The Number of the People of Israel


1 Chronicles 27:1 says, “This is the number of the people of Israel.”

Verses 2-15 go on to list 12 divisions, one for each month, of people who served the kind in all matters. Each division had 24,000 people in it.

12 x 24,000 = 288,000

That’s an interesting number.

Revelation 7:4 says, “And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.”

2 x 144,000 = 288,000

Verses 5-8 go on to list 12 tribes of Israel, each with 12,000 people.

Somehow I think these numbers are related. I don’t have an answer to that, but I want to share what I’ve been pondering today.

The number 144,000 comes up two more times in Revelation 14.

Revelation 14:1 says, “Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stoof the lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”

Revelation 14:3, 4 says, “No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth…These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb.”

The 144,000 are firstfruits. That is, they are only the very beginning of the harvest.

Also, we know that two often speaks of union. This brings Ephesians 2:15 to mind, which says, “By abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace.”

Could it be that the 144,000 are just the beginning of the harvest? Could it be that 288,000 in 1 Chronicles 27 are the completed harvest?

Surely, it’s not a coincidence that there are 288,000 in 1 Chronicles 27 and 144,000 in Revelation 7 and 14. I’m just not sure what the significance is yet.

And, where’s Jesus in this?

The number 144 represents the Spirit-filled life, the life of Christ. Revelation 21:17 says that the wall of New Jerusalem was 144 cubits. A wall seals you in. And, is the Spirit that seals us in Christ.

Somehow the 144 cubits of the wall related to 144,000 in Revelation 7 and 14 and the 288,000 in 1 Chronicles 27.

Perhaps Psalm 144 would help too, since it has many of the same themes as Revelation 7, 14, and 21.

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