Revelation 22:6
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
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(6-21) These verses contain the concluding words. It is the Epilogue of the Book; it deals with practical exhortations, warnings, and blessings.


(6) And he said unto me . . .—It is the angel who speaks. (Comp. Revelation 21 and Revelation 22:9 of this chapter.) In Revelation 22:7 we hear the words of Christ Himself. These sayings (or, words) are faithful and true. The reference is to the whole book. The book contains the Revelation of the faithful and true witness (Revelation 3:14), whose words are faithful, trustworthy, and fulfilling the desire of them that fear Him. Nor is there reason to doubt this; for “the Lord, the God of the spirits of the Prophets—the God whose spirit moved the holy men of old to speak (2Peter 1:21)—sent His angel to show to His servants things which must come to pass shortly.” (Comp. Note on Revelation 1:1.)

Revelation 22:6-7. The glory and felicity set forth in the preceding chapter, and continued in the five verses we have just considered, being great above all imagination, certain as the word of prophecy, and lasting without end, must, if duly considered, be a powerful encouragement to us, and persuasive to constancy in the profession and practice of pure Christianity, whatever difficulties or dangers may attend it. What follows, to the end, is the conclusion of the whole book, or a sort of epilogue, which confirms the truth of the prophecies contained in these revelations, shows the importance and use of them, and is well fitted to leave them with strong impressions on the hearts of the readers, to preserve them from complying with any corruptions of the Christian faith and worship, and encourage their constancy in the ways of truth and righteousness. And he said, These sayings are true and faithful — All the things which thou hast heard and seen shall be faithfully accomplished in their order, and are infallibly true. Thus the angel ratifies all the forementioned particulars, by a repetition of the same solemn assurance which he had before given, (Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:5,) adding that he was commissioned by the same God who had inspired the ancient prophets, to show the things which should shortly be done — That is, which would very soon begin to be in part fulfilled, and would, in process of time, be completed. Behold, I come quickly — Here the angel speaks, not in his own person, but in the person and character of Christ, whose ambassador and representative he was. Christ is said to come, upon any notable and illustrious manifestation of his providence; and all these are but so many steps to prepare the way for his last coming to judgment. Blessed, happy, is he that keepeth, without adding to or diminishing from, the sayings of the prophecy of this book — And that is duly influenced by them. And, as Vitringa devoutly wishes, “May the Lord grant this favour to us who have bestowed some labour in meditating thereon, that we also may have some share in this blessing.”

22:6-19 The Lord Jesus spake by the angel, solemnly confirming the contents of this book, particularly of this last vision. He is the Lord God faithful and true. Also by his messengers; the holy angels showed them to holy men of God. They are things that must shortly be done; Christ will come quickly, and put all things out of doubt. And by the integrity of that angel who had been the apostle's interpreter. He refused to accept religious worship from John, and reproved him for offering it. This presents another testimony against idolatrous worship of saints and angels. God calls every one to witness to the declarations here made. This book, thus kept open, will have effect upon men; the filthy and unjust will be more so, but it will confirm, strengthen, and further sanctify those who are upright with God. Never let us think that a dead or disobedient faith will save us, for the First and the Last has declared that those alone are blessed who do his commandments. It is a book that shuts out form heaven all wicked and unrighteous persons, particularly those who love and make lies, therefore cannot itself be a lie. There is no middle place or condition. Jesus, who is the Spirit of prophecy, has given his churches this morning-light of prophecy, to assure them of the light of the perfect day approaching. All is confirmed by an open and general invitation to mankind, to come and partake freely of the promises and of the privileges of the gospel. The Spirit, by the sacred word, and by convictions and influence in the sinner's conscience, says, Come to Christ for salvation; and the bride, or the whole church, on earth and in heaven, says, Come and share our happiness. Lest any should hesitate, it is added, Let whosoever will, or, is willing, come and take of the water of life freely. May every one who hears or reads these words, desire at once to accept the gracious invitation. All are condemned who should dare to corrupt or change the word of God, either by adding to it, or taking from it.And he said unto me - The angel-interpreter, who had showed John the vision of the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:9-10. As these visions are now at an end, the angel comes to John directly, and assures him that all these things are true - that there has been no deception of the senses in these visions, but that they were really divine disclosures of what would soon and certainly occur.

