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Contact: dieterhoffmann@iprimus.com.au

On the use of  epi  in  Revelation 5:10


Just a note to those who believe in the literal Restoration of Israel to the promised land in the Middle East, and to those trying to assist them to see that it ain't necessarily so!

Why is that really necessary? Simply because of Christianity's obsession with having Jesus ruling on planet earth on the throne of David in the Jerusalem of God’s Kingdom to come.

Since the bulk of Christianity are Trinitarians, how does that equate with God, or at least 1/3 of Him, dwelling on earth among men?

Oh yes, God Jehovah will be dwelling with men alright according to Revelation 21:3, but it will only, or superlatively, be with the little flock of generic men taken from earth to be the Kingdom and to dwell with Jehovah and the Christ in heaven as sons and part of His family  -Luke 12:32.

All the types in, of and surrounding Israel will have their antitype in heaven  -see Hebrews 12:22-24.

Revelation vouches for the fulfilment of  Romans 15:4:  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope  and that includes all earthly similes.

Revelation 5:10 speaks about Kings ruling with respect to the earth and its people.

Most Bible Translations render the Greek prefix epi  used in this verse as on, whereas a very few other translations use over.

Because of the nature of the prefix epi, in many cases it matters little if on or over is used; the meaning stays relatively the same.  When something or other is on a table it has to be physically above it and can thus said to be over the table.

A government located in a country can said to be ruling over a country, while actually located on the geographical surface of such country.

Unfortunately, controversial doctrinal differences among 'Christian' groups cause epi  to be translated according to the dictates of the dominant group overseeing such translating.  This is not necessarily in an endeavour to deceive, for usually they believe that version of events to be true.

Those who believe that Israel will literally be restored to the land promised to Abraham in the Middle East and that Jesus is coming back to earth, are quite adamant that on the earth has to be the rendering in Rev 5:10.  So what!

Many a king in his heyday ruled over other countries without ever actually being on the geographical surfaces of these countries, yet his rule extended to and was on such countries.

Even though his presence was not, he ruled on that country without actually being on it himself.  I am pushing the point to demonstrate that the use of on is not in itself wrong, but it is wrong, when one uses it dogmatically to support one's doctrines.

So, what else is there to say?

  1. One can rule over it while being on it.
  1. One can rule over it without being on it.
  2. One can rule on it while being over it . . . and
  3. One can rule on it while being on it.


Some people want semantics.  We can also indulge in semantics, but properly.

If on means literally on in Rev 5:10, did God's voice literally walk in the Garden of Eden? (Gen 3:8)  Do rivers clap their hands (Psalm 98:8) and trees do likewise (Isaiah 55:12)?

True, there is usually more than just looking at a singular verse or word for support.

The big picture, Jehovah's view and purpose of things must govern understanding.  And that takes time, humility and a willingness to let God be found true.

Let us look now at all the places in the King James Version New Testament where epi  is translated over.  If nothing else, it will be educational.

But first, a quick look at a comparison table that shows the way epi   is used by various translators in selected verses of Revelation with a similar sentence structure/Syntax:































Strong's Dictionary Definition (numbers) and KJV usage

1909 epi {ep-ee'}

a root;; prep

AV - on 196, in 120, upon 159, unto 41, to 41, misc 338; 895

1) upon, on, at, by, before

2) of position, on, at, by, over, against

3) to, over, on, at, across, against



Complete verses of all instances in the King James Version where epi  is translated over :

(except for final verse Rev 5:10, where on is used)


Mt   24:45 Who <5101> then <686> is a faithful <4103> and wise <5429> servant <1401>, whom <3739> his lord <2962> hath made <2525> ruler <2525> over <1909> his household <2322>, to give <1325> them meat <5160> in due season <2540>?


Mt   24:47 Verily <281> I say <3004> unto you, That he shall make <2525> him ruler <2525> over <1909> all <3956> his goods <5224>.


Mt   25:21 His lord <2962> said <5346> unto him, Well <2095> done, [thou] good <18> and faithful <4103> servant <1401>: thou hast been <2258> faithful <4103> over <1909> a few <3641> things, I will make <2525> thee ruler <2525> over <1909> many <4183> things: enter <1525> thou into <1519> the joy <5479> of thy lord <2962>.


