four beasts

Revelation 4:6

4:6 four beasts. These four “beasts” (Greek zoon, meaning simply “living creatures”) are apparently identical with the cherubim of Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 1:5-25; 10:1-22), and probably also with the seraphim of Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6:1-7). They are the highest in God’s hierarchy of angelic beings, always being associated with God’s immediate presence. Satan himself, before his fall, was “the anointed cherub that covereth” (Ezekiel 28:14,16), perhaps suggesting that he was assigned a position covering God’s throne, whereas the others were “round about the throne.” The cherubim are first mentioned as guarding the entrance to Eden (Genesis 3:24), then figures of the cherubim were constructed as overshadowing the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:17-22). The number of seraphim is not given, but there are sufficient similarities to indicate that they are at least of the same order as the cherubim, if not identical with them (compare Revelation 4:8 and Isaiah 6:2-3).

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