A. There are two key verses of Scripture in which great emphasis must be placed.
1. Verse 9. “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals”
2. Verse 12. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
B. Only Christ will be found to be worthy to break the seals of the tribulation judgments which will come on the whole world, on those which will be left behind from the rapture (Rev 3:10), which will begin in Rev 6:1, and continue until the second coming of Christ at the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-21). God, through Christ and His angels, will bring the judgments of the tribulation, “upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Every bit of the tribulation will be God’s wrath, and not the wrath of Satan, Anti-Christ, mankind, or of “mother nature.”
C. Only Christ is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing (vs 12), all of which come from, “every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them,” per Philippians 2:9-11…..9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
II. Scripture Text.
The Book with Seven Seals
1 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. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. 4 Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they *sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
Angels Exalt the Lamb
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
III. Verse Examination.
A. Ryrie Study Bible.
1. Rev 5:1. “a book.” Lit. a scroll. This may be called the “Book of Redemption,” as it contains the story of man’s fall through sin, and rise through Christ (Heb 2:5-9).
2.Rev 5:5. “the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah.” The noblest and victorious of the kingly tribe (cf. Gen 49:9). “the root of David.” The one who fulfills the covenant with David (cf. Isa 11:1, 10). The Messiah, John is assured, is competent and worthy to break the seven seals and open the scroll to release the plagues.
3. Rev 5:6. “as if slain.” Christ, the Lamb, bears the mark of His death (See Luke 24:40; John 20:20, 27) even in His glorified state. “horns” are a symbol of strength (cf. 1 Kings 22:11; Zech 1:18).
4. Rev 5:8. “bowls,” like saucers.
5. Rev 5:9-10. The Lamb is worthy because He died in the past to pay the ransom price for the sins of the world; positioned us in the present as a kingdom and priests before God, and gave us a promise of reigning on the earth in the future. A few mss. read “us” and “we” in verse 10 instead of “them” and “they.” In either case, the elders could be singing of their own redemption in either the first or third person.
6. Rev 5:13. All creation joins in praise to God and the Lamb.
7. Rev 5:14. The heavenly scene of chapters 4 and 5 gives heaven’s perspective on the need for the awful judgments to follow, for Christ’s right to reign must be realized and sin must be punished.
B. Holman Christian Standard Bible.
1. Rev 5:1. A scroll …sealed with seven seals cannot be read until all the seals have been opened. The scroll apparently contains the judgments and redemption seen in later chapters. It may also be the scroll that was sealed in Dan 12:4. There appears to be an allusion to the scroll the Lord handed Ezekiel in Ezek 2:9-10.2.
2. Rev 5:2-4. No creature in all of creation was found worthy to open the seals on the scroll in God’s hand (v. 1).
3. Rev 5:5-6. Here we see the consummation of God’s twofold purpose in history: to reclaim His kingdom and to redeem His people. This twofold victory over Satan is first predicted in Gen 3:15 and then covenanted to Abraham in the promise of a land and a Seed (see Gen 12:1-3; Deu 30:1-5; 2 Sam 7:12-16).
4. Rev 5:7. The reception of the scroll from the Father demonstrates that judgment and authority over the earth is committed to the Son (see Dan 7:13-14). The scroll is likely the same one sealed by Daniel (see Dan 12:9-10).
5. Rev 5:8. The prayers of the saints (believers) play an important role in the Lamb’s opening of the scroll and the ensuing judgment.
5. Rev 5:9. The new song celebrates the redemptive work of the Son as the basis of His right to judge. Divine rule has its basis in creation (ch. 4) and redemption.
6. Rev 5:13-14. Blessing and honor and glory and power: From the vantage point of heaven, these verses look forward to the climactic point when “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11)
IV. Additional Examination.
THE SCROLL AND THE LAMB
This chapter is part of the vision that begins at 4:1 and continues through the opening of the seven seals (6:1-8:1; cf. comment on 4:1-8:1). Its center of gravity lies in the three hymns (vv 9, 12, 13) addressed to the Lamb. They beautifully combine the worship of the Lamb (hymns 1 and 2) with the worship of the one who sits on the throne (hymn 3, addressed to both God and the Lamb). The movement of the whole scene focuses on the slain Lamb as he takes the scroll from the hand of the one on the throne. The actions of all other participants are described in terms of worship directed to the Lamb and the one on the throne. The culminating emphasis is on the worthiness of the Lamb to receive worship because of his death.
A. Paragraph I. Holman New Testament Commentary.
B. Paragraph II. The NASB 95 verses were cut and pasted from Bible Hub
C. Paragraph III. References for Paragraph II are stated in the paragraph.
D. Paragraph IV. Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): New Testament. Comments were cut and posted from Bible Hub.