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Revelation 5 : The book and the Lamb

v1 Then I saw a book. God, who was sitting on the *throne, was holding the book. He was holding it in his right hand. He had written inside the book and on the back of it. And he had locked the book with 7 *locks. v2 And I saw a strong *angel who spoke with a loud voice. ‘Who is so good that they can break the *locks?’ he said. ‘Who can open the book?’ v3 But nobody in *heaven could open the book. Neither could anyone on the earth nor anyone under the earth open it.

Verse 3 The place ‘under the earth’ means where dead people are. The *Jews called this place Hades. They thought that it was like a city under the ground.

v4 I wept much because there was nobody. Nobody was so good that they could open the book. So nobody could look inside it. v5 Then one of the leaders spoke to me. ‘Do not weep’, he said. ‘Look! The one who is stronger than everyone else has won the fight. His name is the *Lion from Judah’s family group. His name is also the Root of David. He belongs to David’s family, but he is greater than David. He can break the 7 *locks on the book so that he can open it.’

Verse 5 Judah was one of the 12 grandfathers of God’s people, Israel. Israel’s great king, David, and Jesus Christ both belonged to Judah’s family group. Jesus is like a *lion, because the *lion is stronger than other animals. The *lion rules the other animals.

Jesus was born on the earth into David’s family. So, we could say that he was David’s grandson. Jesus was born as a man many years after David. But Jesus is the Root of David. He caused David to be alive, as a plant grows up from its root. The root is the part of the plant that is under the ground. Jesus is God. He has always been alive in God’s home above the earth. He made everything and everyone else. (See also 22:16.)

v6 Then I saw a *Lamb. He was standing in the middle of the *throne. The 4 *beings that were alive, and the leaders, were round him. He appeared to be the *Lamb that someone had killed. This *Lamb had 7 *horns and 7 eyes. His eyes are the 7 *spirits of God, that God has sent into all parts of the world. v7 The *Lamb came and took the book. He took it from the right hand of God, who was sitting on the *throne. v8 And when he had taken the book, the 4 *beings and the 24 leaders *worshipped him. They bent down to the ground in front of the *Lamb. Each leader had a *harp to make music. And they were holding gold cups which were full of *incense. This *incense makes a nice smell when it burns. These cups of *incense are like a picture of everything that God’s people pray to him. v9 The *beings and the leaders sang a new song. This is their song:

‘You are so good!

You can take the book and break its *locks.

You can do this because they killed you.

That is how you bought people for God with your blood.

You bought them from every family group,

  from every language and every country.

v10 You have caused them to belong to your family,

  the family that rules over everything.

You have made them *priests,

  *priests who are servants of our God.

And they will rule on the earth.’

v11 Then I looked again, and I heard the sound of many *angels. There were thousands and millions of them, and they were standing round the *throne. They stood round the *beings that were alive and round the leaders. v12 They sang like this with loud voices:

‘The *Lamb that they killed is very good!

He is so good that he must receive all authority.

He is rich and strong and he always knows everything.

Everyone must say how great and important he is.

Everyone must thank him!’

v13 Then I heard everyone singing. Everything that God has made alive was singing. That included everything in God’s home and everything on the earth. It also included everything under the earth and on the sea. They were singing:

‘We thank you, who sit on the *throne.

And we thank the *Lamb.

You must have authority always!

Everyone must always recognise how great you are!

They must recognise how powerful you are!’

v14 The 4 *beings that were alive spoke then. ‘Yes, this is true’, they said. And the leaders bent down and they *worshipped God and the *Lamb.

Verses 6-14 The Bible tells us that Jesus is the *Lamb of God. (See John 1:29, 36.) Many years ago, God’s people killed *lambs and offered them as gifts to God. They did this before Jesus died. They wanted God to be happy with them. Then he would not *punish them for what they had done wrong. But those *lambs could not really take away all the bad things that people had done. Jesus, God’s Son, was the only completely good man who lived on this earth. So when he died for us, he offered himself to God as our *Lamb. That is why everyone and everything should *worship him.

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