Revelation 4:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight.

English Standard Version
the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.

Berean Study Bible
The first living creature was like a lion, the second like a calf, the third had a face like a man, and the fourth was like an eagle in flight.

Berean Literal Bible
And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature like a calf, and the third living creature having the face as of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle flying.

New American Standard Bible
The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.

King James Bible
And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like a calf; the third living creature had a face like a man; and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

International Standard Version
The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature was like an ox, the third living creature had a face like a human, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

NET Bible
The first living creature was like a lion, the second creature like an ox, the third creature had a face like a man's, and the fourth creature looked like an eagle flying.

New Heart English Bible
The first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature like a calf, and the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The first beast was like a lion; the second had the likeness of a calf; the third beast had a face like a man and the fourth beast, the likeness of a flying eagle.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like a young bull, the third had a face like a human, and the fourth was like a flying eagle.

New American Standard 1977
And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the first animal was like a lion and the second animal like a calf, and the third animal had a face as a man, and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle.

King James 2000 Bible
And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature like a calf, and the third living creature had a face as a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

American King James Version
And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

American Standard Version
And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face as of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the first living creature was like a lion: and the second living creature like a calf: and the third living creature, having the face, as it were, of a man: and the fourth living creature was like an eagle flying.

Darby Bible Translation
and the first living creature like a lion, and the second living creature like a calf, and the third living creature having the face as of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle.

English Revised Version
And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face as of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the first living being was like a lion, and the second living being like a calf, and the third living being had a face as a man, and the fourth living being was like a flying eagle.

Weymouth New Testament
The first living creature resembled a lion, the second an ox, the third had a face like that of a man, and the fourth resembled an eagle flying.

World English Bible
The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle.

Young's Literal Translation
and the first living creature is like a lion, and the second living creature is like a calf, and the third living creature hath the face as a man, and the fourth living creature is like an eagle flying.
Study Bible
Worship of the Creator
6And before the throne was something like a sea of glass, as clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, covered with eyes in front and back. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second like a calf, the third had a face like a man, and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. 8And each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around and within. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”…
Cross References
Ezekiel 1:10
As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:14
And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

Revelation 6:3
And when the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!"

Revelation 6:5
And when the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" Then I looked and saw a black horse, and its rider held in his hand a pair of scales.

Revelation 6:7
And when the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!"
Treasury of Scripture

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

the first beast.

Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like to crystal: and …

Genesis 49:9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, you are gone up: …

Numbers 2:2 Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, …

Numbers 23:24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself …

Numbers 24:9 He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall …

Proverbs 28:2 For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof…

Ezekiel 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, …

Ezekiel 10:14,21 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, …

like a calf.

Ezekiel 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, …

1 Corinthians 9:9,10 For it is written in the law of Moses, You shall not muzzle the mouth …

as.

1 Corinthians 14:20 Brothers, be not children in understanding: however, in malice be …

a flying.

Deuteronomy 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end …

2 Samuel 1:23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in …

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall …

Ezekiel 1:8,10 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; …

Ezekiel 10:14 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, …

Daniel 7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the …

Obadiah 1:4 Though you exalt yourself as the eagle, and though you set your nest …

(7) And the first beast (better, in each case, living being) was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf (comp. Ezekiel 1:7; Ezekiel 1:10), and the third beast had a face as a man (or, its countenance as of a man), and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.--These are living beings, not "beasts," as in the Authorised version. The rendering "beasts" introduces confusion of thought, and violates the laws of Apocalyptic, indeed of Bible imagery. The evil powers are described under the emblem of wild beasts; for thus brute force, and unrestrained passion, and self-will, &c., are symbolised. (See Revelation 11:7; Revelation 13:1-2; Revelation 16:2; Revelation 17:3; Revelation 17:7; Revelation 19:19-20; Revelation 20:10.) But these "living beings" do not represent the evil element in the world. They are representative of animated nature. They are four in number--as there are four beings which hold a primacy in the world: among created beings, man; among birds, the eagle; among cattle, the ox; among untamed animals, the lion. The characteristics of these four chiefs of creation unite to make a perfect picture of the spirit of true service, which should be brave as the lion, patient as the ox, aspiring as the eagle, intelligent as man. It may here be noted that the number "four" in the Apocalypse is almost always associated with the earth. (See Revelation 7:1.) We need only call to mind the four quarters, four elements, four seasons, to see its fitness. (Comp. Revelation 21:13; Revelation 21:16.) The living creatures are "full of eyes." This strong expression is used again in the next verse. Twice used, its meaning must be significant. The same idea is found in the later prophets of the Old Testament. The wheels of Ezekiel and their tires (Ezekiel 1:18; Ezekiel 10:12) were full of eyes. The stone of Zechariah had seven (the perfect number) eyes (Zechariah 3:9). The thought is emphasised again in Revelation 5:6, where the Lamb is said to have seven eyes. Multiplicity of eyes may symbolise vitality and vigilance. Some have thought, inappropriately enough, that it signifies the unceasing praise of God's works. A better interpretation is given by Dr. Currey. "The power of nature is no blind force, it is employed in the service of God's providence, and all over it the stamp of reason is impressed." (See Speaker's Commentary on Ezekiel 1:18). May we not add that the force of nature is always observant of God's will? Its myriad eyes are fixed on Him, as the eyes of a servant on his master (Psalm 123:2); doing His commandment, hearkening unto the voice of His word (Psalm 103:20-21); the eyes too of all creation wait on God, who gives them meat in due season (Psalm 104:27, Prayer Book version)--

