The 144,000 People of Israel
After this happened I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth. The angels were holding the four winds of the earth. They were stopping the wind from blowing on the land or the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming from the east. This angel had the seal of the living God. The angel called out in a loud voice to the four angels. These were the four angels that God had given the power to hurt the earth and the sea. The angel said to them, Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees before we mark the foreheads of those who serve our God.”
Then I heard how many people had God’s mark on their foreheads. There were 144,000. They were from every tribe of the people of Israel:
from the tribe of Judah 12,000
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000
from the tribe of Gad 12,000
from the tribe of Asher 12,000
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000
from the tribe of Simeon 12,000
from the tribe of Levi 12,000
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000
from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000
The Great Crowd
Then I looked, and there was a large crowd of people. There were so many people that no one could count them all. They were from every nation, tribe, race of people, and language of the earth. They were standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They all wore white robes and had palm branches in their hands. 10 They shouted loudly, “Victory belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
11 The elders and the four living beings were there. All the angels were standing around them and the throne. The angels bowed down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God. 12 They said, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength belong to our God forever and ever. Amen!”
13 Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these people in white robes? Where did they come from?”
14 I answered, “You know who they are, sir.”
And the elder said, “These are the ones who have come out of the great suffering. They have washed their robes* with the blood of the Lamb, and they are clean and white. 15 So now these people are before the throne of God. They worship God day and night in his temple. And the one who sits on the throne will protect them. 16 They will never be hungry again. They will never be thirsty again. The sun will not hurt them. No heat will burn them. 17 The Lamb in front of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to springs of water that give life. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
* 7:14 washed their robes Meaning that they had believed in Jesus and had been made clean from sin by his blood sacrifice. See Rev. 5:9; Heb. 9:14; 10:14-22; Acts 22:16; 1 John 1:7.