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« Extra-Curricular Activities 07.27.13 | Main | Wednesday Giveaway - A Survey of the Old Testament »


There's an interesting textual variant on the number in Rev 9:16. Most manuscripts (including P47 & 01) read μυριαδες μυριαδων without either two (δυο) or twice (δισ-), but the better reading seems to be "twice myriads of myriads" as in 02. But people shouldn't take that number too literally anyway, or else they have more serious interpretive issues to face... :-)

Maybe this is an example of where a translator actually can "go word for word?" Though it came from the Greek, myriad is a fairly common English word that has pretty much the exact definition as it had in Greek. Websters gives:

1 : ten thousand
2 : a great number [a myriad of ideas]

So we would have "myriads of people had gathered" for Luke 12:1, "myriads of angels" for Heb 12:22, "the Lord is coming with myriads of his holy ones" in Jude 14, and "myriads of myriads" in Rev 5:11.

The case of Rev 9:16 would still be a bit challenging, but "the number of the mounted troops was a double myriad of myriads" might work. It would give the impression of an inexact or figurative number while still leaving the possibility of a more exact figure. For my dialect, the connotation of myriad in English is very figurative. Was this the case in Koine as well? Sounds like it based on your post here.

From the Greek root "myr" we get the English word "myrmecology" -- "The study of ants" :-)

As far as I know, the term 'myriad' comes from a babilonian number system where the base was 60. Myriad was 60 to 5th or 6th power.

A while back there was an interesting documentary on one of the educational channels. Astronomers around the world joined together to focus the worlds most powerful telescopes on one precise location in the sky. The location was thought to be void of stars and they were going to document that there is an area of the universe without stars. What they found however was much to their surprise. Not only did they see stars, they saw myriads and myriads of stars. The pictures were awesome. They just can't count the stars and neither could brother Abraham.

We can't count the angels or the great multitude of saints John wrote about in Revelation. So where did the angels come from? The short answer is that God made them. Where else could they come from?

I believe that all created things were made for one purpose. God wants a family. He is making us in his own image. He made the angels, like he made the stars, to aid in the process of his creation of us the saints. God loves his children so much and has been creating them for a long time and this creation is still ongoing.

What a truly wonderful Father we have.

Minor response to another comment on this thread:
"Myrmecology" (study of ants) doesn't come from "myriad," but μυρμηξ which means "ant" (see Prov 6:6 LXX). Also, see the OED. Hope this is helpful.

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