Revelation 7

Listen to Revelation 7

The 144,000 of Israel Sealed

1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back 1the four winds of the earth, 2that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree.
2 Then I saw another angel ascending 3from the rising of the sun, with 4the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea,
3 saying, 5"Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants[a] of our God 6on their foreheads."
4 And 7I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed, 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher, 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 from the tribe of Levi, 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.

A Great Multitude from Every Nation

9 After this I looked, and behold, 8a great multitude that no one could number, 9from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, 10clothed in white robes, with 11palm branches in their hands,
10 and crying out with a loud voice, 12"Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and 13the four living creatures, and they 14fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12 15saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, 16clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?"
14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of 17the great tribulation. 18They have washed their robes and 19made them white 20in the blood of the Lamb.
15 "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and 21serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne 22will shelter them with his presence.
16 23They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; 24the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne 25will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of 26living water, and 27God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

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Revelation 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

A pause between two great periods. (1-3) The peace, happiness, and safety of the saints, as signified by an angel's sealing 144,000. (4-8) A song of praise. (9-12) The blessedness and glory of those that suffered martyrdom for Christ. (13-17)

Verses 1-8 In the figurative language of Scripture, the blowing of the four winds together, means a dreadful and general destruction. But the destruction is delayed. Seals were used to mark for each person his own possessions. This mark is the witness of the Holy Ghost, printed in the hearts of believers. And the Lord would not suffer his people to be afflicted before they were marked, that they might be prepared against all conflicts. And, observe, of those who are thus sealed by the Spirit, the seal must be on the forehead, plainly to be seen alike by friends and foes, but not by the believer himself, except as he looks stedfastly in the glass of God's word. The number of those who were sealed, may be understood to stand for the remnant of people which God reserved. Though the church of God is but a little flock, in comparison with the wicked world, yet it is a society really large, and to be still more enlarged. Here the universal church is figured under the type of Israel.

Verses 9-12 The first fruits of Christ having led the way, the Gentiles converted later follow, and ascribe their salvation to God and the Redeemer, with triumph. In acts of religious worship we come nigh to God, and must come by Christ; the throne of God could not be approached by sinners, were it not for a Mediator. They were clothed with the robes of justification, holiness, and victory; and they had palms in their hands, as conquerors used to appear in their triumphs. Such a glorious appearance will the faithful servants of God make at last, when they have fought the good fight of faith, and finished their course. With a loud voice they gave to God and the Lamb the praise of the great salvation. Those who enjoy eternal happiness must and will bless both the Father and the Son; they will do it publicly, and with fervour. We see what is the work of heaven, and we ought to begin it now, to have our hearts much in it, and to long for that world where our praises, as well as our happiness, will be made perfect.

Verses 13-17 Faithful Christians deserve our notice and respect; we should mark the upright. Those who would gain knowledge, must not be ashamed to seek instruction from any who can give it. The way to heaven is through many tribulations; but tribulation, how great soever, shall not separate us from the love of God. Tribulation makes heaven more welcome and more glorious. It is not the blood of the martyrs, but the blood of the Lamb, that can wash away sin, and make the soul pure and clean in the sight of God; other blood stains, this is the only blood that makes the robes of the saints white and clean. They are happy in their employment; heaven is a state of service, though not of suffering; it is a state of rest, but not of sloth; it isa praising, delightful rest. They have had sorrows, and shed many tears on account of sin and affliction; but God himself, with his own gracious hand, will wipe those tears away. He deals with them as a tender father. This should support the Christian under all his troubles. As all the redeemed owe their happiness wholly to sovereign mercy; so the work and worship of God their Saviour is their element; his presence and favour complete their happiness, nor can they conceive of any other joy. To Him may all his people come; from him they receive every needed grace; and to him let them offer all praise and glory.

Cross References 27

  • 1. Jeremiah 49:36; Daniel 7:2
  • 2. [ver. 3]
  • 3. Revelation 16:12
  • 4. Revelation 9:4
  • 5. Revelation 6:6; Revelation 9:4
  • 6. Revelation 14:1; Revelation 22:4; Ezekiel 9:4; [Revelation 13:16; Ezekiel 3:8, 9]
  • 7. Revelation 9:16
  • 8. [Romans 11:25]
  • 9. Revelation 5:9
  • 10. ver. 14; See Revelation 3:4
  • 11. [Leviticus 23:40; John 12:13]
  • 12. Revelation 12:10; Revelation 19:1; See Psalms 3:8
  • 13. Revelation 4:6
  • 14. See Revelation 4:10
  • 15. Revelation 5:14; Revelation 19:4; [1 Chronicles 29:10, 11]
  • 16. [See ver. 9 above]
  • 17. See Matthew 24:21
  • 18. Revelation 22:14; [Isaiah 1:18; Zechariah 3:3-5]
  • 19. [Daniel 12:10; 1 John 1:7]
  • 20. Revelation 1:5
  • 21. Revelation 22:3
  • 22. Revelation 21:3; [Isaiah 4:5, 6]
  • 23. Isaiah 49:10
  • 24. Psalms 121:6
  • 25. Psalms 23:1, 2; [Matthew 2:6]; See John 10:11
  • 26. Revelation 22:1; [Psalms 36:8, 9; John 4:14]
  • 27. Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 25:8

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a vision seen at the end of the sixth, and at the opening of the seventh seal, which expresses the security of the saints in all ages following, the praises of angels and men on that account, and the happiness of all the people of God in the millennium state. First, a vision of four angels is seen restraining the winds from blowing on the earth, sea, and trees, Re 7:1; then of another angel, described by the place from whence he came, the east; by what he had, the seal of the living God, and by his cry to the four angels not to hurt the earth, sea, and trees, until the servants of God were sealed, Re 7:2,3, and then follows the number of the sealed ones in general, Re 7:4, and the particular number of them out of each tribe of Israel, Re 7:5-8. After which is another vision of all the elect of God together, described by the numberless multitude of them; by their descent from all nations; by their position and situation before the throne, and the Lamb; by their habit and attire, and by their loud cry, ascribing salvation to God, and to the Lamb, Re 7:9,10, who are joined by all the angels around them, worshipping God, and ascribing glory to him, Re 7:11,12. And next is described the happiness of this numerous company, in the thousand years' reign, introduced by some discourse which passed between John, and one of the elders, Re 7:13,14, who are said to be before the throne, to serve God continually, and to have his presence, Re 7:15, to be free from everything troublesome and distressing, Re 7:16, and to be fed by the Lamb, and to be led by him to fountains of living water, and to have all their tears wiped away from them, Re 7:17.

Revelation 7 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.