12
The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon
1 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative. a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet, and on her head was a crown of twelve stars.#sn Sun…moon…stars. This imagery is frequently identified with the nation Israel because of Joseph’s dream in Gen 37. 2 She#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. was pregnant and was screaming in labor pains, struggling#tn Grk “and being tortured,” though βασανίζω (basanizw) in this context refers to birth pangs. BDAG 168 s.v. 2.b states, “Of birth-pangs (Anth. Pal. 9, 311 βάσανος has this mng.) Rv 12:2.” The καί (kai) has not been translated. to give birth. 3 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision. another sign appeared in heaven: a huge red dragon that had seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadem crowns.#tn For the translation of διάδημα (diadhma) as “diadem crown” see L&N 6.196.sn Diadem crowns were a type of crown used as a symbol of the highest ruling authority in a given area, and thus often associated with kingship. 4 Now#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate that this remark is virtually parenthetical. the dragon’s#tn Grk “its”; the referent (the dragon) has been specified in the translation for clarity. tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision. the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the conclusion of the anticipated birth. the woman gave birth to a son, a male child,#tn On this term BDAG 135 s.v. ἄρσην states: “male…The neut. ἄρσεν Rv 12:5, difft. vs. 13, comes fr. Is 66:7 and is in apposition to υἱόν. On the juxtaposition s. FBoll, ZNW 15, 1914, 253; BOlsson, Glotta 23, ’34, 112.” who is going to rule#tn Grk “shepherd.” over all the nations#tn Or “all the Gentiles” (the same Greek word may be translated “Gentiles” or “nations”). with an iron rod.#tn Or “scepter.” The Greek term ῥάβδος (rJabdo") can mean either “rod” or “scepter.” sn An allusion to Ps 2:9 (see also Rev 2:27; 19:15). Her#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. child was suddenly caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and she#tn Grk “and the woman,” which would be somewhat redundant in English. fled into the wilderness#tn Or “desert.” where a place had been prepared for her#tn Grk “where she has there a place prepared by God.” by God, so she could be taken care of#tn Grk “so they can take care of her.” for 1,260 days.
War in Heaven
7 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative. war broke out in heaven: Michael#sn The archangel Michael had a special role in protecting the nation of Israel in the OT (Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1; see also Jude 9). and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the implied contrast. the dragon was not strong enough to prevail,#tn The words “to prevail” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. so there was no longer any place left#tn Grk “found.” in heaven for him and his angels.#tn Grk “for them”; the referent (the dragon and his angels, v. 7) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 9 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of the war in heaven. that huge dragon – the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world – was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him. 10 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision. I heard a loud voice in heaven saying,
“The salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the ruling authority#tn Or “the right of his Messiah to rule.” See L&N 37.35. of his Christ,#tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.” have now come,
because the accuser of our brothers and sisters,#tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelfoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited). The translation “fellow believer” would normally apply (L&N 11.23), but since the speaker(s) are not specified in this context, it is not clear if such a translation would be appropriate here. The more generic “brothers and sisters” was chosen to emphasize the fact of a relationship without specifying its type.
the one who accuses them day and night#tn Or “who accuses them continually.” before our God,
has been thrown down.
11 But#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast. they overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
and they did not love their lives#sn They did not love their lives. See Matt 16:25; Luke 17:33; John 12:25. so much that they were afraid to die.
12 Therefore you heavens rejoice, and all who reside in them!
But#tn The word “But” is not in the Greek text, but the contrast is clearly implied. This is a case of asyndeton (lack of a connective). woe to the earth and the sea
because the devil has come down to you!
He#tn Grk “and is filled,” a continuation of the previous sentence. Because English tends to use shorter sentences (especially when exclamations are involved), a new sentence was started here in the translation. is filled with terrible anger,
for he knows that he only has a little time!”
13 Now#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” because the clause it introduces is clearly resumptive. when the dragon realized#tn Grk “saw.” that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present here. the woman was given the two wings of a giant eagle so that she could fly out into the wilderness,#tn Or “desert.” to the place God#tn The word “God” is supplied based on the previous statements made concerning “the place prepared for the woman” in 12:6. prepared for her, where she is taken care of – away from the presence of the serpent – for a time, times, and half a time.#tc The reading “and half a time” (καὶ ἥμισυ καιροῦ, kai {hmisu kairou) is lacking in the important uncial C. Its inclusion, however, is supported by {Ì47 א A and the rest of the ms tradition}. There is apparently no reason for the scribe of C to intentionally omit the phrase, and the fact that the word “time” (καιρὸν καὶ καιρούς, kairon kai kairou") appears twice before may indicate a scribal oversight.sn The parallel statement in Rev 12:6 suggests that the phrase a time, times, and half a time equals 1,260 days (three and a half years of 360 days each). 15 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision. the serpent spouted water like a river out of his mouth after the woman in an attempt to#tn Grk “so that he might make her swept away.” sweep her away by a flood, 16 but#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present here. the earth came to her rescue;#tn Grk “the earth helped the woman.” the ground opened up#tn Grk “the earth opened its mouth” (a metaphor for the ground splitting open). and swallowed the river that the dragon had spewed from his mouth. 17 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the woman’s escape. the dragon became enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children,#tn Grk “her seed” (an idiom for offspring, children, or descendants). those who keep#tn Or “who obey.” God’s commandments and hold to#tn Grk “and having.” the testimony about Jesus.#tn Grk “the testimony of Jesus,” which may involve a subjective genitive (“Jesus’ testimony”) or, more likely, an objective genitive (“testimony about Jesus”). 18 And the dragon#tn Grk “he”; the referent (the dragon) has been specified in the translation for clarity. stood#tc Grk ἐστάθη (estaqh, “he stood”). The reading followed by the translation is attested by the better mss (Ì47 א A C 1854 2344 2351 pc lat syh) while the majority of mss (051 Ï vgmss syph co) have the reading ἐστάθην (estaqhn, “I stood”). Thus, the majority of mss make the narrator, rather than the dragon of 12:17, the subject of the verb. The first person reading is most likely an assimilation to the following verb in 13:1, “I saw.” The reading “I stood” was introduced either by accident or to produce a smoother flow, giving the narrator a vantage point on the sea’s edge from which to observe the beast rising out of the sea in 13:1. But almost everywhere else in the book, the phrase καὶ εἶδον (kai eidon, “and I saw”) marks a transition to a new vision, without reference to the narrator’s activity. On both external and internal grounds, it is best to adopt the third person reading, “he stood.” on the sand#tn Or “sandy beach” (L&N 1.64). of the seashore.#sn The standard critical texts of the Greek NT, NA27 and UBS4, both include this sentence as 12:18, as do the RSV and NRSV. Other modern translations like the NASB and NIV include the sentence at the beginning of 13:1; in these versions chap. 12 has only 17 verses.
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