And another angel came out of the temple
Not the Holy Spirit, who, being God omniscient, knows the day and hour of judgment, which is a secret to men and angels, as Napier thinks; since though he dwells in the church as his temple, yet is never called an angel; nor does this angel represent the souls under the altar, who come out from thence, and importunately desire vengeance on the inhabitants of the earth, the worshippers of the beast, who had shed their blood; but rather the mighty angels who shall descend from heaven with Christ, and who shall be employed by him as reapers, to gather in his elect from the four winds, as well as to bind up the tares in bundles, and burn them; unless a set of Gospel ministers, as before, should be intended, who either by divine revelation, or by the signs of the time being come, and observed by them, will know that the harvest, or end of the world, is come; since this angel is said to come out of the temple, the church, which had been measured, and was now opened in heaven, and from whence angels are said to come, ( Revelation 11:1 Revelation 11:19 ) ( Revelation 15:5 Revelation 15:6 ) crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud:
as the first and third angels did, ( Revelation 14:7 Revelation 14:9 ) denoting great vehemence and importunity: thrust in thy sickle, and reap: which being spoken by an inferior angel, whether this designs the ministering spirits, or preachers of the word, must be understood not as commanding, nor even directing what should be done, but as beseeching and entreating: see ( Psalms 132:8 ) . Dr. Lightfoot thinks, and not without reason, that there is here some allusion to the putting in of the sickle, and reaping the first corn in Judea, at the feast of the passover, by the order of the sanhedrim, which sat in the temple; nor did any reap till they had the word given them, "reap", by the messengers of the court, called (Nyd tyb yxwlv) , "the angels", or messengers "of the sanhedrim": to whom the reaper said, shall I reap? and they say to him, (rwuq) F1, "reap": the reasons follow: for the time is come for thee to reap;
the time of the end of the world, and of the judgment of it, which is fixed by God; and of Christ's coming to judge both quick and dead, and of the first resurrection, or the resurrection of the saints: for the harvest of the earth is ripe:
the measure of the sins of wicked men will now be filled up, and the afflictions of the saints will be accomplished in them, and the number of God's elect will be completed in the effectual calling; they will be all called, and so things will be ripe for the second coming of Christ. There seems to be some reference to ( Joel 3:13 ) "put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe": the Jewish doctors ask F2, to whom is this said? R. Phineas, in the name of R. Hilkiah, says, (Mykalml) , "to the angels"; so the mighty ones, in ( Revelation 14:11 ) are by Kimchi interpreted of the angels.
F1 Misn. Menachot, c. 10. sect. 3.
F2 Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 92. 1.