1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Revelation chapter 7

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

1And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. 9After 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; 10And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

What does Revelation chapter 7 mean?

The scene described in this passage seems to occur between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals, seen on the scroll John observed in chapter 5.

The first vision includes angels being commanded to hold back the winds at every point on earth. Symbolically, this refers to God suspending His judgment on the earth. Scriptures such as Jeremiah 49:36 describe the judgment of God by referring to wind. The purpose of this delay, it seems, is to allow for a "sealing" of 144,000 servants of God. As seen later (Revelation 13:15–18), the "mark of the beast" stands in stark contrast to the sealing seen in this chapter (Revelation 7:1–3).

These 144,000 are specifically named by their respective tribes of Israel. Twelve thousand from each tribe are indicated. Jacob had twelve sons from whom the twelve tribes of Israel originated. In the Promised Land, each of the tribes received an inheritance except for the tribe of Levi, whose inheritance was the Lord. Joseph's tribe was split into two, one for each of his sons (Manasseh and Ephraim), and each received an inheritance. In the list of those sealed in Revelation, the tribe of Levi is listed. The tribe of Manasseh and that of Joseph (which is what the tribe of Ephraim was also referred to) are also listed. The tribe of Dan is excluded. Theories about this absence are varied. Some suggest that the false prophet of Revelation may be from the tribe of Dan. Others see Dan's role in leading Israel into idolatry as a cause for being left out of the 144,000 (Judges 18:30–31). While the tribe might not be blessed through inclusion in this particular seal, other prophetic books indicate members of the tribe of Dan will be saved and receive land in the millennial kingdom (Ezekiel 48:2). Though mankind has lost track of which people are members of which tribes, God has no such memory loss (Revelation 7:4–8).

John's next vision is of a staggering number of people, from every race, ethnicity and language, dressed in white and shouting out praise to God. This is a poignant reminder of God's love for all people, and the essential unity of mankind. Despite efforts to divide humanity based on appearance or heritage, Scripture is clear that all people, of all tribes and languages, will be represented in God's eternal plan of salvation. An unnamed elder defines these white-robed saints as those who have come out of the great tribulation—the second half of the seven-year period which closes out history prior to the millennial kingdom (Revelation 7:9–17).

After this interlude, John's vision will continue with the opening of the seventh seal, introducing the next phase of God's plan: the "trumpet" judgments.

What is the Gospel?
Download the app: