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Then I saw and heard

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many angels, thousands upon thousands of them,

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even ten thousand times ten thousand angels

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who joined the four living beings and

the twenty-four elders

surrounding the throne;


Then I saw

many angels,

indeed, every angel,

there were so many they could not be counted,

they joined the representatives of all living things, and the representatives of all types of authority,

surrounding the place where authority is converted to judgment or commands;



In the paraphrase I communicate the idea of “heard” in the next verse where it has better agreement with the flow of the sentence as a whole.

2: “Thousands of thousands”

The number “thousand” was itself a symbol for total inclusiveness; when “thousand” was repeated in this way the implication was that every possible one, or absolutely all the angels were present. However, since this is symbolism, we should not take it so literally as to think that it was not possible for there to be angels assigned at that moment to other places. It is a way of making the point that there were a great number of angels—what seemed like every possible one (even if that were not true in a technical sense.)

3: "ten thousand times ten thousand"

Some scholars believe that ten thousand was the largest number they had available to them, or it was the largest number they could realistically wrap their minds around. In their minds, it was hard to truly count a group of something that was larger than ten thousand. So saying it twice like this obviously meant, “a number too large to count.”