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Revelation 15:2-3

Context

15:2 Then 1  I saw something like a sea of glass 2  mixed with fire, and those who had conquered 3  the beast and his image and the number of his name. They were standing 4  by 5  the sea of glass, holding harps given to them by God. 6  15:3 They 7  sang the song of Moses the servant 8  of God and the song of the Lamb: 9 

“Great and astounding are your deeds,

Lord God, the All-Powerful! 10 

Just 11  and true are your ways,

King over the nations! 12 

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

2 sn See Rev 4:6 where the sea of glass was mentioned previously.

3 tn Or “had been victorious over”; traditionally, “had overcome.”

4 tn Grk “of his name, standing.” A new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the words “They were.”

5 tn Or “on.” The preposition ἐπί (epi) with the accusative case could mean “on, at, by, near”; given the nature of this scene appearing in a vision, it is difficult to know precisely which the author of Revelation intended. See BDAG 363 s.v. ἐπί 1.c.γ, “At, by, near someone or someth.

6 tn Grk “harps of God.” The phrase τοῦ θεοῦ (tou qeou) has been translated as a genitive of agency.

7 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

8 tn See the note on the word “servants” in 1:1.

9 tn Grk “saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

10 tn On this word BDAG 755 s.v. παντοκράτωρ states, “the Almighty, All-Powerful, Omnipotent (One) only of God…() κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ π. …Rv 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; 21:22.”

11 tn Or “righteous,” although the context favors justice as the theme.

12 tc Certain mss (Ì47 א*,2 C 1006 1611 1841 pc) read “ages” (αἰώνων, aiwnwn) instead of “nations” (ἐθνῶν, eqnwn), which itself is supported by several mss (א1 A 051 Ï). The ms evidence seems to be fairly balanced, though αἰώνων has somewhat better support. The replacement of “ages” with “nations” is possibly a scribal attempt to harmonize this verse with the use of “nations” in the following verse. On the other hand, the idea of “nations” fits well with v. 4 and it may be that “ages” is a scribal attempt to assimilate this text to 1 Tim 1:17: “the king of the ages” (βασιλεὺς τῶν αἰώνων, basileu" twn aiwnwn). The decision is a difficult one since both scenarios deal well with the evidence, though the verbal parallel with 1 Tim 1:17 is exact while the parallel with v. 4 is not. The term “king” occurs 17 other times (most occurrences refer to earthly kings) in Revelation and it is not used with either “ages” or “nations” apart from this verse. Probably the reading “nations” should be considered original due to the influence of 1 Tim 1:17.



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