Revelation Chapter 5 – The Scroll

“Next I saw in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” But no one in heaven, on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look inside it. I cried and cried, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or look inside it. One of the elders said to me, “Don’t cry. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Y’hudah, the Root of David, has won the right to open the scroll and its seven seals” (Revelation 5:-15).

The Hebrew word for ‘scroll’ is megillah and each of the old testament ‘book’ manuscripts were written on parchment paper and rolled up creating a megillah. The first five books of the Bible became one scroll known as Torah and contained the history of the people of Elohim and His instructions for living as a community. The scroll Yochanan sees is unique because there is writing on both sides.

The megillah also has seven seals. The Hebrew word ‘seal’ is chatham and means ‘signer’s imprint.’ The ‘signer’s imprint’ came from a personal signet ring showing the signer had full authority and power to send the message or ‘seal’ the decree. Only the one who was authorized to receive the message could break the seal.

In the case of this heavenly scroll, Yochanan wept because no one could be found in heaven, on earth or even under the earth authorized to break the seals and read the scroll. He understood that there were no heavenly beings, angels, worthy of opening the scroll. He knew there was no human being on earth worthy to open the scroll. He knew Sh’ol held the spirits of the dead captive under the earth and there were none there worthy. There was no one mortal or immortal, dead or alive, worthy to open the scroll. He was consoled only when one of the 24 elders explained that the Lion of the Tribe of Y’hudah, the Root of David had won the right to open the scroll.

The Lion of the Tribe of Y’hudah comes from the prophetic blessing Ya’akov gave his son Y’hudah before he died. Like a lion his hand would be on the neck of his enemies. He would stand over his prey and stretch out like a lion. No one would dare provoke him and his brothers and sisters and their descendants would bow down to him.

Following the lineage from Y’hudah to Yeshua is King David who was given the promise of an eternal descendant on the throne. It is his descendant who will rule the nations and they will obey. This descendant is the ‘root’ of the promise to King David.

“Y’hudah, your brothers will acknowledge you, your hand will be on the neck of your enemies, your father’s sons will bow down before you. Y’hudah is a lion’s cub; my son, you stand over the prey. He crouches down and stretches like a lion; like a lioness, who dares to provoke him? The scepter will not pass from Y’hudah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his legs, until he comes to whom [obedience] belongs;  and it is he whom the peoples will obey” (Genesis 49:8-10).

“For this is what Adonai says: “There will never be cut off from David a man to occupy the throne of the house of Isra’el” (Jeremiah 33:17).

“When your days come to an end and you sleep with your ancestors, I will establish one of your descendants to succeed you, one of your own flesh and blood; and I will set up his rulership. He will build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. I will be a father for him, and he will be a son for me” (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

The Hebrew word for ‘lion’ is ari. One of the names for the city of Jerusalem is Ari’el or ‘Lion of God.’ The prophet Isaiah calls Jerusalem, the city of Ari’el. It is from the “Lion of God” that the ‘cub’ of the Lion comes.

“Woe to Ari’el [fireplace on God’s altar, lion of God] — Ari’el, the city where David encamped! Celebrate the feasts for a few more years, but then I will bring trouble to Ari’el …. Then, all the nations fighting Ari’el, every one at war with her, the ramparts around her, the people that trouble her will fade like a dream, like a vision in the night” (Isaiah 29:1-2, 7).

“Then I saw standing there with the throne and the four living beings, in the circle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the sevenfold Spirit of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of the One sitting on the throne. When he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down in front of the Lamb. Each one held a harp and gold bowls filled with pieces of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people; and they sang a new song, “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals; because you were slaughtered; at the cost of blood you ransomed for God persons from every tribe, language, people and nation. You made them into a kingdom for God to rule, cohanim to serve him; and they will rule over the earth” (Revelation 5:6-10).

Yet, it is not a Lion that Yochanan sees, it is a Lamb. This Lamb looks like it had been slaughtered. In the Hebrew, the phrase says “and I saw he had ‘wounds and bruises that once caused his death.” This more specific description agrees with how the prophet Isaiah described the affliction of Messiah.

