Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 4:9

And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Animals;   God;   Praise;   Thankfulness;   Throne;   Scofield Reference Index - Elders;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - God;   Praise;   Thanksgiving;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Cherub;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Angels;   God;   Worship;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Cherub (1);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ezekiel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Honour;   Praise (2);   Pre-Eminence ;   Throne ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Beast;   Cherub, Cherubim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Cherub;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Vocation;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Adoration;   Cherubim (1);   Isaiah;   Luke, the Evangelist;   Revelation of John:;   Seraphim;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for May 18;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And when those beasts give glory … - As often as those living beings ascribe glory to God. They did this continually Revelation 4:8; and, if the above explanation be correct, then the idea is that the ways and acts of God in his providential government are continually of such a nature as to honor him.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-4.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And when the living creatures shall give glory and honor and thanks to him that sitteth on the throne, to him that liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders shall fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and shall worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and shall cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Now the big thing in view here would seem to be the counterpart of that cited by Barnes above on Revelation 4:8. Seeing that celestial and supernatural beings spend their time in the worship and adoration of God, there could not possibly be any better activity for mortals. This could well be the significance of the "when" standing at the head of these two verses, also translated "whenever." It is only a quibble to inquire, "If these spontaneous outbursts of praise contradict the continuous worship of Revelation 4:8"![45] Such an attitude reminds this writer of the occasion when a concert artist gave a harp solo at a meeting of the Rotary Club. It took four men to bring in the harp; and Willie Weinberger, owner of a local ladies' store, said, "If we're all going to have to carry around harps in heaven, I don't want to go!" What one gets out of Revelation depends to a great deal upon the attitude which he brings into the study of it.

Cast their crowns before the throne ... The twenty-four elders enjoy kingly authority, but it is due entirely to their relation to God, all of their authority being derived from him. This is beautifully symbolized by the action here.

ENDNOTE:

[45] Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977), p. 139.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-4.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And when these beasts give glory,.... When they give God the glory of all his perfections, covenant, and promises, and of all the gifts and grace bestowed on them, and of the success of their ministry; and in it glorify Father, Son, and Spirit, who bear their respective parts in the business of salvation; and ascribe to each their due glory in election, redemption, and sanctification:

and honour; in the several parts of religious worship performed by them; and not with their lips only, but with their hearts also:

and thanks; for all blessings, temporal and spiritual, bestowed on them, and on the saints: even

to him that sat on the throne; God the Father, Revelation 4:3;

who liveth for ever and ever; he who is the living God, and will always continue so.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-4.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And when those beasts c give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

(c) God is said to have glory, honour, kingdom, and such like given to him, when we godly and reverently set forth that which is properly and only his.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-4.html. 1599-1645.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

When the living creatures shall give (οταν δωσουσιν τα ζωαhotan dōsousin ta zōa). Indefinite temporal clause with οτανhotan and the future active indicative (δωσουσινdōsousin) rather than the more common second aorist active subjunctive (δωσινdōsin) with the notion of repetition rather than unbroken continuance, “whenever they give.” The giving of praise and glory to God by the four living creatures (representatives of nature) is met by corresponding worship by the redeemed (the four and twenty elders). “Created life adores the Uncreated” (Swete), “to the one living for ages of ages.”

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-4.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

When ( ὅταν )

Whensoever, implying, with the future tense, the eternal repetition of the act of praise.

Give ( δώσουσιν )

Lit., as Rev., shall give.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-4.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Scofield's Reference Notes

beasts

living creatures. (See Scofield "Ezekiel 1:5")

Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 4:9". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-4.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

Ver. 9. And when those beasts] When the preachers are performing their office, as heralds of God’s praises.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-4.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. How St. John saw both beasts and elders, representing ministers and people, unitedly joining together; and with one consent sounding forth the high praises of their God; intimating, how the whole body of sincere Christians ought heartily to join with their faithful ministers in that blessed work of praising and worshipping the eternal God.

Observe, 2. That as a farther act of homage and adoration, the four and twenty elders cast their crowns down to the ground; not in a way of contempt and disdain, as if they slighted the glory conferred upon them by God, but in a way of humble gratitude; attributing their victory and reward to God, and not to themselves of it, that they may put honour upon God; professing hereby, that all the goodness wrought in them, or done by them, does proceed from God's free grace and mercy, and that the glory of it is entirely due to him.

Observe, 3. The hymn of thanksgiving itself, which was jointly sung among them. Worthy art thou O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power. As if they had said, That God thou art, unto whom all the homage and adoration of thy creatures are justly and peculiarly due; for thou hast created all things by thy omnipotent power, and for thy pleasure and the manifestation of thy glory, they are still preserved as they were at first created.

Where remark, That every moment's preservation is virtually a new creation, and that the same omnipotent power is necessary every moment to preserve us, which was at first requisite to create us.

Therefore worthy art thou, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and everlasting praises, as thou art He who givest being to all creatures, and therefore givest it them, that they might love and laud, magnify and bless, glorify and serve, honour and obey, thee, their great creator and gracious preserver. Amen.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-4.html. 1700-1703.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 4:9. ὅταν δώσουσι. The fut., instead of the regular sub.,(1825) does not present a conception that is strictly future,(1826) but has, like the Heb. imperfect, the force of a frequentative: “when, as often as.”(1827)

δόξαν καὶ τι΄ὴν. Viz., the worshipful acknowledgment of the glory and honor(1828) belonging to the Lord;(1829) while by καὶ εὐχαριστίαν is designated immediately, and without metonymy, the thanksgiving(1830) rendered by the creature.

