Revelation 14:3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

This 144,000 is a special group of people in Revelation. Were they all male before their resurrection?

  • Even if women and children would be excluded from their numbers (Matthew 14:21, 15:38), this would not imply that they can't share in the same type of reward; after all, when Christ multiplied the loaves and the fishes, it wasn't only the (counted) grownup males that got fed. Since virginity is prescribed to females as well (1 Corinthians 7), this interpretation seems unlikely.
    – Lucian
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 9:18
  • 2
    Given the 144,000 is a twelve fold increase of the soldiers in Numbers 31 “So there were provided, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. Then the officers who were over the thousands of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, came near to Moses and said to Moses, “Your servants have counted the men of war who are under our command, and there is not a man missing from us.” ‭and this text parallels Rev 14 all 144,000 are soldiers and by necessity are all males. Rev14:4 clears it up. Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 16:57
  • Of course they were only male. Only males count.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 22:53
  • @Ruminator. Interesting point you made there. So the actual number could be the number given times two. The “virgin” women could either be joining the “virgin” men in the rule from Jerusalem during the millennium, or staying back at the “tross” in New heavenly Jerusalem during the thousand years. There could even be a “Jacob’s ladder” raised between earthly and heavenly Jerusalem. Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 3:43
  • @Tony Chan the word μετὰ in Rev 14:4 can also be translated among. μετὰ meta: with, among, after strong G3326 I am open to it and okej with being wrong but the vers seems to me to fit better; These are those who did not defile themselves among women, for they remained virgins. Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 8:44

8 Answers 8


The question asks

This 144,000 is a special group of people in Revelation. Were they all male before their resurrection?

If Rev14:4 states

“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,” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭14:4‬ ‭

The past tense indicates it’s referring to their time on earth. With women indicates that they were men who remained virgins.

Rev14 parallels Numbers 31 when Moses sent 1,000 soldiers from every tribe totaling 12,000, now there are 12,000 from every tribe totaling 144,000. A twelve fold increase. Just as the soldiers in numbers 31 were faithful and divinely protected so too are the 144,000.

The question further alludes but does not elaborate on the idea that all genders turn male after the resurrection without providing scriptural examples but the bulk of the question hinges on this idea for it to even be a consideration.

  • 1
    I believe your comments in reference to Numbers 31 are astute. There's just one caveat to the last part of your answer. Luke 20:36: "[For] neither can [the sons of this age] die anymore, because they are like angels... being sons of the resurrection [baptism is the first resurrection, Rev. 20:6]..." The reason this verse is so significant is that we will no longer be sexual beings at all in heaven. The 144,000 is a "perfect number" in that it is: 12^2 * 10^3. This is symbolic of all the faithful, both men and women, who are new creations (Gal. 6:15, 2 Cor. 5:17) in Christ.
    – Xeno
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 21:04
  • I see no allusion to the idea that all genders turn male. And if they do, there is no reason to single them out for particular praise because they have not "defiled themselves." Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 13:05

There is a famous rule in Greek and English that "Men do not own their own gender."

That is, the male gender is usually used to cover both sexes.

The best illustration of this is where women are specifically mentioned as being deacons using the masculine noun for the female in the Greek!! Rom 16:1, 2, 1 Tim 3:11.

Thus, I would not read anything into the use of male suffixes in Rev 14:4. I read this as entirely gender neutral.

In any case, the meaning is clearly not literal (witness Jesus depicted as a lamb!) and thus the 144,000 are clearly symbolic of a group of spiritually undefiled people.


Male bias/chauvinism in Revelation 14:4?

This 144,000 is a special group of people in Revelation. Are they all male?

In short to your question, the answer is NO. For “there is neither male nor female” as far as the spiritual relationship of Christ’s joint-heirs is concerned. Gal. 3:28

Galatians 3:28 (NET Bible)

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female[b]—for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

These are those who did not defile themselves with women,

The fact that the 144,000 “are virgins” does not mean that members of this special group are necessarily unmarried in the flesh. The apostle Paul wrote to Christians who had a heavenly calling that, marriage is preferable under certain circumstances.

