Using Seal Dates

Revelation 7 reveals the process of finding each lost tribe of Israel. The number of days between document signings in each modern tribe is given as 12,000 days. This article explores.


The Book of Revelation is broken into a series of scenes as recorded by John when he was given a vision on the isle of Patmos. The scene we are interested in here deals with the tribes of Israel. It begins at chapter 7 verse 1 and runs through verse 8. The first 4 verses of this scene set the stage for the latter half of the scene. The details of these first four verses is so important we take them verse by verse.

Identifying ancient Israel as the Target

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. (Revelation 7:1 NIV)

The "four winds" or the four compass directions are symbolic language used across the Bible for the various tribes of Israel. Recall that Abraham was told that his descendants would inhabit the north, south, east and west.

By the time the nation had developed and was wandering around the Sinai as a large company they were organized around these same four compass points. Three sets of tribes were situated north, three south, three east and three west. The Levites remained in the center around the tabernacle.

Earlier passages in Revelation have taken John to this same layout, there were 24 Levite elders, for example, who are the 24 around the throne in chapter 4. (Rev 4:4)

The community of ancient Israel is what this entire scene is about.

Using Seals on this community

Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: (Revelation 7:2 NIV)

This next verse introduces the use of a seal. Seals are another Biblical object that was first used in the Book of Genesis by Tamar to identify Judah.

Judah had committed prostitution with Tamar and left his seal and staff in pledge until he could deliver to Tamar a small goat. Judah had not realized Tamar was his daughter-in-law and when she was found to be pregnant he wanted her stoned.

Tamar produced Judah's own seal and staff and identified him as the other party in the act of prostitution. If she had been stoned, so would he. Further still, the surviving males in a family that looses a brother are responsible for continuing the lost offspring's line. Judah could have done that for his dead son, but would have endangered his other son's estates. Her apparent act of prostitution wasn't, as she was causing him to fulfill the family duty. If she had not done so, Judah would have been struck dead by God himself.

The angel is producing a seal, and it will be used for the same purpose, it will be used to identify Judah again, this time his offspring, not because they have lost a seal to Tamar, but because they use their own national seal on a document on an indicated date. All of Judah's brothers, as well as Joseph's two oldest sons will be identified the very same way. Each will sign a document on a specific prophetic date and identify themselves as a tribe of ancient Israel.

The first references to Time

Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. (Revelation 7:4 NIV)

Every time God speaks a count of anything, even when simply written in his word, he speaks an interval of time. We explore the sources of this important principle in the Bible Time website. In this case God is speaking through the writing of Revelation 7 and the interval he is indicating is 144,000, without units of any kind.

Counts this large can only be days. We are around 13,000 years from Adam and the count of 144,000, if it meant years, would be totally off the scales. The indicated count is of days.

The Bible Time website includes a series of Calendar Converters and the Day-by-number tool can be used to discover that this many days is just shy of 396 Biblical years. The period when the angel is unable to harm has something to do with this size of interval. Just what will be seen shortly.

First uses of seals

From this point out to the end of the scene the tribes themselves are listed in a special order:

From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000. (Revelation 7:5-8 NIV)

There are several important features must be noticed:

  • Dan is omitted. Yet the angel earlier said every tribe would be sealed.(Rev 7:3)

  • Ephraim is omitted. Instead the joint tribal name Joseph is used. Joseph includes Ephraim and Manasseh. Joseph was not an extant tribe having been split into two tribes by Jacob on his death bed.

  • Manasseh listed twice. If Joseph includes Ephraim, then it includes Manasseh too. Manasseh is also listed alone.

  • The order is unusual. The order of the tribes listed here is special to this list.

Each of these issues will reflect into our final solution. Manasseh will indeed be sealed twice, Dan will be sealed too, and the order matters.

First Pass at Seal Dates

This half chapter from Revelation says something important. It says that we are to look at the tribes of Israel. At some point in their history, every 12,000 days, they will be "Sealed," or identified, because they have done something with a document at the national level. This passage does not say when to start looking.

