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Revelation 21:12-21

Context
21:12 It has 1  a massive, high wall 2  with twelve gates, 3  with twelve angels at the gates, and the names of the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel 4  are written on the gates. 5  21:13 There are 6  three gates on the east side, three gates on the north side, three gates on the south side and three gates on the west side. 7  21:14 The 8  wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

21:15 The angel 9  who spoke to me had a golden measuring rod with which to measure the city and its foundation stones and wall. 21:16 Now 10  the city is laid out as a square, 11  its length and width the same. He 12  measured the city with the measuring rod 13  at fourteen hundred miles 14  (its length and width and height are equal). 21:17 He also measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits 15  according to human measurement, which is also the angel’s. 16  21:18 The city’s 17  wall is made 18  of jasper and the city is pure gold, like transparent glass. 19  21:19 The foundations of the city’s wall are decorated 20  with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation is jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, 21  the fourth emerald, 21:20 the fifth onyx, 22  the sixth carnelian, 23  the seventh chrysolite, 24  the eighth beryl, 25  the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, 26  the eleventh jacinth, 27  and the twelfth amethyst. 21:21 And the twelve gates are twelve pearls – each one of the gates is made from just one pearl! The 28  main street 29  of the city is pure gold, like transparent glass.

1 tn Grk “jasper, having.” Here a new sentence was started in the translation.

2 tn Grk “a (city) wall great and high.”

3 tn On this term BDAG 897 s.v. πυλών 1 states, “gate, esp. of the large, impressive gateways at the entrance of temples and palaces…of the entrances of the heavenly Jerusalem…οἱ πυλῶνες αὐτῆς οὐ μὴ κλεισθῶσιν its entrances shall never be shut Rv 21:25; cp. vss. 12ab, 13abcd, 15, 21ab; 22:14.”

4 tn Grk “of the sons of Israel.” The translation “nation of Israel” is given in L&N 11.58.

5 tn Grk “on them”; the referent (the gates) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn The words “There are” have been supplied to make a complete English sentence. This is a continuation of the previous sentence, a lengthy and complicated one in Greek.

7 tn The word “side” has been supplied four times in this verse for clarity.

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

9 tn Grk “the one”; the referent (the angel of v. 9) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the somewhat parenthetical nature of the description of the city.

11 tn Or “the city lies square.” On κεῖμαι (keimai) in this context, BDAG 537 s.v. 2 states, “lie, of things…ἡ πόλις τετράγωνος κεῖται is laid out as a square Rv 21:16.”

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

13 tn Grk “with the rod”; the word “measuring” is supplied from the description in v. 15.

14 tn Or “two thousand two hundred kilometers,” Grk “12,000 stades.” A stade was a measure of length about 607 ft (185 m).

15 tn Here the measurement was kept in cubits in the translation because of the possible symbolic significance of the number 144 (12 times 12). This is about 216 ft (65 m).

16 tn Here L&N 81.1 translate the phrase μέτρον ἀνθρώπου, ὅ ἐστιν ἀγγέλου (metron anqrwpou, {o estin angelou) “‘the unit of measurement used by a person, that is, by an angel’ Re 21:17.” It is more likely that μέτρον is an accusative of respect or reference.

17 tn Grk “and its wall”; the referent of the pronoun (the city) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

18 tn The phrase ἡ ἐνδώμησις τοῦ τείχους (Jh endwmhsi" tou teicou") is difficult to translate precisely. BDAG 334 s.v. ἐνδώμησις states, “primary mng. ‘interior structure’; in our lit. prob.=construction, hence material τοῦ τείχους Rv 21:18.” The phrase could then be translated, “the foundation of the city wall was jasper” or “the material used for the wall of the city was jasper.” The latter alternative has been used in the translation because the text goes on to discuss the foundation in 21:19 (using the term θεμέλιος [qemelios]), which is somewhat redundant if the foundation is mentioned here.

19 tn Or “transparent crystal.” See L&N 6.222, which notes the emphasis is on transparency here. The same Greek word, καθαρός (kaqaros), means both “pure” (referring to the gold) and “transparent” (referring to the glass).

20 tn The perfect participle here has been translated as an intensive (resultative) perfect.

21 sn Agate (also called chalcedony) is a semiprecious stone usually milky or gray in color (L&N 2.32).

22 sn Onyx (also called sardonyx) is a semiprecious stone that comes in various colors (L&N 2.35).

23 sn Carnelian is a semiprecious gemstone, usually red in color (L&N 2.36).

24 sn Chrysolite refers to either quartz or topaz, golden yellow in color (L&N 2.37).

25 sn Beryl is a semiprecious stone, usually blue-green or green in color (L&N 2.38).

26 sn Chrysoprase is a greenish type of quartz (L&N 2.40).

27 sn Jacinth is a semiprecious stone, probably blue in color (also called “hyacinth,” but that translation is not used here because of possible confusion with the flower of the same name). See L&N 2.41.

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

29 tn The Greek word πλατεῖα (plateia) refers to a major (broad) street (L&N 1.103).



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