New American Bible (Revised Edition)
13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man,[a] wearing an ankle-length robe, with a gold sash around his chest.(A) 14 The hair of his head was as white as white wool or as snow,[b] and his eyes were like a fiery flame. 15 His feet were like polished brass refined in a furnace,[c] and his voice was like the sound of rushing water. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars.[d] A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth, and his face shone like the sun at its brightest.(B)Read full chapter
- 1:13 Son of man: see note on Mk 8:31. Ankle-length robe: Christ is priest; cf. Ex 28:4; 29:5; Wis 18:24; Zec 3:4. Gold sash: Christ is king; cf. Ex 28:4; 1 Mc 10:89; 11:58; Dn 10:5.
- 1:14 Hair…as white as white wool or as snow: Christ is eternal, clothed with the dignity that belonged to the “Ancient of Days”; cf. Rev 1:18; Dn 7:9. His eyes were like a fiery flame: Christ is portrayed as all-knowing; cf. Rev 2:23; Ps 7:10; Jer 17:10; and similar expressions in Rev 2:18; 19:12; cf. Dn 10:6.
- 1:15 His feet…furnace: Christ is depicted as unchangeable; cf. Ez 1:27; Dn 10:6. The Greek word translated “refined” is unconnected grammatically with any other word in the sentence. His voice…water: Christ speaks with divine authority; cf. Ez 1:24.
- 1:16 Seven stars: in the pagan world, Mithras and the Caesars were represented with seven stars in their right hand, symbolizing their universal dominion. A sharp two-edged sword: this refers to the word of God (cf. Eph 6:17; Hb 4:12) that will destroy unrepentant sinners; cf. Rev 2:16; 19:15; Wis 18:15; Is 11:4; 49:2. His face…brightest: this symbolizes the divine majesty of Christ; cf. Rev 10:1; 21:23; Jgs 5:31; Is 60:19; Mt 17:2.