Revelation 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 TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS.
10. they that dwell upon . . . earth--those who belong to the earth, as its citizens, not to heaven ( Revelation 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, "shall not suffer."
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 ( Revelation 11:5 Revelation 11:6 ); also, by their testimony against the earthly.
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, Ezekiel 37:10 Ezekiel 37:11 "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 same, Hosea 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 in Ezekiel 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 city."
great fear--such as fell on the soldiers guarding Christ's tomb at His resurrection ( Matthew 28:4 ), when also there was a great earthquake ( Revelation 11:2 ).
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, Acts 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 ( Revelation 7:1-8 ), and the elect of all nations, caught up out of the reach of the Antichristian foe. In Revelation 14:14-16 , He is represented as sitting on a white cloud.
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 as born.
13. "In that same hour"; literally, "the hour."
great earthquake--answering to the "great earthquake" under the sixth seal, just at the approach of the Lord ( Revelation 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 Revelation 13:18 , "the number of the beast."
tenth part of the city fell--that is, of "the great city" ( Revelation 16:19 , Zechariah 14:2 ). Ten is the number of the world kingdoms ( Revelation 17:10-12 ), and the beast's horns ( Revelation 13:1 ), and the dragon's ( Revelation 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 Revelation 16:9 ; and above, Revelation 9:20 Revelation 9:21 . These repenting ( Zechariah 12:10-14 , 13:1 ), become in the flesh the loyal subjects of Christ reigning over the earth with His transfigured saints.
gave glory to the God of heaven--which while apostates, and worshipping the beast's image, they had not done.
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 ( Revelation 11:6 ), constrained His and their enemies who witnessed it, to acknowledge the God of heaven, to be God of the earth ( Revelation 11:4 ). As in Revelation 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 ( Revelation 9:12-21 ), including also the prophecy, Revelation 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 ( Revelation 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 ( Revelation 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 Daniel 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 Christian.
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 Greek.
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" ( Revelation 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 ( Revelation 6:10 Revelation 6:11 ) in destroying them which destroy the earth ( Revelation 11:18 ), thereby preparing the way for setting up the kingdom of Thyself and Thy saints.
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 Revelation 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 Psalms 99:1 , Septuagint, "The Lord is become King: let the peoples become angry." Their anger is combined with alarm ( Exodus 15:14 , 2 Kings 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 ( Revelation 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 other means.
destroy them which destroy the earth--Retribution in kind (compare Revelation 16:6 , Luke 19:27 ).
19. A similar solemn conclusion to that of the seventh seal, Revelation 8:5 , and to that of the seventh vial, Revelation 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 (Greek, "hieron").
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 ( Revelation 14:15 Revelation 14:17 , 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 ( Revelation 8:3 ), and at the close of the episode (the twelfth through fifteenth chapters) and opening of the vials ( Revelation 15:7 Revelation 15:8 ). opening of the chapter.