The Geneva Bible Translation Notes, , at sacred-texts.com
rev 7:1And (1) after these things I saw four angels standing on the (a) 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, (2) nor on any tree.
(1) The second part of this section is a preventing of danger, as we distinguished before in (Rev 6:1) that is, of the caution of God ahead of time to provide for his, after the example of the Israelites; (Exo 8:23) the faithful are exempted from the plagues of this wicked world. This section is a dialogue and bringing in for this whole chapter by occasion of the prediction and argument of the sixth seal. For first harm is withheld from the elect, (Rev 7:1-9). Then thanks are given by the elect for that cause (Rev 7:10-12). Lastly, the accomplishment of it is set forth to the end of the chapter. The first verse is a transition, speaking of the angels who keep the lesser parts from harm, until God commands. For, as in (Eze 10:19), their faces and their wings reach up, continually waiting on and watching the countenance of God for their direction and every one of them goes into that part that is right before his face: wherever the Spirit goes, they go, they do not step out of the way, not so much as a foot breadth from the path commanded to them by God.
(a) On the four corners or coasts of the earth. (2) That is, neither into the air, into which the trees grow.
rev 7:2(3) And I saw (4) 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) Now God provides against the danger of his elect, by his commandment (Rev 7:2,3), and by sign or figure, both for those of the nation of the Jews and also for the Gentiles (Rev 7:9). (4) Not only another, or differing number from the common angels of God, but also in essence, office and operation exceeding all angels: that is, Christ Jesus the eternal angel or Word of God, and mediator of the covenant, see (Rev 8:3, Rev 10:1, Rev 10:5).
rev 7:4And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed (5) an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
(5) That is, of the Jews a number certain in itself before God, and such as may be numbered of us: for which cause also the same is here set down as certain. But of the elect who are Gentiles, the number indeed is in itself certain with God, but of us not possibly to be numbered, as God, (Gen 15:5). This is spoken with respect, when a certain number is put for one uncertain. Compare with (Rev 7:9).
rev 7:7Of the tribe of Simeon [were] sealed twelve thousand. (6) Of the tribe of (b) Levi [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar [were] sealed twelve thousand.
(6) Here the tribe of Levi is listed with the rest, because all the Israelites were equally made priests with them in Christ by his priesthood (Rom 12:1; Pe1 2:9; Rev 1:6; Rev 5:10). Dan is not mentioned, because the Danites long before forsaking the worship of God, were fallen away from the fellowship of God's people, to the part of the Gentiles: which evil many ages before Jacob foresaw (Gen 49:17-18), and because of which no mention is made of this tribe in the book of Chronicles.
(b) He skipped Dan, and reckons Levi.
rev 7:8Of the tribe of Zabulon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of (c) Joseph [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin [were] sealed twelve thousand.
(c) Of Ephraim, who was Joseph's other son, and had the birthright given him, of which he is called Joseph.
rev 7:9After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, (7) which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, (8) stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
(7) See Rev 7:4 (8) As priests, kings and glorious conquerors by martyrdom: which is noted by the signs in this verse.
rev 7:10(9) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
(9) The praise of God, celebrated first by the holy men, in this verse, then by the heavenly angels, in the two verses following (Rev 7:11-12).
rev 7:13(10) And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
(10) A passage over to the explanation of the vision, which the angel enquires of John to stir him up in this verse and John in the form of speech, both acknowledges his own ignorance, attributing knowledge to the angel, and also in a humble manner requests the explanation of the vision.
rev 7:14And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, (11) These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
(11) The explanation of the vision, in which the angel tells first the acts of the saints, that is, their sufferings and work of faith in Christ Jesus, in this verse. Secondly their glory: both present, which consists in two things, that they minister to God, and that God protects them (Rev 7:15) and to come, in their perfect deliverance from all annoyances (Rev 7:16) and in participation of all good things which the memory of past hurts shall never be able to diminish (Rev 7:17). The cause efficient and which contains all these things is only one, the Lamb of God, the Lord, the Mediator, and the Saviour Christ Jesus.
rev 7:15Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him (d) day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell (e) among them.
(d) He alludes to the Levites, who served day and night, for there is no night in heaven.
(e) Or, upon them, referring to God's defence and protection of those who are as safe, as men in the Lord's tents.