Re 11:1-19. Measurement of
the Temple. The Two Witnesses'
Testimony: Their Death, Resurrection, and Ascension: The Earthquake: The Third
Woe: The Seventh Trumpet Ushers in
Christ's Kingdom. Thanksgiving of the
This eleventh chapter is a compendious summary of,
and introduction to, the more detailed prophecies of the same events to
come in the twelfth through twentieth chapters. Hence we find
anticipatory allusions to the subsequent prophecies; compare
Re 11:7, "the beast that ascendeth out of
the bottomless pit" (not mentioned before), with the detailed accounts,
13:1, 11; 17:8; also Re 11:8, "the great city," with Re
14:8; 17:1, 5; 18:10.
1. and the angel stood—omitted in A,
Vulgate, and Coptic. Supported by B and Syriac. If
it be omitted, the "reed" will, in construction, agree with "saying."
So Wordsworth takes it. The reed,
the canon of Scripture, the measuring reed of the Church, our rule of
faith, speaks. So in Re 16:7
the altar is personified as speaking (compare
Note, see on Re 16:7). The Spirit speaks
in the canon of Scripture (the word canon is derived from
Hebrew, "kaneh," "a reed," the word here used; and John
it was who completed the canon). So Victorinus, Aquinas,
and Vitringa. "Like a rod," namely,
straight: like a rod of iron (Re 2:27), unbending, destroying all error, and
that "cannot be broken." Re 2:27; Heb 1:8, Greek, "a rod of straightness,"
English Version, "a scepter of righteousness"; this is added to
guard against it being thought that the reed was one "shaken by
the wind" In the abrupt style of the Apocalypse, "saying" is possibly
indefinite, put for "one said." Still Wordsworth's view agrees best with Greek. So
the ancient commentator, Andreas of
Cæsarea, in the end of the fifth century (compare
Notes, see on Re 11:3, 4).
the temple—Greek, "naon"
(as distinguished from the Greek, "hieron," or temple in
general), the Holy Place, "the sanctuary."
the altar—of incense; for it alone was
in "the sanctuary." (Greek, "naos"). The measurement of
the Holy place seems to me to stand parallel to the sealing of the
elect of Israel under the sixth seal. God's elect are symbolized by the
sanctuary at Jerusalem (1Co 3:16, 17, where the same Greek word,
"naos," occurs for "temple," as here). Literal Israel in
Jerusalem, and with the temple restored (Eze 40:3, 5, where also the temple is measured with
the measuring reed, the forty-first, forty-second, forty-third, and
forty-fourth chapters), shall stand at the head of the elect Church.
The measuring implies at once the exactness of the proportions of the
temple to be restored, and the definite completeness (not one being
wanting) of the numbers of the Israelite and of the Gentile elections.
The literal temple at Jerusalem shall be the typical forerunner of the
heavenly Jerusalem, in which there shall be all temple, and no
portion exclusively set apart as temple. John's accurately
drawing the distinction in subsequent chapters between God's servants
and those who bear the mark of the beast, is the way whereby he fulfils
the direction here given him to measure the temple. The fact
that the temple is distinguished from them that worship
therein, favors the view that the spiritual temple, the Jewish and
Christian Church, is not exclusively meant, but that the literal temple
must also be meant. It shall be rebuilt on the return of the Jews to
their land. Antichrist shall there put forward his blasphemous claims.
The sealed elect of Israel, the head of the elect Church, alone shall
refuse his claims. These shall constitute the true sanctuary which is
here measured, that is, accurately marked and kept by God, whereas the
rest shall yield to his pretensions. Wordsworth objects that, in the twenty-five passages
of the Acts, wherein the Jewish temple is mentioned, it is called
hieron, not naos, and so in the apostolic Epistles; but
this is simply because no occasion for mentioning the literal Holy
Place (Greek, "naos") occurs in Acts and the
Epistles; indeed, in Ac 7:48,
though not directly, there does occur the term, naos, indirectly
referring to the Jerusalem temple Holy Place. In addressing
Gentile Christians, to whom the literal Jerusalem temple was not
familiar, it was to be expected the term, naos, should not be
found in the literal, but in the spiritual sense. In Re 11:19 naos is used in a local
sense; compare also Re 14:15, 17; 15:5, 8.
