Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 11:19

And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.
New American Standard Version
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Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ark;   Earthquakes;   Hail;   Lightning;   Thompson Chain Reference - Ark;   Earthquakes;   The Topic Concordance - Seals;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ark of the Covenant;   Tabernacle;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Temple;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Ark;   Heaven, Heavens, Heavenlies;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Hail;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Heaven;   Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   Earthquake;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beast;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Ark;   Covenant;   Eschatology;   Hail ;   Lightning;   Thunder ;   Type;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ark of God;   Earthquake;   Hail;   Revelation, the;   Temple, the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Ark;   Obed-edom;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Earthquake;   Hail (1);   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The temple of God was opened in heaven - The true worship of God was established and performed in the Christian Church; this is the true temple, that at Jerusalem being destroyed.

And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail - These great commotions were intended to introduce the following vision; for the 12th chapter is properly a continuation of the 11th, and should be read in strict connection with it.

I Now come to a part of this book that is deemed of the greatest importance by the Protestant Church, but is peculiarly difficult and obscure. I have often acknowledged my own incapacity to illustrate these prophecies. I might have availed myself of the labors of others, but I know not who is right; or whether any of the writers on this book have hit the sense is more than I can assert, and more than I think. The illustration of the 12th, 13th, and 17th chapters, which I have referred to in the preface, drawn up and displayed with great industry and learning, I shall insert in its place, as by far the most probable I have yet seen; but I leave the learned author responsible for his own particular views of the subject.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Analysis of the Chapter 11:1912

This portion of the book commences, according to the view presented in the closing remarks on the last chapter, a new series of visions, designed more particularly to represent the internal condition of the church; the rise of antichrist, and the effect of the rise of that formidable power on the internal history of the church to the time of the overthrow of that power, and the triumphant establishment of the kingdom of God. See the Analysis of the Book, part 5. The portion before us embraces the following particulars:

(1) A new vision of the temple of God as opened in heaven, disclosing the ark of the testimony, and attended with lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail, Revelation 11:19. The view of the “temple,” and the “ark,” would naturally suggest a reference to the church, and would be an appropriate representation on the supposition that this vision related to the church. The attending circumstances of the lightnings, etc., were well suited to impress the mind with awe, and to leave the conviction that great and momentous events were about to be disclosed. I regard this verse, therefore, which should have been separated from the eleventh chapter and attached to the twelfth, as the introduction to a new series of visions, similar to what we have in the introduction of the previous series, Revelation 4:1. The vision was of the temple the symbol of the church - and it was “opened” so that John could see into its inmost part - even within the veil where the ark was - and could have a view of what most intimately pertained to it.

(2) arepresentation of the church, under the image of a woman about to give birth to a child, Revelation 12:1-2. A woman is seen, clothed, as it were, with the sun - emblem of majesty, truth, intelligence, and glory; she has the moon under her feet, as if she walked the heavens; she has on her head a glittering diadem of stars; she is about to become a mother. This seems to have been designed to represent the church as about to be increased, and as in that condition watched by a dragon - a mighty foe - ready to destroy its offspring, and thus compelled to flee into the wilderness for safety. Thus understood, the point of time referred to would be when the church was in a prosperous condition, and when it would be encountered by antichrist, represented here by the dragon, and compelled to flee into the wilderness; that is, the church for a time would be driven into obscurity, and be almost unknown. It is no uncommon thing, in the Scriptures, to compare the church with a beautiful woman. See the notes on Isaiah 1:8. The following remarks of Prof. Stuart (vol. 2:252), though he applies the subject in a manner very different from what I shall, seem to me accurately to express the general design of the symbol: “The daughter of Zion is a common personification of the church in the Old Testament; and in the writings of Paul, the same image is exhibited by the phrase, Jerusalem, which is the mother of us all; that is, of all Christians, Galatians 4:26. The main point before us is the illustration of that church, ancient or later, under the image of a woman. If the Canticles are to have a spiritual sense given to them, it is plain enough, of course, how familiar such an idea was to the Jews. Whether the woman thus exhibited as a symbol be represented as bride or mother depends, of course, on the nature of the case, and the relations and exigencies of any particular passage.”

(3) the dragon that stood ready to devour the child, Revelation 12:3-4. This represents some formidable enemy of the church, that was ready to persecute and destroy it. The real enemy here referred to is, undoubtedly, Satan, the great enemy of God and the church, but here it is Satan in the form of some fearful opponent of the church that would arise at a period when the church was prosperous, and when it was about to be enlarged. We are to look, therefore, for some fearful manifestation of this formidable power, having the characteristics here referred to, or some opposition to the church such as we may suppose Satan would originate, and by which the existence of the church might seem to be endangered.

(4) the fact that the child which the woman brought forth was caught up to heaven - symbolical of its real safety, and of its having the favor of God - a pledge that the ultimate prosperity of the church was certain, and that it was safe from real danger, Revelation 12:5.

(5) the fleeing of the woman into the wilderness, for the space of a thousand two hundred and threescore days, or 1260 years, Revelation 12:6. This act denotes the persecuted and obscure condition of the church during that time, and the period which would elapse before it would be delivered from this persecution, and restored to the place in the earth which it was designed to have.

(6) the war in heaven; a struggle between the mighty powers of heaven and the dragon, Revelation 12:7-9. Michael and his angels contend against the dragon, in behalf of the church, and finally prevail. The dragon is overcome, and is cast out, and all his angels with him; in other words, the great enemy of God and his church is overcome and subdued. This is evidently designed to be symbolical, and the meaning is, that a state of things would exist in regard to the church, which would be well represented by supposing that such a scene should occur in heaven; that is, as if a war should exist there between the great enemy of God and the angels of light, and as if, being there vanquished, Satan should be cast down to the earth, and should there exert his malignant power in a warfare against the church. The general idea is, that his warfare would be primarily against heaven, as if he fought with the angels in the very presence of God, but that the form in which he would seem to prevail would be against the church, as if, being unsuccessful in his direct warfare against the angels of God, he was permitted, for a time, to enjoy the appearance of triumph in contending with the church.

(7) the shout of victory in view of the conquest, over the dragon, Revelation 12:10-12. A loud voice is heard in heaven, saying, that now the kingdom of God is come, and that the reign of God would be set up, for the dragon is cast down and overcome. The grand instrumentality in overcoming this foe was “the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony”; that is, the great doctrines of truth pertaining to the work of the Redeemer would be employed for this purpose, and it is proclaimed that the heavens and all that dwell therein had occasion to rejoice at the certainty that a victory would be ultimately obtained over this great enemy of God. Still, however, his influence was not wholly at an end, for he would yet rage for a brief period on the earth.

(8) the persecution of the woman, Revelation 12:13-15. She is constrained to fly, as on wings given her for that purpose, into the wilderness, where she is nourished for the time that the dragon is to exert his power - a “time, times, and half a time” - or for 1260 years. The dragon in rage pours out a flood of water, that he may cause her to be swept away by the flood: referring to the persecutions that would exist while the church was in the wilderness, and the efforts that would be made to destroy it entirely.

(9) the earth helps the woman, Revelation 12:16. That is, a state of things would exist as if, in such a case, the earth should open and swallow up the flood. The meaning is, that the church would not be swept away, but that there would be an interposition in its behalf, as if the earth should, in the case supposed, open its bosom, and swallow up the swelling waters.

(10) the dragon, still enraged, makes war with all that pertains to the woman, Revelation 12:17. Here we are told literally who are referred to by the “seed” of the woman. They are those who “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” Revelation 12:17; that is, the true church.

The chapter, therefore, may be regarded as a general vision of the persecutions that would rage against the church. It seemed to be about to increase and to spread over the world. Satan, always opposed to it, strives to prevent its extension. The conflict is represented as if in heaven, where war is waged between the celestial beings and Satan, and where, being overcome, Satan is cast down to the earth, and permitted to wage the war there. The church is persecuted; becomes obscure and almost unknown, but still is mysteriously sustained; and when most in danger of being wholly swallowed up, is kept as if a miracle were performed in its defense. The detail - the particular form in which the war would be waged - is drawn out in the following chapters.

And the temple of God was opened in heaven - The temple of God at Jerusalem was a pattern of the heavenly one, or of heaven, Hebrews 8:1-5. In that temple God was supposed to reside by the visible symbol of his presence - the Shekinah - in the holy of holies. See the notes on Hebrews 9:7. Thus God dwells in heaven, as in a holy temple, of which that on earth was the emblem. When it is said that that was “opened in heaven,” the meaning is, that John was permitted, as it were, to look into heaven, the abode of God, and to see him in his glory.

And there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament - See the notes on Hebrews 9:4. That is, the very interior of heaven was laid open, and John was permitted to witness what was transacted in its obscurest recesses, and what were its most hidden mysteries. It will be remembered, as an illustration of the correctness of this view of the meaning of the verse, and of its proper place in the divisions of the book - assigning it as the opening verse of a new series of visions that in the first series of visions we have a statement remarkably similar to this, Revelation 4:1; “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven”; that is, there was, as it were, an opening made into heaven, so that John was permitted to look in and see what was occurring there. The same idea is expressed substantially here, by saying that the very interior of the sacred temple where God resides was “opened in heaven,” so that John was permitted to look in and see what was transacted in his very presence. This, too, may go to confirm the idea suggested in the Analysis of the Book, part 5, that this portion of the Apocalypse refers rather to the internal affairs of the church, or the church itself - for of this the temple was the proper emblem. Then appropriately follows the series of visions describing, as in the former case, what was to occur in future times: this series referring to the internal affairs of the church, as the former did mainly to what would outwardly affect its form and condition.

And there were lightnings, … - Symbolic of the awful presence of God, and of his majesty and glory, as in the commencement of the first series of visions. See the notes on Revelation 4:5. The similarity of the symbols of the divine majesty in the two cases may also serve to confirm the supposition that this is the beginning of a new series of visions.

And an earthquake - Also a symbol of the divine majesty, and perhaps of the great convulsions that were to occur under this series of visions. Compare the notes on Revelation 6:12. Thus, in the sublime description of God in Psalm 18:7, “Then the earth shook and trembled, the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.” So in Exodus 19:18, “And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke - and the whole mount quaked greatly.” Compare Amos 8:8-9; Joel 2:10.

And great hail - Also an emblem of the presence and majesty of God, perhaps with the accompanying idea that he would overwhelm and punish his enemies. So in Psalm 18:13, “The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice: hailstones and coals of fire.” So also Job 38:22-23;

“Hast thou entered into the treasures of snow?

Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail?

Which I have reserved against the time of trouble.

Against the day of battle and war?”

So in Psalm 105:32;

“He gave them hail for rain,

And flaming fire in their land.”

Compare Psalm 78:48; Isaiah 30:30; Ezekiel 38:22.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-11.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Revelation 11:19

The temple of God was opened in heaven.

The vision of the heavenly temple

I. The vision of the heavenly temple. “The temple of God was opened in heaven.”

1. A spectacle of surpassing grandeur. Its revealing splendour drinks up the mists of ages, and solves enigmas that have puzzled the wisest.

