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Weep Not - The Lion of the Tribe of Judah Would Open the Book
by Ray Zink
09/08/09
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Such desires, if not soon answered, turn to grief and sorrow. If John wept much because he could not look into the book of God's decrees, what reason have many to shed floods of tears for their ignorance of the gospel of Christ! of that on which everlasting salvation depends!

(Rev 5:4 KJV) And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

He felt a great concern in himself about this matter: the apostle wept much;

(Rev 5:4 KJV) And I wept much,....

Not so much on his own account, because he feared his curiosity would not be gratified, and that strong desire answered, which were raised in him upon sight of the book, and increased by the angel's proclamation; but for the sake of the church of God, whose representative he was, and to whom the knowledge of this book, and the things contained in it, he judged must be very useful and profitable. The Ethiopic version reads, "and many wept"; many of those that were about the throne, as well as John: it was a great disappointment to him.

(Rev 5:4 KJV) because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon;

because there was no creature in heaven, earth, or under it, that were of dignity and authority, as well as of ability, to open the book by unsealing it; and read and deliver out the prophecies in it upon the taking off of every seal; and so not to look into it, and foresee and foretell what was hereafter to come to pass, in the church and world: the phrase of being worthy to look on it seems to be Jewish; of the book of the generation of Adam,

(Gen 5:1 KJV) This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

the Jews say that "it descended to the first man, and by it he knew the wisdom which is above; and this book came to the sons of God, the wise men of the age, מאן דזכי לאשגחא ביה, "whoever is worthy to look in it", knows by it the wisdom which is from above.'' The whole verse is left out in the Alexandrian copy; and the phrase, "to read", is neither in the Vulgate Latin, nor in any of the Oriental versions.

By what he had seen in him who sat upon the throne, he was very desirous to see and know more of his mind and will: this desire, when not presently gratified, filled him with sorrow, and fetched many tears from his eyes.

Here observe, those who have seen most of God in this world are most desirous to see more; and those who have seen his glory desire to know his will. Good men may be too eager and to hasty to look into the mysteries of divine conduct. Such desires, not presently answered, turn to grief and sorrow. Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

We need not weep that we cannot foresee future events respecting ourselves in this world; the eager expectation of future prospects, or the foresight of future calamities, would alike unfit us for present duties and conflicts, or render our prosperous days distressing. Yet we may desire to learn, from the promises and prophecies of Scripture, what will be the final event to believers and to the church; and the Incarnate Son has prevailed, that we should learn all that we need to know. Christ stands as Mediator between God and both ministers and people.

The apostle was comforted and encouraged to hope this sealed book would yet be opened.

(Rev 5:5 KJV) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Here observe, who it was that gave John the hint: One of the elders.

(Rev 5:5 KJV) And one of the elders said unto me,....

The Ethiopic version reads, "one of these elders"; that is, one of the four and twenty elders that were round about the throne; not the first of the four and twenty books of the Old Testament; nor the patriarch Jacob, because of the prophecy concerning Shiloh, Judah's son, which stands in,

(Gen 49:10 KJV) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

nor Moses, who spoke of the Messiah as the great prophet of the church; nor John the Baptist, who pointed out the Lamb of God; these are all fancies and conjectures. It was one of the members of the Christian church, who was near the throne of God, had communion with him, and knowledge of his will, who in this visionary way is represented as comforting John under his sorrow and concern, and giving him information: and sometimes persons of superior abilities may receive instruction from meaner persons, as did Apollos from Aquila and Priscilla: the same said unto John,

(Rev 5:5 KJV) weep not;

cease sorrowing, do not be cast down, nor despair; God had revealed it to his church. If angels do not refuse to learn from the church, ministers should not disdain to do it. God can make his people to instruct and inform their teachers when he pleases. Who it was that would do the thing - the Lord Jesus Christ, called the lion of the tribe of Judah,

(Rev 5:5 KJV) behold the lion of the tribe of Judah;

by whom is meant Christ, who, according to the flesh, was to come of the tribe of Judah; and certain it is, that our Lord sprang from thence: and he is said to be the lion of that tribe, in allusion to the prophecy concerning Judah,

(Gen 49:9 KJV) Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?

where he is said to be a lion, an old lion stooping down and couching, and on whose standard was the figure of a lion. Christ may be compared to one, because of his great strength, he being the mighty God, the able Saviour, and strong Redeemer, and protector of his church and people, and the avenger of their enemies; and because of his courage and intrepidity when he engaged with Satan, and his principalities and powers, when he bore the sins of his people, sustained his Father's wrath, and the terrors of death set themselves in array against him; and because of the fierceness of his wrath, and fury against the wicked, and for his generosity and lenity towards those that stoop unto him, and obey him. So the Jews say, that "of Messiah, the son of David, who comes forth from Judah, is it said, "Judah is a lion's whelp";'' and a little after, Messiah, the son of David, who is אריה, "a lion", shall be on his right hand, and Messiah, the son of Joseph, who is an ox, on his left hand; so the word of the Lord frequently, in the Chaldee paraphrase, is said to be a lion. According to his human nature, alluding to Jacob's prophecy,

(Gen 49:10 KJV) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

and the root of David according to his divine nature, though a branch of David according to the flesh.

(Rev 5:5 KJV) The root of David;

in like manner is Christ called the root of Jesse;

(Isa 11:10 KJV) And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

and the meaning either is, that he is a branch that springs out of the roots of Jesse and David, is David's son and offspring, according to his human nature;

(Rev 22:16 KJV) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

or that he is David's Lord, according to his divine nature: and the metaphor of a root well agrees with him as Mediator, he being hidden out of sight, and unknown to a natural man; and may denote his meanness in his state of humiliation, when he was as a root out of a dry ground; and because he is the root from whence all the elect of God spring, in whom they have their being, and by whom they are bore and supported, and from whom are derived to them all the blessings of grace, all their spiritual life, holiness, fruitfulness, and perseverance.

Now this illustrious Person, so described; He who is a middle person, God and man, and bears the office of Mediator between God and man, is fit and worthy to open and execute all the counsels of God towards men.

(Rev 5:5 KJV) hath prevailed;

or overcome all difficulties, being one of worth and value, of great authority and ability:

(Rev 5:5 KJV) to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof;

and deliver out all the prophecies in it, and fulfill them; and this through the merits of his blood, and in consequence of his sufferings and death: hence, in the next verse, he is represented as a lamb as it had been slain; and the four living creatures, and the four and twenty elders, put his worthiness to take the book, and open it, upon his having been slain, and having redeemed them by his blood,

(Rev 5:9 KJV) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

And as he, upon his resurrection from the dead, had all power in heaven and in earth given him, as Mediator, for the protection of his church, so he was deserving; and it was fit and necessary that he, as the great prophet of the church, should have and deliver out the prophecies concerning the state and condition of his redeemed ones in all ages.

And this he does in his mediatorial state and capacity, as the root of David and the offspring of Judah, and as the King and head of the Israel of God; and he will do it, to the consolation and joy of all his people.

Ray Zink has been intensely researching the Holy Word of God for the past 28 years. As a published author through article writings and blog posts, he now shares with others the deeper wisdom of the Scriptures that he has had the blessings to discover. More of his work can be seen at http://bible-mysteries.com/


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