2. But—Greek, "And."
the court … without—all outside
the Holy Place (Re 11:1).
leave out—of thy measurement,
literally, "cast out"; reckon as unhallowed.
it—emphatic. It is not to be
measured; whereas the Holy Place is.
given—by God's appointment.
unto the Gentiles—In the wider sense,
there are meant here "the times of the Gentiles," wherein Jerusalem is
"trodden down of the Gentiles," as the parallel, Lu 21:24, proves; for the same word is used here
[Greek, "patein"], "tread under foot." Compare also Ps 79:1;
forty … two months—(Re 13:5). The same period as Daniel's "time,
times, and half" (Re 12:14);
and Re 11:3, and Re 12:6, the woman a fugitive in the wilderness
"a thousand two hundred and threescore days." In the wider sense, we
may either adopt the year-day theory of 1260 years (on which, and the
papal rule of 1260 years, see on Da 7:25; Da 8:14; Da 12:11), or
rather, regard the 2300 days (Da 8:14), 1335 days (Da 12:11, 12). 1290 days, and 1260 days, as
symbolical of the long period of the Gentile times, whether dating from
the subversion of the Jewish theocracy at the Babylonian captivity (the
kingdom having been never since restored to Israel), or from the
last destruction of Jerusalem under Titus, and extending to the
restoration of the theocracy at the coming of Him "whose right it is";
the different epochs marked by the 2300, 1335, 1290, and 1260 days,
will not be fully cleared up till the grand consummation; but,
meanwhile, our duty and privilege urge us to investigate them. Some one
of the epochs assigned by many may be right but as yet it is uncertain.
The times of the Gentile monarchies during Israel's seven times
punishment, will probably, in the narrower sense (Re 11:2), be succeeded by the much more
restricted times of the personal Antichrist's tyranny in the Holy Land.
The long years of papal misrule may be followed by the short time of
the man of sin who shall concentrate in himself all the apostasy,
persecution, and evil of the various forerunning Antichrists,
Antiochus, Mohammed, Popery, just before Christ's advent. His time
shall be THE RECAPITULATION and open
consummation of the "mystery of iniquity" so long leavening the world.
Witnessing churches may be followed by witnessing individuals, the
former occupying the longer, the latter, the shorter period. The
three and a half (1260 days being three and a half years of
three hundred sixty days each, during which the two witnesses prophesy
in sackcloth) is the sacred number seven halved, implying the
Antichristian world-power's time is broken at best; it answers to the
three and a half years' period in which Christ witnessed for the
truth, and the Jews, His own people, disowned Him, and the God-opposed
world power crucified Him (compare Note, see on Da 9:27). The three and a half, in a word, marks the time
in which the earthly rules over the heavenly kingdom. It was the
duration of Antiochus' treading down of the temple and persecution of
faithful Israelites. The resurrection of the witnesses after three and
a half days, answers to Christ's resurrection after three days. The
world power's times never reach the sacred fulness of seven times three
hundred sixty, that is, 2520, though they approach to it in 2300 (Da 8:14). The forty-two months answer to
Israel's forty-two sojournings (Nu 33:1-50) in the wilderness, as contrasted with
the sabbatic rest in Canaan: reminding the Church that here, in the
world wilderness, she cannot look for her sabbatic rest. Also, three
and a half years was the period of the heaven being shut up, and of
consequent famine, in Elias' time. Thus, three and a half represented
to the Church the idea of toil, pilgrimage, and persecution.
3. I will give power—There is no
"power" in the Greek, so that "give" must mean "give
commission," or some such word.
my two witnesses—Greek,
"the two witnesses of me." The article implies that the two were
well known at least to John.
prophesy—preach under the inspiration
of the Spirit, denouncing judgments against the apostate. They are
described by symbol as "the two olive trees" and "the two
candlesticks," or lamp-stands, "standing before the God of the
earth." The reference is to Zec 4:3, 12, where two individuals are meant,
Joshua and Zerubbabel, who ministered to the Jewish Church, just as the
two olive trees emptied the oil out of themselves into the bowl of the
candlestick. So in the final apostasy God will raise up two inspired
witnesses to minister encouragement to the afflicted, though sealed,
remnant. As two candlesticks are mentioned in Re 11:4, but only one in Zec 4:2, I think the twofold Church, Jewish and
Gentile, may be meant by the two candlesticks represented by the two
witnesses: just as in Re 7:1-8
there are described first the sealed of Israel, then those of all
nations. But see on Re 11:4. The actions of the
two witnesses are just those of Moses when witnessing for God against
Pharaoh (the type of Antichrist, the last and greatest foe of Israel),
turning the waters into blood, and smiting with
plagues; and of Elijah (the witness for God in an almost
universal apostasy of Israel, a remnant of seven thousand, however,
being left, as the 144,000 sealed, Re 7:1-8) causing fire by his word to
devour the enemy, and shutting heaven, so that it rained not
for three years and six months, the very time (1260 days) during
which the two witnesses prophesy. Moreover, the words "witness" and
"prophesy" are usually applied to individuals, not to
abstractions (compare Ps 52:8).
De Burgh thinks Elijah and Moses will
again appear, as Mal 4:5, 6
seems to imply (compare Mt 17:11; Ac 3:21). Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ
at the Transfiguration, which foreshadowed His coming millennial
kingdom. As to Moses, compare De 34:5, 6; Jude 9. Elias' genius and mode of procedure
bears the same relation to the "second" coming of Christ, that John the
Baptist's did to the first coming [Bengel]. Many of the early Church thought the two
witnesses to be Enoch and Elijah. This would avoid the difficulty of
the dying a second time, for these have never yet died; but,
perhaps, shall be the witnesses slain. Still, the turning the water
to blood, and the plagues (Re 11:6), apply best to "Moses (compare
Re 15:3, the song of Moses"). The
transfiguration glory of Moses and Elias was not their permanent
resurrection-state, which shall not be till Christ shall come to
glorify His saints, for He has precedence before all in rising. An
objection to this interpretation is that those blessed departed
servants of God would have to submit to death (Re 11:7, 8), and this in Moses' case a
second time, which Heb 9:27
denies. See on Zec 4:11, 12, on the two
witnesses as answering to "the two olive trees." The two olive trees
are channels of the oil feeding the Church, and symbols of peace. The
Holy Spirit is the oil in them. Christ's witnesses, in remarkable times
of the Church's history, have generally appeared in pairs: as Moses and
Aaron, the inspired civil and religious authorities; Caleb and Joshua;
Ezekiel the priest and Daniel the prophet; Zerubbabel and Joshua.
in sackcloth—the garment of prophets,
especially when calling people to mortification of their sins, and to
repentance. Their very exterior aspect accorded with their teachings:
so Elijah, and John who came in His spirit and power. The
sackcloth of the witnesses is a catch word linking this episode
under the sixth trumpet, with the sun black as sackcloth (in
righteous retribution on the apostates who rejected God's witnesses)
under the sixth seal (Re 6:12).
4. standing before the God of the
earth—A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas read "Lord" for "God": so Zec 4:14. Ministering to (Lu 1:19), and as in the sight of Him, who,
though now so widely disowned on "earth," is its rightful King, and
shall at last be openly recognized as such (Re 11:15). The phrase alludes to Zec 4:10, 14, "the two anointed ones that stand
by the Lord of the whole earth." The article "the" marks this allusion.
They are "the two candlesticks," not that they are the Church, the
one candlestick, but as its representative light-bearers
(Greek, "phosteres," Php 2:15), and ministering for its encouragement
in a time of apostasy. Wordsworth's view
is worth consideration, whether it may not constitute a secondary
sense: the two witnesses, the olive trees, are THE TWO Testaments ministering their
testimony to the Church of the old dispensation, as well as to
that of the new, which explains the two witnesses being called also
the two candlesticks (the Old and New Testament churches; the
candlestick in Zec 4:2 is but
one as there was then but one Testament, and one Church, the
Jewish). The Church in both dispensations has no light in herself, but
derives it from the Spirit through the witness of the twofold word, the
two olive trees: compare Note, see on Re
11:1, which is connected with this, the reed, the
Scripture canon, being the measure of the Church: so Primasius [X, p. 314]: the two witnesses
preach in sackcloth, marking the ignominious treatment which the word,
like Christ Himself, receives from the world. So the twenty-four elders
represent the ministers of the two dispensations by the double twelve.
