Revelation 14

After looking at the enemies of Christians in chapter 13 (the dragon, sea beast and earth beast), chapter 14 focuses on the other side: the Lamb, Christians, and God coming in judgment.

First there is a picture of 144,000 in heaven with the Lamb. These are those who had been faithful to God. As we suggested earlier you cannot take this number literally. If we did it would be exactly 144,000 Jewish male virgins. Both 12 and 1000 are significant numbers, 12 being a number associated with God’s people and 1000 being a complete number. I guess the 144,000 is a combination of 1200 and 1000. Rather than descendants of Abraham we might think of God’s spiritual people (spiritual Jews whether Jew or Gentile physically) and the idea that they are virgins suggests purity.

They are in heaven worshiping God singing a new song. Maybe the idea here is this is the opportunity that awaits those who overcome.

The rest of the chapter focuses on judgment coming on earth:

First an angel is is seen preaching the gospel and telling everyone to fear God. You get the feeling there is maybe one last chance to repent.

Another angel announces that Babylon is fallen.

Next is a comforting statement about the “dead who die in the Lord from now own”. This is followed by “one like the son of man” using a sickle to reap the harvest. I take this to be the saved but others think it is a judgment of the wicked.

For certain a judgment of the wicked is in view at the end of the chalter. Another angel, also with a sickle the reaps the rest of mankind and they are thrown in the “great wine press of the wrath of God” which is then pictured as overflowing with a 200 mile river of blood.

What does verse 7 say that is a reason all men should fear and glorify God?

The identity of Babylon is a key question at this point. Consistent with the way I have interpreted the book I would say it is a figurative description of Rome. What was Babylon known for in the Old Testament?

5 thoughts on “Revelation 14

  1. Babylon in the Old Testament took Judah captive. Then Babylon was destroyed. Cyrus who was Persian conquered Babylon and released some of the Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city. As I recall Babylon was a very successful empire, but at the same time a very depraved one. In the Old Testament it may be best known for throwing Daniel and his friends in the Lions Den and for the dreams interpreted by Daniel predicting empires to come before Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems so. I can see how the Jews under Roman rule would make the historical connection to Babylon as the Babylonian captivity had to be the absolutely worst time for them since Israel was established.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It has been said there are 249 references to the Old Testament in Revelation but no direct quotations. Things like Megeddo, Babylon, Sodom, Jezebel, Locusts, Candlesticks, Balaam, etc. It makes sense to me that John uses imagery that the Christians, espcially Jewish Christians, would understand.

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