergamos, all the Christian churches till antichrist got up into the saddle, and the Albigenses and Waldenses were so persecuted. By the church of Thyatira, the state of the churches from that time till our Reformation. By the other three, the state of all churches for one hundred and fifty years last past, and which shall be to the end of the world. See Dr. More, Mr. Mede, Cocceius, and Forbes, as learned and diligent inquirers into the sense of this book as any have been, who give many reasons for this: 1. Because no reason else can be given, why epistles should not be written to other churches as well as these. 2. He doth not call them the seven churches of Asia, but seven churches. 3. The number seven is a number used to signify perfection. 4. What is said of Christ’s walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks, having the stars in his right hand, etc., agreeth to him with reference to all churches, not to these seven only. 5. His calling ministers angels, speaks this a prophecy, for that is a prophetical style. 6. The mentioning the same number of churches and ministers, as of the seals, speaks this part of the Revelation as comprehensive, with respect to time, as the other. 7. It is not probable that these epistles would have been ushered in with such a vision, if they had been merely historical and didactic, not prophetical also. 8. They argue from Revelation 1:19, where John is bid to write not only what is, but what shall come to pass. 9. They argue from the matter of the epistles. —Let the curious reader see more of this in the authors themselves, as also in Mr. Brightman.

[1] Greek: τὸ μυστήριον τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀστέρων ὧν εἶδες ἐπὶ τῆς δεξιᾶς μου, καὶ τὰς ἑπτὰ λυχνίας τὰς χρυσᾶς. οἱ ἑπτὰ ἀστέρες ἄγγελοι τῶν ἑπτὰ ἐκκλησιῶν εἰσί· καὶ αἱ ἑπτὰ λυχνίαι ἃς εἶδες ἑπτὰ ἐκκλησίαι εἰσί.

[2] Revelation 1:19, 20a: “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery (τὸ μυστήριον, an Accusative object, perhaps of the verb write) of the seven stars (τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀστέρων, in the Genitive case) which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks (τὰς ἑπτὰ λυχνίας τὰς χρυσᾶς, in the Accusative case).”

[3] Revelation 2:4.

[4] Revelation 2:5, 16; 3:3, 19.

[5] Revelation 2:10.

[6] Isaiah 33:7: “Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors (מַלְאֲכֵי/ angels) of peace shall weep bitterly.”

[7] Haggai 1:13a: “Then spake Haggai the Lord’s messenger (מַלְאַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה, the Lord’s angel) in the Lord’s message (בְּמַלְאֲכ֥וּת יְהוָ֖ה) unto the people…”

[8] Malachi 2:7: “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger (מַלְאַךְ/angel) of the Lord of hosts.”

[9] Malachi 3:1: “Behold, I will send my messenger (מַלְאָכִי, my angel), and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant (וּמַלְאַ֙ךְ הַבְּרִ֜ית, even the Angel of the covenant), whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”

[10] David Kimchi (c. 1160-1235) was a famous Spanish Rabbi. He wrote a commentary on the entire Old Testament and a Hebrew grammar, as a result of which he has long been respected for his profound scholarship.

[11] The καὶ/and is omitted in Codices Alexandrinus and Ephræmi Rescriptus, and in the great majority of Byzantine manuscripts.

[12] Ἃς εἶδες, which thou sawest, is wanting in Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus, and in some Byzantine manuscripts.

[13] Petrus Galatinus, or Pietro Colonna Galatino (1460-1540), was an Italian Franciscan, theologian, and Orientalist. With Reuchlin, he was an advocate for the authority and authenticity of the Hebrew original. He wrote Commentaria in Apocalypsim.

[14] The Albigenses and Waldenses were two groups of proto-Protestants which trace their history to twelfth century Albi, France, and the Italian Piedmont, respectively. These groups were persecuted by the Roman Church, which accused them of Manichæism. They were persecuted for their desire to worship in gospel simplicity and their refusal of Papal authority.

[15] 1 Timothy 3:15.

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Dr. Dilday
Jun 30, 2018

Thomas Boston's Doctrines of the Christian Religion: 'I shall shew the duty people owe to their ministers.... They owe them singular reverence, and that because of that honourable station wherein Christ has placed them, sending them to deal with sinners in his own stead, 1 Corinthians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 5:20. This founds that debt of reverence, Romans 10:15, and should be expressed in word and deed. They are the stars whom Christ holds in his right hand; and though they shine not so clear as ye would wish, people would beware of treading them under foot, seeing Christ holds them in his right hand, Revelation 1:20, compare Revelation 2:4, 14, 20, etc.'


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Jun 30, 2018

William Tong (for Matthew Henry): 'The condescending goodness of the Lord Jesus to his disciple: He laid his hand upon him, Revelation 1:17. He raised him up; he did not plead against him with his great power, but he put strength into him, he spoke kind words to him. [1.] Words of comfort and encouragement: Fear not.... [2.] Words of instruction, telling him particularly who he was that thus appeared to him. And here he acquaints him, First, with his divine nature... Sixthly, With the meaning of the seven stars, that they are the ministers of the churches; and of the seven candlesticks, that they are the seven churches, to whom Christ would now send by him particular and prope…

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