1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
1 The beginning of the book promises blessing to who reads, who hears, and who obeys so that in studying the reading, he therefore learns works and keeps those which are commanded.
4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
Grace to you and peace, from God Who is and Who was and Who is coming. Is, Who endures; was, Who with the Father made all, and Who did not begin from the Virgin; is coming, indeed, to judge. Of the sevenfold Spirit: in Isaiah we read: "A spirit of wisdom and intellect, of counsel and strength, of knowledge and piety, the spirit of fear of the Lord"(Isa 11:2-3). These seven spirits are of one; namely, they are given by the Holy Spirit.
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead. In becoming human, He gave witness to the world, suffering in which, He freed us from sins by His blood, and having defeated Hell, first rose up from the dead, and death no longer has dominion over Him (Rom 6:9), but by His reign, the kingdom of the world is destroyed.
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
And made us a kingdom and priests, that is, the Church of all believers, as the Apostle Peter said: "a holy people, a royal priesthood" (Ex 19:6; I Pet 2:9).
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and all peoples see Him. He who first, in becoming human, came in secret, will in a little while come openly, in majesty and glory, to judge.
8 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.9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
2 For it says that in the midst of the golden lampstands was walking one like a son of man. Like a son of man it says. After victory over death, when He ascended into the heavens, His body having been united with the Spirit of glory which He received from the Father, He is now able to be called like a Son of God, not (only) like a son of man. Walking in the midst of the golden lampstands, that is, in the midst of the churches, as was said by Solomon: "In the ways of the just ones I walk" (Prov 8:20).
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
His antiquity and immortality, the source of majesty, are shown by with a white head. For the Head of Christ is God. And with white hair are the multitude of wearers of white (the newly baptized), like wool, because of the sheep, like snow, because of the innumerable crowd of candidates (catechumens) given by Heaven. Eyes like a flame of fire. These are the commandments of God, giving light to those who believe, (but) burning the unbelievers.
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
3 And a face with the brightness of the sun. His face is His coming in which He spoke to man face to face. For the sun is of less glory than the glory of the Lord. But because of rising, and setting, and again rising. For He was born, and suffered, and rose up. For this reason Scripture gives the comparison of His face to the glory of the sun.
4 In a priestly garment, which is the flesh not corrupted by death, and by suffering He has been given an eternal priesthood, most obviously. Breasts are the two Testaments, and a golden sash, the chorus of saints, like gold tried by the fire; alternately, the gold sash binding the chest: the enkindled conscience and pure spiritual sense given to the churches. By a sharp double-edged sword coming out of His mouth, He is shown to be Who brought knowledge to the whole world both now, of the good things of the Gospel, and, previously, of the Law of Moses. But from which same Word, Old or New Testament, is the whole race of humans indeed judged, thus it is called a sharp double-edged sword. For the sword arms the soldier; the sword slays the enemy; the sword punishes the deserter. And in order to show the Apostles He announced judgment, He said: "I did not come to bring peace, but the sword" (Mt 10:34). And after He had finished the parables (Mt 13:33), He said to them: "Have you understood everything?" They said: "Even so." He added: "Therefore, every scribe trained in the Kingdom of Heaven is like the father of a family, bringing out from his treasury new and old;" (Mt 15:51-52) “new:” the word of the Gospel; “old:” the Law and the Prophets. These come out of His mouth, He said to Peter: "Go to the sea and cast a hook, and the first fish that comes up, opening its mouth you will find a stater (coin), which is two denarii, give for Me and for you" (Mt 17:26-27). And David similarly said by the Spirit: "Once, is God speaking; twice, have we heard Him," (Ps 61:12) for God has determined “once” what will happen, from the beginning to the end. These are the “two” Testaments, which at a particular time are called either two denarii, or New and Old, or a sharp double-edged sword. Finally, with His being appointed Judge by the Father, wanting to show that men will be judged by the word of preaching, He says: "Do you think that I will judge you in the last day? The word which I speak to you, it will judge (you) in the last day" (Jn 12:48). And Paul says to the Thessalonians against the Antichrist: "whom the Lord will slay with the breath (spiritus) of His mouth" (2 Th 2:8). Therefore, this is the sharp double-edged sword coming out of His mouth.
5 His voice was like the voice of many waters. Many waters are to be understood as peoples, or also the gift of baptism, which He gave as a commandment, spread out by the Apostles for the salvation of men. His feet like gold-copper, as though burning in a furnace. It says the Apostles, who were burned in suffering, preached His word; through them, in fact, the preaching went out (lit. ‘walked’); they were well-named “feet.” See where the prophet anticipated this, saying: "We will worship where His feet have stood" (Ps 132:7) for where they first stood the Church was also established, that is Judea; there will all the saints be gathered and worship their God.
6 Seven stars in his right hand. We have said that the seven virtues of the Holy Spirit were given into His power by the Father, as Peter exclaimed to the Jews: "Therefore, exalted at the right hand of God, He has poured forth the Spirit . He received from the Father, which you have seen and heard" (Acts 2:33). But also John the Baptist anticipated it, saying to his disciples: "For He has not given the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all into His hands" (Jn 3:34-35). These are the seven stars.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
7 The seven churches, each of which He calls by name, to whom the letters were composed, which are not the only or the principal churches. But what He says to one, He says to all. It makes no difference; whether a military troop of a small number of soldiers, or by it the whole army is indicated. Finally, as in Asia, so in the whole world: seven churches as all. Paul taught that the seven named are the one Catholic Church. Indeed, at first, so he might keep this (rule), he did not exceed the number of seven churches, but wrote to the Romans, to the Corinthians, to the Ephesians, to the Thessalonians, to the Galatians, to the Philippians, and to the Colossians. Afterwards he wrote to individual people, but did not exceed the number of seven churches, as he summarized in brief in his preaching to Timothy: so that you will know how you must behave in the House of God, which is the Church of the Living God (1 Tim 3:15).
This type (or ‘symbol’) was preached by the Holy Spirit through Isaiah, as we read of the seven women who took hold of one man. For the one man is Christ, not born from seed. The seven women are the churches, receiving their bread, and in their tunics covered, who ask to remove their reproach, and that his name will be spoken over them (Isa 4:1). For bread is the Holy Spirit, which nourishes eternal life; theirs, promised to them by faith. And their tunics, that is, the promises to them with which they want to be covered. Finally, as Paul said, "Thus must weakness put on strength, and mortality immortality" (1 Cor 15:53). Remove their reproach: the reproach is previous sin, which is removed by baptism. And the beginning of a person being called Christian, which is your name will be spoken over us. Therefore, for these reasons, for example, seven churches are made one Church.
He also wrote, for quality of faith and election either to those who are also striving in the world, and are working at their striving for simplicity, and are patient and, when seeing certain destructive and pestilential people in the church, that it (the church) might not be dispersed, suffer them. He warns all of them of love in which faith is lacking, that they might make penance. Or to those who are living in cruel places among persecutors, persevering to be faithful. Or to those who under the pretext of mercy introduce illicit sins into the church, teaching others to do them; or to those who are at ease in the Church; or to those who are negligent, Christians only in name; or to those who, humbly instructed, persevere strongly in faith; or he rebukes those who study the Scriptures and strive to know the hidden prophecies, and are unwilling to do the works of God, which are mercy and love. For all he pronounces penance, for all he announces judgment.
Note: There is no commentary for chapters 9, 16,17, and 18. These chapters were not covered directly by St. Victorinus. The chapters of the book of Revelation that are added are for student reference while reading the commentary itself.
The complete text of the book of Revelation can be found at this site here> REVELATION