Revelation 1:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

New Living Translation
He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.

English Standard Version
In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

New American Standard Bible
In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

King James Bible
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He had seven stars in His right hand; a sharp double-edged sword came from His mouth, and His face was shining like the sun at midday.

International Standard Version
In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword. His face was like the sun when it shines with full force.

NET Bible
He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword extended out of his mouth. His face shone like the sun shining at full strength.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he had in his right hand seven stars, and a sharp lance proceeded from his mouth, and I saw him like the Sun appearing in its strength.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword. His face was like the sun when it shines in all its brightness.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he had in his right hand seven stars, and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword, and his countenance was as the sun when it shines in its strength.

King James 2000 Bible
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in its strength.

American King James Version
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength.

American Standard Version
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he had in his right hand seven stars. And from his mouth came out a sharp two edged sword: and his face was as the sun shineth in his power.

Darby Bible Translation
and having in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth a sharp two-edged sword going forth; and his countenance as the sun shines in its power.

English Revised Version
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Weymouth New Testament
In His right hand He held seven stars, and a sharp, two-edged sword was seen coming from His mouth; and His glance resembled the sun when it is shining with its full strength.

World English Bible
He had seven stars in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest.

Young's Literal Translation
and having in his right hand seven stars, and out of his mouth a sharp two-edged sword is proceeding, and his countenance is as the sun shining in its might.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:12-20 The churches receive their light from Christ and the gospel, and hold it forth to others. They are golden candlesticks; they should be precious and pure; not only the ministers, but the members of the churches; their light should so shine before men, as to engage others to give glory to God. And the apostle saw as though of the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in the midst of the golden candlesticks. He is with his churches always, to the end of the world, filling them with light, and life, and love. He was clothed with a robe down to the feet, perhaps representing his righteousness and priesthood, as Mediator. This vest was girt with a golden girdle, which may denote how precious are his love and affection for his people. His head and hairs white like wool and as snow, may signify his majesty, purity, and eternity. His eyes as a flame of fire, may represent his knowledge of the secrets of all hearts, and of the most distant events. His feet like fine brass burning in a furnace, may denote the firmness of his appointments, and the excellence of his proceedings. His voice as the sound of many waters, may represent the power of his word, to remove or to destroy. The seven stars were emblems of the ministers of the seven churches to which the apostle was ordered to write, and whom Christ upheld and directed. The sword represented his justice, and his word, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, Heb 4:12. His countenance was like the sun, when it shines clearly and powerfully; its strength too bright and dazzling for mortal eyes to behold. The apostle was overpowered with the greatness of the lustre and glory in which Christ appeared. We may well be contented to walk by faith, while here upon earth. The Lord Jesus spake words of comfort; Fear not. Words of instruction; telling who thus appeared. And his Divine nature; the First and the Last. His former sufferings; I was dead: the very same whom his disciples saw upon the cross. His resurrection and life; I have conquered death, and am partaker of endless life. His office and authority; sovereign dominion in and over the invisible world, as the Judge of all, from whose sentence there is no appeal. Let us listen to the voice of Christ, and receive the tokens of his love, for what can he withhold from those for whose sins he has died? May we then obey his word, and give up ourselves wholly to him who directs all things aright.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - He holds the Churches in his hand as a precious possession, which he sustains as a glory to himself. These Churches are as planets, which shine, not with their own light, but that of the sun; which shine most brightly in the night of "tribulation," which (like him who holds them in his right hand) are a guide to the wanderer, and are ever moving, yet ever at rest. Out of his mouth a sharp two-edged sword. This metaphor runs through both Old and New Testaments. It is frequent in this book (Revelation 2:12, 16; Revelation 19:15, 21; comp. Luke 2:35; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 45:3; Psalm 57:4; Psalm 59:7; Psalm 64:3; Psalm 149:6; Proverbs 12:18; Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 49:2, etc.). The sharp words of men and the searching words of God are both spoken of under this figure of the sword. Tertullian and Richard of St. Victor explain the two edges as the Law and the Gospel. Other still more fanciful explanations have been given. "Two-edged" (δίστομος) is literally "two-mouthed," and perhaps expresses no more than the thorough efficiency of the sword. It occurs in Revelation 2:12 and Hebrews 4:12; also in classical Greek as equivalent to the more common ἀμφήκης. If a double meaning be insisted on, it may be found in the double character of God's Word, which not only smites the wicked, but searches the good; which cuts sometimes to punish, sometimes to heal. Thus in these very epistles to the Churches, penetrating words both of blessing and condemnation are uttered. The word for "sword" (ῤομφαία) occurs six times in Revelation; elsewhere in the New Testament only Luke 2:35. In classical Greek it is the heavy Thracian broadsword. In the LXX. it is used of the "flaming sword" of the cherubim which kept the way of the tree of life (Genesis 3:24); also of the sword of Goliath (1 Kings 17:25). His countenance was as the sun shineth. It is the "Sun of Righteousness" and "the Light of the world." The exceptional glory of the Transfiguration has become constant now.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he had in his right hand seven stars,.... The angels or pastors of the seven churches, Revelation 1:20. The ministers of the Gospel are compared to stars, because of their efficient cause, God, who has made them, and fixed them in their proper place, and for his glory; and because of the matter of them, being the same with the heavens, so ministers are of the same nature with the churches; and because of their form, light, which they receive from the sun, so preachers of the Gospel receive their light from Christ; and because of their multitude and variety, so the ministers of the Gospel are many, and their gifts different; and chiefly for their usefulness, to give light to others, to direct to Christ, and point out the way of salvation, and to rule over the churches: nor was it unusual with the Jews to compare good men to stars, and to the seven stars. The Targumist (r) says, the seven lamps in the candlestick answer to the seven stars to which the righteous are like. These are led and held in Christ's right hand; which shows that they are dear unto him, and highly valued by him; that they are his, in his possession, at his dispose, whom he uses as his instruments to do his work; and whom he upholds and sustains, that they shall not sink under their burdens; and whom he preserves from failing, and so holds them that they shall stand fast in the faith, and not be carried away with the error of the wicked:

