Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 7:3

saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Israel;   Righteous;   Seal;   Servant;   Vision;   Thompson Chain Reference - Battle of Life;   Israel;   Protection, Divine;   Righteous, the;   Righteous-Wicked;   Saints;   Sealed, Saints;   The Topic Concordance - Seals;   Servants;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Judgments;   Sealing of the Holy Spirit;   Seals;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Forehead;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Day of the lord;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Mark of the Beast;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Seal;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Cuttings;   Ring;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Forehead;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Forehead;   Mystery;   Revelation, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apocalypse;   Israel;   Sea ;   Seal ;   Sin (2);   Tree ;   Tribes ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Dan;   Forehead;   Genealogies;   Sealing;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Forehead;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Apostle;   Forehead;   Mark;   Revelation of John:;   Seal;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Phylacteries;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for March 18;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Till we have sealed the servants of our God - There is manifestly an allusion to Ezekiel 9:4; here. By sealing we are to understand consecrating the persons in a more especial manner to God, and showing, by this mark of God upon them, that they were under his more immediate protection, and that nothing should hurt them. It was a custom in the east, and indeed in the west too, to stamp with a hot iron the name of the owner upon the forehead or shoulder of his slave.

It is worthy of remark that not one Christian perished in the siege of Jerusalem; all had left the city, and escaped to Pella. This I have often had occasion to notice.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-7.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea … - Let the winds be restrained until what is here designated shall be done. These destroying angels were commanded to suspend the work of destruction until the servants of God could be rendered secure. The division here, as in Revelation 7:1, of the “earth, the sea, and the trees,” seems to include everything - water, land, and the productions of the earth. Nothing was to be injured until the angel should designate the true servants of God.

Till we have sealed the servants of our God - The use of the plural “we” seems to denote that he did not expect to do it alone. Who were to be associated with him, whether angels or human beings, he does not intimate; but the work was evidently such that it demanded the agency of more than one.

In their foreheads - See the notes on Revelation 7:2; compare Ezekiel 9:4-5. A mark thus placed on the forehead would be conspicuous, and would be something which could at once be recognized if destruction should spread over the world. The fulfillment of this is to be found in two things:

(a)in something which would be conspicuous or prominent - so that it could be seen; and,

(b)in the mark being of such a nature or character that it would be a proper designation of the fact that they were the true servants of God.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-7.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we shall have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.

Hurt not the earth ... sea ... trees ... The four angels who had such power are not depicted as having done any hurt at all, nor as ever having had either any intention or any desire to hurt anything. There was an extensive angelology among the Jews; but the mention in this prophecy of angels of the winds (as here), the angel of fire (Revelation 14:18), and the angel of the waters (Revelation 16:5), is not sufficient grounds for receiving the speculative Hebrew angelology as dependable. The New Testament purposely left us in the dark concerning any definitive teaching regarding the work of angels. Some of their functions may be inferred from various Old Testament and New Testament texts; and, for a glance at these, see in my Commentary on Hebrews, p. 31, and under Revelation 10:7.

Till we shall have sealed the servants of our God ... The future perfect tense, as well as the "till," suggests that the restraining of the destructive forces shall be continued throughout the Christian dispensation until the Second Advent, until all of God's servants are sealed.

We ... our ... These are not merely editorial expressions, but have the meaning that the work of all the angels in view here is one work; all are concerned with both the restraining and the sealing. Therefore, this would seem to be a reference to the work of angels who do service for them that are the heirs of salvation, as in Hebrews 1:14.

God's servants ... To the generation which first read Revelation, this expression could have had only one meaning, Christians. That is what it meant then, and what it still means. God has no bondservants who are not Christians. Furthermore, it is not merely some fraction of these, or some limited group, or class, such as martyrs, who are to be sealed. All are sealed; and not even any destructive natural force shall be allowed to impede or interfere with this sealing until it is totally accomplished.

