Revelation 1:8
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
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(8) The beginning and the ending.—These words are of doubtful authority; they are in all probability taken from Revelation 22:13, and interpolated here. The description of the verse applies, with little doubt, to our Lord, and the words are a strong declaration of His divinity.

The Almighty.—The word thus rendered is, with one exception (2Corinthians 6:18), peculiar to this book in the New Testament.

Revelation 1:8. I am Alpha and Omega, saith the Lord — Alpha is the first, Omega the last letter in the Greek alphabet. Let his enemies boast and rage ever so much in the intermediate time, yet he is both the Alpha, or beginning, and the Omega, or end, of all things. Grotius and Bengelius read, λεγει Κυριος ο θεος, saith the Lord God a reading with which the Vulgate accords, having, it seems, understood the verse as spoken by the Father. Accordingly Bengelius’s note is, “God is the beginning, as he is the Author and Creator of all things, and as he proposes, declares, and promises such great things. He is the end, as he brings all the things which are here revealed to a complete and glorious conclusion. Again, the beginning and end of a thing is, in Scripture, styled the whole thing. Therefore, God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end; that is, one who is all things, and always the same.” See Wesley. It will, however, as Doddridge observes, be difficult to give sufficient proof that the words of this verse were spoken by the Father. “Most of the phrases which are here used concerning this glorious Person, are afterward used concerning our Lord Jesus Christ; and παντοκρατωρ, almighty, though in ecclesiastical writers of the earliest ages it is generally appropriated to the Father, may, according to the Syriac version, be rendered, He who holds; that is, superintends, supports, and governs all; and then it is applied to Christ, Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3. But if, after all, the words should be understood as spoken by the Father, our Lord’s applying so many of these titles afterward to himself, plainly proves his partaking with the Father in the glory peculiar to the divine nature, and incommunicable to any creature.” See Bishop Pearson on the Creed, p. 175.

1:4-8 There can be no true peace, where there is not true grace; and where grace goeth before, peace will follow. This blessing is in the name of God, of the Holy Trinity, it is an act of adoration. The Father is first named; he is described as the Jehovah who is, and who was, and who is to come, eternal, unchangeable. The Holy Spirit is called the seven spirits, the perfect Spirit of God, in whom there is a diversity of gifts and operations. The Lord Jesus Christ was from eternity, a Witness to all the counsels of God. He is the First-born from the dead, who will by his own power raise up his people. He is the Prince of the kings of the earth; by him their counsels are overruled, and to him they are accountable. Sin leaves a stain of guilt and pollution upon the soul. Nothing can fetch out this stain but the blood of Christ; and Christ shed his own blood to satisfy Divine justice, and purchase pardon and purity for his people. Christ has made believers kings and priests to God and his Father. As such they overcome the world, mortify sin, govern their own spirits, resist Satan, prevail with God in prayer, and shall judge the world. He has made them priests, given them access to God, enabled them to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices, and for these favours they are bound to ascribe to him dominion and glory for ever. He will judge the world. Attention is called to that great day when all will see the wisdom and happiness of the friends of Christ, and the madness and misery of his enemies. Let us think frequently upon the second coming of Christ. He shall come, to the terror of those who wound and crucify him by apostacy: he shall come, to the astonishment of the whole world of the ungodly. He is the Beginning and the End; all things are from him and for him; he is the Almighty; the same eternal and unchanged One. And if we would be numbered with his saints in glory everlasting, we must now willing submit to him receive him, and honour him as a saviour, who we believe will come to be our Judge. Alas, that there should be many, who would wish never to die, and that there should not be a day of judgment!I am Alpha and Omega - These are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, and denote properly the first and the last. So in Revelation 22:13, where the two expressions are united, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." So in Revelation 1:17, the speaker says of himself, "I am the first and the last." Among the Jewish rabbis it was common to use the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet to denote the whole of anything, from beginning to end. Thus, it is said, "Adam transgressed the whole law, from 'Aleph (א) to Taw (תּ)." "Abraham kept the whole law, from 'Aleph (א) to Taw (תּ)." The language here is what would properly denote "eternity" in the being to whom it is applied, and could be used in reference to no one but the true God. It means that he is the beginning and the end of all things; that he was at the commencement, and will be at the close; and it is thus equivalent to saying that he has always existed, and that he will always exist. Compare Isaiah 41:4, "I the Lord, the first, and with the last"; Isaiah 44:6, "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God"; Isaiah 48:12, "I am he; I am the first, I also am the last." There can be no doubt that the language here would be naturally understood as implying divinity, and it could be properly applied to no one but the true God. The obvious interpretation here would be to apply this to the Lord Jesus; for:

(a) it is he who is spoken of in the verses preceding, and

(b) there can be no doubt that the same language is applied to him in Revelation 1:11.

