The Passion Translation
The Lamb and His 144,000
14 Then I looked, and behold—there was the Lamb[a] standing on Mount Zion.[b] Gathered with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a tremendous sound coming out of heaven, like the roar of a waterfall and like the earsplitting sound of a thunderclap. The sound of music that I heard was like the sound of many harpists playing their harps. 3 And they were singing a wonderful new song before the throne, in front of the four living creatures, and in front of the twenty-four elders.
4 No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed free from the earth. These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women,[c] for they are virgins,[d] and they join themselves to the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed, purchased from humanity and brought forth as the firstfruits[e] for God and the Lamb. 5 Their words are always true;[f] they are without flaw.[g]
The Message of the Three Angels
6 Then I witnessed another angel flying in the sky, carrying a message of eternal good news[h] to announce to the earth—to every tribe, language, people, and nation. 7 With a loud voice he shouted, “You must reverence God and glorify him, for the time has come for him to judge.[i] Worship at the feet of the Creator of heaven, earth, sea, and springs of water.”
8 Then a second angel followed, declaring, “She fell! She fell! Babylon the great is fallen! She once seduced the nations and made them all drink the wine of the passion of her harlotry!”[j]
9 Then a third angel followed them, shouting with a mighty voice, “Whoever worships the wild beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 will also drink the wine of God’s wrath. This wine has been poured out[k] and mixed in the cup of his indignation. They will be tormented[l] with sulfur[m] and fire in the presence of holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their severe suffering ascends into ages upon ages. Those who worship the wild beast and its image and receive the mark of its name will have no rest day or night.” 12 This is a call for the endurance and faithfulness of the holy believers—those who follow God’s commands and cling to the faith of Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from the heavenly realm, saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead—the ones dying in the Lord[n] from now on.”
The Harvest of the Earth
14 I looked and behold—I saw a white cloud, and sitting upon it was one like the Son of Man, wearing a golden crown and holding a sharp sickle. 15 Another angel came out of the temple, shouting out to the one sitting upon the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, for the time of reaping the harvest has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe!” 16 So the one sitting upon the white cloud gave his sickle a mighty swing over the earth and reaped its harvest.
17 Then another angel came out of the heavenly temple, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar of incense—the angel with authority over fire. He shouted out with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Take now your sharp sickle and harvest the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.”
19 So the angel gave his sickle a mighty swing over the earth and gathered the grapes from the vine of the earth and threw them into the great winepress of the wrath[r] of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city[s] until blood poured out of the winepress as high as the horse’s bridle[t] for a distance of one thousand six hundred stadia.[u]
- Revelation 14:1 Nothing but the Lamb must draw our attention when we gaze into the heavenly realm.
- Revelation 14:1 Mount Zion is not merely a place, but a realm where God’s people are clothed with glory and beauty. See Pss. 2:6; 50:2; 87:5; 110:2; Heb. 12:22.
- Revelation 14:4 These women become a metaphor for the daughters of the harlot of Babylon, with its false religious system (Rev. 17:5).
- Revelation 14:4 See 2 Cor. 11:2. Like Mary the virgin, these are pure, obedient, and willing to do the will of God and will bring forth an expression of Christ to the earth.
- Revelation 14:4 That is, they are the first parts of the harvest of Christ’s life within the believer. Set apart for God and the Lamb, they become examples for all others to follow.
- Revelation 14:5 Or “Falsehood was not found in their mouths.”
- Revelation 14:5 See Song. 4:7.
- Revelation 14:6 Or “having a message of goodness for eternal ages.” The Aramaic can be translated “carrying a message with blood, for he had the everlasting good news to proclaim.”
- Revelation 14:7 Or “the time of his deciding came.”
- Revelation 14:8 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “immorality,” which becomes a metaphor for idolatry. See also Isa. 21:9, where the reference is to Babylon’s idolatry.
- Revelation 14:10 Or “undiluted.”
- Revelation 14:10 Although the Greek word basanizō can be translated “tormented” (tortured), its primary meaning is “to test,” “to scrutinize with the touchstone,” “to examine or test its mettle” and is used for testing the purity of gold or silver.
- Revelation 14:10 The Greek word for sulfur, theion, comes from the word theios, which means “divine in character” or “godlike,” and is believed to originate from a word meaning “flashing” (like the flashing of burning incense). An alternate translation of this could be “in union with divine qualities and with fire.”
- Revelation 14:13 The Aramaic can be translated “Master Yahweh.”
- Revelation 14:13 The Holy Spirit speaks twelve times in Revelation (1:10; 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22; 4:2; 14:13; 17:3; 21:10; 22:17).
- Revelation 14:13 Or “hard work.”
- Revelation 14:13 Or “Their good deeds will follow [accompany] them.”
- Revelation 14:19 Or “strong passion.”
- Revelation 14:20 That is, the New Jerusalem.
- Revelation 14:20 This would be about five feet high.
- Revelation 14:20 There is variation over the exact measurement of a “stade.” Some calculate it to be about 600 feet, which would make it over 180 miles. But in the Aramaic, a stadia (race track) is measured at about 1/8 of a mile, which would make nearly 140 miles. It is impossible to view this as literal, for that much blood of human beings would be over ten thousand times the population of earth. The number forty is the number of testing/trial and 1,600 is forty squared. It becomes a picture of severe testing, even to the point of blood, for the people of God.