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THE HE Revelation of Jefus Chrift, which God gave unto him, to fhow. unto his fervants things which must shortly). come to pafs; and he sent and fignified itol by his angel unto his fervant John:
2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the teftimony of Jefus Christ, and of all things that he faw.
Bleffed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and 'keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The book opens (ver. 1, 2, 3.) with the title or inscription of the book itself; the scope and defign of it, to foretel things which should fhortly begin to be fulfilled, and fucceed in their due feafon and order, till all were accomplifhed; and the bleffing pronounced on him who fhall read and explain it, and on them who fhall hear and attend to it. The diftinction is remarkable of him that readeth, and of them that hear; for books being then in manufcript were in much fewer hands, and it was a much readier way to publish a prophecy or any thing
by public reading than by. tranfcribing copies. It was too the custom of that age to read all the apoftolical writings in the congregations of the faithful; but now only fome few parts of this book are appointed to be read on certain feftivals.
4 John to the feven churches, which are in Afia: Grace be unto you, and peace from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the feven fpirits which are before his throne;
5 And from Jefus Chrift, who is the faithful witnefs, and the firft-begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth: Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our fins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priefts unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye fhall fee him, and they alfo which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth fhall wail becaufe of him: even fo, Amen.
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, faith the Lord, which is, and
and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty..
The apoftle dedicates his book (ver. 4, 5, 6,) to the seven churches of the Lydian or proconfular Afia, wishing them grace and peace from the eternal God as the author and giver; and from the feven fpirits, the representatives and ministers of the Holy Ghoft, as the inftruments; and from Jefus Christ as the mediator, who is mentioned last, because the subsequent discourse more immediately relates to him. To the dedication he fubjoins a fhort and folemn preface (ver. 7, 8.) to show the great authority of the divine perfon, who had commiffioned him to write the Revelation,
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the ile that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jefus Chrift.
10 I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the firft and the last: and, What thou feeft
write in a book, and fend it unto the feven churches which are in Afia; unto Ephefus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to fee the voice that fpake with me. And being turned, I faw feven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlefticks, one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as fnow; and his eyes' were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the found of many waters.
16. And he had in his right hand seven ftars and out of his mouth went a fharp two-edged fword: and his countenance was as the fun fhineth in his strength.
17 And when I faw him, I fell at his feet as dead: and he laid his right hand upon me, faying unto me, Fear not; I am the firft and the laft:
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19 Write the things which thou haft feen, and the things which are, and the things which fhall be hereafter.
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou fawest in my right hand, and the -feven golden candlefticks. The seven stars are the angels of the feven churches and the feven candlesticks which thou faweft, are the feven churches.
He then (ver. 9-20.) mentions the place, where the Revelation was given, and describes the manner and circumftances of the firft vifion. The place, where the Revelation was given, was Patmos a defolate iland in the Archipelago, whither he was banished for the confeffion of the gospel. This happened in the reign of Nero more probably than in that of Domitian. It is indeed the more general opinion, that the Apocalyps was written in Domitian's reign; and this opinion is founded upon
(9) Fren. adver£. Hæres. Lib. 5. Cap. 30. p. 449. Edit. Grabe.
(1) Eufebii Chron. Lib. 1. Edit. Scalig. p. 8o. Gr. p. 44. Lat. Vide etiam p. 164. Libri pofterioris,