Chapter
Verse
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Revelation 7:3

ESV saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”
NIV Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.'
NASB saying, 'Do not harm the earth, or the sea, or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.'
CSB "Don't harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we seal the servants of our God on their foreheads."
NLT Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.'
KJV Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

What does Revelation 7:3 mean?

In this verse we read that the ascending angel—or messenger—speaks to the four angels mentioned in the prior verse. Their role was to hold back the four winds, which is symbolic of God restraining His judgment. These four are told not to harm the earth—to delay further judgment—until God's servants had been sealed on their foreheads. In John's day, slaveowners sometimes marked their slaves, even on the forehead, to indicate ownership and protect them from kidnapping. In Ezekiel 9:3–4 Ezekiel wrote about a man with a writing case who was commanded to pass through Jerusalem and put a mark on the forehead of every person who lamented the abominations that were committed there.

The seal of God stands in contrast to those who will take such a "mark" from Satan in the end times, a concept seen later in Revelation. The servants of God will refuse this "mark of the beast." Whether or not all saved believers in the tribulation will have this special "sealing" of God is not entirely clear, but it seems likely. The beast is the false prophet who exercises control over Israel as the willing accomplice to the head of the Revived Roman Empire, the region around the Mediterranean Sea (Revelation 13:1, 16–17). Instead of this ungodly emblem, believers will have the name of the Lamb and the Father's name written on their foreheads (Revelation 14:1).
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