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Revelation 4:8-11

4:8 Each one of the four living creatures had six wings 1  and was full of eyes all around and inside. 2  They never rest day or night, saying: 3 

Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God, the All-Powerful, 4 

Who was and who is, and who is still to come!”

4:9 And whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, 5  and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 4:10 the twenty-four elders throw themselves to the ground 6  before the one who sits on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever, and they offer their crowns 7  before his 8  throne, saying:

4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

since you created all things,

and because of your will they existed and were created!” 9 

1 tn Grk “six wings apiece,” but this is redundant with “each one” in English.

2 tn Some translations render ἔσωθεν (eswqen) as “under [its] wings,” but the description could also mean “filled all around on the outside and on the inside with eyes.” Since the referent is not available to the interpreter, the exact force is difficult to determine.

3 tn Or “They never stop saying day and night.”

4 tn On this word BDAG 755 s.v. παντοκράτωρ states, “the Almighty, All-Powerful, Omnipotent (One) only of God…() κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ π. …Rv 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; 21:22.”

sn A quotation from (or an allusion to) Isa 6:3.

5 tn Here 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.

6 tn Grk “the twenty-four elders fall 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.”

7 sn See the note on the word crown in Rev 3:11.

8 tn The pronoun “his” is understood from the demonstrative force of the article τοῦ (tou) before θρόνου (qronou).

9 tc The past tense of “they existed” (ἦσαν, hsan) and the order of the expression “they existed and were created” seems backwards both logically and chronologically. The text as it stands is the more difficult reading and seems to have given rise to codex A omitting the final “they were created,” 2329 replacing “they existed” (ἦσαν) with “have come into being” (ἐγένοντο, egeneto), and 046 adding οὐκ (ouk, “not”) before ἦσαν (“they did not exist, [but were created]”). Several mss (1854 2050 ÏA sa) also attempt to alleviate the problem by replacing ἦσαν with “they are” (εἰσιν, eisin).

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