The Seven Seals is a phrase in the Book of Revelation that refers to seven symbolic seals that secure the book/scroll, that John of Patmos saw in his Revelation of Jesus Christ. The opening of the seals of the Apocalyptic document occurs in Revelation Chapters 5-8, in Johns vision, the only one worthy to open the book/scroll is referred to as both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb having seven horns and seven eyes. The 7 seals contained secret information known only to God until the Lamb/Lion was found worthy to open the book/scroll, important scrolls being secured with seals is mentioned in earlier Bible examples including Book of Daniel 12,4. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end, many shall run to and fro, upon the Lamb opening a seal from the book, a judgment is released or an apocalyptic event occurs. The opening of the first four Seals release The Four Horsemen, the opening of the fifth seal releases the cries of martyrs for the word/Wrath of God. The sixth seal prompts earthquakes and other cataclysmic events, the seventh seal cues seven angelic trumpeters who in turn cue the seven bowl judgments and more cataclysmic events. Certain words and phrases used in Revelation had a meaning to ancient readers familiar with objects of their time. For example, important documents were sent written on a papyrus scroll sealed with wax seals. Wax seals were typically placed across the opening of a scroll, so only the proper person in the presence of witnesses. This type of seal is used in a figurative sense, in the book of Revelation. Idealism was also a major view that became realized since the time of Augustine. The preterist usually views that John was given a vision, of a course of events that would occur over the next several centuries. Johann Jakob Wettstein places the date of the Apocalypse as written before A. D.70 and he assumed that the first part of the Book was in respect to Judea and the Jews, and that the second part, about the Roman Empire. The “Sealed Book” is the book of divorcement sent to the Jewish nation from God. ”Traditionally, scholars such as Campegius Vitringa, Alexander Keith, and Christopher Wordsworth did not limit the timeframe to the 4th century. Some have even viewed the opening of the Seals right into the modern period. However, Contemporary-historicists view all of Revelation as it relates to John’s own time, Elliott, the first seal, as revealed to John by the angel, was to signify what was to happen soon after John seeing the visions in Patmos. The general subject of the first six seals is the decline and fall, after a prosperous era. The idealist view does not take the book of Revelation literally, the interpretation of Revelation’s symbolism and imagery is defined by the struggles between good and evil
The Lamb opening the book/scroll with seven seals.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, an 1887 painting by Victor Vasnetsov. The Lamb is visible at the top.