Since we know the recorded history of the tribes of Israel and since that record does not record a day-accurate history when this might have happened, and since this is in Revelation, a book about the end of the age, we assume that it must happen after the end of the period of punishment that the tribes underwent beginning at the Civil War. As we've already shown that period of punishment ended in 1579. The following report takes the Passover Date that ended that punishment period and adds on 144,000 days. This is the last date in this list and the target for the final seal.

Approximate range of the Seal Date Period
First day in Seal Period
Wed12570-01-14 AA8 Aug 1579 NS29 Jul 2332 AUC4585154 AAN
3070-01-14 FE29 Jul 1579 OS29 Jul 1579 AD2297997 JDN
144,000th day later, last day in Seal Period
Fri12964-10-13 AA9 Nov 1973 NS27 Oct 2726 AUC4729153 AAN
3464-10-13 FE27 Oct 1973 OS27 Oct 1973 AD2441996 JDN

This is an auditable report. Pay attention to the expression 144,000th and the way the day numbers are actually 143,999 days apart. If they were exactly 144,000 days apart the final digits of the day numbers using either AA Numbers or JD Numbers, would be the same. They are not. This is consistent with 1 based math, another issue we address in Time Theory section of the Bible Time website.

This particular date is just after the Yom Kippur War that begun October 6, 1973. This date is very close to that fighting. As a matter of historical fact the Disengagement Agreement that ended the fighting in this war was signed exactly 70 days later, January 18, 1974.

That January '74 agreement also reopened the Suez Canal closed since the 6 day war in 1967. The agreement also caused the Israelis to withdraw back across the Suez. They were very close to the outskirts of Cairo when fighting had stopped. This was the last major peace agreement type document until peace between Israel and Egypt later in the decade.

Notice what we are looking for here is some sort of nationally signed document by some nation that must be identifiable as a tribe of Israel. Modern Israel fits the bill as a tribe of ancient Israel, and the document in January '74 works as the type of document we're looking for. Now, to trim the math a little tighter.

Tolerance at the start of Punishment

The start of the 2550 year period of punishment was only actually given in the historical account to the year. We arbitrarily selected the standard Passover date, the 14th day of the 1st month, because that is the national holiday that fell closest to the year break. There was no Bible text that supported such an assumption.

The window that these seal dates could fall in is actually a year wide. We selected the start date at the start of that year. We can choose any date in that year, for any reason we want, as the actual point where we should start. The next period of national assembly in the ancient story would have been the 1st day of the 7th month, so we could argue for a narrower, 6 month window, but that window would still start in the same place.

Perhaps we should shift forward 70 days and hit the January '74 date exactly?

Doing this suggests the start of Punishment at 10020/3/24 AA, a day of the month when Moses, 520 years before, went up on the mountain for the first time in order to receive the law. This is a reasonable day of the year for God to choose to consider the covenant broken, since this is the day of the year when it was given. Moses returned with the tablets, and broke them, 40 days later.

Period When Ancient Israel was punished
First day in the period
Sun10020-03-24 AA18 Nov -968 NS29 Mar 289 BAUC3654984 AAN
520-03-24 FE27 Nov -968 OS29 Mar 1042 BC1367827 JDN
Last day in the period
Sun12570-04-05 AA28 Oct 1579 NS18 Oct 2332 AUC4585235 AAN
3070-04-05 FE18 Oct 1579 OS18 Oct 1579 AD2298078 JDN

Seal Dates

The Seal Dates spring from the text given in Revelation 7. The following is the passage the chronicles this period and provides the order for each tribe.

