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Buist Fanning: The words “and I saw” make the transition to the fourth phase of John’s vision, where praise to the Lamb and to the Lord God rings out in ever-widening circles (vv. 11–14). Here the vision (what John “saw”) focuses immediately on the sounds he experienced (“and I heard”; cf. 6:1; 8:13) as he witnessed this overwhelming heavenly scene. He heard “the sound of many angels” adding their praises to the Lamb (vv. 11b–12). Here a vast host of angels (not seen before in the vision of chs. 4–5) joins itself to the company of the living creatures and elders (cf. 4:8–11; 5:8–10) in giving worship to the Lamb.

Warren Wiersbe: In this closing burst of praise, all the angels and every creature in the universe joined together to worship the Redeemer. What a cascade of harmony John heard! In this hymn, they stated those things that Jesus Christ deserved to receive because of His sacrificial death on the cross. When He was on earth, people did not ascribe these things to Him, for many of these things He deliberately laid aside in His humiliation.

He was born in weakness and died in weakness, but He is the recipient of all power. He became the poorest of the poor (2 Cor. 8:9), and yet He owns all the riches of heaven and earth. Men laughed at Him and called Him a fool, yet He is the very wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3).

He shared in the sinless weaknesses of humanity as He hungered, thirsted, and became weary. Today in glory, He possesses all strength. On earth, He experienced humiliation and shame as sinners ridiculed and reviled Him. They laughed at His kingship and attired Him in a mock robe, crown, and scepter. But all of that is changed now! He has received all honor and glory!

And blessing! He became a curse for us on the cross (Gal. 3:13), so that we can never be under the curse of the broken law. (Some translations read “praise” instead of “blessing,” but the Greek word carries both meanings.) He is worthy of all praise! . . .

All of heaven’s praise came because the Lamb took the scroll from the Father’s hand. God’s great eternal plan would now be fulfilled and creation would be set free from the bondage of sin and death. One day the Lamb will break the seals and put in motion events that will eventually lead to His coming to earth and the establishment of His kingdom.

J. Hampton Keathley, III: The emphasis of these verses is clearly worship, recognizing the worthiness of the Lamb to take the book, open its seals, and pour out its judgments. But a further emphasis is the unified expression of worship. No one is preoccupied with themselves or with people. All attention is on the Lamb. No one is occupied with protecting their frail egos or vying for attention or worried about his position or praise, as we see in Luke 22with the disciples. No one is seeking to promote their hidden agendas, for none now exist.

Richard Phillips: Revelation 5 concludes with the entirety of creation responding to the adoration of the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders by welling up in worship to God and the Lamb.

Kendell Easley: MAIN IDEA review: Worthy to open the Judgment Scroll of destiny, Christ the slaughtered Lamb receives worship from all the heavenly court.


A.  (:11) Diverse Multitude of Worshipers

And 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,

This text supports the identification of the “elders” as the representative leaders of both the Old and New Testament economies; otherwise the catalog of God’s created beings who combine in this cacophony of worship would not have any redeemed participants.  If the angels and even animals are prominently represented, certainly the redeemed people of God should be as well.

Van Parunak: Two more groups imitate the living creatures in following the lead of the elders in v. 10: a much larger company of angels in heaven, and all creatures not only in heaven but also on earth.

Grant Osborne: a clear allusion to Dan. 7:10 (where “thousand” precedes “myriad” in both the MT and LXX, the more usual order) describing the infinite number of the heavenly host that attend God. A “myriad” is the highest number known to the Greco-Roman world (about ten thousand). The mention of an innumerable host of angels occurs often in the OT (Deut. 33:2; Job 25:3; Ps. 68:17; 89:7; Dan. 7:10) and intertestamental literature (1 Enoch 14.22–23; 40.1; 2 Bar. 48.10; 2 Esdr. [4 Ezra] 8:21–22). This adds beauty and power to the worship scene, stressing even more the incomparable majesty and splendor of God on his throne.

B.  (:12) Doxology of Praise to the Slain Lamb

saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive’

John MacArthur: Once again, the emphasis is on Christ’s death providing a perfect redemption, because of which He must be given worship, praise, and adoration.

