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Revelation 9:3-11

Context
9:3 Then 1  out of the smoke came locusts onto the earth, and they were given power 2  like that of the scorpions of the earth. 9:4 They 3  were told 4  not to damage the grass of the earth, or any green plant or tree, but only those people 5  who did not have the seal of God on their 6  forehead. 9:5 The locusts 7  were not given permission 8  to kill 9  them, but only to torture 10  them 11  for five months, and their torture was like that 12  of a scorpion when it stings a person. 13  9:6 In 14  those days people 15  will seek death, but 16  will not be able to 17  find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.

9:7 Now 18  the locusts looked like horses equipped for battle. On 19  their heads were something like crowns similar to gold, 20  and their faces looked like men’s 21  faces. 9:8 They 22  had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9:9 They had breastplates 23  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 24  tails and stingers like scorpions, and their ability 25  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. 26 

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

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

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

4 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).

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

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

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

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

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

10 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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

17 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.

18 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.

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

20 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”).

21 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.

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

23 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.

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

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

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



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