Re: Rev 22:17--who ERCOU?

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Thu Feb 19 1998 - 06:21:06 EST

Trevor M Peterson wrote:

> Are there any structural or grammatical indicators that would explain the
> recipients of the imperatives in Rev 22:17? I'm thinking specfically
> here of the two ERCOU's. (The others are pretty straightforward, or so
> it seems.) Contextually, it seems to be a tough call, since both the
> idea of the Lord's coming and the invitation for the thirsty to come are
> expressed.
One wants to be very cautious before disagreeing with Carl so I spent some
time on this before responding. If I have misunderstood Carl on this please
accept my apologies in advance. Carl's arguments can be very subtle and I am
not a subtle thinker.

Reading the text, and it's immediate context over half a dozen times it
appeared to me that both ERCOU's in verse 17 are directed at KURIE IHSOU of
verse 20. One of my reasons for reaching this conclusion is that the the first
ERCOU is spoken by hH NUMFH. It cannot be both spoken by and addressed to hH
NUMFH. The second ERCOU is the object of another imperative EIPATW which is
addressed to the hO AKOUWN. Again, hO AKOUWN cannot be both the source and the
object of the command ERCOU.

After doing my own work on this I consulted the commentaries. R.H. Charles, in
his rather caviler treatment of the text has either moved Rev. 22:17 to some
place where I cannot find it or he has removed it from the text entirely. I
don't think may current commentators on the Apocalypse follow the
reconstruction of the text offered by Charles.

G. B. Caird, thinks that the first ERCOU is addressed to all those who come.
He concludes that the second ERCOU is addressed to KURIE IHSOU of verse 20.
H.B. Swete supports my conclusion, that both ERCOUS are addressed to KURIE
IHSOU of verse 20. Swete does not use exactly the same argument that I put
forth above but his results are the same.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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