The four living creatures were seen by Ezekiel ( OT) but also in Revelation (NT). It is important to know what they symbolize and how we can understand God better. There have been different speculations as to what they mean in entirety or just their heads. if you are still confused or don’t even have an idea of what they are, this article will help you to make a decision on what to believe.
First, it is obviously clear that the Twenty-four (24) elders represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles. The four living creatures, however, are as follows:
Idea/Revelation no. 1
- The four living creatures represent universal creation; on some accounts, the four evangelists.
- The one with the face of a man is St Matthew, who starts his book with the human genealogy of Christ;
- The lion stands for St Mark: his Gospel begins with the voice crying in the wilderness (which is where the lion’s roar can be heard);
- The ox is a reference to the sacrifices in the temple of Jerusalem, which is where St Luke begins his account of Christ’s life
- The eagle represents St John, who soars to the heights to contemplate the divinity of the Word.
Revelation no. 1 (Simplified)
Lion, Calf, Human Being, Eagle: these symbolize, respectively, what is noblest, strongest, wisest, and swiftest in creation.
Calf: traditionally translated “ox,”. The Greek word refers to a heifer or young bull. These four creatures have been used as symbols of the evangelists Mark, Luke, Matthew, and John, respectively.
Thus the four living creatures represent all of creation as simplified below:
- Lion – wild animals
- Ox – tamed animals
- Man – humans
- Eagle – birds
Idea/Revelation no. 2
The Four living creatures are Four Angels mention In the Book Of Enoch…Chapter 40…..[Chapter 40]
1 And after that I saw thousands of thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand, I saw a multitude 2 beyond number and reckoning, who stood before the Lord of Spirits. 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: for the angel that went with me made known to me their names, and showed me all the hidden things. 3 And I heard the voices of those four presences as they uttered praises before the Lord of glory. 4,5 The first voice blesses the Lord of Spirits for ever and ever. And the second voice I heard blessing 6 the Elect One and the elect ones who hang upon the Lord of Spirits. And the third voice I heard pray and intercede for those who dwell on the earth and supplicate in the name of the Lord of Spirits. 7 And I heard the fourth voice fending off the Satans and forbidding them to come before the Lord 8 of Spirits to accuse them who dwell on the earth. After that I asked the angel of peace who went with me, who showed me everything that is hidden: ‘Who are these four presences which I have 9 seen and whose words I have heard and written down?’ And he said to me: ‘This first is Michael, the merciful and long-suffering: and the second, who is set over all the diseases and all the wounds of the children of men, is Raphael: and the third, who is set over all the powers, is Gabriel: and the fourth, who is set over the repentance unto hope of those who inherit eternal life, is named Phanuel.’ 10 And these are the four angels of the Lord of Spirits and the four voices I heard in those days.
Revelation/Idea no. 2 does not provide much evidence for us to make a decision on this because it focuses on the angels, while Idea no. 2 brings the focus back to Christ, which is the beginning and end of the gospel.
Idea/Revelation no. 3
The four living creatures can be identified as the last priest king given understanding of the most high, and only Lord, God’s will.
- Lion- king,
- Ox- priestly sacrifice
- Eagle (as it is soars)- one of understanding (includes the many eyes within).
- They four are the one mightiest angel (Chayot), who authored the small scroll; sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly.
IDEA no. 3 bears some truth in it considering that the symbols as we know it are true (e.g lion = King, etc), however, it still needs more pointers for us to accept the entirety of it.
The four living creatures are represented very well as seen in Idea no. 1, however it is left for us to search the scriptures and get a better understanding of them. It is not enough to hear someone else’s revelation but what God has to say to you about it.
Do you have any other ideas or revelations to help us understand better? Your turn….