What does Revelation 4:10 mean?
ESV: the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
NIV: the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
NASB: the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
CSB: the twenty-four elders fall down before the one seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne and say,
NLT: the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,
KJV: The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
NKJV: the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
Verse Commentary:
In response to the four living creatures' adoration of God, the twenty-four elders prostrate themselves before God and worship Him. John describes the one they worship as eternal: verses 9 and 10 seem to emphasize the unending life of the One being praised. His life has neither a beginning nor an end (John 1:3; Revelation 22:13). In an act of complete humility and submission they throw down their crowns at God's throne. By this act of worship, they acknowledge that only God is sovereign and deserving of worship.

The crowns are likely the incorruptible crown, the crown of righteousness, the crown of life, and the crown of glory (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4). The twenty-four elders show by casting their crowns before God that they owe all their achievements to God.

The apostle Paul acknowledged that no one can take credit for the spiritual results he sees. He wrote: "What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God gives the growth" (1 Corinthians 3:5–7). He also wrote, "By the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Verse Context:
Revelation 4:7–11 continues the apostle John's description of what he saw and heard after being transported to heaven. This passage is typical of apocalyptic literature, and Revelation in particular, as it seems to blend literal descriptions with symbolic ones. Some of these details are meant to have deeper meanings, or be entirely a metaphor. Others seem to be intended to be interpreted literally. John describes four living creatures similar to the heavenly creatures Isaiah and Ezekiel saw (Isaiah 6:2–3; Ezekiel 1:5–15). His description in Revelation 4 also focuses on the creatures' ascription of praise to God and the twenty-four elders' praiseful response.
Chapter Summary:
John reports in the opening verse of Revelation 4 that he saw a door open in heaven and heard a voice beckoning him to come up to heaven. From heaven's vantage point John would witness future events. Upon his arrival in heaven, John saw God. He was sitting on a throne surrounded by twenty-four other thrones. A sea of glass lay in front of God's throne, and four living creatures were beside the throne. When the living creatures ascribed honor and praise to God, the elders who occupied the twenty-four thrones fell down and worshiped God. They cast their crowns before Him and praised Him.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 3 concluded the description of ''the things that are'' (Revelation 1:19). Chapter 4 begins the final section of Revelation, regarding ''the things that are to take place after this'' (Revelation 1:19). Chapter 1 describes the appearance of Jesus to John on the island of Patmos, at which time He commanded John to write to seven churches in Asia Minor. Chapters 2 and 3 provide us with the contents of Jesus' letters. Whereas chapters 1–3 relate events on earth, chapters 4 and 5 describe what John saw in heaven. Because the word ''church'' does not appear in this ''after this'' section of Revelation, we may assume the church does not experience the judgments described in chapters 6 and beyond.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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