The book and the Lamb
1 Then I looked at the one who was sitting on the throne. I saw that he held a book in his right hand. Words were written on both sides, the inside and the outside. Seven seals kept the book closed. 2 Then I saw a powerful angel. He said with a loud voice, ‘Who is so good that they can break the seals? Who can open the book?’ 3 But nobody in heaven could open the book and look inside it. Neither could anyone on the earth or anyone under the earth open it.
5:1The book was a long piece of paper called a scroll. It was rolled up and closed with seals.
5:3The place ‘under the earth’ means where dead people are. The Jews called this place Hades.
4 I wept much because there was nobody who was good enough. Nobody was so good that they could open the book. Nobody could look inside it. 5 Then one of the leaders said to me, ‘Do not weep! Look! There is someone who can break the seven seals and then open the book. His name is the Lion from Judah's tribe. He is called the Root of King David. He has won over all his enemies.’
5:5Jesus was born on the earth into David's family. So King David was his ancestor. But Jesus is called the Root of David. He belongs to David's family, but he is greater than David. He has always been alive and he made everything and everyone. See also Revelation 22:16.
6 Then I saw a Lamb. He was standing in the middle of the throne. The four beings that are alive and the leaders were around him. The Lamb appeared to be like a lamb that someone had killed. He had seven horns and seven eyes. His eyes are the seven spirits of God, that God has sent into all parts of the world. 7 The Lamb came and he took the book. He took it from the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. 8 When he had taken the book, the four beings and the 24 leaders fell down to the ground in front of the Lamb. They worshipped him. Each leader had a harp to make music. They were also holding gold bowls which were full of incense. That nice smell shows what it is like when God's people pray to him. 9 The beings that are alive and the leaders sang a new song. They sang:
‘You are so good!
You are good enough to take the book.
You can break its seals and open it.
You can do this because they killed you.
When you died, you bought people for God with your blood.
You bought them from every tribe,
from every language and every nation.
10 You have caused them to belong to the kingdom of our God.
You have made them priests,
so that they serve God.
And they will rule on the earth.’
11 Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of many angels. There were thousands and millions of them. They were standing around the throne, with the beings that are alive and the leaders. 12 They all sang with loud voices:
‘The Lamb that people killed is completely good!
He has all authority, and all things belong to him.
He is wise and powerful.
Everyone must agree that he is great!
Everyone must praise him and worship him!’
13 Then I heard everything that is alive singing. That was everything in heaven and everything on the earth, and everything under the earth and everything in the sea. They were singing:
‘We praise the one who sits on the throne.
We praise the one who is the Lamb.
We say that they are great! We worship them!
They have power to rule for ever!’
14 The four beings that are alive agreed. They said, ‘Yes, this is true.’ The leaders fell down and they worshipped God and the Lamb.