1:1 The 1a Revelation of b Jesus Christ, which God gave
unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must
shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified [it] by his
angel unto his servant John:
1 AD The dragon watches the Church of the Jews, which was ready
to travail: She brings forth, flees and hides herself,
while Christ was yet on the earth.
34 AD The dragon persecutes Christ ascending to heaven, he
fights and is thrown down: and after persecutes the Church
of the Jews.
67 AD The Church of the Jews is received into the wilderness for
three years and a half.
70 AD When the Church of the Jews was overthrown, the dragon
invaded the catholic church: all this is in the twelfth
chapter. The dragon is bound for a thousand years in
chapter twenty. The dragon raises up the beast with seven
heads, and the beast with two heads, which make havock of
the catholic church and her prophets for 1260 years after
the passion of Christ in (Re 13:11).
97 AD The seven churches are admonished of things present,
somewhat before the end of Domitian his reign, and are
forewarned of the persecution to come under Trajan for ten
years, chapter 2,3. God by word and signs provokes the
world, and seals the godly in chapter 6 and 7. He shows
examples of his wrath on all creatures, mankind excepted
in chapter 8.
1073 AD The dragon is let loose after a thousand years, and
Gregory the seventh, being Pope, rages against Henry the
third, then Emperor in chapter 20.
1217 AD The dragon vexes the world for 150 years to Gregory the
ninth, who wrote the Decretals, and most cruelly
persecuted the Emperor Fredrick the second.
1295 AD The dragon kills the prophets after 1260 years, when
Boniface the eighth was Pope, who was the author of the
sixth book of the Decretals: he excommunicated Philip
the French King.
1300 AD Boniface celebrates the Jubile.
1301 AD About this time was a great earthquake, which overthrew
many houses in Rome.
1305 AD Prophecy ceases for three years and a half, until
Benedict the second succeeded after Boniface the eighth.
Prophecy is revived in chapter 11. The dragon and the
two beasts question prophecy in chapter 13. Christ
defends his Church in word and deed, chapter 14, and
with threats and arms, chapter 16. Christ gives his
Church victory over the harlot, chapter 17 and 18. Over
the two beasts, chapter 19. Over the dragon and death,
chapter 20. The Church is fully glorified in heaven with
eternal glory, in Christ Jesus, chapter 21 and 22.
(1) This chapter has two principal parts, the title or
inscription, which stands in place of an introduction: and a
narration going before the whole prophecy of this book.
The inscription is double, general and particular. In
(Re 1:1) the general inscription contains the kind of
prophecy, the author, end, matter, instruments, and manner
of communication the same, in (Re 1:2) the most
religious faithfulness of the apostle as public witness and
the use of communicating the same, taken from the promise
of God, and from the circumstance of the time, (Re 1:3)
(a) An opening of secret and hidden things.
(b) Which the Son opened to us out of his Father's bosom by
1:42 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be]
unto you, and peace, 3 from him c which is, and which
was, and which is to come; and from 4 the d seven
Spirits which are before his throne;
(2) This is the particular or singular inscription, in which
salutation is written to certain churches by name, who
represent the catholic church: and the certainty and truth
of this is declared, from the author of it, in (Re 1:8).
(3) That is, from God the Father, eternal, immortal, immutable:
wholly unchangeable, John declares in a form of speech
which is undeclined. For there is no incongruity in this
place, where, of necessity the words must be adapted to the
mystery, not the mystery corrupted or impaired by the
(c) These three, Is, Was, and Shall be, signify the word
Jehovah, which is the proper name for God.
(4) That is, from the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father
and the Son. This Spirit is one in person according to his
subsistence: but in communication of his power, and in
demonstration of his divine works in those seven churches,
perfectly manifests himself as if there were many spirits,
every one perfectly working in his own church. Which is
why in (Re 5:6) they are called the seven horns and
seven eyes of the Lamb, as if to say, as his most absolute
power and wisdom. In (Re 3:1) Christ is said to have
those seven spirits of God, and in (Re 4:5) it is
said that seven lamps burn before his throne, which also
are those seven spirits of God. That this place ought to
be so understood, it is thus proved. For first, grace and
peace is asked by prayer from this Spirit, which is a
divine work, and an action incommunicable in respect to
God. Secondly, he is placed between the Father and the
Son, as set in the same degree of dignity and operation
with them, besides, he is before the throne, as of the same
substance with the Father and the Son: as the seven eyes
and seven horns of the Lamb. Moreover, these spirits are
never said to adore God, as all other things are. Finally,
this is the power by which the Lamb opened the book, and
loosed the seven seals of it, when no one could be found
among all creatures by whom the book might be opened
(Re 5:1-10 ); Of these things long ago Master John
Luide of Oxford wrote to me. Now the Holy Spirit is named
before Christ because a long speech about Christ follows.
