7 After this 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 on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming from the east. This angel had the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels. These were the four angels that God had given power to harm the earth and the sea. He said to the four angels, 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees before we put the sign on the people who serve our God. We must put the sign on their foreheads.” 4 Then I heard how many people were marked with the sign. There were 144,000. They were from every tribe of the people of Israel.
5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were marked with the sign,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
The Great Crowd
9 Then I looked, and there was a great number of people. There were so many people 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. They wore white robes and had palm branches in their hands. 10 They were shouting in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 The elders[a] and the four living things 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 were saying, “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 people who have come out of the great suffering. They have washed their robes[b] with the blood of the Lamb. Now they are clean and white. 15 And they 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 Those people will never be hungry again. They will never be thirsty again. The sun will not hurt them. No heat will burn them. 17 For the Lamb at the center 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.”
7:11elders Elder means “older.” Here the elders probably represent God’s people.
7:14washed their robes This means they believed in Jesus so that their sins could be forgiven by Christ’s blood.
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