Revelation 5:8-14

He came and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.  Wen he took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before  the Lamb.  Each of the elders held a harp and hold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones.  They sang a new hymn:

“Worthy are you to receive the scroll and to break open its seals, for you were slain and with your blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.  You mad them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will reign on earth.”

I looked again and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders.  They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice:

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth  and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out:

“To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.”

The four living creatures answered, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.



When the Lamb steps up to receive the scroll, the four living creatures and the elders reveal in song how the Lamb won the right to open the scroll.  Three actions are attributed to him: (1) he was slaughtered; (2) he ransomed the holy ones (the Christian believers); (3) he made them a kingdom and priests for God.  Now he stands before God’s throne, ready to dispense justice on God’s behalf by vindicating the holy ones: they may be oppressed now but the will reign on earth.  God’s holy ones are not present in heaven, but their prayers are represented before God by the four living creatures and the elders.

The scene concludes with everyone in the heavenly throne room singing in praise of the Lamb and the One seated on the throne.  The heavenly choir numbers not in the thousands but thousands of thousands, suggesting a number too great to count.  Everyone in the heavenly realm participates in this divine liturgy, creating a scene of perfect harmony, with no hint of suffering, pain, injustice, or evil.  Finally, as if to crown this glorious moment, John observes that all created beings–those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth–join in the cosmic song of praise to God and the Lamb.  The four living creatures confirm the event by saying, “Amen,” meaning “So be it,” and the elders worship their king.


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