“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.”
King James Version (KJV)
4:3 And he that sat was in appearance - Shone with a visible lustre, like that of sparkling precious stones, such as those which were of old on the high priest's breastplate, and those placed as the foundations of the new Jerusalem, #Rev 21:19|,20. If there is anything emblematical in the colours of these stones, possibly the jasper, which is transparent and of a glittering white, with an intermixture of beautiful colours, may be a symbol of God's purity, with various other perfections, which shine in all his dispensations. The sardine stone, of a blood - red colour, may be an emblem of his justice, and the vengeance he was about to execute on his enemies. An emerald, being green, may betoken favour to the good; a rainbow, the everlasting covenant. See #Gen 9:9|. And this being round about the whole breadth of the throne, fixed the distance of those who stood or sat round it.
Re 4:3 Like a jasper and a sardine stone. We learn from Re 21:11 the qualities of the jasper meant a stone of dazzling brilliance, a mountain of light, clear as crystal. The two probably symbolize the splendor, holiness and judgments of God. [There was] a rainbow round about the throne. The rainbow was a pledge of God's faithfulness to his covenants (Ge 9:13). God sits upon the throne, splendid, dazzling, terrible, but compassed about by the Covenant of Grace.