“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11).
The numbers of angels in this verse are clearly not meant to be taken literally, but rather they imply a numberless host. This verse is probably drawn from Dan. 7:10 which says, “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.” These holy beings represent the heavenly angels who wait before the Lord and are ever doing His will. The angels perform an vital role in the judgment. They serve as both ministers and witnesses.
We have another reference to the multitude of angels in Hebrews 12:22 which says, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22). This number implies myriads of angels. God’s universe is infinite and it is not wrong to assume that His host of angels that serve Him are numberless to be able to attend to His vast kingdom.
Revelation 5:11 can be also compared with a passage in the pseudepigraphical book of Enoch (Vol. V, p. 87), ch. 14:22: “ten thousand times ten thousand (stood) before Him” (R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. 2, p. 197).
What a glorious thought to know that even though man was made “a little lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:7), God ordained His angels as “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). In God’s kingdom loving service is the purpose of all creation.
In His service,
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