11:7 proves that primarily
the two Testaments cannot be meant; for these shall never be "killed,"
and never "shall have finished their testimony" till the world is
5. will hurt—Greek, "wishes," or
"desires to hurt them."
fire … devoureth—(Compare Jer 5:14;
out of their mouth—not literally, but
God makes their inspired denunciations of judgment to come to pass and
devour their enemies.
if any man will hurt them—twice
repeated, to mark the immediate certainty of the
in this manner—so in like manner as he
tries to hurt them (compare Re 13:10).
Retribution in kind.
6. These … power—Greek,
it rain not—Greek, "huetos
brechee," "rain shower not," literally, "moisten" not (the
smite … with all
plagues—Greek, "with (literally, 'in') every
7. finished their testimony—The same
verb is used of Paul's ending his ministry by a violent death.
the beast that ascended out of the bottomless
pit—Greek, "the wild beast … the abyss." This
beast was not mentioned before, yet he is introduced as "the
beast," because he had already been described by Daniel (Da 7:3, 11), and he is fully so in the subsequent
part of the Apocalypse, namely, Re 13:1; 17:8. Thus, John at once appropriates the Old
Testament prophecies; and also, viewing his whole subject at a glance,
mentions as familiar things (though not yet so to the reader) objects
to be described hereafter by himself. It is a proof of the unity that
pervades all Scripture.
make war against them—alluding to
Da 7:21, where the same is said of the
little horn that sprang up among the ten horns on the fourth
8. dead bodies—So Vulgate,
Syriac, and Andreas. But A, B, C,
the oldest manuscripts, and Coptic read the singular, "dead
body." The two fallen in one cause are considered as one.
the great city—eight times in
the Revelation elsewhere used of BABYLON
(Re 14:8; 16:19; 17:18;
18:10, 16, 18, 19, 21). In
21:10 (English Version
as to the new Jerusalem), the oldest manuscripts omit "the
great" before city, so that it forms no exception. It must,
therefore, have an anticipatory reference to the mystical Babylon.
which—Greek, "the which,"
namely, "the city which."
spiritually—in a spiritual sense.
Sodom—The very term applied by Isa 1:10 to apostate Jerusalem (compare
Egypt—the nation which the Jews'
besetting sin was to lean upon.
where … Lord was crucified—This
identifies the city as Jerusalem, though the Lord was crucified
outside of the city. Eusebius
mentions that the scene of Christ's crucifixion was enclosed within the
city by Constantine; so it will be probably at the time of the slaying
of the witnesses. "The beast [for example, Napoleon and France's
efforts] has been long struggling for a footing in Palestine; after his
ascent from the bottomless pit he struggles much more" [Bengel]. Some one of the Napoleonic dynasty may
obtain that footing, and even be regarded as Messiah by the Jews, in
virtue of his restoring them to their own land; and so may prove to be
the last Antichrist. The difficulty is, how can Jerusalem be called
"the great city," that is, Babylon? By her becoming the world's capital
of idolatrous apostasy, such as Babylon originally was, and then Rome
has been; just as she is here called also "Sodom and Egypt."
also our—A, B, C, Origen, Andreas, and
others read, "also their." Where their Lord, also, as
well as they, was slain. Compare Re 18:24, where the blood of ALL slain on earth is said to be found IN Babylon, just as in Mt 23:35, Jesus saith that, "upon the Jews and
Jerusalem" (Compare Mt 23:37, 38) shall "come ALL the righteous blood shed upon earth"; whence it
follows Jerusalem shall be the last capital of the world apostasy, and
so receive the last and worst visitation of all the judgments ever
inflicted on the apostate world, the earnest of which was given in the
Roman destruction of Jerusalem. In the wider sense, in the
Church-historical period, the Church being the sanctuary, all outside
of it is the world, the great city, wherein all the martyrdoms of
saints have taken place. Babylon marks its idolatry,
Egypt its tyranny, Sodom its desperate corruption,
Jerusalem its pretensions to sanctity on the ground of spiritual
privileges, while all the while it is the murderer of Christ in the
person of His members. All which is true of Rome. So Vitringa. But in the more definite sense,
Jerusalem is regarded, even in Hebrews (Heb 13:12-14), as the world city which
believers were then to go forth from, in order to "seek one to
9. they—rather, "(some) of the
kindreds—Greek, "tribes"; all
save the elect (whence it is not said, The peoples … but
[some] of the peoples … , or, some of the peoples
… may refer to those of the nations …, who at the
time shall hold possession of Palestine and Jerusalem).