As there is, however, a difference of reading in this place in the Greek text, and as it can. not be absolutely certain that the writer meant to refer to the Lord Jesus specifically here, this cannot be adduced with propriety as a proof-text to demonstrate his divinity. Many mss., instead of "Lord," κυρίος kurios, read "God," Θεὸς Theos and this reading is adopted by Griesbach, Tittman, and Hahn, and is now regarded as the correct reading. There is no real incongruity in supposing, also, that the writer here meant to refer to God as such, since the introduction of a reference to him would not be inappropriate to his manifest design. Besides, a portion of the language used here, "which is, and was, and is to come," is what would more naturally suggest a reference to God as such, than to the Lord Jesus Christ. See Revelation 1:4. The object for which this passage referring to the "first and the last - to him who was, and is, and is to come," is introduced here evidently is, to show that as he was clothed with omnipotence, and would continue to exist through all ages to come as he had existed in all ages past, there could be no doubt about his ability to execute all which it is said he would execute.

Saith the Lord - Or, saith God, according to what is now regarded as the correct reading.

Which is, and which was, ... - See the notes on Revelation 1:4.

The Almighty - An appellation often applied to God, meaning that he has all power, and used here to denote that he is able to accomplish what is disclosed in this book.

8. Greek, "I am the Alpha and the Omega." The first and last letters of the alphabet. God in Christ comprises all that goes between, as well as the first and last.

the beginning and the ending—omitted in the oldest manuscripts, though found in Vulgate and Coptic. Transcribers probably inserted the clause from Re 21:6. In Christ, Genesis, the Alpha of the Old Testament, and Revelation, the Omega of the New Testament, meet together: the last book presenting to us man and God reconciled in Paradise, as the first book presented man at the beginning innocent and in God's favor in Paradise. Accomplishing finally what I begin. Always the same; before the dragon, the beast, false prophet, and all foes. An anticipatory consolation to the saints under the coming trials of the Church.

the Lord—The oldest manuscripts read "the Lord God."

Almighty—Hebrew, "Shaddai," and "Jehovah Sabaoth," that is, "of hosts"; commanding all the hosts or powers in heaven and earth, so able to overcome all His Church's foes. It occurs often in Revelation, but nowhere else in the New Testament save 2Co 6:18, a quotation from Isaiah.

Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet, as Aleph and Tau are in the Hebrew alphabet: the meaning of these is expounded,

the beginning and the ending; he who was before all, and shall continue to exist when all creatures shall cease to be; the first and the last, as the same terms are expounded, Revelation 22:13: so Isaiah 41:4 43:13.

Which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty: see Revelation 1:4: He addeth the Almighty, to show that he was able to make his words good. Thus in this verse, omnipotency, eternity, and immutability, are all applied to God, and particularly predicated of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I am Alpha and Omega,.... These are the words of Christ himself, appearing at once, and confirming what John had said of him, concerning his person, offices, and future coming: Alpha is the first letter, and Omega the last in the Greek alphabet, and signifies that Christ is the first and the last, as it is interpreted in Revelation 1:11, and is a character often given to the divine Being in prophetic writings; see Isaiah 41:4; and is no small proof of the proper deity of Christ. Alpha is used by the Jews for the chief of persons or things,

"Macmas and Mezonicha (names of places) are , "Alpha for fine flour";

that is, the best fine flour is there, they are the chief places for it: and again,