2. A spectacle of Divine government. Our God and King is enshrined in the heavenly temple; from thence He governs all things in the interest of His Church, contending with and defeating her enemies. The unexplained procedures of His government will soon be made clear.

3. A spectacle of loftiest worship. There is no true worship without thanksgiving and praise.

II. The suggestive disclosure of the heavenly vision. There was seen in His temple the ark of the Testament. We regard the ark disclosed in this vision as a symbol of God’s faithfulness.

1. In carrying out the covenant of redemption. He selected the Jews as the nation through which He intended to reveal His saving purposes to the world. The work of atonement was conceived, developed, and carried out in harmony with all the attributes of the Divine character.

2. In rewarding the faithful. Designated in three different grades-- Revelation 11:18.

3. In taking vengeance on His enemies. These enemies are described in Revelation 11:18 as those who destroy or corrupt the earth. This done by wars and desolations, by abuse of secular and spiritual powers, by evil doctrines, by flagrant sins, which cry for vengeance. All such enemies God will “punish with everlasting destruction.”

Lessons:

1. The most imposing revelation in the heavenly temple will be that of God’s faithfulness.

2. The contemplation of that faithfulness, while it stimulates the righteous, may well alarm the wicked. (G. Barlow.)

The ark of His testimony.

The ark of the covenant

(with Jeremiah 3:6):--

I. The symbol reverenced. This ark was the object of great reverence, and very fitly so, because it symbolised God’s presence. They saw no similitude, for what likeness can there be of Him that filleth all in all? But they knew that God’s excellent glory shone above the mercy-seat, and they thought of the ark in connection with the Lord, as David did when he said, “Thou and the ark of Thy strength.” It was, therefore, a thing greatly to be reverenced, for God was there. That presence of God meant blessing, for God was with His people in love to them. Moreover, the ark was held in reverence by the Israelites because it was their leader. Marvel not that the men of Judah paid great reverence to this ark when in so many ways it was a token for good to them. What they did to this ark is mentioned in the text.

1. They recognised it as the ark of the covenant of the Lord. They were wont to say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” They spoke much of it, and prided themselves upon the possession of it.

2. They remembered it, as the text plainly informs us. If they were captives they prayed in the direction in which the ark was situated; wherever they wandered they thought of God and of the coffer which represented His presence.

3. They visited it. On certain holy days they came from Dan and from Beersheba, even from the uttermost ends of their land, in joyful companies, singing and making joyful holiday as they went up to the place where God did dwell between the cherubim.

4. They were accustomed also to speak highly of it, for in the margin of your Bibles you will find, “Neither shall they magnify it any more.” They used to tell to one another what the ark had done; the glory that shone forth from it, the acceptance of the offering whose blood was sprinkled upon it on the Day of Atonement, and the testimony which was heard from between the cherubic wings.

II. That reverence obliterated. They were to say no more, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” Yet that fact was to be a blessing. Observe that the words are not spoken as a threatening, but as a gracious promise. Now, this cannot merely mean that they would be without the ark, for they would certainly understand that to be a sign of Divine anger. Neither would the mere absence of the ark fulfil the prophet’s words; for if the ark were gone they would remember it still. If they could not visit it, yet it would come to their minds, and they would speak of it. It was somehow to be a boon to them that they should speak no more of the ark of the covenant, for the text was delivered in the form of a promise. The fact is they were to have done with the symbol because the substance would come. Our Lord Jesus by His coming has put out of His people’s thoughts the material ark of the covenant, because its meaning is fulfilled in Him, and this--

1. In the sense of preservation. We think nothing of the ark now, and we think nothing of the tablets of stone; but we do think everything of Jesus Christ, “who is made of God unto us righteousness”; for He has completely kept the law; for He said, “Thy law is within My heart.” It was not within His heart alone, but within all His life; His whole thoughts, words, and acts went to make up a golden chest in which the precious treasure of the perfect law of God should be contained. O come, let us magnify His blessed name!

2. Next, the ark signified propitiation; for over the top of the sacred box which held the two tables of the law was the slab of gold called the mercy-seat, which covered all. We will not talk of that golden covering now, but we will speak of Jesus, our blessed Lord, who covers all.

3. The next word is a very blessed one: and that is, “covenant.” I thank God that in Jesus Christ we have a covenant of grace which can never fail, and can never be broken, and in Him we have all that our souls desire: pot of manna and rod of Aaron; covenant provision and covenant rule we find in Him.

4. Fourthly: because this ark was the ark of the covenant of God it was from it that He was accustomed to reveal Himself, and so it is called the “ark of testimony.” Jehovah often spoke from off the mercy-seat to His waiting people. We say no more, “the ark of the testimony,” but we rejoice that God was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, and saw the Father in the Son.

5. This ark also signified enthronement; for the top of the ark was, so to speak, the throne of God. It was “the throne of the heavenly grace.” There God reigned and dwelt, that is, typically. We talk no longer of the ark, and of its gold, and of its crown, and of its golden lid, and of the winged cherubs; for the Lord Jesus is infinitely better than these. Oh, our beloved Lord and Master, Thou dost chase away these shadows from our minds, for the very throne of God art Thou!

6. Out of this grows the next idea, that as it was the place of God’s enthronement, so it was the door of man’s approach. Men never came nearer to God on earth typically than when they stood in the holy place close by the ark. Israel was nearest to God symbolically on that day when the atonement had been made and accepted, and her priest stood before the ark awe-stricken in the presence of God. You and I need not speak of the ark of the covenant, for we have a blessed way of approach. We do not come to Christ once in the year only, but every day in the year, and every hour of the day. He who came but once in the year came tremblingly. The Jews have a tradition that they put a cord about the foot of the high priest, so that if he should die before the ark they might draw out his corpse, such was their servile fear of God. The tradition shows what was the trembling nature of that entrance within the veil: how different from the apostle’s words, “Let us come boldly unto the throne of the heavenly grace “! We are not afraid of being stricken with death there: we are full of reverence, but we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear. There is no approaching God except in Christ; but in Christ our approach to God may be as near as possible.

III. This reverence transferred.

1. First: Let us say that Jesus is our covenant. We are told, “They shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” People must talk, it is natural to them--what else are their tongues for? Let us, then, say concerning Christ that He is the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Come, let us each one say it for himself--“Lord Jesus, I am in covenant with God through Thee. Jesus, thou art my propitiation, by Thee I approach unto the Father.”

2. The text takes you a step further, for it says of the original ark, “neither shall it come to mind, or (margin), neither shall it come upon your heart.” Let Christ come upon your heart, and dwell there. Let us not have Christ in the head, but Christ in the heart. Know all you can about Him; but love Him on account of everything you know; for everything we learn about Christ ought to be another argument for affection to Him.

3. And next, if we should ever grow dull or cold at any time, let us take the third step in the text, and let us remember the Lord. If I have not this enjoyment now I will remember it, and struggle till I find my Lord again. O my Lord, I will remember Thee. If I forget Thee, let my heart forget to beat.

4. The next thing is, let us visit Him. We cannot set out on journeys now to go to Jerusalem on foot--little bands of us together; yet let us visit Jesus. Let us continually come to the mercy-seat alone. Who that knows the worth of prayer but wishes to be often there? Next, let us come up by twos and threes. You that live at home and seldom get out, could you not every now and then during the day say to your maid, if she is a Christian, or to your sister who lives with you, “Come, let us have a five minutes’ visit to the ark of the covenant; let us go to the Lord and speak with Him; maybe He will speak with us”?

5. The last thing is, “neither shall that be done any more”; but the margin has it, “neither shall that be magnified any more.” Transfer your reverence, then, and as you cannot magnify the literal mercy-seat, come and magnify Christ, who is the real mercy-seat. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The ark of His covenant

I. The covenant always near to God.

1. Whatever happens, the covenant stands secure.

2. Whether we see it or not, the covenant is in its place, near to God.

3. The covenant of grace is for ever the same, for--

II. The covenant is seen of saints. We see it when--

1. By faith we believe in Jesus as our Covenant-head.

2. By instruction we understand the system and plan of grace.

3. By confidence we depend upon the Lord’s faithfulness, and the promises which He has made in the covenant.

4. By prayer we plead the covenant.

5. By experience we come to perceive covenant-love running as a silver thread through all the dispensations of providence.

6. By a wonderful retrospect we look back when we arrive in heaven, and see all the dealings of our faithful covenant God.

III. The covenant contains much that is worth seeing.

1. God dwelling among men: as the ark in the tabernacle, in the centre of the camp.

2. God reconciled, and communing with men upon the mercy-seat.

3. The law fulfilled in Christ: the two tables in the ark:

4. The kingdom established and flourishing in Him: Aaron’s rod blossomed.

5. The provision made for the wilderness: for in the ark was laid up the golden pot which had manna. The universe united in carrying out covenant purposes, as typified by the cherubim on the mercy-seat.

IV. The covenant has solemn surroundings.

1. The sanctions of Divine power--confirming.

2. The supports of eternal might--accomplishing.

3. The movements of spiritual energy--applying its grace.

4. The terrors of eternal law--overthrowing its adversaries. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
.

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Revelation 11:19". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/revelation-11.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And there was opened the temple of God that is in heaven; and there was seen in his temple the ark of his covenant; and there followed lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail.

And there was opened the temple of God that is in heaven ... "Temple" here is a figure of speech; there is going to be no actual temple in heaven. It is used here as a symbol of the presence of God. See Revelation 21:22. "Only a glimpse of heaven is afforded here; the chief description is reserved for the final two chapters."[97]

And there was seen in his temple the ark of the covenant ... The symbolism teaches that what was once concealed will be opened in heaven. The ark of the covenant in the ancient tabernacle was located in the Holy of Holies; and only the high priest could ever see it, and even he could view it only one day in the year; but all will be made plain and open in heaven. Roberson thought that, "It is a fitting close (of this trumpet series) that the innermost sanctuary of God should be opened."[98]

Thunders ... earthquake ... and great hail ... These fittingly mark the close of the seventh trumpet vision, serving also to set off what follows as a separate vision. Certainly they do not denote any kind of judgment upon people. The time for that expired with Revelation 11:13.

In these verses (Revelation 11:15-19), we have the entire seventh trumpet. Here is revealed the glory and the blessedness that shall prevail after time has ceased, and after the final judgment.[99]

We are now (in Revelation 12) carried back to the beginning of the story of salvation. A new series of visions, or tableaux, portrays significant figures and episodes from the course of events outlined in Revelation 5-11.[100]SIZE>

We shall conclude this study of Revelation 11 with Hendriksen's summary of its final Revelation 11:19:

Nothing remains hidden or concealed. The ark of the covenant so long hidden from view is now seen. That ark is the symbol of the superlatively real, intimate, and perfect fellowship with God and his people, a fellowship based on the atonement through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.[101]

[97] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 294.

[98] Charles H. Roberson, op. cit., p. 79.

[99] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 360.

[100] F. F. Bruce, A New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1969), p. 650.

