Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 7:5

from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Israel;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Vision;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Seals;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Jews, Judaism;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Juda;   Temple;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Revelation, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apocalypse;   Israel;   Seal ;   Tribes ;   Type;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Dan;   Gad;   Genealogies;   Israel ;   Judah ;   Sealing;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Dan;   Ju'da;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Dan (1);   Names, Proper;   Reuben;   Revelation of John:;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Dan;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand,.... Judah is mentioned first, because Christ sprung from that tribe, and the pure worship of God was preserved in it; and that itself was preserved a distinct tribe until the coming of Shiloh; its name signifies "praise God", Genesis 29:35; and shows, that it becomes all the sealed ones, all true believers, and every member of the church of God, to praise him for all favours and blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal.

Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand; Reuben was Jacob's firstborn, but by his sin he lost the honour and privilege of birthright, and therefore is mentioned after Judah, who prevailed above him and the rest of his brethren; his name signifies "see the Son", Genesis 29:32; and shows that the Son of God is to be looked unto for righteousness, life, and salvation, by all that expect to be saved, and to him does the true church look for eternal life and happiness.

Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand; his name signifies a "troop", Genesis 30:11, and may denote that there would be a numerous company of saints and faithful witnesses during the time of sealing, and amidst all the troubles and afflictions that would attend the church and people of God, and who in the issue would be conquerors, and more than conquerors, through Christ; see Genesis 49:19.

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-7.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

Judah is mentioned first, in respect of the kingdom, and of the Messiah sprung therefrom.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-7.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

This formal enumeration seems to be intended only to make more distinct and emphatical the divine determination to shield his servants most carefully from danger, when the great day of his wrath shall come.--the Jew first, (Revelation 7:4-8,) and also the Gentile, (Revelation 7:9.)

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-7.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

Ver. 5. Twelve thousand] Out of each tribe so many. God inclines towards all the elect with an equal good will; neither shall any one complain justly that others have been more regarded than he, as one well observeth here.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-7.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 7:5. Of the tribe of Judah, &c.— As the spiritual church of Christ was first formed out of the Jewish church and nation, so here the spiritual Israel is first mentioned; but the twelve tribes are not enumerated here in the same method and order as they are in other places of holy scripture. Judeah has the precedence, becausefrom him descended the Messiah; Dan is entirely omitted, and Ephraim is not mentioned, because they were both the principal promoters of idolatry; and therefore Levi is substituted in the room of the one, and Joseph is mentioned instead of the other. The children too of the bond women, and of the free women, are confounded together, there being in Christ Jesus neither bond nor free. Besides some of all the tribes of Israel, there was an innumerable multitude of all nations and tongues, clothed with white robes, and having palms in their hands, Revelation 7:9-10 who received and embraced the gospel; and, as Sulpitius Severus remarks, it is wonderful how much the Christian religion prevailedat this time. The historians who have written of this reign, relate how even the most remote and barbarous nations embraced Christianity, Jews as well as Gentiles. One historian in particular affirms, that, at the time when Constantine took possession of Rome, after the death of Maxentius, there were baptized more than twelve thousand Jews and Heathens, besides women and children. (See on Revelation 7:10.) The angels also, Revelation 7:11-12 join in the celebration of God upon this occasion; for, if there is joy in the presence of God over one sinner that repenteth, much more may those heavenly spirits rejoice at the conversion of so many multitudes as were brought to God out of the countries and nations who embraced Christianity. One of the elders, after this, (Revelation 7:13-17.) explains to St. John some particulars relating to this inumerable multitudeof all nations. They have palms in their hands, as tokens of victory and triumph over tribulation and persecution: they are arrayedin white robes, as emblems of their sanctity and full acceptance with God, through the merits and death of Christ: they are, like the children of Israel, arrived at their Canaan, or land of rest; and they shall no more suffer hunger, or thirst, or heat, as they did in the wilderness of this world: they are now happily free from all their former troubles and molestations, and their Heathen adversaries shall no more prevail against them. This period we may suppose to have continued, with some little interruption, from the reign of Constantine the Great to the death of Theodosius the Great; that is, about seventy years.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-7.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Revelation 7:4"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-7.html. 1685.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

were sealed. Omit.

twelve. See App-197.

