The Four Living Creatures and the Layout of the Tribes surrounding the Tabernacle

Sent: Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:58 PM

Hi all

Just been reflecting in Revelation 4:7 on the four living creatures (literally the one word “zoon” in Greek, “chay” in Hebrew i.e. “Animal Life”), and their close association with the four living creatures in Ezekiel 1:10, the Cherubim in Ezekiel 10:14, and the layout of the tribes surrounding the tabernacle in Numbers 2.

First place in Numbers 2 — Lion — a face in the sunrise

In the “east” is the front, the sunrise — a new day. So from the centre of the tabernacle where the Lord is seated upon the cherubim, looking towards the east was the tribe of Judah (Praise the Lord — as Leah said in Genesis 29:35), from which the Lion of Judah would come (in accordance with Jacob’s prophecy of Judah, a lion’s cub in Genesis 49:9).


Second place in Numbers 2:10 — Man

In the “south”, the "right hand" as you face the sunrise, was firstly the tribe of Reuben (See, a son — as Leah said in Genesis 29:32). Strong outwardly. (But inwardly weak.)


Third place in Numbers 2:18 — Oxen — Fruitfulness via servanthood / work

In the “west” (place of the seas — i.e. the Mediterranean Sea, and place of the sunset) was firstly the tribe of Ephraim (Completion, Fruitfulness — as Joseph said of his second son in Genesis 41:52), and portrayed as a bullock in Moses’s prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:16-17. Yes, from Ephraim comes Joshua who leads the people into the Promised Land and they march around Jericho seven times, all the people shout, and God's angels complete the work.


Fourth place in Numbers 2:25 — Flying Eagle — Judgment via God's Holy Law (Matthew 24:28 quoting Job 39:30)

Finally in the “north” (in Hebrew — the unseen place, the place of covering, of the helpful beauty that comes with humility) was firstly the tribe of Dan (Judgment — as Rachel said in Genesis 30), Jacob's beautiful wife, facing justice, and receiving assistance in that humility.

In Greek, the left hand is "euonumos" — the "name of goodness" (God's law). Our flesh is weak, but when I am weak then am I strong (in Christ), as Paul claimed.


In Ezekiel 1:10, the first face recorded is the face of the man, with the second face, the face of the lion, now in the south. And Jesus the king, the lion of Judah, is to be born in Bethlehem in Judaea in the south, and betrayed and condemned to death in Jerusalem (also in the south).

The third face, the face of the ox, the faithful servant, Ephraim, is now in the north. And in Galilee of the Gentiles, considerable love and fruitfulness is to be seen throughout Jesus's ministry, multiple healings, deliverances from evil spirits, and material provisions of food.


In Ezekiel 10:14, the order of the faces reflects 1. The work of the Spirit, 2. The response of man (honor or dishonor), 3. The coming kingdom, & 4. Final judgment.


Blessings all Steve

Stephen Williamson Computing Services Pty Ltd