Immediately I saw Four Angels standing at the four corners of earth, standing steady with a firm grip on the four winds so no wind would blow on earth or sea, not even rustle a tree.
Then I saw another Angel rising from where the sun rose, carrying the seal of the Living God. He thundered to the Four Angels assigned the task of hurting earth and sea,
"Don't hurt the earth! Don't hurt the sea! Don't so much as hurt a tree until I've sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads!"
I heard the count of those who were sealed: 144,000! They were sealed out of every Tribe of Israel:
12,000 sealed from Judah, 12,000 from Reuben, 12,000 from Gad,
12,000 from Asher, 12,000 from Naphtali, 12,000 from Manasseh,
12,000 from Simeon, 12,000 from Levi, 12,000 from Issachar,
12,000 from Zebulun, 12,000 from Joseph, 12,000 sealed from Benjamin.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)