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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

Sections of the Apostolic Writings
The Gospels and Acts • The “Pauline” Letters • General Letters • End Times

The Revelation of Yeshua to Yochanan

I. Introduction (1:1-8)

A. Prologue (1:1-3)

1This is the Revelation[1a] that God[1b] gave to Yeshua, The MashiachThe Anointed One,[1c] so that He could show His servants the things which must happen very soon. He sent His angel[1d] to His servant, Yochanan, 2who testified to God’s word, and of the testimony of Yeshua HaMashiach, about everything that he saw.

3Blessed are the reader and hearers[3a] of the words of this prophecy, provided they obey the things that are written in it,[3b] for the time is at hand.[3c]

B. Greetings and Doxology (1:4-8)

Messages to Seven Communities

4From Yochanan, to the seven Messianic Communities that are in Asia:[4] Grace to you and shalom, from God, Who is and Who was and Who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne; 5and from Yeshua HaMashiach, 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; 6and He made us to be a Kingdom, that is, kohanimpriests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amein.

7Hinneh,[7] He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.

8“I am the Alef and the Tav,” says ADONAI, God of heaven’s armies, “Who is and Who was and Who is to coming.”

II. Yeshua among the Seven Messianic Communities (1:9-20)

The Vision

9I Yochanan, your brother and your partner in persecution, in the Kingdom, and in patient endurance in Messiah Yeshua, was on the isle that is called Patmos because of God’s Word and the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah. 10In the Spirit I saw the coming Day of ADONAI,[10a] and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a shofar[10b] 11saying,[11a] “What you see, write in a book and send to the seven Messianic Communities:[11b] to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

12I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden menorahs. 13And among the lamp stands was one like a Son of Man,[13a] clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest.[13b] 14His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow.[14] His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15His feet were like burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace. His voice was like the voice of many waters. 16He had seven stars in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man.

He laid his right hand on me, saying, “Don’t be afraid. I am the first and the last, 18and the Living One. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forever and ever. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Sheol.[18] 19Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will happen hereafter.[19] 20The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden menorahs is this: The seven stars are the angels[20] of the seven Messianic Communities. The seven menorahs are seven Messianic Communities.

Chapter 2


1a. “Revelation” is apokaluyiß apokaloopsis, apocalypse, which simply means a disclosure of truth and instruction concerning things previously unknown. The vision discloses information about the End Days that was previously unknown, and provides us with instructions on how to prepare ourselves for that event. Since He is telling us how to prepare, it seems apparent that this is something that we will experience. Because of the events Yochanan describes in his vision, the English word apocalypse has taken on the idea of an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale, or the expectation of an imminent cosmic cataclysm, and is sometimes used interchangeably with “Armageddon.” This has led to a lot of theological and doctrinal error, particularly in the Gentile Church. [RETURN]

1b. “God” translates the Hebrew word ~yhla, 'Elohiym. [RETURN]

1c. Mashiach, Hebrew xyXm, anointed. When used with the definite article it is “The Anointed One.” The Jews anointed three classes of people: prophets, priests, and kings. Since Yeshua eternally functions in all three offices, He is The Mashiach. [RETURN]

1d. Angel: Greek aggeloß, aggelos; Hebrew $alm, mal'ak; a messener, an envoy, one who is sent; a messenger from God. [RETURN]

3a. Reader and hearers. “Hear” — Hebrew [mX Shama` Greek akouo, akouo means not just perceive with the ear the sound of the words being spoken, but to attend to, consider what is or has been said, to comprehend, to understand, to hear with attention or interest, to be obedient to what is said. Thus, the blessing which follows to those who obey these words. This letter was obviously intended to be circulated among the Messianic Communities, particularly those in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey), and read aloud in the synagogues. Today’s churches and Messianic synagogues are missing a great blessing if they do not read and study this letter in their assemblies. [RETURN]

3b. God promises a special blessing — not fear — for both those who read and those who listen to what is written in this book, provided they also obey those things written. Since God promises a blessing for both readers and hearers, He obviously intended for it to be read, taught, and obeyed in our assemblies, not avoided out of irrational fear. Believers should not fear the events described, but rather prepare for those events by having faith in Yeshua! Don’t be expecting to escape this time in history, but have faith in Him Who will bring you through to the end and to your eternal reward. There are those who claim that an apostate “Gentile Church” will be caught up in the air and escape this period of history while “the Jews who killed the Lord” will be left to suffer. This is a relatively new and terribly antisemitic teaching that was developed in the mid-19th century and which cannot be supported without taking Scripture out of context. See “Is the ‘Rapture’ for Real?[RETURN]

3c. “The time is at hand.” Believers have been saying that the End Times are “at hand” for two thousand years. They say, “Where is this promised ‘coming’ of His? For our fathers have died, and everything goes on just as it has since the beginning of creation.” (2Pet 3:4) What most forget is that we are here referring to HaShem’s timing, not man’s timing. “Dear friends, do not ignore this: with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day.” (2Pet 3:8) From HaShem’ perspective, this vision was delivered to Yochanan only two days ago! [RETURN]

