13:1 And I stood (estathen) upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea (Rev 13:1) KJV
Deleting “n” in estathen changes the meaning from “I [John] stood” to “he [the Dragon] stood”:
12:18 He stood (estathe) on the sand of the sea.
13:1 And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. (Rev. 12:18-13:1) CSB
I reject the eclectic texts used by the modern versions. This verse illustrates why the “Received Text” (the result of Divine Providence) is superior to the often contradictory creations of modern scholarship.
It is more likely copyists drop the “n” than add it, is it not?
“I stood upon the sand of the sea” is preferable as it alludes to Daniel’s vision (Dan. 7:2-3) the “interpretive key” required to understand much of the symbolism in this chapter (Dan. 7:1-28). Moreover, it would not conflict with Revelation 12:17 which says the Dragon ” went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Why? John must be on the beach to see what is happening on the sea, he can’t still be in heaven (Rev. 10:1; Dan. 7:2-3), but if the Dragon is there also, what became of his “war on the remnant of her seed”? John certainly has the testimony of Jesus Christ. Therefore, not only would the Dragon’s presence contradict the context, but a spectator who does nothing lacks meaningful symbolic content. We already know the demon possessed Beast is a creature inspired by or under the control of Satan (Rev. 12:3; 1 John 5:19; 2 Cor. 4:4).
De Wette agrees:
And I (due to a change in the apocalyptic point of view, cf. Rev. 10:1. and in accordance with Dan. 8:2; 10:4. – from heaven he cannot see it) stepped (came to stand in of ecstasy) on the sand (on the shore) of the sea. After the other. LA. if the dragon had stepped to the seashore. Not possible! He just went there to start the war with the Christians. Incidentally, his standing on the seashore would be just as unrelated to the result. – he does nothing when the animal rises – then without a purpose.
See Rev. 13:2 He did not need to step here to give animals his power (Hofm.), All the less since the animal rises out of his realm. -De Wette, W. M. L. (1854). Brief explanation of the Revelation of John. (W. M. L. de Wette, Ed.) (Second edition, Vol. 3, pp. 124-125). Leipzig: S. Hirzel.
However, Lange argues against De Wette:
‘According to De Wette and many others, the reading ἐστάθη is exegetically impossible. In reality, however, the reading of the Recepta, ἐστάθην, for which there is less authority, is far less possible. See above. Since a demonic operation upon the sea of nations is in question, Satan takes his station upon the sandy shore, a place where the earth is flat and the sea shallow. A contemporaneous appearance of the Dragon, on the sand, and the Beast, above the waves of the ocean, is not declared; the Dragon vanishes as the Beast inspired by him makes his appearance.”-Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moore, E., Craven, E. R., & Woods, J. H. (2008). A Commentary On The Holy Scriptures: Revelation (p. 265). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Lange interprets “sea” as “sea of nations”, but De Wette “the realm of the Devil”: (Isa. 27:1; Dan. 7:2-3; Rev. 20:13; 21:1). The allusion to Daniel 7:2-3 supports De Wette. Demon spirits possess the Beast; hence they rise from the demonic realm. The demonic operation is on the animal not the sea. Hence the flatness of the beach or shallowness of the water are irrelevant and immaterial.
At this juncture a critical thinker would ponder “if the Alexandrian manuscripts are superior to the Byzantine the church has used since the days of the apostles, why do they often give readings that are exegetically impossible? Perhaps speculation they are superior is unsound.
It is written:
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matt. 5:18 KJV)
As “jots and tittles” have no meaning to be fulfilled, they are metaphorical for “the least bit of meaning or revelation”, nothing of material import will pass without fulfillment, which is yet future. Spelling changes, word order, even the use of synonyms would not change meaning therefore I see the vast majority of the Byzantine family of manuscripts as the same text, unlike the contradictory versions scholars have pieced together which also lose entire verses. Talk about lost meaning.
Footnote 2 Cf. also Vitr., Beng., Züll., Ewald, Bleek, Hengstenb., and Auberlen, all of whom expressly speak in favor of the Rec.-Düsterdieck, F. (1887). Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Revelation of John. (H. E. Jacobs, Trans.). New York: Funk & Wagnalls.