In their foreheads ... Such a designated place for the sealing suggests that the countenances of the sealed will bear eloquent witness of their having been sealed, a truth exemplified by the radiant countenances of Christians all over the world. When the rich young ruler went away from Jesus, it is recorded that "his countenance fell" (Mark 10:22); and God's sealing of his servants gives the opposite of a fallen countenance. As Lenski put it, "The countenance identifies the person ... what the heart is, the face and eyes reveal."[29]

ENDNOTE:

[29] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 250.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-7.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,.... That is, as yet, for their commission was not contradicted, nor taken away by Christ; and at the time appointed, at the blowing of the several trumpets, they let loose the winds, and let in the Goths, Hans, and Vandals, the Saracens and Turks into the empire, and after that poured out the vials of God's wrath upon the Romish antichrist: this retarding of them was but in appearance, that there might be an opportunity to show to John what care would be taken all along of the church of Christ, and true servants of the living God:

till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads; the servants of sin, Satan, and the beast of Rome, were took no notice nor care of; they were the persons to be hurt by the winds, signified by the earth, sea, and trees, even idolaters, small and great; but "the servants of our God", who serve him with grace in their hearts, from a principle of love, in the exercise of faith, without servile fear, and with reverence and godly fear, in righteousness and true holiness, and with a view to his glory; and are worshippers of him in spirit and in truth, being followers of the Lamb, whithersoever he goes; and so are the servants of his God, and their God; the sealing of them does not design the sealing of them with the seal of election, this was done in eternity; nor with the seal of the Spirit, which is common to all the saints in all ages; but it denotes the hiding and concealing, and so securing the saints amidst all the calamities of the empire, and throughout the whole time of the Romish apostasy, from first to last; and respects the time when the church fled into the wilderness, and was hid, and nourished with the hidden manna, for a time, and times, and half a time, Revelation 12:14. Christ set a mark upon them, as was upon the houses of the Israelites, when the destroying angel passed through Egypt, and destroyed the firstborn in it; and as was upon the foreheads of those that sighed and cried in Jerusalem, when orders were given to slay young and old, Exodus 12:23. Christ will have a people in the worst of times; he knows who are his, and he will take care of them; he has his chambers of protection to hide them in, till the indignation is over past: the sealers, "we", are either Father, Son, and Spirit, who are all jointly concerned for the welfare of the eject; or Christ and his ministering angels that attend him, whom he employs for the good and safety of the heirs of salvation: the seal with which these are sealed is the seal of the living God, the foreknowledge, love, care, and power of God; and the name of God, even Christ's Father's name, and their Father's name, in their foreheads; the new name of children of God, by and under which they are known and preserved by him: and this is said to be "in their foreheads", in allusion to servants, who used to be marked in their foreheads; hence they are called by ApuleiusF3Metamorph. l. 9. p. 130. "frontes literati"; and by Martial, a servant is called "fronte notatus"F4Epigr. l. 3. Ep. 20. : but then these were such who had committed faults, and this was done by way of punishmentF5Vid. Popma de Operis Servorum, p. 170, &c. ; wherefore it can hardly be thought that the servants of God should be sealed, in allusion to them: but rather with reference to the mitre on the high priest's forehead, as some think; or it may be to Ezekiel 9:4, and shows, that though these persons were hid and concealed from men, they were well known to God and Christ; nor were they ashamed to make a public and open confession of Christ before men, as did the true and faithful witnesses of Christ, the Waldenses and Albigenses, in the midst of the greatest darkness of Popery, and of danger from men; and who seem to be chiefly intended.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-7.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Hurt not — by letting loose the destructive winds.

