Notes on Revelation 1:7-8 | Notes on the Apocalypse of John
There is great similarity between 1:7 and Matthew 24:30: “Then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
This refers to Jesus’s coming to judge the Roman Empire. In the Old Testament, coming on the clouds was a sign of divine judgment. Here, Jesus is coming on the clouds to judge the Roman Empire for the wrongs committed against his people.
The first phrase of verse seven has clear affinities with Daniel 7:13: “And I saw with the clouds of heaven, one like a song of man come.”
The second phrase of verse seven has clear affinities with Zechariah 12:10b: “and [every eye] will see.” The phrase “every eye” turns the Lord’s coming into a universal event—every eye will see the Lord.
The third phrase of verse 7 is an allusion to Zechariah 12:10b: “And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.”
The fourth phrase of verse 7 is an allusion to Zechariah 12:12: “The land shall mourn, each family by itself.” “Mourn” indicates the beating of the breasts in utter hopelessness. The world has no hope because Jesus has come to judge the world.
Since alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet this phrase emphasizes the sovereignty of God in a similar way to “first and last” or “beginning and end.” Since the Asian Christians were about to suffer, they needed to understand that God was over all.
“Almighty” refers to God’s supremacy over the whole creation.