4 After this I looked, and behold, [a]a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a [war] trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”2 At once I was in [special communication with] the Spirit; and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne.3 And He who sat there appeared like [the crystalline sparkle of] [b]a jasper stone and [the fiery redness of] a sardius stone, and encircling the throne there was a rainbow that looked like [the color of an] emerald.4 Twenty-four [other] thrones surrounded the throne; and seated on these thrones were [c]twenty-four elders dressed in white clothing, with crowns of gold on their heads.
The Throne and Worship of the Creator
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 [d]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 [e]creatures who were full of eyes in front and behind [seeing everything and knowing everything that is around them].7 [f]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.8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes all over and within [underneath their wings]; and day and night they never stop saying,
“Holy, holy, holy [is the] Lord God, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all], who was and who is and who is to come [the unchanging, eternal God].”
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanksgiving to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they worship Him who lives forever and ever; and they throw down their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they exist, and were created and brought into being.”
Revelation 4:1This chapter begins the revelation to John of future events.
Revelation 4:3In antiquity this name was given to various kinds and colors of precious stones, while the sardius was a reddish stone. The gems are indicative of royalty.
Revelation 4:4The twenty-four elders may indicate the twelve tribes of Israel together with the twelve apostles, representing redeemed humanity. Others say the twenty-four may be an angelic order of worship akin to the Aaronic priests.
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.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience!
Bible Gateway Plus equips you to answer the toughest questions about faith, God, and the Bible. There's no software to install; it's all integrated seamlessly into your Bible Gateway experience. Try it free for 30 days!