Revelation 5:12
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) Saying with a loud voice . . .—The second chorus: the chorus of angels—

“Worthy is the Lamb,

That hath been slain,

To receive the power.

And riches, and wisdom, and might,

And honour, and glory, and blessing.”

The doxology is seven-fold. We have noticed (Revelation 1:6) the increasing strength of the doxologies in which the redeemed take part. This, though a sevenfold one, does not interrupt that advance of praise; for in this chorus the redeemed do not take part. The definite article is prefixed to the word “power” only; in the doxologies of Revelation 4:11; Revelation 7:12 it stands before each word. This has led some to view the single article as prefixed to all that follows, and to regard all the words as though they formed one word. May it not, however, be used to give emphasis to the “power”? None, above or below, was “able” (same word as “power” here) to open the book (Revelation 5:3); but the Lamb has conquered to open it, and the chorus proclaims the Lamb worthy of that power. Some have thought that the seven terms of the doxology refer to the seven seals which the Lamb is about to open. This seems strained. The notion of completeness is common to this seven-fold blessing and the seven seals; this is the only connection between them.

5:8-14 It is matter of joy to all the world, to see that God deals with men in grace and mercy through the Redeemer. He governs the world, not merely as a Creator, but as our Saviour. The harps were instruments of praise; the vials were full of odours, or incense, which signify the prayers of the saints: prayer and praise should always go together. Christ has redeemed his people from the bondage of sin, guilt, and Satan. He has not only purchased liberty for them, but the highest honour and preferment; he made them kings and priests; kings, to rule over their own spirits, and to overcome the world, and the evil one; and he makes them priests; giving them access to himself, and liberty to offer up spiritual sacrifices. What words can more fully declare that Christ is, and ought to be worshipped, equally with the Father, by all creatures, to all eternity! Happy those who shall adore and praise in heaven, and who shall for ever bless the Lamb, who delivered and set them apart for himself by his blood. How worthy art thou, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of our highest praises! All creatures should proclaim thy greatness, and adore thy majesty.Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain - See the notes on Revelation 5:2, Revelation 5:9. The idea here is, that the fact that he was slain, or was made a sacrifice for sin, was the ground or reason for what is here ascribed to him. Compare the notes on Revelation 5:5.

To receive power - Power or authority to rule over all things. Compare notes on Matthew 28:18. The meaning here is, that he was worthy that these things should be ascribed to him, or to be addressed and acknowledged as possessing them. A part of these things were his in virtue of his very nature - as wisdom, glory, riches; a part were conferred on him as the result of his work - as the mediatorial dominion over the universe, the honor resulting from his work, etc. In view of all that he was, and of all that he has done, he is here spoken of as "worthy" of all these things.

And riches - Abundance. That is, he is worthy that whatever contributes to honor, and glory, and happiness, should be conferred on him in abundance. Himself the original proprietor of all things, it is fit that he should be recognized as such; and having performed the work which he has, it is proper that whatever may be made to contribute to his honor should be regarded as his.

And wisdom - That he should be esteemed as eminently wise; that is, that as the result of the work which he has accomplished, he should be regarded as having ability to choose the best ends and the best means to accomplish them. The feeling here referred to is what arises from the contemplation of the work of salvation by the Redeemer, as a work eminently characterized by wisdom - wisdom manifested in meeting the evils of the fall; in honoring the law; in showing that mercy is consistent with justice; and in adapting the whole plan to the character and needs of man. If wisdom was anywhere demanded, it was in reconciling a lost world to God; if it has been anywhere displayed, it has been in the arrangements for that work, and in its execution by the Redeemer. See the notes on 1 Corinthians 1:24; compare Matthew 13:54; Luke 2:40, Luke 2:52; 1 Corinthians 1:20-21, 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:8; Ephesians 3:10.

And strength - Ability to accomplish his purposes. That is, it is meet that he should be regarded as having such ability. This strength or power was manifested in overcoming the great enemy of man; in his control of winds, and storms, and diseases, and devils; in triumphing over death; in saving his people.

And honor - He should be esteemed and treated with honor for what he has done.

