I. THE SEALED BOOK 5:1
II. THE STRONG ANGEL 5:2-4
III. THE WORTHY LAMB 5:5-14
God is sitting on the throne. In his right hand is a scroll or book sealed with seven seals. This symbol means divine authority and power to enact and bring to fulfillment all the plans of God contained in the scroll. The seven seals reflect the fact that in Roman law a will had on it the seven seals of the seven witnesses. No one in heaven or on earth is worthy to break the seals and bring into action all that is recorded in the scroll.
A strong angel cries with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals of it?" The strong angel is probably Gabriel who ordered the closing and sealing of the book in Daniel 12:8-9 and Ezekiel 2. The name Gabriel means "strength of God." Why is the scroll so important? Because the scroll contains the plans of God for the earth and to open it means to bring them into being.
One of the elders tells John that the lion of Judea, the root of David has overcome and is worthy to open the book and loose the seven seals. Only Christ the King can open the book and move history to its climatic conclusion. John looks and sees not a lion but a lamb. The lamb is alive, but has the marks of sacrifice on it. The lamb has finished his redemptive work and is now worthy to open the book. All history is in the hands which were pierced at Calvary. The lamb is in the midst of the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders, symbolizing that he is the center of all things. The lamb has seven horns symbolizing complete strength and perfect power in government. He has seven eyes symboliz- ing complete all-knowing intelligence, insight and knowledge. The seven spirits of God symbolize the presence of God everywhere at all times.
The lamb receives the book from God signifying that he in his redemptive work has answered the problems of the redeemed. The destiny of his people is in his hands. This act brings enormous praise and worship of God and the lamb. The lamb is declared worthy to open the seals because of his redemptive work. In Daniel 12, the angel says that the sealed book contains the things which will happen to Danielís people in the last days. It is also interesting that the things the Spirit said to the church was not in the sealed book.
TEXTw/ Scofield notes
(Rev 5:1 KJV) And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
1 "THRONE": <Kingdom> (N.T.): vv. 1 - 4,10; Rev 11:15. (Mat 2:2; 1 Cor 15:24, note)
(Rev 5:2 KJV) And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note
2 "WHO": Rev 4:11; 5:9; cp. Ps 15:1
(Rev 5:3 KJV) And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
1 "THEREON": Cp. Isa 63:5
(Rev 5:4 KJV) And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
(Rev 5:5 KJV) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
1 "LION": The lion is the king of beasts. Of Judah it is predicted, in Gen 49:8 - 12, that his seed would hold the scepter, i.e. become king of Israel, and rule the world. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was of the tribe of Judah (Luke 3:33).
2 "JUDA": Heb 7:14
3 "ROOT": Isa 11:10; Rom 15:12; Rev 22:16; Mat 1:1
4 "PREVAILED": Rev 3:21; cp. Isa 53:12; 63:1 - 3
(Rev 5:6 KJV) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
1 "BEASTS": See Ezek 1:5, note
2 "LAMB": John 1:29
3 "HORNS": See Deu 33:17, note
4 "EYES": Cp. Zech 3:8 - 9; 4:10
5 "SPIRITS": Rev 1:4; 3:1; 4:5
(Rev 5:7 KJV) And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
Rev 5:7: Compare Dan 7:13 - 14. The two visions are identical; here is added that which was hidden from Daniel, that the kings and priests of the Church Age are to be associated with the Son of Man (seen here as "a Lamb as it had been slain") when He "shall reign on the earth" (vv. 6 - 10; cp. 3:21).
(Rev 5:8 KJV) And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
1 "LAMB": Rev 4:8 - 10; 19:4
2 "ODOURS": Ps 141:2
3 "PRAYERS": Rev 8:3
(Rev 5:9 KJV) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
1 "SONG": Rev 4:11; 14:3; cp. Ps 33:3; 96:1; 98:1; 149:1
2 "REDEEMED": See Rom 3:24, note
3 "BY": Heb 9:12; 1 Pet 1:18 -19
4 "BLOOD": <Sacrifice> (of Christ): v. 9; Rev 7:14. (Gen 3:15; Heb 10:18, note)
(Rev 5:10 KJV) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
1 "KINGS": Exo 19:6
2 "PRIESTS": Isa 61:6
3 "REIGN": <Kingdom> (N.T.): vv. 1 - 4,10; Rev 11:15. (Mat 2:2; 1 Cor 15:24, note)
4 "ON": Or <over>
(Rev 5:11 KJV) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
(Rev 5:12 KJV) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
1 "BLESSING": v. 9; cp. Phil 2:9 - 11
(Rev 5:13 KJV) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
1 "LAMB": v. 6; cp. John 5:23
(Rev 5:14 KJV) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.