[101] William Hendriksen, op. cit., p. 161.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-11.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the temple of God was opened in heaven,.... The temple at Jerusalem, to which the allusion is, was the place of public worship; this, in times of idolatry, was shut up, and fell to decay; and when there was a reformation its doors were opened, and that repaired; and to this the reference seems to be; and the sense is, that at this time the pure worship of God will be restored, and there will be a free and uninterrupted exercise of it; the temple will be open to all; here everyone may come, and sit, and worship without fear; churches will now be formed according to the original plan, and primitive order and institution of them; and the laws of Christ concerning the admission, regulation, and exclusion of members, will be carefully and punctually observed; the ordinances of Christ will be kept, as they were first delivered, and be purged from all the corruptions introduced by Papists or retained by Protestants; the ordinance of the Lord's supper will be freed from the senseless notions of transubstantiation and consubstantiation, and from all vain and impertinent rites and ceremonies that attend it; and the ordinance of baptism will be administered, both as to mode and subject, according to the word of God, as well as be cleared from the superstitious rites of the sign of the cross, chrism, spittle, &c. in short, all external worship will be pure, plain, and evangelical: hence it appears, that by this temple is not meant the church triumphant, and the happiness of the saints in heaven, as becoming visible, not even the new Jerusalem church state, or the personal reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years; for in that state there will be no temple at all, nor will the saints then need the sun, or moon of Gospel ordinances, Revelation 21:22;

and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: the ark was a chest, in which the covenant or tables of the law were put; upon it was the mercy seat, and over that the cherubim of glory, shadowing it; between which were the seat of the divine Majesty; this ark stood in the holy of holies, and was seen only by the high priest once a year, and was covered with a covering vail, Numbers 4:5; it was wanting in the second templeF23T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 21. 2. See following in Apocrypha:

"And they took all the holy vessels of the Lord, both great and small, with the vessels of the ark of God, and the king's treasures, and carried them away into Babylon.' (1 Esdras 1:54)

"4 And open your hearts in his law and commandments, and send you peace, 5 And hear your prayers, and be at one with you, and never forsake you in time of trouble.' (2 Maccabees 1). ; to this the allusion is here; See Gill on Hebrews 9:4. Now in this spiritual Gospel church state, through the pure ministry of the word, and the faithful administration of ordinances, the mysteries of the Gospel, into which angels desire to look, signified by the cherubim over the mercy seat, will be clearly revealed to all Christians, Jews and Gentiles; particularly to the former, from whom they have been hid; the vail that is over their hearts will then be done away, when they shall be turned to the Lord; and indeed the vail which is overall people will then be removed; and those truths which have been so much obscured by antichrist will be clearly seen; and especially the Lord Jesus Christ, the antitype of the ark, in whom are hid the treasures of wisdom; by whom the law, and the two tables of it, are fulfilled; and in whom they are pure and perfect; and by whom the covenant of grace is ratified and confirmed; and in whom it is sure; and through whom God is propitious to his people, and grants them communion with him; he will be visibly held forth in the ministry of the word; and be seen in the glory of his person, and offices, and grace; who has been so long and greatly hid, and kept out of sight by Popish and Mahometan darkness;

and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail; which may be understood of the vials of God's wrath, that will be poured out upon the pope and Turk; which though mentioned last, will be first, and make way for this spiritual state; particularly the things here spoken of may be compared with what will be at the pouring out of the seventh vial, Revelation 16:18; or this may design the powerful "voices", and clear ministrations of the Gospel, and the efficacy of them at this time; which, like "thunders", will awaken the consciences of men, and, like "earthquakes", will make them shake and tremble, and cry out, what shall we do to be saved? and as "lightnings" illuminate their understandings, and give them a clear discerning of divine things; and as "hail" beat down all self-righteousness and self-confidence, and all errors, heresies, superstition, and will worship. Though I suspect, that these several things are expressive of the change and revolution that will be made after a time, in this happy and comfortable state; and that the cold, which generally attends an hail storm, represents that coldness and lukewarmness, into which the churches of Christ will again sink, expressed in the Laodicean church state, in which condition Christ will find them when he personally appears; so that the seven seals, with the seven trumpets, bring us exactly to the same period of time as the seven churches do.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the temple of God was 31 opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

(31) This is the confirmation of the next prophecy before going by signs exhibited in heaven, and that of two sorts, of which some are visible, as the passing away of the heaven, the opening of the temple, the ark of the covenant appearing in the temple, and testifying the glorious presence of God, and the lightning: others apprehended by ear and feeling, which bear witness in heaven and earth to the truth of the judgments of God.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-11.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

A similar solemn conclusion to that of the seventh seal, Revelation 8:5, and to that of the seventh vial, Revelation 16:18. Thus, it appears, the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven vials, are not consecutive, but parallel, and ending in the same consummation. They present the unfolding of God‘s plans for bringing about the grand end under three different aspects, mutually complementing each other.

the temple — the sanctuary or Holy place (Greek, “{(naos}”), not the whole temple (Greek, “{(hieron}”).

opened in heaven — A and C read the article, “the temple of God “which is” in heaven, was opened.”

the ark of his testament — or “  …  His covenant.” As in the first verse the earthly sanctuary was measured, so here its heavenly antitype is laid open, and the antitype above to the ark of the covenant in the Holiest Place below is seen, the pledge of God‘s faithfulness to His covenant in saving His people and punishing their and His enemies. Thus this forms a fit close to the series of trumpet judgments and an introduction to the episode (the twelfth and thirteen chapters) as to His faithfulness to His Church. Here first His secret place, the heavenly sanct)uary, is opened for the assurance of His people; and thence proceed His judgments in) their behalf (Revelation 14:15, Revelation 14:17; Revelation 15:5; Revelation 16:17), which the great company in heaven laud as “true and righteous.” This then is parallel to the scene at the heavenly altar, at the close of the seals and opening of the trumpets (Revelation 8:3), and at the close of the episode (the twelfth through fifteenth chapters) and opening of the vials (Revelation 15:7, Revelation 15:8). See on Revelation 12:1, note at the opening of the chapter.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-11.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

I believe this verse ought to belong to chapter 12, and will there consider it. If it is connected in meaning with Revelation 11:18 it signifies that heaven is opened at the close of the seventh trumpet, and that from thence come judgments as well as blessings.
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Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/revelation-11.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

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.

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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-11.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

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.”

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-11.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

And the temple of God-The inmost part of it. Was opened in heaven - And hereby is opened a new scene of the most momentous things, that we may see how the contents of the seventh trumpet are executed; and, notwithstanding the greatest opposition, (particularly by the third woe,) brought to a glorious conclusion.

And the ark of the covenant was seen in his temple — The ark of the covenant which was made by Moses was not in the second temple, being probably burnt with the first temple by the Chaldeans. But here is the heavenly ark of the everlasting covenant, the shadow of which was under the Old Testament, Hebrews 9:4. The inhabitants of heaven saw the ark before: St. John also saw it now; for a testimony, that what God had promised, should be fulfilled to the uttermost.

And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail — The very same there are, and in the same order, when the seventh angel has poured out his phial; Revelation 16:17-21: one place answers the other. What the trumpet here denounces in heaven, is there executed by the phial upon earth. First it is shown what will be done; and afterwards it is done.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-11.html. 1765.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

19.] Concluding, and transitional. And the temple of God was opened in the heaven (or, according to the apparently grammatical correction of (108) (109), “the temple of God which was in the heaven was opened”), and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple (the episode of ch. Revelation 11:1 ff. began with measuring the temple of God, the shadow of things in the heavens: and now, when the time is come for the judgments there indicated to be fulfilled, that temple itself in the heavens is laid open. The ark of the Covenant is seen, the symbol of God’s faithfulness in bestowing grace on His people, and inflicting vengeance on His people’s enemies. This is evidently a solemn and befitting inauguration of God’s final judgments, as it is a conclusion of the series pointed out by the trumpets, which have been inflicted in answer to the prayers of His saints. It is from this temple that the judgments proceed forth (cf. ch. Revelation 14:15; Revelation 14:17, Revelation 15:5 ff., Revelation 16:17); from His inmost and holiest place that those acts of vengeance are wrought which the great multitude in heaven recognize as faithful and true, ch. Revelation 19:2. The symbolism of this verse, the opening for the first time of the heavenly temple, also indicates of what nature the succeeding visions are to be: that they will relate to God’s covenant people and His dealings with them): and there were lightnings and voices and thunderings and an earthquake and a great hail (the solemn salvos, so to speak, of the artillery of heaven, with which each series of visions is concluded: see this commented on above at the beginning of this section).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-11.html. 1863-1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Ver. 19. And the temple of God] Abundance of light shall be diffused in the Church, and heavenly mysteries more clearly revealed and more commonly understood.

The ark of his testament] That is, the secret mysteries of God. The ark was in a secret place; and seen by none but the high priest once a year.

And there were lightnings] Utter destruction to the wicked, as there was to Jericho, at the sound of the seventh trumpet, Joshua 6:16.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 11:19. And the temple of God, &c.— Bishop Newton, with Grotius, is of opinion, that this verse should introduce the twelfth chapter, as it appears to begin a new subject: it is much in the same spirit with the vision of Isaiah, (ch. Revelation 6:1.) and of our divine prophet, ch. Revelation 4:1-2. The temple of God was opened in heaven, &c. that is, more open discoveries were now made, and the mystery of God was revealed to the prophet. Lightnings and voices, &c. are the usual concomitants of the divine presence, and especially at giving new laws and new revelations: see Exodus 19:16; Exodus 19:25. Revelation 4:5; Revelation 8:5 and with as much reason they are made in this place the signs and preludes of the revelations and judgments which are to follow. It is no just objection, that a new subject is supposed to begin with the conjunction and; for this is frequent in the style of the Hebrews; some books, as Numbers, Joshua, and the two books of Samuel, &c. begin with the Hebrew particle ו, vau, or and.

Inferences.—Long has the court of God's temple been trodden under foot by the Gentiles, and a party of very corrupt and degenerate Christians (if they at all deserve the name, though they proudly arrogate to themselves the title of the Catholic church) been introducing and countenancing all the fopperies and absurdities of pagan superstition, as well as more than the horrors of pagan cruelty, so as indeed to have disgraced not the gospel alone, but human nature itself. A wise and gracious Providence hath raised up witnesses for the truth in all ages; and it is a signal honour to bear a faithful and courageous testimony against these enormous corruptions, though it were unto bonds and imprisonment, and even at the expence of life. Those noble and heroic confessors God hath remarkably supported; and even when they have been in a state of mourning and oppression, they have borne their testimony and prophesied; their prayers have been remembered before God, and many have been smitten, who injured and oppressed them. But, notwithstanding this, the beast continued his war upon the saints, and their oppressions increased, until, in many places, they have been cast down, and trodden in the dust, and their blood hath been poured out like water on the earth. Thus has the great city, the metropolis of the world, once faithful and celebrated, become even as Sodom and Egypt, or even as Jerusalem, where Christ himself, our divine Master, was crucified. Thus have the enemies of the truth triumphed over the servants of the Lord, and have erected trophies of their victory. But, thanks be to God, their triumph shall not be perpetual; Christ our Redeemer will revive his expiring cause, in a manner as glorious and wonderful as a resurrection from the dead: he will glorify his faithful people; he will cause the earth to tremble, and shake down the towers of the enemy; and when the first and second woes are past, will bring upon them a third and more terrible woe. In the faith of this triumphal event let us rejoice; and let us consider it as approaching, when the seventh angel shall sound, and when all the kingdoms of the earth shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. Let our prayers do all that the most earnest prayers can do, towards promoting this great event. O Lord God Almighty, who art, and art to come, we beseech thee to take to thyself thy great power and reign; for the proudest of the enemies who oppose thy kingdom reign, and even live, only by thy permission. Overbear, by thy superior rebuke, the rage of the angry nations; and give patience to thy afflicted servants, that they may never resign the hope of the reward, which thou wilt at length confer upon thy faithful people,—not only on the prophets, and most eminent and distinguished of the saints, but on all those that fear thy glorious and tremendous name; on the small, as well as on the great; when the destroyers of the church, and of the earth, shall be destroyed together. Amen.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, A general description is given of the state both of the true and the antichristian church during 1260 years, from the time that the temporal power of the Pope arose, about 756.

