What are the Seven Blessings of the Book of Revelation?

Question
My pastor briefly mentioned seven blessings in Revelation. What are the seven blessing of the Book of Revelation?
Answer
The seven blessings of the book of Revelation are found in Revelation 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14.

Seven is the predominate number in the book of Revelation. There are seven churches; spirits; golden lampstands; stars; letters; lamps; seals; horns; eyes; angels; trumpets; thunders; seven thousand; heads; crowns; plagues; bowls; mountains; and kings, etc. "Blessed" is the Greek word "makarios," meaning happy, fortunate, or blessed. As previously stated, there are seven blessings in Revelation:

    • [1] Revelation 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

    • This echoes Psalm 1:2. It is God from whom all blessings flow. This is the only book in the Bible that contains a blessing to those who read aloud, who hear, and keep the words of this prophecy. Note, the second word "blessed" is not in the Greek text of this verse; it is merely added to the ESV and other translations to better aid our understanding of the text.

    • [2] Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"

    • Just prior to this, we read of numerous warnings and judgments of the seven histories (cf. Rev 12:1-14:20). Then comes this tremendous assurance of care for the martyred saints. While these pass through many troubles - even death itself - they are all temporary. God's blessings are eternal; a gift from their Redeemer. See note above on the use of the second word "bless."

    • [3] Revelation 16:15 ("Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!")

    • This may remind us of numerous other texts (cf. Matt 24:42-43; Luke 12:39-40; 1 Thess 5:2; 2 Pet 3:10; Rev 3:3). Revelation 16:15 alludes to being spiritually clothed with the Word of God and the rest of the armor of God (Eph 6:12-18). It echoes Revelation 3:18.

    • [4] Revelation 19:9 And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God."

    • The marriage supper of the Lamb is the feast of all feasts (Matt. 22:2; Luke 14:15; 22:16; cf. Isa 25:6). Note the contrasts between this blessed feast and the horrific feast of Revelation 19:17-18. Those summoned to the marriage supper of the Lamb are described in terms of their "call" (keklrmenoi; cf. Rev 17:14). The elect are called from the foundation of the world (Matt 22:1-14; Eph 1:4-5, 11). This is a perfect participle expressing the truth of "permanence" (Rom 8:29-30, 35-39).

    • [5] Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign witho him for a thousand years.

    • The Apostle Paul taught the "blessed" (Eph 1:3; 2:4, 7-8) Christians in Ephesus, who were previously, "dead in the trespasses and sins" (Eph 2:1), that they are now "raised up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:6; cf. Rom 6:4; Col 3:1-4). We see these same truths in Revelation 20:4-6; the dead come alive, are raised, and are seated in Heaven to share in Christ's reign. Compare Daniel 7:9-10; Revelation 4:1-2; 20:11, which reveal the heavenly (not earthly) location of the court and its thrones. So, the first resurrection is our initial regeneration in Christ alone. See "The Millennium: Will Christ Reign for a Thousand Years?" below.

    • [6] Revelation 22:7 "And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

    • There is a relationship between the one who heeds (Rev 1:3) and the one who keeps (Rev 22:7) the "words of this book" (Rev 22:10, 18, 19). John clearly calls this book "prophecy," not history (compare the hyper-preterism view, which views the book mostly as past history).

    • [7] Revelation 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.

    • The washing of robes does not speak of any righteousness the saints have earned themselves (Isa 64:6), but of standing in the righteousness already earned for them in Christ alone - his blood (Rev 7:14; cf. Rom 1:17; 1 Cor 1:30; Phil 3:9, etc.). The blessing is essentially the same as we read of in Revelation 7:14-17. It is the blessing of salvation.

    Related Topics:

    The Millennium: Will Christ Reign for a Thousand Years?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).