In The Spirit On The Lord’s Day (rev.1:9-10a) By Dr. Eli Lizorkin-eyzenberg And Prof. Peter Shirokov

1:9 I, John, your brother and the one who shares with you in the persecution, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus.

Once God Almighty spoke his very brief words, John identified himself as the next speaker. In a similar way to Rev. 22:6-15, the speaker switches between the Almighty God and Jesus as we see in the following verse (Rev. 22:16).

Here John also identifies the historic circumstances during which he saw the vision and authored the letter in obedience to the Lord’s command. While we would have liked to know the exact year John wrote the Revelation, he thought it sufficient to only write of his exile.

His exile was on the island of Patmos, where the Roman government was known to send political prisoners. Scholars hypothesize that the time that John was on Patmos fits best to either approximately 95 CE during the reign of Emperor Domitian or to 68-69 CE during the reign of Emperor Nero, when persecutions of the Christ-followers were frequent and intense.

1:10a I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…

There are three interpretive options here.

First, the Lord’s Day could be the Sabbath. It would make sense to speak of God’s day, the Sabbath (Shabbat), in this way. What works against this interpretation is that we never see this term used to signify the Sabbath. In addition, if indeed the day of the week was the Sabbath as opposed to other days, it is not clear why this would be important.

Second, this option is the traditional option, identifying the Lord’s Day as the day of his Resurrection – the first day of the Israelite week – Sunday. This theory suffers similar problems.

Never is the first of the week referred to as the Lord’s Day prior to this alleged instance. If this is in fact the case (that this does refer to the first day of the Israelite week) it is not at all clear why John felt compelled to tell his readers/hearers about it.

Third, in our view, this option is far more likely. The day of the Lord is the End Times day of reckoning and judgment that the Hebrew Prophets often spoke about. The phrase “the Day of the Lord/Lord’s Day” is used many times in the Hebrew Bible (Is. 2:12; 13:6-9; Ezek. 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1-31; 3:14; Amos 5:18-20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7-14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5). As we read in Malachi 4:5-6: “Look, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. He will encourage fathers and their children to return to me, so that I will not come and strike the earth with judgment.”

Thus, John’s reference notifies the reader that while he is writing from a particular historic location during a particular time in history, the perspective he seeks to communicate to his hearers is rooted in the eschatological reality of the future Day of the Lord. Just as in the case of the Hebrew prophets of the Bible, John was able to speak to the present from the dual perspective of the past (the covenant) and the future (the consummation of the covenant and restoration of all things).


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  1. David morgan

    Thanks Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg, for helping to clarify a point in my present study of the Hazon. Just to say I have recently signed up with the Israel institute of bible studies, and looking forward to studying with you all, shalom.

  2. Tom Wood

    Having just read all the comments I am amazed that this kind of thing is still happening. Please ask ourselves ” how is this going to change the world. Where does this bring hope when everything is falling apart?”. Please look at Jesus when he took the Pharisees apart for straining at gnats when the world needs hope and direction. Let’s get a mindset where we can set aside the trivia and focus on the important. John gives a place and a time. What place and what time is only important for those who have taken their eyes off of Jesus central message”.

  3. gustavo vargas angel

    To who may concern:
    Before goig in a civil war,because this arguments, please remember:
    PSALM 90:4 ” because one thousand days in front of your eyes, are like the day of yesterday, which has passed now” Shalom aleikum.

    1. Drs. Charles van den Berg

      “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
      The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. “2Pe 3:8-9

  4. Drs. Charles van den Berg

    The Hebrew word for day, יוֺם (jom), sometimes means a longer period of time, as is the case with the “Lord’s day”. The Prophet Joel shows that the day of the Lord is from multiple days, similarly does Zephaniah.
    And why is that always translated with “”on”? In the Hebrew this can also be translated with “in”. That is why it or should it perhaps be translated with: “in the day of Lord”. John was moved to or in the time period that is called the “Lord’s day”, the end time, and he was allowed to oversee there God’s plans.

  5. Francene Mullings

    Wonderful insight on the day of The Lord. The scriptures are a great reference as well.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Thank you, Francene. Welcome to our forum. Dr. Eli

  6. Brad Thompson

    From the “Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern he translates Isaiah 58: 13 as, “If you hold back your foot on Shabbat from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call Shabbat a delight, Adonai’s holy day, worth honoring; then honor it by not doing your usual things.” This certainly is talking about the Shabbat and Mr. Stern does use “Adonai’s holy day.” However, since Rev 1:10 is in greek and Isaiah 58:13 is in Hebrew I’m not sure on how the verses cross??? Something to think about….

  7. Brad Thompson

    In Rev 1:10 there is the word “KuriakE” or Kuriakos (koo-ree-ak-os’). Doesn’t this word imply belonging to Adonai or God? The next word is “Hemera” (hay-mer’-ah) which implies the time between sunset and sunrise or Day. Wouldn’t this mean Adonai’s Day or Sabbath? A possible connection to the meaning of Rev 10 might be Isaiah 58:13; in the beginning of Isaiah 58: 13 there are words that have Sabbath as the root and is referring to a day belonging to the “Holy One” of God (IEUE); ADONAI’S Day or Sabbath. Of course this doesn’t exclude any of the other Sabbath’s ordained by God. Isaiah 58: 13-14 also provides a possible answer why John said what he said; which is to say “doing God’s Will.