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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Revelation 7

Verse 1

1 ) "After these things I saw four angels," (meta touto eidon tessaras angelous) "After this I saw (observed) four angels;” The number four (4) is always used with relationship to nature, creation, and the earth,, as servants for those to be heirs of salvation, Hebrews 1:14.

2) "Standing on the four corners of the earth," (hestotas epi tas tessaras gonias tes ges) "Standing upon the four corners (parts) of the earth," from which the wind blows. The (Gk. tessaras) means four parts or four areas of the earth, does not imply that the earth is square.

3) "Holding the four winds of the earth," (kratountas tous tessaras anemous tes ges) "Holding, grasping, or controlling the four winds of the earth;” or holding back the winds from all directions (north, east, south, and west), Daniel 7:2; Ephesians 2:2.

4) "That the wind should not blow on the earth," (hina me pnee anemos epi tes ges) "in order that the winds might not blow upon the earth," in form of devastating ruin. These angels appear to be restraining the prince of the power of the air from reeking immediate destruction on all the earth, John 12:31.

5) "Nor on the sea, nor on any tree," (mete epi tes thalasses mete epi pan dendron) "Nor upon the sea nor even upon any tree;- The four angels, ministering servants of God and men, seem to be temporarily restraining or delaying judgment upon the earth for the protection of certain of God’s elect, Revelation 7:4.

Verse 2

1) "And I saw another angel," (kai eidon allon angelon) "And I saw another angel," of similar appearance to the four. The "other," or fifth angel, had a "grace- message" -in harmony with the numeric meaning and value of the number five.

2) "Ascending from the East," (anabainonta apo anatoles heliou)"Coming up or rising up from the rising of the sun," from the East. He comes from the East, direction of the rising sun, the due source of light, and righteousness, from which the sun of righteousness comes with healing in his wings, Malachi 4:2.

3) "Having the seal of the living God," (echonta sphragida theou zontes) "Having, holding, or bearing the seal of the living God;” The seal indicates ownership or security for certain people of God, Ephesians 1:13; He came to call for security of certain of Israel from certain tribulation perils, Revelation 7:3-4; Exodus 12:23; 2 Timothy 2:19.

4) "And he cried with a loud voice," (kai ekraksen phone megale) "And he cried out with a great or very loud voice," a voice to be heard by all who were in heaven, roundabout the throne, Revelation 7:10-11.

5) "To the four angels, to whom it was given," (tois tessaroin angelois hois edothe autois) "To the four angels to whom it was given over to them;” it was given to their executive jurisdiction later to pour out judgments on the earth, thru their power over the winds of the earth and the sea, Revelation 7:1.

6) "To hurt the earth and the sea," (adikesai ten gen kai thalassan) "To do harm to the earth and the sea," Revelation 7:3.

Verse 3

1) "Saying, hurt not the earth," (Iegon me adikeseteten ge) "Saying, do not harm (disturb or disarrange) the earth;” by releasing hold or restraint that they held, Revelation 7:1; Revelation 6:6; Revelation 9:4; In any manner that it was plagued in Egypt, Exodus 12:13.

2) "Neither the sea," (mete ten thalasson) ", Nor harm the sea," in any form of hurricane, gale, or storm, Exodus 14:30; Jonah 1:4-5; Jonah 1:12; Jonah 1:15.

3) "Nor the trees," (mete ta dendra) "Nor harm the trees," Revelation 8:7; Revelation 9:4. The third part of them are later burned, and all the green grass, only after the servants of God (saints from among the twelve tribes) were sealed.

4) "Till we have sealed the servants of our God," (achri sphagisomen tous doulous tou theou hemon) "Until we may seal the servants of our God;” against physical harm. These servants of God are later referred to as saints because of their religious identity with Israel and ;heir hope of the Messiah, Revelation 11:18; Revelation 14:3.

5) "In their foreheads," (epi ton metopon auton) -Upon their foreheads;" the sealing appears to have been in the forehead to make them conspicuously recognized as people or property of the living God; Ezekiel 9:4.

Verse 4

1) "And I heard the number of them which were sealed," (kai ekousa ton arithmon ton esphragismenon) "And I heard the cardinal number of those who had been sealed;” after John heard, (1 ) First the wail of fear of the mighty of the earth who were to face the wrath of the Lamb, Revelation 6:12-17, and (2) second, after John saw five angels with messages, and the latter restraining the first four from harming the earth, sea, or trees, till the servants of God remaining on earth were sealed, 2 Timothy 2:19.

