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Thread: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

  1. #16
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    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    I hope this doesn't derail the thread, but perhaps adds to it.

    In Rev 4,5, and 14 we read about God's throne surrounded by 4 creatures and then 24 elders. First, the creatures. They each have six wings, as do the Seraphim in Isaiah.

    Rev 4:8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within.
    Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

    Both appear to be at even level with God's throne, above the sea of crystal/glass.

    Isaiah 6:1 ... I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it [the temple?] stood seraphim
    Rev 4:6 And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures
    Enoch 40:2 And on the four sides of the Lord of Spirits I saw four presences, different from those that sleep not, and I learnt their names... [Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Phanuel]

    Perhaps we can assume the Seraphim are these four creatures described in Revelation.

    Now, if indeed the 24 elders are angelic and not humans, perhaps they are the Cherubim that Ezekiel saw. The Cherubim seem to be in groups of four. Six groups would equal 24 forming a hexagon around the throne? They are also shown to be below the level of God's throne.

    Ezekiel 10:1 And I looked, and there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne.
    Rev 4 doesn't really tell us if the 24 elders are level with or below the throne.
    Rev 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb [perhaps suggests two levels?]
    Enoch 14:12 fiery cherubim, and their heaven was (clear as) water....And I looked and saw therein a lofty throne: its appearance was as crystal, and the wheels thereof as the shining sun, and there was the vision of 19 cherubim. And from underneath the throne came streams of flaming fire so that I could not look 20 thereon.

    The case for the four creatures being the Seraphim is pretty good. The case for the Cherubim being the 24 elders is a bit sketchy, imo. But, it may be possible. Their descriptions were given for a reason. However, Ezekiel's description of the Cherubim is rather radical and I'm not sure how John would just call them elders. Idk.

    Rev 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands

    We have God's throne, four creatures, 24 elders, and then myriads of angels. Perhaps the process of elimination leads to us at least consider that the 24 elders are indeed the Cherubim.

    Other pieces of circumstantial evidence from Enoch.

    Enoch 71:6 And my spirit saw the girdle which girt that house of fire, And on its four sides were streams full of living fire, And they girt that house. 7 And round about were Seraphin, Cherubic, and Ophannin: And these are they who sleep not And guard the throne of His glory. 8 And I saw angels who could not be counted, A thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand,
    Encircling that house.

    This is almost exactly what John records in Rev 5:11 above, with the addition of Ophannin. IF the order of names is correct, it would suggest the Seraphim are the closest to the throne. Then Cherubim. Then Ophannin. Then myriads of angels. Perhaps this second group of Cherubim are the 24 elders?

    Enoch 40 says that the four creatures around the throne include Gabriel and Michael. Gabriel is over the Cherubim. Satan is called a Cherub in Ezekiel.

    Enoch 21:7 ...Gabriel, one of the holy 8 angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim.

    Ezekiel 28:14 “You were the anointed Cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

    IF the Seraphim are over the Cherubim, and satan was a cherub, and Michael is a Seraph, then that could explain why Michael is the one to cast satan out of heaven in Rev 12. This may be thin, but it does add up. Anyway, just some thoughts about the elders and creatures.

  2. #17

    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
    I hope this doesn't derail the thread, but perhaps adds to it.

    In Rev 4,5, and 14 we read about God's throne surrounded by 4 creatures and then 24 elders. First, the creatures. They each have six wings, as do the Seraphim in Isaiah.

    Rev 4:8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within.
    Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

    Both appear to be at even level with God's throne, above the sea of crystal/glass.

    Isaiah 6:1 ... I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it [the temple?] stood seraphimRev 4
    :6 And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures
    Enoch 40:2 And on the four sides of the Lord of Spirits I saw four presences, different from those that sleep not, and I learnt their names... [Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Phanuel]

    Perhaps we can assume the Seraphim are these four creatures described in Revelation.

    Now, if indeed the 24 elders are angelic and not humans, perhaps they are the Cherubim that Ezekiel saw. The Cherubim seem to be in groups of four. Six groups would equal 24 forming a hexagon around the throne? They are also shown to be below the level of God's throne.