"Tekoah is , "Alpha for oil",

or the chief place for oil; the best oil was to be had there (s): so Christ, he is the Alpha, the chief as to his divine nature, being God over all, blessed for ever; and in his divine sonship, none, angels or men, are in such sense the Son of God as he is; and in all his offices, of prophet, priest, and King; he is the prophet, the great prophet of the church, never man spake like him, or taught as he did; he is the most excellent priest, that exceeds Aaron and all his sons, having an unchangeable priesthood; and he is the King of kings, and Lord of lords; he has the chief place in the church, he is the head of it, and has in all things the preeminence; he is the chief in honour and dignity, is at the right hand of God, and has a name above every name: he also in some sense may be said to be the Omega, the last and the lowest; as in his state of humiliation, he was not only made lower than the angels, but than man; he was despised and rejected of men, and scarcely reckoned a man, a worm, and no man; and he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. Moreover, these letters, Alpha and Omega, being the first and the last in the alphabet, may stand for the whole; and it seems to be a proverbial expression taken from the Jews, who use the phrase, from Aleph to Tau, for the whole of any thing, which two letters in the Hebrew alphabet stand in the same place as these; accordingly the Syriac version renders it Olaph and Tau; and the Arabic version Aleph and Ye. It is said in Ezekiel 9:6, "begin at my sanctuary",

"R. Joseph taught, do not read "my sanctuary", but "sanctified ones", these are the children of men who confirm "the whole law", , "from Aleph to Tau";

the same as from Alpha to Omega, or from one end to the other: and a little after,

"says R. Levi, Tau is the end of the seal of the holy blessed God, for says R. Chanina, the seal of the holy blessed God is "truth": says R. Samuel bar Nachmani, these are the children of men who confirm the whole law "from Aleph to Tau" (t).

So Christ, he is the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the chief, the whole of things; as of the covenant of grace, he is the first and last of it, he is the Mediator, surety, and messenger of it, and the ratifier and confirmer of it, he is the covenant itself, all its blessings and promises are in him; he is the sum and substance of the Scriptures, both of the law and of the Gospel; he is the fulfilling end of the law, and he is the subject matter of the Gospel; he stands in the first verse in Genesis, and in the last of the Revelation; he is the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the whole and all in the business of salvation, in the affair of justification before God, in the sanctification of his people, in their adoption, and eternal glorification; he stands first and last in the book of God's purposes and decrees, in the book of the covenant, in the book of the creatures, or creation, being the first cause, and last end of all things, in the book of Providence, and in the book of the Scriptures: likewise, as these two letters include all the rest, this phrase may be expressive of the perfection of Christ, who as God has the fulness of the Godhead, all the perfections of the divine nature in him; and, as man, is in all things made like unto his brethren; and, as Mediator, has all fulness of power, wisdom, grace, and righteousness in him, in whom all the saints are complete; and this may also denote his eternity, he having none before him, nor any after him; and which also is signified by some other following expressions:

the beginning and the ending; the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, leave out this; which seems to be explanative of the former clause, Alpha being the beginning of the alphabet, and Omega the ending of it; and properly belongs to Christ, who knows no beginning, nor will he have any end with respect to time, being from everlasting to everlasting; and agrees with him as the first cause of all things, both of the old and new creation, and the last end to which they are all referred, being made for his pleasure, honour, and glory: these things now

saith the Lord; that is, the Lord Jesus Christ; the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read, "the Lord God"; and the Ethiopic version only God:

which is, and which was, and which is to come; who is God over all, "was" God from all eternity, and is to come as such; which he will show by: his omniscience and omnipotence, displayed in the judgment of the world: who "is" now a Saviour of all that come to God by him; "was" so under the Old Testament dispensation, being the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; and "is to come", as such, and shall appear a second time unto salvation to them that look for him: particularly this phrase is expressive of the eternity of Christ, who is, was, and ever will be; and of his immutability, who is the same he was, and will be for ever the same he is, and was, unchangeable in his person, in his love, and in the virtue of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; he is the same today, yesterday, and for ever. This same phrase is used of God the Father in Revelation 1:4; and is a further proof of the deity of Christ; and which is still more confirmed by the following character,

the Almighty; as he appears to be, by creating all things but of nothing; by upholding all creatures in their beings; by the miracles he wrought on earth; by the resurrection of himself from the dead; by obtaining eternal redemption for his people; and by his having the care and government of them upon him, whom he keeps, upholds, bears, and carries to the end, through all their infirmities, afflictions, temptations, and trials,

(s) Misn. Menachot, c. 8. sect. 1. 3. & Bartenora in ib. So Alpha penulatorum, "the chief of beggars", in Martial, l. 50. 2. Ep. 57. (t) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 55. 1. & Avoda Zara, fol. 4. 1. Echa Rabbati, fol. 52. 1. Baal Hatturim in Deuteronomy 33.21. & Raziel, fol. 9. & 12. & Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 70. 1, 2.