The Apostle Peter is shown to be a married man, his wife apparently accompanied him on some of his missions, as did the wives of others of the apostles. (1 Corinthians 9:5) His mother-in-law lived in his home, one he shared with his brother Andrew.​ Mark 1:29-31.

1 Corinthians 7:1-2 (NET Bible)

7 Now with regard to the issues you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”[a] 2 But because of immoralities, each man should have relations with[b] his own wife and each woman with her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:36-37 (NET Bible)

36 If anyone thinks he is acting inappropriately toward his virgin,[a] if she is past the bloom of youth[b] and it seems necessary, he should do what he wishes; he does not sin. Let them marry. 37 But the man who is firm in his commitment, and is under no necessity but has control over his will, and has decided in his own mind to keep his own virgin, does well.

What characterizes this special group is their spiritual virginity. They have avoided spiritual adultery with worldly politics and with false religion.

James 4:4 (NASB)

4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Today, billions of humans are involved in various forms of false religion that can be traced back to ancient Babylon. (Genesis 11:6-9) Collectively, those religions are designated as, “Babylon the Great".

Revelation 17:5 (NET Bible)

5 On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the Great, the Mother of prostitutes and of the detestable things of the earth.”

Philippians 2:15 (NET Bible)

15 So that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world[a]

  • I find it fascinating how desperate some people are to present the Bible as some sort of modern feminist book, to the point that they misinterpret even the most straightforward passages if they place males in a special position.
    – CMK
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 0:21

From which race were the 144,000 called?

Rev. 7:4 NKJV
4And 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:

From which race were the 144,000 called? John said, "the tribes of the children of Israel".

Which Jews comprise the 144,000? What is their characteristic?

Rev. 14:4(b) NASB
4bThese have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
Acts 20:28 Lamsa
28Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.

Which Jews comprise the 144,000? What is their characteristic? John said, "These have been purchased". What else are they known as? John said, "first fruits". Who are known as the purchased? Paul said, "the church of Christ". Hence, the 144,000 refers to the Jews who comprised the early membership of the Church of Christ.

What differentiated them from later Church of Christ members? What were they not defiled with?

Rev. 14:4(a) NKJV
4aThese are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins.

What were they not defiled with? John said, "not defiled with women". Why not? John explained, "for they are virgins". What should we notice? We should notice that they are not virgins because they are undefiled, but rather, they are undefiled because they are virgins.

Are these literal virgins? What are the two kinds of churches likened to? What are the members of the true Church likened to?

II Cor. 11:22 NKJV
22For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Rev. 17:1 NKJV
1Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,

What are the members of the true Church likened to? Paul said, "a chaste virgin". On the other hand, what was prophesied in the Revelation of Jesus? John said, "the great harlot". Whereas the true Church is likened to a virgin or pure woman, what is mentioned in the Revelation of Jesus is the opposite: a harlot, or an unclean woman. 

This is one of the women, by whom the first Church of Christ members were not defiled, because they were virgins, that is, the true Church promised in marriage to Christ.

Is the great harlot a literal woman? How can we identify this woman? Upon where would the great harlot be seated? John said, "on many waters".

What does that mean? What do the waters symbolize?

Rev. 17:15 NKJV
15Then he said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.

What do the waters symbolize? The angel explained, "peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues." The great harlot is not a literal woman, but symbolizes something that is universal in scope.

What claims to be universal in scope? What is Greek word for "universal"?

Hist. Dict. of Cath., p. 1
"Catholic" comes from a Greek word meaning "universal" or "comprehensive." … as the Second Vatican Council says, … "The unique church of Christ, which in the creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic ... subsists in the Catholic Church,”

(Historical Dictionary of Catholicism. By William J. Collinge. Second Edition. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2012.)

What is Greek word for "universal"? Collinge explains, "Catholic." Who profess to be "Catholic"? Collinge said, "the Catholic Church". 

Is this merely coincidence? What name would the harlot also bear?

Rev. 17:5 NKJV
Was Peter in Rome? (article from Catholic Answers, catholic.com)
The Church here in Babylon … (I Pet. 5:13, Knox). Babylon is code word for Rome.

