The 144000 is an analogy, it is not a list of the tribes of Israel. Notice that, Even though Reuben is the firstborn instead of Judah, it begins with the tribe of Judah. Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah, and was the firstborn from the deadHe is put first. Rom 8:29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.Col 1:15, 18. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
The 144,000 & the twelve tribes of Israel
Josephs is also listed along with his two sons. The Bible tells us Joseph gave his birthright (which should have been Reubens' 1Chr 5:1Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.) to his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.
Even though his two sons had the same land they are often spoken of as two separate tribes. Jacob also gave Ephraim the blessing and not Manasseh, who is the eldest, but we see Manasseh here and not his brother.
Priests never inherited any land;Jos 14:3For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe on the other side Jordan: but unto the Levites he gave none inheritance among them.The tribe of Levi is included here when they were never included in inheritance before; the reason is because we are a holy priesthood and a royal priesthood 1Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.1Peter 2:9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
This analogy does not have Dan probably because of Idolatry. In conclusion, If God was actually giving us a list of the tribes of Israel; He would have just put them in order of birth and inheritance, and wouldn't add or leave a Patriarch out.
It then says that each one of them was sealed. A seal is made from wax that has been imprinted on with a signet ring. Today we use our name as our seal. Since it is a unique way of writing our name, it is a personal seal that we call our signature. We will only put our signature on thing that we agree to or approve of. This is saying that God has put his approval on them.2Corinth 1:22Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.Eph 1:13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 4:30 and grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
This is how the Tribes are placed in Revelation 7:5-8
I will put the tribes' actual placement number to where it should be it the order of their birth
The first name is Judah. #4.
The second name is Reuben. #1.
The third one is called Gad. #8.
The fourth name is Asher. #9.
The fifth name is Naphtali. #10.
The sixth name is Manasseh.
The seventh name is Simeon. #2.
The eighth name is Levi. #3.
The ninth name is Issachar. #6.
The tenth named is Zebulon. #5.
The eleventh is Joseph. #11.
Remember, there is no actually no tribe of Joseph, but there is here. He gave his inheritance to his sons.
The twelfth is, Benjamin. #12
This is the true Israel of God:
Gal 6:16And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (the Church and saved Israel). When the time of the gentiles is complete, God will then move His attention to Israel once again and Israel will be completed and saved.
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Rom 11:15-32 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? :16 For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakes of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bears not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou stands by faith. Be not high minded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
What about this number, 144,000? Notice that John said he heard the number, he didn't see it; this tells us that it isn't an amount (as in quantity) of people, it must mean something else. The number 12 represents 12 tribes of Israel from the Old Testament and 12 Apostles of the New Testament. The number 1000 represents from Hebrew, the sense of yoking or taming an ox or joining together, maturity and full stature.
Let's do some math.
12 x 12 = 144. Then it multiplies 12 by 1000 in which we see above the meaning of these numbers, Israel and the Church being yoked together in peace. So we see the 144000 as the perfect completed Church of the Old Testament and New Testament. The completed Israel of God.
This idea of the 144,000 being the whole Church and saved Israel also makes sense because we see the next part of the chapter from v: 9 as the rapture taking place.