    Ezekiel 10:1 And I looked, and there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne.
    Rev 4 doesn't really tell us if the 24 elders are level with or below the throne.
    Rev 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb [perhaps suggests two levels?]
    Enoch 14:12 fiery cherubim, and their heaven was (clear as) water....And I looked and saw therein a lofty throne: its appearance was as crystal, and the wheels thereof as the shining sun, and there was the vision of 19 cherubim. And from underneath the throne came streams of flaming fire so that I could not look 20 thereon.

    The case for the four creatures being the Seraphim is pretty good. The case for the Cherubim being the 24 elders is a bit sketchy, imo. But, it may be possible. Their descriptions were given for a reason. However, Ezekiel's description of the Cherubim is rather radical and I'm not sure how John would just call them elders. Idk.

    Rev 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands

    We have God's throne, four creatures, 24 elders, and then myriads of angels. Perhaps the process of elimination leads to us at least consider that the 24 elders are indeed the Cherubim.

    Other pieces of circumstantial evidence from Enoch.

    Enoch 71:6 And my spirit saw the girdle which girt that house of fire, And on its four sides were streams full of living fire, And they girt that house. 7 And round about were Seraphin, Cherubic, and Ophannin: And these are they who sleep not And guard the throne of His glory. 8 And I saw angels who could not be counted, A thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand,
    Encircling that house.

    This is almost exactly what John records in Rev 5:11 above, with the addition of Ophannin. IF the order of names is correct, it would suggest the Seraphim are the closest to the throne. Then Cherubim. Then Ophannin. Then myriads of angels. Perhaps this second group of Cherubim are the 24 elders?

    Enoch 40 says that the four creatures around the throne include Gabriel and Michael. Gabriel is over the Cherubim. Satan is called a Cherub in Ezekiel.

    Enoch 21:7 ...Gabriel, one of the holy 8 angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim.

    Ezekiel 28:14 “You were the anointed Cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

    IF the Seraphim are over the Cherubim, and satan was a cherub, and Michael is a Seraph, then that could explain why Michael is the one to cast satan out of heaven in Rev 12. This may be thin, but it does add up. Anyway, just some thoughts about the elders and creatures.
    Yep. Definitely something to think about. Thanks! I thought the 4 living creatures might've been the cherubim, because similar creatures in Ezekiel are called that. But I don't know....

    Eze 1.10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.
    Eze 10. I looked, and I saw the likeness of a throne of lapis lazuli above the vault that was over the heads of the cherubim.

    Rev 4.In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.

    ​I wish I could say I have proof that the 24 elders are angels, but I don't. The 4 living creatures appear to clearly be angels, however.

  3. #18

    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    I just saw a YouTube video where the teacher (Bruce Paul) was suggesting that the whole book of Revelation pictures the operation of the "Heavenly Tabernacle," seen in Hebrews 8 and 9. If this is the case, were there not three camps of Levites surrounding the north, west and south sides of the wilderness tabernacle - with Moses, Aaron, and Aaron's sons at the eastern gate? And surrounding them, were the 12 tribes

    If these camps of Levites are the shadow of the cherubim in the heavenly tabernacle, then the 24 elders would then be identified by the outer circle of the 12 tribes of Israel - would they not?

    Also, in Bruce's video, I noticed something. The animation of the cherubim look like the way the priests would carry the Ark of the Covenant

  4. #19

    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul River View Post
    I just saw a YouTube video where the teacher (Bruce Paul) was suggesting that the whole book of Revelation pictures the operation of the "Heavenly Tabernacle," seen in Hebrews 8 and 9. If this is the case, were there not three camps of Levites surrounding the north, west and south sides of the wilderness tabernacle - with Moses, Aaron, and Aaron's sons at the eastern gate? And surrounding them, were the 12 tribes

    If these camps of Levites are the shadow of the cherubim in the heavenly tabernacle, then the 24 elders would then be identified by the outer circle of the 12 tribes of Israel - would they not?

    Also, in Bruce's video, I noticed something. The animation of the cherubim look like the way the priests would carry the Ark of the Covenant
    Yes, the 3 sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari were camped, respectively, on the West, South, and North, with the Aaronic priesthood and Moses' family camped on the East, the entry side of the tabernacle. The job of the Levites initially was to physically manage the tabernacle materials, along with all of the implements. And the priests did the official acts of ministry on behalf of the people. That is, the Levites served the priests, and the priests served the people.