"His state

Is kingly; thousands at His bidding speed And post o'er land and ocean without rest;

They also serve who only stand and wait."

Verse 7. - And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. (Upon "beast" (ζῶον), see on ver. 6. For the signification, see also above on ver. 6.) Whether there was any difference in the forms as a whole, or whether the difference consisted chiefly or solely in the thee, cannot be certainly known. Each being is symbolical of some class or some quality of which it is representative. (For the application, see on ver. 6.) And the first beast was like a lion,.... And this figure expresses the strength of the ministers of the word, the lion being the strongest among beasts, Proverbs 30:30, to do the work they are called to, to endure hardness, as good soldiers of Christ, and to bear the infirmities of the weak; and also it denotes their courage and boldness in preaching the Gospel of Christ, without fearing the faces of men, or of being afraid of their revilings:

and the second beast like a calf; or "ox", for so the word here used signifies in the Hellenistic language, and with the Septuagint interpreters, and agrees with Ezekiel 1:10, and designs the laboriousness of Christ's faithful ministers in treading out the corn of Gospel truth, who labour in the word and doctrine, and are labourers with God; as also their humility, meekness, and patience in bearing insults, reproaches, and sufferings for Christ, and instructing those that oppose themselves:

and the third beast had a face as a man; and points at the humanity and tender heartedness, the wisdom, prudence, knowledge, and understanding, and the use of the reasoning faculty, together with a manly spirit in abiding by the Gospel at any rate; all which are so necessary in the ministers of the word.

And the fourth beast was like a flying eagle; which sets forth the sagacity and penetration of Gospel ministers into the deep things of God, and mysteries of grace, and their readiness and swiftness to do the will of God, in publishing the everlasting Gospel; see Revelation 14:6. 7. calf—"a steer" [Alford]. The Septuagint often uses the Greek term here for an ox (Ex 22:1; 29:10, etc.).

as a man—The oldest manuscripts have "as of a man."4:1-8 After the Lord Jesus had instructed the apostle to write to the churches the things that are, there was another vision. The apostle saw a throne set in heaven, an emblem of the universal dominion of Jehovah. He saw a glorious One upon the throne, not described by human features, so as to be represented by a likeness or image, but only by his surpassing brightness. These seem emblems of the excellence of the Divine nature, and of God's awful justice. The rainbow is a fit emblem of that covenant of promise which God has made with Christ, as the Head of the church, and with all his people in him. The prevailing colour was a pleasant green, showing the reviving and refreshing nature of the new covenant. Four-and-twenty seats around the throne, were filled with four-and-twenty elders, representing, probably, the whole church of God. Their sitting denotes honour, rest, and satisfaction; their sitting about the throne signifies nearness to God, the sight and enjoyment they have of him. They were clothed in white raiment; the imputed righteousness of the saints and their holiness: they had on their heads crowns of gold, signifying the glory they have with him. Lightnings and voices came from the throne; the awful declarations God makes to his church, of his sovereign will and pleasure. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne; the gifts, graces, and operations of the Spirit of God in the churches of Christ, dispensed according to the will and pleasure of Him who sits upon the throne. In the gospel church, the laver for purification is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which cleanses from all sin. In this all must be washed, to be admitted into the gracious presence of God on earth, and his glorious presence in heaven. The apostle saw four living creatures, between the throne and the circle of the elders, standing between God and the people. These seem to signify the true ministers of the gospel, because of their place between God and the people. This also is shown by the description given, denoting wisdom, courage, diligence, and discretion, and the affections by which they mount up toward heaven.
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