7 After ·the vision of these things [L this] I saw four angels standing at the four corners [C from every direction] of the earth. The angels were ·holding [restraining] the four winds [Dan. 7:2; 8:8; 11:4] of the earth to keep them from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the ·east [L rising of the sun] who had the seal [5:1] of the living God. And he ·called out [cried out; shouted] in a loud voice to the four angels to whom God had given power to ·harm [damage] the earth and the sea. 3 He said to them, “Do not ·harm [damage] the land or the sea or the trees until we ·mark with a sign [place a seal upon] the foreheads [C to spare them from harm; Ezek. 9:4–6] of the ·people who serve [L the slaves/servants of] our God.” 4 Then I heard how many people were ·marked with the sign [sealed]. There were one hundred forty-four thousand [C the square of 12 multiplied by 1000; a symbolic number indicating completeness] from every tribe of the ·people [children; sons] of Israel.
5 From the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were ·marked with the sign [sealed], from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, 6 from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh [C one of the two sons of Joseph; he replaces Dan in the list, perhaps because the tribe of Dan fell into idolatry; Judg. 18] twelve thousand, 7 from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, 8 from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand [C in OT lists Manasseh and Ephraim are named instead of their father Joseph; here Joseph replaces Ephraim, perhaps because of Ephraim’s bad reputation], and from the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were ·marked with the sign [sealed].
The Great Crowd Worships God
9 After ·the vision of these things [L these things] I looked, and ·there was a great number of people [L behold a great crowd/multitude], so many that no one could count them. They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language of the earth. They were all standing before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes [C signifying high status and purity] and holding palm branches [C used to celebrate a festive occasion, specifically a victory] in their hands. 10 They were ·shouting [crying out] in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 [L And] All the angels were standing around the throne and the elders [4:4] and the four living creatures. They all ·bowed [fell] down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen [C Hebrew for “so be it”]! ·Praise [Blessing], glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and ·strength [might] belong to our God forever and ever. Amen!”
13 Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these people dressed in white robes? Where did they come from?”
14 I answered, “You know, ·sir [or my lord].”
And the elder said to me, “These are the people who have come out of the great ·distress [persecution; tribulation]. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb [C having believed in Jesus, their sins are forgiven through Christ’s death and resurrection]. 15 Because of this, they are before the throne of God. They worship him day and night in his temple. And the One who sits on the throne will ·be present with [dwell with; or shelter; spread his tent over] them. 16 Those people will never be hungry again, and they will never be thirsty again. The sun will not ·hurt [strike; beat on; Is. 49:10] them, and no [scorching] heat will burn them, 17 because the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd [Ps. 23; John 10]. He will ·lead [guide] them to springs of ·water that give life [living water; the water of life; John 4:14]. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes [21:4; Is. 25:8].”
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