2) "And there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand," (hekaton tesserakonta tessares chiliades) - (And it was) an hundred and forty and four thousands that was having been sealed;” the same are later referred to as redeemed; These shall stand at the Messiah’s coming to earth, on Mt Zion, Revelation 14:3.

3) Of all the tribes of the children of Israel," (ek pases phules huion Israel) "Originating out of every tribe of Israel," documented and enumerated, tribe by tribe, as follows: This is the preserved remnant of believers of natural Israel, of Abraham’s and David’s natural and spiritual seed, Romans 9:27-28; Isaiah 1:9; These shall enter the Millennium as God fulfills his promises to reign over them and their land in peace, which he shall extend to all the earth, Luke 1:31-33; Acts 15:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 5:9-10.

Verse 5

1) "Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phules louda dodeka chiliades esphragismenoi) "Out of the family-tribe (file) of Juda twelve thousand were sealed;” The sceptre bearing King of Judah shall come to earth again, this time to rule over the house of Jacob and to be king over all the earth, Genesis 49:10; Revelation 5:5-10.

2) "Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phules Rouben dodeka chiliades) "Out of or from the source of the family-tribe of Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Genesis 49:3; twelve thousand (were sealed)," Tho the name of Joseph is substituted for Ephraim and the name of Dan is left out (or lost from the older manuscripts), the accuracy of the introduction, Revelation 7:4 certifies that they were from or (ek) "originating out of" all tribes or the twelve tribes.

3) "Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phules gad dodeka chiliades) "Out of, originating from, the family-tribe of Gad twelve thousand (were sealed);” It was said of him, his brethren "He shall overcome at last," Genesis 49:19.

The number twelve is used to identify God’s people in their organized programs of worship.

It is not accidental that 1) there were twelve organized tribes of God’s covenant people of worship and service in Israel, 2) nor that our Lord called twelve apostles to take the early lead in Doctrinal administration and teaching in his church, or that these (12) apostles shall sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the Millennium, Luke 22:28-30.

Verse 6

1) "Of the tribe of Asher were sealed twelve thousand," (ek pules Aser dodeka chiliades) "Out of the family (file-tribe) of Asher (were sealed) twelve thousand;" He shall yield royal dainties (Genesis 49:20; as his days so shall his strength be when his shoes are as brass and iron and be is received by his brethren, Deuteronomy 33:24-25.

2) "Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phules nephthalim dodeka chiliades) "There were twelve thousand (who were sealed) out of the (phile) family-tribe of Nephthalim;” Tho he once possessed the west and south in Palestine, with divine favor, there is more ahead, after the season of being sealed against death, Deuteronomy 33:23.

3) "Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phules manasse dodeka chiliades) "Out of the tribe (family) of Manasses twelve thousand (were sealed);” It was he who was, by Jacob made less than Ephraim, yet blessed of his father (or Grandfather) (Genesis 48:20. For Ephraim and Manaseh were born to Joseph down in Egypt, Genesis 46:20.

Verse 7

1) "Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phulus Sumeon dodeka chiliades) "Out of the family-tribe of Simeon twelve thousand (were sealed);" Tho he was a man of Chicanery and cruelty, his tribe was preserved for God’s covenant’s sake, Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 34:25-30; Genesis 49:5-7.

2) "Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand;" (ek phules Levi dodeka chiliades) "Out of (the) tribe or family of Levi twelve thousand (were sealed);” He and Simeon are named in colleague of deceit in their disposition, yet God preserved them, Genesis 49:5-7; Joshua 19:1; Joshua 19:9; Psalms 64:2.

3) "Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phules Issachar dodeka chiliades) "Out of the family or tribe of Issachar twelve thousand (were sealed);” This is the tribe that was strong as a donkey and cowed to servitude and paying tribute to Gentiles, Judges 5:15-16; Genesis 49:14-15.

Verse 8

1) "Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phules zabulon dodeka chiliades) "Out of the family or tribe of Zabulon twelve thousand (were sealed);" his living was by the Mediterranean Sea, a protector of ships and commerce from near Caesarea to Sidon, yet there is more for him and his ahead, Genesis 49:13; Deuteronomy 33:18-19.

2) "Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phules loseph dodeka chiliades) "out of the tribe or family of Joseph twelve thousand (were sealed);” he was the betrayed son of Jacob, betrayed of his own brothers, yet he later forgave them and saved their lives, as the rejected Messiah shall do for Joseph and Israel, Genesis 49:22-26; Deuteronomy 33:15-16; Acts 7:30-38.

