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Revelation 4:8

    Revelation 4:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and within: and they have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the four beasts, having every one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and inside: and without resting day and night, they say, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, Ruler of all, who was and is and is to come.

    Webster's Revision

    and the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and within: and they have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.

    World English Bible

    The four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within. They have no rest day and night, saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come!"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and within: and they have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, which was and which is and which is to come.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 4:8

    The four beasts had each of them six wings - I have already observed, in the preface to this book, that the phraseology is rabbinical; I might have added, and the imagery also. We have almost a counterpart of this description in Pirkey Elieser. chap. 4. I shall give the substance of this from Schoettgen. "Four troops of ministering angels praise the holy blessed God: the first is Michael, at the right hand; the next is Gabriel, at the left; the third is Uriel, before; and the fourth is Raphael, behind him. The shechinah of the holy, blessed God is in the midst, and he himself sits upon a throne high and elevated, hanging in the air; and his magnificence is as amber חשמל, (chashmal), in the midst of the fire, Ezekiel 1:4, On his head is placed a crown and a diadem, with the incommunicable name (יהוה Yehovah) inscribed on the front of it. His eyes go throughout the whole earth; a part of them is fire, and a part of them hail. At his right hand stands Life, and at his left hand Death; and he has a fiery scepter in his hand. Before him is the veil spread, that veil which is between the temple and the holy of holies; and seven angels minister before him within that veil: the veil and his footstool are like fire and lightning; and under the throne of glory there is a shining like fire and sapphire, and about his throne are justice and judgment.

    "The place of the throne are the seven clouds of glory; and the chariot wheels, and the cherub, and the living creatures which give glory before his face. The throne is in similitude like sapphire; and at the four feet of it are four living creatures, each of which has four faces and four wings. When God speaks from the east, then it is from between the two cherubim with the face of a Man; when he speaks from the south, then it is from between the two cherubim with the face of a Lion; when from the west, then it is from between the two cherubim with the face of an Ox; and when from the north, then it is from between the two cherubim with the face of an Eagle.

    "And the living creatures stand before the throne of glory; and they stand in fear, in trembling, in horror, and in great agitation; and from this agitation a stream of fire flows before them. Of the two seraphim one stands at the right hand of the holy blessed God, and one stands at the left; and each has six wings: with two they cover their face lest they should see the face of the shechina; with two they cover their feet lest they should find out the footstool of the shechinah; and with two they fly, and sanctify his great name. And they answer each other, saying Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. And the living creatures stand near his glory, yet they do not know the place of his glory; but wheresoever his glory is, they cry out and say, Blessed be the glory of the Lord in his place."

    In Shemoth Rabba, sec. 23, fol. 122, 4, Rabbi Abin says: "There are four which have principality in this world: among intellectual creatures, Man; among birds, the Eagle; among cattle, the Ox; and among wild beasts, the Lion: each of these has a kingdom and a certain magnificence, and they are placed under the throne of glory, Ezekiel 1:10, to show that no creature is to exalt itself in this world, and that the kingdom of God is over all." These creatures may be considered the representatives of the whole creation.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 4:8

    And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him - An emblem common to them all, denoting that, in reference to each and all the things here symbolized, there was one common characteristic - that in heaven there is the utmost promptness in executing the divine commands. Compare Isaiah 6:2; Psalm 18:10; Psalm 104:3; Jeremiah 48:40. No mention is made of the manner in which these wings were arranged, and conjecture in regard to that is vain. The seraphim, as seen by Isaiah, had each one six wings, with two of which the face was covered, to denote profound reverence; with two the feet, or lower parts - emblematic of modesty; and with two they flew - emblematic of their celerity in executing the commands of God, Isaiah 6:2. Perhaps without impropriety we may suppose that, in regard to these living beings seen by John, two of the wings of each were employed, as in Isaiah, to cover the face - token of profound reverence; and that the remainder were employed in flight denoting the rapidity with which the divine commands are executed. Mercury, the messenger of Jupiter among the pagan, was represented with wings, and nothing is more common in the paintings and basreliefs of antiquity than such representations.

    And they were full of eyes within - Prof. Stuart more correctly renders this, "around and within are full of eyes"; connecting the word "around" ("about"), not with the wings, as in our version, but with the eyes. The meaning is, that the portions of the beasts that were visible from the outside of the throne, and the portions under or within the throne, were covered with eyes. The obvious design of this is to mark the universal vigilance of divine providence.

    And they rest not - Margin, have no rest. That is, they are constantly employed; there is no intermission. The meaning, as above explained, is, that the works and ways of God are constantly bringing praise to him.

    Day and night - Continually. They who are employed day and night fill up the whole time - for this is all.

    Saying, Holy, holy, holy - For the meaning of this, see the notes on Isaiah 6:3.

    Lord God Almighty - Isaiah Isa 6:3 expresses it, "Yahweh of hosts." The reference is to the true God, and the epithet Almighty is one that is often given him. It is especially appropriate here, as there were to be, as the sequel shows, remarkable exhibitions of power in executing the purposes described in this book.

    Which was, and is, and is to come - Who is eternal - existing in all past time; existing now; and to continue to exist forever. See the notes on Revelation 1:4.