What does Revelation 5:11 mean?
ESV: Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,
NIV: Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.
NASB: Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
CSB: Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands.
NLT: Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders.
KJV: And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Verse Commentary:
According to this verse, John heard the voice of many angels—too many to count. The Greek phrases used here are myriades myriadōn and chiliades chiliadōn. The first phrase uses the root word myrias, which is sometimes used to mean "many" or "multitudes," but is also used to mean a literal figure of 10,000. At least according to the words used, then, one "myriad of myriads" would be 100 million angels! However, the point doesn't seem to be giving an explicit number, but rather the massive scale of beings involved. Colossians 1:16 credits Jesus with the creation of all things, including the angels. The fact that an innumerable host of angels exist in heaven to serve God points to Jesus' omnipotence. It also points to the fact that heaven is far from empty.

Psalm 68:17 states, "The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them." The angelic host that John heard was celebrating the Lamb's reception of the sealed scroll from the One who was seated on the throne (Revelation 5:7). They were also celebrating the approaching reign of Jesus on the earth (Revelation 20:4–6). The impending establishment of Jesus' earthly kingdom caused them to rejoice greatly.

Although angels do not experience redemption, they are keenly interested in the phenomenon. First Peter 1:12 reveals that angels "long to look" into matters pertaining to our redemption.
Verse Context:
Revelation 5:11–14 concludes the heavenly scenes the apostle John viewed after being invited to enter heaven (Revelation 4:1). Tribulation judgments come next in chapters 6—16. This passage contains a crescendo of angels ascribing praise to the Lamb. Their praise draws universal agreement and an appropriate response from the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders, earlier described as attending God around His throne.
Chapter Summary:
Revelation 5 tells us John saw a scroll in God's right hand. The scroll had writing in it and on its back. Also, the scroll was sealed with seven seals. A search uncovered no one who was worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. However, one of the elders told John that Jesus could open the scroll, as the only one with the legal and moral right to do so. When Jesus accepted the scroll, universal praise in heaven and on earth rose to Jesus. He alone was found worthy to open the scroll because, as God's Lamb, He had shed His blood for all mankind.
Chapter Context:
Jesus commanded John to write ''the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.'' The first three chapters of Revelation contained those things which ''were'' and ''are,'' at the time John wrote. Chapters 2 and 3 provided the contents of Jesus' letters to seven churches. Chapter 4 begins the largest and last section of Revelation, regarding events yet to take place when John wrote (Revelation 1:19). John introduced God seated upon His throne, with twenty-four elders and four angelic creatures nearby. Chapter 5 focuses on a scroll containing God's judgments on sin, and a search for someone to open it. Only Jesus is worthy to open it. When Jesus receives the scroll from God, He receives praise from every creature in heaven and on earth.
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.''
Accessed 4/22/2024 3:24:29 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com