“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 evidently not meant to be taken literally, but rather they imply a numberless hosts. This verse is probably drawn from Dan. 7:10, “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 beings represent the heavenly angels who wait before the Lord and are ever attendant on His will.
We have another reference to the multitude of angels in Hebrews 12:22, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels” (Heb. 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 domain.
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).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,