3) "Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand," (ek phules Beniamin dodeka chiliades esphragismenoi) "Out of the tribe of Benjamin there were twelve thousand who were having been sealed;” To Jacob’s son-of -consolation (Benjamin), conquest and blessings were pledged and there are yet others for him and his remnant, Genesis 49:27. They shall receive the Messiah during the time (42) months of the restored morning and evening oblations of Israel’s restored worship, and while the two witnesses bear testimony in the city of Jerusalem, prior to the sealing of the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel, Daniel 9:26-27; Revelation 11:1-4; This sealing seems to occur just before Satan is cast out of heaven with but a "short time," left on earth - described as a time, times, and half time, Revelation 12:7-12; Revelation 12:14.

Verse 9

1) "After this I beheld, and lo," (meta tauta eidon kai idou) "After these things, I saw, and behold," after the sealing of the 144,000 of natural Israel on earth against death to come during the tribulation the great, John saw the following before the throne and the Lamb in heaven.

2) "A great multitude, which no man could number," (ochlos polus hon arithesai auton oudeis edunato)."A mass (of people) and no one was able to number it;” This is the same throne where God sat, with 24 lower thrones encircling the central throne - time passed, the Lamb took the seven seal book and he was pronounced worthy to open it. The seals have been opened, one by one - the horse rider, antichrist, entered with deceit, Revelation 6:9 the redeemed are seen under the alter.

3) "Of all nations, and kindreds, and people, an tongues," (ek pantos ethnous kai phulon kai loon kai glosson) "Out of (from among) every nationality, and all tribes, and all peoples," as in Revelation 6:9-11 a rest or relief from earth’s horrors is given while a view of the redeemed from the Jew, Gentile, and church are beheld under the Altar, awaiting Christ’s return to the earth, with the Saints.

4) "Stood before the throne," (hestotes enopion tou thronou) "Standing in review of the throne," before the throne; Recall the four living creatures, and the four and twenty elders were the only ones first seen before the throne, but in the midst of the summary of earth’s judgments, the redeemed of the ages appear as the first resurrection has evidently occurred.

5) "And before the Lamb," (kai enopion tou arniou) "And standing before (in review of) the Lamb;” The first resurrection has occurred, and with it the rapture of the church, and with it the outgoing of the Holy Spirit, as he came on Pentecost, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:4-11.

6) "Clothed with white robes," (peribeblemenous stolas leukas) "Having been uniformed with (in) white robes or uniforms," Revelation 3:5; Revelation 3:18; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:9; Romans 11:25.

7) "And palms in their hands," (kai phoinikes en tais chersin auton) "And (with) palms in their hands," symbols of victory - victory recognized - These are the resurrected and raptured, awaiting their coronation, John 12:13.

Verse 10

1) "And cried with a loud voice saying," (kai krazo usin phone megale legontes) "And they cry with a loud (megaphone-like) voice, saying;” This innumerable multitude of the first resurrection redeemed in heaven, gathered round the throne of God, seem to have immediately joined earlier heaven occupants, giving honor and praise to God and the Lamb; Revelation 4:9-11; Revelation 5:6-13; Revelation 6:9-11.

2) "Salvation to our God," (he soteria to theo hemon) "Salvation (deliverance) to our God;” This innumerable host of the white robed redeemed, with Palms in their hands, were repeatedly crying, (with rapture) of praise, salvation or deliverance to our God, the God of all of us who had redeemed them by his grace - for "salvation is of the Lord," and his Grace, Jonah 2:9; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 2:11-14.

3) "Which sitteth upon the throne," (to kathemeno epi to throno) "To him who sits upon the throne," as king of heaven and earth, Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 3:1; Revelation 4:2; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 4:10-11. Because He is the cause and originator of our salvation, adoration belongs to God.

4) "And unto the Lamb," (kai toarnio) "And to or toward the Lamb;” and to Jesus Christ "who stood as (in our place) as a lamb slain from the foundation of the world;” John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:18-19, -He in time, had been slain, bore our sins in his own body, and raised in victory, triumphant over sin and death, assuring our deliverance from the consequence of sin and death, 1 Peter 1:18-20; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 1:18; Romans 8:11; Ephesians 3:21. Glory due him must be given, especially in the church, even today. Let us sing "Glory to his Name."

Verse 11

1) "And all the angels stood round about the throne," (kai pantes hoi angeloi heistekeisan kuklo tou thronou) "And all the angels stood round about or encircling the (central) throne," where God the Father is reigning; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3; Romans 8:34. Where the resurrected and raptured redeemed had now been gathered while latter tribulation judgments fell on the earth, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 9:28.

