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Revelation 5:13-14 ESV:

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Who is being worshipped? Him who sits on the throne? The Lamb? Both?

Context that motivated the question: link.

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  • Is really a question as to who? Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 17:28
  • You might also include "the four living creatures" as another possibility for who the elders are worshiping. But Revelation 4:10 states the answer clearly.
    – 4castle
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 17:45
  • @RevelationLad - yes. If you find the question strange, see the link provided as context to understand why I'm asking.
    – user38524
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:10
  • @4castle The four living creatures are not included in the statement (which you missed out at the end of verse 14) 'him that liveth for ever and ever'.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 19:38
  • @NigelJ That ending appears to be an addition that is found in the Textus Receptus, but I agree with that interpretation because it still agrees with Rev 4:10.
    – 4castle
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 19:52

3 Answers 3

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The throne and the Lamb are paired together in 4 places in Revelation.

Revelation 5:6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Revelation 5:13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Revelation 6:16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God

In the last passage, John made it clear that God is sitting on the throne and the Lamb is paired to Him as one and the same God that is being worshiped.

As pointed out by Dottard's comments, there are actually 3 more passages that the throne and the Lamb are paired. The total number of passages is 7.

Revelation 14:3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.

Revelation 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

Revelation 22:3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Again, Dottard insightfully saw that in the last passage, the singular "his" is used for God's/Lamb's servants, face, and name. To me, this is quite solid in proving that God and the Lamb are one and the same in the context of Revelation.

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  • And what exactly is your conclusion? Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:26
  • The Lamb is God.
    – user35953
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:39
  • You should make that clear. To me "the same God" in your answer simply repeats the potential ambiguity present in the initial statement. Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:46
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    Yes. I agree. 'The Lamb' is manifest. 'God sits' can only be true in manifestation. Thus God sits (I and the Father are One) and God sits as the Lamb, also. There is a deliberate double meaning. (Note : not an 'ambiguity' - there are two distinct meanings.) Upvoted +1./
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 19:46
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    "To me, this is quite solid in proving that God and the Lamb are one and the same in the context of Revelation." One ambiguous line is 'quite solid' in proving the God and the Lamb are the same thing - despite statement after statement throughout Revelation distinguishing the two! Seems more straightforward to think the word 'his' here refers to God, as that is what is explicitly mentioned after this line. Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 23:32
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The Biblical Unitarian view is that both God and the Lamb are to be worshipped, where the Lamb = Jesus Christ. The natural reading of Revelation 5:14 as far as I can tell is that both are being worshipped, and this is not problematic for a Biblical Unitarian view.

Jesus is not God in the book of Revelation. They are distinguished repeatedly in Revelation, including Revelation 1:1, 1:5-6, 3:2, 3:12, 5:13, 6:16, 7:9, 7:10, and so on.

"The Book of Revelation is “the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him” (1:1). From the very first verse we are told that Jesus is not God." (In the Book of Revelation, God is not the Lamb, and the Lamb is not God)

As for Revelation 5 in particular,

"The God of chapter 4 is worshiped because He is God who created everything. The Lamb of chapter 5 is worshipped not because he is God, but because he was slain and by his blood did ransom men for God (5:10)." (ibid.)

In Biblical Unitarian thought, both Jesus and God can be worshipped, although God is the ultimate object of worship.

IMO it is a poor hermeneutic to cherry-pick a few verses in Revelation (or elsewhere) that might suggest the Lamb = God (in this case, a background belief that only God can be worshipped might lead to that conclusion here, although this background belief is mistaken - Jesus is clearly worshipped as King, see the Magi in Matthew 2:2) when the overwhelming majority of evidence in Revelation suggests the Lamb and God are distinct.

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  • So in this point you guys differ from JWs. They cannot accept the possibility of worshipping the Son.
    – user38524
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 20:39
  • Now I am confused - you mentioned "unitarian" which says that there is only one God, namely, the Father. yet you suggest that both God and the Lamb are to be worshiped?
    – Dottard
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 20:41
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    @Dottard Yes. Deserved 'worship' does not require that someone be God from a Biblical Unitarian perspective - Jesus being the relevant case. Unitarian doesn't mean there is only one God (i.e., monotheism - but you know that, I assume you just mis-typed), unitarians don't believe God is composed of multiple 'persons' (whatever that means exactly) such that Jesus is also God and various references to 'God' in the Bible are actually shorthand for 'God the Father'. Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 20:51
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In Revelation 5:13, the whole creation praises both "Him who sits on the throne" and "the Lamb." The next verse continues: "And the elders fell down and worshiped" (Rev 5:14) but it does not say who they worshiped. Did they worship both the "Him who sits on the throne" and "the Lamb," as mentioned in the previous verse?

This article argues as follows that the elders worship only "Him who sits on the throne," namely, the Father:

Other instances of Divine Worship

In Revelation, in addition to 5:13-14, there are five other instances of divine worship by heavenly beings and, in all five, the Father alone is worshiped. In four of those instances, “God” is worshiped (Rev 7:11; 11:16; 15:3-4; 19:4) and this article shows that Revelation NEVER refers to Jesus as God but consistently maintains a distinction between “God” and Jesus Christ. For example:

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him” (Rev 1:1; cf. Rev 1:2, 9; 5:9; 7:10, 17; 12:5, 17; 14:4, 12; 20:4, 6; 21:22, 23; and 22:1, 3).

In the fifth instance, “Him who sits on the throne” is worshiped (Rev 4:10-11) and that title also always refers to the Father. For example:

“The Lamb” (Jesus) “came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne” (Rev 5:6-7; cf. Rev 5:13; 12:5; 6:16; 7:9-10).

In conclusion, in five instances of divine worship by heavenly beings, the Father alone is worshiped. The sixth instance, which is 5:14 and does not say who is worshiped, therefore, should also be understood as worship of the Father.

The Praise-Worship Pattern

In 5:13-14, both the Father and the Son are present and both are praised in 5:13. Then, in 5:14, the elders worship.

We find this pattern of praise followed by worship also in Revelation 7. In Revelation 7:9-11, both the Father and the Son are present (see Rev 6:16) and both are praised but only the Father is worshiped. This is significant. If we apply this pattern of praise followed by worship to Revelation 5:13, only the Father is worshiped there as well.

Worship the Creator

The message of the three angels, which will be proclaimed in the end-time, warns us to worship only the Creator (Rev 14:7) and Revelation identifies the Father as the Creator:

Firstly, that verse (14:7) commands us to both "fear God" and worship the Creator, implying that the Creator is “God.” And, as argued, in Revelation, "God" always refers to the Father.

Secondly, Revelation 4:10-11 identifies "Him who sits on the throne,” who is also called “God,” as the Creator. Both these descriptions always refer to the Father in distinction from the Son, for example:

  • “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Rev 7:10; 5:13; 6:17; 4:9-10; 19:4)

Further Conclusions

Twice John attempts to worship the angel and in both instances, he is instructed to "worship God" (Rev 19:10; 22:9). Since Revelation always refers to the Father alone as God, and never refers to the Son as God, this is an instruction to worship the Father alone.

For the full article, see - Are both the Father and the Son worshipped in Revelation 5:14?

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