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Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders,[a] clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads. From the throne issue flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder, and before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God; and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

And round the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures,[b] full of eyes in front and behind:

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  1. 4.4 elders: They perform a priestly and royal task, since they praise God and share in the government of the world.
  2. 4.6 four living creatures: cf. Ezek 1.4-25: the four angels who preside over the government of the world. But in Chris tian tradition these symbols are used for the four evangelists.