ESV - 4 It is these 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 firstfruits for God and the Lamb.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
“Firstfruits” in Rev. 14:4 refers evidently to the redemption of the 144,000 spoken of in the preceding verse, Rev 14:3 and even before that in Rev 14:1. They forshadow the redemption of a larger group of Jews, who’ll turn to the Lord at the end of the Tribulation Period (Isa. 2:3; Ro 11:15).
In my opinion, referring to the individuals seen by John in his vision as "firstfruits" (a term found in the Old Testament in Leviticus 23:9-14 in connection with an offering waved before God's altar of the first crops gathered from a yearly harvest) is not an indication of them as the total number of the redeemed, but designates them as a pledge to God of the completed redemption of the entire larger number of those who will have been saved throughout history (until the close of the age).
The firstfruits, in the Jewish sacrificial system, was an offering to God at the beginning of the harvest. We learn more about this 144,000 group of people from Revelation 7:3-8. These are all Jewish people. There are 12,000 believers in Jesus from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. We learn that the seal of God is placed upon their foreheads to protect them before other angels begin to pour out the calamities and disasters upon the earth, that God will use to lead people to repent and believe in Jesus during the tribulation period. I think these people were chosen by Jesus to be his witnesses to the entire Jewish community scattered all over the earth, to bring in the harvest from the remnant of faithful Israel. They were protected by God from all harm and danger, not even the anti-Christ could stop them. That is why they are so precious to Jesus. They get to follow him everywhere. They are given a new song to worship God that only they can sing. This demonstrates God’s sovereignty and fulfills God’s promise that all Israel (the faithful remnant) would be saved before Jesus comes in judgement. But we know that God’s witnesses were not just focused on the Jewish people because Revelation 7:9-17 tells us there was a great multitude of people in heaven, that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, who had come to faith in Jesus during the great tribulation.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.