τῶ καθη΄ένῳ

αἰώνων. So God calls the enthroned God very similarly as the four beasts praise him, and in the same respect. Hence, also on cemore in Revelation 4:10, the same designation of God, comprising the reason for the praise, and the ground of all hope and prophecy.

On Revelation 4:10, cf. Revelation 5:8; Revelation 19:4. The casting-down of the crowns is, together with the falling down and worshipping, the sign of humiliation before the King and Lord, in whose presence no creature whatever has any glory or honor of its own.(1831)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-4.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And when those beasts, the living creatures before expressed, signifying the ministers of the gospel,

give glory, &c.; when they praise God who is eternal.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-4.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Whenever it is appropriate and possible the four living creatures give praise to eternal God. They glorify and honor Him for His perfections, and they thank Him for His great works, especially His creation ( Revelation 4:11).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-4.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 4:9. And when the living creatures shall give glory and honour and thanks to him that sitteth on the throne, to him that liveth for ever and ever. In these words we have a description of the Trisagion which has just been sung, and the description introduces the fact that the four-and-twenty elders are stirred by the lofty melody. It is remarkable that this should be the order of the song of praise. We might have expected that the twenty-four elders as representing the Church would be first, and that by them the representatives of creation would be stirred to a like enthusiasm. As it is, the order is reversed. The explanation is to be sought in the general character of this chapter, as compared with the one that follows it. The song raised is not so much one of praise for redemption, as of praise for that creation and providence of God which preceded and prepared the way for redemption. Redeemed creation therefore begins it; but it is immediately taken up by the Church.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-4.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

those = the.

give = shall give.

glory. See p. 1511.

That sat = the One sitting.

for ever, &c. App-151.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-4.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

The ground of praise is God's eternity, power, and glory manifested in creating all things for His pleasure. Creation is the foundation of all God's other acts of power, wisdom, love, and therefore forms the first theme of thanksgivings. The four living creatures take the lead of the 24 elders, both in this anthem and that new song which follows, on the ground of their redemption (Revelation 5:8-10).

When - i:e., whensoever. A simultaneous giving of glory by the living creatures and the elders.

Give. 'Shall give' in A but B 'Aleph (') [ doosousin (Greek #1325)], 'shall have given.'

Forever and ever - Greek, 'unto the ages of the ages.'

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-4.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
when
5:13,14; 7:11,12
who
1:18; 5:14; 10:6; 15:7; Exodus 15:18; Psalms 48:14; Hebrews 7:8,25
Reciprocal: Leviticus 9:24 - they shouted;  1 Chronicles 16:29 - the glory;  Psalm 30:12 - I will;  Isaiah 6:3 - Holy;  Romans 16:27 - God;  2 Corinthians 9:15 - Thanks;  Galatians 1:5 - whom;  Ephesians 1:3 - Blessed;  Ephesians 3:21 - be;  Philippians 4:20 - unto;  Revelation 4:2 - and one;  Revelation 4:6 - four beasts;  Revelation 4:10 - worship;  Revelation 5:11 - the throne;  Revelation 6:16 - the face;  Revelation 7:10 - sitteth;  Revelation 10:5 - lifted;  Revelation 11:17 - We give;  Revelation 14:7 - give;  Revelation 14:11 - for;  Revelation 21:5 - that sat

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-4.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

These beasts (living creatures) not only ascribed glory and honor to the Lord, but also gave thanks to Him who sat on the throne continuously. That for which they were thankful will be understood when we study the next chapter.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-4.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 4:9

Revelation 4:9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

And when those living creatures give glory

that Isaiah, when the ministers begin to worship God in the church by celebrating his praise; attributing all glory and honour unto God the father, Song of Solomon, and holy spirit, and give him thanks for all spiritual blessings, and temporal mercies received from him that sitteth upon the throne, who liveth forever and ever.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-4.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9.Glory and honour and thanks—A threefold divine ascription.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-4.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 4:9. The frequentative meaning of comes from the sense rather than from the grammar of the passage. “Whenever,” etc. (i.e., throughout the course of this book, Revelation 5:8 f., Revelation 11:16 f., Revelation 19:4) is “a sort of stage-direction” (Simcox). It would be harsh to take the words as a proleptic allusion to the single occurrence at Revelation 11:15 f. (J. Weiss). To give or ascribe to God is reverently to acknowledge his supreme authority, either spontaneously and gladly (as here and Revelation 19:7, where “honour” becomes almost “praise”) or under stress of punishment (Revelation 11:13, Revelation 14:7, Revelation 16:9) and fear of judgment. The addition of in doxologies amplifies the idea, by slightly emphasising the expression of that veneration and awe felt inwardly by those who recognise his . To fear God or to be his servants is thus equivalent upon the part of men to an attitude of pious submission and homage. To “give thanks” is hardly co-ordinate with . . ., but follows from it as a corollary (cf. Psalms 96-98). Such worship is the due of the living God (Revelation 7:2, Revelation 10:6, Revelation 15:7), whereas to eat “meat sacrificed to idols is to worship dead gods” (Did. vi. 3, cf.Revelation 2:14; Revelation 2:20). The Apocalypse, however, never dwells on the danger of idolatry within the Christian church; its attention is almost absorbed by the supreme idolatry of the Emperor, which is silently contrasted in this and in other passages with the genuine Imperial worship of the Christian church. “He who sits on the throne” (a title of Osiris in E. B. D.) is the only true recipient of worship. Cf. the hymn to “Ra when he riseth”: “Those who are in thy following sing unto thee with joy and bow down their foreheads to the earth when they meet thee, thou lord of heaven and earth, thou king of Right and Truth, thou creator of eternity”.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 4:9". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-4.html. 1897-1910.