Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Revelation 5:3

    Revelation 5:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And no one in the heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look thereon.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to get the book open, or to see what was in it.

    Webster's Revision

    And no one in the heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look thereon.

    World English Bible

    No one in heaven above, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look in it.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And no one in the heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look thereon.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 5:3

    And no man - Ουδεις· No person or being.

    In heaven - Among all the angels of God.

    Nor in the earth - No human being.

    Neither under the earth - No disembodied spirit, nor any demon. Neither angels, men, nor devils, can fathom the decrees of God.

    Neither to look thereon - None can look into it unless it be opened, and none can open it unless the seals be unloosed.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 5:3

    And no man in heaven - No one - οὐδεὶς oudeis. There is no limitation in the original to man. The idea is, that there was no one in heaven - evidently alluding to the created beings there - who could open the volume. Is it not taught here that angels cannot penetrate the future, and disclose what is to come? Are not their faculties limited in this respect like those of man?

    Nor in earth - Among all classes of people - sages, divines, prophets, philosophers - who among those have ever been able to penetrate the future, and disclose what is to come?

    Neither under the earth - These divisions compose, in common language, the universe: what is in heaven above; what is on the earth; and whatever there is under the earth - the abodes of the dead. May there not be an allusion here to the supposed science of necromancy, and an assertion that even the dead cannot penetrate the future, and disclose what is to come? Compare the notes on Isaiah 8:19. In all these great realms no one advanced who was qualified to undertake the office of making a disclosure of what the mysterious scroll might contain.

    Was able to open the book - Had ability - ἠδύνατε ēdunate - to do it. It was a task beyond their power. Even if anyone had been found who had a rank and a moral character which might have seemed to justify the effort, there was no one who had the power of reading what was recorded respecting coming events.

    Neither to look thereon - That is, so to open the seals as to have a view of what was written therein. That it was not beyond their power merely to see the book is apparent from the fact that John himself saw it in the hand of him that sat on the throne; and it is evident also Revelation 5:5 that in that sense the elders saw it. But no one could prevail to inspect the contents, or so have access to the interior of the volume as to be able to see what was written there. It could be seen, indeed Revelation 5:1, that it was written on both sides of the parchment, but what the writing was no one could know.

    Wesley's Notes on Revelation 5:3

    5:3 And none - No creature; no, not Mary herself. In heaven, or in earth, neither under the earth - That is, none in the universe. For these are the three great regions into which the whole creation is divided. Was able to open the book - To declare the counsels of God. Nor to look thereon - So as to understand any part of it.