Rev 20:4--ambiguous subjects?

From: Trevor M Peterson (
Date: Sat Apr 25 1998 - 09:00:46 EDT

Well, I'm coming out of lurking once again, hopefully not to distract
anyone with a worthless question altogether.

Commentators seem to agree that the subject of EKAQISAN in Rev 20:4 is
unclear. Now, I realize that eschatological positions will have a lot to
do with this verse (hopefully depending on it, not it depending on them
:-), but does anyone have any thoughts on the structure and grammar? I'm
favoring TOU STRATEUMATOS in 19:19 as the most likely antecedent (not
plural, but collective and probably identified with TA STRATEUMATA in v.
14), but I'm not totally opposed to the idea of it refering to TAS YUCAS
in the next line. Of course, this latter thought raises the idea of how
to take KAI TAS YUCAS . . . . Is the KAI ascensive, identifying TAS
YUCAS as the subject of EKAQISAN, or is there an elipsis, and if so, what
should be filled in? Most of the English versions seem to favor an
insertion that fits the variant reading in NA27, but Bullinger suggests
EKRINAN. Then there is the question as to whether hOITINES should
continue the same thought or introduce a new group. Bullinger favors the
latter in light of its being nominative. Finally, does KAI EZHSAN
introduce a new sentence (as in NA27) or begin a new correlative
construction ("both . . . and") as the predicate of the sentence begun
with hOITINES?

Okay, so basically I'm wondering how the verse should be translated. As
I said, I think Bullinger makes some interesting grammatical points, but
so far I haven't found too many who would agree with him. Right now, I
can see it going a few different ways, but I'm interested in some other

Trevor Peterson
M.Div. Candidate
Capital Bible Seminary
Lanham, MD

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