I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I am Alpha . . .—Here (as in Revelation 21:6) we should render, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (See Note as above, and comp. John 1:1; Isaiah 44:6.) The repetition of these glorious titles is not a mere idle repetition, or designed to give a rhetorical fulness to the peroration of the book: it is closely allied with the preceding thought. The warning has been given that men by continuing in sin (Revelation 22:11) are inviting against themselves the law by which act ripens to habit, and habit makes character, and character forms destiny. The moral laws set going by sin work thus:—Retribution is no dream: it is a terrible fact: it is written large over nature. But the eternal laws of God, though righteously ordered, are not God: the refuge from the eternal laws which we invoke against ourselves by our sin is to be found in the Eternal God: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” For those hunted by the wickedness of their own doings, God himself provides a refuge: underneath all laws are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27). The next verses set the way of refuge and safety before us.Revelation 1:8, Revelation 1:11. The idea here is, that he will thus show that he is the first and the last - the beginning and the end. He originated the whole plan of salvation, and he will determine its close; he formed the world, and he will wind up its affairs. In the beginning, the continuance, and the end, he will be recognized as the same being presiding over and controlling all. See Poole on "Revelation 1:8". See Poole on "Revelation 21:6". Revelation 1:8. These characters are all put together here, which are before used in Revelation 1:8 and are very pertinently mentioned in this place, when all promises and prophecies, relating to the glorious kingdom of Christ, were just finishing, and that itself was ready to appear, in which Christ alone should be exalted, the mystery of God would be completed, and time itself be no more. The Ethiopic version adds, "the beginning and end of days", or time. A testimony this, of the deity, eternity, infinity, and perfection of Christ. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. I am Alpha &c.] Song of Solomon 1:8 (not 11). There the Father speaks, here the Son.
the beginning &c.] The true order seems to be the first and the last, the beginning and the end.Revelation 22:13. Ἐγὼ τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ω, πρῶτος καὶ ἔσχατος, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος, I Alpha and O, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End) See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. The Lord Jesus plainly speaks here: and there are three clauses, the first of which we weighed at ch. Revelation 1:8, where the Father speaks of Himself; the second we considered at ch. Revelation 1:17, where the Lord Jesus speaks of Himself; the third, together with the first, we touched upon at ch. Revelation 21:6, where again the Father speaks. Now, in the present passage, the three clauses are accumulated, a most manifest proof of the glory of the Lord Jesus; who testifies concerning Himself both those things which the Father had spoken concerning Himself, ch. Revelation 21:6, and those things which He Himself had spoken concerning Himself, ch. Revelation 1:17. Is it then one and the same sentiment which is expressed in a threefold form? Nay, something more is contained in it. The clause Α and Ω is as it were the basis of those titles, which we have just noticed, of God and Christ; and it has a kind of general and as it were hieroglyphic force, to be determined by the other titles which follow. This is first spoken by the Father, ch. Revelation 1:8; and the second answers to it, in which Christ calls Himself the First and the Last, ch. Revelation 1:17. Artemonius, who is excellently refuted by Wolf, translates it, most excellent and most abject. He Himself by Isaiah explains it, as Him, before whom and after whom there is no other God, the Author of salvation. This is at the commencement of the book. At the close, He who sits upon the throne says, I am Α and Ω: and He Himself explains it, the Beginning and the End, ch. Revelation 21:6. Then the Lord Jesus says, I Α and Ω: and He also adds the explanation, but a twofold one: for He both repeats that saying of His, the First and the Last, and now, when the throne of God and of the Lamb is in the new Jerusalem, speaking of Himself, He adds that, which the Father had spoken, the Beginning and the End. It is put without the article, πρῶτος καὶ ἔσχατος, and that too in the primary copies; but with the article, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος, just as τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω, which is a remarkable sign of a kind of gradation.
 AB Vulg. omit εἰμι: but h Orig. 4,6c, 21b, Cypr. 294, and Rec. Text, support it. A and Clem. have ἄλφα. Bh Vulg. Orig. Cypr. have α: so Rec. Text. A has πρῶτος—ἔοχατος; B Orig. and Rec. Text, ὁ πρ. καὶ ὁ ἐσχ. AB have, with Orig. 4,21b, ἡ ἀοχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος. Rec. Text omits the articles.—E.Verse 13. - I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last; the Alpha, etc. Reverse the position of the two last phrases. These words, which appropriately open and close the book (cf. Revelation 1:8), occur (like those in ver. 11 above) continually in Isaiah (see Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 48:12). All three titles are here combined, as if to finally gather up into one impressive assertion the titles hitherto used separately (cf. Revelation 1:8, 17; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 21:6). "The first title is symbolical; the second is borrowed from the Old Testament; the third is philosophical "('Speaker's Commentary').
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