Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 11:7

When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Animals;   Hell;   Martyrdom;   Pit;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - World-System;   The Topic Concordance - War/weapons;   Witness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - War;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Beasts;   Deep and Depths;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Day of the lord;   Witness;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Abyss;   Animals;   Kill, Killing;   Restore, Renew;   Zechariah, Theology of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Abyss;   Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Deep;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Deep;   Gentiles;   Judah, Kingdom of;   Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abyss;   Bottomless Pit;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Beast;   Revelation, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Abyss;   Apocalypse;   Beast;   Descent into Hades;   Eschatology;   Spirits in Prison;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bottomless Pit;   19 To Accomplish, Finish, Fulfil;   39 War Fighting;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Abyss;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Abyss, the;   Ascend;   Bottomless Pit;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit - This may be what is called antichrist; some power that is opposed to genuine Christianity. But what or whence, except from the bottomless pit, i.e., under the influence and appointment of the devil, we cannot tell; nor do we know by what name this power or being should be called. The conjectures concerning the two witnesses and the beast have been sufficiently multiplied. If the whole passage, as some think, refer to the persecution raised by the Jews against the Christians, then some Jewish power or person is the beast from the bottomless pit. If it refer to the early ages of Christianity, then the beast may be one of the persecuting heathen emperors. If it refer to a later age of Christianity, then the beast may be the papal power, and the Albigenses and Waldenses the two witnesses, which were nearly extinguished by the horrible persecutions raised up against them by the Church of Rome. Whatever may be here intended, the earth has not yet covered their blood.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And when they shall have finished their testimony - Prof. Stuart renders this, “And whenever they shall have finished their testimony.” The reference is undoubtedly to a period when they should have faithfully borne the testimony which they were appointed to bear. The word rendered here “shall have finished” - τελέσωσιν telesōsinfrom τελέω teleōmeans properly to end, to finish, to complete, to accomplish. It is used, in this respect, in two senses - either in regard to time or in regard to the end or object in view, in the sense of “perfecting it,” or “accomplishing it.” In the former sense it is employed in such passages as the following: “Till the thousand years should be fulfilled,” Revelation 20:3. “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel (Greek, ye shall not have finished the cities of Israel) until the Son of man be come,” Matthew 10:23; that is, ye shall not have finished passing through them. “When Jesus had made an end (Greek, finished) of commanding his twelve disciples,” Matthew 11:1. “I have “finished” my course,” 2 Timothy 4:7.

In these passages it clearly refers to time. In the other sense it is used in such places as the following: “And shall not the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law,” Romans 2:27; that is, if it accomplish or come up to the demands of the law. “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scriptures,” James 2:8. The word, then, may here refer not to “time,” meaning that, these events would occur at the end of the “thousand two hundred and threescore days,” but to the fact that what is here stated would occur when they had completed their testimony in the sense of having testified all that they were “appointed” to testify; that is, when they had borne full witness for God, and fully uttered his truth. Thus understood, the meaning here may be that the event here referred to would take place, not at the end of the 1260 years, but at that period during the 1260 years when it could be said with propriety that they had accomplished their testimony in the world, or that they had borne full and ample witness on the points entrusted to them.

The beast - This is the first time in the Book of Revelation in which what is here called “the beast” is mentioned, and which has so important an agency in the events which it is said would occur. It is repeatedly mentioned in the course of the book, and always with similar characteristics, and as referring to the same object. Here it is mentioned as “ascending out of the bottomless pit”; in Revelation 13:1, as “rising up out of the sea”; in Revelation 13:11, as “coming up out of the earth.” It is also mentioned with characteristics appropriate to such an origin, in Revelation 13:2-4 (twice), Revelation 13:11, Revelation 13:12 (twice), Revelation 13:14 (twice), Revelation 13:15 (twice), 17,18; Revelation 14:9, Revelation 14:11; Revelation 15:2; Revelation 16:2, Revelation 16:10, Revelation 16:13; Revelation 17:3, Revelation 17:7-8 (twice), 11,12,13,16,17; Revelation 19:19-20 (twice); Revelation 20:4, Revelation 20:9. The word used here - θηρίον thērion- means properly “a beast, a wild beast,” Mark 1:13; Acts 10:12; Acts 11:6; Acts 28:4-5; Hebrews 12:20; James 3:7; Revelation 6:8. It is once used tropically of brutal or savage men, Titus 1:12. Elsewhere, in the passages above referred to in the Apocalypse, it is used symbolically. As employed in the Book of Revelation, the characteristics of the “beast” are strongly marked:

(a)It has its origin from beneath - in the bottomless pit; the sea; the earth, Revelation 11:7; Revelation 13:1, Revelation 13:11.

