Help needed in Rev

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Peter Streitenberger
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Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:45 am

Help needed in Rev

Post by Peter Streitenberger » September 22nd, 2017, 1:54 pm

Dear friends, can anyone help me to understand the last sentence in Revelation 21:16 (the Byz reading is the δώδεκα, left out by TR/NA, as it was too difficult, I think, but I want to translate Byz, with the number 12) : Καὶ ἡ πόλις τετράγωνος κεῖται, καὶ τὸ μῆκος αὐτῆς ὅσον τὸ πλάτος. Καὶ ἐμέτρησεν τὴν πόλιν τῷ καλάμῳ ἐπὶ σταδίους δώδεκα χιλιάδων· δώδεκα τὸ μῆκος καὶ τὸ πλάτος καὶ τὸ ὕψος αὐτῆς ἴσα ἐστίν.

Is a sound rendering: 12 is the length and its breadth and height are equal.

If correct, what is the meaning? If not correct: are there better renderings?
Parallels I found there: Herodotus, Historiae 1.178,7 describing a town: "Κεῖται ἐν πεδίῳ μεγάλῳ, μέγαθος ἐοῦσα μέτωπον ἕκαστον εἴκοσι καὶ ἑκατὸν σταδίων, ἐούσης τετραγώνου". Theodoret, Interpretatio in Ezechielem 81.1232,29 is similar to the last one: "πηχῶν δώδεκα τὸ μῆκος καὶ τὸ πλάτος ἰσόμετρον".

Yours in Christ! Peter

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Help needed in Rev

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 22nd, 2017, 3:36 pm

There is a New Testament verse where the value of the measurements is asked for,
Ephesians 3:18 wrote:τί τὸ πλάτος καὶ μῆκος καὶ βάθος καὶ ὕψος
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Wes Wood
Posts: 686
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Help needed in Rev

Post by Wes Wood » September 22nd, 2017, 7:28 pm

Peter Streitenberger wrote:
September 22nd, 2017, 1:54 pm
Dear friends, can anyone help me to understand the last sentence in Revelation 21:16 (the Byz reading is the δώδεκα, left out by TR/NA, as it was too difficult, I think, but I want to translate Byz, with the number 12) : Καὶ ἡ πόλις τετράγωνος κεῖται, καὶ τὸ μῆκος αὐτῆς ὅσον τὸ πλάτος. Καὶ ἐμέτρησεν τὴν πόλιν τῷ καλάμῳ ἐπὶ σταδίους δώδεκα χιλιάδων· δώδεκα τὸ μῆκος καὶ τὸ πλάτος καὶ τὸ ὕψος αὐτῆς ἴσα ἐστίν.

Is a sound rendering: 12 is the length and its breadth and height are equal.

If correct, what is the meaning? If not correct: are there better renderings?
Parallels I found there: Herodotus, Historiae 1.178,7 describing a town: "Κεῖται ἐν πεδίῳ μεγάλῳ, μέγαθος ἐοῦσα μέτωπον ἕκαστον εἴκοσι καὶ ἑκατὸν σταδίων, ἐούσης τετραγώνου". Theodoret, Interpretatio in Ezechielem 81.1232,29 is similar to the last one: "πηχῶν δώδεκα τὸ μῆκος καὶ τὸ πλάτος ἰσόμετρον".

Yours in Christ! Peter
At first I didn't see what you were meaning with this, but now I believe I follow you. You are asking if you can read the phrase δώδεκα τὸ μῆκος (the length is twelve) as one clause with καὶ τὸ πλάτος καὶ τὸ ὕψος αὐτῆς ἴσα ἐστίν (both the width and height are equal) forming a separate clause, right? While I suppose the phrase could convey that meaning, however strange that might be, I don't think the context allows it here. Did you notice the earlier part of the verse, Καὶ ἡ πόλις τετράγωνος κεῖται, καὶ τὸ μῆκος αὐτῆς ὅσον τὸ πλάτος? It would seem to me that this eliminates your suggestion as a possibility.