2) "And about the elders and the four beasts," (kai ton presbuteron kai ton tessaron zoon) "And the elders (twenty and four) and the four living creatures;” note, it appears that Michael and his angels just stood up for and sealed the earthly servants of God (144,000) against death in the coming 12 mo. of the tribulation, Daniel 12:1; overcome Satan and cast him and his demons out from their accusing admission to heaven, so that he can enter no more, Revelation 12:7-12; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and the good angels join the people of God before the throne, Revelation 4:9-10.

3) "And fell before the throne," (kai epesan enopison tou thronou) "And they (the angels) fell before the(facing) the throne;" in worship, adoration, as a dog before his master, a slave before his owner, as a criminal before the executioner, to whom he owes his life, his all, Revelation 5:11.

4) "On their faces," (epi ta prosopa auton) "Upon their faces," or "face down", in total, absolute, final surrender, offering of themselves and their all in service and praise of God on his throne and Jesus at his right hand.

5) "And worshipped God," (kai prosekunesan to theo) "And worshipped God," to or toward God; Both the innumerable of the redeemed and the innumerable angels of heaven, servants and ministers of God, and of the saved, Hebrews 1:14; joined in surrender to and worship of God, as John formerly beheld them, represented before the throne by the (1) four living creatures, and (2) by the 24 elders, Revelation 4:1 to Revelation 5:14.

Verse 12

1) "Saying," (legontes) "repeatedly, progressively saying,

d) "And wisdom," (kai he sophia) "And the wisdom,"

e) "And thanksgiving," (kai he eucharistia) "and the thanksgiving,"

g) "And power," (kai he dunamis) "And the dynamic power,

2) "Be unto our God," (to theo hemon) -(Let be) to our God;” the creator, the sustainer of all life, and originator, and finisher of our faith, our salvation, our deliverance, Jonah 2:9; 1 Timothy 6:15-16; Ephesians 3:19-21; Hebrews 12:1-2.

3) "For ever and ever," (eis tous aionas ton aionon) "Into the ages of the ages," the endless, unceasing, or timeless ages unlimited, 1 Corinthians 2:9.

4) "Amen," (amen) "So may it (such praise) ever, unceasingly be," or exist, go on and on, as we shall ever thereafter be together with the Lord and the redeemed loved ones gone before, Revelation 21:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Verse 13

1) "And one of the elders answered," (kai apekrithe eis ek ton presbuteron) "And one of the elders (one of the twenty four encircling the throne) responded, inquired of me, Revelation 4:6-8; Revelation 11:16.

2) "Saying unto me," (legon moil "Saying, inquiring directly to me," to John, who had wept bitterly when no man was found worthy to take the book out of the hand of God upon his throne, until one elder told him, "weep not," Revelation 5:5.

3) "Who are these," (tines eisin) "Who are they (those)?" Among the redeemed of the ages before the throne repeatedly, like an anthem, like a mighty symphony, giving praise and honor and glory to the Father and the Son - who are they?

4) "Which are arrayed in white robes?" (houtoi hoi peribeblemenoi tas stolas tas leukas) "Who are these who have just been clothed (suited out) with white robes or uniforms?" What is their identity? Daniel 11:32-35; Daniel 12:10-11; They appear to be the church just raptured, as later described, Revelation 19:7-9.

5) "And whence came they?" (kai pothen elthon) "And from whence (where) or what place came they?" The one elder from among the twenty four elders inquired. He did not ask John just for information - but for emphasis, pointing to the trials or tribulations that they, perhaps the church, had been "accounted" worthy to escape, Luke 21:34-36; Revelation 7:3; Hebrews 9:28; Ephesians 3:21; Acts 20:28.

Verse 14

1) "And I said unto him," (kai eireka auto) "And I replied (responded) to him;” John was the beholder of the heavenly scene, the writer of this book, who was told to write what he heard and saw, Revelation 1:19.

2) "Sir thou knowest," (kurie mou, su oidas) "Lord, master, or sir, as one of the twenty-four (24) knowledgeable elders, representing Israel and the church, you understand," or know, Revelation 4:4; Daniel 12:9-10; Revelation 19:7-9.

3) "And he said unto me," (kai eipen moi) "And he explained to me," the elder from among the twenty-four, referred to in previous verse yet speaks.