(b)It has great power, Revelation 13:4, Revelation 13:12; Revelation 17:12-13.

(c)It claims and receives worship, Revelation 13:3, Revelation 13:12, Revelation 13:14-15; Revelation 14:9, Revelation 14:11.

(d)It has a certain “seat” or throne from whence its power proceeds, Revelation 16:10.

(e)It is of scarlet color, Revelation 17:3.

(f)It receives power conferred upon it by the kings of the earth, Revelation 17:13,

(g)It has a mark by which it is known, Revelation 13:17; Revelation 19:20.

(h)It has a certain “number”; that is, there are certain mystical letters or figures which so express its name that it may be known, Revelation 13:17-18.

These things serve to characterize the “beast” as distinguished from all other things, and they are so numerous and definite, that it would seem to have been intended to make it easy to understand what was meant when the power referred to should appear. In regard to the origin of the imagery here, there can be no reasonable doubt that it is to be traced to Daniel, and that the writer here means to describe the same “beast” which Daniel refers to in Revelation 7:7. The evidence of this must be clear to anyone who will compare the description in Daniel Daniel 7:25. It may be assumed here that the opinion there defended is correct, and consequently it may be assumed that the “beast” of this book refers to the papal power.

That ascendeth out of the bottomless pit - See the notes on Revelation 9:1. This would properly mean that its origin is the nether world; or that it will have characteristics which will show that it was from beneath. The meaning clearly is, that what was symbolized by the beast would have such characteristics as to show that it was not of divine origin, but had its source in the world of darkness, sin, and death. This, of course, could not represent the true church, or any civil government that is founded on principles which God approves. But if it represent a community pretending to be a church, it is an apostate church; if a civil community, it is a community the characteristics of which are that it is controlled by the spirit that rules over the world beneath. For reasons which we shall see in abundance in applying the descriptions which occur of the “beast,” I regard this as referring to that great apostate power which occupies so much of the prophetic descriptions - the papacy.

Shall make war against them - Will endeavor to exterminate them by force. This clearly is not intended to be a general statement that they would be persecuted, but to refer to the particular manner in which the opposition would be conducted. It would be in the form of “war”; that is, there would be an effort to destroy them by arms.

And shall overcome them - Shall gain the victory over them; conquer them - νικήσει αὐτοὺς nikēsei autousThat is, there will be some signal victory in which those represented by the two witnesses will he subdued.

And kill them - That is, an effect would be produced as if they were put to death. They would be overcome; would be silenced; would be apparently dead. Any event that would cause them to cease to bear testimony, as if they were dead, would be properly represented by this. It would not be necessary to suppose that there would be literally death in the ease, but that there would be some event which would be well represented by death - such as an entire suspension of their prophesying in consequence of force.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-11.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Revelation 11:7

The beast … shall make war.

Against the beast

I. Among the foes which attack the Church of the Lord, either alternately or in solid phalanx, the present age is exposed particularly to one--the Beast, which sometimes arms himself with demoniac force, and again adorns himself with demoniac wisdom, but who nevertheless is, and always remains, a beast, combining in himself antagonism to God and humanity. Keeping these things in view, let us consider the signs of the times. Behold in modern heathenism man making himself an ape, and, even through the midst of baptized Christianity, the doctrine noised abroad that human history does not emanate from God, in no sense has its source in God; that, in fact, in the sense of a conflict for moral freedom, there can be no history of any kind, not to mention the possibility of a sacred history. Nothing is left but natural history, and that includes only three pages: following the title, under which the name of the author is wanting, there stands on the first legible page an animal; on the second, a man; on the third, death. Ancient heathenism was only a departure from universal revelation by means of nature and conscience; but modern paganism is apostasy from the perfect revelation of God in His Son. This is heathenism more mischievous, more difficult of cure! Hold fast, O man, to what thou hast, and what thou art in moral conviction, in order that no animalised wisdom, and no false prophet, rob you of the crown of your personality, which descended to you from God, and flashes back to God. Ye human souls, a brute has no power to elevate nor to degrade itself; that is why it is a brute and no more than nature; man, however, designed for God’s child and Christ’s co-labourer, must, if he is determined not to follow his calling, fall deep and ever deeper, until he sinks beneath the brute. There certainly never has been a period when the word “humanity” has been so much preached and praised as in ours; but a figure of speech is not yet a fact. Christianity, in truth, has so little conflict with the rights and duties indicated by that word “humanity,” that it, the rather, was first to make the word a truth. “Behold the Man!” through Him by whom a new order of things arose, so that there is no longer bond nor free, male nor female, Greek nor Scythian, but all are one in Christ Jesus, one redeemed, regenerated, baptized humanity. In order to be humane, humanity has need of the Son of Man, who is the Son of God. When, in the preceding century, France was inscribing the word “humanity” on all her banners, and always with new embellishment, she began with dethroning God, and ended by murdering her king. The guillotine--that was her fraternity!