Mt   25:23 His lord <2962> said <5346> unto him, Well <2095> done, good <18> and faithful <4103> servant <1401>; thou hast been <2258> faithful <4103> over <1909> a few <3641> things, I will make <2525> thee ruler <2525> over <1909> many <4183> things: enter <1525> thou into <1519> the joy <5479> of thy lord <2962>.


Mt   27:45 Now <1161> from the sixth <1623> hour <5610> there was darkness <4655> over <1909> all <3956> the land <1093> unto the ninth <1766> hour <5610>.


Mr   15:33 And when the sixth <1623> hour <5610> was come <1096>, there was darkness <4655> over <1909> the whole <3650> land <1093> until <2193> the ninth <1766> hour <5610>.


Lu   1:33 And he shall reign <936> over <1909> the house <3624> of Jacob <2384> for ever <165>; and of his kingdom <932> there shall be no <3756> end <5056>.


Lu   2:8 And there were in the same <846> country <5561> shepherds <4166> abiding <63> in the field <63>, keeping <5442> watch <5438> over <1909> their flock <4167> by night <3571>.


Lu   9:1 Then <1161> he called <4779> his twelve <1427> disciples <3101> together <4779>, and gave <1325> them power <1411> and authority <1849> over <1909> all <3956> devils <1140>, and to cure <2323> diseases <3554>.


Lu   10:19 Behold <2400>, I give <1325> unto you power <1849> to tread <3961> on <1883> serpents <3789> and scorpions <4651>, and over <1909> all <3956> the power <1411> of the enemy <2190>: and nothing <3762> shall by any <3364> means <3364> hurt <91> you.


Lu   12:14 And he said <2036> unto him, Man <444>, who <5101> made <2525> me a judge <1348> or <2228> a divider <3312> over <1909> you?


Lu   12:42 And the Lord <2962> said <2036>, Who <5101> then <686> is that faithful <4103> and wise <5429> steward <3623>, whom <3739> [his] lord <2962> shall make <2525> ruler <2525> over <1909> his household <2322>, to give <1325> [them their] portion <4620> of meat <4620> in due season <2540>?


Lu   12:44 Of a truth <230> I say <3004> unto you, that he will make <2525> him ruler <2525> over <1909> all <3956> that he hath <5224>.


Lu   15:7 I say <3004> unto you, that likewise <3779> joy <5479> shall be in heaven <3772> over <1909> one <1520> sinner <268> that repenteth <3340>, more than <2228> over <1909> ninety <1768> and nine <1768> just <1342> persons, which <3748> need <5532> no <3756> repentance <3341>.


Lu   15:10 Likewise <3779>, I say <3004> unto you, there is joy <5479> in the presence <1799> of the angels <32> of God <2316> over <1909> one <1520> sinner <268> that repenteth <3340>.


Lu   19:14 But his citizens <4177> hated <3404> him, and sent <649> a message <4242> after <3694> him, saying <3004>, We will <2309> not have this <5126> [man] to reign <936> over <1909> us.


Lu   19:27 But <4133> those <1565> mine <3450> enemies <2190>, which <3588> would <2309> not that I should reign <936> over <1909> them, bring <71> hither <5602>, and slay <2695> [them] before <1715> me.


Lu   19:41 And when <5613> he was come <1448> near <1448>, he beheld <1492> the city <4172>, and wept <2799> over <1909> it,


Lu   23:38 And a superscription <1923> also <2532> was written <1125> over <1909> him in letters <1121> of Greek <1673>, and Latin <4513>, and Hebrew <1444>, THIS <3778> IS THE KING <935> OF THE JEWS <2453>.


Lu   23:44 And it was about <5616> the sixth <1623> hour <5610>, and there was a darkness <4655> over <1909> all <3650> the earth <1093> until <2193> the ninth <1766> hour <5610>.


Ac   6:3 Wherefore <3767>, brethren <80>, look <1980> ye out among <1537> you seven <2033> men <435> of honest report <3140>, full <4134> of the Holy <40> Ghost <4151> and wisdom <4678>, whom <3739> we may appoint <2525> over <1909> this <5026> business <5532>.