(5-8) These verses: foretell a literal sealing of a literal number of people taken from these tribes of Israel. No Jew now knows for certain his tribe, but the Divine sealers know 144,000 (App-10) are set apart for God"s purposes. Dan and Ephraim are omitted, Levi and Joseph taking their places. For the reason, see Leviticus 24:10-16. Deuteronomy 29:18-21. Judges 18:2-31. 1 Kings 12:26-38. Hosea 4:17. Their restoration to earthly inheritance is shown (Eze 48), the reason being given in Romans 11:29.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". "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

Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

Judah (praise) stands first, as Jesus' tribe. Benjamin, the youngest, is last; with him is associated second last, Joseph. Reuben, as first-born, comes next after Judah, to whom it gave place, having by sin lost primogeniture right. Another reason (note. Revelation 7:3) for the omission of Dan is, its having been the first to lapse into idolatry (Judges 18:1-31); for which "Ephraim" also (cf. Judges 17:1-13; Hosea 4:17) is omitted, and Joseph substituted. Long before, the Hebrews say (Grotius), it was reduced to the one family of Hussim, which perished subsequently in the wars before Ezra's time. Hence, it is omitted, 1 Chronicles 4:8. Dan's small numbers are joined to Naphtali's, whose brother he was by the same mother (Bengel). The twelve times 12,000 sealed ones of Israel, who resist Antichrist's idolatry, are the nucleus of transfigured humanity (Auberlen), to which the elect are joined, "a multitude which no man could number," Revelation 7:9 (the church of Jews and Gentiles indiscriminately, in which the Gentiles are predominant, Luke 21:24. "Tribes" ('kindreds') implies that believing Israelites are in this countless multitude). Both are in heaven, yet ruling over the earth, as ministers of blessing to its inhabitants; while upon earth the world of nations is added to the kingdom of Israel. The twelve apostles stand at the head of the whole. The upper and the lower congregation, though distinct, are intimately associated.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-7.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
tribe of Juda
Exodus 1:2-4; Numbers 1:4-15; 10:14-27; 13:4-16; 1 Corinthians 2:1,2
Reciprocal: 1 Chronicles 2:1 - Reuben;  Matthew 1:2 - Jacob begat;  Mark 13:27 - shall gather

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". "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

Having explained the significance of the tribal classification. and since the same thing is said of each tribe. I am combining these verses into one paragraph to conserve time and space.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". 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 7:5

Revelation 7:5-8 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

This the mystical number of

twelve

seemeth to be taken from the twelve apostles of the Lamb, whose names were written in the foundations of the holy city of God, called the New Jerusalem, { Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:10; Revelation 21:14} upon which the foundations (that Isaiah, the doctrine of the twelve apostles) the gospel church of God is built, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone, { Ephesians 2:19-22} called the heavenly Jerusalem; that Isaiah, the church of the first-born, which are written in heaven. { Hebrews 12:22-24} So then, by those many twelve thousands, we may understand the many thousands of God's Spiritual Israel, both Jews and Gentiles converted to Christ under the administration of the gospel of the grace of God. { Revelation 7:9} A great multitude, which no man could number, of all the nations, and kindred's, and people, and tongues. Even all Christ's redeemed ones. { Revelation 5:9-10} The Lord having given his gospel churches the name of Zion, and Jerusalem and his gospel converts the name of Israel, which is for the honor and dignity of his churches of saints in the latter days. The twelve tribes of Israel, are not so reckoned any where in the Holy Scripture, as they are here:. {Read Deuteronomy 33:6,26; 1 Chronicles 2:1-2} For neither Dan nor Ephraim are named here; that the tribe of Dan fell into idolatry, { 1 Kings 12:29-30} and Ephraim was joined to idols. { Hosea 4:17} Those two tribes being left out by Christ, are testimony of the displeasure of God against idolatry, and all false worship. God will not have any of them sealed with his seal in their foreheads, that receive the mark of the beast in their foreheads. But to be left under the dominion of Antichrist to worship the beast and his image, { Revelation 13:8} whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Not only Dan and Ephraim are omitted, but Reuben, the first-born of blessed Jacob, is passed by; for he went up to his father's bed. { Genesis 35:22-23} And Judah hath the preeminence; for our blessed Savior (who in all things hath preeminence); { Colossians 1:18} came of the tribe of Judah. { Hebrews 7:14} Levi is here numbered, though, that tribe was not so reckoned among the tribes, when Moses divided the land of Canaan, the land of Israel's inheritance: For God chose that tribe of the priesthood and for his inheritance. {Deuteronomy 10:8-9} And lastly, in this numbering and sealing the servants of God, the children of Leah are more than the children of Rachel; also the children of hand-maids are numbered before the children of married women. Whereby, we may perceive of a truth, God is no respecter of persons; he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy. { Romans 9:15; Ephesians 4:5-6}

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Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 7:5". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-7.html.