376. Verse 13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, Who are these that are arrayed in white robes, and whence came they? Verse 14. And I said unto him, Lord, thou knowest, signifies the desire of knowing, and the will of interrogating, and the answer and information. The reason why John was questioned concerning these things, is, because it is common in all Divine worship, that man should first will, desire, and pray, and the Lord then answer, inform, and do; otherwise man does not receive anything Divine. Now as John saw "those who were arrayed in white robes," and was desirous to know and to ask who they were, and as this was perceived in heaven, therefore he was first asked and then informed. The same occurred to the prophet Zechariah, when he saw several things represented to him, as may appear from Zech. 1:9, 19, 21; 4:2, 5, 11-12; 5:2. 6, 10; 6:4. Besides, we frequently read in the Word, that the Lord answers when they call and cry; as in Psalms 4:1; 17:6; 20:9; 34:4; 91:15; 120:1; also, that he gives when they ask (Matthew 7:7, 8; 21:22; John 14:13, 14; 15:7; 16:23-27). But yet the Lord gives them to ask, and what to ask; therefore the Lord knows it beforehand; but still the Lord wills that man should ask first, to the end that he may do it as from himself, and thus that it should be appropriated to him; otherwise, if the petition itself were not from the Lord, it would not be said in those places, that "they should receive whatsoever they asked."