“But he was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him, and by his bruises* we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

The ‘Lamb’ had seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven-fold Spirit of Elohim sent out into all the earth. The Hebrew word for ‘horn’ is qeren and symbolizes divinity, salvation, and victory. Abraham found a ram caught by its horns in the thicket and offered it as a sacrifice as a substitute for his son. The ram symbolizes the strength of Elohim’s ‘lamb’ that would overcome death and be resurrected, the returning ram that would trample underfoot the enemies of Elohim.

‘The Lamb’ takes the scroll and the four living beings and 24 elders fall down before him. Each held a harp and golden bowls filled with incense.

Beings and elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense. The Hebrew word for ‘harp’ is kinnor and is also the word for lyre, King David’s choice of stringed instrument. The golden bowls had pieces of incense representing the prayers of Elohim’s people.

“Let my prayer be like incense set before you, my uplifted hands like an evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:2).

Those present in front of the throne sang a new song. What is ‘new’ about this song could be that it is now focused on ‘the Lamb’ rather than yod hey vav hey. ‘The Lamb’ is now worthy of praise for at the cost of his blood. He ransomed for Elohim people from every tribe, language, culture and nation. From them ‘the Lamb’ created them to be a kingdom for Elohim to rule, cohanim or priests to serve Him. And, they will rule over the earth.

The Hebrew word for ‘ransom’ is padah and also means ‘redeemed.’ The word ransom means to pay for the release of a prisoner. All of those people from every nation, tribe, and language were held captive by the Adversary through sin. ‘The Lamb’ paid the ‘death price’ required by Satan in order to give life to multitudes. Ultimately, he redeemed these people by making an exchange of his life for theirs. He was worthy because he was completely righteous and could therefore become the atonement.

‘The Lamb’ made these people to be a kingdom of priests or a ‘royal priesthood’ to serve Him. And, they will rule over the earth. In order to serve Elohim and rule over the earth, the cohanim have to know and obey the Torah of Elohim.

Then I looked, and I heard the sound of a vast number of angels — thousands and thousands, millions and millions! They were all around the throne, the living beings and the elders; and they shouted out, “Worthy is the slaughtered Lamb to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:11-12).

At this point in the heavenly realm, millions and millions of angels along with the living beings and elders worship the Lamb. They shout numerous words as part of their adoration.

Worthy means ‘The Lamb’ has desirable qualities and is entitled to receive attention. The Hebrew word for ‘worthy’ is zachah which means ‘to be cleansed, pure, to be clean, acquitted.

Hebrew Word Picture

Worthy – zachah – זחה

Zayin is a ‘sword’ and means ‘to divide’

Chet is a ‘fence’ and means ‘to protect’

Hey is a ‘window’ and means ‘to reveal’

The word picture for worthy is ‘a divisive sword that protects and reveals.’

“See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword — it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Power means ‘The Lamb’ has the ability to influence the nations and direct the course of events. The Hebrew word for ‘power’ is oz and means ‘the strength of Elohim.’

Hebrew Word Picture

Power – oz – עז

Ayin is ‘eye’ and means ‘to see’

Zayin is a ‘sword’ and means ‘to divide’

The word picture for power is ‘to envision the division made by the sword.’

“Don’t suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Land. It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword! For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, so that a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Whoever loves his father or mother more than he loves me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than he loves me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:34-37).

Riches means “The Lamb” holds all that is valuable in his possession. Riches isn’t always about wealth and finance, it is about those things that are important and last throughout the ages. The word for ‘riches’ in Hebrew is osher and means ‘the riches of Elohim’ not the riches of the world.

Hebrew Word Picture

Riches – osher – עושר

Ayin is an ‘eye’ and means ‘to see’

Vav is a ‘nail’ and means ‘binding together’

Shin is a ‘tooth’ and means ‘consume’

Resh is a ‘head’ and means ‘head’

The word picture for riches is ‘to see the binding together consume the head.’

“Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

‘The Lamb’ holds all wisdom from above as well as below the heavens. Proverbs 8:22-31 describes wisdom as a person being present with Elohim before the creation of the world and taking part in the creative process. The Hebrew word for ‘wisdom’ is chokmah and means ‘skill.’

