And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 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;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
In Revelation 5, John's attention is called to a book on the right side of the throne. A mighty angel asks: "Who is worthy to open the book?" Throughout the universe, no one was found entitled to open the book. John weeps, and the reason is related to the ritual enthronement of the Israelite kings (Dt 17:18-20; 2Ki 11:12). When ascending to the throne, each Israelite king would receive a copy of the law to enable him to rule according to its principles. John understands that the throne of David is empty because none of his descendants could fulfill the promises of God.
One of the elders consoles the prophet: there is someone, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the great winner, who can take the book. A lamb, looking as if it had been slain, approaches and takes the book, and all the angels and creatures of the universe praise Him. He is worthy, because through His sacrifice He purchased for Himself all those who accept His free offering. The sovereign of the universe is not a distant being; rather, He is the Lord Jesus Christ who lived and died for us.
Pr Clacir Virmes Jr.
New Testament Teacher
Latin American Adventist Theology Seminary