I find the verse itself interesting for a couple of reasons. 1) I would expect to see this phrase as it is used here with the accusative + ἐπὶ rather than with the genitive as the phrase appears in NA 28, but I am somewhat surprised at the form σταδίους for στάδια. I hope this means I have grown more familiar with the older form. 2) I find the use of the accusative with the genitive in the phrase ἐπὶ σταδίους δώδεκα χιλιάδων strange. This is no surprise; I struggle with how to use numbers in Greek composition anyway. I'm not saying that it is wrong, only that it doesn't seem right to me. 3) I am curious as to what gave rise to the reading δώδεκα τὸ μῆκος καὶ τὸ πλάτος καὶ τὸ ὕψος αὐτῆς ἴσα ἐστίν. Is this the reading in the majority of these types of manuscripts? If so, the fact that it was not corrected because of the "error" or because of a comparison with another manuscript is intriguing by its own merit.
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Peter Streitenberger
Posts: 206
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:45 am

Re: Help needed in Rev

Post by Peter Streitenberger » September 25th, 2017, 4:17 am

Dear friends, thank you for the input and I was struggeling as well and I was not happy with my first suggestion and share the doubts you have. So i did some TLG research and give another and I hope better solution: A parallel in Euclid, Elements Demonstratio 10.9 shows this: πέντε ἄρα τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς ΚΛ τρισὶ τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ΖΒ ἴσα ἐστίν.

So I suggest to translate Rev 21,16 δώδεκα τὸ μῆκος καὶ τὸ πλάτος καὶ τὸ ὕψος αὐτῆς ἴσα ἐστίν. as following: "its length and breadth and height equals twelf".

The number 12 is left dislocated, probably to highlight it. So the sense could be that it is a description of the 12 edges of this cube. I get trouble if I translate that false, so I would be glad to get another help or comment again, and thanks again for your former thoughts. This is a new land noone has conquered and I dont know of a translation where to lean on. Yours in Christ! Peter

Peter Streitenberger
Posts: 206
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:45 am

Re: Help needed in Rev

Post by Peter Streitenberger » September 25th, 2017, 5:16 am

>Is this the reading in the majority of these types of manuscripts?
According to the new Text und Textwert volume and as known before, the majority in the revelation is divided between the three lines of K-Andrew-Complutensis and the reading with the number 12 is best attested, left out, probably because a scribe had the same difficulty to interpret it as I had, I hope a solution could be given now. I think it is kind of a mathematical sign that equals the three dimenstion with 12 (the dimensions = 12), showing that it is a cubit with 12 edges.

Peter Streitenberger
Posts: 206
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:45 am

Re: Help needed in Rev

Post by Peter Streitenberger » September 26th, 2017, 1:33 am

Sorry a typo, I cant login in the text above to correct it:
>it is a description of the 12 edges of this cubit
correct:
it is a description of the 12 edges of this cube

Moderator Edit: I changed that for you, for the sake of those who will read the post later. (Jason Hare) ⟧

Wes Wood
Posts: 686
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Help needed in Rev

Post by Wes Wood » September 26th, 2017, 5:04 pm

Peter Streitenberger wrote:
September 25th, 2017, 4:17 am
Dear friends, thank you for the input and I was struggeling as well and I was not happy with my first suggestion and share the doubts you have. So i did some TLG research and give another and I hope better solution: A parallel in Euclid, Elements Demonstratio 10.9 shows this: πέντε ἄρα τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς ΚΛ τρισὶ τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ΖΒ ἴσα ἐστίν.

So I suggest to translate Rev 21,16 δώδεκα τὸ μῆκος καὶ τὸ πλάτος καὶ τὸ ὕψος αὐτῆς ἴσα ἐστίν. as following: "its length and breadth and height equals twelf".

The number 12 is left dislocated, probably to highlight it. So the sense could be that it is a description of the 12 edges of this cube. I get trouble if I translate that false, so I would be glad to get another help or comment again, and thanks again for your former thoughts. This is a new land noone has conquered and I dont know of a translation where to lean on. Yours in Christ! Peter
Well, it seems I didn't understand you after all. :lol: Sorry about that, but I can see why we missed each other.

