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.
Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:
The first word of this phrase (“Saying”) indicates that this verse is a continuation of the previous. In other words, this is literally what “the trumpet” is saying to John. It was, however, obviously the voice that addressed these words to John, though they seemed to come through a trumpet‒and therefore the trumpet is represented as uttering them in sweet, yet authoritative, heavenly tones.
In light of verses 17 and 18, it is clear that, in this instance, the title applies specifically to Jesus Christ and not to the Father as earlier (see on Revelation 1:8). Such a title applies to both the Father and Son (see on Revelation 1:4).
and, what thou seest, write in a book,
The voice, in addition to the declaration, “I am Alpha and Omega,” then directs the Apostle that he should record what he saw. The phrase, “what thou seest,” refers to what would pass before him in vision‒that is, what he would see in the extraordinary manifestations which were to be made to him. Friend…here again, by irrefutable implication, is evidence that the details of the book of Revelation were all meant to be carefully captured by the pen of John for the special benefit of God’s people. If not every symbol, representation, phrase, and scene had significant value to the Church, then the divine command to record them would have seemed unnecessary‒and not that John wouldn’t have done so anyway, but that he would be made to know, from the mouth of Jesus himself, such was, according to the divine will, of indispensable importance. Such a directive would certainly heighten his awareness to what he was about to see, as well as to what it might mean.
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.
John is commanded by Jesus to write what he sees in a “scroll” (Gr.) (Jeremiah 36:2; Ezekiel 2:9; see on Revelation 22:10, 16) and send it to seven specific churches in Asia. Because the number seven, in Scripture, indicates totality, completeness, and perfection (other similar words would suffice, such as “sanctification”), we can safely conclude that the churches herein described represent the whole of the matter with God’s people of all time, as well as the perfect working of divine providence in addressing their welfare and purpose in the world (see on verse 4).