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Revelation 14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

The Lamb’s Companions.[a] Then I looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion,[b] and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound from heaven like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. They were singing [what seemed to be] a new hymn before the throne, before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been ransomed from the earth. These are they who were not defiled with women; they are virgins[c] and these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been ransomed as the firstfruits of the human race for God and the Lamb. On their lips no deceit[d] has been found; they are unblemished.

The Three Angels.[e] Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, with everlasting good news[f] to announce to those who dwell on earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for his time has come to sit in judgment. Worship him who made heaven and earth and sea and springs of water.”

A second angel followed, saying:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great,
    that made all the nations drink
    the wine of her licentious passion.”[g]

A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice, “Anyone who worships the beast or its image, or accepts its mark on forehead or hand, 10 will also drink the wine of God’s fury,[h] poured full strength into the cup of his wrath, and will be tormented in burning sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb. 11 The smoke of the fire that torments them will rise forever and ever, and there will be no relief day or night for those who worship the beast or its image or accept the mark of its name.” 12 Here is what sustains the holy ones who keep God’s commandments and their faith in Jesus.[i]

13 I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” said the Spirit, “let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them.”[j]

The Harvest of the Earth.[k] 14 Then I looked and there was a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man, with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” 16 So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven who also had a sharp sickle. 18 Then another angel [came] from the altar,[l] [who] was in charge of the fire, and cried out in a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth’s vines, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage. He threw it into the great wine press of God’s fury. 20 The wine press was trodden outside the city and blood poured out of the wine press to the height of a horse’s bridle for two hundred miles.[m]

Footnotes:

  1. 14:1–5 Now follows a tender and consoling vision of the Lamb and his companions.
  2. 14:1 Mount Zion: in Jerusalem, the traditional place where the true remnant, the Israel of faith, is to be gathered in the messianic reign; cf. 2 Kgs 19:30–31; Jl 3:5; Ob 17; Mi 4:6–8; Zep 3:12–20. A hundred and forty-four thousand: see note on Rev 7:4–9. His Father’s name…foreheads: in contrast to the pagans who were marked with the name or number of the beast (Rev 13:16–17).
  3. 14:4 Virgins: metaphorically, because they never indulged in any idolatrous practices, which are considered in the Old Testament to be adultery and fornication (Rev 2:14–15, 20–22; 17:1–6; cf. Ez 16:1–58; 23:1–49). The parallel passages (Rev 7:3; 22:4) indicate that the 144,000 whose foreheads are sealed represent all Christian people.
  4. 14:5 No deceit: because they did not deny Christ or do homage to the beast. Lying is characteristic of the opponents of Christ (Jn 8:44), but the Suffering Servant spoke no falsehood (Is 53:9; 1 Pt 2:22). Unblemished: a cultic term taken from the vocabulary of sacrificial ritual.
  5. 14:6–13 Three angels proclaim imminent judgment on the pagan world, calling all peoples to worship God the creator. Babylon (Rome) will fall, and its supporters will be tormented forever.
  6. 14:6 Everlasting good news: that God’s eternal reign is about to begin; see note on Rev 10:7.
  7. 14:8 This verse anticipates the lengthy dirge over Babylon (Rome) in Rev 18:1–19:4. The oracle of Is 21:9 to Babylon is applied here.
  8. 14:10–11 The wine of God’s fury: image taken from Is 51:17; Jer 25:15–16; 49:12; 51:7; Ez 23:31–34. Eternal punishment in the fiery pool of burning sulfur (or “fire and brimstone”; cf. Gn 19:24) is also reserved for the Devil, the beast, and the false prophet (Rev 19:20; 20:10; 21:8).
  9. 14:12 In addition to faith in Jesus, the seer insists upon the necessity and value of works, as in Rev 2:23; 20:12–13; 22:12; cf. Mt 16:27; Rom 2:6.
  10. 14:13 See note on Rev 1:3. According to Jewish thought, people’s actions followed them as witnesses before the court of God.
  11. 14:14–20 The reaping of the harvest symbolizes the gathering of the elect in the final judgment, while the reaping and treading of the grapes symbolizes the doom of the ungodly (cf. Jl 4:12–13; Is 63:1–6) that will come in Rev 19:11–21.
  12. 14:18 Altar: there was only one altar in the heavenly temple; see notes above on Rev 6:9; 8:3; 11:1.
  13. 14:20 Two hundred miles: literally sixteen hundred stades. The stadion, a Greek unit of measurement, was about 607 feet in length, approximately the length of a furlong.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Revelation 20 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 20

The Thousand-year Reign. [a]Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss[b] and a heavy chain. He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan,[c] and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss, which he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed. After this, it is to be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image nor had accepted its mark[d] on their foreheads or hands. They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection. Blessed[e] and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over these; they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for [the] thousand years.

[f]When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog,[g] to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. They invaded the breadth of the earth[h] and surrounded the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10 The Devil who had led them astray was thrown into the pool of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Large White Throne.[i] 11 Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. 12 I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.[j] The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. 13 The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades[k] gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death.[l]) 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire.

Footnotes:

  1. 20:1–6 Like the other numerical values in this book, the thousand years are not to be taken literally; they symbolize the long period of time between the chaining up of Satan (a symbol for Christ’s resurrection-victory over death and the forces of evil) and the end of the world. During this time God’s people share in the glorious reign of God that is present to them by virtue of their baptismal victory over death and sin; cf. Rom 6:1–8; Jn 5:24–25; 16:33; 1 Jn 3:14; Eph 2:1.
  2. 20:1 Abyss: see note on Rev 9:1.
  3. 20:2 Dragon…serpent…Satan: see notes on Rev 12:3, 9, 10, 15.
  4. 20:4 Beast…mark: see Rev 13 and its notes.
  5. 20:6 Blessed: see note on Rev 1:3. Second death: see note on Rev 2:11. Priests: as in Rev 1:6; 5:10; cf. 1 Pt 2:9.
  6. 20:7–10 A description of the symbolic battle to take place when Satan is released at the end of time, when the thousand years are over; see note on Rev 20:1–6.
  7. 20:8 Gog and Magog: symbols of all pagan nations; the names are taken from Ez 38:1–39:20.
  8. 20:9 The breadth of the earth: Palestine. The beloved city: Jerusalem; see note on Rev 14:1.
  9. 20:11–15 A description of the final judgment. After the intermediate reign of Christ, all the dead are raised and judged, thus inaugurating the new age.
  10. 20:12 The book of life: see note on Rev 3:5. Judged…scrolls: see note on Rev 14:12.
  11. 20:13 Hades: the netherworld; see note on Rev 1:18.
  12. 20:14 Second death: see note on Rev 2:11.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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