Revelation 11:3-7

3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”[a]
5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.
6 They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.
7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.

Revelation 11:3 in Other Translations

KJV
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
ESV
3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth."
NLT
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will be clothed in burlap and will prophesy during those 1,260 days.”
MSG
3 "Meanwhile, I'll provide my two Witnesses. Dressed in sackcloth, they'll prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days.
CSB
3 I will empower my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth."

Revelation 11:3-7 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 11

This chapter contains the order to measure the temple of God; an account of the two witnesses, their prophesying: and power, their slaying, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, with what followed upon it; and the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and the effects of that. A measuring rod is given to John, with an order to rise and measure the temple, altar, and worshippers, and to leave out the outer court, which was to be given to the Gentiles, who tread the holy city under foot forty and two months, Re 11:1,2, the same date with the 1260 days the witnesses prophesy in sackcloth, Re 11:3, who are compared to two olive trees and to two candlesticks, and are said to stand before God, Re 11:4, and who are further described by their power to destroy those that hurt them with fire that proceeds out of their mouths; to shut the heaven, that it rain not during their prophecy; to turn water into blood, and smite the earth with all manner of plagues at pleasure, Re 11:5,6; but when the time of their prophecy and testimony is expired, their enemies will have the advantage of them; the antichristian beast of Rome, described by the place of his ascent, the bottomless pit, will fight against them, overcome, and kill them; their dead bodies will be exposed publicly within the Roman jurisdiction, and not suffered to be interred; and their enemies will make a public and general rejoicing over them, Re 11:7-10; but after a short space of time they will revive, and stand upon their feet, to the surprise of all spectators; and being invited by a voice from heaven, will ascend thither, in the sight of their enemies; upon which will be an earthquake, in which the tenth part of the city of Rome will fall, and seven thousand men be slain; which will cause consternation in the rest, and put them upon giving glory to God, Re 11:11-13; and this will put an end to the second woe, and the third will quickly follow, Re 11:14, which is the sounding of the seventh trumpet; the effects of which are, voices heard in heaven, declaring that the kingdoms of the world are become Christ's, and that he shall reign for ever and ever, Re 11:15; upon which the four and twenty elders, that sat on their seats before God, congratulate him, worship, and give thanks unto him, at the Lord God Almighty and eternal; partly because of his visible power and kingdom he now takes to himself; and partly because the time of avenging his people that had suffered for him upon the nations, which makes them angry, was now come; as also because now would be given rewards to all his prophets, saints, and those that feared him, as well as antichrist and his followers would be destroyed, Re 11:16-18; and other effects of this trumpet are, the opening of the temple of God in heaven, a sight of the ark of the testament, lightnings, voices, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail, Re 11:9.

Revelation 11:3-7 In-Context

1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers.
2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.
3 And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
4 They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”
5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.
6 They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.
7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.
8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified.
9 For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.

Cross References 13

  • 1. Revelation 1:5; Revelation 2:13
  • 2. S ver 2
  • 3. Genesis 37:34; 2 Samuel 3:31; Nehemiah 9:1; John 3:5
  • 4. Psalms 52:8; Jeremiah 11:16; Zechariah 4:3,11
  • 5. Zechariah 4:14
  • 6. 2 Samuel 22:9; 2 Kings 1:10; Jeremiah 5:14; Revelation 9:17,18
  • 7. Numbers 16:29,35
  • 8. S Luke 4:25
  • 9. ver 3
  • 10. Exodus 7:17,19; Revelation 8:8
  • 11. Revelation 13:1-4
  • 12. S Luke 8:31
  • 13. Daniel 7:21; Revelation 13:7

Footnotes 1

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