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Revelation 8:1--9:21

Context
The Seventh Seal

8:1 Now 1  when the Lamb 2  opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 8:2 Then 3  I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 8:3 Another 4  angel holding 5  a golden censer 6  came and was stationed 7  at the altar. A 8  large amount of incense was given to him to offer up, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar that is before the throne. 8:4 The 9  smoke coming from the incense, 10  along with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 8:5 Then 11  the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth, and there were crashes of thunder, roaring, 12  flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

8:6 Now 13  the seven angels holding 14  the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

8:7 The 15  first angel blew his trumpet, and there was hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was thrown at the earth so that 16  a third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

8:8 Then 17  the second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain of burning fire was thrown into the sea. A 18  third of the sea became blood, 8:9 and a third of the creatures 19  living in the sea died, and a third of the ships were completely destroyed. 20 

8:10 Then 21  the third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star burning like a torch fell from the sky; 22  it landed 23  on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 8:11 (Now 24  the name of the star is 25  Wormwood.) 26  So 27  a third of the waters became wormwood, 28  and many people died from these waters because they were poisoned. 29 

8:12 Then 30  the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. And there was no light for a third of the day 31  and for a third of the night likewise. 8:13 Then 32  I looked, and I heard an 33  eagle 34  flying directly overhead, 35  proclaiming with a loud voice, “Woe! Woe! Woe to those who live on the earth because of the remaining sounds of the trumpets of the three angels who are about to blow them!” 36 

9:1 Then 37  the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky 38  to the earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the abyss. 39  9:2 He 40  opened the shaft of the abyss and smoke rose out of it 41  like smoke from a giant furnace. The 42  sun and the air were darkened with smoke from the shaft. 9:3 Then 43  out of the smoke came locusts onto the earth, and they were given power 44  like that of the scorpions of the earth. 9:4 They 45  were told 46  not to damage the grass of the earth, or any green plant or tree, but only those people 47  who did not have the seal of God on their 48  forehead. 9:5 The locusts 49  were not given permission 50  to kill 51  them, but only to torture 52  them 53  for five months, and their torture was like that 54  of a scorpion when it stings a person. 55  9:6 In 56  those days people 57  will seek death, but 58  will not be able to 59  find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.

9:7 Now 60  the locusts looked like horses equipped for battle. On 61  their heads were something like crowns similar to gold, 62  and their faces looked like men’s 63  faces. 9:8 They 64  had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9:9 They had breastplates 65  like iron breastplates, and the sound of their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots charging into battle. 9:10 They have 66  tails and stingers like scorpions, and their ability 67  to injure people for five months is in their tails. 9:11 They have as king over them the angel of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon. 68 

9:12 The first woe has passed, but 69  two woes are still coming after these things!

9:13 Then 70  the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a single voice coming from the 71  horns on the golden altar that is before God, 9:14 saying to the sixth angel, the one holding 72  the trumpet, “Set free 73  the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates!” 9:15 Then 74  the four angels who had been prepared for this 75  hour, day, 76  month, and year were set free to kill 77  a third of humanity. 9:16 The 78  number of soldiers on horseback was two hundred million; 79  I heard their number. 9:17 Now 80  this is what the horses and their riders 81  looked like in my 82  vision: The riders had breastplates that were fiery red, 83  dark blue, 84  and sulfurous 85  yellow in color. 86  The 87  heads of the horses looked like lions’ heads, and fire, smoke, and sulfur 88  came out of their mouths. 9:18 A third of humanity was killed by these three plagues, that is, 89  by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur that came out of their mouths. 9:19 For the power 90  of the horses resides 91  in their mouths and in their tails, because their tails are like snakes, having heads that inflict injuries. 9:20 The rest of humanity, who had not been killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so that they did not stop worshiping demons and idols made 92  of gold, silver, 93  bronze, stone, and wood – idols that cannot see or hear or walk about. 9:21 Furthermore, 94  they did not repent of their murders, of their magic spells, 95  of their sexual immorality, or of their stealing.

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the resumption of the topic of the seals.

2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the Lamb) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

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

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

5 tn Grk “having.”

6 sn A golden censer was a bowl in which incense was burned. The imagery suggests the OT role of the priest.

7 tn The verb “to station” was used to translate ἑστάθη (Jestaqh) because it connotes the idea of purposeful arrangement in English, which seems to be the idea in the Greek.

8 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

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

10 tn The expression τῶν θυμιαμάτων (twn qumiamatwn) is taken as a “genitive of producer,” i.e., the noun in the genitive produces the head noun.

