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 5:1-5).

The Hebrew word for ‘scroll’ is megillah and each 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 holy community. The scroll Yochanan sees has writing on both sides.

The megillah has seven seals. The Hebrew word ‘seal’ is chatham and means ‘signer’s imprint.’ The ‘signer’s imprint’ came from an individual’s signet ring giving the signer full authority and power to send the message or ‘seal the decree.’ The only one authorized who could break the seal had to be the receiver for the intended message.

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 no heavenly beings were worthy to break the seals; there was no human being on earth worthy to break the seals. He knew Sh’ol held the spirits of the dead and none of these were worthy either. There was no one worthy to open the scroll. One of the 24 elders explained that the Lion of the Tribe of Y’hudah, the Root of David, was worthy and had won the right to break the seals.

The Lion of Y’hudah comes from the prophetic blessing Ya’akov gave his son before he died. Like a lion Y’hudah’s 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 (Genesis 49:8-10). The Hebrew word for ‘lion’ is ari. The prophet Isaiah calls Jerusalem, ‘The city of Ari’el‘ (Isaiah 29:1-2, 7).

The lineage from Y’hudah to Yeshua has King David who was given the promise of an eternal descendant on his throne (2 Samuel 7:12-13, Jeremiah 33:17). It is this descendant who will rule the nations and will be the ‘root’ of King David.

“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).

It is not a Lion that Yochanan sees, it is a Lamb. The Lamb looked like it had been slaughtered. In the Hebrew, the phrase is “and I saw he had wounds and bruises that once caused his death.” This detailed phrase supports how the prophet Isaiah described the affliction of Messiah (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. The ram symbolizes the victory of Elohim’s Lamb that would overcome death and be resurrected; the returning ram that would trample 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. The Hebrew word for ‘harp’ is kinnor and is 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 (Psalm 141:2).

Those present in front of the throne sang a new song. In Hebrew, the word for ‘new song’ is telhillim and means a ‘spontaneous song.’ This spontaneous ‘new’ song focuses on the Lamb who is worthy of praise; for at the cost of his blood, he ransomed for Elohim people from every tribe, language, culture, and nation. The Lamb made them to be a kingdom of priests to serve Him. As the ‘royal priesthood,’ they will serve Yeshua and rule with him over the nations.

The Hebrew word for ‘ransom’ is padah and means ‘redeemed.’ The word ‘ransom’ means ‘to pay for the release of a prisoner.’ People from every nation, tribe, and language had been held captive by the Adversary. The Lamb paid the ‘death price’ required to give life to multitudes. He redeemed them by making a substitute of his life for theirs. The Lamb was worthy because he was completely righteous and could become the atonement.

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).

In the heavenly realm, millions and millions of angels along with the living beings and the 24 elders worship the Lamb. The Lamb is ‘worthy’ having righteous character and entitled to receive adoration. The Hebrew word for ‘worthy’ is zachah which means ‘cleansed, pure, and acquitted.’ The Hebrew word for ‘power’ is ‘oz and means ‘the strength of Elohim.’ Power means the Lamb has spiritual insight into the power and strength of Elohim. He can influence the nations and direct the course of world events.

Riches means that the Lamb holds all that have eternal value in his possession. The word for ‘riches’ in Hebrew is osher and means ‘the riches of Elohim.’

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

The strength of The Lamb is mighty. The Hebrew word for ‘strength’ is gibor and means ‘mighty’ or ‘heroic.’ Gibor has the idea of valor and courage like a warrior who returns from a battle with a decisive victory.

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

The Lamb 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.’ His glory ‘comes down’ from the heavens onto the earth.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Worthy – zachah – זחה

ז Zayin – A Weapon means ‘divide’ or ‘cut.’

ח Chet – A Fence means ‘protect.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for zachah: divide and protect revealed.

Power – ‘oz – עז

ע Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ or ‘understand.’

ז Zayin – A Weapon means ‘divide’ or ‘cut.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for oz: understand the dividing.

“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 – osher – עושר

ע Ayin – An Eye means ‘see’ or ‘understand.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for osher: undertand the binding destroys the highest authority.

“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).

Wisdom – chokmah – חכמה

ח Chet – A Fence means ‘protect.’

כ Kaf – Open Palm means ‘allow’ or ‘cover.’

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for chokmah: protect and allow the mighty revelation.

“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).

Mighty – gibor – גבור

ג Gimel – A Camel means ‘lift up’ or ‘pride.’

ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for gibor: lift up the house bound to the highest authority.

“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).

Splendor – hadar – הדר

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for hadar; reveal the pathway of highest authority.

“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).

Glory – kavod – כבוד

כ Kaf – Open Palm means ‘allow’ or ‘cover.’

ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for kavod: cover the house binding the pathway.

“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 2:8-11).

“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’ means plants, animals, and all creation waiting for deliverance crying out to the Lamb (Romans 8:22). The words in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth show the complexity of Elohim’s dominion as Creator. This worship is not just for the Lamb, but also for the One sitting on the throne: the ‘I Am’.

In Hebrew ‘forever and ever’ is l’olam v’ed which means ‘to the distant horizon and again.’ The following blessing is included after the Shema:

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

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

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

Amen. This word is derived from the Hebrew words emunah meaning ‘faith’ and emet meaning ‘truth.’ The elders and the living beings acknowledge the Truth revealed in Faith.

To conclude this glorious worship of the ‘I Am’ and the Lamb, the four living beings and the elders bow. The word for worship is barak and means ‘bend the knee.’ They worshiped by bending the knee in the Divine Presence of the Eternal King.

Revelation 6 – The Seals

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