till we have sealed the servants of our God — parallel to Matthew 24:31, “His angels  …  shall gather together His elect from the four winds.” God‘s love is such, that He cannot do anything in the way of judgment, till His people are secured from hurt (Genesis 19:22). Israel, at the eve of the Lord‘s coming, shall be found re-embodied as a nation; for its tribes are distinctly specified (Joseph, however, being substituted for Dan; whether because Antichrist is to come from Dan, or because Dan is to be Antichrist‘s especial tool [Aretas, tenth century], compare Genesis 49:17; Jeremiah 8:16; Amos 8:14; just as there was a Judas among the Twelve). Out of these tribes a believing remnant will be preserved from the judgments which shall destroy all the Antichristian confederacy (Revelation 6:12-17), and shall be transfigured with the elect Church of all nations, namely, 144,000 (or whatever number is meant by this symbolical number), who shall faithfully resist the seductions of Antichrist, while the rest of the nation, restored to Palestine in unbelief, are his dupes, and at last his victims. Previously to the Lord‘s judgments on Antichrist and his hosts, these latter shall destroy two-thirds of the nation, one-third escaping, and, by the Spirit‘s operation through affliction, turning to the Lord, which remnant shall form the nucleus on earth of the Israelite nation that is from this time to stand at the head of the millennial nations of the world. Israel‘s spiritual resurrection shall be “as life from the dead” to all the nations. As now a regeneration goes on here and there of individuals, so there shall then be a regeneration of nations universally, and this in connection with Christ‘s coming. Matthew 24:34; “this generation (the Jewish nation) shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled,” which implies that Israel can no more pass away before Christ‘s advent, than Christ‘s own words can pass away (the same Greek), Matthew 24:35. So exactly Zechariah 13:8, Zechariah 13:9; Zechariah 14:2-4, Zechariah 14:9-21; compare Zechariah 12:2-14; Zechariah 13:1, Zechariah 13:2. So also Ezekiel 8:17, Ezekiel 8:18; Ezekiel 9:1-7, especially Ezekiel 9:4. Compare also Ezekiel 10:2 with Revelation 8:5, where the final judgments actually fall on the earth, with the same accompaniment, the fire of the altar cast into the earth, including the fire scattered over the city. So again, Revelation 14:1, the same 144,000 appear on Zion with the Father‘s name in their forehead, at the close of the section, the twelfth through fourteenth chapters, concerning the Church and her foes. Not that the saints are exempt from trial: Revelation 7:14 proves the contrary; but their trials are distinct from the destroying judgments that fall on the world; from these they are exempted, as Israel was from the plagues of Egypt, especially from the last, the Israelite doors having the protecting seal of the blood-mark.

foreheads — the most conspicuous and noblest part of man‘s body; on which the helmet, “the hope of salvation,” is worn.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-7.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Hurt not (μη αδικησητεmē adikēsēte). Prohibition with μηmē and the ingressive aorist active subjunctive of αδικεωadikeō not to begin to hurt.

Till we shall have sealed (αχρι σπραγισωμενachri sphragisōmen). Temporal clause of indefinite action for the future with αχριachri (sometimes αχρις ουachris hou or αχρις ου ανachris hou an) and the aorist subjunctive as in Revelation 15:8; Revelation 20:3, Revelation 20:5 or the future indicative (Revelation 17:7), usually with the notion of ascent (up to) rather than extent like μεχριmechri (modal) sometimes occurs, but it is not necessary. But there is no futurum exactum idea in the aorist subjunctive, simply “till we seal,” not “till we shall have sealed.”

Upon their foreheads (επι των μετωπωνepi tōn metōpōn). From Ezekiel 9:4. Old word (μετα ωπςmetaτους δουλους του τεουōps after the eye, above the eye, the space above or between the eyes), in N.T. only in the Apocalypse (Revelation 7:3; Revelation 9:4; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 14:1, Revelation 14:9; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 20:4; Revelation 22:4). For “the servants of God” (tous doulous tou theou) who are to be thus marked linked with angels in the service of God see Revelation 1:1; Revelation 2:20; Revelation 19:2, Revelation 19:5; Revelation 22:3, Revelation 22:6.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-7.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

In their foreheads

Compare Exodus 28:36-38; Ezekiel 9:4.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-7.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Hurt not the earth, till we — Other angels were joined in commission with him.