    Later, when the tabernacle became permanently situated as the temple, the job of the Levites changed and expanded. They were no longer physically carrying the tabernacle materials from place to place. But they still managed the materials involved in the worship for the priests. They were also musicians, praise leaders, and political officials (1 Chron 23).

    The tribes of Israel were arranged outside this circle of Levites and Priests. The idea is that between God and the people is the ministry of reconciliation. In heaven there is no need for reconciliation between God and the angels, because they have already made their conscious choice either for or against God. But the good angels certainly do serve as political leaders, such as the arch angels. And they certainly serve in praise and song, as we see in Rev 4.10; 5.8-10.

    Although angels are not priests for men, and are not priests for themselves, they certainly participate in heaven with the process of human redemption. I don't know that they stand, like the elders, in between God and the masses of Christians. Rather, they appear to stand between God and the masses of angels, while they appear to represent human roles as well. After all, they are called "elders."

    Beyond this I understand very little. I do think the priests and Levites represent, symbolically, the Church leadership. Church leadership has very much to do with political leadership in the Church, and with worship and praise as well. This is an example for all the Church to engage responsibly in the things of God, in the word of God as well as in worship and praise. That is, the Church leadership does not stand in between God and the masses of Christians. Rather, they set an example for how the whole Church is to act, just as the arch angels may represent how the masses of angels are to act.

    The Levites were given, as a tribe, to serve God in ministry, to show all Israel a model of what ministry to God is. Initially it was the 1st born sons of Israel who were to show this in individual families. But for the nation a professional group was created out of an entire tribe to represent this for all Israel as a nation.

    We know the initial 1st born son of God on our behalf was Christ. And the Spirit-appointed leadership in the Church came to replace Christ following his death. The Church ministry is to show the whole Church how to operate in the matter of serving God.

  5. #20

    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    How about this word... used one time:

    G1087 gerousian "the assembly or body of elders"

    http://biblehub.com/greek/1087.htm

    ...used in Acts 5:21 (in English, translated in the kjv as "senate")



    randyk:

    while they appear to represent human roles as well. After all, they are called "elders."
    I just went back and read the posts before mine. This was my thought as well.

    They also have "stephanos" crowns (who was told they would be given this?) and sit on "thrones" (seemingly for the purpose of some sort of judgment or governing issues [recall 1Cor6:3, for example])

  6. #21

    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDivineWatermark View Post
    How about this word... used one time:

    G1087 gerousian "the assembly or body of elders"

    http://biblehub.com/greek/1087.htm

    ...used in Acts 5:21 (in English, translated in the kjv as "senate")





    I just went back and read the posts before mine. This was my thought as well.

    They also have "stephanos" crowns (who was told they would be given this?) and sit on "thrones" (seemingly for the purpose of some sort of judgment or governing issues [recall 1Cor6:3, for example])
    Right, thanks DW! I continue to be fascinated by this subject, and I need more leads to investigate it further. Just talked with my brother, who initially got me interested in pursuing this. He was, at one time, a pastor, so I think he has a special interest in the Levites, who seem to be religious leaders.

    I told him the priests were more related to Jesus, who did the actual ministry for our sins. Thus, the Levites appear to be religious leaders, much like ministers today, because they assisted the priests (who symbolized Jesus).

    They did all kinds of assistance, from helping to perform God's word, ensuring the elements were there for the ministry, thanked God, praised God, sometimes were musical, sometimes prophetic, and otherwise ministered God's word to the people, setting an example of their observance of God's laws. Thanks!

  7. #22

    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    Revelation 5:8-10 KJV

    And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
    [9] And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
    [10] And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

    The four beasts and the twenty four elders represent mankind redeemed to God by the blood of the Lamb.

    The blood of the Lamb is not shed to redeem angels, but to redeem mankind dwelling on the earth. So, the beasts and twenty fours elders are quickened spirits of men in heaven who were flesh and blood redeemed from the earth.

    They are kings and priest made to rule on the earth:
    1. made kings by the name specifically by the dominion of God the Son,
    2. made priests by the name of God the Father.