II. It is time that we leave off boasting, and awake and lay hand on our weapons, and startle the beast back to his dismal hole. The Scripture indicates three weapons to be used in the conflict against the beast, when it exclaims: “Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” From these words we derive strictness of discipline the simplicity of the cross, the power of prayer. (R. Kogel, D. D.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Revelation 11:7". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/revelation-11.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that cometh up out of the abyss shall make war with them" and overcome them, and kill them.

And when they shall have finished their testimony ... This may be construed as meaning (1) at the end of the gospel age when all proclamations of the truth has been completed or (2) repeatedly, whenever and wherever the message is faithfully delivered. We are certain that the latter of these two interpretations is correct and shall therefore construe it as reference to a repeated phenomenon.

As a repeated phenomenon. Upon any occasion in history when the word of God is fully and adequately proclaimed, what happens? The devil immediately goes to war against the truth and never stops until he kills it and overcomes it. This is symbolical, of course, for neither the word of the Lord nor the holy church can be overcome or killed literally. The word of the Lord endureth for ever; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against the church. Despite this, the damage inflicted by the evil one is sufficient to justify the hyperbolic metaphor describing it. Has not Satan been "killing the Bible" for ages? And yet it still lives.

As a final, post-dispensational event. Many interpreters adopt this view, bring in the Antichrist, get the church out of the way with a "rapture," and then construct all kinds of theories based upon twenty different interpretations of various details mentioned in this and accompanying verses. We reject this view because the "beast that cometh up out of the abyss" has already arrived ages ago, as evident in the very next clause.

The beast that cometh up out of the abyss ... This can be none other than Satan; and his "coming up" here is not an event deferred until near the final judgment. This beast is introduced here without explanation, because none is needed. He has been around since the Garden of Eden; and it is no new thing that "he makes war" against all truth and righteousness. He "killed" the word of God for Eve, and he has been "killing it" ever since, and in exactly the same manner, by scoffing at it, by denying it, by contradicting, etc. Today, Satan has succeeded in "killing" most churches, as far as their effective proclamation of convicting, saving truth is concerned. The church of our times is at ease in Zion and is free from persecution merely because Satan has no cause whatever for worry regarding their witness of the whole word of God. Some refer to the beast in this verse as a "monster,"[44] but it is the spiritual enemy of mankind who is symbolized; and his appearance to man is frequently in a very attractive form. Therefore, the conception of a "monster" literalizes the passage, which is incorrect. Others make this beast "the Roman Empire or the Antichrist,"[45] or as Lenski said, "the whole anti-Christian power in the world";[46] but that latter designation is only another name for Satan. We agree with Plummer that, "The Beast is Satan,"[47] a conclusion also reached by Cox.[48]

[44] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 137.

[45] Albertus Pieters, op. cit., p. 147.

[46] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 342.

[47] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 291.

[48] Frank L. Cox, op. cit., p. 74.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "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 when they shall have finished their testimony,.... For Christ, his truths and ordinances; when they are about to finish it, and almost concluded it, even towards the close of the 1260 days or years, in which they must prophesy in sackcloth: or else their testimony and their prophesying may be considered as two distinct things, and the one be finished before the other; their open public testimony, as witnesses, so as to be heard, attended to, and received, will be finished before the last war of the beast against them, in which they will be killed; but their prophesying will continue to the end of the beast's reign, these two being contemporary, of equal date, beginning and ending together; for they will prophesy when they are dead; being dead they will yet speak, and their very death will be a prophesying or foretelling that the ruin of antichrist is at hand; and upon their resurrection and ascension, that will immediately come on. But when their testimony is finished, by a free and open publication of the Gospel,

the beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit; the same with that in Revelation 13:11, with which compare Revelation 17:8; and which is no other than the Romish antichrist; called a beast for his filthiness and cruelty; and said to ascend out of the bottomless pit, out of hell, because his coming is after the working of Satan: he is raised up, influenced, and supported by him; he is a creature of his, and has his power, seat, and authority from him, the great dragon, the old serpent, called the devil and Satan; his original and rise are the same with those of his doctrine and worship, the smoke of the bottomless pit; they all come out of it, and they will return thither again. The Alexandrian copy, and some others, read, "the fourth beast that ascendeth", &c. as if it was the same with Daniel's fourth beast, Daniel 7:7, as it doubtless is. Now this filthy and savage beast