As it stands, your Euclid quote isn't very informative. Could you provide more of the section?
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Peter Streitenberger
Posts: 206
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:45 am

Re: Help needed in Rev

Post by Peter Streitenberger » September 27th, 2017, 2:21 am

Thank you! Euclid is available online (in German, I think probably in English as well) - the Greek might be a bit confusing at the first glance. But I understand the sentence as a mathematical sign of equation (as a "="). So transferred to Rev (and Joh often places numbers on the left, to stress it), I would see the structure as "The dimension (height ktl) = 12". Here comes Euclid in context (I suggest to read an English online translation, otherwise, at least I, was confused):    

Ad libr. XIII prop. 18    (n)
  Ἄλλως ὅτι μείζων ἐστὶν ἡ ΜΒ τῆς ΝΒ.   (1)
  Ἐπεὶ γὰρ διπλῆ ἐστιν ἡ ΑΔ τῆς ΔΒ, τριπλῆ ἄρα ἡ ΑΒ
τῆς ΒΔ. ὡς δὲ ἡ ΑΒ πρὸς τὴν ΒΔ, οὕτως τὸ ἀπὸ τῆς
ΑΒ πρὸς τὸ ἀπὸ τῆς ΒΖ διὰ τὸ ἰσογώνιον εἶναι τὸ ΖΑΒ
τρίγωνον τῷ ΖΔΒ τριγώνῳ. τριπλάσιον ἄρα τὸ ἀπὸ τῆς    (5)
ΑΒ τοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ΒΖ. ἐδείχθη δὲ τὸ ἀπὸ τῆς ΑΒ τοῦ ἀπὸ
τῆς ΚΛ πενταπλάσιον. πέντε ἄρα τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς ΚΛ τρισὶ @1
τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ΖΒ ἴσα ἐστίν.
ἀλλὰ τρία τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς ΖΒ ἓξ
τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς ΝΒ μείζονά ἐστιν. καὶ πέντε ἄρα τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς
ΚΛ ἓξ τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς ΝΒ μείζονά ἐστιν. ὥστε καὶ ἓν τὸ    (10)
ἀπὸ τῆς ΚΛ ἑνὸς τοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ΝΒ μεῖζόν ἐστιν. μείζων
ἄρα ἡ ΚΛ τῆς ΝΒ. ἴση δὲ ἡ ΚΛ τῇ ΛΜ. μείζων ἄρα ἡ
ΛΜ τῆς ΝΒ. πολλῷ ἄρα ἡ ΜΒ τῆς ΒΝ μείζων ἐστίν·
ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι. ὅτι δὲ τρία τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς ΖΒ ἓξ τῶν ἀπὸ
τῆς ΒΝ μείζονά ἐστιν, δείξομεν οὕτως· ἐπεὶ γὰρ μείζων   (15)
ἐστὶν ἡ ΒΝ τῆς ΝΖ, τὸ ἄρα ὑπὸ τῶν ΖΒΝ μεῖζόν ἐστι τοῦ
ὑπὸ ΒΖΝ.

Thanks Jason Hare!

Wes Wood
Posts: 686
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Help needed in Rev

Post by Wes Wood » September 28th, 2017, 7:40 pm

Sadly, the larger section isn't much help either. There still isn't enough of the text for me to follow the mathematical argument that Euclid is making, but I'm skeptical that it would make a difference either way. I thought that you were suggesting that the text referred specifically to the edges of a cube and illuminated the text in Revelation--that is, I thought you were providing evidence that the text in Revelation could be referring to a cube-shaped city. As the text reads, I can see no obvious reason to conclude that it must be. And if the text doesn't necessarily refer to a cube, I don't see how you are any closer to removing the apparent contradiction in it.

I'm really unsure what you trying to ask and convey, so I may not have struck upon the trail you intended me to pick up. Hopefully, something that I have written addresses your concern. If not, I suppose we can always try again.

On a side note, I just realized that my 666th post on this forum was the first of my posts in this Revelation thread. :lol:
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Help needed in Rev

Post by Stephen Carlson » September 28th, 2017, 11:21 pm

Wes Wood wrote:
September 28th, 2017, 7:40 pm
On a side note, I just realized that my 666th post on this forum was the first of my posts in this Revelation thread. :lol:
What about your 616th post?
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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