One Hundred and Forty-Four Thousand
Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.
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1. And I looked, and, lo
I looked, and behold appears several times in Revelation “to introduce startling, dramatic events (cf. v. 14: 4:1;6:2, 5,8: 15:5; 19:11).” (MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000], 71) [NASB1995]
What caught John’s attention was seeing that Jesus stood on Mount Sion.
McGee calls Mount Zion as Mount Sion.
He uses “Thru the Bible Radio Special Edition of The King James Version, copyright © 1976 by Thomas Nelson Publishers.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983] Bibliography, front of book, no page number)
“’Mount Sion’ is at Jerusalem.” (McGee, 1006)
With Him an hundred forty and four thousand
For more information on the one hundred and forty-four thousand read Revelation 7:4. (Seal of the Living God)
This group has His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
“The 144,000 will have the mark of God placed on their foreheads for their protection.” (MacArthur, 72)
2. John has heard this voice before.
Ezekiel 43:2 tells he heard God’s voice and it sounded like many waters.
Loud thunder was mentioned in Revelation 6:1 and in Revelation 19:6 “rushing waters and thunder describes the great multitude worshiping around God’s throne.” (Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 247)
“The reference to harpists and harps suggests that the voice expressed not thunderous judgment but joy.” (MacArthur, 75)
3. This new song is the song of redemption.
Only the hundred and forty and four thousand could learn the song.
“It is only for the redeemed, those purchased by Christ’s blood.” (MacArthur, 76) [NASB1955]
Did not Defile
4. These are those who did not defile themselves with women (NIV).
Easley tells us that this “obviously refers to males, not females.”
For they have kept themselves chaste (other versions and translations use pure). [NASB1955]
The KJV translates this passage as “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.”
“(In every other New Testament text that uses the term virgin the term can only refer to a woman who is sexually pure). Two things, then, make this text difficult. First, a single group is referred to with sexual terminologies that cannot be applied to a mixed company of males and females. Second, it runs counter to what is thought elsewhere in Scripture to suggest that sexual relation in themselves are impure. The holiness of sex within marriage is as much taught as is the sinfulness of sex outside marriage.” (Easley, 247)
“Nor does this passage teach that they will all be unmarried, since sex within marriage does not defile anyone [Hebrews 13:4] (MacArthur, 77)
I compared several versions and many of them use the phrase, “they are virgins.”
I will let you decide how you translate this.
These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
The one hundred and forty-four thousand follow the Lamb wherever he goes (NIV).
These were redeemed from among men.
“Their resulting perfection was not based on their own good works. Because God purchased them, he perfected them” (Easley, 248).
First fruits to God and unto the Lamb.
Easley tells us that this “is based on the Old Testament command that the firstfruits of grain must be presented to God at the tabernacle during the Feast of Weeks [Exodus 34:22, (248)].”
5. And in their mouth was found no guile.
“’In their mouth was found no lie’ means that they did not participate in the big lie of the Beast when he used lying wonders. They didn’t fall for this lie.” (McGee, 1008)
“They are blameless notes their perfection of behavior” (Easley, 249).
“They are without blemish because they are clothed in the righteousness of Christ” (McGee, 1008)
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved
Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983