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Revelation 13:1-6

Context
The Two Beasts

13:1 Then 1  I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It 2  had ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns were ten diadem crowns, 3  and on its heads a blasphemous name. 4  13:2 Now 5  the beast that I saw was like a leopard, but its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The 6  dragon gave the beast 7  his power, his throne, and great authority to rule. 8  13:3 One of the beast’s 9  heads appeared to have been killed, 10  but the lethal wound had been healed. 11  And the whole world followed 12  the beast in amazement; 13:4 they worshiped the dragon because he had given ruling authority 13  to the beast, and they worshiped the beast too, saying: “Who is like the beast?” and “Who is able to make war against him?” 14  13:5 The beast 15  was given a mouth speaking proud words 16  and blasphemies, and he was permitted 17  to exercise ruling authority 18  for forty-two months. 13:6 So 19  the beast 20  opened his mouth to blaspheme against God – to blaspheme both his name and his dwelling place, 21  that is, those who dwell in heaven.

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

2 tn Grk “having” (a continuation of the previous sentence). All of the pronouns referring to this beast (along with the second beast appearing in 13:11) could be translated as “it” because the word for beast (θηρίον, qhrion) is neuter gender in Greek and all the pronouns related to it are parsed as neuter in the Gramcord/Accordance database. Nevertheless, most interpreters would agree that the beast ultimately represents a human ruler, so beginning at the end of v. 4 the masculine pronouns (“he,” “him,” etc.) are used to refer to the first beast as well as the second beast appearing in 13:11.

3 tn For the translation of διάδημα (diadhma) as “diadem crown” see L&N 6.196.

sn Diadem crowns were a type of crown used as a symbol of the highest ruling authority in a given area, and thus often associated with kingship.

4 tc ‡ Several mss (A 051 1611 1854 2053 2344 2351 ÏK) read the plural ὀνόματα (onomata, “[blasphemous] names”), while the singular ὄνομα (onoma, “name”) has somewhat better support (Ì47 א C 1006 1841 2329 ÏA). The plural reading seems motivated by the fact that what is written is written “on its heads.” In the least, it is a clarifying reading. NA27 puts the plural in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

sn Whether this means a single name on all seven heads or seven names, one on each head, is not clear.

5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the parenthetical nature of the following description of the beast.

6 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

7 tn Grk “gave it”; the referent (the beast) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn For the translation “authority to rule” for ἐξουσία (exousia) see L&N 37.35.

9 tn Grk “one of its heads”; the referent (the beast) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

10 tn Grk “killed to death,” an expression emphatic in its redundancy. The phrase behind this translation is ὡς ἐσφαγμένον (Jw" ejsfagmenon). The particle ὡς is used in Greek generally for comparison, and in Revelation it is used often to describe the appearance of what the author saw. In this instance, the appearance of the beast’s head did not match reality, because the next phrase shows that in fact it did not die. This text does not affirm that the beast died and was resurrected, but some draw this conclusion because of the only other use of the phrase, which refers to Jesus in 5:6.

11 tn The phrase τοῦ θανάτου (tou qanatou) can be translated as an attributive genitive (“deathly wound”) or an objective genitive (the wound which caused death) and the final αὐτοῦ (autou) is either possessive or reference/respect.

12 tn On the phrase “the whole world followed the beast in amazement,” BDAG 445 s.v. θαυμάζω 2 states, “wonder, be amazedRv 17:8. In pregnant constr. ἐθαυμάσθη ὅλη ἡ γῆ ὀπίσω τ. θηρίου the whole world followed the beast, full of wonder 13:3 (here wonder becomes worship: cp. Ael. Aristid. 13 p. 290 D.; 39 p. 747 of Dionysus and Heracles, οἳ ὑφ᾿ ἡμῶν ἐθαυμάσθησαν. Sir 7:29; Jos., Ant. 3, 65. – The act. is also found in this sense: Cebes 2, 3 θ. τινά = ‘admire’ or ‘venerate’ someone; Epict. 1, 17, 19 θ. τὸν θεόν).”

13 tn For the translation “ruling authority” for ἐξουσία (exousia) see L&N 37.35.

14 tn On the use of the masculine pronoun to refer to the beast, see the note on the word “It” in 13:1.

15 tn Grk “and there was given to him.” Here the passive construction has been simplified, the referent (the beast) has been specified for clarity, and καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

16 tn For the translation “proud words” (Grk “great things” or “important things”) see BDAG 624 s.v. μέγας 4.b.

17 tn Grk “to it was granted.”

18 tn For the translation “ruling authority” for ἐξουσία (exousia) see L&N 37.35.

19 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the permission granted to the beast.

20 tn Grk “he” (or “it”); the referent (the beast) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

21 tc The reading “and his dwelling place” does not occur in codex C, but its omission is probably due to scribal oversight since the phrase has the same ending as the phrase before it, i.e., they both end in “his” (αὐτοῦ, autou). This is similar to the mistake this scribe made in 12:14 with the omission of the reading “and half a time” (καὶ ἥμισυ καιροῦ, kai {hmisu kairou).



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