Revelation 6:1 NASB

[1]Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come."

Its a little puzzling who looked into the book when the seals were broken, for everytime when the lamb broke the seal John was called to draw near & John will "see"

Could it be John who looked(read)into the scroll?

  • 1
    The Lamb breaks the seals on the scroll. The four cherubim show John the first four things that accompany the Lamb breaking the seals. The scroll isn't open yet. I don't understand where the ambiguity is in the text you've cited.
    – user2910
    May 1, 2017 at 15:52
  • 2
    John probably did not look into the scroll. Only one early manuscript includes the word "see." Most versions say simply "Come!" John then obeyed the command. Moreover, John did not have to see the writing which was evidently inside the scroll, since God gave him, as it were, a video of what would take place. Remember, the book of Revelation is a VISION for John which he later put to words. He did not have to read about future events; he viewed the events as if they were happening. Don May 1, 2017 at 16:15
  • @rhetorician,what would have been the purpose of stating that the book was written if no one was going to read what was inside. May 8, 2017 at 9:06
  • Revelation 5:4 (KJV) 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon,It was not just breaking the seals,somebody had to read the book May 8, 2017 at 9:27
  • I do not dispute the book was meant to be read, but it was meant to be read only by Jesus Christ, the one who alone was worthy to do so. Think of the scroll as being the "title deed" to the earth. As the person who created the world (John 1:3) and is the Lord of time, Jesus alone has the authority to set into motion the events leading up to his eternal reign on a redeemed and purified earth. John's privileged role was to see in a vision the things which would take place leading up to that eternal kingdom. May 8, 2017 at 15:14

3 Answers 3


Let us be quite clear - the scroll/book was sealed with seven seals and so could not be read nor opened until all seven seals had been released.

Each of the first four seals follows a simple formula: "when the Lamb opened the 'nth' seal, I heard the 'nth' living creature say, “Come!”

Note: there is no instruction to look or see according to NA28 and UBS5. (Such is a characteristic of the Textus Receptus on which the KJV is based. I will not discuss the reasons for this difference here.)

Therefore, as each seal is broken, events occur that John sees but he does not yet read the contents of the scroll.


Was it John who looked into the scroll in Revelation 6:1?

Revelation 6:1 NASB

[1] "Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come."

No it is not John, for John was already invited to participate in these prophetic scenes, ( read Rev. 4:1-2 below) so the voice ,"as of thunder "is inviting others to participate in the episodes of the four horse riders.

Revelation 4:1-2 (NASB)

Scene in Heaven

4 "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2 Immediately I was [a]in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne."


There is a significant textual; variation between TR, Byzantine text, the Majority text, and NA28/UBS5 which I document in the table below. It all concerns the instruction to John at the opening of each seal; whether to simple "Come" or "Come and see".

Rev 6 NA28/UBS5 Byzantine Text Majority Text TR
V1 "Come" "Come and see" "Come and see" "Come and look"
V3 "Come" "Come" "Come" "Come and look"
V5 "Come" "Come and see" "Come and see" "Come and look"
V7 "Come" "Come and see" "Come and see" "Come and look"

At least the NA28/UBS5 text is consistent (as is the TR). Now, we observe two more things about what happens in the vision. The OP asks about what John saw - he explicitly says what he say because after each instruction by one of the living creatures he exclaims: "I looked and behold I saw a horse ..."

That is, John did NOT read the scroll - he could not read the scroll because until all seven seals were broken, it could not be unrolled!

Thus, what John saw was NOT the writing on the scroll but the horse and its rider which in each case he proceeds to describe.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.