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Bible Commentaries

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Revelation 1

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

-3

The Apocalypse, or Revelation. I rather prefer the word Apocalypse, which the Latin interpreter did not think fit to change. --- Of Jesus Christ....by his Angel, sent to his servant, John. So that these things were immediately revealed to St. John by an Angel, who represented and spoke in the person of Christ.--- Which must shortly come; and as it is again said, (ver. 3.) the time is at hand. This cannot be meant of all things in the Apocalypse, where mention is also made of the day of judgment, and of the glory of heaven at the end of the world. It can only mean, that some things were to happen shortly, i.e. what is said of the seven churches. (Chap. ii. and iii.) Or the persecutions foretold should begin shortly. Or else these expressions are only to signify, that all time is short, and that from the coming of the Messias, we are not in the last age, or the last hour. See 1 John ii. 18. (Witham) --- St. John excites their attention by the most pressing motives, the approach of the events. Whatever explanation be given of this book, it is equally true in all, that the time is at hand, when it will begin to be accomplished. To find our consolation and happiness in this sacred book, according to the promise of the Holy Spirit, we must peruse it with faith and humility, receive the interpretation of the Church with submission and docility, and practise the truths contained with fidelity and promptitude. What is the life of man, since ages are but moments that escape us? Eternity is but a moment, but a moment that will never end.


Verses 1-3

The Apocalypse, or Revelation. I rather prefer the word Apocalypse, which the Latin interpreter did not think fit to change. --- Of Jesus Christ....by his Angel, sent to his servant, John. So that these things were immediately revealed to St. John by an Angel, who represented and spoke in the person of Christ.--- Which must shortly come; and as it is again said, (ver. 3.) the time is at hand. This cannot be meant of all things in the Apocalypse, where mention is also made of the day of judgment, and of the glory of heaven at the end of the world. It can only mean, that some things were to happen shortly, i.e. what is said of the seven churches. (Chap. ii. and iii.) Or the persecutions foretold should begin shortly. Or else these expressions are only to signify, that all time is short, and that from the coming of the Messias, we are not in the last age, or the last hour. See 1 John ii. 18. (Witham) --- St. John excites their attention by the most pressing motives, the approach of the events. Whatever explanation be given of this book, it is equally true in all, that the time is at hand, when it will begin to be accomplished. To find our consolation and happiness in this sacred book, according to the promise of the Holy Spirit, we must peruse it with faith and humility, receive the interpretation of the Church with submission and docility, and practise the truths contained with fidelity and promptitude. What is the life of man, since ages are but moments that escape us? Eternity is but a moment, but a moment that will never end.


Verse 4

-6


Verses 4-6

Verse 5

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Qui est testis fidelis, Greek: o martus o pistos. Martyr ille fidelis.


Verse 7

Behold, he cometh, or is to come at the day of judgment. (Witham)


Verse 8

I am Alpha, and Omega. These, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, signify the same as what follows, the beginning, and the end, the first cause and last end of all intelligent beings, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty: These words agree only to him, who is the true God, and here are applied to our blessed Redeemer, who is to come and judge all. (Witham)


Verse 10

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

In Dominica die, Greek: en te kuriake emera.


Verse 12

I saw seven golden candlesticks, which, by the last verse of this chapter, represented the seven Churches of Asia. We may suppose these candlesticks to have been shown to St. John, like what is described, Exodus xxv. 31. For in these visions of St. John are frequent allusions to the former tabernacle, and to things relating to the service and worship of God, which Moses was ordered to make. (Witham)


Verse 13

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

See Exodus xxviii. 51.; Daniel x. 5.

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Verse 15

His feet like unto fine brass, to signify the purity and steadfastness of his steps and actions. --- His voice as the sound of many waters, the sound of his preaching by himself, and by his apostles, has been heard throughout all nations of the world. (Witham)


Verse 16

In his right hand seven stars, which, as it is said, (ver. 20.) were the Angels, i.e. the bishops of the seven churches, by this comparison is expressed their dignity. --- And from his mouth came out a sharp two-edged sword. The word of God preached is compared to a two-edged sword. (Ephesians vi. 17. and Hebrews iv. 12.) It also signifies God's severity in punishing sinners. (Witham)


Verse 17

I am the first and the last. These are the words of the Son of man, or of him that represented our Saviour, Christ, to St. John. To be the first and the last, is another expression agreeing only to him who is the true God, as it is divers times applied by the prophet Isaias. (Witham) --- From the 12th verse to this place we have a description of the Son of man, i.e. Christ. The different emblematical descriptions of his countenance, his dress, &c. are similar to what are used by other prophets, and easily explained of his attributes, his eternity, vengeance, &c. &c. (Omnes passim.)


Verse 18

And alive, and was dead; always living as God, and as man was dead, died on the cross for the salvation of all men, rose again, triumphed over hell, death, and sin, and am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell, power over all, all things being made subject to me, even as man, or as God and man. (Witham)


Verse 20

Angels. These are the seven bishops of the churches. Christ's having them in his right hand, shews the care he takes of his Church. (Calmet)

 


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Bibliography Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 1:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-1.html. 1859.

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