1. St. John is commanded to measure the temple of God, and the altar, and the worshippers; for, in the worst of times, and the darkest days, God would still maintain his own cause; and all his servants who would improve the light bestowed upon them, should be preserved from the general apostacy. The outer court he may not measure; that is left to the Gentiles, to those who indeed profess to bear the Christian name, but by the idolatry, superstitions, and frauds which they encourage and maintain, are returned in reality to the worship of Paganism, Popery being Heathenism revived: and during forty-two months, or 1260 years, these Gentile Papists shall tread the holy city under foot, and exercise their tyrannical government over the professors of the Christian name.

2. During the prevalence of the antichristian tyranny, God will not leave the world without warning, nor the corrupters of his worship without witness; a succession of faithful ministers shall arise, a few indeed, here spoken of but as two, and clothed in sackcloth, deeply affected with the miseries of the church, and the persecutions of the faithful. These are the two olive trees, &c. like Zerubbabel and Joshua (Zechariah 4:6-14.), whom God will supply with the continual influences of his grace, and endue with light and zeal to remonstrate against the corruptions of the antichristian church. And if any attempt to hurt them, the word of the Lord, which proceedeth out of their mouths as fire, denounces spiritual and eternal death upon them. These have power, like Elijah, to shut up heaven, and to bring the heaviest plagues, like those of Egypt, on their enemies; even the spiritual plagues of a famine of the word, obduracy of heart, and all the dreadful judgments which, in answer to their prayers, God will inflict on their persecutors, and which they denounce upon them, not from a spirit of revenge, but for the vindication of God's injured honour.

3. The witnesses shall be slain, while they are performing their testimony, though God will always raise up others, and avenge their blood on their persecutors; and their dead bodies shall be forbidden burial, and be insulted in the streets of that great city, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified, Rome papal being as notorious for filthiness as Sodom, and, like Egypt, the cruel oppressor of God's people, and red with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, which is, as it were, afresh to crucify him.

Some suppose that this slaying of the witnesses by the antichristian beast and his adherents, is yet to come; and that the three days and a half, refer not to the time and times and half times, or 1260 years, the whole period of popery, but to some more dreadful persecution, and general prevalence of the power of antichrist, which, towards the close of this period, will be permitted; and that for a short space the inhabitants of the papal countries will congratulate each other, as if they had now finally triumphed over those who troubled their consciences with remonstrances against their impieties, idolatries, and all their abominations. See the Annotations and the Appendix.

4. After three days and an half, at the close of the period of 1260 years, the witnesses are miraculously raised to life, to the terror of their enemies; not the same persons, but others, endued with their spirit, boldness, and zeal; and God, in testimony of his approbation, caught them up to heaven in the sight of their enemies, not literally, but figuratively; he exalted them to a state of eminent dignity and safety, above all the malice of their foes: and thereupon a great earthquake shook down a great part of the city of the beast, and seven thousand men were slain; a vast number of his dependants and abettors, men of note and influence, fell, and his jurisdiction was in part demolished; while the remnant, affrighted by these prodigies, renounced their idolatries and superstitions, and, converted to the faith of Jesus, glorified God. Note; (1.) The enemies of God's witnessing servants shall one day, with confusion, behold their exaltation, and know that God hath sent them. (2.) When God's judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants thereof should learn righteousness; and they who fly to God for refuge, and give him glory, shall be saved from fear of evil.

2nd, The seventh trumpet sounds, and lo, the third and the last woe is denounced, when the Mahometan and papal powers, the Eastern and Western antichrists, are to be utterly destroyed. On which,

1. Loud acclamations of joy fill all the courts of heaven; the wished for time is come, when Jesus shall erect his throne, and all nations shall bow before the sceptre of his grace, owning him as their rightful King, who shall reign over his faithful saints for ever and ever. And for this, the four-and-twenty elders pour forth their thanks to the Lord, and, in humble adoration, prostrate themselves before his throne, ascribing praise to the eternal and almighty Jesus, that he hath now signally made bare his arm, avenging the deaths of his martyred servants, and, in return for the indignation shewn by the antichristian persecutors, has poured forth his vials of wrath upon them; while his faithful ministers and people now receive their glorious reward; they see their foes become their foot-stool; and enjoy peace, comfort, mutual communion, and free liberty of all gospel ordinances, in their highest purity. And every gracious soul, looking forward to this happy season, cannot but pray that God would hasten it in his good time.

2. The temple of God was opened in heaven; the exercise of the true evangelical worship was now restored; and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament, intimating the peculiar manifestations of God's presence to all his people, the boldness they will have to approach the holiest of all, and the sweet communion which they shall enjoy with the Lord, seeing him, as it were, face to face.

3. And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail, as if the dissolution of all things was at hand; intimating the entire demolition of all the church's enemies. Note; Though the struggle be long and sharp, the gospel shall be finally triumphant, and the truth at last prevail over all opposition.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-11.html. 1801-1803.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 11:19. Corresponding, on God’s part, to the songs of adoration with which the inhabitants of heaven, immediately after the sounding of the seventh trumpet, celebrate the fulfilment of the mystery of God (proleptically), is the opening of the heavenly temple,(2999) whereby the ark of the covenant in the holiest of all, up to this time hidden, becomes visible no less to John and to the entire host of heaven.(3000) What this, together with the accompanying lightning, etc., signifies, must be misunderstood if we either(3001) find the entire contents of what belongs in the seventh trumpet actually exhausted with Revelation 11:19, and consequently regard Revelation 11:19 itself as the description of the final judgment,—so that then with ch. 12 we begin anew “by recapitulating,”—or entirely separate Revelation 11:19 from Revelation 11:15-18, and with Revelation 11:18 stand already at the actual end,(3002) so that with Revelation 11:19 the recapitulation begins. According to the former view, in Revelation 11:19 blessedness is prepared for the godly, as well as condemnation announced against the godless. But if in Revelation 11:19 the actual fulfilment of the mystery of God is to be rendered conspicuous, this conclusion would be highly unsatisfactory; yet it is never said what is the effect of the lightning, etc. In the correct feeling of “mysterious brevity,”(3003) which the entire section (Revelation 11:15-19) has, if the same is to bring the conclusion actually announced in Revelation 10:7, Vitr., Hengstenb., etc., refer to ch. 16 sqq., as the further development of what is here briefly said. In this there lies an uncertain acknowledgment of that which De Wette, etc., have said with distinctness concerning the proleptical nature of the entire section, Revelation 11:15-19; for in the same way as the ascriptions of adoration, upon the basis of the fact that the seventh trumpet has sounded, anticipate the fulfilment still to be actually expected, the signs also described in both parts of Revelation 11:19 are not the real execution of the final judgment, but the immediate preparations and adumbrations thereof. The temple of God in heaven is the place where God’s final judgments of wrath upon the world issue;(3004) the ark of the covenant, present therein, is the heavenly symbol and pledge of the immutable grace of God, because of which the blessed mystery(3005) promised through the prophets to believers whom he has received into his covenant, shall undoubtedly be fulfilled. If, therefore, after the blast of the seventh trumpet, the temple of God is opened so that the ark of the covenant becomes visible, the door is opened, as it were, for the final judgment proceeding from(3006) the most secret sanctuary of God concerning the godless world, and the sight of the ark indicates that the fulfilment of the hope of sharers in the covenant, pledged by it, is now to be realized. For on this account, also, there are threatening foretokens(3007) of that which at the execution of the judgment actually comes upon the antichristian world.(3008) So also Klief.

The older allegorists, from whose mode of exposition Hengstenb. and Ebrard deviate in Revelation 11:15 sqq., advance here also the most wonderful propositions. N. de Lyra refers the whole to the victory of the Goths, and other Arians under Narses. The seventh trumpet-angel is the Emperor Justin II.

In Calov. and other older Protestants, who, however, recognize the proleptical character of Revelation 11:15-19 less distinctly, the reference to the Papacy coheres with their view of the succeeding chapters. The ark of the covenant (Revelation 11:19) is applied by many to Christ, while C. a Lap. and the Cath. want to refer it especially to the Virgin Mary, yet without denying the reference to the humanity of Christ.

Eichh., Heinr., etc., find here the literal destruction of Jerusalem, and, accordingly, the complete victory of Christianity over Judaism—in connection with which τ. ἐθνη ὠργίσθ., Revelation 11:18, is explained: “Judaism offered difficulties to Christian discipline,”(3009) and the βασιλεύσει, κ. τ. λ., Revelation 11:15, is interpreted: “It shall come to pass that the Christian religion shall be oppressed by no other;” the βρονταὶ, κ. τ. λ., Revelation 11:19, indicate the ruin of the city. Grot. maintained his reference to the times of Barcocheba(3010) by such interpretations as that of βασιλεύσει, κ. τ. λ., Revelation 11:15 : “The Christian religion will always be in Judaea;” or on Revelation 11:18 : “By this, Christians who were in Judaea were commanded always to elevate their minds to the highest heaven where God dwells, where the ark of the covenant, i.e., the good things of the new covenant, are kept in store.”

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-11.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 11:19. ναὸς) ναὸς, ch. Revelation 3:12, Revelation 7:15, is היכל, the whole of the temple, but in this passage, and henceforth, it is דביר, the inner part of the temple,(122) דבר.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-11.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And the temple of God: some here, by the temple of God, understand the representation of the temple in Jerusalem; others understand the church triumphant; others, the church of Christ militant here upon earth.

