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Revelation 18:2

Context
18:2 He 1  shouted with a powerful voice:

“Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great!

She 2  has become a lair for demons,

a haunt 3  for every unclean spirit,

a haunt for every unclean bird,

a haunt for every unclean and detested beast. 4 

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

2 tn Or “It” (the subject is embedded in the verb in Greek; the verb only indicates that it is third person). Since the city has been personified as the great prostitute, the feminine pronoun was used in the translation.

3 tn Here BDAG 1067 s.v. φυλακή 3 states, “a place where guarding is done, prison…Of the nether world or its place of punishment (πνεῦμα 2 and 4c) 1 Pt 3:19 (BReicke, The Disobedient Spirits and Christian Baptism ’46, 116f). It is in a φ. in the latter sense that Satan will be rendered harmless during the millennium Rv 20:7. The fallen city of Babylon becomes a φυλακή haunt for all kinds of unclean spirits and birds 18:2ab.”

4 tc There are several problems in this verse. It seems that according to the ms evidence the first two phrases (i.e., “and a haunt for every unclean spirit, and a haunt for every unclean bird” [καὶ φυλακὴ παντὸς πνεύματος ἀκαθάρτου καὶ φυλακὴ παντὸς ὀρνέου ἀκαθάρτου, kai fulakh panto" pneumato" akaqartou kai fulakh panto" orneou akaqartou]) are to be regarded as authentic, though there are some ms discrepancies. The similar beginnings (καὶ φυλακὴ παντός) and endings (ἀκαθάρτου) of each phrase would easily account for some mss omitting one or the other phrase. The third phrase (“a haunt for every unclean animal” [καὶ φυλακὴ παντὸς θηρίου ἀκαθάρτου, kai fulakh panto" qhriou akaqartou]), however, is more problematic since it is missing in several important mss (א C 051 Ï). The passage as a whole, including the third phrase, seems to be an allusion to Isa 13:21 and 34:11. It seems reasonable, in such a case, to assume that since there is good ms evidence to support the third phrase (A 1611 2329 al), it probably dropped out of certain mss because of its similarity to the two preceding clauses. It is the presence of all three phrases in the original that most likely gave rise to the divergent ms evidence extant today.



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