Then said he to me, See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then saith he unto me . . .—Better, And he saith to me, See (or, Take heed) not. I am a fellow servant of thee and of thy brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book; worship God (or, to God give worship). This rebuke is similar to that given in Revelation 19. It is a wide affirmation of the truth that all—whether angels, or prophets, or simple faithful followers of Christ—are united in a grand bond of common devotion and common service to the same Lord.Revelation 19:10.
For I am thy fellow-servant - notes on Revelation 19:10.
And of thy brethren the prophets - In Revelation 19:10, it is "of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus." Here the angel says that, in the capacity in which he appeared to John, he belonged to the general rank of the prophets, and was no more entitled to worship than any of the prophets had been. Like them, he had merely been employed to disclose important truths in regard to the future; but as the prophets, even the most eminent of them, were not regarded as entitled to worship on account of the communications which they had made, no more was he.
And of them which keep the sayings of this book - "I am a mere creature of God." I, like human beings, am under law, and am bound to observe the law of God. The "sayings of this book" which he says he kept, must be understood to mean those great principles of religion which it enjoined, and which are of equal obligation on human beings and angels.
Worship God - Worship God only. See the notes on Revelation 19:10.
for—A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, Andreas, and Cyprian omit "for"; which accords with the abrupt earnestness of the angel's prohibition of an act derogatory to God.
and of—"and (the fellow servant) of thy brethren."See thou do it not: See Poole on "Revelation 19:10".
For I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets; whose employment is the same with thine, to reveal the will of God;
and of them which keep the sayings of this book; yea, and a brother to all the servants of God. Thou mistakest the object of thine adoration, I am a created being, and can accept no such homage.
see thou do it not; this he said in great haste, and with much vehemence, to hinder him from doing it, as his short way of speaking shows:
for I am thy fellow servant: of God, and of Christ, and am no more the object of worship than thyself; and both of us are, and ought to be, the worshippers of God, whose servants we are:
and of thy brethren the prophets; the apostles and ministers of the word; for prophesying and preaching are the same thing; these were the brethren of John in a spiritual sense, and by reason of their function:
and of them which keep the sayings of this book; see Revelation 22:7 and this is said to encourage the observation of them, and is the character of private Christians, and shows the great condescension of the angel to put himself, not only upon a level with John, and the ministers of the word, but with common believers:
worship God; and him only, and that in a spiritual manner, with reverence and godly fear, in faith, and according to his revealed will; See Gill on Revelation 19:10.Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)θρησκεία τῶν ἀγγέλων is not, as in the parallel passage, an indirect exaltation of the prophetic order as equivalent to the angelic in religious function, but an assertion that even ordinary Christians who accept the Apocalypse are equal to the hierophant angel. Unlike Nebo, the angelic interpreter of Marduk’s will in Babylonian religion, he is not to be worshipped, for all his importance. Precautions against angel-worship could hardly be more stringent. “The repetition of the scene is enough to show that it does not represent a natural ebullition of feeling and its corretction, but that the narrative has a purpose … and that those who observed the practice made use of” John’s name, or at any rate believed they could appeal to him as sanctioning their superstition (Weizäcker, ii. 203–204).9. for] should be omitted.
thy brethren the prophets] It has been recognised in Revelation 22:6-7, that St John is a prophet, and shares in the special blessedness given to prophets. But at the same time “they which keep the words of this book,” though not prophets, share that blessedness with them. St Matthew 10:41 implies the same, though the form of statement is somewhat different.Revelation 22:9.  ὍΡΑ ΜΉ· ΣΎΝΔΟΥΛΌς ΣΟΥ ΕἸΜῚ) After ΣΟΥ, the more recent Latin editions and Erasmus inserted γάρ. But Wolf excellently observes, that the whole of this speech of the angel is concise and elliptical, such as the speech of those who greatly loathe anything is accustomed to be. There is a very similar example of the omission of γὰρ, Acts 14:15.
 ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ποδῶν, before his feet) John had first wished to worship the angel, ch. Revelation 19:10 : now only at his feet he prepares to worship (GOD). But the angel does not even permit this.—V. g.
 AB Vulg. Cypr. reject γάο; Rec. Text with h supports it.—E.Verse 9. - Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God; and he saith, etc. (cf. the words of Revelation 19:10). Here we have "the prophets;" in the former passage we have the "spirit of prophecy," in much the same sense; here, again, we have "them which keep the sayings of this book," in place of "that have the testimony of Jesus," in Revelation 19:10. In the latter case, also, there is little difference of meaning, since the "sayings of this book" are exhortations to a faithful bearing of "the testimony of Jesus;" those, therefore, "who keep" (that is, carry out) "the sayings" are those who "hold the testimony of Jesus." "The prophets" need not be restricted in meaning to either Old or New Testament prophets, but may include both. The direct inspiration of the message which St. John has to deliver is here asserted. In unison with the teaching of the Mosaic covenant, the angel commands to worship God alone (cf. Exodus 34:14, etc.).
Lit., see not.
Thy brethren the prophets
The spiritual brotherhood of John with the prophets is exhibited in Revelation.
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