These sayings are faithful and true - These communications - all that has been disclosed to you by symbols, or in direct language. See the notes on Revelation 21:5.

And the Lord God of the holy prophets - The same God who inspired the ancient prophets.

Sent his angel - See the notes on Revelation 1:1.

To show unto his servants - To all his servants - that is, to all his people, by the instrumentality of John. The revelation was made to him, and he was to record it for the good of the whole church.

The things which must shortly be done - The beginning of which must soon occur - though the series of events extended into distant ages, and even into eternity. See the notes on Revelation 1:1-3.

6. These sayings are true—thrice repeated (Re 19:9; 21:5). For we are slow to believe that God is as good as He is. The news seems to us, habituated as we are to the misery of this fallen world, too good to be true [Nangle]. They are no dreams of a visionary, but the realities of God's sure word.

holy—so Andreas. But A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic read, "(the Lord God of the) spirits (of the prophets)." The Lord God who with His Spirit inspired their spirits so as to be able to prophesy. There is but one Spirit, but individual prophets, according to the measure given them (1Co 12:4-11), had their own spirits [Bengel] (1Pe 1:11; 2Pe 1:21).

be done—Greek, "come to pass."

All the words of this book, particularly the things of the last vision, are such as proceed from him who is the faithful witness, Revelation 1:5 3:14; from him who was called faithful, Revelation 19:11; and which God will show himself true and faithful in bringing to pass: and such things as God hath revealed to his prophets under the Old Testament in part, and now to me his prophet, to show to his people the things that shall come to pass, and shall shortly begin to be accomplished: See Poole on "Revelation 1:1".

And he said unto me,.... That is, the angel that talked with him, and showed him the above things:

these sayings are faithful and true; not only what are delivered in particular concerning the new Jerusalem state, in which are many things new, and unheard of before, and which may seem strange, and even incredible, but all that are written in this book, Revelation 22:7 all which are "faithful"; to be believed by all that read them, and in the fulfilment of which the faithfulness of God is engaged and displayed: and they are true; for they come from the God of truth, that cannot lie, and are to be credited, and will have a certain accomplishment: this is said to secure the divine authority of this book against the gainsayers of it, whom the Holy Ghost foresaw would arise in the world; and which is here, and in the following part of this chapter, supported by the testimonies of Christ, of his angel, and of John his servant.

And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done; the "Lord" God is the Lord Jesus Christ, as appears by comparing this with Revelation 1:1 and this is a very glaring proof of the deity of Christ, since he is not only called the Lord God, but the Lord God of the holy prophets; of the prophets of the Old Testament, who foretold things to come, and spake of the Messiah, his person, office, sufferings, death, and the glory that should follow; and of the prophets of the New Testament, who had a gift of explaining the prophecies of the Old, as well as some of them predicted future events; and both sorts were holy men, set part by God for this office, and had principles of holiness wrought in them, and were moved by the Holy Ghost; these Christ inspired, and qualified with gifts suitable to their work; and he is, as the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin version, and the Oriental versions read, "the Lord God of the spirits of the prophets"; see 1 Corinthians 14:32 who had power over their spirits, could come at them, and did impress them with a sense and knowledge of divine and future things, which none but God can do: the same sent an angel of his, one of his ministering spirits he has under his command, perhaps the same that here speaks, for so reads the Syriac version, "sent me his angel": to show to John, and by him to all the saints, and to all the servants and followers of the Lamb, things that were in a very little time to begin to come to pass, till all were fulfilled; and even those at the greatest distance were, and are to be fulfilled within a little time, with respect to God, with whom a thousand years are as one day, and in comparison of eternity, and even of the time which had elapsed from the beginning of the world; and these things were shown in the various visions of the seals, trumpets, vials, and others; see Revelation 1:1.