and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword; which designs the word of God; see Ephesians 6:17; This comes out of the mouth of Christ, it is the word of God, and not of man; and is a sharp sword, contains sharp reproofs for sin, severe threatenings against it, and gives cutting convictions of it, and is a twoedged one; and by its two edges may be meant law and Gospel; the law lays open the sins of men, fills with grief and anguish for them, yea, not only wounds, but kills; and the Gospel cuts down the best in man, his wisdom, holiness, righteousness, and carnal privileges, in which he trusts; and the worst in man, teaching him to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts: or the word of God may be so called, because it is a means both of saving and of destroying; it is the savour of life unto life to some, and the savour of death unto death to others; and is both an offensive and defensive weapon; it is for the defence of the saints, against Satan, false teachers, and every other enemy; and an offensive one to them, which cuts them down, and destroys them and their principles: or this may mean the judiciary sentence of Christ upon the wicked, which will be a fighting against them, and a smiting of the nations of the world; see Revelation 2:16; which the Jews interpret of the law (s):

and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength; at noonday; such was the countenance of Christ at his transfiguration, Matthew 17:2; and designs here the manifestation of himself in the glories of his person, and in the riches of his grace; who is the sun of righteousness that arises upon his people with light, heat, joy, and comfort; see the phrase in Judges 5:31, which the Jewish writers understand of the strength of the sun both in the summer solstice, and in the middle of the day, or at noon, at which time its heat is strongest, and it usually shines brightest; the design of the metaphor is to set forth the glory and majesty of Christ,

(r) Jonathan ben Uzziel in Exodus 40.4. (s) Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 95. 4. & 131. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. he had—Greek, "having." John takes up the description from time to time, irrespective of the construction, with separate strokes of the pencil [Alford].

in … right hand seven stars—(Re 1:20; Re 2:1; 3:1). He holds them as a star-studded "crown of glory," or "royal diadem," in His hand: so Isa 62:3. He is their Possessor and Upholder.

out of … mouth went—Greek, "going forth"; not wielded in the hand. His Word is omnipotent in executing His will in punishing sinners. It is the sword of His Spirit. Reproof and punishment, rather than its converting winning power, is the prominent point. Still, as He encourages the churches, as well as threatens, the former quality of the Word is not excluded. Its two edges (back and front) may allude to its double efficacy, condemning some, converting others. Tertullian [Epistle against Judaizers], takes them of the Old and the New Testaments. Richard of St. Victor, "the Old Testament cutting externally our carnal, the New Testament internally, our spiritual sins."

sword—Greek, "romphaia," the Thracian long and heavy broad sword: six times in Revelation, once only elsewhere in New Testament, namely, Lu 2:35.

sun … in his strength—in unclouded power. So shall the righteous shine, reflecting the image of the Sun of righteousness. Trench notices that this description, sublime as a purely mental conception, would be intolerable if we were to give it an outward form. With the Greeks, æsthecial taste was the first consideration, to which all others must give way. With the Hebrews, truth and the full representation ideally of the religious reality were the paramount consideration, that representation being designed not to be outwardly embodied, but to remain a purely mental conception. This exalting of the essence above the form marks their deeper religious earnestness.

Revelation 1:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
John's Vision on Patmos
15His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. 17When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,…
Cross References
Judges 5:31
"So may all your enemies perish, LORD! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength." Then the land had peace forty years.

Psalm 45:3
Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.

Song of Solomon 6:10
Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession?

Isaiah 49:2
He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.

Matthew 17:2
There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Revelation 1:20
The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Revelation 2:1
"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.

Revelation 2:12
"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.

Revelation 2:16
Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Revelation 3:1
"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Revelation 10:1
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.

Revelation 19:15
Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
Treasury of Scripture

And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength.

he had.

Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and …

Revelation 2:1 To the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things said he …

Revelation 3:1 And to the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things said …

Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with …

Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Daniel 8:10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down …

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament…

out.

Revelation 2:12,16 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things said …

Revelation 19:15,21 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite …

Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with …

Isaiah 49:2 And he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his …

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which …

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any …

and his.

Revelation 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with …

Isaiah 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the …

Isaiah 60:19,20 The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness …

Malachi 4:2 But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise …

Acts 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the …

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