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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Revelation 11



Other Authors
Verse 1

A reed (καλαμοςkalamos). Old word for a growing reed (Matthew 11:7) which grew in immense brakes in the Jordan valley, a writer‘s reed (3 John 1:7), a measuring-rod (here, Revelation 21:15.; Ezekiel 40:3-6; Ezekiel 42:16-19).

Like a rod (ομοιος ραβδωιhomoios rabdōi). See Revelation 2:27; Mark 6:8 for ραβδοςrabdos one said (λεγωνlegōn). “Saying” (present active masculine participle of λεγωlegō) is all that the Greek has. The participle implies εδωκενedōken (he gave), not εδοτηedothē a harsh construction seen in Genesis 22:20; Genesis 38:24, etc.

Rise and measure (εγειρε και μετρησονegeire kai metrēson). Present active imperative of εγειρωegeirō (intransitive, exclamatory use as in Mark 2:11) and first aorist active imperative of μετρεωmetreō In Ezekiel 42:2. the prophet measures the temple and that passage is probably in mind here. But modern scholars do not know how to interpret this interlude (Revelation 11:1-13) before the seventh trumpet (Revelation 11:15). Some (Wellhausen) take it to be a scrap from the Zealot party before the destruction of Jerusalem, which event Christ also foretold (Mark 13:2; Matthew 24:2; Luke 21:6) and which was also attributed to Stephen (Acts 6:14). Charles denies any possible literal interpretation and takes the language in a wholly eschatological sense. There are three points in the interlude, however understood: the chastisement of Jerusalem or Israel (Revelation 11:1, Revelation 11:2), the mission of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-12), the rescue of the remnant (Revelation 11:13). There is a heavenly sanctuary (Revelation 7:15; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 14:15, etc.), but here ναοςnaos is on earth and yet not the actual temple in Jerusalem (unless so interpreted). Perhaps here it is the spiritual (Revelation 3:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 3:16.; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19.). For altar (τυσιαστηριονthusiastērion) see Revelation 8:3. Perhaps measuring as applied to “them that worship therein” (τους προσκυνουντας εν αυτωιtous proskunountas en autōi) implies a word like numbering, with an allusion to the 144,000 in chapter 7 (a zeugma).

Verse 2

The court (την αυληνtēn aulēn). The uncovered yard outside the house. There were usually two, one between the door and the street, the outer court, the other the inner court surrounded by the buildings (Mark 14:66). This is here the outer court, “which is without the temple” (την εχωτεν του ναουtēn exōthen tou naou), outside of the sanctuary, but within the ιερονhieron where the Gentiles could go (carrying out the imagery of the Jerusalem temple).

Leave without (εκβαλε εχωτενekbale exōthen). Literally, “cast without” (second aorist active imperative of εκβαλλωekballō not measure it (μη αυτην μετρησηιςmē autēn metrēsēis). Prohibition with μηmē and the first aorist active (ingressive) subjunctive of μετρεωmetreō This outer court is left to its fate. In Herod‘s temple the outer court was marked off from the inner by “the middle wall of partition” (το μεσοιτοιχον του πραγμουto mesoitoichon tou phragmou Ephesians 2:15), beyond which a Gentile could not go. In this outer court was a house of prayer for the Gentiles (Mark 11:17), but now John is to cast it out and leave to its fate (given to the Gentiles in another sense) to be profaned by them.

They shall tread under foot (πατησουσινpatēsousin). Future active of πατεωpateō here to trample with contempt as in Luke 21:24, even the holy city (Matthew 4:5; Isaiah 48:2; Nehemiah 11:1). Charles thinks that only the heavenly city can be so called here (Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10; Revelation 22:19) because of Luke 11:8 (Sodom and Gomorrah). But the language may be merely symbolical. See Daniel 9:24.

