And I heard the number of them who were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
Read Chapter 7
George Leo Haydock
I heard the number of them that were sealed. By these determinate numbers need only be understood a great number of Jews converted and saved, though much greater was the number of the saved taken from among the Gentiles of all nations, of which it is said, I saw a great multitude, which no man could number (Witham)
The number of one hundred and forty-four thousand is not to be taken in a literal and strict sense, but to express in general terms the great number of the elect; for it appears that the tribe of Dan, which certainly must have produced some elect, is not mentioned, and the tribe of Joseph is put in lieu of that of Ephraim: so that if it be supposed that these numbers must be taken literally, the tribe of Joseph would have produced a double number to that of any other tribe, since Manasses was his son, and the tribe of Dan would have produced none. (Ven. Bede) ...
And I join with their company in the new song of the archangels, showing forth the new grace of the Church; for the Word says that the company of virgins always follow the Lord, and have fellowship with Him wherever He is. And this is what John signifies in the commemoration of the hundred and forty-four thousand. ...
"Now, sir "I continued, "explain to me, with respect to the mountains, why their forms are various and diverse. ""Listen "he said: "these mountains are the twelve tribes, which inhabit the whole world.