St. John of Patmos (St. John the Divine), from Revelation

[Click on image to enlarge] Revelation, the last book of the Bible's New Testament, is the only one which is an Apocalypse, in the sense of the Greek word for "revelation." Its author, described in the title as "John the Divine," has traditionally been identified with St. John the Apostle, who is believed to have written the book of Revelation during his exile on the Greek island of Patmos. The two sections of Revelation excerpted here describe parts of St. John's vision of the transformation of the world at the time of Christ's return. In Chapter Five, he sees a holy book which only Christ can open, and in Chapter Six, he sees the appearance of four horsemen as executants of four fates of humankind.

Chapter 5

[Click on image to enlarge] The book sealed with seven seals, which only the Lamb that was slain is worthy to open. 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 Juda, 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.

Chapter 6

[Click on image to enlarge] The opening of the seals in order etc., containing a prophecy to the end of the world. And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
   2.   And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
   3.   And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
   4.   And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
   5.   And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
   6.   And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny: and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
   7.   And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
   8.   And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
   9.   And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
   10.   And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
   11.   And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that they should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
   12.   And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
   13.   And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
   14.   And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
   15.   And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
   16.   And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
   17.   For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

[Click on image to enlarge] [Click on image to enlarge]


© 2010 W.W. Norton and Company :  Site Feedback  :  Help  :  Credits  :  Home  :  Top of page    
Home