In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

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Bill Ross
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In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by Bill Ross » February 7th, 2020, 11:57 am

In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?
mGNT Revelation 7:14 καὶ εἴρηκα αὐτῷ κύριέ μου σὺ οἶδας καὶ εἶπέν μοι οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἐρχόμενοι ἐκ τῆς θλίψεως τῆς μεγάλης καὶ ἔπλυναν τὰς στολὰς αὐτῶν καὶ ἐλεύκαναν αὐτὰς ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ ἀρνίου
[Rev 7:14 NLT] (14) And I said to him, "Sir, you are the one who knows." Then he said to me, "These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
I'm thinking something more like:
[Rev 7:14] (14) And I said to him, "Sir, you are the one who knows." Then he said to me, "These are the ones coming since the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
Thank you.
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MAubrey
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Re: In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by MAubrey » February 7th, 2020, 3:32 pm

"Since" as in, "after"? Or "since" as in "reason"?

The former might be possible, but not the latter.

But with motion verbs (ἐρχόμενοι), we expect object of ἐκ to function as a place of origin. They came out of the great tribulation (i.e. because they died).
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by Bill Ross » February 7th, 2020, 3:36 pm

"Since" as in "after".

Thank you for the response.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 7th, 2020, 3:52 pm

While ἐκ can occasionally bear a temporal sense, that doesn't really seem to fit the context here. So not so much a "grammatical" reason, but contextual. "The great tribulation" is an event, and the text is talking about the people who are no longer involved in it, but are now present before the throne. The emphasis is not on the timing or conclusion of the event, but on these people's separation from it.
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by Bill Ross » February 7th, 2020, 4:26 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 3:52 pm
While ἐκ can occasionally bear a temporal sense, that doesn't really seem to fit the context here. So not so much a "grammatical" reason, but contextual. "The great tribulation" is an event, and the text is talking about the people who are no longer involved in it, but are now present before the throne. The emphasis is not on the timing or conclusion of the event, but on these people's separation from it.
Thank you for the response which of course is compelling. However, I began thinking along this line due to broader contextual clues that now seem to better explain a great deal. Two such strong clues are:

* the 144,000 in the first group are beheaded and are the first fruits. So they were victims of the tribulation of just a few years (around 70ad).
* the innumerable group would be so large that they would have had to have accrued over time and they would have to be after the first fruit group and thus after the tribulation.

I'm in the process right now of writing up my thoughts and that process always helps discover whether or not this view will actually cohere. Thanks again for your feedback.
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Re: In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » February 7th, 2020, 4:59 pm

Bill Ross wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 4:26 pm
So they were victims of the tribulation of just a few years (around 70ad).
I think it's better to think about the "literal" meaning and not the interpreted meaning at all when talking about this. I mean, there's a surface level "story" here. The whole story has a figurative meaning, but because it works in the story level, there's no need to think about the figurative meaning when interpreting the linguistic features. So, there's no need to know if it happened in 70ad or 2070ad. Even mentioning it may work as a red herring.

Figures of speech etc. are a different story altogether :)
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Re: In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 7th, 2020, 6:12 pm

Bill Ross wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 4:26 pm
Thank you for the response which of course is compelling. However, I began thinking along this line due to broader contextual clues that now seem to better explain a great deal. Two such strong clues are:

* the 144,000 in the first group are beheaded and are the first fruits. So they were victims of the tribulation of just a few years (around 70ad).
* the innumerable group would be so large that they would have had to have accrued over time and they would have to be after the first fruit group and thus after the tribulation.

I'm in the process right now of writing up my thoughts and that process always helps discover whether or not this view will actually cohere. Thanks again for your feedback.
Well, as Mike points out, ἐρχόμενοι ἐκ... It's hard to imagine a better construction to indicate origin. This just doesn't signal a temporal sense.
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by Bill Ross » February 7th, 2020, 6:45 pm

Regarding the present particple, οἱ ἐρχόμενοι ἐκ... Does that suggest that even though they are of a vast number, they are still coming?
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timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » February 7th, 2020, 9:04 pm

Bill Ross wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 6:45 pm
Regarding the present particple, οἱ ἐρχόμενοι ἐκ... Does that suggest that even though they are of a vast number, they are still coming?
No. The present participle describes those who do an action, not necessarily those who are in the process of doing it, And even if the sense of the present tense here were progressive, the ongoing aspect would be relative to the time of writing or to the time of the event within the narrative, not to our present.
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Re: In Revelation 7:14, is there a grammatical reason why ἐκ shouldn't be read "since"?

Post by Bill Ross » February 8th, 2020, 7:19 am

Thanks to all for your excellent feedback on this post. As a result I have come to a different understanding and am abandoning the temporal view I was investigating. "Since" is too unlikely with "coming".

---

If you are interested, what I think I see now is that the 144,000 represent those killed in the persecution during the "last hour" prior to the great tribulation, not the tribulation itself:
[Mat 24:9-13 NLT] (9) "Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. (10) And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. (11) And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. (12) Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. (13) But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

[1Jo 2:18 NLT] (18) Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.
The second group are those coming out of the great tribulation, presumably through death:
[Mat 24:15-22 NLT] (15) "The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about--the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place." (Reader, pay attention!) (16) "Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. (17) A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. (18) A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. (19) How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. (20) And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. (21) For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. (22) In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones.
These are not martyrs but they are indeed saints.

My view is obviously still a work in progress.

Thanks again for the help.
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