{2} And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

(2) This whole book is concluded and made up by a confirmation, and a salutation. The confirmation has three parts: the words of the angel Re 22:15, the words of Christ, Re 22:16,17 and the supplication made by John from divine authority, Re 22:18-20. By the speech of the angel this prophecy is confirmed to Re 22:7,8, and then he speaks of the use of this book in the verses following. The prophecy is first confirmed by the angel from the nature of it, that it is faithful and true: Secondly, from the nature of the efficient cause, both principal, which is God, and instrumental, which is the angel in this verse. Thirdly, from the promises of God concerning his coming to effect all these things, and concerning our salvation; Re 22:7. Fourthly, from the testification of John himself; Re 22:8. The rest of the speech of the angel rending to the same end, John interrupted or broke off by his unadvised act of worshipping him, in the same verse, which the angel forbidding, teaches him that adoration must be given not to him, but only to God, as for himself, that he is of such nature and office, as he may not be adored: which thing also was in like manner done; Re 19:10.

Revelation 22:6-21. The Epilogue, which naturally contains two parts, since it first (Revelation 22:6-17) comprises the revelations which John had received, and then also (Revelation 22:18-21) the prophetical book in which John had written the revelations received for the service of the churches, comes to a close. In both respects this conclusion corresponds to the introduction of the whole (chs. 1–3), in which likewise the double purpose enters, viz., that of communicating the prophetical scriptures to the churches, and that of designating the contents of revelation as such from the very beginning.

καὶ εἷπέν μοι, viz., the angel, who spoke at Revelation 21:9.[4396] This is acknowledged also by Ebrard, who, however, finds here not an angelic declaration interposed anew, but a repetition of the account of John, who now once more recalls the angelic declaration previously received. Ebrard decides, logically, that in Revelation 22:8 sqq. there is presented not a repetition of the event actually occurring, Revelation 19:10, but only a repetition of the account of the same. This conception, however, is not only in conflict with the mode of statement in the text, but is also improper for the reason that thereby the return, indispensable to the harmony of the entire Apoc., from the series of visions, Revelation 4:1 to Revelation 22:5, revealing the future[4397] to the standpoint of the introductory vision,[4398] is cut off. Cf. also Revelation 22:16.

ΟὟΤΟΙ ΟἹ ΛΌΓΟΙ, Κ.Τ.Λ. Cf. Revelation 21:5. The angel looks back to the entire revelation communicated to John. Cf. Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:18 (Τ. ΛΌΓ. Τ. ΠΡ. Τ. ΒΙΒΛ. ΤΟΎΤ.). So also Klief.

ΤῶΝ ΠΝΕΥΜΆΤΩΝ ΤῶΝ ΠΡΟΦΗΤῶΝ. “The spirits” of the prophets are here no more than in 1 Corinthians 14:32, the effects of the Spirit present in the prophets,[4399] but are the spirits belonging to the different prophets, which God subjects to himself, and inspires and instructs by his own Spirit. Thus the Lord, who is the God of the spirits of all the prophets, has especially manifested himself now in the spirit of John; this God has communicated to John[4400] his true words of revelation by signifying to him, through the ministry of the angel, the things which are to come, in order that he may proclaim them to his servants.

ΤΟῖς ΔΟΎΛΟΙς ΑὐΤΟῦ, i.e., believers in general, ΤΑῖς ἘΚΚΛΗΣΊΑΙς, Revelation 22:16.[4401]

ΚΑῚ ἸΔΟῪ, ἜΡΧΟΜΑΙ ΤΑΧΎ. As the Divine authority, so also especially the chief contents of the now completed revelation are again made prominent,—this occurs by the angel speaking directly in the name of the coming Lord himself,[4402]—and then the parenetic inference which this affords (ΜΑΚΆΡΙΟς, Κ.Τ.Λ.)[4403] is added by the angel.

On Revelation 22:8 sqq., cf. Revelation 19:10.

