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Revelation 14:1-5

Context
An Interlude: The Song of the 144,000

14:1 Then 1  I looked, and here was 2  the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand, who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 14:2 I also heard a sound 3  coming out of heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. Now 4  the sound I heard was like that made by harpists playing their harps, 14:3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No 5  one was able to learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth.

14:4 These are the ones who have not defiled themselves 6  with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from humanity as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, 14:5 and no lie was found on their lips; 7  they 8  are blameless.

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

2 tn The phrase “and here was” expresses the sense of καὶ ἰδού (kai idou).

3 tn Or “a voice” (cf. Rev 1:15), but since in this context nothing is mentioned as the content of the voice, it is preferable to translate φωνή (fwnh) as “sound” here.

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

5 tn Grk “elders, and no one.” This is a continuation of the previous sentence in the Greek text, but because of the length and complexity of the sentence a new sentence was started here in the translation.

6 tn The aorist passive verb is rendered as a reflexive (“defiled themselves”) by BDAG 657 s.v. μολύνω 2.

7 tn Grk “in their mouth was not found a lie.”

8 tc Several mss (Ì47 א 1 1006 1611 2351 ÏK pc) have the conjunction “for” (γάρ, gar) here so that the phrase reads: “for they are blameless.” Other important mss (A C P 1854 2053 al lat) lack the word. The shorter reading is to be preferred since the scribes were more likely to make the connection explicit through the addition of “for” than they would have been to omit the conjunction. As it is, the passage without the conjunction makes good sense and evokes a very somber tone.



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