And before the throne was a sea of glass clear as crystal; the brazen sea between the porch of the Temple and the Altar, filled with clear water. And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four Beasts full of eyes before and behind: that is, one Beast before the throne and one behind it, appearing to John as in the midst of the throne, and one on either side in the circle about it, to represent by the multitude of their eyes the people standing in the four sides of the peoples’ court. And the first Beast was like a lion, and the second was like a calf, and the third had the face of a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. The people of Israel in the wilderness encamped round about the tabernacle, and on the east side were three tribes under the standard of Judah, on the west were three tribes under the standard of Ephraim, on the south were three tribes under the standard of Reuben, and on the north were three tribes under the standard of Dan, Numbers 2:And the standard of Judah was a Lion, that of Ephraim an Ox, that of Reuben a Man, and that of Dan an Eagle, as the Jews affirm.
Whence were framed the hieroglyphics of Cherubims and Seraphims, to represent the people of Israel. A Cherubim had one body with four faces, the faces of a Lion, an Ox, a Man and an Eagle, looking to the four winds of heaven, without turning about, as in Ezekiel’s vision, chap. 1:And four Seraphims had the same four faces with four bodies, one face to every body. The four Beasts are therefore four Seraphims standing in the four sides of the peoples’ court; the first in the eastern side with the head of a Lion, the second in the western side with the head of an Ox, the third in the southern side with the head of a Man, the fourth in the northern side with the head of an Eagle: and all four signify together the twelve tribes of Israel, out of whom the hundred forty and four thousand were sealed, Apoc. 7:4. And the four Beasts had each of them six wings, two to a tribe, in all twenty and four wings, answering to the twenty and four stations of the people. And they were full of eyes within, or under their wings. And they rest not day and night, or at the morning and evening-sacrifices, saying, holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. These animals are therefore the Seraphims, which appeared to Isaiah in a vision like this of the Apocalypse. For there also the Lord sat upon a throne in the temple; and the Seraphims each with six wings cried, Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts. And when those animals give glory and honor and thanks to him that sitteth upon the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty Elders go into the Temple, and there fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. At the morning and evening-sacrifices, so soon as the sacrifice was laid upon the Altar, and the drink-offering began to be poured out, the trumpets sounded, and the Levites sang by course three times; and every time when the trumpets sounded, the people fell down and worshiped. Three times therefore did the people worship; to express which number, the Beasts cry Holy, holy, holy: and the song being ended, the people prayed standing, till the solemnity was finished. In the mean time the Priests went into the Temple, and there fell down before him that sat upon the throne, and worshiped.