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Chapter 7[a]

The 144,000 Sealed. After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth,[b] holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on land or sea or against any tree.(A) Then I saw another angel come up from the East,[c] holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea,

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  1. 7:1–17 An interlude of two visions precedes the breaking of the seventh seal, just as two more will separate the sixth and seventh trumpets (Rev 10). In the first vision (Rev 7:1–8), the elect receive the seal of the living God as protection against the coming cataclysm; cf. Rev 14:1; Ez 9:4–6; 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30. The second vision (Rev 7:9–17) portrays the faithful Christians before God’s throne to encourage those on earth to persevere to the end, even to death.
  2. 7:1 The four corners of the earth: the earth is seen as a table or rectangular surface.
  3. 7:2 East: literally, “rising of the sun.” The east was considered the source of light and the place of paradise (Gn 2:8). Seal: whatever was marked by the impression of one’s signet ring belonged to that person and was under his protection.