shall see—So Vulgate, Syriac,
and Coptic. But A, B, C, and Andreas, the present, "see," or rather
(Greek, "blepousin"), "look upon." The prophetic
dead bodies—So Vulgate, Syriac,
and Andreas. But A, B, C, and
Coptic, singular, as in Re 11:8, "dead body." Three and a half days
answer to the three and a half years (see on Re 11:2,
3), the half of seven, the full and perfect number.
shall not suffer—so B, Syriac,
Coptic, and Andreas. But A, C, and
Vulgate read, "do not suffer."
in graves—so Vulgate and Primasius. But B, C, Syriac, Coptic,
and Andreas, singular; translate,
"into a sepulchre," literally, "a monument." Accordingly, in righteous
retribution in kind, the flesh of the Antichristian hosts is not
buried, but given to all the fowls in mid-heaven to eat (Re 19:17,
10. they that dwell upon …
earth—those who belong to the earth, as its citizens, not to
heaven (Re 3:10; 8:13; 12:12; 13:8).
shall—so Vulgate, Syriac, and
Coptic. But A, B, and C read the present tense; compare
Note, see on Re 11:9, on "shall not
rejoice over them—The Antichristianity
of the last days shall probably be under the name of philosophical
enlightenment and civilization, but really man's deification of
himself. Fanaticism shall lead Antichrist's followers to exult in
having at last seemingly silenced in death their Christian rebukers.
Like her Lord, the Church will have her dark passion week followed by
the bright resurrection morn. It is a curious historical coincidence
that, at the fifth Lateran Council, May 5, 1514, no witness (not even
the Moravians who were summoned) testified for the truth, as Huss and Jerome
did at Constance; an orator ascended the tribunal before the
representatives of papal Christendom, and said, "There is no
reclaimant, no opponent." Luther, on
October 31, 1517, exactly three and a half years afterwards, posted up
his famous theses on the church at Wittenberg. The objection is, the
years are years of three hundred sixty-five, not three hundred sixty,
days, and so two and a half days are deficient; but still the
coincidence is curious; and if this prophecy be allowed other
fulfilments, besides the final and literal one under the last
Antichrist, this may reasonably be regarded as one.
send gifts one to another—as was usual
at a joyous festival.
tormented them—namely, with the
plagues which they had power to inflict (Re 11:5, 6); also, by their testimony against the
11. Translate as Greek, "After
the three days and an half."
the Spirit of life—the same which
breathed life into Israel's dry bones, Eze 37:10, 11 (see on Eze
37:10, 11), "Breath came into them." The passage here, as
there, is closely connected with Israel's restoration as a
nation to political and religious life. Compare also concerning the
6:2, where Ephraim says,
"After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will
raise us up, and we shall live in His sight."
into—so B and Vulgate. But A
reads (Greek, "en autois"), "(so as to be) IN them."
stood upon their feet—the very words
37:10, which proves the
allusion to be to Israel's resurrection, in contrast to "the
times of the Gentiles" wherein these "tread under foot the holy
great fear—such as fell on the
soldiers guarding Christ's tomb at His resurrection (Mt 28:4), when also there was a great earthquake
12. they—so A, C, and Vulgate.
But B, Coptic, Syriac, and Andreas read, "I heard."
a cloud—Greek, "the cloud";
which may be merely the generic expression for what we are familiar
with, as we say "the clouds." But I prefer taking the article as
definitely alluding to THE cloud which
received Jesus at His ascension, Ac 1:9 (where there is no article, as there is
no allusion to a previous cloud, such as there is here). As they
resembled Him in their three and a half years' witnessing, their three
and a half days lying in death (though not for exactly the same time,
nor put in a tomb as He was), so also in their ascension is the
translation and transfiguration of the sealed of Israel (Re 7:1-8), and the elect of all nations, caught
up out of the reach of the Antichristian foe. In Re 14:14-16, He is represented as sitting on a
their enemies beheld them—and were
thus openly convicted by God for their unbelief and persecution of His
servants; unlike Elijah's ascension formerly, in the sight of friends
only. The Church caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and
transfigured in body, is justified by her Lord before the world, even
as the man-child (Jesus) was "caught up unto God and His throne" from
before the dragon standing ready to devour the woman's child as soon
13. "In that same hour"; literally, "the
great earthquake—answering to the
"great earthquake" under the sixth seal, just at the approach of the
6:12). Christ was delivered
unto His enemies on the fifth day of the week, and on the sixth
was crucified, and on the sabbath rested; so it is under the sixth seal
and sixth trumpet that the last suffering of the Church, begun under
the fifth seal and trumpet, is to be consummated, before she enters on
her seventh day of eternal sabbath. Six is the number of the
world power's greatest triumph, but at the same time verges on
seven, the divine number, when its utter destruction takes
place. Compare "666" in Re 13:18,
"the number of the beast."