Forty and two months (μηνας τεσσερακοντα και δυοmēnas tesserakonta kai duo). Accusative of extent of time. This period in Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7. It occurs in three forms in the Apocalypse (forty-two months, here and Revelation 13:5; 1260 days, Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6; time, times and half a time or 3-1/2 years, Revelation 12:14 and so in Daniel). This period, however its length may be construed, covers the duration of the triumph of the Gentiles, of the prophesying of the two witnesses, of the sojourn of the woman in the wilderness.

Verse 3

I will give (δωσωdōsō). Future active of διδωμιdidōmi The speaker may be God (Beckwith) or Christ (Swete) as in Revelation 2:13; Revelation 21:6 or his angel representative (Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:12.). The idiom that follows is Hebraic instead of either the infinitive after διδωμιdidōmi as in Revelation 2:7; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 6:4; Revelation 7:2; Revelation 13:7, Revelation 13:15; Revelation 16:8 or ιναhina with the subjunctive (Revelation 9:5; Revelation 19:8) we have και προπητευσουσινkai prophēteusousin (and they shall prophesy).

Unto my two witnesses (τοις δυσιν μαρτυσιν μουtois dusin martusin mou). Dative case after δωσωdōsō The article seems to point to two well-known characters, like Elijah, Elisha, but there is no possible way to determine who they are. All sorts of identifications have been attempted.

Clothed (περιβλημενουςperiblēmenous). Perfect passive participle of περιβαλλωperiballō as often before (Revelation 7:9, Revelation 7:13; Revelation 10:1, etc.). But Aleph A P Q here read the accusative plural in ους̇ous while C has the nominative in οι̇oi Charles suggests a mere slip for the nominative, but Hort suggests a primitive error in early MSS. for the dative περιβεβλεμενοιςperibeblemenois agreeing with μαρτυσινmartusin sackcloth (σακκουςsakkous). Accusative retained with this passive verb as in Revelation 7:9, Revelation 7:13. See Revelation 6:12 for σακκοςsakkos and also Matthew 3:4. The dress suited the message (Matthew 11:21).

Verse 4

The two olive trees (αι δυο ελαιαιhai duo elaiai). The article seems to point to what is known. For this original use of ελαιαelaia see Romans 11:17, Romans 11:24. In Zechariah 4:2, Zechariah 4:3, Zechariah 4:14 the lampstand or candlestick (λυχνιαluchnia) is Israel, and the two olive trees apparently Joshua and Zerubbabel, but John makes his own use of this symbolism. Here the two olive trees and the candlesticks are identical.

Standing (εστωτεςhestōtes). Masculine perfect active participle agreeing with ουτοιhoutoi instead of εστωσαιhestōsai (read by P and cursives) agreeing with ελαιαι και λυχνιαιelaiai kai luchniai even though αιhai (feminine plural article) be accepted before ενωπιον του κυριουenōpion tou kuriou (before the Lord).

Verse 5

If any man desireth to hurt them (ει τις αυτους τελει αδικησαιei tis autous thelei adikēsai). Condition of first class, assumed to be true, with ειei and present active indicative (τελειthelei) “if any one wants to hurt” (αδικησαιadikēsai first aorist active infinitive). It is impossible to hurt these two witnesses till they do their work. The fire proceeding out of the mouths of the witnesses is like Elijah‘s experience (2 Kings 1:10).

Devoureth (κατεστιειkatesthiei). “Eats up (down),” present active indicative of κατεστιωkatesthiō any man shall desire (ει τις τελησηιei tis thelēsēi). Condition of third class with ειei and first aorist active subjunctive of τελωthelō as in Luke 9:13; Philemon 3:12, but MSS. also read either τελειthelei (present active indicative) or τελησειthelēsei (future active, condition of the first class like the preceding one. The condition is repeated in this changed form, as less likely to happen and with inevitable death (δει αυτον αποκταντηναιdei auton apoktanthēnai must be killed, first aorist passive infinitive of αποκτεινωapokteinō with δειdei).

