Revelation 16:17 Then the seventh poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done! ”--that is, "γέγονεν."

What catches my eye here is the use of the perfect of γίνομαι, "to happen" or "to become", when I would rather have expected, τετέλεσται, which Jesus used on the cross in John 19:30 to indicate, "It is finished!"

γίνομαι stresses occurrence and is more often used for "beginning", as in Γένεσις, while τελέω speaks of completeness, a perfect end.

So why would H.S. lead John to pick the former in Rev 16:17 for "it is done"?

  • Are you saying that 16:17 could be translated "It's begun"? Or that "done" refers to the 7th bowl plus all the other bowls and trumpets before it? thanks
    – Walter S
    Apr 16, 2020 at 0:17
  • I'm not campaigning to re-translate the verse, nor to rewrite the Greek, nor to come up with a new interpretation. I'm just perplexed at the word choice. It seems an odd choice to me. Apr 16, 2020 at 1:06
  • H.S = Holy Spirit
    – Perry Webb
    Apr 16, 2020 at 8:56
  • @NigelJ It's a common enough abbreviation... And while initialisms weren't used in Scripture (though they were used of it later: Tanakh), it does abbreviate Yahweh to Yah :) Apr 16, 2020 at 12:48

4 Answers 4


I agree that the last word of Rev 16:17, Γέγονεν (Gegonen) might be much better translated, "It has happened!" or similar (rather than "It is finished/done".) That is, I object to "It is finished" for the following reasons:

  • There is much more that happens under the seventh bowl-plague.
  • There is nothing finished or complete at the beginning of the seventh bowl-plague as far as Babylon is concerned

Rather, V17 appears to be a comment about what has just "happened" in V16, the assembly of "the kings [of the earth V14] in the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon." This is probably due, in God's providence" to the natural outworking of evil to ultimately destroy itself. Note that the battle of Armageddon is not described here but is described in subsequent chapters.

I note particularly, that the "kings of the earth" will turn on the great prostitute, Babylon to destroy her (Rev 17:16, 17).

While God's complete foreknowledge means he knows/knew this, it is still a declaration when the alliance that creates Babylon splits into three parts (Rev 16:19). The preparation for the battle of Armageddon is the key event that sets this in motion. That is, the three beasts (Rev 16:13) assembling the kings of the earth is an act of defiance that is against their own interests, and that results in the destruction of Babylon.

Understood this, God simply declares something equivalent to: "They have actually been and gone and done it - they are crazy - they will destroy themselves." Or, more succinctly, "It has happened!"


First, questioning the Spirit is a slippery slope. Only the Spirit knows God's mind, but I suspect that only God knows the Spirit's.

Danker's Concise says, "the central mng. ‘tranfer from one state or condition to another’] this multivalent verb depends heavily on context for its signification" In simpler terms, "ginomai" can mean various things, depending on how the author used it.

In this case, I think one could translate, "It has come to pass!" although that sounds a bit awkward in contemporary English. The sequences of seals, trumpets, and bowls is complete, but the ongoing consequences are not. This captures the idea of the perfect tense.

However, translation from Greek to English always involves some dynamic equivalence, and "It is done!" captures the sense well enough.

  • 1
    I don't think Bob is questioning the Spirit as much as questioning his understanding of what the Spirit is saying.
    – Perry Webb
    Apr 16, 2020 at 9:01
  • I agree. But I try to answer questions directly, as stated.
    – Steve11235
    Apr 16, 2020 at 12:58
  • @PerryWebb Indeed, and moreover, I think he just wants to ascribe the choice of wording to the Spirit rather than to John. Apr 16, 2020 at 15:02

The Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Is it because one is spiritual whereas the other's merely physical?

  • I didn't post it as a riddle, but rather because I don't know the answer myself. The word is plain enough, it seems an odd usage to me. Apr 16, 2020 at 1:13
  • oh ok, I think I get it. It is done because it's the final bowl-pouring. The final bowl of the final trumpet of the final seal. It's from God's side. The bowl's been poured. There's no more judgment, in that way, to do. And the 'weaker' Greek verb is used because it's a (much) lesser happening than Jesus' death on the cross
    – Walter S
    Apr 16, 2020 at 6:11

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; Revelations 1:4

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.