Have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads — Secured the servants of God of the twelve tribes from the impending calamities; whereby they shall be as clearly distinguished from the rest, as if they were visibly marked on their foreheads.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-7.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Ver. 3. Hurt not] Reprobates often fare the better for those few righteous that are among them; they are therefore singularly foolish for seeking to rid them, and root them out, as the heathen emperors did. These resemble the stag in the emblem, that fed upon the leaves which hid him from the hunter and Samson-like, by pulling down the pillars, they bring the house upon their own heads.

In their foreheads] Not in their hands only, as the vassals of Antichrist, {Revelation 13:16} who have free liberty to dissemble, deny their religion, do anything, so the Catholic cause be thereby advanced. My son, give me thy heart, said Gregory XIII to our English Papists, let who will have thy tongue and outward man.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-7.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 7:3. (81) σφραγίσω΄εν, we may seal) By this sealing, the servants of God out of the tribes of Israel are preserved, all along from the time of John, against the calamities which threaten under the seven trumpets. Before this there had been no need of sealing, before the danger. The ancestors are sealed at one time, and their posterity at another. If the ancestors were slain, there would be no posterity. Under the trumpet of the fifth angel, not even are those slain who are not sealed; much less, therefore, are they slain who are sealed.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-7.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

A manifest allusion to Ezekiel 9:4, and, as some think, to the usage of some eastern countries, for masters to set their names upon the forehead of their slaves, by which they were known to be theirs, as we mark our sheep or other beasts. Men as vainly dispute what this seal should be, as what the t meant in Ezekiel 9:1-11, the mark set upon those that mourned for the abominations of Jerusalem. The place where they were to be sealed signified the end of their sealing to be not so much for confirmation, for which seals are used, as notification, to signify to others they belong to God; so as it was of the same use as the blood upon the two side-posts and the upper door-posts of the Israelites in Egypt, Exodus 12:13.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-7.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Hurt not; let not the troubles come till we have placed God’s seal or mark upon his people. Desolating judgments are often delayed for a season, to give opportunity for the spread of the gospel, and for the gathering in of such as embrace it to the church of Christ.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-7.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

Hurt not the earth--7:3.

"Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."

This was the counter command of the angel of the rising sun to the four angels. The purpose of this sealing, as later seen, is to preserve the holy seed, the true Israel of God, from the judgments about to come upon the earth. It was not exemption from suffering, but from the judgments about to be announced in the opening of the seventh seal. It was a suspension period before the break of fury, signifying the divine protection of the faithful seed, the assurance that no force could bring them ultimate harm.

The sealing in their foreheads was a symbol of an insignia or a mark to save them from slaughter, but not from tribulation, for chapter 2:10 said "thou shalt suffer tribulation ten days." But they would survive it; they would be preserved in the midst of it, by a mark to distinguish the true Israel, the holy seed, from old Israel, the fleshly Jew. The old Israel was soon to perish, the new Israel to be preserved; the old Jerusalem was soon destroyed by impending judgments, the new Israel to be sealed for preservation, to survive and flourish as Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, the church of the firstborn, sealed on earth and enrolled in heaven. A similar imagery is employed by Jeremiah in foretelling the captivity of Israel in Babylon. (Ezekiel 9:4)

Its history repeats itself in these visions of tribulation in the final destruction of Jerusalem, and of Israel's nation. It is noteworthy that in this imagery there was the mark that sealed the servants of God in their foreheads, who worshipped not the beast, in contrast with what was later called the mark of the beast, also received upon their foreheads and in their hands, by those who submitted to the beast--to the decree of the emperor against the worship of the Lamb, and for the worship of the emperor, as set forth in the second series of symbols surrounding the church the Bride of the Lamb. In a similar figure Paul carried the mark of his Lord. (Galatians 6:17)

