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?

Yahweh is the cause (Am 3:6-3:8)

“Is a trumpet

Blown in a city,

With the people not afraid?

Does disaster befall a city,

Unless Yahweh has done it?

Surely Yahweh God

Does nothing,

Without revealing

His secret

To his servants,

The prophets.

The lion has roared,

Who will not fear?

Yahweh God

Has spoken.

Who can but prophesy?”

It turns out that the cause of everything is Yahweh. If a trumpet blows in a city, the people are afraid. No disaster comes to a city, unless Yahweh had decided to make it happen. However, Yahweh God revealed his secrets to his servants, the prophets. When the lion roared, people were afraid. Thus, when Yahweh speaks, the prophets must prophesize.

The stately strides (Prov 30:29-30:31)

“Three things are stately in their stride.

Four are stately in their gait.

The lion is the mightiest among wild animals.

It does not turn back before any.

The others are

The strutting rooster,

The he-goat,

Finally the king

Who strides before his people.”

Finally, we have the last 4 and 3 numerical proverb. There are 4 stately striders: 1) the lion, 2) the rooster, 3) the male goat, and 4) the king. Interesting enough the bull and the deer are missing from this stately list. The lion is the mightiest among all the animals that never turn back. The strutting rooster and the male goat once again emphasis the strutting male. The king, however, also strides before all his people.