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Revelation 1:8

    Revelation 1:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    I am the First and the Last, says the Lord God who is and was and is to come, the Ruler of all.

    Webster's Revision

    I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

    World English Bible

    "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, which is and which was and which is to come, the Almighty.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 1:8

    I am Alpha and Omega - I am from eternity to eternity. This mode of speech is borrowed from the Jews, who express the whole compass of things by א aleph and ת tau, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet; but as St. John was writing in Greek, he accommodates the whole to the Greek alphabet, of which Α alpha and Ω omega are the first and last letters. With the rabbins מא ועד ת meeleph vead tau, "from aleph to tau," expressed the whole of a matter, from the beginning to the end. So in Yalcut Rubeni, fol. 17, 4: Adam transgressed the whole law from aleph to tau; i.e., from the beginning to the end.

    Ibid., fol. 48, 4: Abraham observed the law, from aleph to tau; i.e., he kept it entirely, from beginning to end.

    Ibid., fol. 128, 3: When the holy blessed God pronounced a blessing on the Israelites, he did it from aleph to tau; i.e., he did it perfectly.

    The beginning and the ending - That is, as aleph or alpha is the beginning of the alphabet, so am I the author and cause of all things; as tau or omega is the end or last letter of the alphabet, so am I the end of all thinks, the destroyer as well as the establisher of all things. This clause is wanting in almost every MS. and version of importance. It appears to have been added first as an explanatory note, and in process of time crept into the text. Griesbach has left it out of the text. It is worthy of remark, that as the union of א aleph and ת tau in Hebrew make את eth, which the rabbins interpret of the first matter out of which all things were formed, (see on Genesis 1:1 (note)); so the union of Α alpha and Ω omega, in Greek, makes the verb αω, I breathe, and may very properly, in such a symbolical book, point out Him in whom we live, and move, and have our being; for, having formed man out of the dust of the earth, he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul; and it is by the inspiration or inbreathing of his Spirit that the souls of men are quickened, made alive from the dead, and fitted for life eternal. He adds also that he is the Almighty, the all-powerful framer of the universe, and the inspirer of men.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 1:8

    I am Alpha and Omega - These are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, and denote properly the first and the last. So in Revelation 22:13, where the two expressions are united, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." So in Revelation 1:17, the speaker says of himself, "I am the first and the last." Among the Jewish rabbis it was common to use the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet to denote the whole of anything, from beginning to end. Thus, it is said, "Adam transgressed the whole law, from 'Aleph (א) to Taw (תּ)." "Abraham kept the whole law, from 'Aleph (א) to Taw (תּ)." The language here is what would properly denote "eternity" in the being to whom it is applied, and could be used in reference to no one but the true God. It means that he is the beginning and the end of all things; that he was at the commencement, and will be at the close; and it is thus equivalent to saying that he has always existed, and that he will always exist. Compare Isaiah 41:4, "I the Lord, the first, and with the last"; Isaiah 44:6, "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God"; Isaiah 48:12, "I am he; I am the first, I also am the last." There can be no doubt that the language here would be naturally understood as implying divinity, and it could be properly applied to no one but the true God. The obvious interpretation here would be to apply this to the Lord Jesus; for:

    (a) it is he who is spoken of in the verses preceding, and

    (b) there can be no doubt that the same language is applied to him in Revelation 1:11.

    As there is, however, a difference of reading in this place in the Greek text, and as it can. not be absolutely certain that the writer meant to refer to the Lord Jesus specifically here, this cannot be adduced with propriety as a proof-text to demonstrate his divinity. Many mss., instead of "Lord," κυρίος kurios, read "God," Θεὸς Theos and this reading is adopted by Griesbach, Tittman, and Hahn, and is now regarded as the correct reading. There is no real incongruity in supposing, also, that the writer here meant to refer to God as such, since the introduction of a reference to him would not be inappropriate to his manifest design. Besides, a portion of the language used here, "which is, and was, and is to come," is what would more naturally suggest a reference to God as such, than to the Lord Jesus Christ. See Revelation 1:4. The object for which this passage referring to the "first and the last - to him who was, and is, and is to come," is introduced here evidently is, to show that as he was clothed with omnipotence, and would continue to exist through all ages to come as he had existed in all ages past, there could be no doubt about his ability to execute all which it is said he would execute.

    Saith the Lord - Or, saith God, according to what is now regarded as the correct reading.

    Which is, and which was, ... - See the notes on Revelation 1:4.

    The Almighty - An appellation often applied to God, meaning that he has all power, and used here to denote that he is able to accomplish what is disclosed in this book.

    Wesley's Notes on Revelation 1:8

    1:8 I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God - Alpha is the first, Omega, the last, letter in the Greek alphabet. Let his enemies boast and rage ever so much in the intermediate time, yet the Lord God is both the Alpha, or beginning, and the Omega, or end, of all things. God is the beginning, as he is the Author and Creator of all things, and as he proposes, declares, and promises so great things: he is the end, as he brings all the things which are here revealed to a complete and glorious conclusion. Again, the beginning and end of a thing is in scripture styled the whole thing. Therefore God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end; that is, one who is all things, and always the same.