{6} I am {f} Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

(6) A confirmation of the greeting earlier, taken from the words of God himself: in which he affirms his operation in every single creature, the immutable eternity that is in himself, and his omnipotence in all things: and concludes in the unity of his own essence, that Trinity of persons which was spoken of before.

(f) I am he before whom there was nothing, indeed, by whom everything that is made, was made: and I shall remain though everything else should perish.

Revelation 1:8. Only here and in Revelation 21:5 f. is God introduced as the speaker, in the Apocalypse. The advent of the Christ, which marks the end of the age, is brought about by God, who overrules (παντοκράτωρ always of God in Apocalypse, otherwise the first part of the title might have suggested Christ) even the anomalies and contradictions of history for this providential climax. By the opening of the second century πατὴρ παντοκράτωρ had become the first title of God in the Roman creed; the Apocalypse, indifferent to the former epithet, reproduces the latter owing to its Hebraic sympathies, ἐγώ εἰμι: Coleridge used to declare that one chief defect in Spinoza was that the Jewish philosopher started with It is instead of with I am. τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὦ: not the finality (Oesterley, Encycl. Relig. and Ethics, i. 1, 2), but the all-inclusive power of God, which comes fully into play in the new order of things inaugurated by the second advent. The symbolism which is here put in a Greek form had been developed in rabbinic speculation upon תא. With this and the following passage, cf. the papyrus of Ani (E. B. D. 12): “He leadeth in his train that which is and that which is not yet.… Homage to thee, King of kings, and Lord of lords, who from the womb of Nut hast ruled the world and Akert [the Egyptian Hades]. Thy body is of bright and shining metal, thy head is of azure blue, and the brilliance of the turquoise encircleth thee.” For the connexion of a presentiment of the end (Revelation 1:7-8) with an impulse to warn contemporaries (9 f.) see 4 Esd. 14:10 f., where the warning of the world’s near close is followed by an injunction to the prophet to “set thine house in order, reprove thy people, console the humble among them”; whereupon the commission to write under inspiration is given.

Revelation 1:9 to Revelation 3:22, an address to Asiatic Christendom (as represented by seven churches) which in high prophetic and oracular style rallies Christians to their genuine oracle of revelation in Jesus and his prophetic spirit. At a time when local oracles (for the famous one of Apollo near Miletus, see Friedlander, iii, 561 f.), besides those in Greece and Syria and Egypt, were eagerly frequented, it was of moment to lay stress on what had superseded all such media for the faithful. Cf. Minuc. Felix, Oct. 7, “pleni et mixti deo uates futura praecerpunt, dant cautelam periculis, morbis medelam, spem afflictis, operam miseris, solacium calamitatibus, laboribus leuamentum”.

Revelation 1:9-20, introductory vision.

8. Alpha and Omega] The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet used, as in Rabbinical proverbs the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet were, as symbols of “the beginning and the end.” These latter words are not here a part of the genuine text; they come from Revelation 22:13.

Lord] Should be followed by “God;” the group of titles represents “the Lord, Jehovah the God of Hosts” of the O. T. The word we render “Almighty”—perhaps rather meaning “of all might”—is the usual representative in the LXX. of the word [Lord of] Sabaoth. So in the Athanasian Creed, “Almighty” is coupled with the divine names “God” and “Lord,” not with the divine attributes “eternal, incomprehensible, uncreated.”

Revelation 1:8. Τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ω) We ought not here to read and pronounce Ω as ω μέγα; for ω μέγα is opposed to ο μικρῷ. Ω, as the last letter of the Greek alphabet, is here opposed to the alpha. John wrote in Greek. This passage is one of great solemnity: in which a few, with Apringius, add ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος,[15] for the sake of explanation, as is thought, in the Notes assigned to Vatablus, namely, from the parallel passages. But let us look to the parallel passages. They are four (not reckoning the 11th verse, on which we shall speak below).

