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Revelation 14:6-9

Context
Three Angels and Three Messages

14:6 Then 1  I saw another 2  angel flying directly overhead, 3  and he had 4  an eternal gospel to proclaim 5  to those who live 6  on the earth – to every nation, tribe, 7  language, and people. 14:7 He declared 8  in a loud voice: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has arrived, and worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!”

14:8 A 9  second 10  angel 11  followed the first, 12  declaring: 13  “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great city! 14  She made all the nations 15  drink of the wine of her immoral passion.” 16 

14:9 A 17  third angel 18  followed the first two, 19  declaring 20  in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or his hand,

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

2 tc Most mss (Ì47 א* Ï sa) lack ἄλλον (allon, “another”) here, but the support for it is stronger (Ì115vid א2 A C P 051 1006 1611 1841 2053 2329 al latt sy bo). The problem that its inclusion represents is that there is no reference to any other angel in the immediate context (the last mention was in 11:15). In this instance, the longer reading is harder. The word was probably intentionally omitted in order to resolve the tension; less likely, it might have been accidentally omitted since its spelling is similar to “angel” (ἄγγελος, angelos).

3 tn L&N 1.10 states, “a point or region of the sky directly above the earth – ‘high in the sky, midpoint in the sky, directly overhead, straight above in the sky.’”

4 tn Grk “having.”

5 tn Or “an eternal gospel to announce as good news.”

6 tn Grk “to those seated on the earth.”

7 tn Grk “and tribe,” but καί (kai) has not been translated here or before the following term since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

8 tn Grk “people, saying.” In the Greek text this is a continuation of the previous sentence. For the translation of λέγω (legw) as “declare,” see BDAG 590 s.v. 2.e.

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

10 tc There are several different variants comprising a textual problem involving “second” (δεύτερος, deuteros). First, several mss (A 1 2329 ÏK) read “another, a second angel” (ἄλλος δεύτερος ἄγγελος, allo" deutero" angelo"). Second, other mss (Ì47 א* 1006 1841 1854 pc) read just “another, a second” (ἄλλος δεύτερος). Third, the reading “another angel” (ἄλλος ἄγγελος) is supported by a few Greek mss and some versional evidence (69 pc ar vg). Fourth, several mss (א2 [C reads δεύτερον instead of δεύτερος] 051 1611 2053 2344 ÏA) support the reading “another, a second angel” (ἄλλος ἄγγελος δεύτερος). The reading that most likely gave rise to the others is the fourth. The first reading attempts to smooth out the grammar by placing the adjective in front of the noun. The second reading may have dropped out the “angel” on the basis of its similarity to “another” (ἄλλος). The third reading either intentionally or accidentally left out the word “second.” In any event, this is weakly attested and should not be given much consideration. (If, however, this reading had had good support, with “second” floating, and with “third” in the text in 14:9, one could possibly see δεύτερος as a motivated reading. But without sufficient support for the third reading, the one thing that is most certain is that δεύτερος was part of the original text here.) It is difficult to account for the rise of the other readings if “second” is not original. And the undisputed use of “third” (τρίτος, tritos) in 14:9 may be another indicator that the adjective “second” was in the original text. Finally, the fourth reading is the more difficult and therefore, in this case, to be accepted as the progenitor of the others.

11 tn Grk “And another angel, a second.”

12 tn The words “the first” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

13 tn For the translation of λέγω (legw) as “declare,” see BDAG 590 s.v. 2.e.

14 sn The fall of Babylon the great city is described in detail in Rev 18:2-24.

15 tn Or “all the Gentiles” (the same Greek word may be translated “Gentiles” or “nations”).

16 tn Grk “of the wine of the passion of the sexual immorality of her.” Here τῆς πορνείας (th" porneia") has been translated as an attributive genitive. In an ironic twist of fate, God will make Babylon drink her own mixture, but it will become the wine of his wrath in retribution for her immoral deeds (see the note on the word “wrath” in 16:19).

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

18 tn Grk “And another angel, a third.”

19 tn Grk “followed them.”

20 tn For the translation of λέγω (legw) as “declare,” see BDAG 590 s.v. 2.e.



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