Peeling the Onion: Revelations 14:1-5

Your vision may differ from mine – but I think mirroring from your early elements to now is due.

Only the 144,000 can hear the tune, like Celts finding the ‘thin places’ to sense the ‘other side’

Most of humanity remains oblivious, unaware, uninterested in the 5th and 6th dimensions

How would we recognize these 144,000,a perfect 12 X 12,000 from each tribe? How are they walking among us, unrevealed until their season?

For 2,000 years, fetishists have read this perversely, as asexual male celibate virgins and encouraged Christians to abstain in turn.

Could I read it differently? Could pre-medieval celibacy be more sensual, opposed to ‘porneia’, the objectification of humans, but intimate, reverent of the ‘imageo dei’ in women, as the misogynist world is oblivious?

What irony, if we’ve replicated what was rejected here!

A sounder clue might be following the Lamb, wherever he goes…

Liberation theologies, those of the cross. Make that a discipleship of solidarity,appearing where trouble haunts the vulnerable.

First fruits, Redeemed, Blameless, With no lies –

That need not be an eirenic spirituality of innocence and withdrawal but first fruits as in ‘the best’ redeemed as in ‘freed to sing the celestial song’ instead of mouthing the lies of the beast

144,000 and the Lamb on Mount Zion - or are they then up in the heavenly court - or are they learning the hymns of the court, while on the mount? What do you imagine?

Who are these people, and how are they pure? They follow the Lamb - is their virginity a metaphor, like the adultery of other texts? they are redeemed, the first-fruits...what do you imagine?

Close your eyes to visualize the imagery,

Or read along with the NRSV text below

(and below that, NJB translation alternative)

New Jerusalem Bible

1 Next in my vision I saw Mount Zion, and standing on it the Lamb who had with him a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.

2 I heard a sound coming out of heaven like the sound of the ocean or the roar of thunder; it was like the sound of harpists playing their harps.

3 There before the throne they were singing a new hymn in the presence of the four living creatures and the elders, a hymn that could be learnt only by the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the world.

4 These are the sons who have kept their virginity and not been defiled with women; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they, out of all people, have been redeemed to be the first-fruits for God and for the Lamb.

5 No lie was found in their mouths and no fault can be found in them.

NSRV

Lamb’s Chorus of 144,000

Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.

2And 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,

3and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth.

4It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb,

5and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless.