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Revelation 5:9

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

A new song - Composed on the matters and blessings of the Gospel, which was just now opened on earth. But new song may signify a most excellent song; and by this the Gospel and its blessings are probably signified. The Gospel is called a new song, Psalm 96:1. And perhaps there is an allusion in the harps here to Psalm 144:9; : I will sing a New Song unto thee, O God: upon a Psaltery, and an Instrument of Ten Strings, etc. The same form of speech is found, Isaiah 42:10; : Sing unto the Lord a New Song, etc.; and there the prophet seems to have the Gospel dispensation particularly in view.

Thou - hast redeemed us to God - out of every - nation - It appears, therefore, that the living creatures and the elders represent the aggregate of the followers of God; or the Christian Church in all nations, and among all kinds of people, and perhaps through the whole compass of time: and all these are said to be redeemed by Christ's blood, plainly showing that his life was a sacrificial offering for the sins of mankind.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And they sung a new song - Compare Revelation 14:3. New in the sense that it is a song consequent on redemption, and distinguished therefore from the songs sung in heaven before the work of redemption was consummated. We may suppose that songs of adoration have always been sung m heaven; we know that the praises of God were celebrated by the angelic choirs when the foundations of the earth were laid Job 38:7; but the song of redemption was a different song, and is one that would never have been sung there if man had not fallen, and if the Redeemer had not died. This song strikes notes which the ether songs do not strike, and refers to glories of the divine character which, but for the work of redemption, would not have been brought into view. In this sense the song was new; it will continue to be new in the sense that it will be sung afresh as redeemed million continue to ascend to heaven. Compare Psalm 40:3; Psalm 96:1; Psalm 144:9; Isaiah 42:10.

Thou art worthy to take the book, … - This was the occasion or ground of the “new song,” that by his coming and death he had acquired a right to approach where no other one could approach, and to do what no other one could do.

For thou wast slain - The language here is such as would be appropriate to a lamb slain as a sacrifice. The idea is, that the fact that he was thus slain constituted the ground of his worthiness to open the book. It could not be meant that there was in him no other ground of worthiness, but that this was what was most conspicuous. It is just the outburst of the grateful feeling resulting from redemption, that he who has died to save the soul is worthy of all honor, and is suited to accomplish what no other being in the universe can do. However this may appear to the inhabitants of other worlds, or however it may appear to the dwellers on the earth who have no interest in the work of redemption, yet all who are redeemed will agree in the sentiment that He who has ransomed them with his blood has performed a work to do which every other being was incompetent, and that now all honor in heaven and on earth may appropriately be conferred on him.

And hast redeemed us - The word used here - ἀγοράζω agorazō- means properly to purchase, to buy; and is thus employed to denote redemption, because redemption was accomplished by the payment of a price. On the meaning of the word, see the notes on 2 Peter 2:1.

To God - That is, so that we become his, and are to be henceforward regarded as such; or so that he might possess us as his own. See the notes on 2 Corinthians 5:15. This is the true nature of redemption, that by the price paid we are rescued from the servitude of Satan, and are henceforth to regard ourselves as belonging unto God.

By thy blood - See the notes on Acts 20:28. This is such language as they use who believe in the doctrine of the atonement, and is such as would be used by them alone. It would not be employed by those who believe that Christ was a mere martyr, or that he lived and died merely as a teacher of morality. If he was truly an atoning sacrifice, the language is full of meaning; if not, it has no significance and could not be understood.

Out of every kindred - Literally, “of every tribe” - φυλῆς phulēsThe word “tribe” means properly a comparatively small division or class of people associated together (Prof. Stuart). It refers to a family, or race, having a common ancestor, and usually associated or banded together - as one of the tribes of Israel; a tribe of Indians; a tribe of plants; a tribe of animals, etc. This is such language as a Jew would use, denoting one of the smaller divisions that made up a nation of people; and the meaning would seem to be, that it will be found ultimately to be true that the redeemed will have been taken from all such minor divisions of the human family - not only from the different nations but from the smaller divisions of those nations. This can only be true from the fact that the knowledge of the true religion will yet be diffused among all those smaller portions of the human race; that is, that its diffusion will be universal.

And tongue - People speaking all languages. The word used here would seem to denote a division of the human family larger than a tribe, but smaller than a nation. It was formerly a fact that a nation might be made up of those who spoke many different languages - as, for example, the Assyrian, the Babylonian, or the Roman nations. Compare Daniel 3:29; Daniel 4:1. The meaning here is, that no matter what language the component parts of the nations speak, the gospel will be conveyed to them, and in their own tongue they will learn the wonderful works of God. Compare Acts 2:8-11.

And people - The word used here - λαός laos- properly denotes a people considered as a mass, made up of smaller divisions - as an association of smaller bodies - or as a multitude of such bodies united together. It is distinguished from another word commonly applied to a people - δῆμος dēmos- for that is applied to a community of free citizens, considered as on a level, or without reference to any minor divisions or distinctions. The words used here would apply to an army, considered as made up of regiments, battalions, or tribes; to a mass-meeting, made up of societies of different trades or professions; to a nation, made up of different associated communities, etc. It denotes a larger body of people than the previous words; and the idea is, that no matter of what people or nation, considered as made up of such separate portions, one may be, he will not be excluded from the blessings of redemption. The sense would be well expressed, by saying, for instance, that there will be found there those of the Gaelic race, the Celtic, the Anglo-Saxon, the Mongolian, the African, etc.

And nation - Εθνους EthnousA word of still larger signification; the people in a still wider sense; a people or nation considered as distinct from all others. The word would embrace all who come under one sovereignty or rule; as, for example, the British nation, however many rumor tribes there may be; however many different languages may be spoken; and however many separate people there may be - as the Anglo-Saxon, the Scottish, the Irish, the people of Hindustan, of Labrador, of New South Wales, etc. The words used here by John would together denote nations of every kind, great and small; and the sense is, that the blessings of redemption will be extended to all parts of the earth.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
It is matter of joy to all the world, to see that God deals with men in grace and mercy through the Redeemer. He governs the world, not merely as a Creator, but as our Saviour. The harps were instruments of praise; the vials were full of odours, or incense, which signify the prayers of the saints: prayer and praise should always go together. Christ has redeemed his people from the bondage of sin, guilt, and Satan. He has not only purchased liberty for them, but the highest honour and preferment; he made them kings and priests; kings, to rule over their own spirits, and to overcome the world, and the evil one; and he makes them priests; giving them access to himself, and liberty to offer up spiritual sacrifices. What words can more fully declare that Christ is, and ought to be worshipped, equally with the Father, by all creatures, to all eternity! Happy those who shall adore and praise in heaven, and who shall for ever bless the Lamb, who delivered and set them apart for himself by his blood. How worthy art thou, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of our highest praises! All creatures should proclaim thy greatness, and adore thy majesty.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 338.5

There is a life beyond. An eternity. A life of happiness. No death can enter there. There will be no malarial taint there. No sickness, or pain or sorrow. Do you not want to be there? The streets are paved with gold, and you will see the King in His glory. I must be there. I must see the King in His majesty. Don't lead people to believe they can go there and take their sins right along. The characters must be changed here. We must learn to sing the songs of redemption here, if we ever sing the songs of redemption in heaven. Sing of God's goodness. Talk of His power.—Manuscript 20, November 25, 1888, “A Good Sermon.” TDG 338.5

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 261.5

Many allow their minds to dwell upon their unworthiness as though this was a virtue. It is a hindrance to their coming to Jesus in full assurance of faith. They should feel their unworthiness, and because of this—because of their sinfulness—should feel the necessity of coming to the Saviour, who is their worthiness and who will be their righteousness if they repent and humble themselves. Their unworthiness is a self-evident fact. Jesus Christ's worthiness is a sure thing. Then let every doubting soul take hope and courage, because he has One who is worthy to be his Saviour. His only hope of salvation is to lay hold by faith of a worthiness which he has not but which will be supplied by Jesus Christ our righteousness.—Manuscript 21, September 9, 1889, diary. TDG 261.5

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 168.5

If our senses had not been blunted by sin and by contemplation of the dark pictures that Satan is constantly presenting before us, a fervent and continuous flow of gratitude would go out from our hearts toward Him who daily loads us with benefits of which we are wholly undeserving. The everlasting song of the redeemed will be praise to Him who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood; and if we ever sing that song before the throne of God we must learn it here.”17 TMK 168.5

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Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 236

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. 1 Peter 4:11. SD 236.1

Christ is our pattern, and those who follow Christ will not walk in darkness; for they will not seek their own pleasure. To glorify God will be the continual aim of their life.... But how many who have been entrusted with talents of means and influence have lost sight of the pattern, and followed the standard of the world.... Men and women who have been blessed with an abundance of money, with houses and with lands, generally train their children to a life of idleness and selfish indulgence. Thus they are made useless for this life, and unfit for the future, immortal life.... The youth of today are educated to believe that it is the money that makes the man.33The Youth's Instructor, October 18, 1894. SD 236.2

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