Vision of God’s Throne

VISION OF GOD’S THRONEAnd the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. (Revelation 4:3)

Jasper & Carnelian – In Bible times, the jasper was a clear stone, which contrasts to the opaque jasper stones known today. It may have resembled a diamond. The carnelian was also known as ruby, probably because of its ruby-red color. The jasper and the carnelian were the first and last (“the Alpha and Omega”) of the 12 gemstones worn on the high priest’s breastplate.(1) Who else is called the alpha and omega?

Rainbow – Of course the rainbow cannot help but remind us of God’s covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:11–17), which symbolizes His promise that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. God’s covenant was not only with Noah, but with all creation. In this vision of Heaven, judgment is once again about to fall. The rainbow reminds us that God is merciful, even when He judges. Usually, a rainbow appears after the storm; but here, we see it before the “storm.”(2)

Resembling an Emerald – The colors of the rainbow symbolize the varied aspects of God’s providential dealings uniting in one harmonious whole. Here, the predominant color among the prismatic colors is green, the most refreshing of colors to look upon.(3) Green is also considered the color of promise,(4) just as the rainbow itself is a symbol and reminder of God’s promise.

Encircling the Throne – This rainbow was a complete circle, not merely an arc or semicircle, for in heaven all things are complete.(5)

Up Next – The twenty-four elders.

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References

  1. Walvoord, J. F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 943). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 582). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  3. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 564). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  4. Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moore, E., Craven, E. R., & Woods, J. H. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Revelation (p. 151). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  5. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 582). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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