**Schizm**...What you just said doesn't help **Flash**'s argument regarding *Revelation 14:1*. On the basis of *Revelation 13:1*, you argue that a passage can mention both literal AND symbolic numbers in the same verse. Then you use that to interpret *Revelation 7:4* as permitting a literal 144,000 and a symbolic 12 tribes. But then the 144,000 in *Revelation* *14:1* must be literal because it is mentioned in the same verse with "one" Lamb?

You also say:

The "10" is therefore not a LITERAL number. Instead, it's a symbolic number that stands for __the entire sum__ of something, which in this case is the entire sum of all governments (which, of course, number far more that a mere 10).

I would argue that the same is true with the 144,000. It's very simple. It stands for "the entire sum" of spiritual Israel (which, of course numbers far more than a mere 144,000), which in this case is the sum of 12 symbolic tribes. The number 144,000 is transparently the multiple of the **squares** of the symbolic numbers 10 (10 x 10) and 12 (12 x 12). Both 10 and 12 recur in *Revelation* as symbolic numbers. We have the 10 horns of the dragon (*12:3; 13:1; 17:4, 7*), the ten crowns on each horn (*13:1*), the ten kingships of *17:12*, and so forth. We also have the 12 months of the year, the 12 tribes of Israel (*21:12*), the 12 apostles (*21:14*), the twelve stars borne by the mother of the Messiah (*12:1*), the 12 foundation stones of New Jerusalem (*21:14*), the 12 gates to the city (*21:12, 21*), and the 12 crops of fruit borne by the Tree of Life (*22:2*). The square of 10, namely 100, is also a symbolic number (*Revelation 16:21*; compare *Jeremiah 52:23*; *Ezekiel 40:19, 23, 27, 47, 41:13-15, 42:2, 4, 8*), and so is the square of 12, namely 144, which is mentioned as a symbolic number in *Revelation 21:17* as the height of the wall of New Jerusalem in 144 cubits. That the 12,000 making up the 144,000 is symbolic can also be seen in comparing with the dimensions of New Jerusalem in *Revelation 21:16*, which measures the length, width, and height of the city as 12,000 stadia. All these numbers as symbolic!

I think, since *Revelation* is predominantly composed of figurative language and symbolic numbers, the **burden of proof** is on showing that the number is intended to be literal (as perhaps the case might be for the 1,000 years of *Revelation 20*, and even this is quite unclear) rather the other way around. The "proof" offered for treating it as literal, imho, does not come close to meeting this burden of proof.