tenth part of the city fell—that is,
of "the great city" (Re 16:19; Zec 14:2). Ten is the number of the world
kingdoms (Re 17:10-12), and the beast's horns (Re 13:1), and the dragon's (Re 12:3). Thus, in the Church-historical
view, it is hereby implied that one of the ten apostate world kingdoms
fall. But in the narrower view a tenth of Jerusalem under Antichrist
falls. The nine-tenths remain and become when purified the center of
Christ's earthly kingdom.
of men—Greek, "names of men."
The men are as accurately enumerated as if their names were given.
seven thousand—Elliott interprets seven chiliads or
provinces, that is, the seven Dutch United Provinces lost to the
papacy; and "names of men," titles of dignity, duchies, lordships,
&c. Rather, seven thousand combine the two mystical perfect
and comprehensive numbers seven and thousand, implying
the full and complete destruction of the impenitent.
the remnant—consisting of the
Israelite inhabitants not slain. Their conversion forms a blessed
contrast to Re 16:9; and
9:20, 21. These repenting
(Zec 12:10-14; 13:1), become in the flesh the loyal
subjects of Christ reigning over the earth with His transfigured
gave glory to the God of heaven—which
while apostates, and worshipping the beast's image, they had not
God of heaven—The apostates of the
last days, in pretended scientific enlightenment, recognize no
heavenly power, but only the natural forces in the earth which
come under their observation. His receiving up into heaven the
two witnesses who had power during their time on earth to
shut heaven from raining (Re 11:6), constrained His and their enemies who
witnessed it, to acknowledge the God of heaven, to be God of
the earth (Re 11:4). As
11:4 He declared Himself to
be God of the earth by His two witnesses, so now He proves
Himself to be God of heaven also.
14. The second woe—that under the sixth
trumpet (Re 9:12-21), including also the prophecy, Re 11:1-13: Woe to the world, joy to the
faithful, as their redemption draweth nigh.
the third woe cometh quickly—It is not
mentioned in detail for the present, until first there is given a
sketch of the history of the origination, suffering, and faithfulness
of the Church in a time of apostasy and persecution. Instead of the
third woe being detailed, the grand consummation is summarily noticed,
the thanksgiving of the twenty-four elders in heaven for the
establishment of Christ's kingdom on earth, attended with the
destruction of the destroyers of the earth.
15. sounded—with his trumpet. Evidently
"the LAST trumpet." Six is close
to seven, but does not reach it. The world judgments are
complete in six, but by the fulfilment of seven the world
kingdoms become Christ's. Six is the number of the world given over to
judgment. It is half of twelve, the Church's number, as three
and a half is half of seven, the divine number for completeness. Bengel thinks the angel here to have
been Gabriel, which name is compounded of El, God, and Geber, MIGHTY MAN (Re 10:1). Gabriel therefore appropriately
announced to Mary the advent of the mighty God-man: compare the
account of the man-child's birth which follows (Re 12:1-6), to which this forms the transition
though the seventh trumpet in time is subsequent, being the
consummation of the historical episode, the twelfth and thirteen
chapters. The seventh trumpet, like the seventh seal and seventh vial,
being the consummation, is accompanied differently from the preceding
six: not the consequences which follow on earth, but those IN HEAVEN, are set before us, the great voices
and thanksgiving of the twenty-four elders in heaven, as the
half-hour's silence in heaven at the seventh seal, and the voice
out of the temple in heaven, "It is done," at the seventh
vial. This is parallel to Da 2:44, "The
God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never
be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it
shall break to pieces all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for
ever." It is the setting up of Heaven's sovereignty over the
earth visibly, which, when invisibly exercised, was rejected by the
earthly rulers heretofore. The distinction of worldly and spiritual
shall then cease. There will be no beast in opposition to the woman.
