Revelation 4:6

As it were a glassy sea (w qalassa ualinh). Old adjective (from ualo, glass, Matthew 21:18 Matthew 21:21 ), in N.T. only here and Matthew 15:2 . Possibly from uei (it rains), like a raindrop. At any rate here it is the appearance, not the material. Glass was made in Egypt 4,000 years ago. In Exodus 24:10 the elders see under the feet of God in the theophany a paved work of sapphire stone (cf. Ezekiel 1:26 ). The likeness of the appearance of sky to sea suggests the metaphor here (Beckwith). Like crystal (omoia krustallwi). Associative-instrumental case after omoia. Old word, from kruo (ice and sometimes used for ice), in N.T. only here and Ezekiel 22:1 , not semi-opaque, but clear like rock-crystal. In the midst of the throne (en meswi tou qronou). As one looks from the front, really before. Round about the throne (kuklwi tou qronou). Merely an adverb in the locative case ( Romans 15:19 ), as a preposition in N.T. only here, Romans 5:11 ; Romans 7:11 . This seems to mean that on each of the four sides of the throne was one of the four living creatures either stationary or moving rapidly round ( Ezekiel 1:12 ). Four living creatures (tessera zwa). Not qhria (beasts), but living creatures. Certainly kin to the zwa of Ezekiel 1 ; Ezekiel 2 which are cherubim ( Ezekiel 10:2 Ezekiel 10:20 ), though here the details vary as to faces and wings with a significance of John's own, probably representing creation in contrast with the redeemed (the elders). Full of eyes (gemonta opqalmwn). Present active participle of gemw, to be full of, with the genitive, signifying here unlimited intelligence (Beckwith), the ceaseless vigilance of nature (Swete).