shall make war against them; the witnesses; a war he has been making against the saints ever since he was in power, by his decrees, his counsels, his anathemas, and by sword, fire, and faggot, Revelation 13:7; but this will be his last war, and it will be a dreadful one; it will be the last struggle of the beast; and though it will be attended with the conquest and slaughter of the witnesses, yet it will lead on to, and issue in his own ruin; this is "the hour of temptation", in Revelation 3:10;

and shall overcome them; not by arguments taken out of the word of God, by which their mouths will be stopped, so as to be confounded, and have nothing to say, or so as to yield to him, and give up the truths and ordinances of the Gospel; but by outward force and tyranny, so as that they shall be obliged to give way, and he will take possession of the kingdoms and nations in which they have prophesied: he will first attack the outward court, the bulk of formal professors, and will prevail over them; and then, the outworks being taken, he will more easily come at the inner court worshippers within the temple.

And kill them; not corporeally, but civilly; for as their dead bodies lying three days and a half, that is, three years and a half, unburied, and their resurrection from the dead, and ascension to heaven, cannot be understood literally, so neither the killing of them; not but that in this war there may be a great slaughter, and much blood shed, in a literal sense: but the killing spoken of seems to regard them, not as men, but as witnesses; they will not be suffered to bear an open testimony any longer; they will be silenced; they will be banished, or removed into corners; and they will not only be under the censures, excommunications, and anathemas of the Romish antichrist, but they will lose all credit and esteem among those, who once pretended to be their friends; who will be ashamed of them, and will join in reproaching and rejecting them; so that their ministrations will be quite shut up, and at an end.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

10 And when they shall have c finished their testimony, 11 the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall 12 overcome them, and kill them.

(10) That is, when they have spent those 1260 years mentioned in (Revelation 11:2-3) in publishing their testimony according to their office.

(c) When they have done their message.

(11) Of which after Chapter 13, that beast is the Roman Empire, made long ago of civil, ecclesiastical: the chief head of which was then Boniface the eighth, as I said before: who lifted up himself in so great arrogancy, (says the author of "Falsciculus temporum") that he called himself, Lord of the whole world, as well in temporal causes, as in spiritual: There is a document of that matter, written by the same Boniface most arrogantly, shall I say, or most wickedly, "Ca. unam sanctam, extra de majoritate & obedientia." In the sixth of the Decretals (which is from the same author) many things are found of the same argument.

(12) He shall persecute most cruelly the holy men, and put them to death, and shall wound and pierce through with cursings, both their names and writings. That this was done to very many godly men, by Boniface and others, the histories do declare, especially since the time that the odious and condemned name amongst the multitude, first of the brethren Waldonenses or Lugdunenses, then also of the Fraticels, was pretended, that good men might with more approbation be massacred.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-11.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

finished their testimony — The same verb is used of Paul‘s ending his ministry by a violent death.

the beast that ascended out of the bottomless pitGreek, “the wild beast  …  the abyss.” This beast was not mentioned before, yet he is introduced as “the beast,” because he had already been described by Daniel (Daniel 7:3, Daniel 7:11), and he is fully so in the subsequent part of the Apocalypse, namely, Revelation 13:1; Revelation 17:8. Thus, John at once appropriates the Old Testament prophecies; and also, viewing his whole subject at a glance, mentions as familiar things (though not yet so to the reader) objects to be described hereafter by himself. It is a proof of the unity that pervades all Scripture.

make war against them — alluding to Daniel 7:21, where the same is said of the little horn that sprang up among the ten horns on the fourth beast.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-11.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

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

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

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

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

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

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "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 beast ( θηρίον )

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

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "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 when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

And when they shall have finished their testimony — Till then they are invincible.

The wild beast — Hereafter to be described.

That ascendeth — First out of the sea, Revelation 13:1, and then out of the bottomless pit, Revelation 17:8.

Shall make war with them — It is at his last ascent, not out of the sea, but the bottomless pit, that the beast makes war upon the two witnesses. And even hereby is fixed the time of "treading the holy city," and of the "two witnesses." That time ends after the ascent of the beast out of the abyss, and yet before the fulfilling of the mystery.

And shall conquer them — The fire no longer proceeding out of their mouth when they have finished their work.