4) "These are they which come out of great tribulation," (houtoi eisin hoi erchomenoi ek tes thlipseostes mega les) "These are those having come out of the tribulation the great," of their own accord, or by reason of their own preparation, to escape the things coming upon the earth, the living saints, the church raptured, Luke 21:36; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 19:7-9.

5) "And have washed their robes," (kai eleukanon autos) (kai eplunan tas stolas auton) "And washed their stole-robes," made them clean - they in the robes, washed the robes, kept themselves clean with separate living and holy service, Luke 21:34-36; Romans 12-1, 2; 1 Corinthians 9:27.

6) "And made them white," (kai eleukanan autas) "And whitened them," made them to be morally and doctrinally pure or clean; Being in the Lord, a child of God is called upon, challenged to keep his fleshly garments clean, and useful as one in the blood of the Lamb, 1 John 1:7; Revelation 19:8; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 11:2.

7) "In the blood of the Lamb," (en to hainati tou arniou) "in the blood of the Lamb," Because they were themselves redeemed by or in the blood of the Lamb; one is to cleanse himself being in the blood to have white inoffensive garments, and offer service in the church, 2 Corinthians 7:1; James 4:8; Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 15

1) "Therefore are they before the throne of God," (dia touto eisin enopion tou thronou tou theou) "Therefore (on account of this) are they before (in the presence of the throne) of God;” Because they have been redeemed by the blood, and have themselves (washed their own robes) being in the blood of the Lamb, have kept their bodies under subjection and in service to the Lord, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 9:26-27; Romans 12:1-2; Revelation 19:5-9.

2) "And serve him day and night," (kai latreuousin auto hermeras kai nuktos) "And do spiritual service to him day and night," in worship, honor, praise and fellowship with him and other redeemed who await their return with him to rule on the earth, Revelation 5:9-10.

3) "in his temple," (en to nao autou) "in his temple," or shrine, in the central throne area encircled by the (24) lower thrones with their elders, the four living creatures, the angels, and the raptured,, church, and first resurrection, resurrected redeemed of the ages, 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:18.

4) "And he that sitteth on the throne," (kai ho kathemenos epi tou thronou) "And he who was continually sitting upon the throne," God the Father, Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3; Romans 8:34.

5) "Shall dwell among them," (skenosei ep’ autous) "Will spread his tent or tabernacle over them," Will shelter them, Revelation 21:3; Revelation 22:3-5; Isaiah 4:5-6 - He will protect them from hurt or storm, rain and cold and from the scorching sun by day and by night, offer every protection needful for pleasantness forever, Psalms 23:1-6.

Verse 16

1) "They shall hunger no more," (ou peinasousin eit) "They will not hunger any more at all;” all the need of each redeemed will be met in his resurrection and glorified body, so that he shall be or go hungry no more, forever, Isaiah 49:10.

2) "Neither thirst any more," (oude dipsesousin eti) "Nor will they thirst any longer," ever thirst at all in their new bodies, Psalms 23:1-6; John 4:13-14; John 6:35.

3) "Neither shall the sun light on them," (oude me pese ep’ autous ho helios) "Neither (will) the sun fall on (or smite, blister) them at all," any more, as promised by prophets of old, Psalms 121:6; Revelation 21:21-24.

4) "Nor any heat," (oude pan kauma) "Nor will there ever any heat fall on them."

Verse 17

1 ) "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne," (hoti to arnion to ana meson tou thronou) "Because the Lamb in the midst of the central throne area;” of the heavenly temple worship, at the right hand of the majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 5:5-10.

2) "Shall feed them," (poimanei autous) "Will shepherd (feed or care for) them," as the Great Shepherd, John 10:1-42; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4.

3) "And shall lead them," (kai hodegesei autous) "And will lead them;” as described by the Psalmist – Psalms 23:1-6; Psalms 36:8.

4) "Unto living fountains of water," (epi zoes peagas hudaton) "Unto fountains of waters of life," where there are pleasures forever more, in the Millennial and the new heaven, Zechariah 14:8; Psalms 16:11; Revelation 22:1-3.

5) "And God shall wipe away," (kai eksaleipsei ho theos) "And God shall wipe out or away," God shall remove:

6) "All tears from their eyes," (pan dakruon ek ton ophthalmon auton) "All tears out of their eyes," when the Great white throne is over and the new heaven and new earth have the redeemed as their inhabitants, Revelation 21:3-5; Ephesians 3:20-21. Causes and occasions of sorrow shall be no more - This is victory, thru the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Revelation 7". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/revelation-7.html. 1985.