Was opened in heaven: accordingly, by heaven they understand either the natural heavens, or the Christian church: it seemeth to be a plain allusion to the Jewish church, whose temple was ordinarily shut up in the time of wicked and idolatrous princes, who regarded not the true worship of God; so as all the time of Saul’s reign the ark abode in the private house of Obed-edom; and when Josiah came to reign, he found the temple neglected all the days of his father Amon and grandfather Manasseh, and the book of the law in the rubbish. But when good princes came to the throne, such as Hezekiah and Josiah, they opened the temple, restoring the true worship of God. So under the New Testament, during the whole reign of antichrist, where he prevails, idolatry and superstition obtain, and the true worship of God is suppressed; but his time being now expiring, God showeth John that there shall be a restoring of the true worship of God, and a liberty both to ministers and people to worship God according to his will. For though antichrist was not yet wholly destroyed, nor his party extinguished, yet he had lost his power and dominion, and God was now beginning to reckon with him for the blood of his saints; which was all to be done before all the kingdoms of the world should become the kingdoms of the Lord Christ.

And there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: in the temple of old, the ark of the covenant was the great symbol of God’s presence; hence God is said to have dwelt between the cherubims. In the ark were the two tables of the law; so as this phrase may either note the pure, free, and ordinary expounding of the law of God, which should be upon the downfal of antichrist; or the presence of God with his church in that more pure and reformed state. But such a work of providence being not like to be effected without the ruin of antichrist,

God showeth it shall be ushered in with

lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail; by terrible things in righteousness, as the psalmist speaketh. The consequents of which were the seven vials, of which we shall read, Revelation 16:1-21, pouring out plagues upon the antichristian party, until they should be wholly rooted out and Christ alone should be exalted in his church, and rule as King upon his holy hill of Zion.

From this mysterious portion of holy writ thus opened, it appeareth that God, in these foregoing chapters, hath (though more summarily) instructed his prophet in what should come to pass to the final ruin of the Roman empire, (considered as pagan, that is, till Constantine’s time), and also of the reign of antichrist. From whence it must needs follow, that whatsoever followeth this chapter, and cannot be applied to the time of Christ’s kingdom, must contemporize with something which went before, and belong to some period comprehended under the vision of the seals, or of the trumpets. The next three chapters are judged to relate wholly to things past, God therein representing to his prophet the state of his church (as some think) from the nativity of Christ; however, from his time, during the whole time that Rome continued pagan, or should continue antichristian; the following chapters showing the gradual destruction of antichrist by the seven last plagues.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-11.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

храм Божий на небе См. 3:12; 7:15; 14:15, 17; 15:5-8; 16:1, 17. Небесная святая святых (см. пояснение к Исх. 26:31-37), где обитает Бог в непреходящей сияющей славе, обычно считается Его престолом (гл. 4 и 5). Ср. Евр. 9:24. Иоанн видел престол (4:5), жертвенник (6:9; 8:3-5) и там святая святых. ковчег завета Его Этот предмет в ветхозаветной скинии и храме (см. пояснение к Исх. 25:10-22) символизировал присутствие Бога, искупление и завет с Его людьми. Тот земной ковчег был только копией этого небесного (см. Евр. 9:23; 10:20). Именно здесь Бог даровал милость и искупление греха. Поскольку святая святых на земле прекратила свое действие, когда цена за грех была уплачена (Мф. 27:51; Евр. 10:19, 20), то открывается святая святых на небесах, чтобы засвидетельствовать о спасающем новом завете Бога и о Его цели искупить даже в середине суда.

громы и землетрясение и великий град То, что было предсказано в 4:5 и 8:5, станет устрашающей действительностью. Эти события происходят как часть наказаний седьмой чаши (16:17-21) и являются кульминацией седьмой трубы. Так как небеса являются источником возмездия, гнев также исходит из святая святых Бога (14:15, 17; 15:5-8; 16:1, 7, 17). См. пояснение к 6:1.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-11.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The temple of God was opened in heaven; this verse belongs in all probability to the following series of prophecies, which it appropriately introduces. Compare chap Revelation 4:1, "A door was opened in heaven." But here the holy of holies is laid open, where God dwelt between the cherubim of the ark; apparently indicating that the apostle is about to receive a more interior and spiritual view of the condition and conflicts of the church. See the remarks prefixed to the next chapter.

The ark of his testament; the same as the ark of the covenant. Exodus 25:10-22. It was the symbol of God’s immediate presence, and of the certain fulfilment of his promises.

Lightnings-thunderings-earthquake, and great hail; emblems of God’s presence, and of the judgments about to be executed on the persecutors of his people.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-11.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

BLESSED Lord Jesus! thy Church finds cause to praise thee, for by gracious watching over thy people, and regarding their interests as thine own. Very sweetly didst thou manifest this love of thine, when commending John to measure the temple, and the altar, and them that worship therein. Surely, Lord, if John was thus taught to know the dimensions of thy Church and people; Jesus meant to say; that he himself, knows all that concerns them, the thought of this is; enough, in the worst of times, to comfort thy chosen. True, Lord, thy witnesses are in sackcloth in the present hour. The waters of the sanctuary run low. But the Lord knoweth them that are his. In the darkest seasons, Jesus hath a seed to serve him, a generation to call him blessed.

Lord! prepare thy Church for the awful time, when thy witnesses shall be slain. Oh! keep thy Church, in every individual instance of her true members, from the accommodating spirit of the present day. Oh! for grace from thee, thou glorious Lord, to bear up against the torrent running through this land, of mingling with the heathen, and learning their works. Carry on thy chosen, through all that remains to be accomplished, under the second woe trumpet of thy counsels. And hasten, in thine own time, that blessed soul-reviving sound, which shall call forth great voices in heaven, and the shouts of thy redeemed upon earth. Though both the Writer, and present Reader of this feeble labor, may not be alive to hail thy coming; yet all thy faithful now in grace, do by faith take part in that glory, which shall then be revealed, when thou shalt come to be glorified in thy saints, and admired in all them that believe. Amen.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/revelation-11.html. 1828.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And the Temple of God in Heaven was opened and in His temple was seen the ark of the covenant, and there followed lightnings and voices and thunders and an earthquake and great hail.’

Nothing is secret any longer. Heaven is opened and made known to earth. The ark of the covenant represents the throne of God, set between the cherubim, where God had taken His power and reigns, and within it is His covenant with His people and the world, which include the ten commandments by which the world will be judged (Exodus 25:21 with Exodus 31:18). To His own the sight is one of great joy. To His enemies it is one of great fear. Now indeed will they cry ‘hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath has come, and who will be able to stand?’ (Revelation 6:16-17). Just as the first vision of judgment (the seven seals) ended with the coming of Christ at the end of chapter 6, so the second vision of judgment ends with the coming of Christ here.

‘And there followed lightnings and voices and thunders and an earthquake and great hail’. This refrain, which signals great events about to take place, is constantly repeated and constantly grows (see Revelation 4:5; Revelation 8:5; Revelation 11:19). In Revelation 8:5 the earthquake was added (and is repeated in Revelation 16:18). Now is further added the great hail (compare Psalms 18:10-13; Ezekiel 13:13; Ezekiel 38:22; Isaiah 30:30; Exodus 9:24). The earthquake took the tenth part (Revelation 11:13) now the great hail will take the rest. It is a symbol of judgment, sweeping away ‘the refuge of lies’ (Isaiah 28:17), and of the approach of God (Psalms 18:10-13). The great hail is also described as taking place at the end of the seven bowls (or vials) (Revelation 16:21), demonstrating that the seven bowls do not follow chronologically but end also at this point. It is part of the approach of the King as he comes to bring the world to judgment, having raised the dead and raptured His own.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-11.html. 2013.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

Verse 19 presents the closing scene--the temple of God opened in heaven. It was the new temple, the vision of that which was measured for preservation in chapter 11:1. It was the "true tabernacle" of Hebrews 8:2; Hebrews 9:13; Hebrews 10:9. It was only re-introduced here, without further description, to become a part of second series of visions.

In this new temple was disclosed the ark of his testament. In the Jewish temple of John's time, yet standing, there was no ark of covenant "within the veil." It had long been lost. But in the vision of the restored temple--the true spiritual temple (Hebrews 8:2), which supersedes the temple made with hands, there reappears the holiest and most sacred of all the treasures of the old tabernacle--the ark of the covenant. It symbolized that what was lost in the old is restored in the new--and the apostate Jewish state yielded its place to the complete restoration and perfection in the New Testament church of Christ.

The curtains fall in the last words of this first vision: And there were lightnings, voices, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

These things followed all that had gone before in the vision. When the seventh trumpet sounded, the vision ended with lightnings, voices, thunders, an earthquake, and hail, which all at once came, as the sign to John that the revelation had not ended with the first vision. The great crisis just passed was to be followed by more of the same symbolism-- and the heaven of this vision was therefore still open with the close of chapter 11. But the beast that was, and was not, of chapter 13:8, yet is--he would again be active. Thus chapter 11 ends the first sequence of events. T h e second begins with chapter 12, and repeats the imagery in another but similar set of symbols, extending the same events and experiences.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-11.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

John then saw the temple in heaven opened (cf. Hebrews 9:23). This chapter opens with the measuring of the temple and closes with the opening of the temple, though in the first case the temple is on earth and in the second it is in heaven. This event, as the others in this pericope, is proleptic (cf. Revelation 15:5). [Note: Dsterdieck, p331.] The opening of the temple probably pictures the immediate fellowship with God that believers will enjoy following these judgments. In the temple, John viewed the ark of God"s covenant, the emblem of His faithfulness, presence, and atonement to the Israelites. The last chronological reference to the ark in the Old Testament is in 2 Chronicles 35:3. What happened to it after that is not known. Many scholars believe it perished in Shishak"s invasion, during Manasseh"s apostasy, when Nebuchadnezzar burned the temple in586 B.C, or during the Babylonian captivity (cf. 1 Kings 14:26; 2 Kings 25:9; 2 Chronicles 33:7; Jeremiah 3:16. Jewish tradition held that Jeremiah hid the ark in a cave on Mt. Sinai ( 2 Maccabees 2:4-8). There was no ark in the second temple. [Note: Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 5:219:5.] The "second temple" refers to the temple that Nehemiah built, which Herod the Great modernized, and which later perished in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D70. What John saw, however, was not the earthly ark but its heavenly counterpart (cf. Hebrews 9:24). Its appearance in the vision suggests that God would resume dealing with Israel and would soon fulfill His covenant promises to that nation.

As elsewhere, the storm theophany portrays the manifestation of God"s presence (cf. Revelation 4:5; Revelation 16:18; Exodus 19:16-19) and His wrathful judgment (cf. Revelation 8:5; Revelation 10:3; Revelation 16:18). J. Dwight Pentecost believed that the seventh trumpet is the second advent of Jesus Christ to this earth. [Note: Pentecost, Thy Kingdom . . ., p300.] The theophany concludes this part of John"s vision that proleptically anticipates the end of the Tribulation judgments and the inauguration of God"s kingdom.

This verse is transitional, concluding the present pericope and introducing what follows.

