Revelation 7:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 7:9, NIV: "After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands."

Revelation 7:9, ESV: "After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,"

Revelation 7:9, KJV: "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;"

Revelation 7:9, NASB: "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;"

Revelation 7:9, NLT: "After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands."

Revelation 7:9, CSB: "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 clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands."

What does Revelation 7:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse fast forwards to the end of the tribulation. The 144,000 have faithfully evangelized the world and an innumerable number of Jews and Gentiles have trusted in Jesus. They represent every nation, tribe, people group, and language. This is a potent, poignant reminder that all people are precious to God, and no race, ethnicity, or background is exempt from His love (Galatians 3:28). The message of the gospel is inherently opposed to racism or ethnic hatred (1 John 4:20).

It is not clear whether this multitude is in heaven or on earth. Those who believe the multitude are in heaven note the reference to God's throne in heaven and the Lamb's presence there (Revelation 5:6). Also, John saw angels, the elders, and the four living creatures around the throne (Revelation 7:11).

Others believe the scene takes place on earth. The temple (Revelation 7:15), they say, refers to the temple that will stand in the millennium. Ezekiel prophesied about the millennial temple in Ezekiel 40—44. Wearing white robes and waving palm branches, it is clear the multitude is anticipating the restored Feast of Booths, also called the Feast of Tabernacles, in Jesus' earthly kingdom. The Feast of Booths was celebrated annually by the Jews. For a week they lived in booths to commemorate their temporary dwelling in the desert as they journeyed to their permanent destination in the Promised Land. The Feast also celebrated the autumn harvest. Zechariah 14:16 prophesies that the Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated during the millennium.