The symbolism of creatures in the Bible
The context of this vision
is the description of the presence of God, surrounded by the four spiritual creatures with four different faces. To understand precisely the symbolism of the four faces, we must know their role. According to a parallel view in Isaiah chapter 6: 1-4, where
the prophet is describing the presence of Jehovah, where there are four seraphs (seraphim) who proclaim the holiness of Jehovah: "Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of armies. The whole earth is filled with his glory" (Isaiah 6: 3). In Revelation chapter 4: 8, these
four creatures proclaim the holiness of God: "And continuously, day and night, they say: “Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is coming"" (Revelation 4: 8). Nevertheless, unlike the vision of Ezekiel, in Revelation
the four spiritual each have a different face: "The first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature was like a young bull, and the third living creature had a face like a man’s, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle"
(Revelation 4: 7).
The descriptions are anthropomorphic, that is to say that one describes these spiritual creatures with human either animal characteristics. For example, in Revelation
(4:7,8), in Isaiah (6:2), it is written that they have 6 wings, to make us understand that they have the ability to move at an extremely fast speed ( Psalms 104:3 "the wings of the wind"). It is interesting to note that in Ezekiel (1: 6) these same spiritual
creatures are described with only two pairs of wings, which demonstrates that this is an anthropomorphic description of the ability to move extremely quickly (either by four wings or six wings). It is written that they are full of eyes to explain that their
constant visual acuity is 360 degrees, that is to say there is no position where they could not see.
What do symbolically represent the four different faces? The central point of understanding
is in what they constantly say: "Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is coming" (Revelation 4:8, Isaiah 6: 3). The four faces represent four ways that Jehovah uses to maintain the holiness in all his creation, visible
and invisible. They represent the four ways in which Jehovah exercises his sovereignty.