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-7.html. 1966.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hurt not the earth, &c. Some understand Christ himself, who gives his commands in this manner to the Angels; others, an Angel of a higher rank or order. --- Till we seal the servants of our God in their foreheads, which may be expounded, let not persecutions and trials come upon them till they are strengthened by the spirit and grace of God, with which St. Paul sometimes says the servants of God are signed and sealed. See 2 Corinthians i. 22.; Ephesians i. 13. He alludes to the passages of Ezechiel (Chap. ix. 4.) where God bids and angel mark with the letter Tau the foreheads of those who should not be hurt by the judgments that were to fall upon Jerusalem; so God would protect the faithful Christians, who believe and put their trust in Christ crucified, and who from the first ages [centuries], in testimony of this faith, used to sign themselves by making the sign of the cross on their foreheads, of which the letter Tau was a figure or resemblance. See Tertullian, de lib. Corona militis. I beg the readers patience, if I here set down what I find in the great Synopsis Papismi, in folio, put out by Mr. Andrew Willet, and dedicated first to queen Elizabeth, and afterwards to king James the first. Among his demonstrations, as he calls them, that the pope is the antichrist, (Controv. iv. q. 10. p. 232 and 233) he tells us in plain terms, "that the sign of the cross is one of the visible signs of antichrist. And who," saith he, "hath taught the papists that the sign of the cross is to be borne or made on men's foreheads? And that with crossing the forehead we are preserved from dangers? The superstitious marks of the cross had their beginning from the beast's name, since the number of the beast's name in the Revelation of St. John is by these Greek letters, Greek: chxs. The first letter, Greek: ch, is a cross; the middle letter, Greek: x, (in Latin, X) is also a side long cross; and the last letter, Greek: s, contains both Greek: s and Greek: t of which the latter is called a headless cross;" and then Mr. Willet concludes in these words, "And thus it plainly appears, that the marks whereby the papists say they honour Christ, are rather a dishonour to him, and are in very deed the cognizance of antichrist." Such an ingenious, and at the same time learned fancy, may perhaps outvie even those we have cited out of Mr. Brightman [in the annotations on Chap. iii. 14-22.], and may be equally serviceable to any country parson on the fifth of November, or on any day when he shall think fit to hold forth against the pope or popery. I suppose that Mr. Willet did not know that the Christians in the first ages [centuries] (as all Catholics to this day) made so frequent use of the sign of the cross, as it is witnessed by Tertullian above two hundred years before even any Protestant pretended that the popes began to be antichrists, or the great antichrist. And this, says he, they do by a tradition from father to son. At every setting forward or going about any thing, at coming home or going out, at putting on our clothes, at going to bathe, to table, to light a candle, to bed, to sit down, to any thing, we make the sign of the cross on our foreheads. And this is a tradition. The like is witnessed by St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, and many of the Fathers. At the same time that with our hand we make the sign of the cross, we say these words, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;" the words used when any one is made a Christian, according to the command of Christ. So that the action itself puts us in mind that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross; and by the words, we make a profession of our Christian faith, that we believe in one God and three Persons. Can we do this too often? Dare we be ashamed of doing it? Was ever any thing more ridiculous than to call this in very deed the cognizance of antichrist? What must Mr. Willet have thought of the Protestants, or what can they think of him, and such like folio scribbers, to prove the popes the beast of St. John's Revelation? What must, I say, Mr. Willet think of the public liturgy, or the book of common prayer, approved and used by the Church of England in his time, and which ordains that the sign of the cross shall be made by the priest on the forehead of every one that is baptized? This, according to Mr. Willet, is (when any one is made a Christian) to give him the badge, and visible sign of antichrist, to the dishonour of Christ, and what in very deed is the cognizance of antichrist. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-7.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

neither. Same as nor, Revelation 7:1.

have = shall have, sealed. See App-197. Compare Revelation 9:4; Revelation 14:1; Revelation 22:4, and See Revelation 13:16; Revelation 14:9. This sealing is visible and protects the elect (Matthew 24:31) of Israel during the tribulation, marking them off as worshippers of the true God.

servants. App-190.

in = upon. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-7.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Hurt not - by letting loose destructive winds.