This punishment period sets the start point for each of the 12,000 day long periods that sets the "Seal Dates" that we're going to use to identify each tribe of Israel. Those dates are shown in the following report:

Seal Dates for each ancient tribe of Israel
Tribe of Judah
Tue12603-02-05 AA4 Sep 1612 NS25 Aug 2365 AUC4597235 AAN
3103-02-05 FE25 Aug 1612 OS25 Aug 1612 AD2310078 JDN
Tribe of Reuben
Thu12636-01-05 AA13 Jul 1645 NS3 Jul 2398 AUC4609235 AAN
3136-01-05 FE3 Jul 1645 OS3 Jul 1645 AD2322078 JDN
Tribe of Gad
Sat12668-12-05 AA21 May 1678 NS11 May 2431 AUC4621235 AAN
3168-12-05 FE11 May 1678 OS11 May 1678 AD2334078 JDN
Tribe of Asher
Mon12701-10-05 AA30 Mar 1711 NS19 Mar 2464 AUC4633235 AAN
3201-10-05 FE19 Mar 1710 OS19 Mar 1711 AD2346078 JDN
Tribe of Naphtali
Wed12734-10-05 AA5 Feb 1744 NS25 Jan 2497 AUC4645235 AAN
3234-10-05 FE25 Jan 1743 OS25 Jan 1744 AD2358078 JDN
Tribe of Manasseh
Fri12767-08-05 AA13 Dec 1776 NS2 Dec 2529 AUC4657235 AAN
3267-08-05 FE2 Dec 1776 OS2 Dec 1776 AD2370078 JDN
Tribe of Simeon
Sun12800-07-05 AA22 Oct 1809 NS10 Oct 2562 AUC4669235 AAN
3300-07-05 FE10 Oct 1809 OS10 Oct 1809 AD2382078 JDN
Tribe of Levi
Tue12833-06-05 AA30 Aug 1842 NS18 Aug 2595 AUC4681235 AAN
3333-06-05 FE18 Aug 1842 OS18 Aug 1842 AD2394078 JDN
Tribe of Issachar
Thu12866-04-05 AA8 Jul 1875 NS26 Jun 2628 AUC4693235 AAN
3366-04-05 FE26 Jun 1875 OS26 Jun 1875 AD2406078 JDN
Tribe of Zebulun
Sat12899-04-05 AA16 May 1908 NS3 May 2661 AUC4705235 AAN
3399-04-05 FE3 May 1908 OS3 May 1908 AD2418078 JDN
Tribe of Joseph
Mon12932-02-05 AA24 Mar 1941 NS11 Mar 2694 AUC4717235 AAN
3432-02-05 FE11 Mar 1940 OS11 Mar 1941 AD2430078 JDN
Tribe of Benjamin
Wed12964-13-05 AA30 Jan 1974 NS17 Jan 2727 AUC4729235 AAN
3464-13-05 FE17 Jan 1973 OS17 Jan 1974 AD2442078 JDN

For the rest of our analysis, we will use a seal date pattern that places the start date of 7 times punishment at 10020/3/24 AA and the last day of that punishment at 12570/3/23 AA. Seal dates will count out 12,000 days from there. This makes the last sealed document the Disengagement Agreement between Israel and Egypt signed January 18, 1974.


  • From a logical perspective we've used a modern headline to "fit" the best interpretation out of a possible range of interpretations. If such is fit is right we should see the other documents landing 12,000 days apart from here. We will.

  • Another strategy would have been to simply slap a tolerance on the analysis, the 1 year (or 6 months) implied by the starting story. Use of tolerance may be more appealing to engineers, but since we'll see other headlines at 12,000 day windows from here we prefer to use the 70 day shift. My original discovery process through this material used such a tolerance window. The precision in the answer mitigates against using that process here.

  • The day of the year lining up with Moses' actions at mount Sinai also indicates that there could be related actions in the 70 days before (the first Passover was 70 days earlier) and there could be actions at 40 and/or 80 days later. Moses returned from Mount Sinai 40 days later, broke the tablets, then 80 days later after a second try. Each seal at each seal date could be so surrounded by other dates. Throughout this study we will look at dates 70 days before and 40 and 80 days after every date.

  • Astute readers should notice that the last seal in the seal date list of Revelation chapter 7 is the tribe of Benjamin. Modern Israel the nation that signed the Disengagement of Forces agreement on that January day in the Egyptian desert outside Cairo. Since Cairo is not a likely candidate for a tribe of Israel, Egypt probably being Egypt, we can deduce that the modern nation of Israel is the ancient tribe of Benjamin, alone. We'll return to this accurate identification in a later article.