|We must remember in
this passage that the scroll, with seals, was the common form of “book” in
these days. It was made of
papyrus; and when finished it was
rolled up, the roll folded in thirds, and then a thread was used to bind the
scroll together. The thread was kept
on by a seal until such time as the document was opened. In Roman law, a will needed seven seals,
and could not be opened until all seven of the witnesses who had put their
seal on the will (or their representatives) were present.
|The seven seals no
doubt represent (again) completeness.
It implies that this is a complete revelation, and it is hard to
imagine how to add to it (and indeed we are forbidden to add to it).
|Scrolls were made of
parchment (invented in Pergamum, by the way -- hence the name). To make parchment, you take bullrushes, cut
the insides into fine strips, weave them together, soak and glue the result
-- and then pound the stuff into parchment.
Original parchment has a good side (recto) and a grainy side
(verso). Normally, parchment was
written on only on the recto side. To
use both sides meant that you had a lot to say - and needed a lot of space to