The 144,000 Virgins
Revelation 14:1-5 – “I looked, and behold, Yeshua was standing on Mount Zion. With Him were one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one (οὐδείς oudeis G3762) could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. These (οὗτος houtos G3778) are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins – they follow Yeshua wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from among men (ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos G444) as first fruits to Yahweh and to Yeshua – and no lie was found in their mouth, they are blameless.”
The Common Interpretation:
Many scholars have interpreted these verses to mean that these individuals are from all nations, not just from the twelve tribes of Israel as are the 144,000 of Revelation 7:1-9, that they are the most like Yeshua of all who have ever walked the earth, and that they are obedient and follow the commandments without fault. With this I have no difference of opinion.
However, most of these scholars have also interpreted these verses to mean:
• These are men who have never married, remaining single until death,
• These are men who have never had sexual relations with any woman outside of marriage,
• These are men who, if they have married, have never cheated on their wife, or taken more than one wife,
• These are men who have never in some other way misused sex.
None of those additional interpretations are satisfactory to me, for several reasons:
• These additional interpretations appear to demonstrate carnal thinking,
• “Every man who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery . . .” (Matthew 5:28)
• Any man who had even had the slightest, most miniscule stray thought would be an adulterer,
• I have yet to meet even a twelve year old male that has never had a lustful thought,
• An adulterous man can not be considered a virgin – all have defiled themselves with women!,
• These interpretations do not appear to allow scripture to interpret scripture.
But even more importantly, none of these additional interpretations demonstrate spiritual thinking.
The Unique Interpretation:
Revelation is a study in contrasts between True Religion and false religion, between the True Messiah and the false messiah, between True Worship and false worship. In almost every other instance in Revelation a woman (harlot riding the beast, etc.) depicts false religion, or idol worship. Likewise, in many Old and New Testament scriptures a woman (or women) are used to depict false testimony, false religion, false worship, or false gods.
If we let scripture interpret scripture, then the following interpretation becomes evident and, to me, is considerably more satisfactory:
• These 144,000 virgins are those who have never, ever, defiled themselves by studying, accepting, or thinking about any lord other than Yahweh / Yeshua.
• These virgins have never bowed to any false god or lord,
• These virgins follow the example of Yeshua, who stated “I say only what the Father has taught me” – John 5:28,
• These virgins have never taught any other gospel than the one given in scripture,
• These virgins have never spoken any word about Yeshua other than those given in scripture,
• These virgins have never spoken any word about Yeshua other than those given specifically to them by the Holy Spirit.
The Greek words used for “men” (ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos G444) and for “one or ones” (οὐδείς oudeis, οὐθείς outheis, οὐδεμία oudemia, οὐδέν ouden, and οὐθέν outhen G3762) and for “these” (οὗτος houtos, αὕτη hautē, τοῦτο touto; G3778) are not necessarily male gender specific words. All three Greek words more accurately indicate humans in general, either male or female.
In light of these non-gender specific Greek words, one can therefore, also add the following interpretations:
• Every woman who looks at a man with lust for him has already committed adultery,
• An adulterous woman can not be considered a virgin – all have defiled themselves with men!
When one thinks spiritually rather than carnally, it becomes quite clear that since these 144,000 humans (male or female) have never defiled themselves with any false religions or false lords (women), they are, in essence, virgins. Likewise, since they only speak that which is given by Yahweh, Yeshua, or the Holy Spirit (Qôdesh Rûach), there is no lie found in their mouth.
Therefore, I believe that Revelation 14:1-5 is talking about those humans who are spiritually and morally undefiled, not about those who are carnally or sexually undefiled, and is talking about humans that could be either male or female. This also more closely follows other scripture which states that there is neither male nor female in Christ, as stated in Galatians 5:27-28 – “You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. In Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.”
This interpretation that these verses are about humans who are spiritually and morally undefiled, I believe, is a much more satisfactory interpretation, relies solely on spiritual thinking, rather than carnal thinking, and follows the overall study of contrasts between the true and the false found throughout Revelation and all scripture.