Verse 6

To shut the heaven (κλεισαι τον ουρανονkleisai ton ouranon). First aorist active infinitive of κλειωkleiō As Elijah did by prayer (1 Kings 17:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:17).

That it rain not (ινα μη υετος βρεχηιhina mē huetos brechēi). Sub-final use of ινα μηhina mē with the present active subjunctive of βρεχωbrechō old verb to rain (Matthew 5:45), here with υετοςhuetos as subject.

During the days (τας ημεραςtas hēmeras). Accusative of extent of time. In Luke 4:25; James 5:17 the period of the drouth in Elijah‘s time was three and a half years, just the period here.

Of their prophecy (της προπητειας αυτωνtēs prophēteias autōn). Not here the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:10) or a particular prophecy or collection of prophecies (Revelation 1:3; Revelation 22:7.), but “the execution of the prophetic office” (Swete).

Over the waters (επι των υδατωνepi tōn hudatōn). “Upon the waters.” As Moses had (Exodus 7:20).

Into blood (εις αιμαeis haima). As already stated in Revelation 8:8 about the third trumpet and now again here.

To smite (παταχαιpataxai). First aorist active infinitive of πατασσωpatassō used here with εχουσιαν εχουσινexousian echousin (they have power), as is στρεπεινstrephein (to turn).

With every plague (εν πασηι πληγηιen pasēi plēgēi). In 1 Kings 4:8, but with reference to the plagues in Egypt.

As often as they shall desire (οσακις εαν τελησωσινhosakis ean thelēsōsin). Indefinite temporal clause with οσακιςhosakis and modal εανean (= ανan) and the first aorist active subjunctive of τελωthelō “as often as they will.”

Verse 7

When they shall have finished (οταν τελεσωσινhotan telesōsin). Merely the first aorist active subjunctive of τελεωteleō with οτανhotan in an indefinite temporal clause with no futurum exactum (future perfect), “whenever they finish.”

The beast (το τηριονto thērion). “The wild beast comes out of the abyss” of Revelation 9:1. He reappears in Revelation 13:1; Revelation 17:8. In Daniel 7:3 τηριαthēria occurs. Nothing less than antichrist will satisfy the picture here. Some see the abomination of Daniel 7:7; Matthew 24:15. Some see Nero redivivus.

He shall make war with them (ποιησει μετ αυτων πολεμονpoiēsei met' autōn polemon). This same phrase occurs in Revelation 12:17 about the dragon‘s attack on the woman. It is more the picture of single combat (Revelation 2:16).

He shall overcome them (νικησει αυτουςnikēsei autous). Future active of νικαωnikaō The victory of the beast over the two witnesses is certain, as in Daniel 7:21.

And kill them (και αποκτενειkai apoktenei). Future active of αποκτεινωapokteinō Without attempting to apply this prophecy to specific individuals or times, one can agree with these words of Swete: “But his words cover in effect all the martyrdoms and massacres of history in which brute force has seemed to triumph over truth and righteousness.”

Verse 8

Their dead bodies lie (το πτωμα αυτωνto ptōma autōn). Old word from πιπτωpiptō (to fall), a fall, especially of bodies slain in battle, a corpse, a carcase (Matthew 14:12), here the singular (some MSS. πτωματαptōmata plural) as belonging to each of the αυτωνautōn (their) like στοματος αυτωνstomatos autōn (their mouth) in Revelation 11:5. So also in Revelation 11:9. No word in the Greek for “lie.”

In (επιepi). “Upon,” as in Revelation 11:6, with genitive (της πλατειαςtēs plateias), the broad way (οδουhodou understood), from πλατυςplatus (broad) as in Matthew 6:5, old word (Revelation 21:21; Revelation 22:2).

