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Chapter 3

The Messenger of the Covenant

(A)Now I am sending my messenger—
    he will prepare the way before me;[a]
And the lord whom you seek will come suddenly to his temple;
The messenger of the covenant whom you desire—
    see, he is coming! says the Lord of hosts.

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Footnotes

  1. 3:1 My messenger…before me: Mt 11:10 applies these words to John the Baptist; Mt 11:14 further identifies John as Elijah (see Mal 3:23). Some take God’s messenger in v. 1a to be a person distinct from “the lord” and “the messenger of the covenant” in v. 1b; others hold that they are one and the same person. Some consider “the lord” and “the messenger of the covenant” to be divine, while others hold that in the text’s literal sense he is a messianic earthly ruler.

John, to the seven churches in Asia:[a] grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 1:4 Seven churches in Asia: Asia refers to the Roman province of that name in western Asia Minor (modern Turkey); these representative churches are mentioned by name in Rev 1:11, and each is the recipient of a message (Rev 2:1–3:22). Seven is the biblical number suggesting fullness and completeness; thus the seer is writing for the whole church.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,”[a] says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”(A)

The First Vision.[b]

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Footnotes

  1. 1:8 The Alpha and the Omega: the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In Rev 22:13 the same words occur together with the expressions “the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”; cf. Rev 1:17; 2:8; 21:6; Is 41:4; 44:6.
  2. 1:9–20 In this first vision, the seer is commanded to write what he sees to the seven churches (Rev 1:9–11). He sees Christ in glory, whom he depicts in stock apocalyptic imagery (Rev 1:12–16), and hears him describe himself in terms meant to encourage Christians by emphasizing his victory over death (Rev 1:17–20).

The four living creatures, each of them with six wings,[a] were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
    who was, and who is, and who is to come.”(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 4:8 Six wings: like the seraphim of Is 6:2.

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