Revelation 10:11 gets translated two different ways. The predominant translation is that John is commanded to prophecy about other nations, but a few translations have John commanded to prophecy to other nations. I have two questions. 1) Are both translations technically correct? 2)Do the rules of Grammar prefer one translation over the other?

Context. - 8Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

Here is a link to the Greek used in this verse.

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    I do not know what you mean by 'predominant' translation. KJV has 'before' many nations. YLT has 'about'. Tyndale has 'among'. EGNT has 'as to'. The preposition is επι. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 9, 2022 at 17:11
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    I don't mean the strict usage of about, but whether the prophecy is to be given to a people group or is simply about a people group.
    – acc abb
    Jun 9, 2022 at 18:10
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    Daniel B Wallace (Beyond the Basics p 376) lists 'upon' as one of the common meanings of epi (whether genitive, dative or accusative) in a spatial context. And a prophecy 'upon' a nation would mean a burden laid upon it and, thus, a consequence 'upon' it as a result, perhaps, of the behaviour of it.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 9, 2022 at 18:26
  • Check this out to further your understanding. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/27004/… I have up-voted your question.
    – Bagpipes
    Jun 9, 2022 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


The operative word here is the preposition ἐπὶ (epi) which can assume a variety of meanings such as (BDAG):

  1. marker of location, answering the question, Where?
  2. marker of presence of occurrence near an object or area
  3. marker of involvement in an official proceeding
  4. marker of movement to or contact with a goal
  5. marker of manner
  6. marker of basis for state of being, action, or result
  7. marker of addition to what is already in existence
  8. marker of perspective, in consideration of, in regard to, on the basis of, etc
  9. marker of power, authority, control over someone or something
  10. marker of legal proceedings, before
  11. marker or purpose, goal, result
  12. marker of hostile opposition, against
  13. marker of number or measure 14, marker indicating the one whom, for whom, or about whom something is done
  14. marker of feelings directed towards someone, in, on, toward
  15. marker of object or purpose
  16. marker in idiom of authorization
  17. marker of temporal associations, in the time of, at on for

Thus, in Rev 10:11, epi could be translated "concerning", "about", "before", etc. I suggest that it probably means all of these things.

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