Ὁ ἈΚΟΎΩΝ ΚΑῚ ΒΛΈΠΩΝ ΤΑῦΤΑ. The part. pres.[4404] marks, without regard to time, the idea of (ecstatic) hearing and seeing of these things, and accordingly the prophetic dignity of John, who just by hearing and seeing all that has been “shown” him for eye and ear, has become the Divinely-appointed interpreter of the Divine mysteries. Thus the pres. particularly shows that the ΤΆΥΤΑ[4405] refers not only to what has been reported, Revelation 22:6 sq., but also to the entire revelation of God. On the other hand, the aor. occurs (κ. ὅτε ἤκουσα) where that which is special, Revelation 22:6 sq., is treated. The variations, consequently, which by additions to the mere ἤκουσα recur to the first clause of Revelation 22:8,[4406] yield an absolutely false interpretation; for John falls down before the angel, because he thinks that in the speech heard (ὅτε ἤκουσα), Revelation 22:6-7 (consider especially Revelation 22:7), he recognizes the Lord himself.

καὶ τῶν ἀδελφῶν σου τῶν προφητῶν. That the prophets are here especially emphasized as the brethren of John, distinguished from the rest of believers,[4407] is natural, because it is now the intention to assert the prophetical authority of John and his book, which the rest of believers are to receive and keep as a testimony of the Lord. Corresponding also with this, is the fact that the angel immediately imparts the command[4408] not to seal[4409] the revelations written in this book, but to communicate them to believers.

ὁ καιρὸς γὰρ ἐγγύς ἐστιν. Cf. Revelation 1:3. The nearer the time is, the more the churches need warning and consolation with respect to what is contained in this revelation.

ὁ αδικῶν, κ.τ.λ. The practical result afforded by this revelation is expressed, Revelation 22:11, by the angel himself in a parenetic address[4410] which, recurring to what the former visions proclaimed, as well concerning the eternal ruin of the godless as also the eternal glory of the righteous, applies it to both classes of men. In connection with this, the summons to those doing wrong, and the filthy (ὁ ῥυπαρός)[4411] to continue in their godless course, and thus to hasten to sure ruin, is not without a certain irony.[4412] [See Note XCVIII., p. 494.] The purpose of Revelation 22:11 is the less to be mistaken, as the allusion to the retributive advent of the Lord not only immediately precedes (ὁ καιρ. γ. ἐγγύς έστιν, Revelation 22:10), but also is added directly afterwards (Revelation 22:12 sq.), and here the impending righteous retribution is expressly emphasized: ὁ μισθός μου, κ.τ.λ. Cf. Revelation 11:18; Isaiah 40:10; Isaiah 62:11.

ὡς τὸ ἔργον ἐστὶν αὐτοῦ. Cf. Revelation 20:12.

The words, Revelation 22:12, read like a speech out of Christ’s own mouth, those of Revelation 22:13[4413] like one of God himself; but, just because of this alternation, it is unnatural to ascribe both declarations to the angel, speaking in the name of Christ and God. On the other hand, the alternation of speakers appears too confused, if Christ himself and God be regarded as actually speaking, particularly since Revelation 22:14 sq. (τ. ἐντ. αὐτοῦ) is most easily regarded a parenetic digression of John. Hence the speeches of Revelation 22:12-13, at the close of the book, must be conceived of here in the same way as the keynote of the entire speech of God given from the very beginning in the introduction, Revelation 1:8. In the ancient prophetic way, John, who shows himself to be a true interpreter of Divine revelation, in two compendious Divine declarations, fixes the fundamental thoughts of this entire prophecy (cf. Revelation 22:20); the very abruptness of these expressions is an indication that Christ and God do not actually enter into the scene as themselves speaking. The speech, Revelation 22:12 sq., thus understood, forms then the transition from the speech of the angel actually present to the parenetic words of John, Revelation 22:14 sq.

τ. ἐντολ. αὐτοῦ. Of God,[4414] not of Christ.[4415] On the reading advocated by Ew. ii., πλύνοντες, κ.τ.λ., see Critical Notes. This reading is deprived of its plausibility by the correct estimate of Revelation 22:12-13.

ἵνα ἔσται. Cf. Winer, p. 271.

ἡ ἐξουσία αὐτῶν ἑπὶ τὸ ξύλον τ. ζ. The purpose of the godly who endeavor, according to the promised reward, to eat of the fruits of the tree of life,[4416] shall certainly be attained; hence the beatitude.

As in En. cviii. 6 (only mention of prophets in Enoch), “what God announces through the mouth of the prophets” relates to the future.—πνευμ. the plurality of spirits is an archaic detail (cf. Revelation 1:4) adapted also from the Enochic formula (Enoch 37:2, etc.), “God of the spirits”.