Of the great city (της πολεως της μεγαληςtēs poleōs tēs megalēs). Clearly Jerusalem in view of the closing clause (οπουεσταυρωτηhopou- ητιςestaurōthē), though not here called “the holy city” as in Revelation 11:2, and though elsewhere in the Apocalypse Babylon (Rome) is so described (Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2, Revelation 18:10, Revelation 18:16, Revelation 18:18, Revelation 18:19, Revelation 18:21).

Which (πνευματικωςhētis). Which very city, not “whichever.”

Spiritually (πνευματικοςpneumatikōs). This late adverb from πνευματικοςpneumatikos (spiritual) occurs in the N.T. only twice, in 1 Corinthians 2:14 for the help of the Holy Spirit in interpreting God‘s message and here in a hidden or mystical (allegorical sense). For this use of οπου και ο κυριος αυτων εσταυρωτηpneumatikos see 1 Corinthians 10:3. Judah is called Sodom in Isaiah 1:9.; Ezekiel 16:46, Ezekiel 16:55. See also Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:23. Egypt is not applied to Israel in the O.T., but is “an obvious symbol of oppression and slavery” (Swete).

Where also their Lord was crucified (σταυροωhopou kai ho kurios autōn estaurōthē). First aorist passive indicative of stauroō to crucify, a reference to the fact of Christ‘s crucifixion in Jerusalem. This item is one of the sins of Jerusalem and the disciple is not greater than the Master (John 15:20).

Verse 9

Men from among (εκ τωνek tōn etc.). No word for “men” (αντρωποιanthrōpoi or πολλοιpolloi) before εκ τωνek tōn but it is implied (partitive use of εκek) as in Revelation 2:10 and often. See also Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:9 for this enumeration of races and nations.

Do look upon (βλεπουσινblepousin). Present (vivid dramatic) active indicative of βλεπωblepō days and a half (ημερας τρεις και ημισυhēmeras treis kai hēmisu). Accusative of extent of time. ημισυHēmisu is neuter singular though ημεραςhēmeras (days) is feminine as in Mark 6:23; Revelation 12:14. The days of the gloating over the dead bodies are as many as the years of the prophesying by the witnesses (Revelation 11:3), but there is no necessary correspondence (day for a year). This delight of the spectators “is represented as at once fiendish and childish” (Swete).

Suffer not (ουκ απιουσινouk aphiousin). Present active indicative of απιωaphiō late form for απιημιaphiēmi as in Mark 1:34 (cf. απειςapheis in Revelation 2:20). This use of απιημιaphiēmi with the infinitive is here alone in the Apocalypse, though common elsewhere (John 11:44, John 11:48; John 12:7; John 18:8).

Their dead bodies (τα πτωματα αυτωνta ptōmata autōn). “Their corpses,” plural here, though singular just before and in Revelation 11:8.

To be laid in a tomb (τετηναι εις μνημαtethēnai eis mnēma). First aorist passive of τιτημιtithēmi to place. ΜνημαMnēma (old word from μιμνησκωmimnēskō to remind) is a memorial, a monument, a sepulchre, a tomb (Mark 5:3). “In a country where burial regularly took place on the day of death the time of exposure and indignity would be regarded long” (Beckwith). See Tobit 1:18ff.

Verse 10

They that dwell upon the earth (οι κατοικουντες επι της γηςhoi katoikountes epi tēs gēs). Present active articular participle of κατοικεωkatoikeō “an Apocalyptic formula” (Swete) for the non-Christian world (Revelation 3:10; Revelation 6:10; Revelation 8:13; Revelation 13:8, Revelation 13:12, Revelation 13:14; Revelation 17:8).

Rejoice (χαιρουσινchairousin). Present active indicative of χαιρωchairō them (επ αυτοιςep' autois). Locative (or dative) case with επιepi as in Revelation 10:11.

Make merry (ευπραινονταιeuphrainontai). Present middle indicative of ευπραινωeuphrainō old verb (ευ πρηνeuδωρα πεμπσουσιν αλληλοιςphrēn jolly mind), as in Luke 15:32; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 18:20. Jubilant jollification over the cessation of the activity of the two prophets.

