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Revelation 7:14 NASB

“I said to him, “My Lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” ‭‭

Is the English translation “come out” accurate? If so, who is it referring to? Those who have “overcome” or those who have failed in tribulation? It seems like their garments were stained and thus needed to be washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. Why would their garments be stained if they overcame tribulation? Or are the stains the darkness of the world in tribulation that they came out of?

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The pertinent phrase in the Greek is ἐρχόμενοι ἐκ = "coming out". The NASB version quoted by the OP is a perfectly accurate translation of the text.

The answer to the OP's question is found in Rev 7:9 and provides the antecedent for the implied pronoun οἱ ("the ones"), namely:

Rev 7:9 - After this I looked and saw a multitude too large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.

Robes

This metaphor contains several elements consisting of:

  • the white robes are a direct allusion to two elements: (a) the antithesis of the "filthy rags" metaphor of Isa 64:6 describing the righteousness of sinners which were (b) made clean by washing them in the blood of the lamb. That is, these ex-sinners, now forgiven saints are such because of the cleansing blood of the lamb.
  • the white robes are mentioned in Rev 19:8 as the righteous acts of the saints as defined in Eph 2:10; ie, the righteousness of Christ.

Come Out

The saints described in Rev 7:9-15 are they that have passed out of the great tribulation, ie, passed through it. See Matt 24:21, Rev 2:22.

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  • Helpful answer with great cross references - thank you!! Nov 21, 2023 at 14:10

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