Dear Reggie, good morning…
In seeking to better understand Rev. 12…I asked a friend and teacher [Greek scholar] recently about the differences found and the proper translation of Rev 12:6 and Rev. 12:14.
“Below are translations of Rev 12:6 and 12:14. I added my own translation and short commentary as well. Indeed, the verb “trevfw, trepho” at 12:6 is 3rd person plural, present tense, subjunctive mode, active. However, in 12:14 trephetai (she was nourished) is 3rd person singular, indicative, passive.
Thus, the question remains, why the plural in Rev 12:6 and the singular in Rev 12:14. If one looked at the text in a strictly grammatical manner, the direct antecedent in 12:6 would be God, whereas in 12:14 the woman is given
the wings of a great eagle (thus, God using “means” to help the woman).”
And the woman fled into the desert, where she has there a place already prepared by God, so that there they (3 person plural, present tense, subjunctive mode, active) may sustain her one thousand, two hundred and
sixty days. [The word in plural, sustain, or “they might sustain” has no direct antecedent except for God, the One who prepared the place for her. Thus, it could be that John is speaking of the plurality of Persons in the Triune Godhead, or, God’s people, who must be inferred here by linking this verse to 12:14 and the wings of a great eagle mentioned in 12:14].
Have you written anything on this?
I think the latter (God’s people). That has always been our position that God is jealous that His sovereign choice and the sole and unmixed work of His Spirit be mediated through jars of clay. It is on the one hand all Him and nothing of man, but on the other hand, this wholly divine working is mediated through a people bearing His nature, so that “it is not I that does the work” (Jn 14:10; 5:19 see also Paul’s repeated ‘yet not I’s’) but “my Father is working and I work.” It’s the mystery of incarnation of the divine nature in the saints; it is the one in and through the many, the old dialectic of paradox and mystery that has always stumbled humanism and works religion.
This is why God is jealous that this be mediated through a “son of man” company that is in fact the overcoming church, and why the church must, of course, be here to complete the testimony AS the church. This waits on the fullness of revelation, but God is very jealous for the process by which such age-ending revelation comes about, but that’s another topic.
Thank you for sending this. It casts a grammatical light on a choice of truth. How we interpret, and what we see in such things is also a reflection on how we are inclined. There is always a choice that reveals the disposition of the heart, even in the interpretation process, regardless of tools, resources, or training. I’m glad you’ve got such a ‘bead drawn’ on these things.
The Lord give you all the land in possession, Reggie