Verse 8. Each of them hath six wings - As had each of the seraphim in Isaiah's vision. "Two covered his face," in token of humility and reverence: "two his feet," perhaps in token of readiness and diligence for executing divine commissions. Round about and within they are full of eyes. Round about - To see everything which is farther off from the throne than they are themselves. And within - On the inner part of the circle which they make with one another. First, they look from the center to the circumference, then from the circumference to the center. And they rest not - O happy unrest! Day and night - As we speak on earth. But there is no night in heaven. And say, Holy, holy, holy - Is the Three-One God. There are two words in the original, very different from each other; both which we translate holy. The one means properly merciful; but the other, which occurs here, implies much more. This holiness is the sum of all praise, which is given to the almighty Creator, for all that he does and reveals concerning himself, till the new song brings with it new matter of glory. This word properly signifies separated, both in Hebrew and other languages. And when God is termed holy, it denotes that excellence which is altogether peculiar to himself; and the glory flowing from all his attributes conjoined, shining forth from all his works, and darkening all things besides itself, whereby he is, and eternally remains, in an incomprehensible manner separate and at a distance, not only from all that is impure, but likewise from all that is created. God is separate from all things. He is, and works from himself, out of himself, in himself, through himself, for himself. Therefore, he is the first and the last, the only one and the Eternal, living and happy, endless and unchangeable, almighty, omniscient, wise and true, just and faithful, gracious and merciful. Hence it is, that holy and holiness mean the same as God and Godhead: and as we say of a king, "His Majesty;" so the scripture says of God, "His Holiness," Heb. xii, 10. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. When God is spoken of, he is often named "the Holy One:" and as God swears by his name, so he does also by his holiness; that is, by himself. This holiness is often styled glory: often his holiness and glory are celebrated together, Lev. x, 3; Isaiah vi, 3. For holiness is covered glory, and glory is uncovered holiness. The scripture speaks abundantly of the holiness and glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And hereby is the mystery of the Holy Trinity eminently confirmed. That is also termed holy which is consecrated to him, and for that end separated from other things: and so is that wherein we may be like God, or united to him. In the hymn resembling this, recorded by Isaiah, Isaiah vi, 3, is added, "The whole earth is full of his glory." But this is deferred in the Revelation, till the glory of the Lord (his enemies being destroyed) fills the earth.
9, 10. And when the living creatures give glory-the elders fall down - That is, as often as the living creatures give glory, immediately the elders fall down. The expression implies, that they did so at the same instant, and that they both did this frequently. The living creatures do not say directly, "Holy, holy, holy art thou;" but only bend a little, out of deep reverence, and say, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord." But the elders, when they are fallen down, may say, "Worthy art thou, O Lord our God."
Verse 11. Worthy art thou to receive - This he receives not only when he is thus praised, but also when he destroys his enemies and glorifies himself anew. The glory and the honour and the power - Answering the thrice-holy of the living creatures, verse 9. ver. 9, For thou hast created all things - Creation is the ground of all the works of God: therefore, for this, as well as for his other works, will he be praised to all eternity. And through thy will they were - They began to be. It is to the free, gracious and powerfully- working will of Him who cannot possibly need anything that all things owe their first existence. And are created - That is, continue in being ever since they were created.