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Title: 144,000  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Christianity and Judaism, Eucharist, Millennialism, Charles Taze Russell, Jehonadab, Skoptsy, Closed communion, Sanat Kumara, Dan (Bible), Nuwaubian Nation
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


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144000 is a natural number. It has significance in several religious movements. In the Mayan calendar, a baktun is a period of 144,000 days.



The number 144,000 has religious significance for Christians because of its use in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament, where it appears three times:

  • Revelation 7:3–8 (ESV)
saying: "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until after we have sealed the servants of God on their foreheads." And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
  • Revelation 14:1 (ESV)
Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.
  • Revelation 14:3–5 (ESV)
And they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. For 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, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

The numbers 12,000 and 144,000 are variously interpreted in traditional Christianity. Some, taking the numbers in Revelation to be symbolic,[1] believe it represents all of God's people throughout history in the heavenly Church.[2] One suggestion is that the number comes from 12, a symbol for totality, which is squared and multiplied by one thousand for more emphasis. Others insist the numbers 12,000 and 144,000 are literal numbers and representing either descendants of Jacob (also called Israel in the Bible) or others to whom God has given a superior destiny with a distinct role at the time of the end of the world.[3] One understanding is that the 144,000 are recently converted Jewish evangelists sent out to bring sinners to Jesus Christ during the seven year tribulation period.[4] Preterists believe they are Jewish Christians, sealed for deliverance from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Dispensationalist Tim LaHaye, in his commentary Revelation: Illustrated and Made Plain (Zondervan, 1975), considers the 144,000 in Revelation 7 to refer to Jews and those in Revelation 14 to refer to Christians.[5]

Jehovah's Witnesses

Individual Witnesses indicate their claim of being "anointed" by partaking of the bread and wine at the annual


The Christian Skoptsy sect in Russia believed that the Messiah would come when the Skoptsy numbered 144,000.

Unification Church

The Christian-based church founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon believes the 144,000 represents the total number of saints whom Christ must find "who can restore through indemnity the missions of all the past saints who, despite their best efforts to do God's Will, fell prey to Satan when they failed in their responsibilities. He must find these people during his lifetime and lay the foundation of victory over Satan's world" according to the Exposition of the Divine Principle, page 144.


144,000 is alleged to have been the number of Sahaba of Muhammad, though other totals have been given.[14] The number is also given as the total number of prophets in Islam,[15] 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 names have been mentioned 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.[16]
  • The satirical Church of the Subgenius believes that somewhere between 144,000 and 144 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" is the title of:
    • a song written and performed by California-based neo-psychedelic rock band Silver Sunshine
    • the eighth track of Tribal Seeds' 2009 album The Harvest
  • "144,000 Gone" is a song by Agent Steel from the 1985 album Skeptics Apocalypse
  • 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" by KRS-One from his 1995 eponymous album ("I'm building a following of a hundred and forty-four thousand/Chosen few heads up in project housing.")
    • "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.

Other uses


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