Thursday, January 4, 2024

Throne in Heaven (4.2–4)


Immediately I was in the spirit, and see, a throne was set in heaven, and one was sitting on the throne. And the one sitting appeared like a stone of jasper and carnelian, and a rainbow like an emerald was around the throne. And twenty-four thrones were around the throne, and twenty-four elders were sitting on the thrones, dressed in white clothes, and golden laurels were on their heads.


God’s appearance resembles two red stones (jasper and carnelian). While it is doubtful the author ever saw the enthroned statue of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, this would have created an interesting contrast between the two deities for readers familiar with it. The thrones of the twenty-four elders derives from the general notion of a ‘divine council’, found in the Hebrew Bible and neighboring cultures. It is unclear if the author intends the elders to be patriarchs, apostles, or holy people in general. The book regularly uses the white robes and laurel crowns in connection to martyrdom, so they are unlikely to be angels.



6.1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw Yhwh sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple.


1.27–28 seated above the likeness of a throne was something that seemed like a human form. Upwards from what appeared like the loins I saw something like gleaming amber, something that looked like fire enclosed all round; and downwards from what looked like the loins I saw something that looked like fire, and there was a splendour all round. Like the bow in a cloud on a rainy day, such was the appearance of the splendour all round. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yhwh.

3.12 Then the spirit lifted me up

1 Enoch

14.18–19, 20–21 And I was looking and I saw a lofty throne; and its appearance was like ice, and its wheels were like the shining sun, and the voice of the cherubim, and from beneath the throne issued rivers of flaming fire. […] The Great Glory sat upon it; his apparel was like the appearance of the sun and whiter than much snow. No angel could enter into this house and look at his face because of the splendor and glory, and no human could look at him.

Testament of Levi

5.1 ‘At this moment the angel opened for me the gates of heaven and I saw the Holy Most High sitting on the throne.’


7.9–10 As I watched, thrones were set in place, and an Ancient One took his throne; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. A thousand thousand served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.

Ascension of Isaiah

7.22 ‘For above all the heavens and their angels is placed your throne, and also your robes and your crown which you are to see.’

9.17, 18 ‘And then many of the righteous will ascend with him […] indeed they will receive their robes and their thrones and their crowns, when he has ascended into the seventh heaven.’

Life of Adam & Eve

25.3 I was carried off into the garden of righteousness, and I saw the Lord sitting and his appearance was unbearable flaming fire.

2 Corinthians

12.2–4 I know a person in the Anointed One who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows—was caught up into the garden and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat.

Testament of Abraham

12.4–5 And between the two gates there stood a terrifying throne with the appearance of terrifying crystal, flashing like fire. And upon it sat a wondrous man, bright as the sun, like unto a son of God.

2 Enoch

3.1 And they took me up onto their wings, and carried me up to their first heaven.

4.1 They led before my face the elders, the rulers of the stellar orders.

20.1–3 And the men lifted me up from there, and they carried me up to the seventh heaven. […] And they show me from a distance the Lord, sitting on his throne.

Revelation of Sedrach

2.5 But the angel, having stretched out his wings, took him and went up into the heavens, and took him up as far as the third heaven, and the flame of divinity stood there.

Greek Revelation of Ezra

1.7 Therefore, I was taken up into heaven and I saw in the first heaven a great command of angels and they led me to the judgments.

Vision of Ezra

60 And after he saw this, he was lifted up into heaven, and he came to the multitude of angels, and they said to him, 'Pray to the Lord for the sinners.' And they put him down within the sight of the Lord.

3 Enoch

1.1 Rabbi Ishmael said: When I ascended to the height to behold the vision of the chariot, I entered six palaces, one inside the other, and when I reached the door of the seventh palace I paused in prayer before the Holy One

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