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Revelation 1:5

    Revelation 1:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by his blood;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And from Jesus Christ, the true witness, the first to come back from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who had love for us and has made us clean from our sins by his blood;

    Webster's Revision

    and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by his blood;

    World English Bible

    and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by his blood;

    Definitions for Revelation 1:5

    Begotten - To have born; brought forth.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 1:5

    The faithful witness - The true teacher, whose testimony is infallible, and whose sayings must all come to pass.

    The first-begotten of the dead - See the note on Colossians 1:18.

    The prince of the kings - Ὁ αρχων, The chief or head, of all earthly potentates; who has them all under his dominion and control, and can dispose of them as he will.

    Unto him that loved us - This should begin a new verse, as it is the commencement of a new subject. Our salvation is attributed to the love of God, who gave his Son; and to the love of Christ, who died for us. See John 3:16.

    Washed us from our sins - The redemption of the soul, with the remission of sins, and purification from unrighteousness, is here, as in all the New Testament, attributed to the blood of Christ shed on the cross for man.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 1:5

    And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness - See the notes on Revelation 1:2. He is faithful in the sense that he is one on whose testimony there may be entire reliance, or who is entirely worthy to be believed. From him "grace and peace" are appropriately sought, as one who hears such a testimony, and as the first-begotten from the dead, and as reigning over the kings of the earth. Thus, grace and peace are invoked from the infinite God in all his relations and operations: as the Father, the Source of all existence; as the Sacred Spirit, going forth in manifold operations upon the hearts of people; and as the Son of God, the one appointed to bear faithful testimony to the truth respecting God and future events.

    And the first-begotten of the dead - The same Greek expression - πρωτότοκος prōtotokos - occurs in Colossians 1:18. See it explained in the notes on that passage. Compare the notes at 1 Corinthians 15:20.

    And the prince of the kings of the earth - Who has over all the kings of the earth the pre-eminence which kings have over their subjects. He is the Ruler of rulers; King of kings. In Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16, the same thought is expressed by saying that he is the "King of kings." No language could more sublimely denote his exalted character, or his supremacy. Kings and princes sway a scepter over the million of the earth, and the exaltation of the Saviour is here expressed by supposing that all those kings and princes constitute a community over which he is the head. The exaltation of the Redeemer is elsewhere expressed in different language, but the idea is one that everywhere prevails in regard to him in the Scriptures. Compare Matthew 28:18; Matthew 11:27; John 17:2; Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 1:15-18. The word "prince" - ὁ ἄρχων ho archōn - means properly, "ruler, leader, the first in rank." We often apply the word "prince" to an heir to a throne who is not invested with absolute sovereignty. The word here, however, denotes that he actually exercises dominion over the rulers of the earth. As this is an authority which is claimed by God (compare Isaiah 10:5 ff; Isaiah 45:1 ff; Psalm 47:2; Psalm 99:1; Psalm 103:9; Daniel 4:34), and which can only pertain to God, it is clear that in ascribing this to the Lord Jesus it is implied that he is possessed of divine attributes. As much of the revelations of this book pertained to the assertion of power over the princes and rulers of this world, there was a propriety that, in the commencement, it should be asserted that he who was to exert that power was invested with the prerogative of a ruler of the nations, and that he had this right of control.

    Unto him that loved us - This refers undoubtedly to the Lord Jesus, whose love for people was so strong that nothing more was necessary to characterize him than to speak of him as the one "who loved us." It is manifest that the division in the verses should have been made here, for this commences a new subject, not having any special connection with what precedes. In Revelation 1:4, and the first part of this verse, the writer had invoked grace from the Father, the Spirit, and the Saviour. In the latter clause of the verse there commences an ascription of praise to the Redeemer; an ascription to him particularly, because the whole book is regarded as a revelation from him Revelation 1:1; because he was the one who especially appeared to John in the visions of Patmos; and because he was to be the great agent in carrying into execution the purposes revealed in this book.

    And washed us from our sins in his own blood - He has removed the pollution of sin from our souls by his blood; that is, his blood has been applied to cleanse us from sin. Blood can be represented as having a cleansing power only as it makes an expiation for sin, for considered literally its effect would be the reverse. The language is such as would be used only on the supposition that he had made an atonement, and that it was by the atonement that we are cleansed; for in what sense could it be said of a martyr that he "had washed us from our sins in his blood?" How could this language be used of Paul or Polycarp; of Ridley or Cranmer? The doctrine that the blood of Christ cleanses us from sin, or purifies us, is one that is common in the Scriptures. Compare 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 9:14. The specific idea of washing, however - representing that blood as washing sin away - is one which does not elsewhere occur. It is evidently used in the sense of "cleansing" or "purifying," as we do this by "washing," and as the blood of Christ accomplishes in respect to our souls, what washing with water does in respect to the body.

    Wesley's Notes on Revelation 1:5

    1:5 And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first begotten from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth - Three glorious appellations are here given him, and in their proper order. He was the faithful witness of the whole will of God before his death, and in death, and remains such in glory. He rose from the dead, as the first fruits of them that slept; and now hath all power both in heaven and earth. He is here styled a prince: but by and by he hears his title of king; yea, King of kings, and Lord of lords. This phrase, the kings of the earth, signifies their power and multitude, and also the nature of their kingdom. It became the Divine Majesty to call them kings with a limitation; especially in this manifesto from his heavenly kingdom; for no creature, much less a sinful man, can bear the title of king in an absolute sense before the eyes of God.