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Revelation 5:8-14

Context
5:8 and when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders threw themselves to the ground 1  before the Lamb. Each 2  of them had a harp and golden bowls full of incense (which are the prayers of the saints). 3  5:9 They were singing a new song: 4 

“You are worthy to take the scroll

and to open its seals

because you were killed, 5 

and at the cost of your own blood 6  you have purchased 7  for God

persons 8  from every tribe, language, 9  people, and nation.

5:10 You have appointed 10  them 11  as a kingdom and priests 12  to serve 13  our God, and they will reign 14  on the earth.”

5:11 Then 15  I looked and heard the voice of many angels in a circle around the throne, as well as the living creatures and the elders. Their 16  number was ten thousand times ten thousand 17  – thousands times thousands – 5:12 all of whom 18  were singing 19  in a loud voice:

“Worthy is the lamb who was killed 20 

to receive power and wealth

and wisdom and might

and honor and glory and praise!”

5:13 Then 21  I heard every creature – in heaven, on earth, under the earth, in the sea, and all that is in them – singing: 22 

“To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb

be praise, honor, glory, and ruling power 23  forever and ever!”

5:14 And the four living creatures were saying “Amen,” and the elders threw themselves to the ground 24  and worshiped.

1 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.”

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

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

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

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

6 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).”

7 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.

8 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.

9 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.

10 tn The verb ἐποίησας (epoihsas) is understood to mean “appointed” here. For an example of this use, see Mark 3:14.

11 tc The vast majority of witnesses have αὐτούς (autous, “them”) here, while the Textus Receptus reads ἡμᾶς (Jhmas, “us”) with insignificant support (pc gig vgcl sa Prim Bea). There is no question that the original text read αὐτούς here.

12 tn The reference to “kingdom and priests” may be a hendiadys: “priestly kingdom.”

13 tn The words “to serve” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the word “priests.”

14 tc The textual problem here between the present tense βασιλεύουσιν (basileuousin, “they are reigning”; so A 1006 1611 ÏK pc) and the future βασιλεύσουσιν (basileusousin, “they will reign”; so א 1854 2053 ÏA pc lat co) is a difficult one. Both readings have excellent support. On the one hand, the present tense seems to be the harder reading in this context. On the other hand, codex A elsewhere mistakes the future for the present (20:6). Further, the lunar sigma in uncial script could have been overlooked by some scribes, resulting in the present tense. All things considered, there is a slight preference for the future.

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

16 tn Grk “elders, and the number of them was.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

17 tn Or “myriads of myriads.” Although μυριάς (murias) literally means “10,000,” the point of the combination here may simply be to indicate an incalculably huge number. See L&N 60.9.

18 tn The words “all of whom” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied to indicate the resumption of the phrase “the voice of many angels” at the beginning of the verse.

19 tn Grk “saying.”

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

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

22 tn Grk “saying.”

23 tn Or “dominion.”

24 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.”



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