Who Are the 144,000 within the Bible? Is that this Quantity Symbolic or Literal?


“And I heard the variety of them which had been sealed: and there have been sealed an hundred and forty and 4 thousand of all of the tribes of the youngsters of Israel.” (Revelation 7:4)

Who’s included within the 144,000? A lot debate and discord has resulted from the research of precisely who the 144,000 in Revelation are.

Christians agree the 144,000 doesn’t denote the overall of souls all through historical past who might be in the end be saved from the wrath of everlasting damnation.

Typically, Christians both interpret this verse as actually 144,000 individuals, or they imagine it’s a particular quantity to represent an indefinite variety of individuals.

Literal Idea: 144,000 Are the “Sealed Jews”

One can imagine the quantity in Scripture is a particular rely and nonetheless have the hope of accomplishing heaven.

This futuristic rely refers back to the concept that the 144,000 are “sealed Jews,” protected against the wrath of the Antichrist throughout the tribulation interval.  This group of individuals will evangelize the world throughout this era, main the salvation of tens of millions referenced in Revelation 7:9.

Issues with this Idea

The tribal distinctions referred to in Revelation had been eradicated nicely earlier than the writing of John.

Moreover, one may logically adhere to the opinion that the separation of tribes was used to represent the quite a few Christian denominations and their equality in variety of inclusion. Nobody might be excluded or granted partiality based mostly upon lineage. 

In his commentary, Methodist theologian, Adam Clarke wrote the 144,000 contains “all the Jews transformed to Christianity; 12,000 out of every of the 12 tribes: however this should be solely a sure [number] for an unsure quantity; for it’s not to be supposed that simply 12,000 had been transformed out of every of the 12 tribes.”

Symbolic Idea: 144,000 Is the Image of Completeness

Numerology may actually be in play for the utilization of the quantity 144,000. “Twelve” is utilized to represent completeness, perfection, and God’s energy all through the Bible, i.e. 12 tribes of Israel and 12 disciples of Jesus.

In reference to the 144,000, “12 is multiplied by itself after which once more by a thousand, indicating completeness and perfection to the last word diploma,” in response to James Coffman’s commentary.

In his sermon entitled “The Believer’s Glad Prospects,” Charles Spurgeon gave an evidence of Revelation 7:4-9. 

The 12,000 from every of the 12 tribes with Judah and Benjamin joined collectively stand in equal place. Spurgeon declared “the day shall come when first and final shall rejoin collectively within the equal blessing of the Most Excessive.” He famous the tribe of Dan is lacking however defined “we will by no means perceive all of the issues of God.” 

Spurgeon described the “nice multitude, which no man may quantity” because the “nice collect of the Gentile multitude redeemed by blood, numbered by God, by no means to be numbered by males, being just like the sand on the seashore, innumerable!”

In his Christianity.com article, Hank Hanegraaff stated, “The 144,000 and the nice multitude are usually not two totally different peoples however two alternative ways of describing the identical purified bride. From one vantage level the purified bride is numbered; from one other, she is innumerable—an awesome multitude that nobody can rely.”

Hanegraaff additionally factors out different cases within the Bible the place entire numbers are used symbolically.

“The figurative use of the entire number one,000 is frequent in Outdated Testomony utilization,” he stated. “God elevated the variety of the Israelites 1,000 occasions (Deuteronomy 1:11); God retains his covenant to 1,000 generations (Deuteronomy 7:9); God owns the cattle on 1,000 hills (Psalm 50:10).” Different examples: Isaiah 60:22, Psalm 84:10, Exodus 20:6, and a pair of Samuel 18:12.

Issues with this Idea

1. It might encourage delaying a call for private salvation.

Sadly, many in our society make the most of the Scripture detailing the sealing of the 144,000 as justification for delaying a call for their very own private salvation, pondering many might be saved after the rapture of the church. 

However the Bible doesn’t enable a chance for salvation for many who reject salvation previous to the rapture. The situation of those that are alive on the time of the rapture of the church might be sealed. The saved might be in the end and endlessly redeemed, whereas those that are misplaced might be destined for judgment.

2. Many Christians want a literal interpretation of Revelation.

Those that want a strictly literal interpretation of Revelation have concern with the symbolistic strategy of the 144,000.  The black-letter strategy believes 144,000 means precisely what was written.  

Jehovah’s Witness Beliefs in regards to the 144,000

The Jehovah Witnessreligion holds to the idea the 144,000 symbolize the overall variety of saints who will ascend to the heavenly church. Most Christians who don’t comply with the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine have usually assumed that the remainder of us not included within the 144,00 are destined for hell. 

Nonetheless, this generality isn’t true as a result of, in response to the Watchtower publication, the Jehovah Witness perception is the remainder of the saved will reside on God’s glorified earth whereas being dominated by the 144,000 who will both ascend to heaven or even be on the glorified earth.   

Issues with this Idea

1. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t belong to a particular tribe of Israel.

Additional, if we had been to simply accept that the one saved people will originate from the designated 12 tribes, we’d adhere to the ensuing logic that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t make it as they weren’t from any of the tribes of Israel. 

This consequence can be opposite to Matthew 8:11, which states, “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, within the kingdom of heaven.” 

2. Joshua and Samson belonged to tribes excluded from the 144,000.

Moreover, if this had been to be accepted, one can be of the idea Joshua and Samson would each be absent from heaven for the reason that tribes of Ephraim and Dan had been excluded from the 144,000. 

Due to this fact, the 144,000 is probably going not a tally of the one believers reserved for heaven.


Clarke, Adam. The Adam Clarke Commentary, Revelation 7:4. 1832.

Coffman, James Burton. Coffman Commentaries on the Outdated and New Testomony, Revelation 7:4. Abilene Christian College Press, Abilene, Texas, USA.  1983-1999.

Jackson, Wayne. “Who Are the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14?” ChristianCourier.com.

Chad is a believer in Christ, legal professional at regulation, wannabe golfer, runner, canine lover, and author. He enjoys serving his church as a deacon and Sunday College trainer. You will discover him on Fb, Twitter, and at his golf devotion par3sixteen.com. He and his spouse Brandi reside in Tennessee with their canine son Alistair. 

Photograph Credit score: Pexels/Pixabay


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