And glory - This word refers to a higher ascription of praise than the word honor. Perhaps that might refer to the honor which we feel in our hearts; this to the expression of that by the language of praise.

And blessing - Everything which would express the desire that he might be happy, honored, and adored. To bless one is to desire that he may have happiness and prosperity; that he may be successful, respected, and honored. To bless God, or to ascribe blessing to him, is that state where the heart is full of love and gratitude, and where it desires that he may be everywhere honored, loved, and obeyed as he should be. The words here express the wish that the universe would ascribe to the Redeemer all honor, and that he might be everywhere loved and adored.

12. to receive power—Greek, "the power." The remaining six (the whole being seven, the number for perfection and completeness) are all, as well as "power," ranged under the one Greek article, to mark that they form one complete aggregate belonging to God and His co-equal, the Lamb. Compare Re 7:12, where each of all seven has the article.

riches—both spiritual and earthly.

blessing—ascribed praise: the will on the creature's part, though unaccompanied by the power, to return blessing for blessing conferred [Alford].

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain; the Lamb mentioned Revelation 5:6, with seven horns and seven eyes, viz. Jesus Christ.

To receive power, and riches; he is worthy of those horns he weareth, emblems of power and strength given unto him; for all power was given him in heaven and earth.

And wisdom; and of those seven eyes he hath, i.e. of the spirit of wisdom, Isaiah 11:2, the riches of grace and wisdom.

And strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing; and of all the homage, glory, praise, blessing, and obedience, which people can give him. I know not whether there be any thing in the observation made by some, that the number of things here mentioned, of which the Lamb is worthy, answereth the number of the seven Spirits of God, before mentioned. Saying with a loud voice,.... To signify their zeal, fervour, and affection for Christ, and to make a free, open, and public acknowledgment of him, and that all might hear of his worthiness, and of the praise and glory that were due unto him:

worthy is the Lamb that was slain; they address him as the Lamb, and not as the Lord of lords, and their Lord; and speak of him as having been slain, and celebrate the virtue and efficacy of his sufferings and death, and ascribe his worthiness to receive glory and honour thereunto; but do not add, as the living creatures and elders do, "and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood"; because, though they were the subjects and objects of confirming grace by Christ, yet not of redeeming grace: it follows,

to receive power and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour,

and glory, and blessing; as the book has seven seals to be unloosed, and Christ had seven horns of power and ability to loose them, and fulfil the things contained in it, and seven eyes to look into it, and discover and reveal what is in it, so here are "seven" words made use of, to express the praise that was due unto him; a like number is used by the angels in Revelation 7:12; and when he is said to be worthy to receive these, it is not to be understood of his receiving the things themselves, but of the praise of them; and that these are to be observed in him, and to be ascribed to him: power belongs to him, as he is the mighty God; and as the Saviour and Redeemer of his people; and as risen from the dead, and as exalted at God's right hand, and made or declared Lord and Christ; having all power in heaven and in earth: "riches" may well be ascribed to him, who has all the perfections of deity in him; whose are the heavens and the earth, and the fulness thereof; and who, as Mediator, is heir of all things, and has both the riches of grace and glory in his hands: "wisdom" also is his; he is wisdom itself, he is the only wise God; and he is the author of all wisdom, natural and spiritual; and, as Mediator, he has the spirit of wisdom and knowledge resting on him, and the treasures of both hid in him: and "strength" may be well attributed to him, which he has shown in making and supporting all things; in saving and redeeming his people with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; and in subduing and vanquishing all his and their enemies; and in giving strength to them to discharge their duty, resist temptations, oppose corruptions, and do their generation work: "honour" is due to him, as the Son of God, he being to be honoured equally as the Father; and who, as man and Mediator, is crowned with glory and honour: "glory" is what ought to be ascribed unto him, even the glory of true and proper deity, and also the glory of salvation; and who, as Mediator, had a glory promised him, and which was due unto him upon his having finished his work, and which he now enjoys: wherefore "blessing" is to be given to him, who is God over all, blessed for evermore, in himself and the perfections of his nature; in whom all spiritual blessings are, and in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed; and to whom praise and thanks are to be rendered, for the blessings of pardoning, justifying, and redeeming grace, and for all other.

Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to {d} receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

(d) To have all praise given to him, as to the mightest and wisest

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 5:12. For similar arrangements in Jewish doxologies, see Gfrörer, ii. 146–8; and, for ἰσχ. τιμ. δόξ. see Daniel 2:37 (LXX). τήν groups together the seven words of the panegyric; honour and glory and praise are due to one whose victorious death has won him the power of bestowing incalculable riches on his people and of unriddling the future, against all opposition (Weiss). The refrain of δύν. is heard in Revelation 11:17, and δόξα had been already associated with “wealth” and “power” (Ephesians 1:18 f.) or “wisdom” (2 Corinthians 3:7 f., Revelation 4:4, etc.) in Christ (contrast Isaiah 53:2 LXX). The act of taking the book (Revelation 5:7) suggests the general authority and prestige of the Lamb, which is acknowledged in this doxology. The order in 12, 13 is the same as in Psalm 103:20-22, where the angels are followed by creation in the worship. When God’s creatures and servants magnify, praise, and bless him, yielding themselves to his dominion, and acknowledging that to him all the strength and wealth and wisdom of life rightly belong, God is honoured. Christ was glorified by God (cf. Acts 3:13, Romans 6:4, John 17:1) at the resurrection, when God’s power raised him to eternal life; he is glorified by men in their homage and submission to him as the sole medium of redemption and revelation.12. power, &c.] Lit. the power. Notice that the praises ascribed are either sevenfold, as here; fourfold, as in the next verse; or threefold, as in Revelation 4:11, Revelation 19:1 (true text).Revelation 5:12. Ἄξιος) Ἀρνίον is neuter; whence many have written ἄξιον: but ἄξιος regards the meaning itself.[70]—ΤῊΝ ΔΎΝΑΜΙΝ ΚΑῚ ΠΛΟῦΤΟΝ, Κ.Τ.Λ.) The sevenfold subject of their acclamations answers to the seven seals, in the first four of which are contained visible things, in the remaining three, invisible things, subject to the Lamb.

[70] Hence the margin of Ed. ii. reckoned among the better supported readings that of ἄξιος, though in the Ed. maj. it was numbered among the less supported.—E. B.

A reads ἄξιος; Rec. Text, ἄξιον.—E.Verse 12. - Saying with a loud voice; a great voice (Revised Version); λέγοντες, "saying," is irregular construction, and to be referred to angels as being a nominative understood. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain; that hath been slain (Revised Version). Again, as in ver. 9, the worshippers give the reason for considering Christ worthy to receive their adoration. It is because he had been slain and thus redeemed the world. To receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. The sevenfold nature of the adoration attributed to the Lamb is probably indicative of its complete and perfect nature. (On the meaning of λαβεῖν, "to receive," to take as a right what is offered, see Thayer-Grimm.) Power (δύναμις) is the ability to perform which is inherent in one's nature. Strength (ἰσχύς) is the attribute by which that power is put into operation; it frequently denotes physical strength. Riches (cf. John 1:16, "And of his fulness have all we received;" also Ephesians 3:8, "The unsearchable riches of Christ;" also James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gilt is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights;" also Acts 17:25, "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things "). The whole sevenfold ascription is spoken as one, only one article being prefixed. In this respect it differs from Revelation 4:11 and Revelation 7:12, where we have "the glory" and "the honour," etc. (see on Revelation 4:11). Power, etc.

Rev., "the power." Compare the ascription in Revelation 4:11, on which see note, and notice that each separate particular there has the article, while here it is attached only to the first, the power, the one article including all the particulars, as if they formed but one word. On the doxologies, see on Revelation 1:6.

Riches (πλοῦτον)

Not limited to spiritual riches, but denoting the fulness of every gift of God. James 1:17; Acts 17:25. Only here in a doxology.

Blessing (εὐλογίαν)

See on the kindred word εὐλογητὸς blessed, 1 Peter 1:3.

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