Looking at the following texts:

Revelation 7:9

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.


Revelation 7:14

I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

I think it is safe to conclude that the "great multitude" John saw in verse 9 are those who have come out of the great tribulation.

And I think it is safe to conclude that the event which John saw take place in "spiritual realm (heaven)"

This would means that the great multitude who are "come out of the great tribulation" whom John saw are a spirits of a dead people.

Assuming the above is correct, In looking at verse 17 :

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'He will lead them to springs of living water.' 'And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'"

Now my question is Regarding the phrase He will lead them (that great multitude) to springs of living water"

Where exactly where will this take place? Where are these springs?

  • I want to do it, but to be honest I don't know yet which denomination who already interpret and have a conclusion of Revelation 7:9-17, depperm. For example, if I ask the question for denomination X but this denomination X doesn't have the conclusion yet - I'm afraid that my question will be unanswered.
    – karma
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 16:40
  • Verse 17 is a reference to Isaiah 49:10. Jehovah's Witnesses believe the "great multitude" are those who will live on the restored paradise earth.
    – 4castle
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 17:31
  • @4castle, "paradise earth" ---> does it mean Millenial Kingdom according to JW ?
    – karma
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 18:10
  • @karma Yes, and it also extends into the indefinite future after the 1000 years.
    – 4castle
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 18:17
  • Please, per site rules identify the translation you are citing. Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 1:32

3 Answers 3


Andrew of Caesarea (563-637), a later Greek Church Father, wrote the first complete commentary on Revelation. (The commentary itself serves as manuscript witness in some Greek texts).

Andrew reads the springs of living water (or, in some versions, fountains of waters of life) not as being physical springs, but springs related to John 7:38:

The one who believes in Me, even as Scripture said - rivers of living water shall flow out of his belly1

Andrew explains:

Those who are shepherded by Christ then, it says, will not be afraid of attacks by wolves, in as much as they (the wolves) will be sent to the unquenched fire [Mark 9:43]; but instead they (who have washed their robes) will be spiritually shepherded towards the clean and clear fountains of divine thoughts, being meant by the waters characterizing the already abundant flow of the Spirit, as the Lord has said about him who sincerely believes in Him that out of his belly will flow rivers of living water. The saints, those watered by it abundantly, will live endlessly in great joy and gladness, the partial knowledge [1 Corinthians 13:9] being abolished and they will possess perfect (knowledge) and escape the change of corruption.2

The verse also possibly alludes to Psalm 23 (He leadeth me beside the still waters) and, as has already been suggested, Isaiah 49:10:

He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.

1. The NIV and other translations punctuate the verse as something like Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them, but there is no verse in the Old Testament (including deuterocanon) that reads like that. The early manuscripts were not punctuated, so modern translators have some license here. John Chrysostom, a 4th century Greek Church Father, stated in his homily on the passage that as Scripture said belongs with Whoever believes in me (i.e. whoever believes in me in the manner that Scripture prophesied). The translation above is from the Orthodox New Testament, follows the punctuation of the Patriarchal Text of the Greek Orthodox Church, which in turn follows the reading that Chrysostom and others held in antiquity.
2. tr. from the Greek by Dr. Eugenia Constantinou

  • so does it mean the "leading" event by the Lamb happen after those soul resurrected and then live back on earth ? In other words, those soul of the dead resurrected first, then they are led by the Lamb in order that "rivers of living water shall flow out of their belly" (???). Thank you.
    – karma
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 7:42
  • I don't think this could be the interpretation. The universal judgement does not occur until Revelation 20:11-15.
    – user33515
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 17:13

Not all of the promises of Jesus are encapsulated in the Revelation. Much of the Revelation is complementary to other promises made by Jesus while he resided on Earth.

The Scripture you quote;

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'He will lead them to springs of living water.' 'And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'

Is actually an extension of:

Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus describes the end times. In verses 24:36 through 51 Jesus tells of the conditions of the World when the Father sends him to harvest the World. Those prophesies would not have been understood coming from an ordinary man. But after his death and miraculous resurrection; these prophesies needed more explanation and clarity.

In the Revelation Jesus is doing just that. The Revelation is in three parts; the one is the present, the second is the past and the third is the future.

In order to understand the Revelation, one must be familiar with not only the New Testament, but also the Old Testament, since much of the Revelation deals with the history of the Jewish race, and specifically the descendants of Abraham.

One of the invaluable assets for understanding the Revelation for me is the commentary of the entire Bible by David Gusik. As for myself I use several commentaries. It is my opinion that every one of these commentaries is helpful in understanding not only the Bible, but God and his plan for mankind.

  • [the angels gather together his elect from the four winds] ---> does it mean the soul of the dead whom elected by the angels ? then after collected, those soul of the dead standing before the throne and before the Lamb ? Thank you.
    – karma
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 7:54
  • @karma Matthew Chapter 24 is Jesus telling us what to expect in the future; and verses 29 through 31 are him telling us about his second coming. That verse is the first in that event, and is preparations for his return. These are the souls who have been saved and are in Heaven. They are gathered here to accompany him on his return. >Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and >2Thess 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.
    – BYE
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 13:33
  • "These are the souls who have been saved and are in Heaven" ---> and according to Rev 7:14, those souls are they who have come out of the great tribulation (???). Thank you BYE.
    – karma
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 7:07

This appears to be a reference to the renewal of the earth when God will turn the desert into a watery paradise:

NIV Isaiah 41: 17“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. 19I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, 20so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.


NIV Isaiah 49: 8This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, 9to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. 10They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. 11I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. 12See, they will come from afar— some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan.b ” 13Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

The arrival of the kingdom of God in the promised land (Israel) is a fundamental mainstay of the prophets.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.