What does Revelation 14:1 mean?
ESV: Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father 's name written on their foreheads.
NIV: Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
NASB: Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.
CSB: Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
NLT: Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
KJV: And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
NKJV: Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
Verse Commentary:
John saw the Lamb—Jesus—standing on Mount Zion. The event pictures Jesus as having returned to Jerusalem at the end of the tribulation. He is ready to inaugurate His kingdom on earth. With Him on Mount Zion are the 144,000 sealed Jewish believers who have survived the tribulation. They have triumphed over all its turmoil and persecution.

This is the same group of saved Jews we read about in Revelation chapter 7. In that chapter, these saved Jews received the seal of the living God on their foreheads (Revelation 7:4). This verse describes the 144,000 as having the name of the Lamb and His Father on their foreheads. This seal marks them as belonging to God as His servants. This is a stark contrast to unbelieving Jews (and Gentiles) who received the mark of the beast. In Greek, the contrast between the words for "seal" and "mark" is especially drastic. One means a signature or signet, the other means a "brand," like that put on an animal.

The 144,000 ministered faithfully during the first half of the tribulation and probably fled to a place of safety for the second half of the tribulation (Matthew 24:16–21).
Verse Context:
Revelation 14:1–5 reports that John saw the Lamb and the 144,000 sealed Jews standing on Mount Zion. This continues Revelation's temporary break from a moment-by-moment account of end-times judgments, looking forward to the end of all things. The 144,000 are those we read about in Revelation 7. They come from the tribes of Israel and receive God's seal on their foreheads (Revelation 7:2–4). They serve God faithfully throughout the tribulation and are among those who survive to enjoy shelter, refreshment, and comfort in Messiah's kingdom (Revelation 7:15–17). There is great rejoicing in heaven as the 144,000 stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter distinguishes two groups of people: those who believe in Jesus during the tribulation and those who worship the beast. John sees the Lamb, Jesus, and the 144,00 sealed Jewish servants of God standing together on Mount Zion. The scene anticipates the end of the tribulation with the 144,000 celebrating their victory over the beast. Heaven, too, celebrates their triumph. The eternal good news of salvation reaches the ends of the earth, calling upon everyone to turn to God or face His judgment and announcing the collapse of commercial Babylon and the eternal punishment of the beast, whose image so many unbelievers worshiped. This impending judgment is cause for believers to stay loyal to the Lord. Many believers will face martyrdom, but their temporary suffering does not compare with the eternal suffering worshipers of the beast will experience. When Christ returns to earth, the destruction of the wicked will be so complete that blood will flow so high it will reach a horse's bridle.
Chapter Context:
This chapter continues a segment of Revelation which deviates from the chronological account of the end times. These events occur at the end of the tribulation, when Christ returns to defeat all the remaining wickedness on earth. This event is given more details in chapter 19. In Acts 14:19–22 we learn that Paul and Barnabas returned to the cities of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged the believers by saying believers must endure many tribulations before they enter the kingdom. Revelation 14 and 15 offer similar encouragement to stay loyal to Christ in the face of persecution. Chapter 16 resumes a step-by-step account of the end times.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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