4:1 After 1 this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in
heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were
of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither,
and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
(1) Hereafter follows the second part of this book, altogether
prophetical foretelling those things which were to come, as
was said in (Re 1:19). This is divided into two
histories: one common to the whole world, till Chapter 9
and another unique to the Church of God, till Chapter 22.
These histories are said to be described in several books
(Re 5:1,10:2). Now this verse is a passage from the
former part to this second: where it is said, that heaven
was opened, that is, that heavenly things were unlocked and
that a trumpet sounded in heaven, to stir up the apostle,
and call him to the understanding of things to come. The
first history has two parts: one the causes of things done
and of this whole revelation in this next chapter, another
of the acts done in the next four chapters. The principal
causes according to the economy or dispensation of it, are
two: One the beginning, which none can approach, that is,
God the Father, of whom is spoken in this chapter. The
other, the Son, who is the secondary cause, easy to be
approached, in that he is God and man in one person;
4:2 And 2 immediately I was a in the spirit: 3 and,
behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the
(2) The manner of revelation:
(a) See (Re 1:10).
(3) A description of God the Father, and of his glory in the
heavens, explained to men by his office, nature, attending
company, effect, instruments and events that follow
afterwards. In this verse he is presented in office as a
judge as Abraham said; (Ge 18:25) which is declared by
his throne as sign of judgment, and his sitting on it.
4:34 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a
sardine stone: and [there was] a rainbow round about the
throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
(4) By his nature, in that he is the Father, most glorious in
his own person, and with his glory outshining all other
4:45 And round about the throne [were] four and twenty seats:
and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting,
clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns
(5) By the company attending about him in that, as that most
high Judge, he is accompanied with the most honourable
attendance of prophets and apostles both of the old and new
Church, whom Christ has made to be priests and kings;
4:56 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and
thunderings and voices: and [there were] seven lamps of fire
burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of
(6) By effects, in that most mightily he speaks all things by
his voice and word, (Ps 29:3) and with the light of
his Spirit and prudence peruses and passes through all.
4:67 And before the throne [there was] a sea of glass like
unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round
about the throne, [were] four beasts full of eyes before and
(7) By instruments used, in that he has both a most ready
treasury and a workhouse excellently furnished with all
things, to the executing of his will, which things flow
from his commandment, as repeated in (Re 15:2) and
has also the angels ready administers of his counsel and
pleasure to all parts of the world, continually watching,
(in this verse) working by reason otherwise than the
instruments without life last mentioned, courageous as
lions, mighty as bulls, wise as men, swift as eagles
(Re 4:7) most apt to all purposes as furnished with
wings on every part, most piercing of sight, and finally, pure
and holy spirits always in continual motion (Re 4:8).
4:8 And the b four beasts had each of them six wings about
[him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest
not 8 day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God
Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
(b) Every beast had six wings.
(8) By events, in that for all the causes before mentioned, God
is glorified both by angels, as holy, Judge, omnipotent,
eternal and immutable and also after their example he is
glorified by holy men (Re 4:9) in sign and speech
4:9 And when those beasts c give glory and honour and thanks
to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
(c) God is said to have glory, honour, kingdom, and such
like given to him, when we godly and reverently set
forth that which is properly and only his.
4:109 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that
sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and
ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
(9) Three signs of divine honour given to God, prostration or
falling down, adoration and casting their crowns before
God: in which the godly, though made kings by Christ,
willingly empty themselves of all glory, moved with a
religious respect for the majesty of God.
4:1110 Thou art worthy, O Lord, 11 to receive glory and
honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for
thy pleasure they are and were created.
(10) The sum of their speech: that all glory must be given to
God: the reason, because he is the eternal beginning of
all things, from whose only will they have their being,
and are governed: and finally in all respects are that
which they are.
(11) That is, that you should challenge the same to yourself
alone. But as for us, we are unworthy, that even by your
goodness we should share in this glory. So far has been
discussed the principal cause unapproachable, which is God.