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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Revelation 10

 

 

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Verse 1

Revelation 10:1. καὶ, and) From ch. Revelation 10:1, to ch. Revelation 11:13, is a remarkable passage, in which there is a foretaste of the awful trumpet of the seventh angel. For while the dragon is even yet in heaven, and the beast with seven heads and the beast with two heads are about to ascend out of the sea and the earth, nor does there appear to be any end of calamities in the world: an angel, whom Cluver, T. iii. f. 4, acknowledges to be a created angel, lays his right hand upon heaven, his right foot upon the sea, and his left upon the earth, showing, and affirming by an oath, that all these enemies [however they may rage, namely, the dragon in heaven, the beast in the sea and upon the earth.—V. g.], should notwithstanding be removed within a Chronus. [The heaven, he implies by his action, the earth and sea, belong to GOD, the Creator (Revelation 10:6), and continue so.—V. g.] This passage has two parallel parts: ch. Revelation 10:1-7, and Revelation 10:8, ch. Revelation 11:13. Whence also the two periods, time—no longer [no whole period any longer], and, a multitude of kings, are parallel: ch. Revelation 10:6; Revelation 10:11. Both periods begin before the close of the second woe, ch. Revelation 11:14 : but, when they have once begun, they extend themselves far in a continued course to the very trumpet of the seventh angel, as far as that great goal, respecting which, ch. Revelation 12:14. Therefore, on account of the continued connection with those circumstances, which precede the rising of the beast out of the sea, many things are here represented, without any interruption of the order of the book, which occur again at a much later portion of the book. Thus the consummation of the wrath of God, ch. Revelation 15:1, precedes the joyful consummation of the mystery of God, ch. Revelation 10:7 : and this consummation is pointed out as future even in ch. Revelation 17:17. The ascent of the beast out of the bottomless pit, ch. Revelation 11:7, is still future even in ch. Revelation 17:8. That earthquake, by which the great city is divided into three parts, ch. Revelation 16:19, precedes this earthquake, by which a tenth part of the same city falls, and the remnant are converted: ch. Revelation 11:13. This observation is sure, and very necessary; and by its aid many and great errors, which are everywhere to be met with, are avoided.— ὡς στύλο πυρὸς) In the Septuagint, the pillar, by which the Israelites were led by night in the wilderness, is called στύλος πυρός. The feet of this angel, like pillars, were parallel as he stood; and round, of equal rotundity, as far as the sole. Comp. Ezekiel 1:7.


Verse 2

Revelation 10:2. βιβλαρίδιον) But in Revelation 10:8-10, βιβλίον. By this reading, the book first appeared to John very small, compared with the vast stature in which the angel appeared, who in some measure grasped the heaven, the sea and earth. Afterwards the voice from heaven called it a book, on account of the greatness of the subject: and John with teachable mouth and hand imitated this title. In Andreas of Cæsarea in the Augustan Codex, it is styled βιβλιδάριον σφόδρα ὑποκοριστικῶς λεχθέν.(103)θαλάσσηςγῆς, on the sea—on the land) Le Buy, Marck, and Newton, correctly interpret the sea as Europe, the land as Asia: by which means the rivers denote Africa, and the sun belongs to the whole world: ch. Revelation 8:7-8; Revelation 8:10; Revelation 8:12, Revelation 16:2-4; Revelation 16:8. The sea is Europe: the earth, Asia. So Huth Diss. ii. on Ap. xiv. p. 12.


Verse 3

Revelation 10:3. ΄υκᾶται) ὠρύεσθαι expresses the voice of an animal under the influence of hunger or anger: μυκᾶσθαι, the natural voice. Each of them is also attributed to the lion. Theocritus ascribes μύκημα to the lioness.


