on Revelation 1 :13
Like unto the Son of man - This seems a reference to Daniel 7:13. This was our blessed Lord himself, Revelation 1:18.
Clothed with a garment down to the foot - This is a description of the high priest, in his sacerdotal robes. See these described at large in the notes on Exodus 28:4, etc., Jesus is our high priest, even in heaven. He is still discharging the sacerdotal functions before the throne of God.
Golden girdle - The emblem both of regal and sacerdotal dignity.
on Revelation 1 :13
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks - Standing among them, so as to be encircled with them. This shows that the representation could not have been like that of the vision of Zechariah Zechariah 4:2, where the prophet sees "a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon." In the vision as it appeared to John, there was not one lampbearer, with seven lamps or branches, but there were seven lamp-bearers, so arranged that one in the likeness of the Son of man could stand in the midst of them.
One like unto the Son of man - This was evidently the Lord Jesus Christ himself, elsewhere so often called "the Son of man." That it was the Saviour himself is apparent from Revelation 1:18. The expression rendered "like unto the Son of man," should have been "like unto a son of man"; that is, like a man, a human being, or in a human form. The reasons for so interpreting it are:
(a) that the Greek is without the article, and
(b) that, as it is rendered in our version, it seems to make the writer say that he was like himself, since the expression "the Son of man" is in the New Testament but another name for the Lord Jesus.
The phrase is often applied to him in the New Testament, and always, except in three instances Acts 7:56; Revelation 1:13; Revelation 14:14, by the Saviour himself, evidently to denote his warm interest in man, or his relationship to man; to signify that he was a man, and wished to designate himself eminently as such. See the notes on Matthew 8:20. In the use of this phrase in the New Testament, there is probably an allusion to Daniel 7:13. The idea would seem to be, that he whom he saw resembled "the Son of man" - the Lord Jesus, as he had seen him in the days of his flesh though it would appear that he did not know that it was he until he was informed of it, Revelation 1:18. Indeed, the costume in which he appeared was so unlike that in which John had been accustomed to see the Lord Jesus in the days of his flesh, that it cannot be well supposed that he would at once recognize him as the same.
Clothed with a garment down to the foot - A robe reaching down to the feet, or to the ankles, yet so as to leave the feet themselves visible. The allusion here, doubtless, is to a long, loose, flowing robe, such as was worn by kings. Compare the notes on Isaiah 6:1.
And girt about the paps - About the breast. It was common, and is still, in the East, to wear a girdle to confine the robe, as well as to form a beautiful ornament. This was commonly worn about the middle of the person, or "the loins," but it would seem also that it was sometimes worn around the breast. See the notes on Matthew 5:38-41.
With a golden girdle - Either wholly made of gold, or, more probably, richly ornamented with gold. This would naturally suggest the idea of one of rank, probably one of princely rank. The raiment here assumed was not that of a priest, but that of a king. It was very far from being that in which the Redeemer appeared when he dwelt upon the earth, and was rather designed to denote his royal state as he is exalted in heaven. He is not indeed represented with a crown and scepter here, and perhaps the leading idea is that of one of exalted rank, of unusual dignity, of one suited to inspire awe and respect. In other circumstances, in this book, this same Redeemer is represented as wearing a crown, and going forth to conquest. See Revelation 19:12-16. Here the representation seems to have been designed to impress the mind with a sense of the greatness and glory of the personage who thus suddenly made his appearance.
on Revelation 1 :13
1:12-13 And I turned to see the voice - That is, to see him whose voice it was. And being turned, I saw - It seems, the vision presented itself gradually. First he heard a voice; and, upon looking behind, he saw the golden candlesticks, and then, in the midst of the candlesticks, which were placed in a circle, he saw one like a son of man - That is, in an human form. As a man likewise our Lord doubtless appears in heaven: though not exactly in this symbolical manner, wherein he presents himself as the head of his church. He next observed that our Lord was clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt with a golden girdle - Such the Jewish high priests wore. But both of them are here marks of royal dignity likewise. Girt about at the breast - he that is on a journey girds his loins. Girding the breast was an emblem of solemn rest. It seems that the apostle having seen all this, looked up to behold the face of our Lord: but was beat back by the appearance of his flaming eyes, which occasioned his more particularly observing his feet. Receiving strength to raise his eyes again, he saw the stars in his right hand, and the sword coming out of his mouth: but upon beholding the brightness of his glorious countenance, which probably was much increased since the first glance the apostle had of it, he fell at his feet as dead. During the time that St. John was discovering these several particulars, our Lord seems to have been speaking. And doubtless even his voice, at the very first, bespoke the God: though not so insupportably as his glorious appearance.