There is no revelation in this pericope ( Revelation 11:15-19) of the judgment announced by the blowing of the seventh trumpet. The record of this judgment appears in chapter16. There we have a prophecy of seven bowl judgments. It appears that as the seven trumpet judgments were a revelation of the seventh seal judgment, so the seven bowl judgments will be a revelation of the seventh trumpet judgment. [Note: Bullinger, pp368-69; Ladd, p160.] Consequently the revelation in chapters12-15 seems to be another insertion of information about this time, the Great Tribulation, not advancing the chronological sequence of events on earth (cf. Revelation 7:1-17 and Revelation 10:1 to Revelation 11:14). The chronological progression resumes again in Revelation 16:1.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-11.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 11:19. We have here exhibited in act what had just been proclaimed in word (Revelation 11:14-18). As throwing light upon the imagery of Revelation 11:1 and Revelation 11:2 it is important to notice that, when there was opened the temple of God that is in heaven, there was seen in his temple the ark of his covenant. The word ‘temple’ is apt to mislead, for we immediately think of the temple on Mount Moriah; but the innermost shrine is alone spoken of in the original, that most Holy Place which belonged not only to the later temple but to the Tabernacle in the wilderness. In the former the ark of God’s covenant could not have been seen, for it had disappeared at the destruction of the first temple, long before the days of St. John. The inference is clear that, although the word ‘temple’ is used, it is really the Tabernacle from which the imagery is obtained. No doubt the temple thus spoken of was ‘in heaven,’ but to the eye of the Seer things in heaven were the type and pattern of the heavenly things on earth; and no one who has entered into his spirit will maintain that, if in this verse the shrine of the Tabernacle be referred to, it is possible to find another and a different reference for the shrine spoken of in the first verse of the chapter. All arguments, therefore, as to the date of the Apocalypse, drawn from the use of the word ‘temple’ in Revelation 11:1, are necessarily unfounded. It is the Tabernacle as it is described in the Law, not a temple of stone existing in his own day, that is in the writer’s view. The ‘ark of God’s covenant’ is the symbol of God’s covenant love to His people; the type of the Incarnate Lord in whose heart the Law of God is laid up, and who is the ‘propitiatory’ (Romans 3:25) or Mercy-seat.

And there followed lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail. We have similar judgments at chap. Revelation 8:5, at the close of the seventh seal, and when preparation was made for the sounding of the trumpets. We shall again meet them in chap. Revelation 16:18, at the close of the seventh bowl. We are now, therefore, at the close of the seventh trumpet, and about to enter upon the seven bowls. It will be observed that these ‘lightnings,’ etc., are only exhibited in heaven. They do not yet fall upon the earth, but are symbols of what is to come.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-11.html. 1879-90.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 11:19. And the temple of God — Bishop Newton and Grotius think that this verse should introduce chap. 12., as it appears to begin a new subject. It is somewhat like the beginning of Isaiah’s vision, (Revelation 6:1,) I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, &c. And like the beginning of St. John’s prophetic vision, (Revelation 4:1-2,) I looked, and behold a door was opened in heaven, &c. This is much in the same spirit; and the temple of God was opened in heaven, &c. — That is, more open discoveries were now made, and the mystery of God was revealed to the prophet. And there were lightnings and voices, &c. — These are the usual concomitants of the divine presence, and especially at giving new laws and new revelations: see Exodus 20:16, &c.; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 8:5. And with as much reason they are made, in this place, the signs and preludes of the revelations and judgments which are to follow. It is no just objection that a new subject is supposed to begin with the conjunction and, for this is frequent in the style of the Hebrews; some books, as Numbers, Joshua, the two books of Samuel, and others, begin with וvau, or and; and the same objection would hold against beginning the division with the first verse of the next chapter.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/revelation-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

The temple of God was opened....the ark of his testament was seen; which P. Alleman applies to the cross that appeared in the air to Constantine. Such applications may be probable, but cannot be called certain. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-11.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Heaven is now opened and the ark of the covenant revealed. The ark was the place where God had promised to meet and commune with the children of Israel. (Exodus 25:21-22) It is here used to symbolize the place of God"s meeting and communing eternally with the church, heaven.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-11.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

was . . . heaven. The texts read "which is in heaven was opened".

seen. App-133.

testament = covenant. Greek. diatheke. Only occurrence in Rev.

great hail. Corresponds with Revelation 16:21.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-11.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

A similar conclusion to the seventh seal, Revelation 8:5, and to the seventh vial, Revelation 16:18. Thus, the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials, are not consecutive, but parallel, ending in the same consummation. They, from distinct stand-points, unfold God's plans for bringing about the grand end, under three aspects, mutually complementing each other.

The temple - the Holy Place [ naos (Greek #3485)]; not the whole temple [ hieron (Greek #2411)].

Opened in heaven. So B 'Aleph ('); but A C read the article, 'the temple of God, which is in heaven, was opened.'

The ark of his testament - `His covenant.' As in Revelation 11:1, the earthly sanctuary was measured, so here its heavenly antitype, and the antitype above to the ark of the covenant in the Holiest below, are seen, the pledge of God's faithfulness to His covenant in saving His people, and punishing their enemies. A fit close to the trumpet-judgments, and an introduction to the episode (Revelation 12:1-17; Revelation 13:1-18) as to His faithfulness to His Church. First, His secret place (Psalms 27:5) is open for the assurance of His people; thence proceed His judgments in their behalf (Revelation 14:15; Revelation 14:17; Revelation 15:5; Revelation 16:7; Revelation 16:17), which the great company in heaven land as "true and righteous." Parallel to the scene at the heavenly altar closing the seals and opening the trumpets (Revelation 8:3), and at the close of the episode (Revelation 12:1-17; Revelation 15:1-8), and opening of the vials (Revelation 15:7-8). Note, opening of Revelation 12:1-17.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-11.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(19) And the temple of God . . .—Translate, And the temple of God was opened in the heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and a great hail. At the beginning of the chapter we noticed the distinction between the two words (naos and hieron) applied to the Temple; the Temple building proper (the naos) was measured off. Now this (naos) Temple is opened, yes, to its very inmost recesses; for not the holy place alone is disclosed, but the holiest, of all, the shrine of shrines, into which the high priest alone—and he only once a year—entered, is opened, as though anew the veil of the Temple had been rent in twain, and there the ark of the covenant of God is seen. The meaning of this, when read by the light of the measuring of the Temple, seems to be that now the secret abode of the safe-guarded children of God was revealed. In the hour of apostasies and worldliness the faithful had found their strength and protection in the shadow of the Almighty; they were regarded by God as His true living Temple, and in them He dwelt, as they, too, found their defence in Him. But now that the end has come there is no need that these should be hidden any more. The children of God, who are the Temple of God, are made manifest; and at the same time the secret spot of their shelter in troublous days is made plain, and in it is seen the token of that everlasting covenant which was the sheet-anchor of their hopes in the day of their trouble (Hebrews 6:19). The ark of God’s covenant is seen; the ark which contained the tables of the law, the rod of Aaron, and the manna is unveiled; and now is known whence they derived that hidden manna, that bread of heaven which strengthened their hearts in the days of temptation; now is known how it was that the rod of Christ’s power flourished and blossomed in spite of oft-repeated rejection; now, too, are known those high and holy principles by which the lives of the saints of God were ruled, even that law which the divine Spirit had written in their hearts (Hebrews 10:16, and 2 Corinthians 3:2). Then, too, with the ark of God’s covenant, is brought into view the mercy-seat, that throne of grace to which the weary and heavy-laden children of God had so often gone, and where they had never failed to receive grace to help in every time of need (Hebrews 4:16). The Temple of God was opened, and the secret springs of power which sustained the patience and faith of the saints are found to be in God. And out of the opened Temple, or round about it, as round the sacred peak of Sinai, the lightnings are seen and voices and thunders are heard: the tokens of that holy law which the power of the world had defied are made manifest; for God’s righteousness has not lost its strength, and that which is a power of help to those who seek their shelter in God becomes a power of destruction to those who turn from Him. The habitation of God is an open sanctuary to faith; it is a clouded and lightning-crowned Sinai to faithlessness. (Comp. Hebrews 12:18-24.) The spirit of evil, of selfishness, of luxuriousness, of profanity, which rejects its birthright, of better thoughts and holy things, leads to “the mount that burned with fire, and unto blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words;” the Spirit of God leads to “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and Church of the first-born which are written in heaven.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
the temple
14:15-17; 15:5-8; 19:11; Isaiah 6:1-4
the ark
Exodus 25:21,22; Numbers 4:5,15; 10:33; 2 Corinthians 3:14-16; Hebrews 9:4-8
and there were
13,15; 4:5; 8:5; 16:18
and great
8:7; 16:21; Exodus 9:18-29; Joshua 10:11; Job 38:22,23; Psalms 18:12; 105:32; Isaiah 28:2; 30:30; 32:19; Ezekiel 13:11; 38:22 Reciprocal: Exodus 19:16 - thunders;  Exodus 25:10 - an ark;  Exodus 38:21 - tabernacle of testimony;  Exodus 40:3 - GeneralNumbers 4:20 - they shall;  Joshua 4:16 - General2 Samuel 22:14 - thundered;  1 Kings 19:11 - an earthquake;  Job 37:3 - He;  Psalm 18:6 - heard;  Psalm 29:3 - thundereth;  Psalm 68:8 - earth;  Psalm 68:33 - his voice;  Psalm 77:18 - voice;  Psalm 97:4 - the earth;  Isaiah 2:19 - when he;  Isaiah 6:4 - the house;  Isaiah 28:17 - and the hail;  Isaiah 29:6 - GeneralEzekiel 13:13 - and great;  Joel 3:16 - and the heavens;  Matthew 27:51 - the earth;  Matthew 28:2 - there;  John 12:29 - thundered;  Acts 7:56 - I see;  Acts 10:11 - saw;  Revelation 6:1 - the noise;  Revelation 12:1 - there;  Revelation 14:13 - a voice;  Revelation 16:17 - there;  Revelation 19:5 - a voice

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-11.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

GOD'S REMEMBRANCE OF ISRAEL.

Revelation 11:19. — "And the temple of God in the Heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail." The Apocalypse, as we have noticed, is divided into three divisions — a past, a present, and a future (Revelation 1:19).But besides this threefold division we have the contents of the book arranged under two great parts. The eighteenth verse of our chapter records the last historical action — the judgment of the dead. There is no history beyond it. This last and most solemn assize has its place after the millennial heavens have passed away and the earth burned up, and before the new eternal Heaven and new earth come into view. The judgment of the dead (Revelation 20:12)is, if we may so say, the link between time and eternity. In the first part of the Apocalypse (Revelation 1 — 11: 18) we have unfolded the general history of the Church, of Israel, and of the world from about the close of the first Christian century down to the close of the kingdom. The second part commences with chapter 11: 19, and occupies the rest of the book. In this part many interesting details are found, Satan is more openly in the foreground, the closing issues both in relation to the Church and the world are more fully unfolded than in the first part of the book. Verse 19 therefore is in relation to events about to be disclosed, and is not to be regarded as part and parcel of what has just been unfolded. Chapter 12 really commences with verse 19 of the previous chapter. In that which follows we have an entirely new prophecy, beginning with verse 19 and closing with chapter 14. It is one mainly relating to Israel, as the opening visions show. In chapter 12 are witnessed in Heaven the sources of good and evil. In chapter 13 Satan's two chief ministers on earth are seen in active hostility against God and His saints. In chapter 14 a series of seven events is disclosed in which the activity of God in grace and judgment is shown.

