The lion, the ox, the human face, and the flying eagle (Rev 4:7)

“The first living creature

Was like a lion.

The second living creature

Was like an ox.

The third living creature

Was like a human face.

The fourth living creature

Was like a flying eagle.”

καὶ τὸ ζῷον τὸ πρῶτον ὅμοιον λέοντι, καὶ τὸ δεύτερον ζῷον ὅμοιον μόσχῳ, καὶ τὸ τρίτον ζῷον ἔχων τὸ πρόσωπον ὡς ἀνθρώπου, καὶ τὸ τέταρτον ζῷον ὅμοιον ἀετῷ πετομένῳ.

John said, “The first living creature (καὶ τὸ ζῷον τὸ πρῶτον) was like a lion (ὅμοιον λέοντι).  The second living creature (καὶ τὸ δεύτερον ζῷον) was like an ox (ὅμοιον μόσχῳ).  The third living creature (καὶ τὸ τρίτον ζῷον) was like a human face (ἔχων τὸ πρόσωπον ὡς ἀνθρώπου).  The fourth living creature (καὶ τὸ τέταρτον ζῷον) was like a flying eagle (ὅμοιον ἀετῷ πετομένῳ).”  This is the only use of this Greek word that appears only in Revelation and not in any other canonical biblical NT writing, the word πετομένῳ, that means to fly.  In Ezekiel, chapter 1:10-11, he explained the four living creatures that he saw, “the face of a lion on the right side.  Each had the face of an ox on the left side.  Each had the face of an eagle at the back.  Such were their faces.”  Each creature had the face of a human being in front.  Then there was a face of a lion on the right side with a face of an ox on the left side.  In the back was the face of an eagle.  This same symbolism was here, perhaps as the symbols of the four Christian evangelists, Matthew as human, Mark as a lion, Luke as an ox, and John as the flying eagle.  These four creatures symbolize intelligence, authority, strength, and mobility.  Thus, John described the four living creatures.  Have you ever seen odd looking creatures?

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