The sense is, that John was to write the mystery of these stars, or the mystical sense of them: and the seven golden candlesticks; the mystery, or mysterious sense of them also; for the words are in a continued connection with Revelation 1:19, and have respect to the following interpretation of them, and to the epistles in the following chapter, which are mystical, and prophetical of the state of the churches in all succeeding ages: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; that is, the seven stars which John saw in Christ's right hand, represent the angels, or pastors of the seven churches of Asia, and in them all the pastors and ministers of the churches in all the periods of time until Christ's second coming. the very grand and illustrious appearance of Christ, antecedent to these epistles, when compared with the appearance of God, previous to the opening of the sealed book, and the seven seals of it, may induce one to conclude, that as the latter introduces the book prophecy in this revelation, so the former introduces the church prophecy; nor does it seem that such a magnificent appearance is necessary to the bare sending of some letters of advice to some particular churches: moreover, as there are some things in these epistles too common to all the churches and ministers to be restrained to some particular ones, such as Christ's affording his presence among them, signified by his walking amidst the candlesticks, and his care of, and respect unto the ministers of the Gospel, expressed by holding seven stars in his right hand; for can it be thought that Christ only granted his presence to the seven churches in Asia? Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary1:12-20 The churches receive their light from Christ and the gospel, and hold it forth to others. (3) it cannot be proved that the reference is to a prelatical bishop presiding over a group or circle of churches, called a diocese; for:(a) There is nothing in the word "angel," as used in this connection, which would be especially applicable to such a personage - it being as applicable to a pastor of a single church, as to a bishop of many churches. By the advocates of Episcopacy, it has been argued that the use of this term proves that there was a presiding bishop over a circle or group of churches in Ephesus, in Smyrna, etc., since it is said that it cannot be supposed that there was but a single church in a city so large as Ephesus, or in the other cities mentioned. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it … Compare Revelation 2:1, Revelation 2:8,Revelation 2:12, Revelation 2:18; see also similar language in regard to the church in Corinth, 1 Corinthians 1:2; in Antioch, Acts 13:1; at Laodicea, Colossians 4:16; and at Ephesus, Acts 20:28.continued...Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary20. (14) That is, the thing which was mystical signified by the particulars of the vision before going. 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. 1. This is urged on the ground that the word is constantly used in Revelation of a heavenly being; by reference to the angels of the little ones (Matthew 18:10), and to Peter's angel (Acts 12:15). Angels proper Heavenly guardians of the churches. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Revelation 1:1-20. Stars symbolize lordship (Nu 24:17; compare Da 12:3, of faithful teachers; Re 8:10; 12:4; Jude 13).angels—not as Alford, from Origen [Homily 13 on Luke, and Homily 20 on Numbers], the guardian angels of the churches, just as individuals have their guardian angels. It is the final and most powerful warning given to the world. The general and obvious truths which they would serve to convey would be that the ministers of the churches, and the churches themselves, were designed to be lights in the world, and should burn clearly and steadily. The angels of the seven churches - Greek, "Angels of the seven churches:" the article being missing. 51. In order to ascertain the meaning of the word as used in this place, and in reference to these churches, it may be remarked: (1) That it cannot mean literally an angel, as referring to a heavenly being, for no one can suppose that such a being presided over these churches. Revelation 1:1-20. and besides, this concluding sentence shows, that what is contained in each epistle is something intricate, abstruse, and parabolical, it being only used when some such thing is delivered; see Matthew 11:15. Revelation 1:20 . Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. By the church of Smyrna, the state of all Christian churches till the year 300. So you hang in limbo as to how the book ends. Posted on January 4, 2017 January 4, 2017 by Chris Waks. (14) That is, the thing which was mystical signified by the particulars of the vision before going. The close identification between each “angel” and the character of the church. The rulers ard teachers of the congregation. Matthew Poole's Commentary The mystery of the seven stars, and the seven golden candlesticks: see Revelation 1:12,16. The word means, properly, "what is hidden, obscure, unknown" - until it is disclosed by one having the ability to do it, or by the course of events. angels—not as Alford, from Origen [Homily 13 on Luke, and Homily 20 on Numbers], the guardian angels of the churches, just as individuals have their guardian angels. (2) it cannot be shown to mean, as Lord (in loco) supposes, messengers that the churches had sent to John, and that these letters were given to them to be returned by them to the churches; for: (a) there is no evidence that any such messenger had been sent to John; (b) there is no probability that while he was a banished exile in Patmos such a thing would be permitted; (c) the message was not sent by them, it was sent to them "Unto the angel of the church in Ephesus write," etc. The angels are a personification of the churches themselves: the Church being spoken of as if concentrated in its angel or messenger. What is said of Christ’s walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks, having the stars in his right hand, &c., agreeth to him with reference to all churches, not to these seven only. See Malachi 2:7, where the priest is called the messenger (angel) of the Lord; and Malachi 3:1, where the same word is used of the prophet. This raises the question of the existence of episcopacy towards the close of the first century. and these churches also, all but Ephesus, very obscure ones; why not to the churches at Antioch, Corinth, Rome, &c. and it is stranger still, if, as Epiphanius says (w), there was no church at Thyatira till after the writing of these letters: nothing can account for all this but their being prophetic, there being something in the number, names, situation, and case of these churches, which were emblematical of the state of the church in successive periods of time; to which may be added, that the epiphonema at the close of every epistle, "he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches", shows that each epistle to every church is not designed for that church only, but for churches; and for what churches but for those who are represented in that period of time, since they must be unsuitable to one another? and besides, this concluding sentence shows, that what is contained in each epistle is something intricate, abstruse, and parabolical, it being only used when some such thing is delivered; see ( Matthew 11:15 ) ( Matthew 13:9 Matthew 13:43 ) . (preterist and futurist interpretations tend to … ... Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – seemingly alone – recognize the meaning behind paying homage to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue and are thrown into the fiery furnace. See Acts 20:17, Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-5. 4. to be God’s messengers, and move upon his errand. Salem Media Group. (a) The angels are Bishops; the word ἄγγελος sometimes occurring in that sense (as in Jerome and Socrates). Revelation 1:20 New Living Translation (NLT) 20 This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels[ a] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. We will be looking for obvious themes and how to apply them practically rather than speculating over obscure details (e.g., the meaning of “666;” birthplace of the Antichrist, etc.). Revelation 1:20 Context. What does it mean that Jesus will come in the clouds (Revelation 1:7)? in—Greek, "upon My right hand. The Lord Jesus spake words of comfort; Fear not. and these churches also, all but Ephesus, very obscure ones; why not to the churches at Antioch, Corinth, Rome and it is stranger still, if, as Epiphanius says {w}, there was no church at Thyatira till after the writing of these letters: nothing can account for all this but their being prophetic, there being something in the number, names, situation, and case of these churches, which were emblematical of the state of the church in successive periods of time; to which may be added, that the epiphonema at the close of every epistle, "he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches", shows that each epistle to every church is not designed for that church only, but for churches; and for what churches but for those who are represented in that period of time, since they must be unsuitable to one another? The mystery of the stars which thou sawest upon my right hand. so there are others too particular to certain periods to belong to those churches, as that Smyrna should have a crown of life, Pergamos hidden manna and a white stone, Thyatira the morning star, and Philadelphia be delivered from a temptation that would reach all the world, and is not yet come; for which no reason can be given in the literal sense of these epistles; and it is strange that only seven churches should be sent to, and these only in Asia; why not to the churches in Africa and Europe? Clarke's Revelation 1:20 Bible Commentary The mystery - That is, the allegorical explanation of the seven stars is the seven angels or ministers of the Churches; and the allegorical meaning of the seven golden lamps is the seven Churches themselves. Second, the angels, represented symbolically in Revelation 1:20 as seven stars in the hands of the glorified Christ, are distinct from the seven lampstands which represent the churches. Symbols of pre-eminence and authority. of Which thou sawest in my right hand - Greek, "upon my right hand" - ἐπὶ τῆς δεξιᾶς μου epi tēs dexias mou: giving some support to the opinion that the stars, as they were seen, appeared to be placed on his hand - that is, on the palm of his hand as he stretched it out. REVELATION 1:20. Revelation 1:1-20 1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. Seeing Jesus (Revelation 1:12-20) John tells his audience that he is on Patmos, suffering for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. (c) The use of the word "church" in the singular, as applied to Ephesus, Smyrna, etc., rather implies that there was but a single church in each of those cities. His calling ministers angels, speaks this a prophecy, for that is a prophetical style. KJ21. 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. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. Because no reason else can be given, why epistles should not be written to other churches as well as these. Revelation 1:20 tells us that the “seven golden candlesticks” represent the seven churches. His voice as the sound of many waters, may represent the power of his word, to remove or to destroy. By the church of Thyatira, the state of the churches from that time till our Reformation. Here it may be observed, that the ministers of the Gospel are not only compared to "stars", for which see Gill on Revelation 1:16; but likewise to "angels", which signifies "messengers", as ministers are sent forth by Christ with the message of the Gospel to publish to the sons of men; and as the angels are Christ's ministering spirits, so are the preachers of the Gospel the ministers of Christ, that wait upon him and serve him in the ministry of the word, and in the administration of ordinances; and there is some agreement between them in holiness, knowledge, zeal, diligence, and watchfulness, in their work; as also they may be so called for the honour and esteem in which they are, both with Christ and his churches; and who like the angels rejoice at the conversion of sinners, and the enlargement of the interest of Christ: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches; represent the seven churches, of Asia, and in them all the churches of Christ, in successive ages, to the end of time; the reasons why these are signified by "candlesticks"; see Gill on Revelation 1:12; and that they are prophetic of the churches of Christ in the several periods of time, until he comes again, will appear from the following considerations: the whole book is called a prophecy, and a revelation of things that were shortly to come to pass, and it would be very strange, and very unsuitable to its title, should the three first chapters contain nothing prophetic in them; the characters of the divine Person under which these seven churches are saluted, as he which is, and was, and is to come, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, show that the things written to them belong to the Gospel church state, from the beginning to the end of it, for what other reason can be given for such a peculiar use of them? 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. The clothing Jesus is wearing here is the attire of a high priest. 8. The seven stars are - That is, they represent, or they denote - in accordance with a common usage in the Scriptures. These were mere clerks or readers; so that their position does not answer to that of the angels presiding over the churches.
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