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Revelation 7:11 (CSB) All the angels stood around the throne, and along with the elders and the four living creatures they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God,

Revelation 7:11 (NIV) All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,

Most translations of Revelation 7:11 seem vague as to who "they" are when either the angels by themselves fell down and worshiped, or the angels "along with" the elders and four living creatures fell down and worshiped. It depends on how you see the pronoun "they" fell ...

ΑΠΟΚΑΛΥΨΙΣ ΙΩΑΝΝΟΥ 7:11 (NA28) Καὶ πάντες οἱ ἄγγελοι εἱστήκεισαν κύκλῳ τοῦ θρόνου καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ τῶν τεσσάρων ζῴων καὶ ἔπεσαν ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου ἐπὶ τὰ πρόσωπα αὐτῶν καὶ προσεκύνησαν τῷ θεῷ

Is the NA28, especially the "καὶ" following the series, grammatically conclusive as to the antecedent of "they?"

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Grammatically it can mean that angels stood around the Throne and around the presbyters and the four animals, for the κύκλῳ requires genitive and both Throne and elders+4animals are in genitive, so that κύκλῳ applies to all; in this reading the angels encircle Throne+elders+4animals, and they i.e. angels (who continue to be the subject of the sentence) fall down on their faces in worship of God, while it is grammatically not clear at all whether the elders+4animals did the same. However, contextually it is implied, for if angels fell on their faces in worship, it would be quite uncomfortable for the elders, to say nothing about the 4 animals, not to follow their lead.

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The structure of the Rev 7:11 is simple (my translation)

  • And all the angels stood around the throne
  • and the elders
  • and the four living creatures
  • and [they] fell down before the throne ...

"They" is not explicit but only implied. However, the implied "they" (part of the verb to fall down) includes what had gone immediately before, namely, all the angels, the elders, and the four living creatures. Note Matthew Poole's comment:

And fell before the throne on their faces; the angels, elders, and living creatures, all fall down on their faces, in a reverential sense of the infinite distance between them and their Creator.

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Scripture is used to interpret the question asked.In the two portions of scripture below,twice John falls down at the feet of the angel to worship him and twice the angel tells John not to worship him but to worship God only.

Revelation 19:9-10 New International Version - UK

9 Then the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’

10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.’

Revelation 22:8-9 New International Version - UK

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!’

Revelation 7:11 New International Version - UK

11 All the angels were standing round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God,

In the verse in question (Rev 7:11),it is the angels who fall down to worship God and taking into account the wording in Revelation 19:9-10 and Revelation 22:8-9 it must be concluded that the elders also, along with the four living creatures, fall face down before the throne and worship God.It would be absurd to suggest that the elders and the living creatures do not fall down to worship God while the angels do.See Rev 4:9-11

I know if i was there before the throne of God, i would have fallen face down and worshiped God! Why?, because the angel of Rev 19:10 instructs me to do so.

10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!

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