Buist Fanning: This ascription of virtues (4:9, 11; 5:12–13) is a form of doxology, glorifying or honoring someone for their status by reciting various perfections they possess (the speaker does not bestow these qualities but acknowledges them). David’s acclamation of the Lord in 1 Chronicles 29:10–11 is a likely influence on the doxology in v. 12, since two of the key terms are repeated from the LXX wording (δύναμις and ἰσχύς), and two others are cognates or near synonyms (“blessed/blessing” and “pride/ glory”).  It is christologically significant that ascriptions of praise in Revelation are offered to God alone (4:9, 11; 7:12; 19:1), to God and to the Lamb (5:13), or to Christ alone (1:6; 5:12).

Here the list of attributes and privileges (v. 12b) is sevenfold (as in 7:12, symbolizing completeness of virtue).  While the composite impression of such a list is important, the individual qualities are worth noticing briefly as well.

Grant Osborne: The seven can be further divided into a pattern of four celebrating the attributes of Christ (power, wealth, wisdom, strength) and three celebrating the worship due him as a result (honor, glory, praise).

  1. power

Buist Fanning: A paradoxical one to ascribe to the Lamb is power, capability (δύναμις). It is frequently attributed to God and seems especially connected with sovereign rule and victory (cf. 5:5) over all enemies (1 Chr 29:11; Mark 13:26; 1 Cor 1:24; Rev 4:11; 7:12; 19:1; also 11:17; 12:10; 15:8).

J. Hampton Keathley, III: Power (jdunamis) is mentioned first perhaps because the immediate situation calls for the need of great power to accomplish His purposes in the earth. He alone, as the perfect God-man Savior is worthy of such power for He alone will and can use it with perfect justice and equity (Isa. 11).

  1. and riches

Buist Fanning: Wealth, riches (πλοῦτος) is a way of celebrating the vast resources of God and the benefits Christ can bestow on his followers (1 Chr 29:11; cf. Eph 3:8; Phil 4:19).

Grant Osborne: Πλοῦτον (plouton, wealth) is found only here in the book as a worship attribute. The key to its use may well lie in the only other place the term appears, 18:17, in the funeral dirge mourning the destruction of the “wealth” of the “great city” Babylon/Rome. Throughout the OT and NT there is a general warning against the riches of this world and a call to seek “the treasures of heaven” rather than “the treasures of earth” (Matt. 6:19–21). The only source of true riches lies in Christ, and the incredible earthly wealth of Rome is soon to disappear.

  1. and wisdom

Buist Fanning: Wisdom, understanding (σοφία) is a divine perfection bestowed on Christ by the Spirit’s anointing (Rev 7:12; cf. Isa 11:2; Rom 11:33; 1 Cor 1:24; Col 2:3).

Grant Osborne: Σοϕίαν (sophian, wisdom) is also attributed to God in Rev. 7:12. Christ is called “the wisdom of God” in 1 Cor. 1:24, 30, and Col. 2:3 says “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are hidden in him. The term was used infrequently in the OT to describe God (e.g., Ps. 104:24; Isa. 31:2; Jer. 10:12) and more often to denote the wisdom he gave to chosen leaders like Joseph (Gen. 41:39), Joshua (Deut. 34:9), Solomon (1 Kings 3:12), or Daniel (Dan. 5:11, 14). In this book “wisdom” points to the God-given ability to interpret the symbols (Rev. 13:18; 17:9). Here the Lamb’s “wisdom” speaks of his choice to become the God-ordained sacrifice for the sins of humankind.

William Barclay: Paul calls Jesus Christ ‘the wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24). He has the wisdom to know the secrets of God and the solution of the problems of life.

  1. and might

Grant Osborne: The ἰσχύν (ischyn, strength) parallels “power” and frames the four essential attributes of the Lamb of God. It is found only here and in the hymn to God in 7:12 (where it is also paired with δύναμις). The two terms are therefore used together to heighten the sense of the “power” of God (note the use of four terms in Eph. 1:19–20 to stress the divine power at work).

J. Hampton Keathley, III:  (iscus) refers to working might or power in action and stresses His omnipotence to carry out God’s will.

  1. and honor

Kendell Easley: (Greek timé) was ascribed to God by the elders in Revelation 4:11. It means to value or esteem highly. (In Eph. 6:2, for instance, Paul admonished children to honor their parents.) The Lamb is worthy of supreme value.

  1. and glory

J. Hampton Keathley, III: (doxa) refers to the tribute and public display of adoration that should accrue to Christ and again, this stems from His person and work, both past, present, and future.

  1. and blessing.

