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Revelation 4:1-6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

III. God and the Lamb in Heaven

Chapter 4

Vision of Heavenly Worship.[a] After this I had a vision of an open door[b] to heaven, and I heard the trumpetlike voice that had spoken to me before, saying, “Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterwards.” [c]At once I was caught up in spirit. A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian. Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald. Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones on which twenty-four elders[d] sat, dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder.[e] Seven flaming torches burned in front of the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. In front of the throne was something that resembled a sea of glass like crystal.[f]

In the center and around the throne, there were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–11 The seer now describes a vision of the heavenly court in worship of God enthroned. He reverently avoids naming or describing God but pictures twenty-four elders in priestly and regal attire (Rev 4:4) and God’s throne and its surroundings made of precious gems and other symbols that traditionally express the majesty of God (Rev 4:5–6). Universal creation is represented by the four living creatures (Rev 4:6–7). Along with the twenty-four elders, they praise God unceasingly in humble adoration (Rev 4:8–11).
  2. 4:1 The ancients viewed heaven as a solid vault, entered by way of actual doors.
  3. 4:2–8 Much of the imagery here is taken from Ez 1 and 10.
  4. 4:4 Twenty-four elders: these represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles; cf. Rev 21:12–14.
  5. 4:5 Flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder: as in other descriptions of God’s appearance or activity; cf. Rev 8:5; 11:19; 16:18; Ex 19:16; Ez 1:4, 13. The seven spirits of God: the seven “angels of the presence” as in Rev 8:2 and Tb 12:15.
  6. 4:6 A sea of glass like crystal: an image adapted from Ez 1:22–26. Four living creatures: these are symbols taken from Ez 1:5–21; they are identified as cherubim in Ez 10:20. Covered with eyes: these suggest God’s knowledge and concern.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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