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Revelation 21:1-9

Context
A New Heaven and a New Earth

21:1 Then 1  I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, 2  and the sea existed no more. 21:2 And I saw the holy city – the new Jerusalem – descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence 3  of God is among human beings. 4  He 5  will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. 6  21:4 He 7  will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.” 8 

21:5 And the one seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” Then 9  he said to me, “Write it down, 10  because these words are reliable 11  and true.” 21:6 He also said to me, “It is done! 12  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the one who is thirsty I will give water 13  free of charge 14  from the spring of the water of life. 21:7 The one who conquers 15  will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 21:8 But to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, 16  idol worshipers, 17  and all those who lie, their place 18  will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. 19  That 20  is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem Descends

21:9 Then 21  one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues came and spoke to me, 22  saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb!”

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

2 tn For the translation of ἀπέρχομαι (apercomai; here ἀπῆλθαν [aphlqan]) L&N 13.93 has “to go out of existence – ‘to cease to exist, to pass away, to cease.’”

3 tn Or “dwelling place”; traditionally, “tabernacle”; literally “tent.”

4 tn Or “people”; Grk “men” (ἀνθρώπων, anqrwpwn), a generic use of the term. In the translation “human beings” was used here because “people” occurs later in the verse and translates a different Greek word (λαοί, laoi).

5 tn Grk “men, and he.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

6 tc ‡ Most mss (א ÏK) do not add the words “[as] their God” (αὐτῶν θεός, autwn qeos) after “he will be with them.” The mss with these words include A 2030 2050 2329 al. The Andreas group (ÏA) also has the words, but in a different arrangement with the preceding (ἔσται μετ᾿ αὐτῶν θεὸς αὐτῶν, estai metautwn qeo" autwn). Not only do the words float, but scribes may have been motivated to make a connection here more directly with Isa 7:14; 8:8; Jer 24:7; 31:33; Zech 8:8. In light of sufficient external evidence as well as the possibility that the longer reading is theologically motivated, the shorter reading is preferred. NA27 places the words in brackets, indicating doubts as to their authenticity.

7 tn Grk “God, and he.” 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.

8 tn For the translation of ἀπέρχομαι (apercomai; here ἀπῆλθαν [aphlqan]) L&N 13.93 has “to go out of existence – ‘to cease to exist, to pass away, to cease.’”

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

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

11 tn Grk “faithful.”

12 tn Or “It has happened.”

13 tn The word “water” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

14 tn Or “as a free gift” (see L&N 57.85).

15 tn Or “who is victorious”; traditionally, “who overcomes.”

16 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.”

17 tn Grk “idolaters.”

18 tn Grk “their share.”

19 tn Traditionally, “brimstone.”

20 tn Grk “sulfur, which is.” The relative pronoun has been translated as “that” to indicate its connection to the previous clause. The nearest logical antecedent is “the lake [that burns with fire and sulfur],” although “lake” (λίμνη, limnh) is feminine gender, while the pronoun “which” (, Jo) is neuter gender. This means that (1) the proper antecedent could be “their place” (Grk “their share,”) agreeing with the relative pronoun in number and gender, or (2) the neuter pronoun still has as its antecedent the feminine noun “lake,” since agreement in gender between pronoun and antecedent was not always maintained, with an explanatory phrase occurring with a neuter pronoun regardless of the case of the antecedent. In favor of the latter explanation is Rev 20:14, where the phrase “the lake of fire” is in apposition to the phrase “the second death.”

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

22 tn Grk “with me.” The translation “with me” implies that John was engaged in a dialogue with the one speaking to him (e.g., Jesus or an angel) when in reality it was a one-sided conversation, with John doing all the listening. For this reason, μετ᾿ ἐμοῦ (met emou, “with me”) was translated as “to me.” See also v. 15.



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