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Revelation 7:5-8





5 Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Juda [Ioudas] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias] Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Reuben [Rhouben] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias] Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Gad [Gad] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias]

6 Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Aser [Aser] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias] Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Nepthalim [Nephthaleim] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias] Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Manasses [Manasses] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias]

7 Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Simeon [Sumeon] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias] Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Levi [Leui] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias] Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Issachar [Isachar] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias]

8 Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Zabulon [Zaboulon] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias] Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Joseph [Ioseph] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias] Of [ek] the tribe [phule] of Benjamin [Beniamin] were sealed [sphragizo] twelve [dodeka] thousand. [chilias]   KJV-Interlinear



5 from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,

6 from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,

7 from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,

8 from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.    NASB



And now the order of the tribes is given, excluding Ephraim and Dan, but including Levi, Joseph and Manasseh, making the total of twelve tribes, out of which these many evangelists will come, for the purpose of evangelizing the entire world.


The number is exact and the number is exact for each of the tribes.


The order does not seem to have any significance, because throughout the Old Testament there are several different orders of their listing, for several different reasons.


In the Old Testament the lists are as follows:

the order of birth, (Gen 29:32-35:18),

the order of Jacob's blessing them (Gen 49:3-27),

the order encampment (Num 2:3-31),

the order of the census before the invasion of Canaan (Num 26:4-51),

the order of blessing and cursing (Deut 27:12-13),

the order of Moses' blessing (Deut 33:6-25),

the order of ‘the princes’ (Num 1:5-15),

the order of inheritance (Josh 13:7-22:34),

the order by the wives and concubines (1 Chron 2-8),

the order of the gates of the city (Ezek 48:31-34).


And in this order, the list is completely different from all of the above.


The order of Judah is switched with Reuben because it was he forfeited his ‘firstborn’ birthright as punishment for his sexual misconduct with his father's concubine, 1 Chron 5:1.


Dan is excluded probably because it is the tribe of cursing and idolatry.  It is said that the evil one, the anti-christ’s evil other out of Israel, will come from this tribe, Gen 49:17, Dan. 11:37, Jere. 8:16, Rev 12:9; 20:2.The tribe of Dan does still exist and it will share in the millennial blessings, Eze. 48:1-2, 32.


Ephraim is omitted in favor of his father Joseph because Ephraim defected from the ruling house of Judah, Isa 7:17. Also Ephraim, like Dan, was consumed with idolatry, Hos 4:17.


Manasseh is included because he was the faithful son of Joseph.


Levi is mentioned, and even though that tribe had no inheritance in Israel, it was the source of the spiritual priesthood.


The number is not merely an application of some perfect numbering system, like using four and three to multiply out to twelve, and then using one-thousand multiplied by twelve to get twelve-thousand and so forth.If that were the case, then John would have approached it in that manner.  He did not.


And now after so many centuries have passed, with these specific details concerning the tribes of Israel, none of these things could possibly occur by mere chance. Only God can retain a genealogy so complete for each individual tribe, keep track of everyone within those tribes, and raise up, after an almost total apostate state, a group of believers, who will go out into the world and evangelize it, with a phenomenal rate of success, as we will see in the next verse.


Most of Judaism is anti-Jesus.They are still looking for their savior.Their unbelief in Christ is so hard core, that all of this is seemingly impossible.  And yet when the Tribulation begins, the instant after the Rapture occurs, then these 144,000 people, will begin recognizing the changes and the events occurring in the world and they will relate them correctly to the prophecies from the Bible.  They will abandon their old faith and adopt Christ as their savior, and they will go out to the world to evangelize it, with great success.


The timing of their belief is not given.Since the destructive forces are delayed, but not delayed indefinitely, then we can assume that these people will all believe in Christ relatively quickly and early in the Tribulation.


And when we get to chapter 14, we will see that they will all be martyred, along with millions and perhaps billions, of others.


The numbers of believers is intentionally not stated, for if it were, then that might get people to try projecting the date of the Rapture, which since the time of John, has been and is always imminent.


So you see, if John stated that there would be ten-billion martyred believers, then that might discourage many folks, knowing that the population of the world would have to be far greater and therefore events more distant into the future.  If the number were stated as perhaps only a million, then that might discourage folks in the Tribulation, by thinking that they might not be included.


And yes, there is the mention of a two-hundred million military, coming up soon, but that army is not human, but demons locked up in the Abyss.  Disclosing that number, does not compromise the timing of these events.



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