They shall send gifts to one another (πεμπωdōra pempsousin allēlois). Future active of αλληλοιςpempō with dative εβασανισανallēlois Just as we see it done in Esther 9:19, Esther 9:22; Nehemiah 8:10, Nehemiah 8:12.

Tormented (βασανιζωebasanisan). First aorist active indicative of οτιbasanizō for which see Revelation 9:5. This is the reason (hoti) of the fiendish glee of Jew and Gentile, who no longer will have to endure the prophecies (Revelation 11:3.) and dread miracles (Revelation 11:5.) of these two prophets. “Such a sense of relief is perhaps not seldom felt today by bad men when a preacher of righteousness or a signal example of goodness is removed” (Swete).

Verse 11

After the (μετα ταςmeta tas etc.). The article ταςtas (the) points back to Revelation 11:9.

The breath of life from God (πνευμα ζωης εκ του τεουpneuma zōēs ek tou theou). This phrase (πνευμα ζωηςpneuma zōēs) occurs in Genesis 6:17; Genesis 7:15, Genesis 7:22 of the lower animals, but here there is clearly an allusion to Ezekiel 37:5, Ezekiel 37:10 (also 2 Kings 13:21), where the dead bones lived again.

Entered into them (εισηλτεν εν αυτοιςeisēlthen en autois). Second aorist active indicative of εισερχομαιeiserchomai with ενen rather than ειςeis after it (cf. Luke 9:46). The prophecy has here become fact (change from future πεμπσουσινpempsousin to aorist εισηλτενeisēlthen).

They stood upon their feet (εστησαν επι τους ποδας αυτωνestēsan epi tous podas autōn). Ingressive second aorist active indicative of ιστημιhistēmi (intransitive). Reference to Ezekiel 37:10, but with the accusative in place of genitive there after επιepi as in 2 Kings 13:21.

Fell upon (επεπεσεν επιepepesen epi). Second aorist active indicative of επιπιπτωepipiptō with repetition of επιepi The same prophetic use of the aorist as in εισηλτενeisēlthen and εστησανestēsan (τεωρουνταςtheōrountas). Present active articular participle of τεωρεωtheōreō “The spectators were panic-stricken” (Swete).

Verse 12

Saying (λεγουσηςlegousēs). Present active predicate participle of λεγωlegō feminine genitive agreeing with πωνηςphōnēs though some MSS. have the accusative πωνην λεγουσανphōnēn legousan either construction being proper after ηκουσανēkousan (they heard). There is a little evidence for ηκουσαēkousa like Revelation 12:10 (24 times in the book). Cf. John 5:28.

Come up hither (αναβατε ωδεanabate hōde). Second aorist active imperative of αναβαινωanabainō The ascension of these two witnesses is in full view of their enemies, not just in the presence of a few friends as with Christ (Acts 1:9).

They went up (ανεβησανanebēsan). Second aorist active indicative of αναβαινωanabainō the cloud (εν τηι νεπεληιen tēi nephelēi). As Jesus did (Acts 1:9) and like Elijah (2 Kings 2:11). Their triumph is openly celebrated before their enemies and is like the rapture described by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

Verse 13

There was (εγενετοegeneto). “There came to pass” (second aorist middle indicative of γινομαιginomai). Earthquakes are often given as a symbol of great upheavals in social and spiritual order (Swete) as in Ezekiel 37:7; Ezekiel 38:19; Haggai 2:6; Mark 13:8; Hebrews 12:26.; Revelation 6:12; Revelation 16:18.

Fell (επεσενepesen). Second aorist active indicative of πιπτωpiptō to fall. Only the tenth (το δεκατονto dekaton) of the city fell. Cf. το τριτονto triton (the third) in Revelation 8:7-12, perhaps a conventional number.

Were killed (απεκταντησανapektanthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of αποκτεινωapokteinō as in Revelation 9:18.

