The blessed ones (Rev 1:3)

“Blessed is the one

Who reads

And listens

To the words

Of the prophecy!

Keep

What is written in it!

The time

Is near!”

Μακάριος ὁ ἀναγινώσκων καὶ οἱ ἀκούοντες τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας καὶ τηροῦντες τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ γεγραμμένα· ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς ἐγγύς.

John said “Blessed (Μακάριος) is the one who reads (ὁ ἀναγινώσκων) and listens (καὶ οἱ ἀκούοντες) to the words (τοὺς λόγους) of the prophecy (τῆς προφητείας)!  Keep (καὶ τηροῦντες) what is written in it (τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ γεγραμμένα)!  The time (ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς) is near (ἐγγύς)!”  His readers should be blessed or happy just like those who follow the beatitudes of Jesus in Matthew, chapter 5, and Luke, chapter 6There will be more blessings in this book.  However, they had to read and listen to the prophetic words of the prophetic utterances that came from God as found in the Hebrew Bible.  Then they had to keep or follow what is written.  There was this constant reminder that reading and listening was not good enough.  They had to keep the word of God in their actions.  The main reason was because the critical time of the Second Coming of Christ was near.  The expectation was that Jesus Christ would return pretty soon, any day now.  When do you expect the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?

The blessed ones (Wis 3:13-3:15)

“Blessed is the barren woman

Who is undefiled.

She has not entered into a sinful union.

She will have fruit

When God examines souls.

Blessed also is the eunuch

Whose hands have done no lawless deed.

He has not devised wicked things against the Lord.

Special favor will be shown him

For his faithfulness.

There will be a place of great delight

In the temple of the Lord.

The fruit of good labors is renowned.

The root of understanding does not fail.”

This author then praises or calls the barren woman and the eunuch blessed or blissful (μακαρία). Both of these groups of people were considered outcasts of society because of their sterility. These barren women are those who were not defiled. They had not entered into a sinful union. They will bear fruit when their souls would be examined (ἐπισκοπῇ ψυχῶν). The eunuchs should have not done any lawless actions. They will not have devised anything wicked against the Lord (κατὰ τοῦ Κυρίου πονηρά). They will receive special favors because they were faithful. They will have a special place in the Temple of the Lord (ἐν ναῷ Κυρίου θυμηρέστερος). This is a reference to some kind of eternal reward. The fruits of a good life and understanding will not fail.