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Revelation chapter 5

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6And 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. 7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8And 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. 9And 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; 10And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 11And 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; 12Saying 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. 13And 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. 14And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

What does Revelation chapter 5 mean?

In this chapter, John describes a scene of drama and praise in heaven. Chapter 4 set a scene around the throne of God, where there were twenty-four elders and four animal-like beings (Revelation 4:1–7).

Chapter 5 begins by describing a scroll in the right hand of God. This scroll is sealed seven times over, and written on both sides. This scroll seems to symbolize the judgment of God on sin and wickedness (Revelation 5:1–2).

An angel "proclaims" a question, making it more of a challenge: "who is worthy" to take this scroll and open the seals? At first, it seems that there is no one. Nobody on heaven or earth has both the moral authority and the legal right to take up the judgment of God. In response to what seems a hopeless situation, John begins to weep (Revelation 5:2–4).

Then one of the twenty-four elders reassures John that there is One who can take this scroll: Jesus. Here, He is described as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" and the "Root of David." John then describes Jesus symbolically, as a Lamb that has been slaughtered, who takes the scroll from the hand of God. In response to this, the beings described in chapter 4 begin to sing a new song to God (Revelation 5:5–10).

This passage ends with a series of praises and responses. The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures sing a song praising Jesus for His worthiness to enact God's judgment. In response, a mind-boggling number of angels respond by praising Jesus. This praise is then echoed by every creature in creation: "in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them" (Revelation 5:9–14).

After seeing Jesus take the scroll, John will begin to describe the judgments which follow. These "seal judgments" will be described specifically in Revelation chapters 6 through 8. The seventh seal includes the judgments contained in the seven "trumpet judgments," which begin in chapter 8.
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