Seven thousand persons (ονοματα αντρωπων χιλιαδες επταonomata anthrōpōn chiliades hepta). This use of ονοματαonomata (names of men here) is like that in Revelation 3:4; Acts 1:15 and occurs in the papyri (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 196f.).

Were affrighted (εμποβοι εγενοντοemphoboi egenonto). “Became terrified,” old adjective (εν ποβοςenεδωκαν δοχανphobos fear) as in Luke 24:5; Acts 10:4; Acts 24:5. “A general movement toward Christianity, induced by fear or despair - a prediction fulfilled more than once in ecclesiastical history” (Swete).

Gave glory (διδωμιedōkan doxan). First aorist active indicative of didōmi when they saw the effect of the earthquake, recognition of God‘s power (John 9:24; Acts 12:23; Romans 4:20).

Verse 14

Is past (απηλτενapēlthen). Second aorist active indicative of απερχομαιaperchomai See Revelation 9:12 for this use and Revelation 21:1, Revelation 21:4. The second woe (η ουαι η δευτεραhē ouai hē deutera) is the sixth trumpet (Revelation 9:12) with the two episodes attached (10:1-11:13).

The third woe (η ουαι η τριτηhē ouai hē tritē feminine as in Revelation 9:12) is the seventh trumpet, which now “cometh quickly” (ερχεται ταχυerchetai tachu), for which phrase see Revelation 2:16; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:12, Revelation 22:20. Usually pointing to the Parousia.

Verse 15

There followed (εγενοντοegenonto). “There came to pass.” There was silence in heaven upon the opening of the seventh seal (Revelation 8:1), but here “great voices.” Perhaps the great voices are the ζωαzōa of Revelation 4:6.; Revelation 5:8.

Saying (λεγοντεςlegontes). Construction according to sense; λεγοντεςlegontes masculine participle (not λεγουσαιlegousai), though πωναιphōnai feminine. John understood what was said.

Is become (εγενετοegeneto). “Did become,” prophetic use of the aorist participle, already a fact. See εγενετοegeneto in Luke 19:9.

The kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ (του κυριου ημων και του Χριστου αυτουtou kuriou hēmōn kai tou Christou autou). Repeat η βασιλειαhē basileia from the preceding. God the Father is meant here by κυριουkuriou (Lord), as αυτουautou (his) shows. This is the certain and glorious outcome of the age-long struggle against Satan, who wields the kingdom of the world which he offered to Christ on the mountain for one act of worship. But Jesus scorned partnership with Satan in the rule of the world, and chose war, war up to the hilt and to the end. Now the climax has come with Christ as Conqueror of the kingdom of this world for his Father. This is the crowning lesson of the Apocalypse.

He shall reign (βασιλευσειbasileusei). Future active of βασιλευωbasileuō God shall reign, but the rule of God and of Christ is one as the kingdom is one (1 Corinthians 15:27). Jesus is the Lord‘s Anointed (Luke 2:26; Luke 9:20).

Verse 16

The four and twenty elders (οι εικοσι τεσσαρες πρεσβυτεροιhoi eikosi tessares presbuteroi). They follow the living creatures (Revelation 11:15, if correctly interpreted) in their adoration, as in Revelation 4:9. Though seated on thrones of their own (Revelation 4:4), yet they fall upon their faces in every act of worship to God and Christ (Revelation 4:10; Revelation 5:8, Revelation 5:14; Revelation 19:4). Here επι τα προσωπα αυτωνepi ta prosōpa autōn (upon their faces) is added as in Revelation 7:11 about the angels. The elders here again represent the redeemed, as the four living creatures the forces of nature, in the great thanksgiving here (ευχαριστουμενeucharistoumen present active indicative of ευχαριστεωeucharisteō).

Verse 17

O Lord God (Κυριε ο τεοςKurie ho theos). Vocative form κυριεkurie and nominative form ο τεοςho theos (vocative in use). See Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8 for this combination with ο παντοκρατωρho pantokratōr (the Almighty). For ο ων και ο ηνho ōn kai ho ēn (which art and which wast) see Revelation 1:4, Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 16:5.

