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Revelation 14:4

    Revelation 14:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    These are they that were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were purchased from among men, to be the firstfruits unto God and unto the Lamb.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    These are they who have not made themselves unclean with women; for they are virgins. These are they who go after the Lamb wherever he goes. These were taken from among men to be the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

    Webster's Revision

    These are they that were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were purchased from among men, to be the firstfruits unto God and unto the Lamb.

    World English Bible

    These are those who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed by Jesus from among men, the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were purchased from among men, to be the firstfruits unto God and unto the Lamb.

    Definitions for Revelation 14:4

    Whithersoever - Wherever.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 14:4

    These are they which were not defiled with women - They are pure from idolatry, and are presented as unspotted virgins to their Lord and Savior Christ. See 2 Corinthians 11:2. There may be an allusion here to the Israelites committing idolatry, through the means of their criminal connection with the Midianitish women. See Numbers 25:1-4; Numbers 31:16.

    Follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth - They go through good and through evil report, bear his reproach, and love not their lives even to the death.

    The first fruits unto God - The reference appears to be to those Jews who were the first converts to Christianity.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 14:4

    These are they - In this verse, and in the following verse, the writer states the leading characteristics of those who are saved. The general idea is, that they are chaste; that they are the followers of the Lamb; that they are redeemed from among people; and that they are without guile.

    Which were not defiled with women - Who were chaste. The word "defiled" here determines the meaning of the passage, as denoting that they were not guilty of illicit sexual intercourse with women. It is unnecessary to show that this is a virtue everywhere required in the Bible, and everywhere stated as among the characteristics of the redeemed. On no point are there more frequent exhortations in the Scriptures than on this; on no point is there more solicitude manifested that the professed friends of the Saviour should be without blame. Compare the Acts 15:20 note; Romans 1:24-32 notes; 1 Corinthians 6:18 note; Hebrews 13:4 note. See also 1 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 6:13; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3. This passage cannot be adduced in favor of celibacy, whether among the clergy or laity, or in favor of monastic principles in any form; for the thing that is specified is, that they were not "defiled with women," and a lawful connection of the sexes, such as marriage, is not defilement. See the notes on Hebrews 13:4. The word rendered here "defiled" - ἐμολύνθησαν emolunthēsan, from μολύνω molunō - is a word that cannot be applied to the marriage relation. It means properly to "soil, to stain, to defile." 1 Corinthians 8:7; "their conscience being weak, is defiled." Revelation 3:4; "which have not defiled their garments." The word does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament, except in the passage before us, and it will be seen at once that it cannot be applied to that which is lawful and proper, and consequently that it cannot be construed as an expression against marriage and in favor of celibacy. It is a word that is properly expressive of illicit sexual intercourse - of impurity and unchastity of life - and the statement is, that they who are saved are not impure and unchaste.

    For they are virgins - παρθένοι parthenoi. This is the masculine form, but this form is found in the later Greek and in the Christian fathers. See Suidas and Suicer, Thes. The meaning of the word, when found in the feminine form, is well understood. It denotes a virgin, a maiden, and thence it is used to denote what is chaste and pure: virgin modesty; virgin gold; virgin soil; virgin blush; virgin shame. The word in the masculine form must have a similar meaning as applied to men, and may denote:

    (a) those who are unmarried;

    (b) those who are chaste and pure in general.

    The word is applied by Suidas to Abel and Melchizedek. "The sense," says DeWette, in loco, "cannot be that all these 144,000 had lived an unmarried life; for how could the apostle Peter, and others who were married, have been excluded? But the reference must be to those who held themselves from all impurity - "unkeuschheit und hurerei" - which, in the view of the apostles, was closely connected with idolatry." Compare Bleek, Beitr. i. 185. Prof. Stuart supposes that the main reference here is to those who had kept themselves from idolatry, and who were thus pure. It seems to me, however, that the most obvious meaning is the correct one, that it refers to the redeemed as chaste, and thus brings into view one of the prominent things in which Christians are distinguished from the devotees of nearly every other form of religion, and, indeed, exclusively from the world at large. This passage, also, cannot be adduced in favor of the monastic system, because:

    (a) whatever may be said anywhere of the purity of virgins, there is no such commendation of it as to imply that the married life is impure;

    (b) it cannot be supposed that God meant in any way to reflect on the married life as in itself impure or dishonorable;

    (c) the language does not demand such an interpretation; and,

    (d) the facts in regard to the monastic life have shown that it has had very little pretensions to a claim of virgin purity.

    These are they which follow the Lamb - This is another characteristic of those who are redeemed - that they are followers of the Lamb of God. That is, they are his disciples; they imitate his example; they obey his instructions; they yield to his laws; they receive him as their counselor and their guide. See the notes on John 10:3, John 10:27.

    Whithersoever he goeth - As sheep follow the shepherd. Compare Psalm 23:1-2. It is one characteristic of true Christians that they follow the Saviour wherever he leads them. Be it into trouble, into danger, into difficult duty; be it in Christian or pagan lands; be it in pleasant paths, or in roads rough and difficult, they commit themselves wholly to his guidance, and submit themselves wholly to his will.

    These were redeemed from among men - This is another characteristic of those who are seen on Mount Zion. They are there because they are redeemed, and they have the character of the redeemed. They are not there in virtue of rank or blood John 1:13; not on the ground of their own works Titus 3:5; but because they are redeemed unto God by the blood of his Son. See the notes on Revelation 5:9-10. None will be there of whom it cannot be said that they are "redeemed"; none will be absent who have been truly redeemed from sin.

    Being the first-fruits unto God - On the meaning of the word "first-fruits," see the notes on 1 Corinthians 15:20. The meaning here would seem to be, that the hundred and forty-four thousand were not to be regarded as the whole of the number that was saved, but that they were representatives of the redeemed. They had the same characteristics which all the redeemed must have; they were a pledge that all the redeemed would be there. Prof. Stuart supposes that the sense is, that they were, as it were, "an offering especially acceptable to God." The former explanation, however, meets all the circumstances of the case, and is more in accordance with the usual meaning of the word.

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    Wesley's Notes on Revelation 14:4

    14:4 These are they who had not been defiled with women - It seems that the deepest defilement, and the most alluring temptation, is put for every other. They are virgins - Unspotted souls; such as have preserved universal purity. These are they who follow the Lamb - Who are nearest to him. This is not their character, but their reward Firstfruits - Of the glorified spirits. Who is ambitious to be of this number?