Matthew Henry Complete

Commentary on The Revelation

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Chapter 4

In this chapter the prophetical scene opens; and, as the epistolary part opened with a vision of Christ (ch. 1), so this part is introduced with a glorious appearance of the great God, whose throne is in heaven, compassed about with the heavenly host. This discovery was made to John, and in this chapter he,

  1. Records the heavenly sight he saw (v. 1-7). And then,
  2. The heavenly songs he heard (v. 8 to the end).

Verses 1-8 We have here an account of a second vision with which the apostle John was favoured: After this, that is, not only "after I had seen the vision of Christ walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks,’’ but "after I had taken his messages from his mouth, and written and sent them to the several churches, according to his command, after this I had another vision.’’ Those who well improve the discoveries they have had of God already are prepared thereby for more, and may expect them. Observe,

I. The preparation made for the apostle’s having this vision.

II. The vision itself. It begins with the strange sights that the apostle saw, and they were such as these:—

Verse 9 We have considered the sights that the apostle saw in heaven: now let us observe the songs that he heard, for there is in heaven not only that to be seen which will highly please a sanctified eye, but there is that to be heard which will greatly delight a sanctified ear. This is true concerning the church of Christ here, which is a heaven upon earth, and it will be eminently so in the church made perfect in the heaven of heavens.

I. He heard the song of the four living creatures, of the ministers of the church, which refers to the prophet Isaiah’s vision, ch. 6. And here,

II. He heard the adorations of the four-and-twenty elders, that is, of the Christian people represented by them; the ministers led, and the people followed, in the praises of God, v. 10, 11. Here observe,

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