The Opening of the Scroll
1 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative. I saw in the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne a scroll written on the front and back#tn Grk “written on the inside and the outside” (an idiom for having writing on both sides). and sealed with seven seals.#tn L&N 6.55 states, “From the immediate context of Re 5:1 it is not possible to determine whether the scroll in question had seven seals on the outside or whether the scroll was sealed at seven different points. However, since according to chapter six of Revelation the seals were broken one after another, it would appear as though the scroll had been sealed at seven different places as it had been rolled up.” 2 And I saw a powerful angel proclaiming in a loud voice: “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?” 3 But#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context. no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look into it. 4 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of no one being found worthy to open the scroll. I began weeping bitterly#tn Grk “much.” because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative. one of the elders said#tn Grk “says” (a historical present). to me, “Stop weeping!#tn The present imperative with μή (mh) is used here to command cessation of an action in progress (ExSyn 724 lists this verse as an example). Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered;#tn Or “has been victorious”; traditionally, “has overcome.” thus he can open#tn The infinitive has been translated as an infinitive of result here. the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative. I saw standing in the middle of the throne#tn Perhaps, “in the middle of the throne area” (see L&N 83.10). and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been killed.#tn Or “slaughtered”; traditionally, “slain.” The phrase behind this translation is ὡς ἐσφαγμένον (Jw" ejsfagmenon). The particle ὡς is used in Greek generally for comparison, and in Revelation it is used often to describe the appearance of what the author saw. This phrase does not imply that the Lamb “appeared to have been killed” but in reality was not, because the wider context of the NT shows that in fact the Lamb, i.e., Jesus, was killed. See 13:3 for the only other occurrence of this phrase in the NT. He had#tn Grk “killed, having.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the pronoun “he.” seven horns and seven eyes, which#sn The relative pronoun which is masculine, referring back to the eyes rather than to the horns. are the seven#tc There is good ms evidence for the inclusion of “seven” (ἑπτά, Jepta; Ì24 א 2053 2351 ÏK). There is equally good ms support for the omission of the term (A 1006 1611 ÏA pc). It may have been accidentally added due to its repeated presence in the immediately preceding phrases, or it may have been intentionally added to maintain the symmetry of the phrases or more likely to harmonize the phrase with 1:4; 3:1; 4:5. Or it may have been accidentally deleted by way of homoioteleuton (τὰ ἑπτά, ta Jepta). A decision is difficult in this instance. NA27 also does not find the problem easy to solve, placing the word in brackets to indicate doubts as to its authenticity. spirits of God#sn See the note on the phrase the seven spirits of God in Rev 4:5. sent out into all the earth. 7 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision. he came and took the scroll#tn The words “the scroll” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context. from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne, 8 and when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders threw themselves to the ground#tn Grk “fell 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.” before the Lamb. Each#tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. of them had a harp and golden bowls full of incense (which are the prayers of the saints).#sn This interpretive comment by the author forms a parenthesis in the narrative. 9 They were singing a new song:#tn The redundant participle λέγοντες (legontes) has not been translated here.
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals
because you were killed,#tn Or “slaughtered”; traditionally, “slain.”
and at the cost of your own blood#tn The preposition ἐν (en) is taken to indicate price here, like the Hebrew preposition ב (bet) does at times. BDAG 329 s.v. ἐν 5.b states, “The ἐν which takes the place of the gen. of price is also instrumental ἠγόρασας ἐν τῷ αἵματί σου Rv 5:9 (cp. 1 Ch 21:24 ἀγοράζω ἐν ἀργυρίῳ).” you have purchased#tc The Greek text as it stands above (i.e., the reading τῷ θεῷ [tw qew] alone) is found in codex A. א 2050 2344 Ï sy add the term “us” (ἡμᾶς, Jhmas), either before or after τῷ θεῷ, as an attempt to clarify the object of “purchased” (ἠγόρασας, hgorasa"). A few mss (1 vgms) delete the reference to God altogether and simply replace it with “us” (ἡμᾶς). This too is an attempt to remove ambiguity in the phrase and provide an object for “purchased.” The shorter reading, supported by the best witness for Revelation, best accounts for the other readings. for God
persons#tn The word “persons” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context. from every tribe, language,#tn Grk “and language,” but 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. people, and nation.
10 You have appointed#tn The verb ἐποίησας (epoihsas) is understood to mean “appointed” here. For an example of this use, see Mark 3:14. them#tc The vast majority of witnesses have αὐτούς (autous, “them”) here, while the Textus Receptus reads ἡμᾶς (Jhmas, “us”) with insignificant support (pc gig vgcl sa Prim Bea). There is no question that the original text read αὐτούς here. as a kingdom and priests#tn The reference to “kingdom and priests” may be a hendiadys: “priestly kingdom.” to serve#tn The words “to serve” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the word “priests.” our God, and they will reign#tc The textual problem here between the present tense βασιλεύουσιν (basileuousin, “they are reigning”; so A 1006 1611 ÏK pc) and the future βασιλεύσουσιν (basileusousin, “they will reign”; so א 1854 2053 ÏA pc lat co) is a difficult one. Both readings have excellent support. On the one hand, the present tense seems to be the harder reading in this context. On the other hand, codex A elsewhere mistakes the future for the present (20:6). Further, the lunar sigma in uncial script could have been overlooked by some scribes, resulting in the present tense. All things considered, there is a slight preference for the future. on the earth.”
11 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision. I looked and heard the voice of many angels in a circle around the throne, as well as the living creatures and the elders. Their#tn Grk “elders, and the number of them was.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. number was ten thousand times ten thousand#tn Or “myriads of myriads.” Although μυριάς (murias) literally means “10,000,” the point of the combination here may simply be to indicate an incalculably huge number. See L&N 60.9. – thousands times thousands – 12 all of whom#tn The words “all of whom” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied to indicate the resumption of the phrase “the voice of many angels” at the beginning of the verse. were singing#tn Grk “saying.” in a loud voice:
“Worthy is the lamb who was killed#tn Or “slaughtered”; traditionally, “slain.”
to receive power and wealth
and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision. I heard every creature – in heaven, on earth, under the earth, in the sea, and all that is in them – singing:#tn Grk “saying.”
“To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise, honor, glory, and ruling power#tn Or “dominion.” forever and ever!”
14 And the four living creatures were saying “Amen,” and the elders threw themselves to the ground#tn Grk “fell 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.” and worshiped.