John Sees Heaven
4 After the vision of these things I looked, and [L look; T behold] there before me was an open door in heaven. And the ·same [L first] voice that spoke to me before, that sounded like a trumpet [1:8], said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the ·Spirit [or spirit; C a state of deep spiritual communion with God; 1:10], and [L look; T behold] before me was a throne in heaven, and someone was sitting on it. 3 The One who sat on the throne looked like precious stones, like jasper and carnelian [C a symbol of great beauty, purity and value]. All around the throne was a ·rainbow [or halo] ·the color of [or that looked like] an emerald. 4 Around the throne there were twenty-four other thrones with twenty-four elders sitting on them [C probably angelic leaders]. They were dressed in white and had golden crowns [C wreaths symbolizing honor or victory; see 2:10] on their heads. 5 Lightning flashes and ·noises and thunder [or the rumbling of thunder; C phenomena associated with God’s appearance at Mount Sinai; Ex. 19:16–18] came from the throne. Before the throne seven lamps were burning, which are the seven spirits [C either angels or the “sevenfold Spirit”—the Holy Spirit portrayed in his perfection; 3:1] of God. 6 Also before the throne there was something that looked like a sea of glass, clear like crystal.
In the center and around the throne were four living creatures ·with eyes all over them [full of eyes], in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion. The second was like an ·ox [or calf]. The third had a face like a man. The fourth was like a flying eagle [Ezek. 1:10; C angelic beings identified with the most powerful example of various species]. 8 Each of these four living creatures had six wings and was ·covered all over with eyes [full of eyes], inside and out. Day and night they never ·stop [rest from] saying:
9 [L Whenever] These living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the One who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever. 10 Then the twenty-four elders bow down before the One who sits on the throne, and they worship him who lives forever and ever. They ·put their crowns down [cast/lay their crowns; 4:4] before the throne and say:
11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and ·power [strength],
because you made all things.
Everything existed and was made,
·because you wanted it [by your will].”