Grant Osborne: The final term, εὐλογίαν (eulogian, blessing or praise), occurs three times in Revelation, once of the “praise” of God (7:12), once of the Lamb (here), and once of the two together (5:13). It is also used in David’s doxology of 1 Chron. 29:11–13 (along with “power,” “glory,” “wealth,” and “honor”) and describes the “praiseworthiness” of the Lamb. In the OT and the Judaism of Jesus’ day, praise was the primary form of worship, as the congregation returned to God the “blessings” he had poured into their lives. The basic form of all Jewish benedictions began, “Blessed be thou, O Lord.” In the NT Jesus is greeted with this acclamation at his triumphal entry, “Blessed is he . . .” (Matt. 21:9; Mark 11:9; John 12:13; cf. Matt. 23:39 and Luke 13:35). Therefore, this is a fitting conclusion to this magnificent hymn, as the angels praise and glorify the Lamb of God.


A.  (:13) Universal Worship and Unlimited Praise

  1. Universal Worship

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,

Buist Fanning: In a growing and ever-widening crescendo every created being is now heard to join the chorus of praise.  It is only right that every creature (κτίσμα) should honor God since he is the creator and sustainer of all (4:11, κτίζω used twice) and should honor the Lamb since his redemption extends to every part of humanity (5:9).  This universality of worship is emphasized by the fourfold subdivision into heaven, earth, underworld, and sea (see the threefold division in 5:3 and details cited there) and also by the reinforcing “and all that is in them” (v. 13a).

Richard Phillips: Finally, the worship extends to the entire creation joined together in praise of God and the Lamb. . .  Here we see the farthest extent of Christ’s redemptive domain. As the angels comprehend the Lamb’s glory in the worship of the church, so also Christ’s redemption of his people undoes the curse of sin on the entire created realm. The Creator and the Redeemer together are praised by the work of their hands, the twin works of the Godhead having achieved their designed end in universal doxology.

James Hamilton: Do you know that creation exists for God’s glory? Do you know that the animals exist for God’s glory? The animals reflect the glory of God, and they exist to proclaim his great worth. All creation praises the skill and the worth of its maker. Imagine all the animals in the world—that’s what John says here: “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea”—all the birds, the fish, the cattle on a thousand hills, the bears, the lions, the whales, the dogs and cats, the mosquitoes, the eagles, the gnats, and all the animals whose names we don’t know, all of them giving “blessing and honor and glory and might . . . to him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb . . . forever and ever.”

  1. Unlimited Praise

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.’

Buist Fanning: The most significant point of the entire vision is the divine status and cosmic sovereignty that God and the Lamb share. This prepares the way for the following chapters that trace the outworking of their divine plan of justice and redemption as symbolized by the seven-sealed scroll.

G.R. Beasley-Murray: While it is not explicitly stated, it is assumed that the Lamb is seated on the throne with God.  In vision the end of history has been reached, the doxology anticipates the rule and the glory of God and the Lamb in the city which descends from heaven (see 21:22ff., 22:1-5).  Indirectly the song throws light on the nature of the Messiah who initiates the new order.  He is the one through whom God accomplishes his will in creation, at its end as at its beginning (cf. 3:14) and through all the ages between (cf. 22:13), and this he does because he is one with God, to be worshipped and adored with him for ever and ever.

B.  (:14) Proper Response

  1. Response of the Four Living Creatures

And the four living creatures kept saying, ‘Amen.’

Grant Osborne: The hymn itself is an antiphonal repetition of themes already found in chapters 4–5. It is delivered “to the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb.” The worship of God in chapter 4 and of the Lamb in chapter 5 are now joined together in one final outpouring of praise. This hints that the actions of the rest of the book are accomplished by the Godhead acting together. Father and Son end history together, inhabit the New Jerusalem together (21:22, 23), and are worshiped together. This is the third of four doxologies in the book (with 1:5b–6; 4:9; 7:12—so Aune) and provides a fitting ending for the worship of the throne room vision.

J. Hampton Keathley, III: Here we have the proper response from the four living beings and the worship of the 24 elders, the effects of the above praise. The amensignifies “truly, truly.” This is heaven’s response—the response of the angelic hosts asserting the validity of the praise. The falling down of the elders in worship shows the church’s response (through the representation of the twenty-four elders) to the sovereignty of God and the worthiness of the Lamb to now extend that sovereignty to earth and recover it for God and redeemed mankind.

  1. Response of the Elders

And the elders fell down and worshiped.