Revelation 6:9-11

Revelation 6:9-11
A Women’s Lectionary 47


When he brokeA the fifthB seal,C I sawD

Notes on verse 9a

A “broke” = anoigo. From ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew) + oigo (to open). This is to open in  literal or figurative sense.
B “fifth” = pemptos. 4x in NT.  From pente (five; perhaps symbolically linked with the Temple or redemption). This is fifth.
C “seal” = sphragis. 16x in NT. Perhaps from phrasso (to stop, fence in). This is a seal, signet, or signet ring. It is also the impression of that seal; so, the thing attested to by that seal – proof or a signifier of privacy.
D “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.

under the altarE the soulsF of those who had been slaughteredG

Notes on verse 9b

E “altar” = thusiasterion. From thusia (a sacrifice or offering; the act of sacrifice or the thig being sacrificed; a sacrifice in a literal or figurative sense.); from thuo (to breathe violently, seethe, rage; properly, to rush as breathing heavy; so smoke as in offering an animal sacrifice by fire; by extension, killing or slaying in general). This is altar that is used for sacrifice.
F “souls” = psuche. From psucho (to breathe, blow). This is breath, the breath of life, the self, individual, soul. This is the word for that which makes a person unique – their identity, will, personality, affections. This isn’t the soul as the immortal part of us, but as our individuality. It is also not life as a general concept, but specific to people. This is where the words psyche and psychology come from.
G “slaughtered” = sphazo. 10x in NT. This is to slay, butcher an animal to eat or for sacrifice, slaughter, maim through violence. In 1 John 3:12 it is used to describe Cain murdering Abel. All other uses are in Revelation.

for the wordH of GodI and for the testimonyJ they had given;K 

Notes on verse 9c

H “word” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
I “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
J “testimony” = marturia. From martureo (to bear witness, testify, give evidence; to testify in a literal or figurative sense); from martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr). This is testimony, witness, evidence, record, reputation.
K “given” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.

10 they cried outL with a loudM voice,N, O

Notes on verse 10a

L “cried out” = krazo. This is to cry out, scream, shriek. It is onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call. Figuratively, this means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt.
M “loud” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
N “voice” = phone. Probably from phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is a voice, sound, tone or noise. It can also be a language or dialect.
O {untranslated} = lego. Related to “word” in v9. See note H above.

“Sovereign Lord,P holyQ and true,R how long will it be before you judgeS

Notes on verse 10b

P “Sovereign Lord” = Despotes. 10x in NT. Perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, compel; declare unlawful). This is lord, master, despot, sovereign Lord. It is an authority who has unrestricted power and jurisdiction.
Q “holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
R “true” = alethinos. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to the test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic); {from a (not) + lanthano (concealed, hidden, unnoticed; to shut one’s eyes to, unwittingly, unawares)}. This is literally made of truth – that which is true or real, authentic. Something that is true from its source and has integrity.
S “judge” = krino. To judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue. This is judging whether it is done in court or in a private setting. Properly, it refers to mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty. It can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging.

and avengeT our bloodU on the inhabitantsV of the earth?”W 

Notes on verse 10c

T “avenge” = ekdikeo. 6x in NT. From ekdikos (to avenge, enact a just punishment or judgment); {from ek (from, from out of) + dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); {may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known)}}. This is to defend, vindicate, dole out justice, or avenge. It can also mean retaliate.
U “blood” = haima. This is blood in a literal sense as bloodshed. Figuratively, it can also be used to refer to wine or to kinship (being related).
V “inhabitants” = katoikeo. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + oikeo (to settle or be established somewhere in a permanent way, to make a home or live at home); {from oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple)}. This is to live or settle on a permanent basis.
W “earth” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.

11 They were each givenX a whiteY robeZ and told to restAA

Notes on verse 11a

X “given” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
Y “white” = leukos. Related to luke (light). This is bright, white, or brilliant.
Z “robe” = stole. 9x in NT–the scribes who want to be greeted with respect in marketplaces (Mk 12:13; Lk 20:46), the angel presenting as a young man at the resurrection (Mk 16:5), the robe brought for the prodigal son (Lk 15:22), and the attire of the martyrs and saints in heaven in Revelation 6, 7, and 22. From stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for); {probably from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm)}. This is clothing, in particular a long, flowing robe associated with elites.
AA “rest” = anapauo. 12x in NT– including Matthew 11:28 “come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” From ana (up, again, back, among, between, anew) + pauo (to stop, refrain, pause, restrain, quit, come to an end). This is a break from work, which implies being refreshed. It denotes that rest that one gets once a necessary task is finished.

a littleBB longer,CC until the number would be completeDD

Notes on verse 11b

BB “little” = mikros. This is small in reference to a size or the number of something, least or less. Figuratively, it can refer to little dignity.
CC “longer” = chronos. Time in the chronological sense, quantitative time or a duration of time.
DD “be complete” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.

both of their fellow servantsEE and of their brothersFF and sisters who were soon to beGG killedHH as they themselves had been killed.

Notes on verse 11c

EE “fellow servants” = sundoulos. Related to “Sovereign Lord” in v10. 10x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + doulos (a servant or for a slave, enslaved; someone who belongs to someone else, but could be voluntary to pay off debt or involuntary – captured in war and enslaved; a metaphor for serving Christ); {perhaps from deo (see note P above). This is a fellow servant or slave. It can also refer to a co-worker in Christ.
FF “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
GG “to be” = mello. Perhaps from melo (something that one is worried or concerned about, something one pays attention to or thinks about). Properly, this is ready, about to happen, to intend, delay, or linger. This is just on the point of acting.
HH “killed” = apokteino. From apo (from, away from) + kteino (to kill). To put to death, kill, slay. Figuratively, this word can mean abolish, destroy, or extinguish.

Image credit: “Apocalypse 5. Opening the Seals. Revelation cap 6 v 9-11” From Mortier’s Bible by Phillip Medhurst,

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