Revelation Chapter 5
VERSE 11 “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.”
THEN I LOOKED:
For the fourth time in this chapter (5:1, 2, 6) John directs our attention elsewhere. Now he is looking forward to the time when his last sentence (5:10 —“they will reign upon the earth”) will be true.
Verses 11-13 are NOT part of the scene at the beginning of the age. They refer to the peaceable kingdom. This is clearly demonstrated by Verse 13 which WAS NOT TRUE at the beginning of the age. It is not even YET true. Thus, this standard phrase for re-focus (AND I LOOKED) again proves a reliable tool in interpretation.
AND I HEARD THE VOICE OF MANY ANGELS: The VOICE is singular; the proclaimers are plural. Thus all are saying the same thing.
A side note: There are three benedictions in this chapter. (Verses 9 & 10, Verse 12, and Verse 13.)
The first is at the beginning of the Gospel Age acknowledging the worthiness of the Lamb to open the seals throughout the age.
The second benediction, the VOICE OF MANY ANGELS, is probably an announcement which will occur at the beginning of the peaceable kingdom —much like the announcement of the angels to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus.
The final benediction is the RESPONSE of all creation to the announcement —a sort of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isa. 25:9.
“And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
These angels are probably the spiritual hosts —literally angels. Verse 13 takes in things on the earth.
AROUND THE THRONE: See note on 4:4. The phrase seems to represent delegated authority.
Angels (as appointed MESSENGERS) are, indeed, delegates of God. In this case, their charge is to deliver the stunning news of the new King.
AND THE NUMBER OF THEM:
The phrase in the Greek is “myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands.” In Greek, MYRIADS equals 10,000. Thus we have in excess of 100,000,000. We thus have SOME clue about the size of the heavenly host —roughly ½ the population of the U.S.A. Why is this generalized, non-specific number given here? Probably this is a way of saying that regardless of the multitude of spirit beings, they are ALL OF ONE MIND in agreement with the great proclamation they are making. It is saying that the entire universe has awaited this glorious moment!” (New Albany Notes on Revelation)
As it is explained in The Keys of Revelation
“The “angels” round about the throne include the entire heavenly host—all the holy angels on the various planes of being in spirit nature. The number of angels here rendered in the Authorized Version as “ten thousand times ten thousand” is incorrect. It should be translated as “myriads of myriads,” that is, “ten thousands [plural] times ten thousands [plural], and thousands of thousands.”
If this same number is expressed another way as “tens of thousands times tens of thousands, and thousands of thousands,” it can then be more clearly seen that the total number must exceed 100 million but be less than 10 billion. The limits of this divine equation are thus positively stated. Why does the Holy Spirit express the matter in this fashion?
The phraseology indicates a huge but indefinite number.
In addition to the immensity of this number, another clue that the term “angels” refers to the angelic host, and not to the Church of Christ or the Great Company class, is that the Church class is not pictured as having arrived on the scene yet. If this were a portrayal of the glorified Bride of Christ in the future, the “angels” (here spoken of) would be IN the throne, and not “round about the throne.”
“The numbers given above, were not designed to give an accurate absolute number, but were designed to give the sense of an unlimited number of angels. The number of angels that God has at his command, to carry out his will, is more or less unlimited. We see a similar description in Daniel 7:10.
"A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened.” (NAU)
Continued with next post.
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