New English Translation
5 After[e] these things I looked, and the temple (the tent[f] of the testimony)[g] was opened in heaven, 6 and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, dressed in clean bright linen, wearing wide golden belts[h] around their chests.Read full chapter
- Revelation 15:4 tn Or “and praise.”sn Jeremiah 10:7 probably stands behind the idea of fearing God, and Psalm 86:9-10 stands behind the ideas of glorifying God, his uniqueness, and the nations coming to worship him. Many other OT passages also speak about the nations “coming to his temple” to worship (Isa 2:2-3; 49:22-23; 66:23-24; Micah 4:2; Zech 8:20-22). See G. K. Beale, Revelation (NIGTC), 796-97.
- Revelation 15:4 sn Because you alone are holy. In the Greek text the sentence literally reads “because alone holy.” Three points can be made in connection with John’s language here: (1) Omitting the second person, singular verb “you are” lays stress on the attribute of God’s holiness. (2) The juxtaposition of alone with holy stresses the unique nature of God’s holiness and complete “otherness” in relationship to his creation. It is not just moral purity which is involved in the use of the term holy, though it certainly includes that. It is also the pervasive OT idea that although God is deeply involved in the governing of his creation, he is to be regarded as separate and distinct from it. (3) John’s use of the term holy is also intriguing since it is the term ὅσιος (hosios) and not the more common NT term ἅγιος (hagios). The former term evokes images of Christ’s messianic status in early Christian preaching. Both Peter in Acts 2:27 and Paul in Acts 13:35 apply Psalm 16:10 (LXX) to Jesus, referring to him as the “holy one” (ὅσιος). It is also the key term in Acts 13:34 (Isa 55:3 [LXX]) where it refers to the “holy blessings” (i.e., forgiveness and justification) brought about through Jesus in fulfillment of Davidic promise. Thus, in Rev 15:3-4, when John refers to God as “holy,” using the term ὅσιος in a context where the emphasis is on both God and Christ, there might be an implicit connection between divinity and the Messiah. This is bolstered by the fact that the Lamb is referred to in other contexts as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (cf. 1:5; 17:14; 19:16 and perhaps 11:15; G. K. Beale, Revelation [NIGTC], 796-97).
- Revelation 15:4 tn Or “all the Gentiles” (the same Greek word may be translated “Gentiles” or “nations”).
- Revelation 15:4 tn Or perhaps, “your sentences of condemnation.” On δικαίωμα (dikaiōma) in this context BDAG 249 s.v. 2. states, “righteous deed…δι᾿ ἑνὸς δικαιώματος (opp. παράπτωμα) Ro 5:18.—B 1:2 (cp. Wengst, Barnabas-brief 196, n.4); Rv 15:4 (here perh.= ‘sentence of condemnation’ [cp. Pla., Leg. 9, 864e; ins fr. Asia Minor: LBW 41, 2 [κατὰ] τὸ δι[καί]ωμα τὸ κυρω[θέν]= ‘acc. to the sentence which has become valid’]; difft. Wengst, s. above); 19:8.”
- Revelation 15:5 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
- Revelation 15:5 tn On this term BDAG 928 s.v. σκηνή 1.b.α states, “ἡ σκηνὴ τοῦ μαρτυρίου the Tabernacle or Tent of Testimony (Ex 27:21; 29:4; Lev 1:1; Num 1:1 and oft.…) Ac 7:44; 1 Cl 43:2, 5, ” and then continues in section 2 to state, “Rv 15:5 speaks of a ναὸς τῆς σκηνῆς τοῦ μαρτυρίου ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ. God’s σκ.= dwelling is in heaven 13:6, and will some time be among humans 21:3.”
- Revelation 15:5 tn Grk “the temple of the tent of the testimony” (ὁ ναός τῆς σκηνῆς τοῦ μαρτυρίου, ho naos tēs skēnēs tou marturiou). The genitive “of the tent” is probably an appositional genitive and should be rendered as “the temple, which is the tent.” The entire expression, then, would be “the temple which is the tent of testimony,” that is, “the heavenly equivalent of the tent or tabernacle that was with Israel in the wilderness” (G. K. Beale, Revelation [NIGTC], 801-2). sn In the OT the expression “tent of the testimony” occurs frequently (130 times in Exodus through Deuteronomy). The “testimony” refers to the ten commandments, i.e., the revelation of the righteous will of God (Exod 16:34; 25:21; 31:18; 32:15; 40:24). It is little wonder that the wrath of God upon an unrighteous, lawbreaking humanity follows in John’s description.
- Revelation 15:6 tn Or “wide golden sashes,” but these would not be diagonal, as some modern sashes are, but horizontal. The Greek term can refer to a wide band of cloth or leather worn on the outside of one’s clothing (L&N 6.178).