[15] ABC omit these words. Rec. Text adds them, with Vulg. and Memph.—E.

  I.)  Τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ω, Alpha and O: ch. Revelation 1:8.

  II.)  Ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, The First and the Last: ch. Revelation 1:17, Revelation 2:8.

  III.)  Τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ω, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος, Alpha and O, The Beginning and the End: ch. Revelation 21:6.

  IV.)  Τὀ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ω, πρῶτος καὶ ἔσχατος, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος, Alpha and O, The First and the Last, The Beginning and the End: ch. Revelation 22:13.

Therefore, in the beginning of the book, one clause is used, first concerning the Father, ch. Revelation 1:8, comp. with ch. Revelation 4:8, then concerning Christ, ch. Revelation 1:17. At the end of the book the language becomes more copious, and two clauses are used concerning the Father, sitting upon the throne, ch. Revelation 21:6, and three concerning Christ, as coming, ch. Revelation 22:13. We shall presently see, that one sentiment is frequently expressed in this book in Greek and Hebrew. And that is the case here also. The Father is called τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ω, in Greek. He also, in the mind of John, who thinks, as we shall presently see, in Hebrew, is The Beginning and The End, which is expressed in Hebrew by א and ת, the first and the last letter of the Hebrews. And the same takes place with respect to Christ.

The fourth passage, consisting of three clauses, affords us a remarkable handle [argument]. Its third clause is never used without the first; therefore its use is to explain the first. The second is sometimes used without the first; therefore, as in Isaiah, so in the Apocalypse, it has its own signification by itself. The first and the third are applied to the Father also, ch. 21; the second, to Christ alone, ch. Revelation 1:17. Alpha and the Beginning is God; as He Himself, the Creator and Author of all things, proposes, declares, and promises such great things. Ω and the End is the Same; as He brings the Apocalypse, especially in the trumpet of the seventh angel, to its accomplishment, completion, and most desired and glorious end. And thus also is Christ. The first and last of anything, in Scripture phraseology, is the thing itself, or the very whole. See 1 Samuel 3:12; Ecclesiastes 10:13; 2 Chronicles 35:27. The Greeks say in a proverb, prow and stern. Therefore Alpha and Ω, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, is One and all, and always the Same. Comp. Psalms 8 at the beginning and the end, where the Design and the Accomplishment are described. Thus, in a grand sense, the end depends upon the origin. Under this majestic title, Alpha and Ω, etc., the Apocalypse contains in the beginning the Protest of God against the dragon, and of Christ against the beast and other enemies; and in the end, the triumph gained over the enemies. For, as the book advances, the enemies arise to assail, but are utterly destroyed, so that they nowhere appear. It is also a Protest against all false gods and false christs, who are about to come to nothing. For before the first revelation of God in creation, and after the last revelation of Him in the final consummation, there is no other God; all false gods have both been set up and removed in the intermediate time: and so, before the coming of Christ in the flesh, and after His coming to judgment, there is no other Christ; all false christs have had their being in the intermediate time. And when all things shall be made subject unto the Son of God, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that made all things subject unto Him, that God may be all in all: 1 Corinthians 15:28.—Κύριος, the Lord) The whole of this passage is majestic; and the magnificent and full title of God here employed, requires fuller consideration.

§ 1. We will only lay down the rudimentary principle: and in this, many observations will flow together, which may neither entirely please any one (for I do not even satisfy myself), nor entirely displease; and therefore they are subjoined for the selection and more mature examination of any one who pleases.

§ 2. The title has four parts [members]:

1)  Κύριος, the Lord.

2)  Ὁ Θεός, God.

3)  Ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, Who is, and who was, and who is to come.

4)  Ὁ παντοκράτωρ, the Almighty. It will be convenient to examine these parts in inverted order.

§ 3. The fourth, ὁ παντοκράτωρ, the Almighty, in the old Testament answers to two Hebrew words: for in Job it is often put for שדי, but absolutely, not in apposition with other Divine names: therefore a parallelism is not to be fixed there. See below, § 24, respecting the passage in Exodus 6. The other word, which the title ὁ παντοκράτωρ comprises in the other passages, is Sabaoth.

