Revelation 4:6
New International Version
Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.

New Living Translation
In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal. In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back.

English Standard Version
and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:

Berean Study Bible
And 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.

Berean Literal Bible
And before the throne was something like a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne and around the throne were four living creatures, being full of eyes in front and behind.

New American Standard Bible
and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.

King James Bible
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

Christian Standard Bible
Something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal, was also before the throne. Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were around the throne on each side.

Contemporary English Version
Also in front of the throne was something that looked like a glass sea, clear as crystal. Around the throne in the center were four living creatures covered front and back with eyes.

Good News Translation
Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. Surrounding the throne on each of its sides, were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and behind.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal, was also before the throne. Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were in the middle and around the throne.

International Standard Version
In front of the throne was something like a sea of glass as clear as crystal. In the center of the throne and on each side of the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

NET Bible
and in front of the throne was something like a sea of glass, like crystal. In the middle of the throne and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

New Heart English Bible
Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal. In the midst of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And before the throne, a sea of glass as the likeness of crystal, and in the midst of the throne and around the throne, four beasts that were full of eyes, front and back.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In front of the throne, there was something like a sea of glass as clear as crystal. In the center near the throne and around the throne were four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back.

New American Standard 1977
and before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal, and in the midst of the throne and round about the throne were four animals full of eyes in front and behind.

King James 2000 Bible
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.

American King James Version
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like to crystal: and in the middle of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

American Standard Version
and before the throne, as it were a sea of glass like a crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And in the sight of the throne was, as it were, a sea of glass like to crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind.

Darby Bible Translation
and before the throne, as a glass sea, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, four living creatures, full of eyes, before and behind;

English Revised Version
and before the throne, as it were a glassy sea like unto crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.

Webster's Bible Translation
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like crystal: And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living beings full of eyes before and behind.

Weymouth New Testament
And in front of the throne there seemed to be a sea of glass, resembling crystal. And midway between the throne and the Elders, and surrounding the throne, were four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind.

World English Bible
Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal. In the midst of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.

Young's Literal Translation
and before the throne is a sea of glass like to crystal, and in the midst of the throne, and round the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind;
Study Bible
Worship of the Creator
5From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder. Before the throne burned seven torches of fire. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God. 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.…
Cross References
Ezekiel 1:5
and within it was the form of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: They had a human form,

Ezekiel 1:18
Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.

Ezekiel 1:22
Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was the shape on an awesome expanse, gleaming like crystal.

Ezekiel 10:12
Their entire bodies, including their backs, hands, and wings, were full of eyes all around, as were their four wheels.

Revelation 4:4
Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on these thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white, with golden crowns on their heads.

Revelation 4:8
And 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!"

Revelation 5:6
Then I saw a Lamb who appeared to have been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God sent out into all the earth.

Revelation 5:8
When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Revelation 5:11
Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels and living creatures and elders encircling the throne, and their number was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands.

Revelation 5:14
And the four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Revelation 6:1
Then I watched as the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say in a thunderous voice, "Come!"

Revelation 6:6
And I heard what sounded like a voice from among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not waste the oil and wine."

Revelation 14:3
And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.

Revelation 15:2
And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, beside which stood those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name. They were holding harps from God,

Revelation 15:7
Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.

Revelation 19:4
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying: "Amen, Hallelujah!"

Revelation 21:11
shining with the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious jewel, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

Revelation 21:18
The wall was made of jasper, and the city itself of pure gold, as pure as glass.

Revelation 21:21
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, with each gate consisting of a single pearl. The main street of the city was pure gold, as pure as transparent glass.

Revelation 22:1
Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

Treasury of Scripture

And before the throne there was a sea of glass like to crystal: and in the middle of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

a sea.

Revelation 15:2
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

Exodus 38:8
And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

1 Kings 7:23
And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

crystal.

Revelation 21:11
Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

Revelation 22:1
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Job 28:17
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

the midst.

Revelation 5:6
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Revelation 7:17
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Ezekiel 1:4,5
And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire…

four beasts.

Revelation 4:8,9
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come…

Revelation 5:6,14
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth…

Revelation 6:1
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

full.

Revelation 4:8
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Ezekiel 1:18
As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.

Ezekiel 10:12
And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had.







Lexicon
And
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

before
ἐνώπιον (enōpion)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1799: Neuter of a compound of en and a derivative of optanomai; in the face of.

the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

throne
θρόνου (thronou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2362: From thrao; a stately seat; by implication, power or a potentate.

[was something] like
ὡς (hōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5613: Probably adverb of comparative from hos; which how, i.e. In that manner.

a sea
θάλασσα (thalassa)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2281: Probably prolonged from hals; the sea.

of glass,
ὑαλίνη (hyalinē)
Adjective - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5193: Glassy, made of glass, transparent. From hualos; glassy, i.e. Transparent.

