|Cardinal||one hundred forty-four thousand|
(one hundred forty-four thousandth)
|Factorization||27× 32× 53|
|Roman numeral||CXLIV or CXLMMMM|
|Tribes of Israel|
The number 144,000 has religious significance for Christians because of its use in the Book of Revelation, where it appears three times: The first passage is found in Revelation 7:1–4:“After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel asending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’ And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed” (NKJV).
The Scripture then explains that this distinctive sealed body is composed of exactly 12,000 persons from each of the 12 tribes of Israel: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin. It should be carefully noted here that this listing of tribes is unique, because it is the only time in Scripture that the catalog of tribes appears in this particular order (but more on that later).
The second main passage comes in Revelation 14:1–5: “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
144,000 is alleged to have been the number of Sahaba of Muhammad, though other totals have been given. The number is also given as the total number of prophets in Islam, although this has also been reported as 124,000 or 244,000. The actual number of prophets or Sahaba (Companions) is not known, however, 25 prophets are mentioned by name in the Qur'an.
New Age movements
The number 144,000 is also significant in various New Age religious movements.
- The Church Universal and Triumphant teaches that Sanat Kumara and the Lords of the Flame also brought 144,000 souls with them from Venus.
- The new age religion called Raëlism also states that there are 144,000 chosen people to continue humanity in case of an upcoming disaster.
- The satirical Church of the Subgenius believes that somewhere between 144 and 144,000 people will be taken with the Xists aboard the pleasure saucers.
In popular culture
- In author John DeChancie's comic fantasy Castle series, 144,000 doors (or "aspects") of the Castle each lead to another parallel universe.
- In author Bernard Werber's Le Papillon des étoiles, 144,000 leave from Earth to exoplanet.
- In author Scott Bakker's The Second Apocalypse series, the objective of the Consult, an evil magic society, is to reduce the number of souls in the world below 144,000, in order to avoid the eternal damnation of their souls.
- 144,000 voices is the maximum contrapuntal expansion of Baroque music theorist Pier Francesco Valentini's 96-voice composition Canone nel modo Salomonis (1631)
- "144,000" is the title of:
- "144,000 Gone" is a song by Agent Steel from the 1985 album Skeptics Apocalypse
- "144,000 Were There" is a song by the Brown's Ferry Four from the album Grandpa Jones & The Brown's Ferry Four 16 Sacred Gospel Songs, King Records
- Songs mentioning 144,000 in the lyrics include, in chronological order:
- “Peculiar Number” by The Abyssinians from the 1993 reissue of the 1976 album Satta Massagana ("144,000, these are they that were sealed/with the seal of the living God.")
- "De Automatic" ("I'm building a following of a hundred and forty-four thousand/Chosen few heads up in project housing.") and "Free Mumia" ("That's my solution, there will be no sequels/I'm audi hundred forty four thousand with my people.") by KRS-One from his 1995 eponymous album
- "4th Chamber" by GZA from the 1995 album Liquid Swords ("Rolling with the Lamb/Twelve tribes, one hundred and forty four thousand chosen/Protons, electrons always cause explosions.")
- "G.O.D. (Gaining One's Definition)" by Common from the 1997 album One Day It'll All Make Sense ("Cuz when the trumpets blowin', 24 elders surround the throne/Only 144,000 gon' get home.")
- "Share This" by Soul Position from the 2003 album 8 Million Stories ("I saw the stairway to heaven/And counted one-hundred and forty-four thousand steps.")
- "It's Your World/Pop's Reprise" by Common from the 2005 album Be ("Be that last one of 144,000, be the resident of that twelfth house/Be eternal.")
- "Growing Apart (To Get Closer)" by Kendrick Lamar on his 2010 mixtape Overly Dedicated ("Only a hundred and forty-four can go/Seven billion people on planet earth today/Is there something that I don't know?)
- "Fire in the Sky" by Beast 1333 ("Atrocities approaching and 144,000 of us will be chosen.")
- The population of the eponymous town in the 2013 Fox TV series Sleepy Hollow is 144,000. The actual town of that name has under 10,000 residents.
- Hughes, Thomas Patrick. A Dictionary of Islam, "Ashab"
- Wherry, Elwood Morris & Sale, George. A Comprehensive Commentary on the Qurán
- The message, Intelligent Design, page 298