(“Was Peter in Rome?” Catholic Answers: To Explain and Defend the Faith: Nihil Obstat: Bernadeane Carr, STL., Cnesor Librorum, August 10, 2004; Imprimatur: +Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004. www.catholic.com. Retrieved 6 July 2016)

What name would the harlot also bear? John said, "Babylon". What is the term "Babylon" code for? Catholic authorities say, "Rome".

What also bears the name "Babylon" or "Rome"?

Marks of the True Church (article from catholic-pages.com)
"The True Church is ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, and APOSTOLIC. Only the Roman Catholic Church can validly claim all four marks."

(“Marks of the True Church.” catholic-pages.com. All original material, design and compilation © 1996-2007. www.catholic-pages.com. Retrieved 6 July 2016)

What also bears the name "Babylon" or "Rome"? Catholic writers say, "the Roman Catholic Church".

Thus, the Roman Catholic Church is the fulfillment of the great harlot, and the 144,000 are characterized, not in that they were literally male, but that they were undefiled by either the great harlot or by those it begot (for the harlot would also be called a "Mother").

This is to differentiate those who would apostatize later on.

  • -1 and post notice added - this does not appear to be an actual answer to the question as stated, and rather runs off on a few separate tangents.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 20:08
  • I don't quite agree that you haven't answered the question (about the maleness). The fault, rather, is that you left the answer to be inferred. If they are the spiritually "faithful" contrast to the Harlot's unfaithfulness, neither the viginity nor the maleness needs to be physically literal. Commented Mar 11, 2023 at 6:37

Are the 144,000 in Revelation 14:4 male only?

It is said of the 144,000 sons of Israel (Rev 7:4) that they “have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste” (Rev 14:4). Therefore, some assume that these 144,000 Jews are only men. But that is not true because “defiled with women” does not refer to literal sexual relationships. Revelation has two women:

The one is the pure woman of Revelation 12 (Rev 12:1), also called, “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Rev 21:9; 19:7), or “the holy city, Jerusalem” (Rev 21:10). (Note that the angel told John that he will show Him the bride but then John sees the holy city, implying that the bride and the city are the same thing.)

The other woman is “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth” (Rev 17:5). She is also a city: “The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth" (Rev 17:18).

Just like Revelation symbolizes false religion as a woman, it symbolizes participation in false religion as having sexual relationships with Babylon and her daughters (Rev 17:2, 5; 18:3).

Therefore, when it says that the 144,000 have not been defiled with women, it means that they did not participate in false religion. Their worship is pure.

They are symbolically all males because Revelation 7 uses the imaginary of Israel’s army (cf. Num 31:5) to describe the perfection of the end-time remnant of God’s people.


These 144,000 are virgin men that are Jewish. At the beginning of the tribulation, they have been redeemed (come to know Jesus) and they will preach the gospel to the world (the post rapture people). Read this: https://www.gotquestions.org/144000.html

  • Please refrain from insulting other users - the fact that you disagree with the other answers does not give you permission to make accusatory or hostile comments about others. You should read the Code of Conduct; also, please read the site tour and How to Answer to understand how to use the site. Commented Sep 18, 2021 at 15:07

Do you understand that by believing the future is etched in stone, then you believe also that the free will we posess is precisely an illusion? Do we have free will? Yes. Is free will an illusion? Yes.


As some here I believe the 144k virgins reflects a “spiritual” state of being at such time (see 1Cor.15:51-52) and the precept in Jeremiah 31:3-4 NKJV in a nutshell confirms this. In order for us to take on this spiritual change we must repent (change our mind and TURN) from sin Acts 3:19 and obey all His commandments which is our duty Ecc.12:13 1John 2:4 James 2:10 not just the 10 but the commandments in the Torah (1st 5 books of the Bible) ie dietary laws Lev.11&Deut.14…Feast Days laws Lev.23 and sacrificial law Ro.12:1 and the only way we can do this is possession of His Holy Spirit who He gives to those who OBEY Him if you ask Him to come live in you! Acts 5:32 Luke 11:13 Acts 2:38 “ That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Eph.5:27 Rev.19:9 hence the “special group!” Yah bless!

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