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15 His feet were like polished brass refined in a furnace,[a] and his voice was like the sound of rushing water. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars.[b] A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth, and his face shone like the sun at its brightest.(A)

17 When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead.[c] He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last,(B)

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  1. 1:15 His feet…furnace: Christ is depicted as unchangeable; cf. Ez 1:27; Dn 10:6. The Greek word translated “refined” is unconnected grammatically with any other word in the sentence. His voice…water: Christ speaks with divine authority; cf. Ez 1:24.
  2. 1:16 Seven stars: in the pagan world, Mithras and the Caesars were represented with seven stars in their right hand, symbolizing their universal dominion. A sharp two-edged sword: this refers to the word of God (cf. Eph 6:17; Hb 4:12) that will destroy unrepentant sinners; cf. Rev 2:16; 19:15; Wis 18:15; Is 11:4; 49:2. His face…brightest: this symbolizes the divine majesty of Christ; cf. Rev 10:1; 21:23; Jgs 5:31; Is 60:19; Mt 17:2.
  3. 1:17 It was an Old Testament belief that for sinful human beings to see God was to die; cf. Ex 19:21; 33:20; Jgs 6:22–23; Is 6:5.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

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