Revelation 5

The Word Made Fresh

1Then I saw that the one seated on the throne was holding a scroll in his right hand. The scroll was written on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2I heard a mighty angel ask loudly, “Who is worthy to break the scroll’s seal and open it?” 3But no one in heaven or on earth or even under the earth could open the scroll or look into it. 4Then I began to bitterly weep because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. 5Then one of the elders said to me, “Don’t cry. Look! The Lion of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered and he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

6Then I saw a lamb that appeared to have been slaughtered standing among the elders between the throne and the four living creatures. It had seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God sent out over the whole world. 7The lamb took the scroll from the right hand of the one seated on the throne. 8Then the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell prostrate before the lamb. Each of them was holding a harp and a golden bowl filled with incense for the prayers of the saints. 9They were singing this new song:

“You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals
because you were slaughtered,
and your blood was a ransom for God’s saints
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10You have made of them a kingdom, and priests to our God,
and they will rule the earth.”

11Then I saw and heard many angels around the throne with the living creatures and elders. There were myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands of them 12singing loudly,

“The lamb that was slaughtered is worthy
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea singing,

“To the one seated on the throne and to the lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

14The four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the elders fell face down and worshiped.


1-5: John sees that God is now holding a sealed scroll. An angel shouts for someone who can open the scroll, but no one steps forward. John begins to weep, but then hears one of the elders say that there is one who is worthy to open the seals, the “Lion from the tribe of Judah,” the “Root of David.” The references are, of course, to Christ. There are seven seals, which will appear again starting in chapter 6.

6-10: A slaughtered lamb, with seven horns (seven is the number of completion, of perfection, and the horn is a symbol of authority) and seven all-seeing eyes appears, and steps out from the elders to take the scroll, and the elders fall before the throne with incense and begin to worship God. They sing a hymn to Christ, the slaughtered Lamb of God.

11-14: Now the angels, a numberless host, wheel around the whole assembly singing praise to the lamb, and then every creature God created joins in the praise. The four creatures shout “Amen” and the elders bow over and toss their crowns again.


Though it is impossible for us to envision exactly what John is trying to describe, the vision is awesome and worthy of God’s majesty. What a mighty God we serve!