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Notes on Revelation

'Four and twenty elders'

See "The Temple: Its Ministry and Services Change of Priests" and "The Farewell on the Sabbath."

1 Chronicles 24:1-19
David divides the priests into groups.

1. Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron (light-bringer). The sons of Aaron; Nadab (generous), and Abihu (he is [my] father), Eleazar (God has helped), and Ithamar (coast of palms).

2. But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest's office.

3. And David (loving) distributed them, both Zadok (a helmet) of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech (brother of [the] king) of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service.

4. And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fatherss, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers.

5. Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and the sons of Ithamar.

6. And Shemaiah (Jah has heard) the son of Nethaneel (given of God) the scribe, one of the Levites, wrote them before the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar (father of abundance), and before the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites: one principal household being taken for Eleazar, and one taken for Ithamar.

7. Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib (Jehovah contends), the second to Jedaiah (praised of Jehovah),

8. The third to Harim (dedicated), the fourth to Seorim (barley),

9. The fifth to Malchijah (my king is Jehovah), the sixth to Mijamin (from the right hand),

10. The seventh to Hakkoz (thorn), the eighth to Abijah (Jehovah is [my] father),

11. The ninth to Jeshuah (he is saved), the tenth to Shecaniah (dweller with Jehovah),

12. The eleventh to Eliashib (God restores), the twelfth to Jakim (he will raise),

13. The thirteenth to Huppah (canopy), the fourteenth to Jeshebeab (dwelling of the father),

14. The fifteenth to Bilgah (cheerfulness), the sixteenth to Immer (he hath said),

15. The seventeenth to Hezir (protected), the eighteenth to Aphses (to break),

16. The nineteenth to Pethahiah (freed by Jehovah), the twentieth to Jehezekel (God strengthens),

17. The one and twentieth to Jachin (he will establish), the two and twentieth to Gamul (weaned),

18. The three and twentieth to Delaiah (Jehovah has drawn), the four and twentieth to Maaziah (consolation of Jehovah).

19. These were the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the LORD, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him.

"[Twenty-four] is the number associated with the heavenly government and worship, of which the earthly form in Israel was only a copy. We are told that both Moses and David ordered all things connected with the Tabernacle and Temple worship by direct revelation from God, and as a copy of things in the heavens, Heb 8:5; 1 Chron 28:12,19. And the seven-fold phrase "as the Lord commanded Moses" witnesses to the Divine ordering of all. It was so with the twenty-four courses of priests in the earthly Temple; these were formed on the "pattern of things in the heavens." Why is it necessary for us, when God tells us anything, to conclude that it means something else? Why, when, in Revelation 4, we read of the twenty-four heavenly elders, are we to assume they are anything but what we read, viz., the leaders of the heavenly worship? Why seek to make them redeemed men, or the symbolical representation of redeemed men? Why not leave them alone?"

(Number in Scripture, E. W. Bullinger)

See "The Two Babylons: The Deification of the Child" regarding the Egyptian tribunal of the dead..


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