    Twenty And Four Elders

    Twenty and four counts/renders as children of God who honour the eternal Son of God and have the truth of the everlasting Father.

    Children are regarded as elders []I(fathers)[/I] because they have known Him who is from the beginning.

    Putting these descriptions together, twenty and four elders are believers who know God from the beginning, honour the eternal Son and have the truth of the everlasting Father.

    Because the twenty and four elders are spiritually perfect, they worship before the throne of God.

    We, like the twenty and four elders, worship God the Father in Spirit and truth.
    Grace and peace unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ!

  8. #23

    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorious View Post
    Revelation 5:8-10 KJV

    And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
    [9] And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
    [10] And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

    The four beasts and the twenty four elders represent mankind redeemed to God by the blood of the Lamb.

    The blood of the Lamb is not shed to redeem angels, but to redeem mankind dwelling on the earth. So, the beasts and twenty fours elders are quickened spirits of men in heaven who were flesh and blood redeemed from the earth.

    They are kings and priest made to rule on the earth:
    1. made kings by the name specifically by the dominion of God the Son,
    2. made priests by the name of God the Father.


    Twenty And Four Elders

    Twenty and four counts/renders as children of God who honour the eternal Son of God and have the truth of the everlasting Father.

    Children are regarded as elders []I(fathers)[/I] because they have known Him who is from the beginning.

    Putting these descriptions together, twenty and four elders are believers who know God from the beginning, honour the eternal Son and have the truth of the everlasting Father.

    Because the twenty and four elders are spiritually perfect, they worship before the throne of God.

    We, like the twenty and four elders, worship God the Father in Spirit and truth.
    That is certainly possible, and a position I've held at times. The study of angels is peripheral, and I tend to want to focus on the Church and on Christian redemption. However, I cannot deny that angels have played a role, as well, in the history of the Church. And the cherubim of Ezekiel, as well as the cherubim in the Holy of Holies, appear to be angels. There appears to be a correlation between the cherubim and the 4 living creatures. The association of the 4 living creatures, who may be angels, with the 24 elders is very debatable. The 24 elders are called "elders," suggesting something human.

    I really don't know, though. The throne room scene seems to parallel God's position in the temple of Solomon. At that time we're looking at men--not angels. But we know that the temple of Solomon was patterned after a *heavenly temple.* What the temple in heaven looks like is what we're considering here--not any earthly temple. It's the kind of throne room scene that we see, perhaps, in Dan 7.

    Dan 7.9 “As I looked,
    “thrones were set in place,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
    His clothing was as white as snow;
    the hair of his head was white like wool.
    His throne was flaming with fire,
    and its wheels were all ablaze.
    10 A river of fire was flowing,
    coming out from before him.
    Thousands upon thousands attended him;
    ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
    The court was seated,
    and the books were opened.

    What role do these *angels* play in the above court room scene? They confirm God's judgments on earth, which complete the process of redemption in Israel. And angels are seen, in Jesus' description of Israel's redemption, in the Olivet Discourse, scooping up the elect of God in Matthew 24.31.

    The angels escort the faithful saints to God in heaven because it is there that they receive new glorified bodies, leaving their old tarnished physical bodies behind. What role the 24 elders and the 4 living creatures play in this is anybody's guess?

  9. #24

    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    I think the golden vials full of odours are the prayers of the redeemed saints. The redemption and promotion of the saints is that which is sung about by the 4 beasts and 24 elders, who use harps with their song. What Jesus has done for mankind is sung about by spiritual authorities.

  10. #25

    Re: 24 elders origin in OT priestly divisions

    Quote Originally Posted by 6paths View Post
    I think the golden vials full of odours are the prayers of the redeemed saints. The redemption and promotion of the saints is that which is sung about by the 4 beasts and 24 elders, who use harps with their song. What Jesus has done for mankind is sung about by spiritual authorities.
    It seems to be that. I continue to be intrigued by "spiritual authorities" with such strange appearances--speaking of the living creatures! The 24 elders do resemble the 24 divisions of priests and Levites appointed by King David, to minister at the temple before the Lord. And the purpose of the temple was undoubtedly about our redemption!

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