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A rainbow--like unto an emerald; that is, a splendid appearance of irised colors, in which green, the color of the emerald, was predominant. These, and all the remaining images in this chapter, are intended, apparently to present an imposing picture of a magnificent regal palace, according to the ideas of the time. We are not, probably, to attempt, as some commentators have done in vain, to give to the several parts a distinct and special significance.
Elders; officers.--Crowns of gold; indicating very exalted rank and station.
Lightnings and thunderings and voices; symbols of mighty power.
A sea of glass; corresponding to the great brazen laver in the temple of Solomon. (1 Kings 7:23.)--Beasts; living beings.
These forms seem to be taken as marked and prominent specimens representing the whole living creation of God. The homage of the four and twenty elders denotes that the throne of Jehovah is surrounded by servants of exalted powers and lofty station, who are always ready to do his will; and the adoration of these four representatives of animal life is intended, apparently, to express the dependence of the whole sentient creation upon him for existence and protection.
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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26