On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Host of Heaven, Revelation 7, Greek Text

Greek Study Revelation 7:9-17

v9 μετα ταυτα "after this" - a new vision, not a sequential set of events. Commentators divide on whether the visions are different, i.e. is the "144,000" the same as "the great multitude"? It seems likely this vision complements the first and now John is describing the redeemed who have come through the tribulations. 
αριθμησαι (αριθμεω) aor. inf. "[no one is able to] count" - infinitive is complementary, an idiom, the crowd was too many/large to count. Who are they? It is often argued they are the martyrs but this is unlikely. In John's mind they are probably his own generation.
εστωτες (ιστημι) perf. part. "standing" – another idiom meaning to "tend  like a servant”.

v10 κραζουσιν (κραζω) pres. "they cried out" - durative "they keep on crying out."
φωνη (η) dat. "with a [loud] voice" λεγοντες (λεγω)  saying.
τω θεω (ος) dat. "[Salvation belongs] to God" – a dative of interest, there is no verb, but can be translated as "we are saved by God." In the context salvation refers to coming safely through the tribulation. 
τω καθημενω (καθημαι) dat. pres. part. "who sits" – God sits, servants stand.

v11 οι αγγελοι (ος) "[all] the angels" – an image of the heavenly court
κυκλω + gen. "around [the throne and ....]" των πρεσβυτερων (ος) gen. "the elders" - Debate rages as to whether these are human, ie. representing the resurrected saints of Israel, old and new, or angelic  but their function seems to be worship and administration. των τεσσαρων ζω/ων gen. "the four living creatures" - surround the divine throne, possibly one in front, one behind, and one either side – a visual of the holy of holies in the Temple. 
επεσαν (πιπτω) aor. "they fall down" - prostrate themselves face down before God’s throne.
προσεκυνησαν (προσκυνεω) aor. "worshiped
λεγοντες (λεγω) pres. part. "saying" αμην "amen" - the angels confirm the worship of the multitude and then give their own tribute to God.
τω θεω (ος) dat. "be to God" - Dative again no verb in this sentence, the attributes are ascribed to God.
των αιωνων (ος) gen. "[forever] and ever"
και "then" εκ + gen. "of [the elders]" - this preposition usually expresses source but here it serves as a partitive genitive; so "one of the elders."
λεγων (λεγω) pres. part. "asked [me]" – here an Aramaic idiom "saying" = spoke/asked/answered and said.
οι περιβεβλημενοι (περιβαλλψ) perf. part. "[who are these] in [white robes]" - 
ποθεν "where [have they come] from?
ειρηκα (αιρω) αυτω/ perf. "I answered" κυριε μου "my Lord" the respectful address to an important person.
συ οιδας (ουδα) "you know" – the "you", is emphatic, "so the purpose of the question is to show John does not have the answer and needs divine interpretation. 
οι ερχομενοι pres. part. "they are the ones coming” the tense of a participle is durative in nature and so conveys the idea of “have come, are coming and will come”.
  • της θλιψεως της μεγαλης "the great tribulation" - the eschatological troubles of the last days. 
επλυναν (επλυνω) aor. "they have washed" - the main verb is in the past tense. This serves to counter the wrong impression that the ones who have come through the tribulation are limited to believers from the present and future.  Those whose robes are washed εν + dat. "in [the blood]" – means that the sacrifice of Jesus, is the instrument by which cleansing takes place.
ενωπιον + gen. "before [the throne]" - This first blessing describes ease of access to God.
λατρευουσιν (λατρευω) pres. "serve" - durative action – a continuous priestly service, "night and day", ie. without a break. 
τω ναω (ος) "[in his] temple" - there is no temple in the kingdom but there is the realm of God's eternal habitation.
ο καθημενος (καθημαι) pres. part. "he who sits [on the throne]"
σκηνωσει (σκνηοω) fut. "will spread his tent [over them]" - will tabernacle with them. Here we have God's first provision for his people; He will cover, or dwell or “shelter them with his presence."

v16 ετι adv. "[never] again [will they hunger; never] again [will they thirst]" - Temporal adverb forms a temporal clause; "no longer". God's second provision for his people is that they will never hunger or thirst again; reflecting the daily struggle for survival and harks back to the wilderness journey. The promise is eschatological.
ουδε μη πεση/ (πιπτω) aor. subj. "[the sun] will not beat [upon them]" – a subjunctive of emphatic negation, God's third provision for his people is this image of the cooling of the desert-sun's scorching heat – a powerful image for someone who cannot afford an air conditioner in Ohio in August. The end of all traffic jams, all lines, all 9 to 5 drudgery, TSA checks, etc.

v17 ανα "at [the center of the throne]" - preposition, when identifying position, gives the the sense of "at the middle", "in the midst", "among". 
ποιμανει (ποιμαινω) fut. "he will shepherd" - a common image for an agricultural people but John’s letter is to urban dwellers so here it is likely metaphorical, to shepherd as in ‘to lead”. 
ζωης πηγας υδατων "springs of living water" Cities in ancient times were subject to siege, those who had a spring (living water) as supposed to cisterns (water stored) were more likely to survive - stagnant water bred disease and pests. 

εξαλειψει (εξαλειφω) fut. "will wipe away" - remove every cause of pain and sorrow.

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