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

12 tn Or “sounds,” “voices.” It is not entirely clear what this refers to. BDAG 1071 s.v. φωνή 1 states, “In Rv we have ἀστραπαὶ καὶ φωναὶ καὶ βρονταί (cp. Ex 19:16) 4:5; 8:5; 11:19; 16:18 (are certain other sounds in nature thought of here in addition to thunder, as e.g. the roar of the storm?…).”

13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

14 tn Grk “having.”

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

16 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so that” because what follows has the logical force of a result clause.

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

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

19 tn Or “a third of the living creatures in the sea”; Grk “the third of the creatures which were in the sea, the ones having life.”

20 tn On the term translated “completely destroyed,” L&N 20.40 states, “to cause the complete destruction of someone or something – ‘to destroy utterly.’ τὸ τρίτον τῶν πλοίων διεφθάρησαν ‘a third of the ships were completely destroyed’ Re 8:9.”

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

22 tn Or “from heaven” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

23 tn Grk “fell.”

24 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” in keeping with the parenthetical nature of this remark.

25 tn Grk “is called,” but this is somewhat redundant in contemporary English.

26 sn Wormwood refers to a particularly bitter herb with medicinal value. According to L&N 3.21, “The English term wormwood is derived from the use of the plant as a medicine to kill intestinal worms.” This remark about the star’s name is parenthetical in nature.

27 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the star falling on the waters.

28 tn That is, terribly bitter (see the note on “Wormwood” earlier in this verse).

29 tn Grk “and many of the men died from these waters because they were bitter.”

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

31 tn Grk “the day did not shine [with respect to] the third of it.”

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

33 tn Grk “one eagle.”

34 tc ÏA reads “angel” (ἀγγέλου, angelou) instead of “eagle” (ἀετοῦ, aetou), a reading strongly supported by {א A 046 ÏK and several versions}. On external grounds, ἀετοῦ is clearly the superior reading. ἀγγέλου could have arisen inadvertently due to similarities in spelling or sound between ἀετοῦ and ἀγγέλου. It may also have been intentional in order to bring this statement in line with 14:6 where an angel is mentioned as the one flying in midair. This seems a more likely reason, strengthened by the facts that the book only mentions eagles two other times (4:7; 12:14). Further, the immediate as well as broad context is replete with references to angels.

35 tn Concerning the word μεσουράνημα (mesouranhma), L&N 1.10 states, “a point or region of the sky directly above the earth – ‘high in the sky, midpoint in the sky, directly overhead, straight above in the sky.’ εἶδον, καὶ ἤκουσα ἑνὸς ἁετοῦ πετομένου ἐν μεσουρανήματι ‘I looked, and I heard an eagle that was flying overhead in the sky’ Re 8:13.”

36 tn Grk “about to sound their trumpets,” but this is redundant in English.

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

38 tn Or “from heaven” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

39 tn On this term BDAG 2 s.v. ἄβυσσος 2 states, “netherworld, abyss, esp. the abode of the dead Ro 10:7 (Ps 106:26) and of demons Lk 8:31; dungeon where the devil is kept Rv 20:3; abode of the θηρίον, the Antichrist 11:7; 17:8; of ᾿Αβαδδών (q.v.), the angel of the underworld 9:11φρέαρ τῆς ἀ. 9:1f; capable of being sealed 9:1; 20:1, 3.”

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

41 tn Grk “the shaft,” but since this would be somewhat redundant in English, the pronoun “it” is used here.

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

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

44 tn See BDAG 352 s.v. ἐξουσία 2, “potential or resource to command, control, or govern, capability, might, power.

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

46 tn The dative indirect object (αὐταῖς, autais) was converted into the subject (“they”) as this more closely approximates English usage. The following ἵ῞να (Jina) is taken as substantival, introducing a direct object clause. In this case, because it is reported speech, the ἵνα is similar to the declarative ὅτι (Joti).

47 tn Grk “men”; but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used in a generic sense here of both men and women.

48 tn The article τῶν (twn) has been translated as a possessive pronoun here (ExSyn 215).

49 tn Grk “It was not permitted to them”; the referent (the locusts) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

50 tn The word “permission” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

51 tn The two ἵνα (Jina) clauses of 9:5 are understood to be functioning as epexegetical or complementary clauses related to ἐδόθη (edoqh).

52 tn On this term BDAG 168 s.v. βασανισμός states, “1. infliction of severe suffering or pain associated with torture or torment, tormenting, torture Rv 9:5b. – 2. the severe pain experienced through torture, torment vs. 5a; 14:11; 18:10, 15; (w. πένθος) vs. 7.”