Thou hast taken (ειληπεςeilēphes). Perfect active indicative of λαμβανωlambanō emphasizing the permanence of God‘s rule, “Thou hast assumed thy power.”

Didst reign (εβασιλευσαςebasileusas). Ingressive first aorist active indicative of βασιλευωbasileuō “Didst begin to reign.” See this combination of tenses (perfect and aorist) without confusion in Revelation 3:3; Revelation 5:7; Revelation 8:5.

Verse 18

Were wroth (ωργιστησανōrgisthēsan). Ingressive first aorist active indicative of οργιζομαιorgizomai “became angry.” The culmination of wrath against God (Revelation 16:13.; Revelation 20:8.). Cf. Psalm 2:1, Psalm 2:5, Psalm 2:12; Psalm 99:1; Acts 4:25. John sees the hostility of the world against Christ.

Thy wrath came (ηλτεν η οργη σουēlthen hē orgē sou). Second aorist active indicative of ερχομαιerchomai the prophetic aorist again. The Dies Irae is conceived as already come.

The time of the dead to be judged (ο καιρος των νεκρων κριτηναιho kairos tōn nekrōn krithēnai). For this use of καιροςkairos see Mark 11:13; Luke 21:24. By “the dead” John apparently means both good and bad (John 5:25; Acts 24:21), coincident with the resurrection and judgment (Mark 4:29; Revelation 14:15.; Revelation 20:1-15). The infinitive κριτηναιkrithēnai is the first aorist passive of κρινωkrinō epexegetic use with the preceding clause, as is true also of δουναιdounai (second aorist active infinitive of διδωμιdidōmi), to give.

Their reward (τον μιστονton misthon). This will come in the end of the day (Matthew 20:8), from God (Matthew 6:1), at the Lord‘s return (Revelation 22:12), according to each one‘s work (1 Corinthians 3:8).

The small and the great (τους μικρους και τους μεγαλουςtous mikrous kai tous megalous). The accusative here is an anacoluthon and fails to agree in case with the preceding datives after δουναι τον μιστονdounai ton misthon though some MSS. have the dative τοις μικροιςtois mikrois etc. John is fond of this phrase “the small and the great” (Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5, Revelation 19:18; Revelation 20:12).

To destroy (διαπτειραιdiaphtheirai). First aorist active infinitive of διαπτειρωdiaphtheirō carrying on the construction with καιροςkairos Note τους διαπτειρονταςtous diaphtheirontas “those destroying” the earth (corrupting the earth). There is a double sense in διαπτειρωdiaphtheirō that justifies this play on the word. See Revelation 19:2. In 1 Timothy 6:5 we have those “corrupted in mind” (διαπταρμενοι τον νουνdiaphtharmenoi ton noun). God will destroy the destroyers (1 Corinthians 3:16.).

Verse 19

Was opened (ηνοιγηēnoigē). Second aorist passive indicative of ανοιγωanoigō with augment on the preposition as in Revelation 15:5. For the sanctuary (ναοςnaos) of God in heaven see Revelation 3:12; Revelation 7:15; Revelation 15:5.; Revelation 21:22.

Was seen (ωπτηōphthē). First aorist passive indicative of οραωhoraō ark of his covenant (η κιβωτος της διατηκης αυτουhē kibōtos tēs diathēkēs autou). The sacred ark within the second veil of the tabernacle (Hebrews 9:4) and in the inner chamber of Solomon‘s temple (1 Kings 8:6) which probably perished when Nebuchadrezzar burnt the temple (2 Kings 25:9; Jeremiah 3:16). For the symbols of majesty and power in nature here see also Revelation 6:12; Revelation 8:5; Revelation 11:13; Revelation 16:18, Revelation 16:21.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 11:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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