[as clear as]
ὁμοία (homoia)
Adjective - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3664: Like, similar to, resembling, of equal rank. From the base of homou; similar.

crystal.
κρυστάλλῳ (krystallō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2930: Crystal. From a derivative of kruos; ice, i.e. rock 'crystal'.

In
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

[the] center,
μέσῳ (mesō)
Adjective - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3319: Middle, in the middle, between, in the midst of. From meta; middle (neuter) noun).

around
κύκλῳ (kyklō)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 2945: A circle, ring. As if dative case of kuklos; i.e. In a circle, i.e. all around.

the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

throne,
θρόνου (thronou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2362: From thrao; a stately seat; by implication, power or a potentate.

[were] four
τέσσαρα (tessara)
Adjective - Nominative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 5064: Four. Or neuter tessara a plural number; four.

living creatures,
ζῷα (zōa)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 2226: An animal, living creature. Neuter of a derivative of zao; a live thing, i.e. An animal.

covered with
γέμοντα (gemonta)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 1073: To be full of. A primary verb; to swell out, i.e. Be full.

eyes
ὀφθαλμῶν (ophthalmōn)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3788: The eye; fig: the mind's eye. From optanomai; the eye; by implication, vision; figuratively, envy.

in front
ἔμπροσθεν (emprosthen)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 1715: From en and pros; in front of (literally or figuratively) or time).

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

back.
ὄπισθεν (opisthen)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3693: From behind, after. From opis with enclitic of source; from the rear, i.e. At the back.
(6) And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal.--There is a sea before the throne of God. The woman apparelled in purple splendour sits upon many waters (Revelation 17:1). The waters are explained (Revelation 17:15) to be "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Her throne rests on the fickle and stormy sea of world- opinion, fashion, and passion. The waters represent the unguided, unreasoning, and unprincipled thoughts of men. By analogy, the calm glass-like sea, which is never in storm, but only interfused with flame (Revelation 15:2), represents the counsels of God, those purposes of righteousness and love, often fathomless, but never obscure; always the same, though sometimes glowing with holy anger (Revelation 15:1). (Comp. the Psalmist's words, "Thy judgments are like the great deep," Psalm 36:6, Prayer Book version. See also Psalm 77:19, and Romans 11:33-36.) The position of the crystal sea is analogous to that of the molten sea in front of Solomon's Temple (2Chronicles 4:9-10).

And in the midst of the throne--i.e., between the seer and the throne. The Apostle saw the crystal sea, and beyond it the living creatures encircling the throne--four living creatures (or, living beings) full of (or, teeming with) eyes before and behind.

Verse 6. - And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal. Sea of glass, or a glassy sea. The quality of "glassiness" may refer to the pure appearance of the sea; or it may mean that the sea was in consistency like unto glass; that is, solid and unyielding, so that there was nothing strange in the fact that it supported weights. In either case, the notion is repeated by parallelism in the next clause, "like unto crystal." But the glassy sea may mean "a glass laver," and bear no reference to what is usually called a sea. The brazen laver is described (1 Kings 7:23) as a "molten sea." St. John may therefore mean that before the throne of God was a laver of the purest material, just as the brazen laver was before the temple. One difficulty here presents itself, viz. that there would be no use for a laver in heaven, where all is pure, and the figure therefore appears a little incongruous. But as it stood before the throne, where all who came would have to pass by, it may fitly typify the waters of Baptism, passed by all Christians; and the figure would be aptly suggested to St. John by the furniture of the temple to which he has such constant allusions. And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne. This may mean either

(1) that, the throne being rectangular, the four living beings were in the middle of each side of the parallelogram; or

