Here begins the three series of divine judgments, each broken into seven “doses”, on humanity prior to the return of Yeshua. The judgments seem to increase in severity through time; apparently the judgments begin shortly after the writing of Revelation per the first verse of the book which states that it was given to show “the things which must soon take place.”
1 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
The right hand—representing strength and authority; the Father does not have a literal “right hand,” since He is a Spirit (John 4:24).
Him who sat on the throne—God the Father, the “first” person of the Trinity, first in role, not in importance.
A book…sealed up with seven seals—A small book or more likely a scroll (biblion), sealed inside a scroll, sealed inside a scroll…
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?”
Who is worthy—a rhetorical question to those in Heaven, since Yeshua had triumphed over the enemy on the cross, but quite impactful to John, who was observing the Heavenly proceedings (4:1)
3-5 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it, and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
Elders—24 in number, most likely angelic, although not specified (4:10)
The lion…from the tribe of Judah—Jesus was of the tribe of Judah; this phrase references Gen 49:8-10, where it is prophesied that the rule and the kingly scepter shall remain with Judah, resulting in obedience from all the peoples.
Root of David—Not only is Jesus the offspring of David, but also the root from which he springs! (See also 22:16)
Has overcome—by virtue of his victory over sin and death
6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.
Lamb standing—Yeshua, the Lamb of God; He was standing, since He is a now a man, forever.
Seven horns and seven eyes—Seven represents Divine perfection; horns represent authority and eyes the ability to see; so Yeshua has perfect authority (omnipotence) and perfect vision (omniscience).
Seven Spirits of God—see the previous explanation—Yeshua is all-knowing and all-present, but in Spirit form. The NASB capitalizes the word “Spirits”, although capitalization does not exist in Greek. The word “spirit” (pneuma) is used as a general designation, both for man’s spirit and God’s spirit. So the sense here is nothing escapes Yeshua, as Eternal God Himself.
7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
And He came and took the book—Yeshua took the book
Out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne—The Father “sits” on the throne
8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Fell down before the Lamb—The living creatures and elders deem Yeshua the Lamb worthy of worship, in Heaven; he is coequal with God
Each one holding a harp—a musical instrument, for worship
And golden bowls full of incense—the prayers of the saints. This verse is the basis of the harp & bowl style of prayer & worship, popularized by International House of Prayer, for one.
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
They sang a new song—even in Heaven “new” songs are being invented
Men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation—through all time, all continents, all “races”, though the Bible doens’t recognizes “races”, except for the human race.
10″You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
They will reign upon the earth—the Ekklesia will function as representatives of the government of Yeshua when it is established on Earth in the coming Age.
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen ” And the elders fell down and worshiped.