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Revelation 5:2-9

Context
5:2 And I saw a powerful angel proclaiming in a loud voice: “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?” 5:3 But 1  no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look into it. 5:4 So 2  I began weeping bitterly 3  because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5:5 Then 4  one of the elders said 5  to me, “Stop weeping! 6  Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered; 7  thus he can open 8  the scroll and its seven seals.”

5:6 Then 9  I saw standing in the middle of the throne 10  and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been killed. 11  He had 12  seven horns and seven eyes, which 13  are the seven 14  spirits of God 15  sent out into all the earth. 5:7 Then 16  he came and took the scroll 17  from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne, 5:8 and when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders threw themselves to the ground 18  before the Lamb. Each 19  of them had a harp and golden bowls full of incense (which are the prayers of the saints). 20  5:9 They were singing a new song: 21 

“You are worthy to take the scroll

and to open its seals

because you were killed, 22 

and at the cost of your own blood 23  you have purchased 24  for God

persons 25  from every tribe, language, 26  people, and nation.

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

2 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of no one being found worthy to open the scroll.

3 tn Grk “much.”

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

5 tn Grk “says” (a historical present).

6 tn The present imperative with μή (mh) is used here to command cessation of an action in progress (ExSyn 724 lists this verse as an example).

7 tn Or “has been victorious”; traditionally, “has overcome.”

8 tn The infinitive has been translated as an infinitive of result here.

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

10 tn Perhaps, “in the middle of the throne area” (see L&N 83.10).

11 tn Or “slaughtered”; traditionally, “slain.” 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. This phrase does not imply that the Lamb “appeared to have been killed” but in reality was not, because the wider context of the NT shows that in fact the Lamb, i.e., Jesus, was killed. See 13:3 for the only other occurrence of this phrase in the NT.

12 tn Grk “killed, having.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the pronoun “he.”

13 sn The relative pronoun which is masculine, referring back to the eyes rather than to the horns.

14 tc There is good ms evidence for the inclusion of “seven” (ἑπτά, Jepta; Ì24 א 2053 2351 ÏK). There is equally good ms support for the omission of the term (A 1006 1611 ÏA pc). It may have been accidentally added due to its repeated presence in the immediately preceding phrases, or it may have been intentionally added to maintain the symmetry of the phrases or more likely to harmonize the phrase with 1:4; 3:1; 4:5. Or it may have been accidentally deleted by way of homoioteleuton (τὰ ἑπτά, ta Jepta). A decision is difficult in this instance. NA27 also does not find the problem easy to solve, placing the word in brackets to indicate doubts as to its authenticity.

15 sn See the note on the phrase the seven spirits of God in Rev 4:5.

16 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

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

18 tn Grk “fell down.” BDAG 815 s.v. πίπτω 1.b.α.ב. has “fall down, throw oneself to the ground as a sign of devotion or humility, before high-ranking persons or divine beings.”

19 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

20 sn This interpretive comment by the author forms a parenthesis in the narrative.

21 tn The redundant participle λέγοντες (legontes) has not been translated here.

22 tn Or “slaughtered”; traditionally, “slain.”

23 tn The preposition ἐν (en) is taken to indicate price here, like the Hebrew preposition ב (bet) does at times. BDAG 329 s.v. ἐν 5.b states, “The ἐν which takes the place of the gen. of price is also instrumental ἠγόρασας ἐν τῷ αἵματί σου Rv 5:9 (cp. 1 Ch 21:24 ἀγοράζω ἐν ἀργυρίῳ).”

24 tc The Greek text as it stands above (i.e., the reading τῷ θεῷ [tw qew] alone) is found in codex A. א 2050 2344 Ï sy add the term “us” (ἡμᾶς, Jhmas), either before or after τῷ θεῷ, as an attempt to clarify the object of “purchased” (ἠγόρασας, hgorasa"). A few mss (1 vgms) delete the reference to God altogether and simply replace it with “us” (ἡμᾶς). This too is an attempt to remove ambiguity in the phrase and provide an object for “purchased.” The shorter reading, supported by the best witness for Revelation, best accounts for the other readings.

25 tn The word “persons” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

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



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