  4. The seven Messianic Communities in Asia Minor. Notice their proximity to Patmos and to each other. These were very likely seven Communities with whom Yochanan had maintained constant contact during his exile on Patmos. [RETURN]
The Seven Messianic Communities of Asia Minor

  7. Hinneh, behold: Hebrew hnnh; Greek idou, idou; “Pay close attention because this is really important. [RETURN]

  8. The first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. TR adds “the Beginning and the End” [RETURN]

10a. “Day of ADONAI.” Translated in most English Bibles as “the Lord’s Day,” suggesting Sunday to most Gentile Christians, this is the only place in all of Scripture that the Hebrew phrase Yom ADONAI (h'wh.y ~w{y) or Greek Hemera Kuriakos (kuriakh' hJmevra) is ever translated as “Lord’s Day.” In every other instance, the phrase is translated in Christian Bibles as “Day of the LORD,” clearly referring to the time that the wrath of ADONAI will be poured out upon the Gentile nations.

The apparent intent of the Christian translators is to indicate Sunday, to lend support to the idea that early Messianic Believers abandoned God’s Sabbath and met for worship on Sunday instead.

There is absolutely no indication anywhere in all of the Apostolic Writing that HaShem changed His mind and moved the designated day of worship from Shabbat, the seventh day, to the first day of the week [read that discussion here and here], or that Messianic Believers ever established Sunday as “the Lord’s Day” in honor of the Resurrection of Yeshua. A careful reading of the Resurrection text clearly indicates that Yeshua was actually resurrected in the final hours of Shabbat (Saturday evening immediately after sunset) rather than on Sunday morning as the Church teaches. [Read that discussion here.]

See the following: Isaiah 13:6, Isaiah 13:9, Lamentations 2:22, Ezekiel 13:5, Joel 1:15, Joel 2:1, Joel 2:11, Joel 2:30-31, Joel 3:14, Amos 5:20, Obadiah 1:15, Zephaniah 1:7-8, Zephaniah 1:14,18, Zephaniah 2:2-3, Malachi 4:5, Acts 2:20, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, 2 Thessalonians 2:2, 2 Peter 3:10. [RETURN]

Man Blowing a Yemenite Shofar10b. A shofar is ram’s-horn trumpet used by ancient and modern Jews in religious ceremonies and as a battle signal. [RETURN]

11a. TR adds “I am the Alef and the Tav, the First and the Last.” Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alefbet, tav is the last letter. Some English Bibles  render the phrase as “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” alpha being the first letter of the Greek alphabet and omega being the last letter. [RETURN]

11b. TR adds “which are in Asia” [RETURN]

13a. Daniel 7:13 [RETURN]

13b. These are the garments of a judge. When Yeshua returns it will not be as the Baby in a manger or as a Suffering Servant. He is returning as the Judge of all creation and as the reigning King of Kings. [RETURN]

14a. White hair is the symbol of knowledge and wisdom. [RETURN]

14b. He is returning to wreak vengeance upon the nations who have abused His beloved Bride, Israel. See Isaiah 34:8 and 61:2; Jeremiah 46:10.

For on that day Adonai ELOHEI-Tzva'ot will have a day of vengeance for avenging Himself on His enemies. The sword will destroy, have its fill, be made drunk on their blood. Yes, Adonai ELOHEI-Tzva'ot decrees slaughter in the land to the north by the Euphrates River. [RETURN]

 18. Sheol (Hebrew lwaX) is the dwelling place of the dead, not hell. The Greek equivalent is adeß (Hades), which is not to be confused with the place of eternal punshment, geenna (Gehenna) or “Gehenna of fire.” Gehenna was originally Gei-Hinnom, the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction. Unfortunately, most English translations inaccurately render both words as “hell.” [RETURN]

19. The vision has three sections: (1) “the things which you have seen,” that is, events in Yochanan’s past; and (2) “the things which are,” events happening in Yochanan’s present; and (3) “the things which will happen hereafter,” events in Yochanan’s future. We therefore know that part of the vision was fulfilled before Yochanan was on Patmos, part of the vision was fulfilled during his lifetime, and part was yet to be fulfilled. [RETURN]

 20. Angel: Greek aggeloß, aggelos; Hebrew $alm, mal'ak; a messener, an envoy, one who is sent; a messenger from God (here and wherever angels are mentioned). The “angel” of a community probably refers to the rabbi/pastor of the Community. True Rabbis/Pastors should take great comfort in knowing that they are being held in Yeshua’s right hand, His hand of power. [RETURN]


Page posted on Shabbat, 18 April 2020.
Revised Friday, 19 June 2020 - added new comments and clarified others.

Page last updated on Thursday, 21 January 2021 04:16 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return