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Ezekiel 1: 22 seems to refer to this (see verse 26), and speaks of it as "the trouble
crystal". (Ezek. 18: 13), describing the "anointed cherub", speaks of his covering being
composed of nine precious stones together with gold. The reference to precious stones,
and the statement that the One Who sat upon the throne was like them, indicates that like
all else in this creation they have their place as types of unseen spiritual realities.
Encircling the throne, and possibly partially veiling the glory of the One that sat upon
it, was a rainbow, "in sight like unto an emerald". The green of the rainbow may well
stand for mercy. This throne of righteousness, from which will go forth the commands of
judgment, has also a sign of mercy; it is the fulfillment of Habakkuk's plea, "in wrath
remember mercy". For the encouragement of the faithful few, the rainbow encircles the
throne. The day foreshadowed by the days of Noah are imminent, a deluge of wrath is
about to fall, but the Lord remembers His covenant, and the rainbow is seen. The day of
grace has come to its end when this throne is seen, the day of the Lord with its judgments
and its terrors is about to begin; yet it is well to remember that all judgments and plagues
proceed from the throne, all is ordered by heaven's Ruler, nothing is by chance or hap. It
is certainly a fact for rejoicing in such an hour to know that when the Apocalypse with its
most awful scenes becomes history, there, in unsullied light and unruffled calm reigns the
One "Who sitteth on the throne."
Further description of the Throne and its accompaniments
In our last article we were considering something of the majesty of Him who sat upon
the throne. We now observe that around the throne are ranged twenty-four other thrones.
The twelve apostles will sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel
(Matt. 19: 28). Thrones are a part of creation, both those in heaven, and those of earth
(Col. 1: 16). Satan has a throne (Rev. 2: 13; 13: 2), so also has the Beast (16: 10),
although the A.V. renders the word "seat". The thrones that are spoken of as those of the
twelve apostles have direct reference to "judging" the twelve tribes; "judging" of course
does not necessarily mean "condemning", for a judge acquits as well as pronounces
sentence. The twenty-four thrones therefore seem to have some such purpose. This is
further suggested by noticing who they are that sit upon the thrones, "I saw four and
twenty elders". The word translated "elder" is presbuteros, and both among Gentiles and
Jews the word conveys the idea of dignity, rule, and wisdom. It will be remembered that
Moses chose seventy men who bore "with him the burden of the people". There were
elders in the early church, and these held positions of responsibility (Titus 1: 5).
The number twenty-four takes us back to the days of David and the temple.
I Chron. 24: 3-18 gives the twenty-four courses of the priests; there were also the same
number of prophets appointed (25: 1-31); there were also twenty-four porters appointed
from the Levites (I Chron. 26: 17-19). Twenty-four, therefore, seems to be closely
associated with the administration of the temple in the days of the kingdom. As Moses