§ 4. Sabaoth is not a Divine name in the nominative case, but it enters into the nomenclature of God, when He is called Jehovah of Sabaoth, God of Sabaoth, Jehovah God of Sabaoth, that is, of hosts.

§ 5. This title does not occur in Genesis: its first beginnings are found in Exodus 7:4, I will bring forth Mine armies, My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt; and ch. Exodus 12:41, All the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. There appeared to Joshua, when he had passed over the Jordan, One who called Himself by this title, the Captain of Jehovah’s army: Joshua 5:14-15. Thence, in the books of Samuel and Kings, in the Chronicles, in the Psalms, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and most of the minor prophets, before the Babylonish captivity and after it, this expression concerning the Lord God of Sabaoth is of very frequent occurrence. The LXX. translators rendered it in various ways; but they chiefly employ the epithet παντοκράτωρ, and say, Κύριος παντοκράτωρ, ὁ Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ. This word is nowhere found in the other books of the New Testament, except at 2 Corinthians 6:18, and that in an express quotation of a passage in Isaiah. In the Apocalypse alone it is of frequent occurrence.

§ 6. The word Sabaoth denotes armies or great forces, and particularly indeed those of the Israelites; but generally all in heaven and in earth, because Jehovah is the God of all: and thence ὁ παντοκράτωρ expresses the Almighty [All-swaying]. To Him alone all warfare is subservient; and the whole agency of that warfare is stirred up and comes to its height in the Apocalypse.

§ 7. Since these things are so, the Third part, ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, cannot but answer to the Hebrew יהוה: for the epithet, ὁ παντοκράτωρ, is never used, unless either Θεὸς or יהוה immediately precede. The former precedes, with an interval between, in the present: therefore יהוה is immediately preceding. Moreover either the three clauses taken together, ὁ ὢν, καὶ ὁ ἦν, καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, answer to the name יהוה, or the third, ὁ ἐρχόμενος, undoubtedly does so.

§ 8. He who יהוה, shall be, is called ὁ ἐρχόμενος; and yet He is not called ὁ ἐσόμενος, but with great skill, ὁ ἐρχόμενος, lest there should appear to be any detraction from His present being, and that His coming may be more clearly expressed. About to be, in Hebrew הבא, coming; comp. John 16:13; and so other languages.

§ 9. There is great dispute as to the manner in which the name יהוה is to be read, and how widely its signification extends. Some, because the points of the name אלהים frequently, and of the name אדני very frequently, are added to it, introduce other vowels, and, for instance, read it as יִהְוֶה Iihvaeh.

§ 10. But even if the name יהוה always had vowels belonging to the other names of God, and never its own, attributed to it in our copies, yet it might be read Jehovah, equally with Iihvaeh. But many things prove that Jehovah even must be the reading.

§ 11. The Hebrews were careful never to pronounce the name יהוה, except with the greatest purity; wherefore, where the prefixes introduced a change of vowels, they very frequently substituted the name אדני, having vowels approaching very closely to יהוה. But wherever יְהֹוָה is written, it is evidently to be read Jehovah. On this one account alone they retained Scheva under Jod: as also the Chaldean paraphrasers do, in that very contraction in their writing, which represents the name Jehovah and Adonai. As יֱהֹוָה is written by means of the points of the name אלהים, so by means of the points of the name אדני it might be written יֲהֹוָה, unless it were of itself to be pronounced יְהֹוָה. Proper names, as Jehojakim, and many others, which are formed from the name יְהֹוָה, and Greek forms of writing this name, being spread abroad among those of foreign lands, have been long ago collected by the learned.

§ 12. There is an incomparable and admirable compounding of the name יהוה from יְהִי Shall be, and הִוֶֹה Being, and הָוָה Was. This paraphrase of the Divine Name by three tenses flowed on to the most ancient Greek poets and to the Talmudical writers. Passages are given in Wolf, T. iv. Curar. in N. T. p. 436. But the Apocalypse has the greatest strength.

