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“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).

He said to me, “They are accomplished.[a] I [am] the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water.(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 21:6 They are accomplished: God’s reign has already begun; see note on Rev 20:1–6. Alpha…Omega: see note on Rev 1:8. Life-giving water: see note on Rev 7:17.

Who has performed these deeds?
    Who has called forth the generations from the beginning?(A)
I, the Lord, am the first,
    and at the last[a] I am he.

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Footnotes

  1. 41:4 The first…the last: God as the beginning and end encompasses all reality. The same designation is used in 44:6 and 48:12.

The True God and False Gods

[a]Thus says the Lord, Israel’s king,
    its redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first, I am the last;
    there is no God but me.[b](A)

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Footnotes

  1. 44:6–8 Prediction and fulfillment are here seen as the hallmarks of true divinity. See note on 43:9.
  2. 44:6 No god but me: with Second Isaiah, Israel’s faith is declared to be explicitly monotheistic. However implicit it may have been, earlier formulas did not exclude the existence of other gods, not even that of the first commandment: “You shall not have other gods besides me” (Ex 20:3). Cf. also note on 41:21–29.

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