What does Revelation 5:4 mean?
ESV: and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
NIV: I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.
NASB: Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
CSB: I wept and wept because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it.
NLT: Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it.
KJV: And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
Verse Commentary:
In prior verses, an angel had asked who was worthy to open a scroll containing judgments from God (Revelation 5:2). This resulted, initially, in no response: there was no one with the moral or legal authority to do so.

In response to the unavailability of someone to open the scroll or to look into it, John wept. Perhaps he thought sin on earth would never be judged and come to an end. The construction of the Greek word for "wept" indicates that John kept on weeping. John's weeping resembles Jesus' weeping at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35). Witnesses to the event believed Jesus' tears were a sign of His love for Lazarus; and it might have been, but likely it was also a sign of His sadness about sin's devastating effect on the human race. Romans 6:23 states, "For the wages of sin is death," and Hebrews 9:27 assures us "it is appointed for man to die once."

John was helpless to put an end to sin, but Jesus made it possible by His death to rescue us from sin, and someday He will put an end to sin (Revelation 20:11–15). The following verses will explain that there is One—and only One—who can open these seals.
Verse Context:
Revelation 5:1–5 continues John's description of what he saw, while in the Spirit, in heaven. John saw a scroll in God's right hand. It was sealed shut with seven seals. A mighty angel shouted ''Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?'' We learn from chapters 6—8 that when the scroll's seals are opened, judgment falls on the earth. John wept loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll, but one of the elders comforted him because Jesus was worthy to open it.
Chapter Summary:
Revelation 5 tells us John saw a scroll in God's right hand. The scroll had writing in it and on its back. Also, the scroll was sealed with seven seals. A search uncovered no one who was worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. However, one of the elders told John that Jesus could open the scroll, as the only one with the legal and moral right to do so. When Jesus accepted the scroll, universal praise in heaven and on earth rose to Jesus. He alone was found worthy to open the scroll because, as God's Lamb, He had shed His blood for all mankind.
Chapter Context:
Jesus commanded John to write ''the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.'' The first three chapters of Revelation contained those things which ''were'' and ''are,'' at the time John wrote. Chapters 2 and 3 provided the contents of Jesus' letters to seven churches. Chapter 4 begins the largest and last section of Revelation, regarding events yet to take place when John wrote (Revelation 1:19). John introduced God seated upon His throne, with twenty-four elders and four angelic creatures nearby. Chapter 5 focuses on a scroll containing God's judgments on sin, and a search for someone to open it. Only Jesus is worthy to open it. When Jesus receives the scroll from God, He receives praise from every creature in heaven and on earth.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
Accessed 4/22/2024 3:20:24 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com