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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
Revelation 11



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Verse 1

A rod

See on Revelation 2:27.

And the angel stood

Omit. The insertion of these words furnishes a subject for the agreement of the participle λέγων , which is irregular an construction. Literally the correct text reads, “there was given me a reed, saying.” Accordingly Wordsworth refers the speech to the reed as an inspired medium of speech. Rev., better, and one said.

The temple ( τὸν ναὸν )

See on Matthew 4:5.

The altar

Of incense, as that alone stood in the sacred place.

Them that worship

Note the peculiar expressed, measuring the worshippers with a reed.

Verse 2

The court which is without the temple

Not merely the outer court, or Court of the Gentiles, but including all that is not within the ναός , the Holy and Most Holy places.

Leave out ( ἔκβαλε ἔξω )

Lit., throw out, i.e., of the measurement.

Unto the Gentiles ( τοῖς ἔθνεσιν )

See on Luke 2:32. Rev., nations.

Forty and two months

A period which appears in three forms in Revelation: forty-two months (Revelation 13:5); twelve hundred and sixty days (Revelation 11:3, Revelation 12:6); a time, times and half a time, or three years and a half (Revelation 12:14, compare Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7)

Verse 3



Two witnesses

The reader may profitably consult on this point the lectures of Professor Milligan on the Revelation of St. John. He maintains that the conception of the Apocalypse is powerfully molded by John's recollections of the life of Jesus; that there is a close parallelism between the Apocalypse and the delineation of the life of Christ contained in the fourth Gospel; and that the Apocalypse is, in the deeper conceptions which pervade it, a repetition of the Gospel. See pp. 59-69.

They shall prophesy ( προφητεύσουσιν )

See on prophet, Luke 7:26. Commonly explained of preaching repentance, though some take it in the later sense of foretelling future events.

Clothed in sackcloth

The garb of preachers of repentance. Compare Isaiah 22:12; Jeremiah 4:8; Jonah 3:5; Matthew 3:4. For sackcloth see on Luke 10:13.

Verse 4

Two olive trees

See Zechariah 4:1-14.


See Zechariah 4:1-14, and note on Matthew 10:15.

The God

Read κυρίου theLord. Compare Zechariah 4:14.

Verse 5

Fire proceedeth

Compare 2 Kings 1:10; Jeremiah 5:14.

Verse 6

To shut up the heaven

As Elijah, 1 Kings 17:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:17.

That it rain not ( ἵνα μὴ βρέχῃ ὑετὸς )

Lit., that the rain may not wet.

To turn them into blood

Compare Exodus 7:19.

To smite ( πατάξαι )

Used by John only in Revelation, here and Revelation 19:15. Compare Matthew 26:31; Mark 14:27; Luke 22:49, Luke 22:50; Acts 12:7, Acts 12:23.

With all plagues ( πάσῃ πληγῇ )

Singular number. Rev., correctly, with every plague. See on Mark 3:10. Not merely with the plagues with which Moses smote Egypt.

Verse 7

The beast ( θηρίον )

Wild beast. See on Revelation 4:6. A different word from that wrongly translated beast, Revelation 4:6, Revelation 4:7; Revelation 5:6, etc. Compare Revelation 13:1; Revelation 17:8, and see Revelation href="/desk/?q=re+9:1&sr=1">Revelation 9:1.

Verse 8

Dead bodies ( πτώματα )

Read πτῶμα carcassSee on Matthew 24:28; see on Mark 15:45.

In the street ( ἐπὶ τῆς πλατείας )

Lit., “Upon the street.” See on Luke 14:21.

The great city

Jerusalem is never called by this name. Different expositors refer it to Rome or Babylon. Milligan to Jerusalem.

Spiritually ( πνευματικῶς )

Typically or allegorically. Compare 1 Corinthians 10:3, 1 Corinthians 10:4.

Our Lord

Read αὐτῶν theirfor ἡμῶν our.

Verse 9

Shall see ( βλέψουσιν )

Read, βλέπουσιν domen look (Rev.), and see on John 1:29.

Shall not suffer ( οὐκ ἀφήσουσιν )

Read ἀφίουσιν donot suffer.

To be put in graves ( τεθῆναι εἰς μνήματα )

Read μνῆμα atomb, as Rev. Compare Genesis 23:4; Isaiah 14:19, Isaiah 14:20.

Verse 10

Shall rejoice ( χαροῦσιν )

Read χαίρουσιν , present tense, rejoice.

Shall make merry ( εὐφρανθήσονται )

Read εὐφραίνονται, present tense, make merry; and for the word see note on fared sumptuously, Luke 16:19.

Shall send gifts

As on a day of festival. See Nehemiah 8:10, Nehemiah 8:12.

Tormented ( ἐβασάνισαν )

See on vexed, 2 Peter 2:8, and see on Matthew 4:23, Matthew 4:24.

Verse 11

Spirit of life ( πνεῦμα ζῶης )

Rev., breath. See on John 3:8.

Entered into them

Compare Ezekiel 37:1-10.

Saw ( θεωροῦντας )

See on John 1:18.

Verse 13


See on Revelation 6:12.

Of men ( ὀνόματα ἀνθρώπων )

Lit., names of men. See on Revelation 3:4.

Gave glory to the God of heaven

The phrase signifies not conversion, nor repentance, nor thanksgiving, but recognition, which is its usual sense in scripture. Compare Joshua 7:19(Sept.). John 9:24; Acts 12:23; Romans 4:20.

Verse 15

The kingdoms - are become ( ἐγένοντο αἱ βασιλεῖαι )

Read ἐγένετο ἡ βασιλεία, thekingdom - is become.

Of our Lord, etc.

Compare Psalm 2:2-9.

Verse 17

O Lord God, etc.

See on Revelation 4:8.

And art to come


Hast taken to Thee

Omit to thee.

Verse 18

Were angry ( ὀργίσθησαν )

See on wrath, John 3:36. Compare Psalm 2:1.

The time ( ὁ καιρὸς )

See on Matthew 12:1.

Reward ( μισθὸν )

See on 2 Peter 2:13.

Destroy ( διαφθεῖραι )

Also to corrupt.

Which destroy ( τοὺς διαφθείροντας )

Or, the destroyers.

Verse 19

The temple ( ὁ ναὸς )

The sanctuary. Compare Revelation 11:1and see on Matthew 4:5.

In heaven

Join with temple of God, as Rev., instead of with opened, as A.V.

The ark of His covenant ( ἡ κιβωτὸς τῆς διαθήκης αὐτοῦ )

Κιβωτὸς arkmeaning generally any wooden box or chest used of the ark in the tabernacle only here and Hebrews 9:4. Elsewhere of Noah's ark. See Matthew 24:38; Luke 17:27; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20. For covenant, see note on testament, Matthew 26:28. This is the last mention in scripture of the ark of the covenant. It was lost when the temple was destroyed by the Chaldeans (2 Kings 25:10), and was wanting in the second temple. Tacitus says that Pompey “by right of conquest entered the temple. Thenceforward it became generally known that the habitation was empty and the sanctuary unoccupied do representation of the deity being found within it” (“History,” v., 9). According to Jewish tradition Jeremiah had taken the ark and all that the Most Holy Place contained, and concealed them, before the destruction of the temple, in a cave at Mount Sinai, whence they are to be restored to the temple in the days of Messiah.

Lightnings and voices, etc.

“The solemn salvos, so to speak, of the artillery of heaven, with which each series of visions is concluded.”


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 11:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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Monday, October 19th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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