Revelation 1:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

King James Bible
The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

American Standard Version
the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks are seven churches.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The mystery of the seven stars, which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. And the seven candlesticks are the seven churches.

English Revised Version
the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks are seven churches.

Webster's Bible Translation
The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Weymouth New Testament
the secret meaning of the seven stars which you have seen in My right hand, and of the seven lampstands of gold. The seven stars are the ministers of the seven Churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven Churches.

Revelation 1:20 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Mystery (μυστήριον)

See on Matthew 13:11. Depending in construction upon the verb write, and in apposition with the things which thou sawest.

Stars

Symbols of pre-eminence and authority. See Numbers 24:17; Daniel 12:3. False teachers are wandering stars (Jde 1:13). Compare Isaiah 14:12.

Angels (ἄγγελοι)

The exact meaning of the term here is uncertain. The following are the principal interpretations:

1. The officials known as angels or messengers of the synagogue, transferred to the Christian Church. These were mere clerks or readers; so that their position does not answer to that of the angels presiding over the churches. There is, besides, no trace of the transfer of that office to the Christian Church.

2. Angels proper Heavenly guardians of the churches. This is urged on the ground that the word is constantly used in Revelation of a heavenly being; by reference to the angels of the little ones (Matthew 18:10), and to Peter's angel (Acts 12:15). It is urged that, if an individual may have a guardian angel, so may a Church. Reference is also made to the tutelar national angels of Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1.

But why should the seer be instructed to write to heavenly messengers, with exhortations to repentance and fidelity, and describing them as "rich," "poor," "lukewarm," etc. (Revelation 2:4; Revelation 3:1, Revelation 3:16)?

3. The angels are a personification of the churches themselves: the Church being spoken of as if concentrated in its angel or messenger. But in Revelation 1:20, they are explicitly distinguished from the golden candlesticks, the churches.

4. The rulers ard teachers of the congregation. These are compared by Daniel (Daniel 12:3) to stars. See Malachi 2:7, where the priest is called the messenger (angel) of the Lord; and Malachi 3:1, where the same word is used of the prophet. See also Haggai 1:13. Under this interpretation two views are possible. (a) The angels are Bishops; the word ἄγγελος sometimes occurring in that sense (as in Jerome and Socrates). This raises the question of the existence of episcopacy towards the close of the first century. (b) The word is used of the ministry collectively; the whole board of officers, including both presbyters and deacons, who represented and were responsible for the moral condition of the churches. See Acts 20:17, Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-5.

Dr. Schaff says: "This phraseology of the Apocalypse already looks towards the idea of episcopacy in its primitive form, that is, to a monarchical concentration of governmental form in one person, bearing a patriarchal relation to the congregation, and responsible in an eminent sense for the spiritual condition of the whole.... But even in this case we must insist on an important distinction between the 'angels' of the Book of Revelation and the later diocesan Bishops. For aside from the very limited extent of their charges, as compared with the large territory of most Greek, Roman Catholic, and Anglican Bishops, these angels stood below the Apostles and their legates, and were not yet invested with the great power (particularly the right to confirm and ordain) which fell to the later Bishops after the death of the Apostles.... The angels, accordingly, if we are to understand by them single individuals, must be considered as forming the transition from the presbyters of the apostolic age to the Bishops of the second century" ("History of the Apostolic Church").

Revelation 1:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

mystery. See on

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Luke 8:10 And he said, To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see...

the seven stars. See on ver.

Revelation 1:13,16 And in the middle of the seven candlesticks one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot...

the seven golden.

Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

The seven stars.

Revelation 2:1,8,12,18 To the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things said he that holds the seven stars in his right hand...

Revelation 3:1,7,14 And to the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things said he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars...

Malachi 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

and the.

Zechariah 4:2 And said to me, What see you? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it...

Matthew 5:15,16 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house...

Philippians 2:15,16 That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation...

1 Timothy 3:14-16 These things write I to you, hoping to come to you shortly...

Cross References
Exodus 25:37
You shall make seven lamps for it. And the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it.

Exodus 37:23
And he made its seven lamps and its tongs and its trays of pure gold.

Zechariah 4:2
And he said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it.

Matthew 5:14
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Romans 11:25
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Revelation 1:4
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,

Revelation 1:11
saying, "Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."

Jump to Previous
Angels Assemblies Burning Candlesticks Churches Gold Golden Hand Lampstands Meaning Messengers Ministers Mystery Right Sawest Secret Seven Stars Vessels
Jump to Next
Angels Assemblies Burning Candlesticks Churches Gold Golden Hand Lampstands Meaning Messengers Ministers Mystery Right Sawest Secret Seven Stars Vessels
Links
Revelation 1:20 NIV
Revelation 1:20 NLT
Revelation 1:20 ESV
Revelation 1:20 NASB
Revelation 1:20 KJV

Revelation 1:20 Bible Apps
Revelation 1:20 Biblia Paralela
Revelation 1:20 Chinese Bible
Revelation 1:20 French Bible
Revelation 1:20 German Bible

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Revelation 1:19
Top of Page
Top of Page