This episode, the third installment of our discussion of the Old Testament in Revelation 4, has a singular point of focus: the twenty-four elders of Revelation 4. Who or what are the twenty-four elders? What do they symbolize? What is their intended meaning? This episode explores the interpretive options and how each might derive from Old Testament content.
This episode continues our discussion of Revelation 4, a heavenly council/courtroom scene structured after the divine council scene of Daniel 7 (Part 1). But Daniel 7 is far from the only passage used by John. In this episode we’ll discover how John repurposes imagery of the cherubim of Ezekiel 1, the encounter with God at Sinai in Exodus 19, the seraphim of Isaiah 6, and the rainbow of Genesis 9. The vision of the cherubim chariot-throne (Merkabah) of Ezekiel 1 is especially noteworthy, and takes our study into the subject of astral prophecy.
Revelation 4 is the well know scene of the Lamb of God, the heavenly throne, and the 24 elders. Less well known is the fact that this scene and its elements have a specific Old Testament context: the covenant lawsuit genre. There is a strong scholarly consensus about the covenant lawsuit elements, and its use in divine council scenes in the Old Testament. Once such scene is Daniel 7:9-28, where the text specifically describes multiple thrones in a heavenly council (“court”), assembled to render judgment (Dan 7:9-10). Revelation 4 has more than a dozen parallels to Daniel 7, presented in the same order. This episode introduces us to the covenant lawsuit genre as the backdrop to Revelation 4.