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Revelation 5:1





1 And [kai] I saw [eido] in [epi] the right hand [dexios] of him that sat [kathemai] on [epi] the throne [thronos] a book [biblion] written [grapho] within [esothen] and [kai] on the backside, [opisthen] sealed [katasphragizo] with seven [hepta] seals. [sphragis]     KJV-Interlinear



1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.    NASB



There is a lot of speculation as to the meaning and purpose of this verse, and for some, the speculation goes beyond the content of even the Bible.


We need only to pick apart the verse little by little and then we will know for a certainty exactly what is going on here.


First John sees, ‘His right hand’ (the right hand of the one sitting on the throne), and a book held therein.  The one who is sitting on the throne is Jesus Christ.


The transition here in this chapter leaves that which has been revealed (chapters 1-4), intact, and continues in sequence, with additional information in the vision.


Jesus Christ is the one sitting on the throne, the one who holds the book.


The word for book, ‘biblion,’ refers to a writing, a written document, an item that contains writing at length, a roll, a bill, a book, a scroll.  And this book is lengthy as determined by what it reveals.


In John’s day, the scroll was the typical mechanism of written documents.Usually written on one side and then rolled up so as to not reveal its content until it is unrolled.That is simply the nature of the document.When you roll up a piece of parchment or paper or whatever, then you cannot see what is written on the inside until you unroll it.That should be obvious.


However, this book contains writing on both sides of the material.How could John have known that?Well he saw the book or scroll.He saw writing on the outside of the scroll.And any normal person knowing the nature of scrolls, would surmise that there was writing on the inside as well.


He describes the writing as the form of text or body of the document, and not in the form of a label or title.  A label or title of a document would be obvious and easily read and described as such.


This scroll is not described as a contract, title of ownership, legal decision, decree of marriage or divorce, or anything of that nature.A scroll documenting the purchase of real-estate in Jer. 32 is clearly defined as a legal document.  And a scroll is described in Ezek. 2:9-10, describes lamentations due to the rebellious attitude of Israel, against God.


However in contrast, this scroll is directed at humanity in general, as the whole planet earth is included in the events that it reveals.


Note, that the scroll is never read (from within the context of this book of Revelation) and its detailed contents are never revealed, only the events that occur when each successive seal is broken, is made known.Thus by interpolation, and knowing the events described, we can surmise that the details that accompany them, are terribly severe for those who will be made to endure the actual events.


The scroll is sealed with seven seals.


Typically when a scroll is rolled up it may be tied with a string or something that would prevent it from unrolling on its own.Legal documents or documents of importance would be sealed with some form of wax or impression, which is intended to restrict their opening, except by certain and authorized persons.  However, typically one seal is all that is required for the whole document.


In this case, there are seven seals (not typical in any era of history), each designed to protect a successive portion of the scroll as it is opened in sequence.The seals would have to be applied on the margin or edge of the scroll as it was rolled up, so that they could be broken in succession as the scroll was unrolled.


John saw the seven seals clearly, which also indicates the thickness, magnitude, or fullness of the scroll.


The number seven, throughout the Bible indicates ‘completeness,’ or ‘fullness,’ or ‘entirety,’ such that nothing more can or need be added or taken away in order to make it better.It is a finished document.


So, Jesus Christ, the unique person of the universe, the Son of God, and God Himself, who sits on the throne of heaven, in heaven, which is over all thrones, and of whom occupies and possesses the throne and all that it stands for, holds in His right hand of authority, a very detailed book, written on both sides of the paper, and sealed with seven official seals indicating that this book is complete, has been complete, and will not be changed in its content, and is now ready to be revealed.


But by whom?  And what does it reveal?



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