Revelation 1:7 uses the pronoun "ὅστις" :

[Revelation 1:7, KJV] "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." ( 1:7 Ἰδού, ἔρχεται μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν καὶ ὄψεται αὐτὸν πᾶς ὀφθαλμὸς καὶ οἵτινες αὐτὸν ἐξεκέντησαν καὶ κόψονται ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς ναί ἀμήν )


Although the KJV interprets "ὅστις" as "they" in Revelation 1:7, the KJV version of John 19:34 states only "one of the soldiers" (εἷς τῶν στρατιωτῶν) pierced Ἰησοῦς:

[John 19:34, KJV] "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." ( 19:34 ἀλλ᾽ εἷς τῶν στρατιωτῶν λόγχῃ αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευρὰν ἔνυξεν καὶ εὐθὺς ἐξῆλθεν αἷμα καὶ ὕδωρ )


Was "ὅστις" in Revelation 1:7 meant to be singular, since John 19:34 says only one of the soldiers pierced Ἰησοῦς?

  • 1
    They pierced my hands and my feet Psalm 22:16.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 2, 2021 at 20:21
  • the actual word is plural οἵτινες, whosoever (all those who), not ostic singular which is the Lemma. Why didnt you open the link of the word to see its forms and occurrences? One man did not kill Jesus, but whole unbelieving Israel or unbelieving general people blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g3748/kjv/tr/0-1
    – Michael16
    Aug 11, 2021 at 13:13

3 Answers 3


Revelation 1:7

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him"; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.

Why the plural "those"?

John 19:34 mentions only one soldier literally:

Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

However, there were others who metaphorically pierced Jesus, Mark 14:

63b Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

62“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”


Soldiers do not act alone or without authority. This situation was explicitly stated in Matt 8:9 -

For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell one to go, and he goes; and another to come, and he comes. I tell my servant to do something, and he does it.”

Recall that in following the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, a few hours later, we have this sequence of events:

  • Mark 15:44 - Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead, so he summoned the centurion to ask if this was so.
  • John 19:31 - Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.
  • John 19:33, 34 - But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.

Note that the piercing of Jesus' side was to both confirm His death and/or finish Him off if there was any life still remaining. This was all under the authority of Pilate and the commanding officer in charge, the centurion on duty that day. Further Pilate, as is well documented, did not want to execute Jesus but was talked into it by the mob stirred up by the Jewish leaders whom Peter correctly accused of crucifying Jesus (Acts 2:23, 36, 4:10).

Thus, a number of people were culpable of contributing to the death of Jesus. Indeed, in a spiritual sense, it might be said that all sinners were the ultimate cause of Jesus' crucifixion, but that is a theological point that is not germane here.


The answer here is so simple it's profound. Revelation specifically is addressing eyes. (Even one soldier has two eyes.)

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)

The "they" would probably become "those" in contemporary English.

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