After these things
This chapter is an interlude between the sixth seal and the seventh seal. A
pause in the action so that God's servants may be sealed in preparation for
events to follow.
Is the sealing of the faithful and the killing of the multitude
retrospective (prior to the earlier seals) or strictly chronological
(between the seals)? Evidence seems to favor a chronological understanding.
This chapter answers the question at the end of the previous chapter: "Who is able to stand?" (Rev. 6:17).
four angels, four corners, four winds
Four is the number of worldwide distribution.
is a figure of speech indicating all four cardinal directions
refer to the effects of God's judgment, often portrayed by wind
earth, sea, trees
are harmed at the first trumpet judgment
is harmed at the second trumpet and second bowl judgments
is harmed at the first trumpet and the sixth bowl judgments
(Rev. 8:7, MT and NU texts;
7:2 - the seal of the living God
from the east
from the rising of the sun.
East is often the direction of God's deliverance and judgment.
The east wind separated the Red Sea during the deliverance of Israel
God's glory departed the Temple eastward
and will return from that same direction
The angel carries the
by which the seal will be applied.
The seal may be the name of the Father:
(MT and NU texts also include the Son's name).
of the living God
In contrast with dead, lifeless idols, God is
and responsive. Men continue to trust in dead idols rather than the living
God. Satan's ultimate deception will involve an idol (image) to which the
false prophet "gives breath" (Rev. 13:15).
7:3 - do not harm
the earth, the sea, or the trees
This is evidence for a chronological relationship between
this chapter and the
sequence of seal judgments because the judgments which specifically target
the earth, sea, and trees have not yet occurred.
sealed the servants of God on their foreheads
Slaves were branded on their foreheads. Jesus promised the overcomer in
the church at Philadelphia that He would "write on him My new name" (Rev. 3:12).
In a vision of Ezekiel's he saw the faithful of Jerusalem
marked on their foreheads prior to the God's judgment
falling on those without the mark
Satan will mimic God with his own mark in the days ahead
three categories of people during the Tribulation
The sealed Jews protected by God for ministry
Those who accept the mark of the beast and are doomed
14:9-10). They are not written in the
Book of Life
Those who refuse the mark of the beast, many of whom are martyred
7:4 - one hundred and forty-four thousand
who were sealed
The sealing is now completed. The seal denotes both
It may not be visible to men, but is visible to God, the angels, and demons
Analogous to the sealing of believers today by the Holy Spirit
one hundred and forty-four thousand
This is a literal number describing the total from among the Jews that will
be sealed. This is the continuation of the doctrine of the faithful Jewish
remnant. Various groups want to dislodge the Jews from the plain teaching
of Scripture and substitute themselves (Replacement Theology, Jehovah's
Witnesses, British Israel).
These are the "first fruits" from among the Jewish nation -- the believing Jewish
remnant at the time of the
of all the tribes of the children of Israel
sons of Israel.
Many interpreters attempt to make this the church!
Question: If God wanted to describe literal Jews
could He do to make that clear?!
These are the first of "all Israel shall be saved" that Paul predicted in
ten tribes lost?
Many mistakenly claim that ten of the twelve Jewish tribes are "lost." This is an
The tribes existed in New Testament times.
All twelve tribes:
omission of Dan and Ephraim
Dan and Ephraim may be omitted due to their participation in idolatry.
7:9 - a great multitude
after these things
May be an intentional chronological indicator. This great multitude is
dependent upon the Jewish servants of the previous verses.
The Jews are probably an incredible evangelistic force during
the time of the end.
of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues
Believers from every possible diverse background. Many of them probably
Associated with the Feast of Tabernacles
Symbolizing God's provision for Israel in the wilderness wandering
Waved when Jesus rode into Jerusalem as King
All nations will keep this feast in the Millennial Kingdom
Here they are a sign of victory and God's provision.
7:10 - salvation belongs to God
salvation belongs to
The cry of the crowd when Jesus rode into Jerusalem as King " Hosanna
the Son of David!
This petition of deliverance became a liturgical phrase denoting praise. " Salvation denotes both
to our God... and to the Lamb
There is no savior besides God
Zecharias prophesied about Jesus as "a horn of salvation" (Luke 1:69-70).
This salvation is by means of the death of the Lamb, Jesus Christ
This is why "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12).
The Son is
with the Father
7:14 - the great tribulation
the ones who come out
Ercho'menoi , present tense - they are
coming out, many undoubtedly as a result of martyrdom.
the great tribulation
the tribulation, the great [one]. This is the
which was predicted by Jesus
from which the Church will be spared
This time will be especially difficult for Jewish believers
See the lesson where we discuss
Related Passages and Themes.
See the lesson where we discuss
7:15 - He will dwell among them
dwell among them
meaning "to live or camp in a tent".
It carries the idea of
7:16 - neither hunger nor thirst
They shall neither hunger nor thirst
They no doubt suffered great physical deprivation during this time of
persecution and judgment. This may include famine, thirst, and heat
associated with judgments both before and after the time of the vision
shown John in this chapter
7:17 - the Lamb will shepherd them
the Lamb... will shepherd them
Many will suffer at the hand of the worthless shepherd
(Zec. 11:15-17), but now they are led by the True Shepherd.
living fountains of waters
The literal fulfillment of
for many of these who walked "through the valley of the shadow of death." The same Shepherd promised this living water to the Samaritan woman
Believers in the church age experience this living water which is the
indwelling Holy Spirit
It is offered freely to all who thirst
The River of Life will flow from God's throne in the Millennial Kingdom
and in the eternal state
wipe away every tear
These saints may collectively cry more tears than any other generation
of believers--being the generation of the Great Tribulation.
In the Millennial Kingdom they will experience great joy
and the eternal state will bring the total eradication of pain
For additional information on this topic, see the commentary.