Revelation 14:1

(1) And I looked . . .--Better, And I saw, and behold, the Lamb (not "a Lamb:" it is the Lamb, the true Lamb of God, against whom the wild beast wages savage and subtle war) standing on the Mount Sion. The Saviour, the Lamb, in whose blood the saints have found their victory, is seen standing on the citadel of the heavenly city. Babylon is to be introduced (Revelation 14:8). In contrast, Zion, the chosen abode of God (Psalm 132:13-18), the type of the spiritual city whose citizens are true to the King (comp. Psalm 2:6; Psalm 74:2; Hebrews 12:22-24), is introduced. There are to be seen the Lamb, set as King upon the holy hill of Zion, and with Him the sealed ones, His faithful soldiers and servants. They are described as 144,000 in number: a number which represents the full growth of the choice ones of God, the true Israel of God. (See Note on Revelation 7:4.) These have their Father's name on their foreheads: they can be recognised as children of God, (Comp. Note on Revelation 7:2-3, and Revelation 22:4.)

Verse 1. - And I looked; and I saw, indicating a fresh phase of the vision (cf. Revelation 4:1, etc.). Having described (Revelation 12. and 13.) the trinity of enemies with which Christ and his people contend, the vision now passes on to depict the blessedness in store for the faithful Christian, and, on the other hand, the final fate of the dragon and his adherents. We are thus once more led to the final judgment. And just as in the former vision, after the assurance of the salvation of the faithful (Revelation 7.), came the denunciation of woe for the ungodly (Revelation 8-11:14), leading once more to a picture of the saved (Revelation 11:15-19), so here we have the assured blessedness of the faithful portrayed (Revelation 14:1-13), followed by the judgments upon the ungodly (Revelation 14:14 - 18:24), and leading on once more to a picture of the saints in glory (Revelation 19.). And, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Zion; and behold, the Lamb standing on the Mount Zion, as in the Revised Version. "The Lamb," with the article, referring to "the Lamb" described in Revelation 5, whom the second beast had attempted to personate. He stands on Mount Zion (cf. Hebrews 12:22, "Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem"). The appropriateness of the position is seen

(1) in its strength (cf. the position of the beast, rising from the sea, perhaps standing on the sand, Revelation 13:1; and cf. Psalm 87:1, 2, "His foundation is in the holy mountains. The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob").

(2) Because there is the temple of God, in the midst of which is the Lamb, and there is the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2).

(3) Zion is the new Jerusalem, the opposite extreme to Babylon (ver. 8). And with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's Name written in their foreheads. The reading, τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ ὅνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, his Name and his Father's Name, adopted in the Revised Version, is supported by א, A, B, C, with most cursives, versions, and Fathers. Note the similarity to the description in Revelation 7. Here, as there, the hundred and forty-four thousand are those "redeemed from the earth" (ver. 3). The number denotes a large and perfect number; a multitude of which the total is complete (see on Revelation 7:4). In Revelation 7. the sealing in the forehead is described. This sign marks out the redeemed in contradistinction to those who have received the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16).

14:1-5 Mount Sion is the gospel church. Christ is with his church, and in the midst of her in all her troubles, therefore she is not consumed. His presence secures perseverance. His people appear honourably. They have the name of God written in their foreheads; they make a bold and open profession of their faith in God and Christ, and this is followed by suitable actings. There were persons in the darkest times, who ventured and laid down their lives for the worship and truth of the gospel of Christ. They kept themselves clean from the wicked abominations of the followers of antichrist. Their hearts were right with God; and they were freely pardoned in Christ; he is glorified in them, and they in him. May it be our prayer, our endeavour, our ambition, to be found in this honourable company. Those who are really sanctified and justified are meant here, for no hypocrite, however plausible, can be accounted to be without fault before God.And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb,.... The Alexandrian copy, and some others, read "the Lamb"; the same that had been seen before in, the midst of the throne, Revelation 5:6; and all the Oriental versions have the same article also; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for mention is made of his Father in a following clause; the King of Zion, where he is seen standing, and the Redeemer of his people, who are at large described; it is the same Lamb who is so often spoken of in this book before: in the two preceding chapters an account is given of the state of the church, as oppressed under Rome Pagan, and Rome Papal, and here of its more glorious and victorious condition, with Christ at the head of it; in the last chapter antichrist is described, with his followers and worshippers, and as exercising tyranny and cruelty upon the saints, and here Christ and his followers are represented in vision, and some hints given of the fall of Babylon, and of the wrath of God upon the worshippers of the beast, and of the happiness of those who belong to the Lamb: and of him it is here said, that he

stood on the Mount Zion; by which is meant not heaven, but the church on earth; why that is called Mount Zion; see Gill on Hebrews 12:22; here Christ the Lamb stood, as presiding over it, being King of Zion, or the church; where he stood and fed, or ruled, in the name of the Lord, and in the majesty of his God; and where he appeared in the defence of his church and people, oppressed by antichrist; for he is Michael that standeth for the children of his people, and who stands with courage, and in the greatness of his strength, and is invincible; nor does he stand here alone:

and with him an hundred forty and four thousand; the same with those in Revelation 7:3, though all the world wondered after the beast, and all that dwelt upon the earth worshipped him, yet there was a number preserved that did not bow the knee to him; a remnant according to the election of grace, who were called out of the world, and brought to Zion, and were on the side of the Lamb, and abode by him, and cleaved unto him:

having his Father's name written in their foreheads; not baptism, administered in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as some think; nor eternal election, as others, though as their names were written in the Lamb's book of life, so this was manifest to themselves and others, as if his name and his Father's had been written in their foreheads; but rather adoption, the new name of a child of God, they having the spirit of adoption, whereby they cried, "Abba", Father, and being openly and manifestly the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus; unless it should be thought there is an allusion to the inscription in the mitre on the forehead of the high priest, "holiness to the Lord", and so be expressive of that visible holiness which will be on the saints in the spiritual reign of Christ, which this vision respects; see Zechariah 14:20; or to the frontlets between the eyes of the people of Israel, to put them in mind of the law, and their obedience to it, Deuteronomy 6:8; and so may here denote the engagements of those saints in the service of God; though perhaps no more is intended than their open and hearty profession of their faith, and that they were not ashamed of appearing in the cause of God and truth; nor of Christ and his words, his Gospel and ordinances: the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read, "having his name, (the Lamb's,) and his Father's name written in their foreheads"; and the Ethiopic version adds, "and of his Holy Spirit". Mr. Daubuz thinks this vision refers to the times of Constantine, and to the Christians then, and particularly the council of Nice, and as contemporary with that in Revelation 7:9.

Revelation 13:18
Top of Page
Top of Page