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Revelation 7-9 Common English Bible (CEB)

One hundred forty-four thousand sealed

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth. They held back the earth’s four winds so that no wind would blow against the earth, the sea, or any tree. I saw another angel coming up from the east, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given the power to damage the earth and sea. He said, “Don’t damage the earth, the sea, or the trees until we have put a seal on the foreheads of those who serve our God.”

Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed from every tribe of the Israelites:

From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed;

from the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Naphtali, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Manasseh, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Zebulun, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand;

from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

The great crowd and seventh seal

After this I looked, and there was a great crowd that no one could number. They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language. They were standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried out with a loud voice:

“Victory belongs to our God
        who sits on the throne,
            and to the Lamb.”

11 All the angels stood in a circle around the throne, and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell facedown before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying,

“Amen! Blessing and glory
        and wisdom and thanksgiving
        and honor and power and might
            be to our God forever and always. Amen.”

13 Then one of the elders said to me, “Who are these people wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”

14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.”

Then he said to me, “These people have come out of great hardship. They have washed their robes and made them white in the Lamb’s blood. 15 This is the reason they are before God’s throne. They worship him day and night in his temple, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them. 16 They won’t hunger or thirst anymore. No sun or scorching heat will beat down on them, 17 because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water,[a] and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Then, when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

The first four trumpet plagues

Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood at the altar, and he held a gold bowl for burning incense. He was given a large amount of incense, in order to offer it on behalf of the prayers of all the saints on the gold altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense offered for the prayers of the saints rose up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the incense container and filled it with fire from the altar. He threw it down to the earth, and there were thunder, voices, lightning, and an earthquake.

Then the seven angels who held the seven trumpets got ready to blow them. The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire mixed with blood appeared, and was thrown down to the earth. A third of the earth was burned up. A third of the trees were burned up. All the green grass was burned up. Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain burning with fire was thrown down into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the creatures living in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 Then the third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star, burning like a torch, fell from heaven. It fell on a third of the rivers and springs of water. 11 The star’s name is Wormwood, and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it became so bitter. 12 Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars so that a third of them became dark. The day lost a third of its light, and the night lost a third of its light too.

13 Then I looked and I heard an eagle flying high overhead. It said with a loud voice, “Horror, horror, oh! The horror for those who live on earth because of the blasts of the remaining trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”

The fifth and sixth trumpet plagues

Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the abyss. He opened the shaft of the abyss; and smoke rose up from the shaft, like smoke from a huge furnace. The sun and air were darkened by the smoke from the shaft. Then locusts came forth from the smoke and onto the earth. They were given power like the power that scorpions have on the earth. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree. They could only hurt the people who didn’t have the seal of God on their foreheads. The locusts weren’t allowed to kill them, but only to make them suffer for five months—and the suffering they inflict is like that of a scorpion when it strikes a person. In those days people will seek death, but they won’t find it. They will want to die, but death will run away from them.

The locusts looked like horses ready for battle. On their heads were what seemed to be gold crowns. Their faces were like human faces, their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. In front they had what seemed to be iron armor upon their chests, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of many chariots and horses racing into battle. 10 They also have tails with stingers, just like scorpions; and in their tails is their power to hurt people for five months. 11 Their king is an angel from the abyss, whose Hebrew name is Abaddon,[b] and whose Greek name is Apollyon.[c]

12 The first horror has passed. Look! Two horrors are still coming after this.

13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the gold altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel, who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 Then the four angels who had been made ready for that hour, day, month, and year were released to kill a third of humankind. 16 The number of cavalry troops was two hundred million. I heard their number. 17 And this is the way I saw the horses and their riders in the vision: they had breastplates that were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The horses’ heads were like lions’ heads, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur. 18 By these three plagues a third of humankind was killed: by the fire, smoke, and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19 The horses’ power is in their mouths and their tails, for their tails are like snakes with heads that inflict injuries.

20 The rest of humankind, who weren’t killed by these plagues, didn’t change their hearts and lives and turn from their handiwork. They didn’t stop worshipping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that can’t see or hear or walk. 21 They didn’t turn away from their murders, their spells and drugs, their sexual immorality, or their stealing.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 7:17 Or the water of life
  2. Revelation 9:11 Destruction
  3. Revelation 9:11 Destroyer
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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