Till we have sealed the servants of our God - parallel to Matthew 24:31. God's love is such that He cannot do anything in judgment until His people are secured (Genesis 19:22). Israel, just before the Lord's coming, shall be re-embodied as a nation; for its tribes are specified (Joseph, however, substituted for Dan: whether because Antichrist is to come from Dan, or Dan is to be his tool [Arethas, 10th century], cf. Genesis 49:17; Jeremiah 8:16; Amos 8:14, as there was a Judas among the Twelve). Out of these tribes a believing remnant will be preserved from the judgments which destroy the anti-Christian confederacy (Revelation 6:12-17), and shall be transfigured with the elect of all nations-namely, 144,000 (or whatever is meant by the symbolical number), who shall faithfully resist the seductions of Antichrist, while the rest, restored to Palestine in unbelief, are his dupes, and at last his victims.

Previously to the Lord's judgments on Antichrist, His hosts shall destroy two-thirds of the nation, one-third escaping. By the Spirit's operation through affliction, this remnant, turning to the Lord, shall form the nucleus on earth of the Israelite nation that is thenceforth to stand at the head of the millennial nations. Israel's spiritual resurrection shall be as "life from the dead" to all nations (Romans 11:15). As now a regeneration goes on of individuals, so there shall then be a regeneration of nations, in connection with Christ's coming. Matthew 24:34-35, "this generation (the Jewish nation) shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled:" Israel can no more pass away before Christ's advent, than Christ's own words can pass away. So Zechariah 13:1-2; Zechariah 13:8-9; Zechariah 14:2-4; Zechariah 14:9-21 : cf. Revelation 12:2-14. So Ezekiel 8:17-18; Ezekiel 9:1-7, especially Revelation 7:4. Compare also Ezekiel 10:2, with Revelation 8:5, where the final judgments fall on the earth, with the same accompaniment, the fire of the altar cast into the earth, including the fire scattered over city. So Revelation 14:1, the same 144,000 appears on Zion with the Father's name in their forehead; at the close of the section, Revelation 12:1-17; Revelation 13:1-18; Revelation 14:1-20, concerning the Church and her foes. The saints are not exempt from trial: Revelation 7:14 apparently disproves the theory that the elect shall be caught up before the great tribulation (notes, 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Jude 1:14); but their trials are distinct from the destroying judgments that follow on the world: from these they are exempted, as Israel was from Egypt's plagues, especially from the last, the Israelite doors having the blood-mark seal.

Foreheads - the conspicuous, noblest part of man's body: whereon the helmet, "the hope of salvation," is worn.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-7.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Hurt not
6:6; 9:4; Isaiah 6:13; 27:8; 65:8; Matthew 24:22,31
till
14:1; Exodus 12:13,23; Isaiah 26:20,21; Exodus 9:4-6; Zephaniah 2:3
the servants
19:2; Isaiah 54:17; Daniel 3:17,26; 6:16; Malachi 3:18; John 12:26; Romans 6:22
in their
13:16; 14:1; 20:4; 22:4
Reciprocal: Psalm 71:3 - thou hast;  Song of Solomon 4:12 - sealed;  Ezekiel 9:4 - set a mark;  Ezekiel 9:6 - but;  2 Corinthians 1:22 - sealed;  Revelation 7:2 - having;  Revelation 17:5 - upon

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-7.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

They were told to hold back the winds until the faithful ones had been accounted for. A seal is a stamp of ownership and is placed on the proper persons to indicate the approval of the authority behind it. (See the comments at 1 Corinthians 9:2.) This seal was to be placed in the forehead which indicates they would be visible to the public. Whatever was the exact fulfilling of this symbol, there was something that would tell the world of God"s approval of them. Hence when the wicked men of power were undergoing their terrors, they could realize how much they had failed in their wicked designs. Right while they were trembling in the terrors of their crumbling dominions, they could see the victims of their cruelty with the marks of approval from their God.

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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-7.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 7:3

Revelation 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads;

that is all God's faithful servants, both ministers and people, who were to be secured and preserved from these hurtful angels, as { Revelation 7:5-6} following. Whereby they were distinguished from all others, whom the four angels were permitted to hurt. { Revelation 9:4} And was it commanded them, that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads; {as Ezekiel 9:4-6}

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 7:3". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-7.html.