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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible
Revelation 10

 

 

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Verses 1-11

A Long Interval Before the Seventh Trumpet

We find a long interval between the sixth and seventh trumpets, continuing from Revelation 10:1 to Revelation 11:14. There is no doubt as to the identity of the mighty angel who comes down from heaven (v. 1), for His face is as the sun. It is Him in whom the glory of God is revealed, the Lord Jesus, yet clothed with a cloud, indicating some obscurity: God's glory is present, but in measure veiled. The rainbow is the promise of the light of God yet to be manifested in fullest measure, with every color of the spectrum witnessing the great magnificence of God's glory. Feet as pillars of fire speak of the burning holiness of God that must first tread down every evil adversary.

The little opened book (v. 2), if we consider verses 8 to 11, seems to refer to the prophecies of the Old Testament which deal with God's judgments in the earth. They are to be completely fulfilled. His right foot on the sea pictures His subjugation of the Gentile nations: His left foot on the land signifies His subduing Israel under Him. His voice is as a lion roaring: He claims His rightful power over the nations. The seven thunders are the answer of God in the fulness of His resources of divine power (Psalms 29:3). He is fully behind His Son in claiming the sea and the land as His own. But though the thunders spoke intelligibly, John is not permitted to write their words (v. 4): it is not therefore necessary for us know what was spoken.

The angel lifts up His hand to heaven and swears by the living God, the Creator of heaven, earth and sea and everything in them, that there should be delay no longer (v. 6). He is one with God, so that this is really God swearing by Himself. He had done this when showing grace to Abraham and his seed (Hebrews 6:13-14); now He does so when executing the judgment that subdues all things under Him.

The Angel further announces that the sounding of the trumpet of the seventh angel would signal the finishing of the mystery of God in accordance with prophecy given by His servants in the past (v. 7). This is held up only until other matters are put in their proper order. Again we see the calm, orderly deliberation of the judgment of God: there is no precipitate action. The mystery of God will be finished at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. The mystery of God here involves the mystery of Israel's blindness until the fulness of the Gentiles is come in (Romans 11:25) and the mystery of iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:7) and all that has been obscure in the great sovereign ways of God. These things will become plain at the manifestation of the glory of the Lord.

The same voice that had forbidden John to write the words uttered by the seven thunders now tells him to go and take the little book from the Angel's hand (v. 8). The angel-the Lord Himself-instructs him to eat the book which would make his stomach bitter, but would taste as sweet as honey, which John proves to be so (v. 10).

This shows us that before judgment falls, our great God has considered every detail of its character and of the way in which creation will be affected, and wants this entered into by His servants at least in some measure. The prophet must feel something of the solemnity of his prophecies. If it is sweet to our taste that the Lord Jesus is about to accomplish His great work of subduing all things under His feet, fulfilling Old Testament prophecies, yet that work will require the bitterness of sad, dreadful and eternal results for all who will not submit by faith to this holy Lord of glory.

The serious reality of this is further impressed on John in his being told he must prophesy again before many peoples, nations, tongues and kings (v. 10). This is work that has some deeply-felt bitterness about it because most people will not believe, though to a true prophet there is sweetness that cannot be disputed.

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Revelation 10:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/revelation-10.html. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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