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being” (John 1:1-3).

Hebrew Word Picture

Wisdom – chokmah – חכמה

Chet is a ‘fence’ and means ‘to protect’

Kaf is ‘a palm of the hand’ and means ‘to open’

Mem is ‘water’ and means ‘mighty’

Hey is a ‘window’ and means ‘to reveal’

The word picture for wisdom is ‘to protect and open the mighty revealing.’

“But the wisdom from above is, first of all, pure, then peaceful, kind, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

The strength of ‘The Lamb’ mighty. The Hebrew word for ‘strength’ in this verse is gibor and means ‘mighty’ or ‘heroic.’ Gibor also includes the idea of valor and courage like a warrior who returns from a battle with a decisive victory. From the word picture, this mighty warrior is bound to a humble family lineage.

Hebrew Word Picture

Mighty – gibor – גבור

Gimel is a ‘camel’ and means ‘humble’

Bet is a ‘house’ and means ‘family’

Vav is a ‘nail’ and means ‘binding’

Resh is a ‘head’ and means ‘head’

The word picture for mighty is ‘humble family binding to the head.’

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo‘etz El Gibbor Avi-‘Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace] …” (Isaiah 9:5).

‘The Lamb’ is given honor because he fulfilled his obligation. He lived according to Torah, his Father’s standard of righteousness. In Hebrew the word for honor in this verse is hadar and means ‘splendor.’

Hebrew Word Picture

Splendor – hadar – הדר

Hey is a ‘window’ and means ‘to reveal’

Dalet is a ‘door’ and means ‘a pathway’

Resh is a ‘head’ and means ‘head’

The word picture for splendor is ‘to reveal a pathway to the head.’

“Warrior, strap your sword at your thigh; [gird on] your splendor and majesty. In your majesty, succeed, ride on in the cause of truth, meekness and righteousness” (Psalm 45:3-4).

‘The Lamb,’ though slaughtered, has achieved great beauty. His renown goes throughout all the heavens because of what he has done. The Hebrew word for ‘glory’ is kavod and means ‘weight and heaviness.’ Thus, glory ‘comes down.’

Hebrew Word Picture

Glory – kavod – כבוד

Kaf is ‘palm of the hand’ and means ‘to open’

Bet is a ‘house’ and means ‘family’

Vav is a ‘nail’ and means ‘binding’

Dalet is a ‘door’ and means ‘pathway’

The word picture for glory is ‘to open the family to the pathway through the binding.’

“Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when he appeared as a human being, he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death — death on a stake as a criminal! Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow — in heaven, on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai — to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11).

The Hebrew word in this verse for praise is barukah and means ‘blessing.’ ‘The Lamb’ is being more than praised, he is receiving Elohim’s highest favor.

“And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth and on the sea — yes, everything in them — saying, “To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb belong praise, honor, glory and power forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13).

The word ‘creature’ in this verse is really ‘all of it’ or ‘everything’ suggesting not just creatures, but plants, animals and everything waiting for deliverance crying out to ‘The Lamb’. The words in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth show the fullness of Elohim’s dominion as the Creator of the Universe. This worship is not just for ‘The Lamb’ but also for the One sitting on the throne which is the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the ‘I AM’.

In Hebrew ‘forever and ever’ is l’olam v’ed which means ‘to the distant horizon and again.’ After repeating the Shema from Deuteronomy 6, the following words are included:

Baruch shem k’avod malchuto l’olam va’ed.

Blessed be the name His glorious kingdom to the distant horizon and again.

“The four living beings said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshipped” (Revelation 5:14).

Amen. This word has means more than ‘so be it.’ This word is derived from the Hebrew words emunah meaning ‘faith’ and emet meaning ‘truth.’ The elders and the living beings acknowledge the truth being revealed in faith.

To conclude this glorious worship of the ‘I Am’ and ‘the Lamb,’ the four living beings and the elders bow down. The word for worship in this verse is barak and means ‘to bend the knee.’ Their worship was that of humbling themselves by bending the knee in the Divine Presence of the eternal King.

Revelation 6 – The Seals

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