53 tn The pronoun “them” is not in the Greek text but is picked up from the previous clause.

54 tn Grk “like the torture,” but this is redundant in contemporary English.

55 tn Grk “a man”; but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used here in an individualized sense without being limited to the male gender.

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

57 tn Grk “men”; but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used in a generic sense here of both men and women.

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

59 tn The phrase “not be able to” was used in the translation to emphasize the strong negation (οὐ μή, ou mh) in the Greek text.

60 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the introduction of the description of the locusts, which is somewhat parenthetical in the narrative.

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

62 tn The translation attempts to bring out the double uncertainty in this clause in the Greek text, involving both the form (ὡς στέφανοι, Jw" stefanoi, “like crowns”) and the material (ὅμοιοι χρυσῷ, {omoioi crusw, “similar to gold”).

63 tn Or “human faces.” The Greek term ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpos) is often used in a generic sense, referring to both men and women. However, because “women’s hair” in the next clause suggests a possible gender distinction here, “men’s” was retained.

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

65 tn Or perhaps, “scales like iron breastplates” (RSV, NRSV) although the Greek term θώραξ (qwrax) would have to shift its meaning within the clause, and elsewhere in biblical usage (e.g., Eph 6:14; 1 Thess 5:8) it normally means “breastplate.” See also L&N 8.38.

66 tn In the Greek text there is a shift to the present tense here; the previous verbs translated “had” are imperfects.

67 tn See BDAG 352 s.v. ἐξουσία 2, “potential or resource to command, control, or govern, capability, might, power.

68 sn Both the Hebrew Abaddon and the Greek Apollyon mean “Destroyer.”

69 tn Grk “behold.” Here ἰδού (idou) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in the context.

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

71 tc ‡ Several key mss (Ì47 א1 A 0207 1611 2053 2344 pc lat syh co) lack the word τεσσάρων (tessarwn, “four”) before κεράτων (keratwn, “horns”). The word seems to have been added by scribes because a “horned” altar (described in the OT [Exod 30:2, 10]) could have only four “horns” or projections at the corners. NA27 includes the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

72 tn Grk “having.”

73 tn On λῦσον (luson) BDAG 606-7 s.v. λύω 2 states, “set free, loose, untie – a. lit. a pers., animal, or thing that is bound or tied…Angels that are bound Rv 9:14f.”

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

75 tn The Greek article τήν (thn) has been translated with demonstrative force here.

76 tn The Greek term καί (kai) has not been translated here and before the following term “month” since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

77 tn Grk “so that they might kill,” but the English infinitive is an equivalent construction to indicate purpose here.

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

79 tn Grk “twenty thousand of ten thousands.”

80 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the introduction of the description of the horses and riders, which is somewhat parenthetical in the narrative.

81 tn Grk “and those seated on them.”

82 tn Grk “the vision”; the Greek article has been translated as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

83 tn L&N 79.31 states, “‘fiery red’ (probably with a tinge of yellow or orange).”

84 tn On this term BDAG 1022 s.v. ὑακίνθινος states, “hyacinth-colored, i.e. dark blue (dark red?) w. πύρινος Rv 9:17.”

85 tn On this term BDAG 446 s.v. θειώδης states, “sulphurous Rv 9:17.”

86 sn The colors of the riders’ breastplates parallel the three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur in v. 18.

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

88 tn Traditionally, “brimstone.”

89 tn The phrase ἐκ τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ τοῦ καπνοῦ καὶ τοῦ θείου τοῦ ἐκπορευομένου ἐκ τῶν στομάτων αὐτῶν (“by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur that came out of their mouths”) is taken as epexegetical (explanatory) to the phrase τῶν τριῶν πληγῶν τούτων (“these three plagues”).

90 tn See BDAG 352 s.v. ἐξουσία 2, “potential or resource to command, control, or govern, capability, might, power.

91 tn Grk “is.”

92 tn The word “made” is not in the Greek text but is implied.

93 tn The Greek conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here or before the following materials in this list, since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

94 tn Grk “and.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation, with “furthermore” used to indicate a continuation of the preceding.

95 tn On the term φαρμακεία (farmakeia, “magic spells”) see L&N 53.100: “the use of magic, often involving drugs and the casting of spells upon people – ‘to practice magic, to cast spells upon, to engage in sorcery, magic, sorcery.’ φαρμακεία: ἐν τῇ φαρμακείᾳ σου ἐπλανήθησαν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ‘with your magic spells you deceived all the peoples (of the world)’ Re 18:23.”



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