(d) These are the seven spirits, which are later called the
horns and eyes of the Lamb in (Re 5:6) and are now
acting as a guard waiting on God.
1:5 And from Jesus Christ, 5 [who is] the faithful witness,
[and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the
kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us
from our sins in his own blood,
(5) A most ample and honourable commendation of Christ, first from
his offices of the priesthood and kingdom: secondly from
his benefits, as his love toward us, and washing us with
his blood, in this verse, and communication of his kingdom
and priesthood with us: thirdly, from his eternal glory and
power, which is always to be celebrated by us; (Re 1:6)
Finally, from the accomplishment of all things once to be
effected by him, at his second coming, at which time he
shall openly destroy the wicked, and comfort the godly in
the truth; (Re 1:7).
1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every e eye shall see
him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of
the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
(e) All men.
1:86 I am f Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,
saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to
come, the Almighty.
(6) A confirmation of the greeting earlier, taken from the
words of God himself: in which he affirms his operation in
every single creature, the immutable eternity that is in
himself, and his omnipotence in all things: and concludes
in the unity of his own essence, that Trinity of persons
which was spoken of before.
(f) I am he before whom there was nothing, indeed, by whom
everything that is made, was made: and I shall remain
though everything else should perish.
1:97 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in
tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus
Christ, was in the isle that is g called Patmos, for the
word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
(7) The narration, opening the way to the declaring of the
authority and calling of John the evangelist in this
singular revelation, and to procure faith and credit to
this prophecy. This is the second part of this chapter,
consisting of a proposition, and an exposition. The
proposition shows, in (Re 1:9) first who was called to
this revelation, in what place, and how occupied. Then at
what time, and by what means, namely, by the Spirit and the
word, and that on the Lord's day, which ever since the
resurrection of Christ, was consecrated for Christians:
that is to say, to be a day of rest, as in (Re 1:10)
Thirdly, who is the author that calls him, and what is the
sum of his calling.
(g) Patmos is one of the islands of Sporas, where John was
banished according to some historians.
1:10 I was in the h Spirit on the i Lord's day, and heard
behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
(h) This is a holy trance expressed, with which the
prophets were entranced, and being carried out of the
world, conversed with God: and so Ezekiel says often,
that he was carried from place to place by the Spirit,
and that the Spirit of the Lord came on him.
(i) He calls it the Lord's day, which Paul calls the first
day of the week; (1Co 16:2).
1:128 And I turned to k see the voice that spake with me.
9 And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
(8) The exposition, declaring the third and last point of the
proposition (for the other points are evident of
themselves) in which is he first speaks of the author of
his calling (till verse 17), and secondly, of the calling
itself (Re 1:17-20). First of all the occasion is
noted in this verse, in that John turned himself towards
the vision, and after he sets down the description of the
author, in the following verses, (Re 1:13-16).
(k) To see him whose voice I had heard.
(9) The description of the Author, who is Christ: by the
candlesticks that stand about him, that is, the churches
that stand before him, and depend upon his direction.
In (Re 1:13) he is described by his properties, that he
is provided with wisdom and dexterity for the achieving of
great things, and in (Re 1:14) with ancient gravity and
most excellent sight of the eye. In (Re 1:15) he is
described with strength invincible and with a mighty word,
and in (Re 1:16) by his ruling of the ministry of his
servants in the Church by the sword of his word, and
enlightening all things with his countenance, and mightily
providing for everyone by his divine providence.
1:1710 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. 11
And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear
not; 12 I am the first and the last:
(10) A religious fear, that goes before the calling of the
saints, and their full confirmation to take on them the
vocation of God.
(11) A divine confirmation of this calling, partly by sign, and
partly by word of power.
(12) A most elegant description of this calling contained in
three things, which are necessary to a just vocation:
first the authority of him who calls, for he is the
beginning and end of all things, in this verse, for he is
eternal and omnipotent (Re 1:8). Secondly the sum of
his prophetic calling and revelation (Re 1:9). Lastly
a declaration of those persons to whom this prophecy is by
the commandment of God directed in the description of it
1:1913 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things
which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
(13) The sum of this prophecy, that the apostle must write
whatever he sees, adding nothing, nor taking away anything
(Re 1:2). Here there are two parts: one is a
narration of those things which are, that is, which then
were at that time, contained in the second and third
chapter: the other part is of those things which were to
come, contained in the rest of this book.
1:2014 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my
right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven
stars are the l angels of the seven churches: and the
seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven
(14) That is, the thing which was mystical signified by the
particulars of the vision before going.
(l) By angels he means the ministers of the Church.