Revelation Living Creatures
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Revelation Living Creatures
(Revelation 4.6b-8)
Page 97

"In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." (Revelation 4.6b-8)✞

Covered with Eyes

Many EyesThe Revelation "living creatures" or "living beings" were called "hayyoth" in Hebrew. They were a class of heavenly beings also described in Ezekiel and Daniel. In Ezekiel 10.1-2 they were identified as "cherubim." Ezekiel wrote, "I looked, and I saw the likeness of a throne of "lapis lazuli" above the vault that was over the heads of the cherubim. The Lord said to the man clothed in linen, 'Go in among the wheels beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.' And as I watched, he went in." "Lapis lazuli" was a semi-precious intensely colored deep blue rock that formed the throne. Lapis lazuli was ground down into powder and made into ultramarine. This was the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments favored by some of the most important artists of the Renaissance including Vermeer and Titian. The four living creatures were "covered with eyes in front and in back" and even under their wings emphasizing God's all-seeing knowledge and also "alertness and knowledgeability.". The creatures were said to have been "in the center around the throne", that's how much a part of the court of God they were. The word "eyes" may be a reference to "stars" or may have described a mirror like reflection from them or a shell-like coating like the scales of a fish. Whatever, it must have been a remarkable sight for John of Patmos to behold.✞

Four Faces

CherubimGod's attributes were symbolized in the animal-like appearance of the four living creatures. Majesty and power were indicated by "the lion,", faithfulness by "the ox", intelligence by "the man", and swiftness in the heavens by "the eagle." The four living creatures were positioned "around the throne" in the center. The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel also saw four similar living creatures called by the technical theological term "tetramorph" in one of his visions. A "tetramorph" was defined as "a symbolic arrangement of four different elements in one unit." The four living creatures were therefore a symbolic representation of four parts which moved as one. "The lion, the calf, the human being and the eagle" symbolized, respectively, what was "noblest, strongest, wisest, and swiftest in all creation."

"Revelation Living Creatures"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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