§ 13. The second part, ὁ Θεὸς, presents no difficulty. The name Θεὸς, derived from θέω, I place, bespeaks the Author of all things. But the first, Κύριος, requires some mention.

§ 14. Jo. Pearson, in his Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, p. 261, endeavours to bring the matter to this, that the word κύριος, inasmuch as it answers to יהוה, is derived from κύρω, I am. But the instances which he brings forward from the Tragic writers in particular, all imply a kind of fortuitous being; so that κύρω, or rather κυρῶ, answers to the verb ὑπάρχω, no more than it does to the verb τυγχάνω in meaning, and to the verb קרה in its very sound. He who shall thoroughly perceive the force of the noun κῦρος, by which it not only denotes moral influence, but also natural stability and firmness, will readily acknowledge that the noun κύριος is a suitable word for translating the noun יהוה, the threefold expression of time being set aside; and that it certainly denotes Him who is.

§ 15. As often as the noun Θεὸς is appended to the noun Κύριος, the latter answers to the proper noun יהוה; and this is its meaning in the present passage also.

§ 16. Now, since mention is so often made of God in the Old Testament, and in all the instances which occur, these titles only, amounting to three at the most, Jehovah, God, Almighty, are accustomed to be used in one place, what reason is there for the use of four here in the Apocalypse, the word Κύριος being prefixed to the other three?

§ 17. The Apocalypse often expresses a thing in a twofold manner, in Hebrew and in Greek, as ναὶ, ἀμήν· ἀβαδδὼν, ἀπολλύων· διάβολος, σαταιᾶς· κατἡγωρ, κατηγορῶν. The names of enemies are expressed in the twofold idiom: and previously the name of the Lord God Himself is expressed in a twofold manner.

§ 18. In the Divine title which we are considering, the first and second members are put by themselves in Greek; but the third and fourth members, which have the same meaning as the two former, are only used for this purpose, that they may bring to the memory of the reader the Hebrew יהוה צבאות. For although the noun יהוה itself might be expressed by Greek letters, yet it never was so expressed among the people of God. The God of the Jews and Gentiles is described by a Greek and Hebrew name.

§ 19. The first and third members are parallel, each having the force of a proper name; to the first is added ὁ Θεὀς, to the third ὁ παντοκράτωρ, each of them being an appellative.

§ 20. Thus far have we considered this passage separately: it now comes to be compared with the parallel passages. For here the expression employed is ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, and ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, ch. Revelation 4:8; and afterwards, ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν; and finally, ὁ ὤν. See below on ch. Revelation 11:17, Revelation 19:1.

§ 21. When God appeared to Moses in the bush, He called Himself אהיה, I will be. In Exodus 3:14 He supplies this reason for His name: I will be what I will be, as He had said to Moses at the 12th verse of the same chapter, I will be with thee. Afterwards He Himself expresses the name, commanding Moses to say, אהיה I WILL BE hath sent me. The Verb אהיה becomes a Noun, as ὁ ἦν, the Article being prefixed: and ὁ ἦν itself is a befitting phrase, as in Aristotle, εὐθὺς τὸ ἔσται καὶ τὸ μέλλεα, ἕτερον, l. ii. de gener. et corrupt, c. 11.

§ 22. This Name having been proclaimed to Moses, throughout the same vision, and afterwards throughout the whole writing of the Old Testament, the name יהוה is mentioned. אהיה of the first person might have appeared suitable there, where the Lord is speaking of Himself, and יהוה of the third person, where angels and men are the speakers. And yet Moses was commanded to say, אהיה I WILL BE hath sent me; and the Lord also calls Himself יהוה Jehovah: and the name אהיה is not afterwards repeated, whereas the name יהוה is of constant occurrence. It is plain therefore that the name יהוה adds to the meaning of the name אהיה something beyond the mere difference between the first and third person; since first of all the Lord called Himself I shall be, and presently afterwards He began to call Himself by the habitual title, He shall be—Being—He was.

§ 23. The name יהוה is read of old, before the times of Moses, and mentioned in such a manner that we may be assured that Moses did not, from an idiom arising not until his own time, introduce the expression into the times of Enoch, Abraham, etc.: Genesis 4:26; Genesis 13:4; Genesis 14:22; Genesis 15:2; Genesis 15:7, etc.

