About the Lamb and the 144.000

Rev. 14:1 Then I saw, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.

It is acknowledged that Christ is unambiguously the lamb. Standing upon Mount Zion, not that of old but the new, which is the city of the living God. These thousands signify either the fruitful abundance of the apostolic seed of grace in each one being brought to perfection to twelve thousand, the perfect fruit of faith of those being saved, or those virgins of the New Testament (who are such) according to both the inner and outer person. For among the ancients, rare is the achievement of virginity, (being) found among very few, wherefore one must suppose therefore these others besides those spoken of before, are assembled by name out of the tribes of Israel in whom virginity had not been witnessed before. The foreheads of all these are sealed by the light of the divine countenance, by which venerable ones appear to the destroying angels.

Rev. 14:2-3a And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice I heard was like the sound of harpers playing on their harps. And they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living animals and the elders.

The sound of many waters and of the thunder and of harps signify the thrilling aspect of the hymns of the saints and their melodious, well-sounding and harmonious song echoing all around the church and the assembly of those registered as first born in heaven. Just as in the harmony of strings, by means of the symphonie union of the saints, it (the song) is sounded forth which they achieved by mortifying the desires of the body. And this (song), it says, no one else is able to learn except them. Wherefore to each one knowledge is given abundantly by the measure of the way of life, just as the manifestation of the mysteries of the Lord is given to the servants of men proportionately according to his favor.

Rev. 3b-5 ib No one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; it is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found. For they are spotless.

We believe that these, after the aforementioned twenty-four elders, are superior to the rest on account of both virginity and blamelessness in tongue and hand, after the appearance of Christ possessing splendor in virtues through which they are taught the new song, the song which is unknown to the many, not only in the present life but also in the future age. For if perfect knowledge will come at that time abolishing the partial, according to the divine Apostle, suitably however there will be a manifestation of the divine mysteries in the way of life of the saints here. For (there are) many mansions in the Father's (house) and (one) star differs from another in glory, just as (there are) many different punishments, from which the Lord of ail redeems us, he will reckon us among those who are saved on account of his goodness, not looking at the multitude of our sins, but in his compassion, because of which he had come to earth and poured out his precious blood for us, in order to wash clean our defilements and stains, to bring us to the Father, with whom to him (there) must be, as the Leader of our Salvation, together with the All-holy Spirit, glory, dominion and honor, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Translation of the Apocalypse Commentary of Andrew of Caesarea


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