4:4 In 1 a circle around the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on those thrones were twenty-four elders. They were 2 dressed in white clothing and had golden crowns 3 on their heads. 4:5 From 4 the throne came out flashes of lightning and roaring 5 and crashes of thunder. Seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 were burning in front of the throne 4:6 and in front of the throne was something like a sea of glass, like crystal. 7
In 8 the middle of the throne 9 and around the throne were four living creatures 10 full of eyes in front and in back. 4:7 The 11 first living creature was like a lion, the 12 second creature like an ox, the third creature had a face like a man’s, and the fourth creature looked like an eagle flying. 4:8 Each one of the four living creatures had six wings 13 and was full of eyes all around and inside. 14 They never rest day or night, saying: 15
“Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God, the All-Powerful, 16
Who was and who is, and who is still to come!”
4:9 And whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, 17 and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 4:10 the twenty-four elders throw themselves to the ground 18 before the one who sits on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever, and they offer their crowns 19 before his 20 throne, saying:
1 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
2 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the words “They were” to indicate the connection to the preceding material.
4 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
5 tn Or “sounds,” “voices.” It is not entirely clear what this refers to. BDAG 1071 s.v. φωνή 1 states, “In Rv we have ἀστραπαὶ καὶ φωναὶ καὶ βρονταί (cp. Ex 19:16) 4:5; 8:5; 11:19; 16:18 (are certain other sounds in nature thought of here in addition to thunder, as e.g. the roar of the storm?…).”
6 sn Some interpret the seven spirits of God as angelic beings, while others see them as a reference to the sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit.
7 tn This could refer to rock crystal, but it is possible this refers to ice (an older meaning). See BDAG 571 s.v. κρύσταλλος.
8 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
9 tn Perhaps, “in the middle of the throne area” (see L&N 83.10).
10 tn On the meaning of ζῴον (zwon) BDAG 431 s.v. 2 states, “Of the four peculiar beings at God’s throne, whose description Rv 4:6-9 reminds one of the ζῷα in Ezk 1:5ff, the cherubim. S. also Rv 5:6, 8, 11, 14; 6:1, 3, 5-7; 7:11; 14:3; 15:7; 19:4.”
11 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
12 tn Both here and before the phrase “the third,” καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
13 tn Grk “six wings apiece,” but this is redundant with “each one” in English.
14 tn Some translations render ἔσωθεν (eswqen) as “under [its] wings,” but the description could also mean “filled all around on the outside and on the inside with eyes.” Since the referent is not available to the interpreter, the exact force is difficult to determine.
15 tn Or “They never stop saying day and night.”
sn A quotation from (or an allusion to) Isa 6:3.
17 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
18 tn Grk “the twenty-four elders fall down.” BDAG 815 s.v. πίπτω 1.b.α.ב. has “fall down, throw oneself to the ground as a sign of devotion or humility, before high-ranking persons or divine beings.”
20 tn The pronoun “his” is understood from the demonstrative force of the article τοῦ (tou) before θρόνου (qronou).