5 From the throne came flashes of lightning and [rumbling] sounds and peals of thunder. Seven lamps of fire were burning in front of the throne, which are [a]the seven Spirits of God;6 and in front of the throne there was something like a sea or large expanse of glass, like [the clearest] crystal. In the center and around the throne were four living [b]creatures who were full of eyes in front and behind [seeing everything and knowing everything that is around them].7 [c]The first living creature was like a lion, the second creature like a calf (ox), the third creature had the face of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.
Revelation 4:6Some scholars identify these creatures as cherubim glorifying God and guarding the throne of heaven; others suggest the creatures represent God’s attributes (especially His omniscience and omnipresence).
Revelation 4:7Jewish tradition suggests that during the exodus the four standards of the tribal triads depicted these images: the triad led by Judah, the lion; the triad led by Reuben, the man; the triad led by Ephraim, the ox; the triad led by Dan, the eagle.
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