Revelation 1:4b-8

Revelation 1:4b-8
Reign of Christ B

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JohnA to the sevenB churchesC that are in Asia:D

Notes on verse 4a

A “John” = Ioannes. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel); {from havah (to become); from hayah (to be, exist, happen)} + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John, meaning “the Lord has been gracious.”
B “seven” = hepta. This is seven or seventh. Figuratively, seven is the number of completeness or perfection.
C “churches” = ekklesia. From ek (from, out from) + kaleo to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud) {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is properly a calling out or an assembly. It was used to refer to a church.
D “Asia” = Asia. 18x in NT. Perhaps from Hittite assuwa (22 allied ancient states in Anatolia) OR Aegean asis (muddy, silty) OR Semitic root asu (rising or light; Asia as land to the east). This is Asia, the Roman province, which consisted of western Asia Minor. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_continent_name_etymologies

GraceE to you and peaceF from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spiritsG who are beforeH his throne,I 

Notes on verse 4b

E “grace” = charis. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks. It is the sense of being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit. This can be literal, figurative, or spiritual. It is grace as abstract concept, manner, or action.
F “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)
G “spirits” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
H “before” = enopios. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is literally “in sight of.” It means before in a literal or figurative sense.
I “throne” = thronos. Probably from thanos (bench); from thrao (to sit). This is throne or seat – the place where the king sits. So, it is used figuratively to mean power, dominion, or a potentate. This is where the word “throne” comes from.

and from JesusJ Christ,K the faithfulL witness,M

Notes on verse 5a

J “Jesus” = Iesous. Related to “John” in v4. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (see note A above)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
K “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
L “faithful” = pistos. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true. It is a fullness of faith. This is the same root as the word “faith” in Greek.
M “witness” = martus. This is a witness whether having heard or seen something. It refers to a witness literally, judicially, or figuratively. By analogy, this is a martyr. This is also where the word “martyr” comes from.

the firstbornN of the dead,O and the rulerP of the kingsQ of the earth.R

Notes on verse 5b

N “firstborn” = prototokos. 8x in NT. From protos (what is first, which could be the most important, the first in order, the main one, the chief); {from pro (before, first, in front of, earlier)} + tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is firstborn or oldest. Figuratively, it can also mean pre-eminent.
O “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead of lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.
P “ruler” = archon. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is ruler, leader, magistrate, official, prince, chief.
Q “kings” = basileus. Probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is king, emperor, or sovereign.
R “earth” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.

To him who lovesS us and freedT us from our sinsU by his blood,V 

Notes on verse 5c

S “loves” = agapao. Perhaps from agan (much). This is love, longing for, taking pleasure in. It is divine love or human love that echoes divine love.
T “freed” = luo. This is to loose, release, or untie. Figuratively, it can mean to break, destroy, or annul. This is releasing what had been withheld.
U “sins” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.
V “blood” = haima. This is blood in a literal sense as bloodshed. Figuratively, it can also be used to refer to wine or to kinship (being related).

and madeW us to be a kingdom,X priestsY serving his GodZ and Father,AA

Notes on verse 6a

W “made” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
X “kingdom” = basileia. Related to “kings” in v5. From basileus (see note Q above). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
Y “priests” = hiereus. From hieros (sacred, something sacred, temple, holy, set apart; something consecrated to God or a god). This is a priest, used for Jewish and Gentile priests.
Z “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
AA “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

to him be gloryBB and dominionCC forever and ever.DD Amen.EE

Notes on verse 6b

BB “glory” = doxa. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.
CC “dominion” = kratos. 12x in NT. This is strength, power, or dominion. It is vigor in a literal or figurative sense or power that is exercised.
DD “forever and ever” = eis + ho + aion + ho + aion. Literally, “to the ages of the ages.” Aion is from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
EE “amen” = amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.

Look!FF He is coming with the clouds;GG
    every eyeHH will seeII him,
even those who piercedJJ him;
    and on his account all the tribesKK of the earth will wail.LL

So it is to be. Amen.

Notes on verse 7

FF “look” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
GG “clouds” = nephele. From nephos (cloud; figurative for a great crowd or multitude). This is cloud or cloudiness.
HH “eye” = ophthalmos. Related to “before” in v4 & “see” in v7. From optanomai (see note H above). This is eye or sight. It is used figuratively for the mind’s eye, a vision, or for envy.
II “see” = horao. Related to “before” in v4. See note H above.
JJ “pierced” = ekkenteo. 2x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + the same as kentron (a sting or sharp point; figuratively, poison or death); {from kenteo (to prick)}. This is to pierce or transfix.
KK “tribes” = phule. From phuo (to produce, spring up, grow, germinate; perhaps originally meaning puff or blow). This is clan, tribe, lineage. It is those who descend from a shared ancestor.
LL “wail” = kopto. 8x in NT. This is to cut, strike, cut off. It can also mean beating the chest to lament and so to mourn.

“I am the AlphaMM and the Omega,”NN, OO says the LordPP God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.QQ

Notes on verse 8

MM “Alpha” = Alpha. 4x in NT– all in Revelation. “From Phoenician 𐤀‎ (ʾ /ʾālep/; first letter of alphabet);” “From Proto-Canaanite , from Proto-Sinaitic , from Egyptian 𓃾 (see kꜣ) representing an ox head, whence the letter name 𐤀𐤋𐤐‎ (ʾlp, “head of cattle”).”” This is Alpha, the beginning of the Greek alphabet. It can be used a prefix (meaning “un-” or “with”). It can also mean 1 or 1,000. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/alpha & https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%F0%90%A4%80#Phoenician
NN “Omega” = O. 4x in NT. From o (Omega; also oh!) + megas (big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc). This is Omega, the letter, which literally means “big o.” Figuratively, it can refer to infinity or finality. Seehttps://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/omega
OO Some manuscripts add “beginning and end” = arche + kai + telos. Arche is related to “ruler” in v5. From archomai (to begin, rule); from archo (see note P above). Properly, this is what is first. In a temporal sense, that is beginning or origin. It can also refer to the one who ranks first, i.e. king or ruler. So, it can also be magistrate, power, or principality. It can be used more generally for what is preeminent. Telos is from tel– (to reach a goal or aim); This is an end, aim, purpose, completion, goal, consummation, or tax. It is completing a stage of something and everything that results from that completion. It can be literal or figurative.
PP “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
QQ “Almighty” = Pantokrator. Related to “dominion” in v6. 10x in NT– 9x in Revelation. From pas (all, every, each) + krateo (being strong or mighty so, by extension, to prevail or rule; to seize, grasp hold of, control; to arrest); {from kratos (see note CC above)}. This is almighty or omnipotent. It is the one who rules everything. It is always used of God.


Image credit: A mosaic of Christ Pantocrator by Ernst Bauernfeind at Antonskirche in Antonsplatz, Vienna.

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