19. — "The temple of God in the Heaven was opened,and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple." Neither of these, i.e., the temple and the ark of the covenant,so rich and sacred in Jewish history, is actually located in Heaven. "I saw no temple therein," says the Seer in a subsequent vision (Revelation 21:22). What then do they signify? What are their moral value and lessons to "upon whom the ends of the ages are come?" The temple is the sign that God is taking up the cause and the interests of Israel, and when seen in Heaven, that it is there He is occupied with His people then on the earth. The ark of His covenant is the token of Jehovah's presence with, and His unchanging faithfulness to, His earthly people. The rainbow round the throne (Revelation 4:3) and encircling the head of the angel of might (Revelation 10:1) is the sign to all who behold it of God's covenant with creation, one of goodness and mercy. Here the ark, enclosing the tables of the law, and surmounted with its pure gold lid or mercy-seat, tells a rich tale of grace to Israel. What the rainbow was to creation, that and more the ark{*Whether the ark shared the fate of the temple, which was burned a month after the sack of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 52:12-13), or whether it was hidden by Jeremiah according to Jewish tradition (for the prophet was in the city during the whole of the siege), or included amongst the vessels carried by the conqueror to Babylon, we know not. Certain it is that the ark in the future is not to be brought to light, spite of speculation and guess-work to the contrary. On this Jeremiah speaks with no uncertain voice (Jeremiah 3:16). The ark, the sign of Jehovah's presence and faithfulness, will no longer be needed in the palmy days of the kingdom, for that which it signified will then be an accomplished fact. Jehovah will have made good His unchanging grace to His people, and His throne and presence in their midst will gloriously supersede the ark in the tabernacle and temple of old. To Israel the ark was the sign and token of grace (Joshua 3:14-17), to the uncircumcised heathen it only brought judgment (1 Samuel 5:1-12). In the former case the people were redeemed, hence Jehovah's presence with them was a blessing; in the latter the people were not redeemed, and hence His presence was intolerable.} was, and is, to Israel.

19. — "There were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail." These terms point separately and in conjunction to a storm of divine wrath, having its source in Heaven. We have already drawn attention to the signification of these terms in former parts of our Exposition. Hail from Heaven, here specially singled out by the epithet "great," intimates the sharpness and suddenness of judgment on earth, as also its source as manifestly from God (Exodus 9:18-25; Revelation 8:7; Revelation 16:21). The combination of destructive elements isnot employed when the throne is set up. No need of it, as judgment will then proceed from the throne on earth, and not, as here, from Heaven.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-11.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

This verse is a symbol that is very significant. The Bible had been denied the people for1260 years but is now restored to them. That is like letting the servants of God "in" on a great intimacy with the Lord. The original law was laid up by the ark in the Most Holy Place ( Exodus 25:16; Deuteronomy 10:2). The people were never permitted to see into that place where the book of God was deposited. Likewise the people under Rome were shut off from seeing the Book through the years of the apostasy. But the work of the Reformation broke through that and forced open the privacy and gave them another view of the law. As an illustration of such a privilege John was given a view into the place where the ark was which he calls the ark of his testament or holy law. The ltghtnings and other things named refer to the commotions that were caused by the Reformation.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-11.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 11:19

Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

And the temple of God was opened in heaven.

This temple is not New Jerusalem, which is still above, the mother of us all { Galatians 4:26} And shall come down from God out of heaven. { Revelation 21:2} For in that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. { Revelation 21:9-11} St. John saw no temple therein; for the Lord, the God, the Almighty is the temple of it, even the Lamb. { Revelation 21:22} o yeov; pantokratwr, naov authv authv; kai to arnion But this temple is that which St. John was commanded to measure, verse1of this chapter, { Revelation 11:1} viz. the true, visible, constituted, organized churches of saints in the apostles days (whereof see more in our exposition on the first verse of this chapter) See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:1 which are called the Temple of God { Ephesians 2:20-22; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Revelation 7:5-15; Revelation 15:5} And after that I looked, and behold the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened;

And there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament

This ark bears some allusion unto that ark in the temple of God's tabernacle called the sanctuary. { Exodus 25:1-22} And in the temple of the house of the Lord, which Solomon built. { 2 Chronicles 5:1-10} There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. Compare 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 with Revelation 15:5-8 wherein you have the full allusion.

By the ark of his testament we are to understand Christ, in whom is safely laid up the new covenant of grace; or the testament of the gospel; for all the promises of God in him are Yea, and in him, Amen. { 2 Corinthians 1:20}

And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail

By these metaphorical expressions, are signified the ruins and destructions of all those nations, kingdoms, potentates, powers, kings, princes and people, that oppose the Church of God, and the Kingdom of Christ on earth in that day { Daniel 2:44} And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces, and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever { Isaiah 60:7-12} For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee, shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. { Psalm 18:13-14} The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the highest gave his voice, hailstones and coals of fire: Yea, he sent out his arrows and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomforted them; especially the righteous judgments and plagues of God upon mystical Babylon in that day of her desolation. Compare Revelation 16:18-21 with Revelation 18:2-21. Lastly, by the voices here we are to understand those alleluia's expressed { Revelation 19:1-9} and after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, alleluia; salvation, and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, alleluia. And her smoke rose up forever and ever-And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. All which things will be more fully manifested in our exposition of the sixteenth chapter of this Book of the Revelation. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 16:1[ff]

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-11.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 11:19. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of his testimony was seen in his temple; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and a great hail. By ναό ς here is denoted the whole heavenly temple (comp. Revelation 3:12, Revelation 7:15), in the narrower sense, as consisting of the sanctuary and the Most Holy Place. But the temple is only then opened fully when the veil is quite removed, which separated the sanctuary from the Holiest, in which the ark stood. This ark had a double name. It is called the ark of testimony, as containing the law which testified against sin—comp. Exodus 25:16, Exodus 25:22, Exodus 26:33. But this designation is quite a partial one; it needs the other, the ark of the covenant (Deuteronomy 10:8, Deuteronomy 31:9, Deuteronomy 31:25-26; Joshua 3:6, Joshua 4:9) for its complement. The ark also had belonging to it as an integral part, the capporeth, the symbol of atonement, on which the covenant was founded; see my Beitr. III. p. 641, ss.: "The indispensable condition of God's connection with men, the foundation of his dwelling among them, is the atoning divine compassion. This was symbolized by the capporeth. As externally the capporeth covered the ark with its testimony, so spiritually did the divine compassion the sins of the people." The choice between these two designations is usually to be determined by the respect under which the sacred ark is brought into view. It is called the ark of the covenant, when its property as a symbol and pledge of the covenant is made account of. So, for example, in the narrative of the wonderful passage through the Jordan in the book of Joshua, in which the ark of the covenant formed a wall against the waters. So also in the siege of Jericho, Joshua 6:6. Now here the ark cannot come into consideration in so far as it contained the tables of the law, as Hofmann has explained the reason of its appearance: "The law still retains its power, as well in regard to those who have sinned against it as to those who have fulfilled it. It may therefore be openly exhibited, after having been so long covered, while God was bearing with the wicked and not rewarding his servants." For, in that case, the ark would rather have been called the ark of testimony—comp. ch. Revelation 15:5, "And afterwards I looked, and behold the temple of the tabernacle of testimony was opened in heaven," where a real value must be attached to the testimony, in which the world alone participates, for the capporeth avails only for the church. In the representation also of the judgment a point of essential moment would be wanting, the reference to the church, which still, according to ch. Revelation 10:7, must not be wanting. Finally, by this view too much is to be supplied. But when the ark of the covenant is made visible, the meaning can only be that the covenant receives its most signal accomplishment.[Note: "As a testimony, that what God had promised was now to be most perfectly fulfilled, both for the dismay and overthrow of the enemies, and for the support and joy of his own people."]By the open exhibition of the ark it was intimated that the terrors which according to the following words Were to burst upon the earth, had their foundation in the love of God—comp. the similar representation in ch. Revelation 14:15; Revelation 14:17. The thought is this, that God now, remembering his holy covenant, shall give to his people, that being redeemed from the hand of their enemies, they may serve God without fear, Luke 1:72-74. We must not determine the connection with what follows in some such way as this: there is a blessed reward to the righteous, though the words also represent the frightful punishment of the wicked; but the realization of the covenant, as is indicated by the appearance of the ark of the covenant, consists precisely in the overthrow of the enemies; as likewise in Revelation 11:18, the distribution of reward to the servants consisted in the destroying of those who destroy the earth. The appearance of the ark of the covenant marks the judgment inflicted on the world to be an expression of the love of God to his church.

The bright appearance here forms the contrast to the sad appearance in ch. Revelation 12:3.

According to some expositors mention is made of a heavenly temple in Exodus 25:9, Exodus 25:40, Exodus 26:30, Exodus 27:8; Numbers 8:3. But the subject of discourse there is not of a heavenly temple and its furniture, the prototype of the earthly, but only that God called forth in the spirit of Moses the vision of the sanctuary, which formed the basis of the structure of the tabernacle. These passages, therefore, are not in point here. As little also does the Jewish fable of the concealment of the ark in a secret place before the Babylonish exile come into consideration (Ewald). For, here the discourse is of the heavenly temple, the heavenly ark of the covenant.

Of the throne of God above the ark of the covenant, no account is made here. There is no reference to the representation given of God's appearance in ch. 4, and the question is out of place, how the ark of the covenant, over which was the throne of God, could here first appear visible, after what had preceded? God was not bound to the ark of the covenant. Even in Ezekiel, Ezekiel 10:4, the glory of the Lord raised itself from the cherub to the threshold of the house; and in Ezek. Ezekiel 1 the Lord appears to the prophet upon the cherubim out of the temple with its ark.

The five number: Lightnings, voices, thunderings, earthquake, hail, is deserving of notice. It denotes, according to the uniform signification of the five in Scripture, and especially in the Apocalypse, as the signature of the half and incomplete, the unfinished character of the representation, and points to the supplement, which it is to receive in the later groups. The same signification belongs to the number five ( which is here as little accidental as that of the three in ch. Revelation 4:6, or of the four, as the signature of the earth, which the threatening respected, in ch. Revelation 8:5) in the passage ch. Revelation 16:18-21, in which there is simply an extension of the one before us.

The comparison between the passage before us and ch. Revelation 8:5, "And there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake," is instructive. The lightnings, which there occupy the third place, are here placed at the head; and quite naturally. For there, where the voices, etc., have only a threatening character, where they merely foreshadow the future judgments, the thunder is at least as early in its production as the lightning; but here, on the contrary, where all concerns the judgment itself, the thunder can only come into consideration as connected with the lightning, as rendering the scene of destruction more appalling. Hand in hand with this position of the lightning, goes the addition of the hail, which never possesses a merely threatening character, but always appears where judgment has actually entered; comp. ch. Revelation 8:7. Also in ch. Revelation 16:18-21, where likewise the actual entrance of the judgment is represented, the lightnings form the beginning and the hail the conclusion.

