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Revelation 1:13

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Like unto the Son of man - This seems a reference to Daniel 7:13. This was our blessed Lord himself, Revelation 1:18.

Clothed with a garment down to the foot - This is a description of the high priest, in his sacerdotal robes. See these described at large in the notes on Exodus 28:4, etc., Jesus is our high priest, even in heaven. He is still discharging the sacerdotal functions before the throne of God.

Golden girdle - The emblem both of regal and sacerdotal dignity.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And in the midst of the seven candlesticks - Standing among them, so as to be encircled with them. This shows that the representation could not have been like that of the vision of Zechariah Zechariah 4:2, where the prophet sees “a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon.” In the vision as it appeared to John, there was not one lampbearer, with seven lamps or branches, but there were seven lamp-bearers, so arranged that one in the likeness of the Son of man could stand in the midst of them.

One like unto the Son of man - This was evidently the Lord Jesus Christ himself, elsewhere so often called “the Son of man.” That it was the Saviour himself is apparent from Revelation 1:18. The expression rendered “like unto the Son of man,” should have been “like unto a son of man”; that is, like a man, a human being, or in a human form. The reasons for so interpreting it are:

(a)that the Greek is without the article, and

(b)that, as it is rendered in our version, it seems to make the writer say that he was like himself, since the expression “the Son of man” is in the New Testament but another name for the Lord Jesus.

The phrase is often applied to him in the New Testament, and always, except in three instances Acts 7:56; Revelation 1:13; Revelation 14:14, by the Saviour himself, evidently to denote his warm interest in man, or his relationship to man; to signify that he was a man, and wished to designate himself eminently as such. See the notes on Matthew 8:20. In the use of this phrase in the New Testament, there is probably an allusion to Daniel 7:13. The idea would seem to be, that he whom he saw resembled “the Son of man” - the Lord Jesus, as he had seen him in the days of his flesh though it would appear that he did not know that it was he until he was informed of it, Revelation 1:18. Indeed, the costume in which he appeared was so unlike that in which John had been accustomed to see the Lord Jesus in the days of his flesh, that it cannot be well supposed that he would at once recognize him as the same.

Clothed with a garment down to the foot - A robe reaching down to the feet, or to the ankles, yet so as to leave the feet themselves visible. The allusion here, doubtless, is to a long, loose, flowing robe, such as was worn by kings. Compare the notes on Isaiah 6:1.

And girt about the paps - About the breast. It was common, and is still, in the East, to wear a girdle to confine the robe, as well as to form a beautiful ornament. This was commonly worn about the middle of the person, or “the loins,” but it would seem also that it was sometimes worn around the breast. See the notes on Matthew 5:38-41.

With a golden girdle - Either wholly made of gold, or, more probably, richly ornamented with gold. This would naturally suggest the idea of one of rank, probably one of princely rank. The raiment here assumed was not that of a priest, but that of a king. It was very far from being that in which the Redeemer appeared when he dwelt upon the earth, and was rather designed to denote his royal state as he is exalted in heaven. He is not indeed represented with a crown and scepter here, and perhaps the leading idea is that of one of exalted rank, of unusual dignity, of one suited to inspire awe and respect. In other circumstances, in this book, this same Redeemer is represented as wearing a crown, and going forth to conquest. See Revelation 19:12-16. Here the representation seems to have been designed to impress the mind with a sense of the greatness and glory of the personage who thus suddenly made his appearance.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The churches receive their light from Christ and the gospel, and hold it forth to others. They are golden candlesticks; they should be precious and pure; not only the ministers, but the members of the churches; their light should so shine before men, as to engage others to give glory to God. And the apostle saw as though of the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in the midst of the golden candlesticks. He is with his churches always, to the end of the world, filling them with light, and life, and love. He was clothed with a robe down to the feet, perhaps representing his righteousness and priesthood, as Mediator. This vest was girt with a golden girdle, which may denote how precious are his love and affection for his people. His head and hairs white like wool and as snow, may signify his majesty, purity, and eternity. His eyes as a flame of fire, may represent his knowledge of the secrets of all hearts, and of the most distant events. His feet like fine brass burning in a furnace, may denote the firmness of his appointments, and the excellence of his proceedings. His voice as the sound of many waters, may represent the power of his word, to remove or to destroy. The seven stars were emblems of the ministers of the seven churches to which the apostle was ordered to write, and whom Christ upheld and directed. The sword represented his justice, and his word, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, Heb 4:12. His countenance was like the sun, when it shines clearly and powerfully; its strength too bright and dazzling for mortal eyes to behold. The apostle was overpowered with the greatness of the lustre and glory in which Christ appeared. We may well be contented to walk by faith, while here upon earth. The Lord Jesus spake words of comfort; Fear not. Words of instruction; telling who thus appeared. And his Divine nature; the First and the Last. His former sufferings; I was dead: the very same whom his disciples saw upon the cross. His resurrection and life; I have conquered death, and am partaker of endless life. His office and authority; sovereign dominion in and over the invisible world, as the Judge of all, from whose sentence there is no appeal. Let us listen to the voice of Christ, and receive the tokens of his love, for what can he withhold from those for whose sins he has died? May we then obey his word, and give up ourselves wholly to him who directs all things aright.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 265

As a personal being, God has revealed Himself in His Son. Jesus, the outshining of the Father's glory, “and the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3), was on earth found in fashion as a man. As a personal Saviour He came to the world. As a personal Saviour He ascended on high. As a personal Saviour He intercedes in the heavenly courts. Before the throne of God in our behalf ministers “One like unto the Son of man.” Revelation 1:13. 8T 265.1

Christ, the Light of the world, veiled the dazzling splendor of His divinity and came to live as a man among men, that they might, without being consumed, become acquainted with their Creator. No man has seen God at any time except as He is revealed through Christ. 8T 265.2

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 419

Christ, the Light of the world, veiled the dazzling splendor of His divinity and came to live as a man among men, that they might, without being consumed, become acquainted with their Creator. Since sin brought separation between man and his Maker, no man has seen God at any time, except as He is manifested through Christ. MH 419.1

“I and My Father are one,” Christ declared. “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” John 10:30; Matthew 11:27. MH 419.2

Christ came to teach human beings what God desires them to know. In the heavens above, in the earth, in the broad waters of the ocean, we see the handiwork of God. All created things testify to His power, His wisdom, His love. Yet not from the stars or the ocean or the cataract can we learn of the personality of God as it was revealed in Christ. MH 419.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 953-6

The False Claims of Satan—Satan, the rebel and apostate, works by every possible device to defeat the purpose of God. Because men have sinned, he claims that they have come under his dominion, and that the heavenly agencies, angels that excel in strength, should not take his subjects from under his control. Should men receive divine power, he knows that he cannot prevail against them, and work his will in cruelty upon body and mind; therefore he accuses them before God, and claims that the power of God shall not be imparted to them (The Review and Herald, June 20, 1893). 7BC 953.1

15 (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; see EGW on Genesis 6:3; Romans 3:19). Every Action Weighed in the Scales—[Jude 14, 15; Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 quoted in part.] God places every action in the scale. What a scene it will be! What impressions will be made regarding the holy character of God and the terrible enormity of sin, when the judgment, based on the law, is carried forward in the presence of all the worlds. Then before the mind of the unrepentant sinner there will be opened all the sins that he has committed, and he will see and understand the aggregate of sin and his own guilt. 7BC 953.2

When the loyal overcomers are crowned, God would have present all who have transgressed His law and broken their covenant with Him. And not one of the righteous will be absent. They see in the Judge, Christ Jesus, the One whom every sinner has crucified. The Son of man shall come in His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations. The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son (Manuscript 77, 1906). 7BC 953.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 581-6

It was at this critical time in the history of the church that John was sentenced to banishment. Never had his voice been needed by the church as now. Nearly all his former associates in the ministry had suffered martyrdom. The remnant of believers was facing fierce opposition. To all outward appearance the day was not far distant when the enemies of the church of Christ would triumph. AA 581.1

But the Lord's hand was moving unseen in the darkness. In the providence of God, John was placed where Christ could give him a wonderful revelation of Himself and of divine truth for the enlightenment of the churches. AA 581.2

In exiling John, the enemies of truth had hoped to silence forever the voice of God's faithful witness; but on Patmos the disciple received a message, the influence of which was to continue to strengthen the church till the end of time. Though not released from the responsibility of their wrong act, those who banished John became instruments in the hands of God to carry out Heaven's purpose; and the very effort to extinguish the light placed the truth in bold relief. AA 581.3

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