Reading Through The New Testament in 2016 - December 9th, 2016 - Revelation 7
144,000. That number. The number of people that Jehovah’s Witness’s used to say could get into heaven. But that number has changed. The thing is that it’s not just Jehovah’s Witness that (used to) adhere to that number. Many groups adhere to that number, but not for long. It seems like whenever groups grow beyond that number, they often begin to interpret this part of Revelation symbolically rather than literally. In fact, there are clues within the text that a symbolic interpretation is required.
Okay cool. So we know that 144,000 is symbolic. But why is it there?
One suggestion is that the number comes from 12, a symbol for totality, which is squared and multiplied by one thousand for more emphasis.
This makes sense to me, as 144,000 isn’t just a random number. It’s existence is symbolic in a way that it represents all Christians, or a total amount of them. In his vision, John didn’t count the people, but was given the number.
So we can understand in reading this chapter, that an interpretation is that this 144,000 represents all of us as Christians. So when we read this number in this chapter, (and further chapters in Revelation) remember that this number means so much more than just a number.