Revelation 7

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1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

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

4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

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.

6 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 thousand.

7 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 thousand.

8 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.

9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.


Exploring the Meaning of Revelation 7      

By Rev. N. Bruce Rogers

THE SPIRITUAL MEANING of Revelation 7

(This text is excerpted from "Apocalypse Revealed", by Emanuel Swedenborg, as translated by N.B. Rogers.)

The Contents of the Whole Chapter

This chapter describes people who are and who will be in the Christian heaven. It describes first their separation from evil people (verses 1-3); after that, those of them who are impelled by love toward the Lord and so by wisdom, of whom the higher heavens consist (verses 4-8); and those who are impelled by charity from the Lord and its accompanying faith because they fought against evils, of whom the lower heavens consist (verses 9-17).

The Contents of the Individual Verses:

Verse ContentsSpiritual Meaning
1. After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth,The whole of heaven now in an effort to execute the Last Judgment.
holding back the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.The Lord's holding back and restraining a closer and thus stronger influx into the lower regions where good people were attached to evil ones.
2. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun,The Lord providing and moderating,
having the seal of the living God.who alone knows the character of each and every person, and can distinguish and separate them from each other.
And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3. saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the treesThe Lord's restraining and holding back the closer and stronger influx into the lower regions,
till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."before those people were separated who were governed by truths springing from goodness from the Lord.
4. And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand,All people who acknowledge the Lord as God of heaven and earth and are governed by truths of doctrine springing from the goodness of love, received from Him through the Word.
sealed out of every tribe of Israel:The heaven and the Lord's church formed from them.
5. of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;Celestial love, which is love toward the Lord, and this in all those people who will be in the New Heaven and in the New Church.
of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;Wisdom springing from celestial love in those people who will be there.
of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;Useful life endeavors, which are the exercises of wisdom springing from that love, in those people who will be there.
6. of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;Mutual love in those people.
of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;A perception of useful endeavor, and of what is useful, in those people.
of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;A will to serve and to put into practice in those people.
7. of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;Spiritual love, which is love for the neighbor, in those people.
of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;An affection for truth springing from goodness, producing intelligence in those people.
of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;Goodness of life in those people.
8. of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;The conjugal love of goodness and truth in those people.
of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;A doctrine of goodness and truth in those people.
of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.A life of truth springing from goodness in accord with doctrine in those people.
9. After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could number,All other people who are not among those enumerated and yet are in the New Heaven and the Lord's New Church, who form the lowest heaven and the external church, and whose character is known to the Lord alone.
of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues,All in the Christian world who have some religion springing from goodness and are guided by truths from doctrine,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb,listening to the Lord and doing what He commands.
clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,A communication and conjunction with the higher heavens, and a confession springing from Divine truths.
10. and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"An acknowledgment from the heart that the Lord is their Savior.
11. And all the angels stood around the throne, with the elders and the four living creatures,All in the whole of heaven listening and doing what the Lord commands.
and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,A humbling of their heart, and in their humility an adoration of the Lord.
12. saying, "Amen!Divine truth and an affirmation in response to it.
Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving,The Lord's spiritual Divine attributes;
and honor and power and might,the Lord's celestial Divine attributes;
be to our God forever and ever.these being in the Lord and emanating from the Lord to eternity.
Amen."The agreement of all.
13. Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" 14. And I said to him, "Lord, you know."Their desire to know and wish to inquire, and the reply and instruction given.
So he said to me, "These are ones who are coming out of the great tribulation,They are people who have undergone temptations or trials, and have fought against evils and falsities,
and have washed their robeswho have cleansed their religious beliefs of the evils accompanying falsity,
and made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb.and by truths have purified those religious beliefs from the falsities accompanying evil, and so have been reformed by the Lord.
15. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.They are in the Lord's presence, and live constantly and faithfully in His church in accordance with the truths that they receive from Him.
16. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore;Hereafter they will not lack goods and truths.
neither shall the sun strike them, nor any heat;Hereafter they will not possess lusts for evil, nor for the falsity accompanying evil.
17. for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd themThe Lord alone will teach them
and lead them to living fountains of waters.and lead them by the truths in the Word to conjunction with Him.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."They will be caught up no longer in battles against evils and the accompanying falsities, and so will no longer experience times of distress, but will be surrounded by goods and truths and thus by heavenly joys emanating from the Lord.

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