New Defender's Study Bible Notes
4:4 four and twenty elders. These elders are redeemed men (Revelation 4:9,10), representing all the redeemed saints before God’s throne. They are actually individual real men, not just symbols, for they speak individually to John (e.g., Revelation 5:5; 7:13). Since the term “elder” always implies relative chronological age, as well as official position, it seems at least possible that these are the true “elders” of the human race—that is, the twenty-four patriarchs whose names are given in the book of Genesis (“Beginnings”) as in the line of promise leading ultimately to the incarnate Creator and Redeemer. These twenty-four elders, in chronological order, in that case, would be Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and Pharez.