Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 4

The 4 living creatures

Revelation 4:6

The angels are special servants of God in heaven. In a few places, the Bible refers to special kinds of angels. In Isaiah chapter 6, Isaiah describes the angels called seraphim. In Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10, Ezekiel describes the angels called cherubim. These angels have special duties which bring them especially close to God.

We might compare them to a king’s servants. Most servants in a palace rarely see the king, although they work constantly for him. However, a few servants carry out personal duties for the king, for example, his guards. These servants are constantly with him.

Although the seraphim and cherubim both carry out duties close to God, they are not alike. That is clear from their descriptions. For example, seraphim have 6 wings but cherubim have 4 wings.

The 4 living creatures that John saw were perhaps another kind of special angel. (A ‘creature’ means an animal, but that word does not appear in the original language). Their 6 wings are like the seraphim (Isaiah 6:2); but the eyes on their bodies are like the cherubim (Ezekiel 10:12). The faces in verse 7 are like the cherubim, but the cherubim each have 4 faces (Ezekiel 1:10).

The descriptions of these angels seem very strange when we compare them to animals or people in this world. However, these angels do not belong in this world. God created them to serve him in heaven. They are great, and very wonderful. God wanted them to do his work and, therefore, to show his character. Perhaps that is why they have so many eyes. As God sees everything, so they can see in every direction.

Next part: The description of the 4 living creatures (Revelation 4:7)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.