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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 1 - Verse 13

Verse 13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks. Standing among them, so as to be encircled within them. This shows that the representation could not have been like that of the vision of Zechariah, (Zec 4:2) where the prophet sees "a candlestick all of gold with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon." In the vision as it appeared to John, there was not one lamp-bearer with seven lamps or branches, but there were seven lamp-bearers so arranged that one in the likeness of the Son of man could stand in the midst of them.

One like unto the Son of man. This was evidently the Lord Jesus Christ himself, elsewhere so often called "the Son of man." That it was the Saviour himself is apparent from Re 1:18. The expression rendered "like unto the Son of man," should have been "like unto a son of man;" that is, like a man—a human being, or in a human form. The reasons for so interpreting it are

(a) that the Greek is without the article; and

(b) that, as it is rendered in our version, it seems to make the writer say that he was like himself—since the expression "the Son of man" is in the New Testament but another name for the Lord Jesus. The phrase is often applied to him in the New Testament, and always, except in three instances, (Ac 7:56; Re 1:13; 14:14) by the Saviour himself, evidently to denote his warm interest in man, or his relationship to man; to signify that he was a man, and wished to designate himself eminently as such. See Barnes on "Mt 8:20".

In the use of this phrase in the New Testament, there is probably an allusion to Da 7:13. The idea would seem to be, that he whom he saw resembled "the Son of man"—the Lord Jesus as he had seen him in the days of his flesh—though it would appear that he did not know that it was he until he was informed of it, Re 1:18. Indeed, the costume in which he appeared was so unlike that in which John had been accustomed to see the Lord Jesus in the days of his flesh, that it cannot be well supposed that he would at once recognise him as the same.

Clothed with a garment down to the foot. A robe reaching down to the feet, or to the ankles, yet so as to leave the feet themselves visible. The allusion here, doubtless, is to a long, loose, flowing robe, such as was worn by kings. Compare Barnes Notes on Isa 6:1.

And girt about the paps. About the breast. It was common, and is still in the East, to wear a girdle to confine the robe, as well as to form a beautiful ornament. This was commonly worn about the middle of the person, or "the loins;" but it would seem also that it was sometimes worn around the breast. See Barnes "Mt 5:38-41".

 

With a golden girdle. Either wholly made of gold, or more probably richly ornamented with gold. This would naturally suggest the idea of one of rank—probably one of princely rank. The raiment here assumed was not that of a priest, but that of a king. It was very far from being that in which the Redeemer appeared when he dwelt upon the earth, and was rather designed to denote his royal state as he is exalted in heaven. He is not indeed represented with a crown and sceptre here, and perhaps the leading idea is that of one of exalted rank; of unusual dignity; of one fitted to inspire awe and respect. In other circumstances, in this book, this same Redeemer is represented as wearing a crown, and going forth to conquest. See Re 19:12-16. Here the representation seems to have been designed to impress the mind with a sense of the greatness and glory of the personage who thus suddenly made his appearance.

{i} "one like" Eze 1:26-28; Da 7:9,13; 10:5,6

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