After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
Then I saw another angel rise up from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were empowered to harm the earth and the sea:
"Don't harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the slaves of our God on their foreheads."
And I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
12,000 sealed from the tribe of Judah, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 sealed from the tribe of Benjamin.
After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands.
And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!
All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
saying: Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.
Then one of the elders asked me, "Who are these people robed in white, and where did they come from?"
I said to him, "Sir, you know." Then he told me: These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
For this reason they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His sanctuary. The One seated on the throne will shelter them:
no longer will they hunger; no longer will they thirst; no longer will the sun strike them, or any heat.
Because the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; He will guide them to springs of living waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.