The Confirmation of the Promise; the Error of the Seer, Revelation 22:6-116. And he said unto me] Who speaks? the angel of Revelation 21:9, or “He that sitteth upon the throne,” as in Revelation 21:5-8, or Christ as in Revelation 22:16? Probably, an angel speaks in the name of Christ: and this leads St John to fancy, as once before, that the angel is himself a divine person.

These sayings] Better, words—the phrase (except that the copula “are” is not expressed) is verbatim the same as in Revelation 21:5.

of the holy prophets] Read, of the spirits of the prophets: for the phrase, cf. 1 Corinthians 14:32.

to shew unto his servants &c.] Revelation 1:1.

Revelation 22:6. Καὶ, and) There is a wonderful disagreement between interpreters respecting the distribution of the speeches in this epilogue. But if my interpretation pleases any one, there speaks—

The angel, Revelation 22:6.

Jesus, Revelation 22:7.

John, respecting his own action, and his correction by the angel, Revelation 22:8-9.

Again, in the same order,

The angel, Revelation 22:10-11.

Jesus, Revelation 22:12-17John, Revelation 22:18-19.

John and Jesus, and again John, Revelation 22:20-21.

πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοὶ, faithful and true) To be received with firm faith, and moreover with a worthy interpretation. The truth of these words was confirmed, in particular, respecting the marriage of the Lamb, ch. Revelation 19:9, and respecting the renewing of the universe, ch. Revelation 21:5; now generally, as in an epilogue, the truth of the words of the whole book is confirmed: and that is consistent with itself, even in places where many refuse to believe. But woe unto them who love falsehood rather than this truth, and who defame the truth as falsehood, and especially that very truth which lies between these confirmations, ch. Revelation 20:1, etc.—ὁ Θεὸς τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν προφητῶν, the God of the spirits of the prophets) There is only one Spirit, by whose inspiration the prophets spake: 1 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 1:21 : but individuals, according to the measure given unto them, had their own spirits. The God of these spirits is the LORD; for instance, the God of David, the God of Daniel. And the same sent His angel, that the approaching accomplishment of those things which had been foretold by those ancient prophets might now be shown to John.

Verse 6. - And he said unto me. Probably the angel who has exhibited the vision of the holy city (Revelation 21:9); perhaps the angel of Revelation 1:1. The concluding portion of the book is now entered upon; it contains a brief summary of (or rather reference to) the chief events which have been narrated, and enforces the lesson which is intended to be taught, viz. that Christians should persevere in well doing amid all persecutions, for their reward is certain, and that the punishment due to the wicked will surely overtake them at last. The angel asserts the veracity of what is contained in the book (ver. 6; cf. Revelation 1:1, 2; Revelation 3:14); the time in which to prepare is brief (vers. 6, 7, 12; cf. Revelation 1:3, 7); the prophecy is to be communicated to others (ver. 10; cf. Revelation 1:1-3); God is eternal (ver. 13; cf. Revelation 1:8); the just are rewarded (vers. 14, 17; cf. Revelation 1:3); the wicked are punished (ver. 15; cf. Revelation 1:7); the prophecy is to be faithfully handed on (vers. 18, 19; cf. Revelation 1:2). These sayings are faithful and true. That is, all that has been conveyed to the seer (cf. the following verses). This is a repetition of Revelation 21:5; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 3:14; so also Daniel 8:26. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets .... the things which must shortly come to pass. That spiritual part of the nature of the prophets, by which they are made to discern and to communicate God's will. The expression is used here in connection with the "prophecy" mentioned in the following verse. The greater part of this verse is worded exactly as Revelation 1:1. His servants; cf. the address to the seven Churches (Revelation 1:3, especially Revelation 1:11). Revelation 22:6The Lord God (Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς)

Rather, as Rev., the Lord, the God.

Of the holy prophets (τῶν ἁγίων προφητῶν)

For ἁγίων holy substitute πνευμάτων spirits, and render, as Rev., the God of the spirits of the prophets.

Be done (γεγέσθαι)

Better, as Rev., come to pass.

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