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Revelation 12:7-17

Context
War in Heaven

12:7 Then 1  war broke out in heaven: Michael 2  and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 12:8 But 3  the dragon was not strong enough to prevail, 4  so there was no longer any place left 5  in heaven for him and his angels. 6  12:9 So 7  that huge dragon – the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world – was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him. 12:10 Then 8  I heard a loud voice in heaven saying,

“The salvation and the power

and the kingdom of our God,

and the ruling authority 9  of his Christ, 10  have now come,

because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, 11 

the one who accuses them day and night 12  before our God,

has been thrown down.

12:11 But 13  they overcame him

by the blood of the Lamb

and by the word of their testimony,

and they did not love their lives 14  so much that they were afraid to die.

12:12 Therefore you heavens rejoice, and all who reside in them!

But 15  woe to the earth and the sea

because the devil has come down to you!

He 16  is filled with terrible anger,

for he knows that he only has a little time!”

12:13 Now 17  when the dragon realized 18  that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 12:14 But 19  the woman was given the two wings of a giant eagle so that she could fly out into the wilderness, 20  to the place God 21  prepared for her, where she is taken care of – away from the presence of the serpent – for a time, times, and half a time. 22  12:15 Then 23  the serpent spouted water like a river out of his mouth after the woman in an attempt to 24  sweep her away by a flood, 12:16 but 25  the earth came to her rescue; 26  the ground opened up 27  and swallowed the river that the dragon had spewed from his mouth. 12:17 So 28  the dragon became enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, 29  those who keep 30  God’s commandments and hold to 31  the testimony about Jesus. 32  (12:18) And the dragon 33  stood 34  on the sand 35  of the seashore. 36 

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.

2 sn The archangel Michael had a special role in protecting the nation of Israel in the OT (Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1; see also Jude 9).

3 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the implied contrast.

4 tn The words “to prevail” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

5 tn Grk “found.”

6 tn Grk “for them”; the referent (the dragon and his angels, v. 7) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of the war in heaven.

8 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

9 tn Or “the right of his Messiah to rule.” See L&N 37.35.

10 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

11 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelfoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited). The translation “fellow believer” would normally apply (L&N 11.23), but since the speaker(s) are not specified in this context, it is not clear if such a translation would be appropriate here. The more generic “brothers and sisters” was chosen to emphasize the fact of a relationship without specifying its type.

12 tn Or “who accuses them continually.”

13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast.

14 sn They did not love their lives. See Matt 16:25; Luke 17:33; John 12:25.

15 tn The word “But” is not in the Greek text, but the contrast is clearly implied. This is a case of asyndeton (lack of a connective).

16 tn Grk “and is filled,” a continuation of the previous sentence. Because English tends to use shorter sentences (especially when exclamations are involved), a new sentence was started here in the translation.

17 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” because the clause it introduces is clearly resumptive.

18 tn Grk “saw.”

19 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present here.

20 tn Or “desert.”

21 tn The word “God” is supplied based on the previous statements made concerning “the place prepared for the woman” in 12:6.

22 tc The reading “and half a time” (καὶ ἥμισυ καιροῦ, kai {hmisu kairou) is lacking in the important uncial C. Its inclusion, however, is supported by {Ì47 א A and the rest of the ms tradition}. There is apparently no reason for the scribe of C to intentionally omit the phrase, and the fact that the word “time” (καιρὸν καὶ καιρούς, kairon kai kairou") appears twice before may indicate a scribal oversight.

sn The parallel statement in Rev 12:6 suggests that the phrase a time, times, and half a time equals 1,260 days (three and a half years of 360 days each).

23 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

24 tn Grk “so that he might make her swept away.”

25 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present here.

26 tn Grk “the earth helped the woman.”

27 tn Grk “the earth opened its mouth” (a metaphor for the ground splitting open).

28 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the woman’s escape.

29 tn Grk “her seed” (an idiom for offspring, children, or descendants).

30 tn Or “who obey.”

31 tn Grk “and having.”

32 tn Grk “the testimony of Jesus,” which may involve a subjective genitive (“Jesus’ testimony”) or, more likely, an objective genitive (“testimony about Jesus”).

33 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the dragon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

34 tc Grk ἐστάθη (estaqh, “he stood”). The reading followed by the translation is attested by the better mss (Ì47 א A C 1854 2344 2351 pc lat syh) while the majority of mss (051 Ï vgmss syph co) have the reading ἐστάθην (estaqhn, “I stood”). Thus, the majority of mss make the narrator, rather than the dragon of 12:17, the subject of the verb. The first person reading is most likely an assimilation to the following verb in 13:1, “I saw.” The reading “I stood” was introduced either by accident or to produce a smoother flow, giving the narrator a vantage point on the sea’s edge from which to observe the beast rising out of the sea in 13:1. But almost everywhere else in the book, the phrase καὶ εἶδον (kai eidon, “and I saw”) marks a transition to a new vision, without reference to the narrator’s activity. On both external and internal grounds, it is best to adopt the third person reading, “he stood.”

35 tn Or “sandy beach” (L&N 1.64).

36 sn The standard critical texts of the Greek NT, NA27 and UBS4, both include this sentence as 12:18, as do the RSV and NRSV. Other modern translations like the NASB and NIV include the sentence at the beginning of 13:1; in these versions chap. 12 has only 17 verses.



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