I. JOHN MEASURES THE TEMPLE 11:1-2
II. THE TWO WITNESSES PROPHESY 11:3-14
III. THE SEVENTH TRUMPET JUDGMENT 11:15-19
In chapter 11, John is told to measure the temple and the altar. The word for temple here is naoV, "naos," which means the temple proper, the holy of holies and the holy place. The altar is the altar of incense in the holy place not the brazen altar in the courtyard. He is told not to measure the court. The "naos" and the courts composed the "hieron," and Jesus called the hieron "my house." This is not Herod's temple, because it had been destroyed in 70 A.D. Neither is it the temple in Ezekiel. This must be the temple built by the Jews before the great tribulation and destroyed near the end of the period. These verses say that the nations will trample the holy city for forty-two months. This may mean that the Jewish part of the temple passes under the rod of judgment.
In verses 3-13, God gives power to the two witnesses. The word power is not in the Greek text, but the idea is that God gives them power to prophesy. These two men prophesy for 1,260 days. They are clothed in
sackcloth which indicates that they preach repentance. They are described as the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand before God. The olive tree means that they are anointed of God, Zechariah 4:3,14. The lampstand means they are light bearers, Zechariah 4:2. When they complete their message, the beast comes out of the abyss and makes war on them. The beast kills them, and they lay in the street three and a half days. After this God's spirit enters them, and they ascend into heaven. When do the two witnesses prophesy and when are the witnesses slain? The book of Daniel can be used to throw light on this passage. It seems that the first half of the week is for the preaching of the prophets and the last half for the Antichrist to rule. The testimony of these two witnesses seem to be during the first half of the tribulation. It is important to remember that many of the events of Revelation are evidently not in chronological order.
Who are these two witnesses? The Scripture does not say. Some think they are Enoch and Elijah since neither of these men died in the Old Testament. Others think that they are Moses and Elijah. The reasons given for choosing them is because in the Scripture Moses is the person who turned the water into blood and brought plagues upon the earth. And Elijah is the person who commanded fire to consume his enemies and caused it not to rain upon the earth, verse 6.
In verses 14-19, the third woe comes and the seventh angel sounds his trumpet. The time period of the seventh trumpet seems to go to the end of God's wrath and to the coming of God's glory. The time length of this period is recorded in different terminology in different places in Revelation, 42 months, 11:2; 13:5 or 1,260 days 11:3; 12:6 or three and a half years, 12:14. The sounding of the seventh trumpet is the announcement of the coming coronation of Jesus. The trumpet announces the establishment of the kingdom of God. The kingdom is not established until chapter 19, but this is a preview, verse 15. Who rules the universe is now settled.
TEXT w/Scofield Notes
(Rev 11:1 KJV) And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
1 "ROD": See Measures and Weights (N.T.), Acts 27:28, note
2 "MEASURE": Cp. Ezek 40:3
(Rev 11:2 KJV) But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
1 "GENTILES": <Times of the Gentiles:> v. 2; Rev 16:19. (Deu 28:49; Rev 16:19)
2 "MONTHS": The tribulation that is to occur at the end of this age will continue for seven years, the "one 'seven' " (week) of Dan 9:27 (see Rev 7:14, note). This seven-year period is divided, in the prophetic writings, into two equal halves of three and one-half years each. The length of the periods is also referred to as "a time, times and half a time" (Rev 12:14; cp. Dan 7:25; 12:7); "forty and two months" (Rev 11:2; 13:5); and 1260 days (Rev 11:3; 12:6). The second half of this seven-year period will be characterized by increasing cruelty on the part of the world ruler, and a consequent greater intensity of persecution and suffering.
Rev 13:5; cp. Dan 7:25; 12:7; Rev 12:6,14
(Rev 11:3 KJV) And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
1 "TWO": Deu 17:6
2 "WITNESSES": Scripture does not clearly identify these two witnesses. Their power is like that of Moses and Elijah (v. 6).
Cp. Isa 43:10,12
3 "DAYS": Rev 13:5; cp. Dan 7:25; 12:7; Rev 12:6,14
(Rev 11:4 KJV) These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
1 "EARTH": Zech 4:2 -3,14
(Rev 11:5 KJV) And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
1 "KILLED": Cp. 2 Ki 1:10,12; Jer 5:14
(Rev 11:6 KJV) These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
1 "PROPHECY": Cp. 1 Ki 17:1; James 5:17
2 "WILL": Cp. Exo 7:10,19
(Rev 11:7 KJV) And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
1 "BEAST": Cp. Rev 13:1; 17:8
2 "THEM": Cp. Dan 7:21; Rev 13:7
3 "THEM": <Death> (physical): v. 7; Rev 13:3. (Gen 2:17; Heb 9:27, note)
(Rev 11:8 KJV) And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
1 "CITY": i.e. <Jerusalem>
2 "SODOM": Cp. Isa 1:9 - 10
(Rev 11:9 KJV) And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
1 "GRAVES": Cp. Isa 66:23 - 24
(Rev 11:10 KJV) And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
1 "EARTH": Cp. Ps 79:2 - 4; John 16:20
(Rev 11:11 KJV) And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
1 "FEET": <Miracles> (N.T.): v. 11. (Mat 8:3; Acts 28:8, note)
2 "FEAR": Cp. Acts 5:11
(Rev 11:12 KJV) And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
1 "HITHER": Cp. Rev 20:4 - 6
2 "THEM": Cp. v. 9
(Rev 11:13 KJV) And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
1 "HEAVEN": Cp. Dan 2:18
(Rev 11:14 KJV) The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
1 "PAST": Rev 8:13
(Rev 11:15 KJV) And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
1 "SEVENTH": Rev 10:7
2 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note
3 "WORLD": Gk. <kosmos.> See Rev 13:8, note
4 "REIGN": <Kingdom> (N.T.): v. 15; Rev 17:14. (Mat 2:2; 1 Cor 15:24, note)
5 "EVER": The seventh trumpet announces the beginning of Christ's reign on earth, when the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord, and occurs close to the end of the great tribulation. The seven bowls (vials) (ch. 16) follow this event in rapid sequence and culminate in the second coming of Christ.
(Rev 11:16 KJV) And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
1 "GOD": vv. 16 - 17; Rev 4:11; 5:9,12,14; 7:11
(Rev 11:17 KJV) Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
(Rev 11:18 KJV) And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
1 "ANGRY": Ps 2:1
2 "DEAD": Rev 20:12 -13
3 "REWARD": <Rewards:> v. 18; Rev 22:12. (Dan 12:3; 1 Cor 3:14, note)
(Rev 11:19 KJV) And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Rev 11:19: v. 19 is better understood when read as a part of ch. 12
1 "HEAVEN": Rev 15:5
2 "TESTAMENT": Cp. Exo 37:1; Heb 9:4