Ac   7:10 And delivered <1807> him out of all <3956> his afflictions <2347>, and gave <1325> him favour <5485> and wisdom <4678> in the sight <1726> of Pharaoh <5328> king <935> of Egypt <125>; and he made <2525> him governor <2233> over <1909> Egypt <125> and all <3650> his house <3624>.


Ac   7:11 Now <1161> there came <2064> a dearth <3042> over <1909> all <3650> the land <1093> of Egypt <125> and Chanaan <5477>, and great <3173> affliction <2347>: and our fathers <3962> found <2147> no <3756> sustenance <5527>.


Ac   7:27 But he that did <91> his neighbour <4139> wrong <91> thrust <683> him away <683>, saying <2036>, Who <5101> made <2525> thee a ruler <758> and a judge <1348> over <1909> us?


Ac   8:2 And devout <2126> men <435> carried <4792> Stephen <4736> [to his burial], and made <4160> great <3173> lamentation <2870> over <1909> him.


Ac   19:13 Then <1161> certain <5100> of the vagabond <4022> Jews <2453>, exorcists <1845>, took <2021> upon them to call <3687> over <1909> them which had <2192> evil <4190> spirits <4151> the name <3686> of the Lord <2962> Jesus <2424>, saying <3004>, We adjure <3726> you by Jesus <2424> whom <3739> Paul <3972> preacheth <2784>.


Ro   5:14 Nevertheless <235> death <2288> reigned <936> from Adam <76> to <3360> Moses <3475>, even <2532> over <1909> them that had not sinned <264> after <1909> the similitude <3667> of Adam's <76> transgression <3847>, who <3739> is the figure <5179> of him that was to come <3195>.


Ro   9:5 Whose <3739> [are] the fathers <3962>, and of whom <3739> as concerning <2596> the flesh <4561> Christ <5547> [came], who <3588> is over <1909> all <3956>, God <2316> blessed <2128> for ever <165>. Amen <281>.


2Co  3:13 And not as <2509> Moses <3475>, [which] put <5087> a vail <2571> over <1909> his face <4383>, that the children <5207> of Israel <2474> could not stedfastly <816> look <816> to the end <5056> of that which is abolished <2673>:


1Th  3:7 Therefore <5124>, brethren <80>, we were comforted <3870> over <1909> you in all <3956> our affliction <2347> and distress <318> by your <5216> faith <4102>:


Heb  2:7 Thou madest <1642> him a little <1024> lower <1642> than <3844> the angels <32>; thou crownedst <4737> him with glory <1391> and honour <5092>, and didst set <2525> him over <1909> the works <2041> of thy hands <5495>:


Heb  3:6 But Christ <5547> as a son <5207> over <1909> his own <848> house <3624>; whose <3739> house <3624> are we, if <1437> we hold <2722> fast <2722> the confidence <3954> and the rejoicing <2745> of the hope <1680> firm <949> unto <3360> the end <5056>.


Heb  10:21 And [having] an high <3173> priest <2409> over <1909> the house <3624> of God <2316>;


Jas  5:14 Is any <5100> sick <770> among <1722> you? let him call <4341> for the elders <4245> of the church <1577>; and let them pray <4336> over <1909> him, anointing <218> him with oil <1637> in the name <3686> of the Lord <2962>:


1Pe  3:12 For the eyes <3788> of the Lord <2962> [are] over <1909> the righteous <1342>, and his ears <3775> [are open] unto their prayers <1162>: but the face <4383> of the Lord <2962> [is] against <1909> them that do <4160> evil <2556>.


Re   2:26 And he that overcometh <3528>, and keepeth <5083> my works <2041> unto the end <5056>, to him will I give <1325> power <1849> over <1909> the nations <1484>:


Re   6:8 And I looked <1492>, and behold <2400> a pale <5515> horse <2462>: and his name <3686> that sat <2521> on <1883> him was Death <2288>, and Hell <86> followed <190> with him. And power <1849> was given <1325> unto them over <1909> the fourth <5067> part of the earth <1093>, to kill <615> with sword <4501>, and with hunger <3042>, and with death <2288>, and with the beasts <2342> of the earth <1093>.