The verse before us is related to Revelation 11:15-18 much as in ch. Revelation 16:18, the report that there were voices, thunders, etc., to the anticipative declaration in Revelation 11:17 : It is done.

The earthquake marks the shattering of the ungodly world-power—comp. on ch. Revelation 6:12. Ch. Revelation 16:18-20 forms a commentary on it.[Note: The καὶ σεισμό ς, which is omitted in some critical helps, cannot be dispensed with were it only on account of the relation to ch. 8:5. Then also the relation to ch. 16:18-20 requires it. The reason for the omission may be gathered from the remark of Züllig: "Others have still earthquake, but this would destroy the round number corresponding to the four quarters of the world."]Hail appears often in the Old Testament as an image of divine judgment, comp. Isaiah 30:30, Isaiah 32:19; Psalms 18:12-13, "At the brightness before him his clouds passed, hailstones and coals of fire! And the Lord thundered in the heavens, and the Most High gave forth his voice, hailstones and coals of fire." There too we have a scene of actual destruction. The storm of divine wrath discharges itself. Amid frightful thunder and the sea of fire, by which the Lord in his anger was encompassed, lightnings burst forth, rending the cloud, and hailstones pour down—the weapons with which the Lord assails his own and his people's enemies; as of old the Egyptians (Exodus 9:24, comp. Psalms 78:47-48), and the Canaanites at Bethoron (Joshua 10:11). The repetition there in Joshua 10:13, serves the same design as is done here by the lightning being made to open and the hail to close the series. The repetition, as remarked in my Commentary, is the more in its place as the fiery coals, or lightnings, and the hailstones, were properly the things by which the enemies of the Psalmist were destroyed; the rest were mere accompaniments by which the scene of destruction was rendered more dreadful.

We have here no limitation of the territory, as in the first six trumpets, and even in the great earthquake, which befals Jerusalemin the episode in ch. Revelation 11:13; which is a clear proof that we have here to do with the final judgment.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-11.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19.To this divine ascription there is given from God a divine response, not uttered to the ear, but shown to the eye. The temple (see note Revelation 4:11) is the same as in Revelation 11:2, but not as same symbol. It here stands, as in Revelation 15:5, (see note,) for the literal temple, and in the holiest of that temple is the testament—divine covenant—by which God pledges himself to his people for the final triumph of good in glory. In answer to the predictive thanksgiving of the elders’ worship, God displays that covenant. He answers not a word, he only shows his pledge; as much as to say, “You see that MYSELF am bound for the consummation you predict.”

Lightnings’ hail—All the most powerful elements of nature pour forth their celebration over this pledge of the final glorification of nature with man.

The panorama moves on, and the two great princes of good and of evil appear in antithesis. This is the beginning of the scenic war.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-11.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 11:19 introduces Revelation 12:1-17; all that the prophet can speak of, from his own experience (cf.Revelation 13:1; Revelation 13:11, ), are the two on earth, but their activity in these latter days is not intelligible except as the result of mysterious movements in heaven. The latter he now outlines (cf. Revelation 11:19, Revelation 12:1; Revelation 12:3. By whom?) in order to comfort Christians by the assurance that the divine conqueror of these was in readiness to intervene. The celestial (contrast Revelation 11:1) , presupposed in the scenery of 4–6, is now mentioned for the first time; its opening reveals the long lost , and is accompanied by the usual storm-theophany, marking a decisive moment. Jewish tradition had for long cherished the belief (cf. on Revelation 2:17) that the restoration of the people (gathered by God, cf.Revelation 14:1 f.) in the last days would be accompanied by the disclosure of the sacred box or ark (in a cloud; cf. here the lightning and thunder) which, together with the tabernacle and the altar of incense, had been safely concealed in Mount Nebo. So, e.g., Abarbanel (on 1 Samuel 4:4: haec est area quam abscondit ante uastationem templi nostri et haec area futuro termpore adueniente messia nostro manifestabitur). Epiphanius repeats the same rabbinical tradition ( ). The underlying idea was that the disappearance of the ark from the holy of holies (Jeremiah 3:16; Jeremiah 4 Ezra 10:22; Jos. Bell.ver 5. 5) was a temporary drawback which had to be righted before the final bliss could be consummated. This legend explains the symbolism of the Jewish Christian prophet. The messianic crisis is really at handl The dawn may be cold and stormy, but it is the dawn of the last day! The spirit and content of the passage are transcendental; it is prosaic to delete . . (Spitta, and Cheyne in E. Bi. i. 309) and refer the vision to the earthly temple in Jerusalem. Like the author of Hebrews, this writer views heaven under the old ritual categories; besides, the originals of the sacred things were supposed to exist in the heaven of God (Hebrews 8:5).

This overture leads up to two sagas (12 and 13) which explain that the present trouble of Christians was simply a final phase of the long antagonism which had begun in heaven and was soon to be ended on earth. It is the writer’s task “not only to announce the future but also (Revelation 1:19) to convey a right understanding of that present on which the future depends” (Weiss). Hence the digression or retrospect in Revelation 12:1 f. is only apparent. Hitherto only hints of persecution have been given; now the course, methods, and issues of the campaign are unfolded. The messianic position of Jesus is really the clue to the position of affairs, and it is of the utmost ( , Revelation 11:1 = weighty and decisive) moment to have all events focussed in the light of the new situation which that position has created. So much is plain. But that the source (or tradition) with its goddess-mother, persecuting dragon, celestial conflict, and menaced child, did not emanate from the prophet himself is evident alike from its style and contents; these show that while it could be domiciled on Jewish Christian soil it was not autochthonous (cf. Vischer, 19 f.; Gunkel, S. C. 173 f.). The imagery is not native to messianism. It bears traces of adaptation from mythology. Thus, where it would have been apposite to bring in the messiah (Revelation 11:7), Michael’s rôle is retained, even by the Christian editor, while the general oriental features of the mother’s divine connexion and her flight, the dragon’s hostility and temporary rout, and the water-flood, are visible through the Jewish transformation of the myth into a sort of allegory of messiah, persecuted by the evil power which he was destined to conquer. “In reality it is the old story of the conflict between light and darkness, order and disorder, transferred to the latter days, and adapted by spiritualisation ’ to the wants of faithful Jews” (Cheyne, Bible Problems, 80). While the vision represents the messianic adaptation of a sun-myth, it is uncertain what the particular myth was, and whether the vision represents a Jewish source worked over by the prophet. In the latter case, the Christian redactor’s hand is visible perhaps in 4 a and 5 ( . . , cf.Revelation 5:6), certainly in 11 (which, even apart from the Lamb, interrupts the sequence) and 17 c, if not also in the whole of 10–12. If, in addition to this, the source was originally written in Hebrew, traces of the translator are to be found (so Gunkel, Kohler, and Wellhausen, after Ewald, Bruston, Briggs, and Schmidt) in 2 ( . , cf.1 Samuel 4:19 ), 5 ( . = ), 6 ( = ), 8 ( . . = ̇ cf. 14 and on Revelation 3:8), 9 (the old serpent = or ), possibly 10 ( = ), and 12 ( , cf. of 10 = ). But whether the source was written or not, whether (if written) it was in Greek or not, and whether it was Jewish or Jewish-Christian, the clue to the vision lies in the sphere of comparative religion rather than of literary criticism. Its atmosphere has been tinged by the international myth of a new god challenging and deposing an older, or rather of a divine hero or child menaced at birth—a myth which at once reflected the dangers run by the seed sown in the dark earth and also the victory of light (or the god of light) over darkness, or of light in the springtide over the dead winter. The Babylonian myth of Marduk, which lacks any analogous tale of Marduk’s birth, does not correspond so aptly to this vision (cf. Introd. § 4 b), as does the well-known crude Egyptian myth (Bousset); Isis is a closer parallel than Ishtar, and still closer perhaps at one point is the of Hellenic mythology, who was often represented as uirgo coelestis. But, if any local phase of the myth is to be assumed as having coloured the messianic tradition used by John, that of Leto would be particularly intelligible to Asiatic readers (cf., e.g., Pfleiderer, Early Christ. Conception of Christ, 56 f., after Dieterich’s Abraxas, 117 f.; Maas, Orpheus, 251 f.). The dragon Python vainly persecuted her before the birth of Apollo; but she was caught away to a place of refuge, and her divine child, three days later, returned to slay the monster at Parnassus. This myth of the pregnant and threatened goddess-mother was familiar not only in Delos but throughout the districts, e.g., of Miletus and Magnesia, where the fugitive goddess was honoured on the local coinage. Coins of Hadrian’s reign associate the myth with Ephesus ( ). At Hierapolis, “the story of the life of these divine personages formed the ritual of the Phrygian religion” (C. B. P. i. 91 f.); the birth of a god is associated with Laodicea, one coin representing an infant god in the arms of a woman (Persephone); while in the legend of Rhea, as Ramsay points out (C. B. P. i. 34), Crete and Phrygia are closely allied (cf. also Sib. Orac. ver. 130 f.). All this points decisively to the Hellenic form of the myth as the immediate source of the symbolic tradition (so, e.g., J. Weiss, Abbott, 99), though here as elsewhere in the Apocalypse the obscurity which surrounds the relations between Jewish or early Christian eschatology and the ethnic environment renders it difficult to determine the process of the latter’s undoubted influence on the former. Fortunately, this is a matter of subordinate importance. The essential thing is to ascertain not the soil on which such messianic conceptions grew, but the practical religious object to which the Christian prophet, as editor, has freely and naively applied them. His design is to show that the power of Satan on earth is doomed. Experience indeed witnesses (Revelation 11:12-17) to his malice and mischief, but the present outburst of persecution is only the last campaign of a foe whose efforts have been already baffled and are soon to be crushed in the inexorable providence of God. The prophet dramatically uses his source or tradition to introduce Satan as a baffled opponent of the messiah (cf. on Revelation 11:7), who is simply making the most of his time (Revelation 11:12). Moriturus mordet. Once this cardinal aim of the piece is grasped—and the proofs of it are overflowing—the accessory details fall into their proper place, just as in the interpretation of the parables. In all such products of the poetical and religious imagination, picturesque items, which were necessary to the completeness and impressiveness of the sketch, are not to be invested with primary significance. Besides, in the case of an old story or tradition which had passed through successive phases, it was inevitable that certain traits should lose much if not all of their meaning. “These ancient traits, fragments of an earlier whole, which lack their proper connexion in the present account, and indeed are scarcely intelligible, as they have been wrested from the thought-sequence of the original writer, reveal to the expert the presence of an earlier form of the story” (S. C. p. 6.)

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-11.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

19. God’s temple in heaven was opened. This symbolic picture shows the beauty of God’s love to his children. The temple is wide open so all can see the box holding the covenant. That box symbolizes the real and perfect union [fellowship ofJohn 1:7given real meaning] of God and his people. Flashes of lightning. The same box holding the covenant is symbolic of God’s wrath to those who have rejected him. The lightning, sounds, thunder, earthquake, and hail symbolize God’s mighty power brought in wrath against the ungodly (compare Judges 1:15).

 

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 11:19". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-11.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.