Poole on Revelation 7:11, 12: Angelic Praise

Verse 11:[1] (Rev. 4:6) And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God…



[The Angels (namely, of inferior order: for the four living creatures are archangels, as we said [Piscator]: Now, the Apostles, who were in Jerusalem, and the Presbyters had gone out together: See the same words of the Angels in Revelation 5:11 [Grotius]) were standing (which denotes both reverence and dependence upon God and His will, and promptness in the execution of God’s commandments [Durham]) in the circuit of the throne and of the elders, etc.] That is, around the throne, and around the Church, which they were surrounding lest either its members go out, or anything of evil enter in; and by consequence they are around that multitude which was before the throne, verse 9, that is, in the same place where the Elders and Living Creatures are said, both here and previously, to stand, and to be defended by the same escort; so that hence it is able to be gathered that this multitude is comprehended under the Elders or Living Creatures, with this distinction only, that the Elders denote the entire Catholic Church, but the multitude denotes the part of it at this time coming out of tribulation, etc. Otherwise the Elders would not have been passed over here, if they were different from the Church; neither is any other reason able to be assigned why those Elders would be silent in praise so solemn, and not have their own parts, than that their praise was previously expressed by the multitude, etc., verse 9. Moreover, this placement of the Angels shows their function, namely, that they watch over and serve the Church, Hebrews 1:14 (Durham).


And all the angels stood round about the throne; the good angels, who always in heaven behold the face of their and our heavenly Father. And about the elders; and about the twenty-four elders, mentioned Revelation 4:4. And the four beasts; and the living creatures, mentioned Revelation 4:6.


[And they fell…upon their faces] For they were seen in human form (Cotterius, similarly Cluverus). Others: This is to be understood spiritually (Durham). Yet the Angels do have gestures conformed to their substance, by which they demonstrate reverence. This is a gesture of humility and veneration (Cluverus), by which they acknowledge both the infinite distance between themselves and God, and the greatness of this work (Durham). Just as the Apostles and Presbyters endorse the song of the Angels, Revelation 5:11-14, so also the Angels sing with the Confessors here, as the members of one Kingdom (Grotius), applauding the salvation of their clients, and praising God together for that (Menochius out of Lapide).


And fell before the throne on their faces; the angels, elders, and living creatures, all fall down on their faces, in a reverential sense of the infinite distance between them and their Creator. And worshipped God; thus paying an homage to God fitted to their glorified state, in consideration of his excellency.


Verse 12:[2] (Rev. 5:13, 14) Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.


[Saying, Amen] That is, Let it be done, let it be done, let it be so (Menochius). They applaud the preceding hymn (Pareus).


[Blessing, etc.] These are also the words of the Angels explaining the Amen which preceded. The same words which are in Revelation 5:12, except that here εὐχαριστί/thanksgiving is in the place of what is there πλοῦτος/ riches, but in the same sense. For εὐχαριστία/thanksgiving is recognition of liberality, which is called πλοῦτος/riches by our men (Grotius). Thus wisdom, power, etc., in the place of the praise of wisdom, etc. (Piscator).


Amen: Blessing, and glory, etc.: These words only signify the union and harmony of the angels and saints in praising God: see the notes on Revelation 5:12.

[1] Greek: καὶ πάντες οἱ ἄγγελοι ἑστήκεσαν κύκλῳ τοῦ θρόνου καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ τῶν τεσσάρων ζώων, καὶ ἔπεσον ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν, καὶ προσεκύνησαν τῷ Θεῷ. [2] Greek: λέγοντες, Ἀμήν· ἡ εὐλογία καὶ ἡ δόξα καὶ ἡ σοφία καὶ ἡ εὐχαριστία καὶ ἡ τιμὴ καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ ἰσχὺς τῷ Θεῷ ἡμῶν εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. ἀμήν.