Revelation 5:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

King James Bible
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

American Standard Version
And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints:

English Revised Version
And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Webster's Bible Translation
And when he had taken the book, the four living beings, and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints.

Weymouth New Testament
And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four Elders fell down before the Lamb, having each of them a harp and bringing golden bowls full of incense, which represent the prayers of God's people.

Revelation 5:8 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Had taken (ἔλαβεν)

Lit., took. The aorist is resumed.

Every one of them harps (ἕκαστος κιθάρας)

Rev., less clumsily, having each one a harp. Each one, that is, of the elders. Κιθάρα harp signifies an instrument unlike our harp as ordinarily constructed. Rather a lute or guitar, to which latter word kithara is etymologically related. Anciently of a triangular shape, with seven strings, afterwards increased to eleven. Josephus says it had ten, and was played with a plectrum or small piece of ivory.

Vials (φιάλας)

Only in Revelation. The word vial, used commonly of a small bottle, gives a wrong picture here. The φιάλη was a broad, flat vessel, used for boiling liquids, sometimes as a cinerary urn, and for drinking, or pouring libations. Also of the shallow cup, usually without a foot, in which libations were drawn out of the mixer. Herodotus says that at Plataea the Spartan Helots were bidden by Pausanias to bring together the booty of the Persian camp, and that they found "many golden mixers and bowls (φιάλας), and other ἐκπώματα (drinking-vessels)" (ix., 30). From its broad, flat shape Ἄρεος φιάλη bowl of Mars was a comic metaphor for a shield. It was also used for sunken work in a ceiling. In the Septuagint the word is frequently used for bowls or basons. See Numbers 7:13, Numbers 7:19, Numbers 7:25, Numbers 7:31, Numbers 7:37, Numbers 7:43, etc.; 1 Kings 7:50; Zechariah 9:15. Here, censers, though several different words of the Septuagint and New Testament are rendered censer; as θυΐ́σκη, 1 Kings 7:50; θυμιατήριον, 2 Chronicles 26:19; Ezekiel 8:11; Hebrews 9:4; λιβανωτὸν, Revelation 8:3. Θυΐ́σκη however is the golden incense-cup or spoon to receive the frankincense which was lighted with coals from the brazen altar, and offered on the golden altar before the veil. The imagery is from the tabernacle and temple service.

Incense (θυμιαμάτων)

The directions for the composition of the incense for the tabernacle-worship, are given Exodus 30:37, Exodus 30:38.

Prayers

For incense as the symbol of prayer, see Leviticus 16:12, Leviticus 16:13; Psalm 141:2. See on Luke 1:9. Edersheim, describing the offering of incense in the temple, says: "As the President gave the word of command which marked that 'the time of incense had come,' the whole multitude of the people without withdrew from the inner court and fell down before the Lord, spreading their hands in silent prayer. It is this most solemn period, when, throughout the vast temple-buildings, deep silence rested on the worshipping multitude, while within the sanctuary itself the priest laid the incense on the golden altar, and the cloud of odors rose up before the Lord, which serves as the image of heavenly things in Revelation (Revelation 8:1, Revelation 8:3, Revelation 8:4). The prayers offered by priests and people at this part of the service are recorded by tradition as follows: 'True it is that Thou art Jehovah, our God and the God of our fathers; our King and the King of our fathers; our Savior and the Rock of our salvation; our Help and our Deliverer. Thy name is from everlasting, and there is no God beside Thee. A new song did they that were delivered sing to Thy name by the seashore. Together did all praise and own Thee as King, and say, 'Jehovah shall reign who saveth Israel.'" Compare "the Song of Moses," Revelation 15:3, and "a new song," Revelation 5:9.

Revelation 5:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the four.

Revelation 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that lives for ever and ever.

See on ch.

Revelation 4:4,8,10 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and on the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment...

Revelation 7:10-12 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sits on the throne, and to the Lamb...

Revelation 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

John 5:23 That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.

Romans 14:10-12 But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at nothing your brother...

Philippians 2:9-11 Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name...

Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he brings in the first-begotten into the world, he said, And let all the angels of God worship him.

having.

Revelation 14:2,3 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder...

Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image...

Psalm 33:2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing to him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.

Psalm 43:4 Then will I go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy: yes, on the harp will I praise you, O God my God.

Psalm 81:2 Take a psalm, and bring here the tambourine, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

Psalm 150:3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

golden.

Revelation 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave to the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever.

odours. or incense. the prayers.

Revelation 8:3,4 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense...

Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Cross References
Numbers 7:62
one golden dish of 10 shekels, full of incense;

Psalm 141:2
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

John 1:29
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Revelation 4:4
Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.

Revelation 4:6
and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:

Revelation 4:10
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,

Revelation 5:6
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

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