Re   9:11 And they had <2192> a king <935> over <1909> them, [which is] the angel <32> of the bottomless <12> pit, whose <846> name <3686> in the Hebrew <1447> tongue <1447> [is] Abaddon <3>, but in the Greek <1673> tongue hath <2192> [his] name <3686> Apollyon <623>.


Re   11:6 These <3778> have <2192> power <1849> to shut <2808> heaven <3772>, that it rain <1026> <5205> not in the days <2250> of their prophecy <4394>: and have <2192> power <1849> over <1909> waters <5204> to turn <4762> them to blood <129>, and to smite <3960> the earth <1093> with all <3956> plagues <4127>, as often <3740> as they will <2309>.


Re   11:10 And they that dwell <2730> upon the earth <1093> shall rejoice <5463> over <1909> them, and make <2165> merry <2165>, and shall send <3992> gifts <1435> one <240> to another <240>; because <3754> these <3778> two <1417> prophets <4396> tormented <928> them that dwelt <2730> on <1909> the earth <1093>.


Re   13:7 And it was given <1325> unto him to make <4160> war <4171> with the saints <40>, and to overcome <3528> them: and power <1849> was given <1325> him over <1909> all <3956> kindreds <5443>, and tongues <1100>, and nations <1484>.


Re   14:18 And another <243> angel <32> came <1831> out from the altar <2379>, which had <2192> power <1849> over <1909> fire <4442>; and cried <5455> with a loud <3173> cry <2906> to him that had <2192> the sharp <3691> sickle <1407>, saying <3004>, Thrust <3992> in thy sharp <3691> sickle <1407>, and gather <5166> the clusters <1009> of the vine of the earth <1093>; for her grapes <4718> are fully ripe <187>.


Re   16:9 And men <444> were scorched <2739> with great <3173> heat <2738>, and blasphemed <987> the name <3686> of God <2316>, which <3588> hath <2192> power <1849> over <1909> these <5025> plagues <4127>: and they repented <3340> not to give <1325> him glory <1391>.


Re   17:18 And the woman <1135> which <3739> thou sawest <1492> is that great <3173> city <4172>, which <3588> reigneth <932> over <1909> the kings <935> of the earth <1093>.


Re   18:11 And the merchants <1713> of the earth <1093> shall weep <2799> and mourn <3996> over <1909> her; for no <3762> man <3762> buyeth <59> their merchandise <1117> any <3765> more <3765>:


Re   18:20 Rejoice <2165> over <1909> her, [thou] heaven <3772>, and [ye] holy <40> apostles and prophets <4396>; for God <2316> hath avenged <2917> you on <1537> her.


Re   5:10 And hast made <4160> us unto our God <2316> kings <935> and priests <2409>: and we shall reign <936> on <1909> the earth <1093>.



So why use on in Revelation 5:10?  May not necessarily be deliberate to deceive, but . . . ?


Perhaps just due to misunderstood doctrine . . . ?



End of this earthy essay




Bible Version

Rev. 5:10

Rev. 9:11

Rev. 11:6

Comments

New World Translation

over

over

over


New International Version

on

over

xxx

xxx =  longer phrase

New English Bible

upon

for

xxx

xxx =  longer phrase

New American Standard Version

upon

over

over

x reference Rev 3:21 (throne?)

New King James Version

on

over

over


Revised Standard Version (Catholic)

on

over

over


American Standard Version

upon

over

over


Douay Version (Catholic ex-Vulgate)

on

over 10&11

over


King James Version (Authorised Version)

on

over

over


Jerusalem Bible  (Catholic)

rule the world

xxx

xxx

xxx = longer phrase

Message Bible (by Eugene Peterson)

over

over

xxx

xxx = longer phrase

Williams New Testament 1936

over

over

over


Darby  1884

over

over

over


Weymouth New Testament 1912

over

over

over


Green's Hebrew/Greek Interlinear

over

over

over


Interesting how Strong failed to list over as one of the uses of epi, in the Authorised Version but keeps it anonymously under miscellaneous.


One wonders why he did.