Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
Write the things which thou hast seen,.... The Alexandrian copy and some others, and the Complutensian edition, read, "write therefore the things", &c. meaning what he had now seen, the vision of one like to the son of man, amidst the golden candlesticks, with seven stars in his right hand, and as above described; this was what he had seen Revelation 1:12; for it does not refer to what he had seen of Christ in the days of his flesh, but to what he had now seen in this representation of him:
and the things which are; the state of the churches of Christ in the apostolic age, and at that time signified by the Ephesian church, and that part of the Smyrnean which John lived to see:
and the things which shall be hereafter; from hence unto the end of the world, in successive generations, signified by the rest of the churches, and in the visions of the seals, trumpets, and vials.