§ 24. Again, it is plain that this revelation was made to Moses, and by the instrumentality of Moses to the Israelites, by which revelation the name Jehovah became known to them in a new way. We lately quoted the passage, Exodus 3:15. A second is to be added, Exodus 6:3 : I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, באל שדי, as a God abounding in all good things: but under My name Jehovah I was not made known to them. In which passage ב is prefixed to the word אל, and, as denoting the aspect under which one is regarded, may be befittingly rendered by the French en, as, for instance, they say, Vivre en Chrétien. When God appeared to Abraham, He called Himself אל שדי, Genesis 17:1 : and from this Isaac and Jacob often so called Him. At that time also He was called Jehovah, but by a less solemn use. It was not until the time of Moses that He Himself ordered that this should be His name for ever, and that this should be the memorial of Him from generation to generation: Exodus 3:15. Then He made for Himself an eternal name, by the transaction itself: Isaiah 63:12. Let the passage he looked to, Exodus 15:3, and the whole of that song.

§ 25. יהוה is used from הוה, to be: and this name of Himself may be regarded either absolutely, as He who is from eternity to eternity is in Himself; or relatively, as He becomes known to His people in His character as He who is, by accomplishing His promise by the work itself.

§ 26. In the former sense, the name יהוה was celebrated, even in the days of the Patriarchs; but under the other sense, which was added not until the time of Moses, the Lord made Himself known to the Israelites, by that great work of leading them forth from Egypt.

§ 27. By such means He admirably, as it were, contracted the meaning of His name יהוה, so that, just as God, although being the God of all, yet was no other, and was called no other, and wished to be called no other, than the God of Israel, so יהוה, He who is, was no other than He who is to Israel, or, in other words, who affords and exhibits Himself to Israel. He truly said, I will be to you, as He afterwards said, I will not be to you: Verse 8. - A prelude to the book. In the simple majesty of its solemn language it reminds us of the opening of St. John's Gospel and of his First Epistle. "I am the Alpha and the Omega" is here not followed by "the Beginning and the End," which the Vulgate and some other authorities insert from Revelation 21:6 and Revelation 22:13. Who is "the Lord," that utters these words? Surely the Christ, as seems clear from ver. 17; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 22:13. To attribute them to the Father robs the words of their special appropriateness in this context, where they form a prelude to "the Revelation of Jesus Christ" as God and as the Almighty "Ruler of the kings of the earth." Yet the fact that similar language is also used of the Father (Revelation 6:6; Revelation 21:6) shows how clearly St. John teaches that Jesus Christ is "equal to the Father as touching his Godhead." These sublime attributes are applicable to each. Like the doxology (see on ver. 6), the statement of these Divine attributes increases in fulness as the writing proceeds. Here "the Alpha and the Omega;" ver. 17 and Revelation 2:8, "the First and the Last;" in Revelation 21:6, "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End;" in Revelation 22:13, "the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Of these four, the second and fourth certainly apply to the Son, and the third certainly to the Father, the first probably to the Son. The Almighty. With the exception of 2 Corinthians 6:18, where it occurs in a quotation, this expression (ὁ Παντοκράτωρ) is in the New Testament peculiar to the Apocalypse, where it occurs nine times. In the LXX. it represents more than one Hebrew expression; e.g. Jeremiah 3:19; Job 5:17. Revelation 1:8Alpha and Omega (τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω)

Rev., rightly, gives the article, "the Alpha," etc. The words are explained by the gloss, properly omitted from the text, the beginning and the ending. The Rabbinical writers used the phrase from Aleph to Tav, to signify completely, from beginning to end. Thus one says, "Adam transgressed the whole law from Aleph even to Tav." Compare Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:6.

The Lord (ὁ Κύριος)

See on Matthew 21:3. The best texts read Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς the Lord the God. Rev., the Lord God.

Which is, etc.

See on Revelation 1:4. "God, as the old tradition declares, holding in His hand the beginning, middle, and end of all that is" (Plato, "Laws," 715).

The Almighty (ὁ παντοκράτωρ)

Used only once outside of Revelation, in 2 Corinthians 6:18, where it is a quotation. Constantly in the Septuagint.

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