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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 10

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

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Verse 1

Three angels in Revelation are called "mighty." ( Rev_5:2 ; Rev_18:21 ) Often in the New Testament clouds are associated with Deity. ( Mat_17:1-5 ; Luk_21:27 ; Act_1:9-11 ; 1Th_4:17 ; Rev_1:7 ) The rainbow reminds us of God's covenant with Noah and the throne of God in this book. ( Gen_9:13-16 ; Rev_4:3 ) It may signify God's remembrance of his promise not to destroy the world by water ever again. The pillars of fire remind us of how the children of Israel were led at night. ( Exo_13:21 ) These symbols combine in the appearance of this angel to let us know he had come from God with a great message.

Verse 2

The angel holds a little open book with a message for all the earth, as can be seen in the angle placing one foot on the sea and the other on land.

Verses 3-4

The angels crying with a loud voice like a lion's roar ought to draw attention to the message from God which he carried. Thunder is a warning of approaching storm. John was going to write, as he had earlier been commanded ( Rev_1:11 ; Rev_1:19 ), but the message of the seven thunders is sealed from man's view. God is through warning man and the time of judgment has come. (verses 6-7) Some have suggested these unknown messages serve as ample notice, to those who would set specific dates for the end, that God has kept some things secret which might keep us from knowing the exact timing of the end.

Verses 5-7

The raising of a hand toward heaven indicates an oath taken with God as witness. At the end of chapter 9, mankind had refused to repent despite the terrible judgments God had brought upon him, so time will now be no more. It may appear that Rev_10:8-11 ; Rev_11:1-13 is a delay in the ending of time. However, it is actually an interlude, or parenthetical statement, to reassure us of certain matters and in no way delays, in terms of time transpiring, the coming of the seventh trumpet. The New Testament reveals the mystery of God's plan to save man. ( Rom_16:25 ; Eph_1:9-11 ) When time ends, that mystery will be finished.

Verse 8

If the voice from heaven is not God's, certainly the message is from Him. John is to take the little open book.

Verses 9-11

John went to the angel and asked for it but was told again to take it. Coffman sees this as meaning God's message cannot be given to a man but he must take it through his own study. ( 2Ti_2:15 ; Act_17:11 ) The word of God is sweet in the mouths of his people. ( Psa_119:103 ; Psa_19:9-10 ) Ezekiel had a vision very similar to this one. ( Eze_2:8-10 ; Eze_3:1-3 ) There is joy in receiving God's message, but the reception is often followed by bitter persecution.

Eating would symbolize the assimilation of the message of the open little book. Of course, God's message also contains bitter pronouncements of judgment upon the wicked which are bitter for a preacher to receive and have to deliver. John was one of the Lord's apostles and had been preaching to many people since Pentecost. Now, he is told he will speak God's word to many people, nations, languages and rulers. This he did in person after returning from Patmos and does, through the words he wrote, even today.

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 10". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/revelation-10.html. 2014.
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