Verse 6

Revelation 10:6. ὅτι χρόνος οὐκέτι ἔσται, That a chronus [whole period] shall be no longer) Many pass by this most weighty utterance with a slight comment. Henr. Efferhen, in his 6th and 13th Homily respecting Gog and Magog, thus interprets it: the space of a year shall not pass, namely, between Gog and the end of all things. He perceived that chronus here ought to be taken in a specific sense: but Gog is much later than the Non-chronus (which would be more in accordance with the Latin idiom to call Ne-chronus); and this period is much longer than a year. I should rather say, it is longer than 1000 years; and shorter than chronus, that is, than 1111 1/9 years. It will end A. 1836. From thence reckoning backward, it is chronus to the former part of the year 725: and the beginning of the Non-chronus immediately succeeded the beginning of the Chronus. At the beginning of Non-chronus, the Saracens were not only in possession of Jerusalem, but even appeared to threaten destruction to the whole of the Christian Church, as the second woe came to its height. But yet the angel affirms that these and the following evils shall be overcome within a chronus. Eudes conquered the Saracens, A. 726; and Charles Martel destroyed a great multitude of them, A. 731, in the battle of Tours. See Vitringa on Revelation 12:16. Charlemagne, the grandson of Martel, A. 800, commenced a new line of emperors in the West, or, in other words, of “many kings,” Revelation 10:11. And this Non-chronus comprises, beside other things, a small portion of the third woe, the 3½ times of the woman in the wilderness, and the duration of the beast variously divided. There is indeed great doubt respecting these periods, and many say that nothing can be known before the end; by which very assertion the martyrs and witnesses of the truth, at the Reformation, and before and after it, who relied on the Apocalypse, and especially on ch. 13 and 17, are deserted, and the principal advantage of prophecy, which forewarns and forearms us against the evils which threaten, is made void. The truth is, that for the opening of prophecy, either the whole event is necessary, or a considerable part is sufficient. If the whole event is necessary, the Apocalypse will never be understood before the end of the world; for the event extends itself up to that goal, nay, even to eternity itself. If a considerable part is sufficient, why do we not make use of that part, so as to measure future things by the past, and not to run into events without preparation? The rash man is he who sleeps in danger, not he who foresees it. We ought not to be so confident in determining future things, but that the things, which the text has not defined, or at any rate the interpreter does not as yet distinctly see, should be determined by the result. Die Erkl. Offenb. pp. 725, 874, 1064, etc., has many examples. But they who avoid all particulars, do not even know what they ought to look for in the event. Docility in spiritual things, and sobriety, are in entire consonance with each other.


Verse 7

Revelation 10:7. καὶ ἐτελέσθη) καὶ has a consecutive force, and then, as John 4:35, ἔτι τετράμηνός ἐστι, καὶ θερισμὸς ἔρχεται.— τὸ μυστήριοντοῖς προφήταις, the mystery—to the prophets) D. Joach. Lange, in his Glory of Christ, has illustrated this mystery in a striking manner, by most copiously comparing the Apocalypse with the prophets of the Old Testament. But we have shown the time of the completion of this mystery, lately at Revelation 10:6, and in other places repeatedly. It was not only announced by prophets, but also to the prophets themselves: Daniel 10:12.


Verse 9

Revelation 10:9. δοῦναι) Some few read δὸς, for the sake of an easy construction: by far the greatest number read δοῦναι: whence formerly the Latin translator rendered it, ut daret (to give), and thus also the Syriac Version. But the direct style agrees with the present address in preference to the indirect. As to what remains, the Infinitive is put for the Imperative. For this change of Mood is frequent with the Greeks, as we have shown on Chrysost. de Sacerd. p. 510, and the next page. Add Biblioth. Brem. Class, viii. p. 945, and following. The very word δοῦναι for δὸς is found in Theocritus. The Hebrew idiom also admits of this, on which see Dign. Speidelii Gramm. Hebr. p. 139. And the Septuagint on Genesis 45:19, renders קחו, λαβεῖνκαὶ παραγίνεσθε. Add Luke 9:3; Romans 12:15; Philippians 3:16. Such a figure makes the style characteristic of feeling,(104) and gives to it either a sense of majesty, especially where God is the speaker, or modesty, as here. For John from time to time, in this book, has expressed great reverence, and that almost to excess, towards the inhabitants of heaven: ch. Revelation 7:14, Revelation 19:10, Revelation 22:8 : δοῦναι therefore, instead of δὸς,(105) corresponds with that modesty, which he exhibited towards the angel in asking for the little book. After the example of John, we ought to unite humility of heart and searching of the prophets: and Lampe on Psalms 131, if you take it rightly, befittingly explains this union.


Verse 11

Revelation 10:11. (106) προφητεῦσαι, to prophesy) John acts in the vision throughout the whole course of the book.(107)

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 10:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-10.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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