The faces of the living creatures of Ezekiel are described in Ezekiel 1:10, which states, "As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle." The four faces are:
The faces of the four beasts of Revelation are described in Revelation 4:7, which states, "And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle." The four faces are:
Besides the order being different, the only substitution is the calf for the ox. Since these words describe the same animal at different ages, this is not really a difference. Certainly, then, the living creatures of Ezekiel and the four beasts of Revelation are connected. Other comparisons point to this as well.
Do they represent the four gospels? The Bible does not say directly. However, there are some similarities and Bible students have often used them as types of the four gospels. The Revelation 4:7 passage even has them in the right order. Consider:
- The first beast like a lion, the king of the beasts Matthew presents Jesus as the King of the Jews.
- The second beast like a calf Mark presents Christ as a servant of man.
- The third beast like a man Luke presents Christ as the Son of man.
- The fourth beast like a flying eagle, the most majestic of the birds - John presents Christ as the Son of God exalted above all.
So, is this coincidence? Probably not. God has many such design features in the Bible. They are simply further evidence that He is the author.