Revelation identifies 24 elders:
Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. (Revelation 4:4 NKJV)
There is no agreement on the identity of the 24 elders. Gerald L. Stevens notes:
The real problem is the meaning of the number twenty four, which is debated as stars, angels, patriarchs, apostles, Levite orders and so forth. The meaning of the attire, on the other hand, is more clear as reigning believers, due to the immediately preceding material in the seven letters. (Revelation p.381)
The difficulty with identifying the elders as reigning believers is finding a criteria to choose 24. Surely 12 would be apostles, but who is included in that group? Is Judas Iscariot, or Mathias, or Paul included? Who make up the other 12? As a result some see the 24 elders as symbolic. Yet that understanding brings difficulties as the elders are always described as acting like specific individuals:
the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, Saying: “You are worthy, O Lord. To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (4:10-11 NKJV)
The initial worship is based on creation. This is more OT than NT.
The first thing the elders do is cast away their crowns and in the end their thrones are gone:
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” (Revelation 19:4 ESV)
This paints a picture of declining authority. Revelation is symbolic and the sequence of casting away crowns and giving up thrones is symbolic of relinquishing authority and is a sequence which is inconsistent with a representation of/as reigning NT believers.
This suggests their identity is to be found in the OT. If they are 24 specific individuals, they must all have a criteria common to the group which is not found in any other person outside the group.
There are 24 individuals in the OT who all have the epitaph: "Slept with his fathers…":
David (1 Kings 2:10), Solomon (1 Kings 11:43), Jeroboam (1 Kings 14:20), Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:31), Abijam (1 Kings 15:8), Asa (1 Kings 15:24), Baasha (1 Kings 16:6), Omri (1 Kings 16:28), Ahab (1 Kings 22:40), Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:50), Joram (2 Kings 8:24), Jehu (2 Kings 10:35), Jehoahaz (2 Kings 13:9), Joash (2 Kings 13:13), Jehoash (2 Kings 14:16), Amaziah/Azariah (2 Kings 14:22), Jeroboam (2 Kings 14:29), Azariah (2 Kings 15:7), Menahem (2 Kings 15:22), Jotham (2 Kings 15:38), Ahaz (21 Kings 16:20), Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:21), Manasseh (2 Kings 21:18), Jehoiakim (2 Kings 24:6)
There are 24 individuals in the Old Testament who can be considered as elders, wearing crowns of gold, sitting on thrones, and whose death share the epitaph “Slept with his fathers…”
Is there any other individual who has the epitaph "slept with his fathers" or something comparable who should be included?