14:1Then suddenly I saw the Lamb on Mount Zion, and with him were one hundred forty-four thousand people with his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.14:2And I heard a sound coming from the sky; it was like the noise of a lot of rushing water or loud thunder. It seemed to be harpists playing their harps,14:3and they are singing a new song before the throne, the four animals, and the elders. No one could learn the song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who were bought from the earth.
14:4These are the ones who were not polluted with women, for they are unmarried.1 They follow the Lamb wherever he goes, having been bought from mankind as a first harvest to God and to the Lamb.14:5No deceit was found in them, because they are flawless.
14:6Then I saw another Messenger flying in midair, having the ageless Gospel to bring to those on the earth— the non-Judeans of every tribe and language and people group.14:7The Messenger announced loudly, “Fear God and give him honor, because the hour of his judgment has come! Worship the one who made the sky and the earth and the sea and the springs of water!”
14:8A second Messenger followed: “Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the Great, that made all the nations drink the wine of the fury of its promiscuity!”
14:9A third Messenger followed: “If anyone worships the wild animal and its image, and takes its inscription on their forehead or right hand,14:10they will drink the wine of the fury of God, mixed full-strength with his rage, and will be tortured in fire and sulphur before the Messengers of the holy people and the Lamb.14:11The smoke of their torture rises forever; there is no relief day or night for those who worship the wild animal and its image, and who take the inscription of its name.”
14:12Such is the endurance and faith of the holy people, who guard the injunctions of God and the faith of Jesus.2
14:13Then I heard a voice from the sky say, “Write this: Happy are those who die belonging to the Master from now on!
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “They will rest from their labors because their actions follow them.”
14:14Then suddenly there was a white cloud, and on the cloud sat someone human-like. On his head was a golden victor’s crown, and in his hand was a sharp sickle.14:15Another Messenger came out of the temple shouting loudly to the one sitting on the cloud, “Send out your sickle and reap, for the time has come to reap the shriveled harvest of the earth.”14:16So the one sitting on the cloud threw his sickle on the earth and reaped it.
14:17Another Messenger with a sharp sickle came out of the temple in heaven.14:18Then another Messenger, who had jurisdiction over the fire, came from the altar and called out in a loud voice to the one with the sharp sickle, “Send out your sickle and pick the clusters from the vine of the earth, because the grapes are ripe!”14:19And the Messenger threw his sickle to the earth and picked the grapes, then threw them into the winepress of God’s great rage.14:20The winepress was used outside the city, and blood came out of it to the point where it rose to the height of a horse’s bridle for a distance of 184 miles.3
- 1The word for “unmarried” is almost exclusively used for females. If part of the significance of the 12,000 from each tribe is a reference to a military force, it should be noted that one requirement for Jewish soldiers going into battle was sexual purity (Deut. 23:9-10, 1 Sam. 21:5, 2 Sam. 11:11). This is consistent with the overall purity theme in Revelation.
- 2With reference to 13:10, the call for endurance is made after a depiction of the price of faithfulness compared to the fate of those who fail.
- 3184 miles or 300km are the approximate equivalent of the literal value of 1600 stadia.