1. Revelation 14:4 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What do the words “for they are virgins” clarify?

Revelation 14:4 (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,

These words explain what John meant with the earlier phrase about not defiling themselves with women. The apostle Paul had told the church of Corinth that he “betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). In the face of grievous temptations as described in Revelation 12:1–17 and Revelation 13:1–18, these 144,000 remained faithful to their Bridegroom Jesus Christ. This is no feather in their own cap, of course, but evidence of the Lord’s preserving work as promised in Revelation 13:10.