Poetry, art, science, and social life will be at once worldly and
kingdoms—A, B, C, and Vulgate
read the singular, "The kingdom (sovereignty) of (over)
the world is our Lord's and His Christ's." There is no good authority
for English Version reading. The kingdoms of the world
give way to the kingdom of (over) the world exercised by
Christ. The earth-kingdoms are many: His shall be one. The
appellation "Christ," the Anointed, is here, where His
kingdom is mentioned appropriately for the first time used in
Revelation. For it is equivalent to King. Though priests and prophets also were
anointed, yet this term is peculiarly applied to Him as King,
insomuch that "the Lord's anointed" is His title as King, in places where He is distinguished from the
priests. The glorified Son of man shall rule mankind by His
transfigured Church in heaven, and by His people Israel on earth:
Israel shall be the priestly mediator of blessings to the whole world,
realizing them first.
he—not emphatic in the
shall reign for ever and
ever—Greek, "unto the ages of the ages." Here begins
the millennial reign, the consummation of "the mystery of God" (Re 10:7).
16. before God—B and Syriac read,
"before the throne of God." But A, C, Vulgate, and
Coptic read as English Version.
17. thanks—for the answer to our prayers
11) in destroying them
which destroy the earth (Re 11:18),
thereby preparing the way for setting up the kingdom of Thyself and Thy
and art to come—omitted in A, B, C,
Vulgate, Syriac, Cyprian, and
Andreas. The consummation having
actually come, they do not address Him as they did when it was still
future, "Thou that art to come." Compare Re 11:18, "is come." From the sounding of the
seventh trumpet He is to His people Jah,
the ever present Lord, WHO IS, more
peculiarly than Jehovah "who is, was,
and is to come."
taken to thee thy great power—"to
Thee" is not in the Greek. Christ takes to Him the
kingdom as His own of right.
18. the nations were angry—alluding to
Ps 99:1, Septuagint, "The Lord is
become King: let the peoples become angry." Their anger is
combined with alarm (Ex 15:14; 2Ki 19:28, "thy rage against Me is come up
into Mine ears, I will put My hook in thy nose," &c.). Translate,
as the Greek is the same. "The nations were angered, and
Thy anger is come." How petty man's impotent anger,
standing here side by side with that of the omnipotent God!
dead … be judged—proving that
this seventh trumpet is at the end of all things, when the judgment on
Christ's foes and the reward of His saints, long prayed for by His
saints, shall take place.
the prophets—as, for instance, the two
prophesying witnesses (Re 11:3), and those who have showed them
kindness for Christ's sake. Jesus shall come to effect by His presence
that which we have looked for long, but vainly, in His absence, and by
destroy them which destroy the
earth—Retribution in kind (compare Re 16:6; Lu
19:27). See on Da 7:14-18.
19. A similar solemn conclusion to that of the
seventh seal, Re 8:5, and to
that of the seventh vial, Re 16:18.
Thus, it appears, the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven
vials, are not consecutive, but parallel, and ending in the same
consummation. They present the unfolding of God's plans for bringing
about the grand end under three different aspects, mutually
complementing each other.
the temple—the sanctuary or Holy
place (Greek, "naos"), not the whole temple
opened in heaven—A and C read the
article, "the temple of God "which is" in heaven, was opened."
the ark of his testament—or "…
His covenant." As in the first verse the earthly sanctuary was
measured, so here its heavenly antitype is laid open, and the
antitype above to the ark of the covenant in the Holiest Place
below is seen, the pledge of God's faithfulness to His covenant in
saving His people and punishing their and His enemies. Thus this forms
a fit close to the series of trumpet judgments and an introduction to
the episode (the twelfth and thirteen chapters) as to His faithfulness
to His Church. Here first His secret place, the heavenly sanctuary, is
opened for the assurance of His people; and thence proceed His
judgments in their behalf (Re 14:15, 17; 15:5; 16:17), which the great company in heaven laud
as "true and righteous." This then is parallel to the scene at the
heavenly altar, at the close of the seals and opening of the trumpets
(Re 8:3), and at the close of the episode
(the twelfth through fifteenth chapters) and opening of the vials
8). See on Re 12:1, note at the opening of the chapter.