(2) while one was in front of the throne, the other three formed a semicircle round it, one being directly behind, and two towards the ends. Were four beasts; or, four living creatures (Revised Version); or, better still, four living beings (ζῶα). The "beast" (θηρίον) of Revelation 6:7; Revelation 11:7, etc., must not be confounded with the "living ones" of this passage. The one quality connoted by the term here used is the possession of life. The question of the precise meaning and interpretation of the vision of "the living beings" is a difficult one, and much has been written concerning it. The vision is evidently connected with the appearances described in Isaiah 6. and Ezekiel 1. and 10, and which are called in Isaiah "seraphim," in Ezekiel "cherubim." We are led, therefore, to inquire what mental ideas were pictured to the Jews under the symbolical forms of cherubim and seraphim. Cheyne shows ('Prophecies of Isaiah,' vol. 2. p. 272) that the name cherub is probably connected with kirubu, the winged ox god of the Assyrians, and with kurubu, the vulture or eagle (cf. the γρῦπες, the guardians of the treasures of the gods); and he infers that among heathen nations the mythic cherubim denote the cloud-masses which appear to guard the portals of the sky, and on which the sun-god issues at break of day. With regard to the seraphim, he compares the name of the fiery serpents(s'rafim) of Numbers 21:6, and concludes that the term was symbolical of the lightning, the weapon of the gods. Now, in Old Testament passages the cherubim and seraphim are always pictured as the attendants of God, and the workers of his purposes and judgments - an idea which may readily have been assimilated by the Jews from the conceptions of their heathen neighbours. Thus cherubim with the flaming sword are placed at the entrance of the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24); Jehovah rode upon a cherub, and did fly (2 Samuel 22:11; Psalm 18:10); he communes with his people from between the cherubim (Exodus 25:22); he is the Shepherd of Israel, who dwells between the cherubim (Psalm 80:1); the temple in Ezekiel 41:18 is adorned with cherubim, as being the dwelling-place of God; they are the attendants of the glory of God in Ezekiel 1:22-28; and the seraphim fill an analogous position (Isaiah 6:2). We may therefore infer that the appearance of the "living beings" implied the presence of some order of beings in attendance upon God, the workers of his will, and the manifestation of his glory. Again, the term used (ζῶα) and the characteristics of the appearance naturally and almost irresistibly lead us to interpret the form as one symbolical of life. The human face, the ox as the representative of domestic, and the lion of wild animals, and the eagle among birds, appear to be typical of the four most conspicuous orders of animal life. The ceaseless movements described in ver. 8 portray the same idea. The four living beings draw attention to the woes heaped upon created life (Revelation 6:8). The eyes denote never-resting activity. We may therefore believe that the living beings are symbolical of all creation fulfilling its proper office - waiting upon God, fulfilling his will, and setting forth his glory. It is noteworthy that the human face, as distinct from the Church, which is represented by the four and twenty elders, appears to indicate the power of God to use, for his purposes and his glory, that part of mankind which has not been received into the Church - the part which constitutes the "other sheep, not of this fold" (John 10:16). These representatives of created life worship God, and give (ver. 11), as a reason for ascribing glory and honour to him, the circumstance that "thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created." The following are other interpretations:

(1) The living beings represent the four Gospels. This view is held by many ancient writers, though there are many variations in assigning to each Gospel its own representative. Victorinus considers the man to be a type of St. Matthew, who sets forth prominently the human nature of our Lord; the kingly lion is referred to St. Mark; the sacrificial ox to St. Luke; the aspiring eagle to St. John. Amongst the supporters of this interpretation (though varying in the precise applicability) are St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Athanasius, St. Irenaeus, St. Gregory, St. Ambrose, Andreas, Primasius, Bede, I. Williams, Wordsworth (for a lull exposition of this view, see Wordsworth, in loc.).

(2) The four great apostles: St. Peter, the lion; James the brother of the Lord, the ox; St. Matthew, the man; St. Paul, the eagle (Grotius).

(3) The Church of the New Testament; as the Church of the Old Testament was represented by the standards or four tribes (see Numbers 2.), on which these devices were emblazoned according to tradition (Mede).

(4) The four patriarchal Churches: the man, Alexandria, famed for learning; the lion, Jerusalem, "propter constantiam" (Acts 5:29); the ox, Antioch, as "parata obedire mandatis apostolorum;" the eagle, Constantinople, remarkable for men "per contemplationem elevati, ut Grog. Naz." (De Lyra and a Lapide).

(5) The four cardinal virtues (Arethas).

(6) The four elements (the 'Catena,' p. 246) - a view not materially differing from that first set forth above, bearing in mind the idea of the ancients that all creation was formed from the four elements.

(7) The four motive powers of the human soul: reason, anger, desire, conscience (a Lapide, quoting Grog. Naz.).

(8) The doctors of the Church (Vitringa).

(9) Four attributes of our Lord: his humanity, sacrificial life, his kingly nature, his perfect and spiritual nature soaring beyond all other men (Arethas-Cramer, p. 245).

(10) The four orders: pastoral, diaconal, doctoral, contemplative, (Joachim).

(11) The four principal angels (a Lapide).

(12) Four apostolic virtues (Alcasar).

(13) The attributes of divinity: wisdom, power, omniscience, creation (Renan). Full of eyes before and behind. From Isaiah 6:2, 3 the idea of six wings is borrowed, and also the "Holy, holy, holy" from Ezekiel 1:5, 6; the four figures and four faces (which are united in Ezekiel, but made separate in the Revelation); and from Ezekiel 10:12 the body full of eyes. The eyes denote unceasing activity. If the four living beings all faced towards the throne while standing on each side of it, St. John would see them in various positions, and observe the back as well as the front. 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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