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7The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.  
            (1) The FIRST living creature was like a lion,
            (2) the SECOND was like an ox,
            (3) the THIRD had a face like a MAN,
            (4) the FOURTH was like a flying EAGLE.

Each of the living creatures has a characteristic. Compare them to the living creatures in Ezekiel 1:4-14. Probably they are the same with different sides of their "likeness."

Symbolically, these living creatures represent the four attributes of our Lord Jesus. Some scholars have found a parallel to each of the gospels in the way they each portray Christ.
 

Living Creatures attributes shown in Christ and the four Gospels
LION OX MAN EAGLE
Matthew Mark Luke John
ancestry Messiah, King Servant, Mark 10:45 tender humanity descended from heaven and returned back to heaven again
Revelation 5:4-5 Isaiah 42:1-9 Revelation 5:6 John 1:34; John 1:44-51
Jesus = Lion Mark 8:1-3 John 1:51 soars through the heavens
government, law, and judgment many miracles The Christ Child omni-present
the THRONE, the seat of government . Luke2:8-15, Luke 22:39-44 .
. . physical agony in the human form .
ROYAL POWER STRENGTH SPIRITUALITY SWIFTNESS

The four creatures covered with eyes indicates an exceeding knowledge of God. They are special angels who are afforded an intimacy with God/Christ by being next to the THRONE. They have had imprinted on them some of the qualities of Christ himself. Yet they still are created beings as seen by Ezekiel, John, and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-5). That these living creatures are important to the heavenly kingdom is indicated by the many times they appear throughout Revelation: Revelation 5:6,8,14; 6:1ff; 7:11; 14:3; 15:7; and 19:4.
"Scripture taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright ) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only. Return from cross-references by using the BACK button.