8 But Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will firmly grasp the neck of your enemy, and your brothers will bow down before you in respect. 9 Judah is a lion cub; my son, who rises from the prey, Who crouches down and stretches out like a lion, and like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah; the ruler’s staff will rest securely between his feet. Until the One comes to whom true royalty belongs, all people will honor and obey him.
Throughout this book of letters and visions, numbers play an important role. Numbers and their multiples are signs of great mysterious realities. The Son of Man moves among seven lampstands and holds seven stars in His right hand because the number “seven” represents perfection and completeness. Another important number is “twelve” because it represents the people of God. The children of Israel consisted of twelve tribes, and Jesus called “the twelve” to follow Him and embody the new covenant. The number “twelve” and multiples of “twelve” recur throughout the book to signify the people of God, so here the twenty-four elders (12 + 12) signify the people of God, both the old and new covenants.
5 And then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One seated upon the throne, a scroll written both on the inside and on the outside. It had been sealed with seven seals. 2 Then a mighty heavenly messenger proclaimed with a loud voice,
Mighty Messenger: Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?
3 No creature of creation in all heaven, on all the earth, or even under the earth could open the scroll or look into its mysteries. 4 Then I began to mourn and weep bitterly because no creature of creation was found who was worthy to open the scroll or to look into its mysteries. 5 Then one of the elders consoled me.
One of the 24 Elders: Stop weeping. Look there—the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. He has conquered and is able to break its seven seals and open the scroll.
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