Notes on the Book of Revelation: Chapter 4, Part 1

Larry Hunt Bible Commentary // Book of Revelation

Ottheinrich-Bibel, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Blatt 287r: Himmelsvision des Johannes, Offb 4,1-11; 5,1-14
Page 287r: John’s Vision of Heaven, Revelation 4:1-11, 5:1-14


Chapter 4

This chapter draws heavily upon imagery in Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 1.  Below are the parallels.

Revelation 4:2 “There in heaven stood a throne.”

Ezekiel 1:26 “Over their [1] heads there was something like a throne…and seated above the likeness of a throne was something that seemed like a human form.”

Isaiah 6:1 “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne.”


Revelation 4:3 “The one seated there looks like jasper [green] and carnelian [red]….”

Ezekiel 1:27 “Upward from what appeared like the loins [of the one seated in the throne] I saw something like gleaming amber [dark orange yellow] something that looked like fire; and downward I saw something that looked like fire….”


Revelation 4:3 “[A]round the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald.”

Ezekiel 1:28 “Like the bow in a cloud on a rainy day, such was the appearance of the splendor all around [the one seated on the throne].”


Revelation 4:5 “Coming from the throne are flashes of lightening, and rumblings and peals of thunder.”

Ezekiel 1:4 At the first appearance of God and his attendants, Ezekiel sees “a great cloud with brightness flashing around it and fire flashing forth continually.”


Revelation 4:6 “In front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.”

Ezekiel 1:22 “Over the heads[2] of the living creatures [cherubim] there was something like a dome, shining like crystal, spread out above their heads.”


Revelation 4:6 “Around the throne and on each side of the throne are four living creatures….”

Ezekiel 1:5 “In the middle of it [in the middle of something like gleaming amber that was in the middle of the fire flashing from the cloud] was something like four living creatures [cherubim].”


Revelation 4:6-8 The four living creatures are “full of eyes in front and behind…and all around and inside.”

Ezekiel 1:18 “The rims of all four [wheels associated with the four cherubim] were full of eyes all around.”


Revelation 4:7 “[T]he first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle.”

Ezekiel 1:6,10 “Each [of the cherubim] had four faces…the face of a human being, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle.”


Revelation 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had “six wings.”

Ezekiel 1:6,11 “Each of them [the cherubim] had four wings…two wings, each of which touched the wing of another [cherub] while two covered their bodies.”

Isaiah 6:2 “Seraphs were in attendance above him [God]; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet and with two they flew.”


Revelation 4:8 “Day and night without ceasing they sing, ‘Holy, holy, holy, The Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.’”

Isaiah 6:3 “One [Seraph] called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’”


[1]See Ezekiel 10:15,20 where Ezekiel explains that these “living creatures” in his vision were cherubim.

[2] But below the throne of God (Ezekiel 1:26).


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