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They were singing a new song:[a]

“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals
because you were killed,[b]
and at the cost of your own blood[c] you have purchased[d] for God
persons[e] from every tribe, language,[f] people, and nation.
10 You have appointed[g] them[h] as a kingdom and priests[i] to serve[j] our God, and they will reign[k] on the earth.”

11 Then[l] 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[m] number was ten thousand times ten thousand[n]—thousands times thousands—

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  1. Revelation 5:9 tn The redundant participle λέγοντες (legontes) has not been translated here.
  2. Revelation 5:9 tn Or “slaughtered”; traditionally, “slain.”
  3. Revelation 5:9 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).”
  4. Revelation 5:9 tc The Greek text as it stands above (i.e., the reading τῷ θεῷ [tō theō] alone) is found in codex A. א 2050 2344 M sy add the term “us” (ἡμᾶς, hēmas), either before or after τῷ θεῷ, as an attempt to clarify the object of “purchased” (ἠγόρασας, ēgorasas). 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.
  5. Revelation 5:9 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.
  6. Revelation 5:9 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.
  7. Revelation 5:10 tn The verb ἐποίησας (epoiēsas) is understood to mean “appointed” here. For an example of this use, see Mark 3:14.
  8. Revelation 5:10 tc The vast majority of witnesses have αὐτούς (autous, “them”) here, while the Textus Receptus reads ἡμᾶς (hēmas, “us”) with insignificant support (pc gig vgcl sa Prim Bea). There is no question that the original text read αὐτούς here.
  9. Revelation 5:10 tn The reference to “kingdom and priests” may be a hendiadys: “priestly kingdom.”
  10. Revelation 5:10 tn The words “to serve” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the word “priests.”
  11. Revelation 5:10 tc The textual problem here between the present tense βασιλεύουσιν (basileuousin, “they are reigning”; so A 1006 1611 MK) and the future βασιλεύσουσιν (basileusousin, “they will reign”; so א 1854 2053 MA 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 lunate sigma in majuscule script could have been overlooked by some scribes, resulting in the present tense. All things considered, there is a slight preference for the future.
  12. Revelation 5:11 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.
  13. Revelation 5:11 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.
  14. Revelation 5:11 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.