Revelation 5 : 11 - 14 ( NRSV )

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,1(11) singing with full voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"(12) Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, "To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"(13) And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the elders fell down and worshiped.(14)

Comment

     The traditional Hebrew response to the action of God was praise and thanksgiving. They noticed the transformations of their community life and attributed the saving turn-around in their fortunes to YHWH's power-for-life. The songs of praise receive new impetus, as God acts, again and again, for the sake of the people. Here the Seer in the Book of Revelation, visions the faithful, obedient community singing praises all the way to the holy God's throne.
     The Seer dares to imagine that even beyond human sight, the triumphant community (that means our treasured dead) are still singing "at the throne!" Praise goes on, because the reliable solidarity of God-with-us goes on! The faithful ones' singing continues to be responsive to God's continuing solidarity! Life finally ends in praise. The theme of this praise is:
    The kingdom of the world
    has become the kingdom of our God
    and His Christ
    and God will reign
    for ever and ever.
  (Rv.11:15)

     The scene before the throne sharply contrasts with the present situation of the community. Forces of evil are at war with the Christian movement. All seems contrary to the promise of glory heralded by Christ's resurrection. By presenting the final outcome of this struggle, the Seer's vision rather than offer an escape, presses the conviction that the song of praise goes on because the "fear not" solidarity of God-with-us goes on! This vision encourages faithful disciples in the midst of persecution. This vision extends a powerful word of hope fto all who suffer!
 
footnotes:
ACTS 5:1-14 The Seer describes a papyrus roll in God's right hand (Rv.5:1) with seven seals indicating the importance of the message. A mighty angel asks who is worthy to open the scroll, i.e., who can accomplish God's salvific plan (Rv.5:2). There is despair at first when no one in creation can do it (Rv.5:3-4). But the seer is comforted by an elder who tells him that Christ, called the lion of the tribe of Judah, has won the right to open it (Rv.5:5). Christ then appears as a Lamb, coming to receive the scroll from God (Rv.5:6-7), for which he is acclaimed as at a coronation (Rv.5:8-10). This is followed by a doxology of the angels (Rv.5:11-12) and then finally by the heavenly church united with all of creation (Rv.5:13-14).
1. [ v.11 ] Myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands: Literally, "100,000,000 plus 1,000,000," used by the author to express infinity.
 

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