And kill them — These will be among the last martyrs, though not the last of all.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Ver. 7. And when they shall have finished] Like as Christ, that faithful and true witness (as he is called, Revelation 3:14), when he had preached much about the same time as here, was slain by a Roman governor, raised with an earthquake, and received up into heaven in a cloud; so these. And, ουκ αγαπας μετα φωκιωνος αποθανουμενος. (Plut.) Art thou not glad to fare as Phocion? said he to one that was to suffer with him. These two witnesses could not be killed while they were doing, but when they had done their work. No malice of man can antedate my end a minute (saith one hereupon) while my Master hath work for me to do.

Shall overcome them] By arms, not by arguments.

And kill them] This killing, whether it be already past, or yet to come, it is hard to say. But if to come, some think it shall be but a civil death, that is, of them as witnesses only, not a natural death as men; and so the same persons shall rise again, and enjoy the fruits of their former labours and ascend into a greater glory. (Mr Thos. Goodwin.)

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-11.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

These verses set before us the barbarous usage which the two witnesses should meet with from the antichristian world, for the faithful discharge of their duty; they shall be slain, politically and civilly, say some; deposed, silenced, imprisoned, and laid aside as useless and dead.

Literally, say others, they shall be put to death for the testimony of Jesus, by bloodshed, fire, and faggot. They shall overcome them, that is, in their persons, but not in their cause.

See here the Christian church founded in blood, that of Christ its head; watered with blood, that of his ministers and members. God suffers his sometimes to be actually slain, for his own glory, their honour, and the church's good: but mark the time specified when the witnesses were slain; it was when they had finished their testimony.

Observe, 2. Besides the antichristian cruelty, in killing these witnesses, their barbarous inhumanity, in denying them burial, not suffering some to be buried at all, and digging up the bones of others that had been long buried. The place where this was done is called Sodom and Egypt, and the great city where our Lord was crucified: which, if literally understood, signifies Jerusalem, compared to Sodom for the abominable sins of the Gnostics committed in her; and to Egypt, for oppression: but if mystically understood, Rome, or the Roman empire, is conceived by most Protestants to be here intended by Egypt and Sodom; like Egypt, for idolatry, tyranny, spiritual darkness, obstinacy, and obduracy; like Sodom for uncleanness, yea, worse than Sodom, uncleanness being not only practised but tolerated, yea, allowed publicly, licences being ther given to such public houses, and books written in defence of Sodomy at Rome, where Christ may be said to be crucified in his members as long as this apostate power holds up.

Observe, 3. The great joy and exultation which is here discovered at the slaughter of these witnesses; the antichristian rabble triumph and make merry, rejoice and send gifts, to one another.

Lord! how madly do the wicked rejoice at the death of those men that used their utmost endeavours to have saved them! They that dwell on the earth shall rejoice and make merry.

Observe, 4. The special reason assigned why the members of antichrist's kingdom did thus triumph at the head of the witnesses, and their supposed utter extinction, namely, because the two witnesses tormented them that dwell on the earth; that is, by their public preaching, by their private reproving, by their denouncing of God's judgments against them; for not suffering them to go on quietly and undisturbedly in the ways of sin, they grew very uneasy with them, and rejoiced when they thought the world fully rid of them.

Lord! how does the preaching of thy word, which comforts and supports thy children, which is sweeter to them than the honey, and more esteemed by them than their necessary food, how does the same word preached torment notorious sinners; and, instead of receiving the message, they rage at the messenger, and triumph and dance with Herod, to see that head cut off whose tongue was so bold to tell them of their faults: They rejoiced, because these two prophets that tormented them were slain.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-11.html. 1700-1703.

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

Revelation 11:7. ὅταν τελέσωσι. “When they shall have finished.”(2864)

τὸ θηρίον τὸ ἀναβαῖνον έκ τῆς ἀβύσσου. Only the infernal nature of the beast is to be learned from his rising out of the abyss,(2865) and his definitely antichristian character; further, from his contending against the witnesses of Christ,(2866) and overcoming and slaying them. The more detailed explanation of the beast, John himself does not give until chs. 13 and 17. The mention of the beast in this passage is undoubtedly proleptical,(2867) inasmuch as the concrete idea of the antichristian power under the definite form of the beast from the abyss, which is presupposed as known by the definite art. τὸ θηρ., proceeds first from chs. 13, 17; meanwhile, not only is the idea of his Antichristian nature already to a certain extent intelligible from the entire context, but also the form of the description of the beast from the example of Daniel 7, to which the interpolation in Cod. A expressly refers.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-11.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And when they shall have finished their testimony; otan teleswsoi Mr. Mede notes, that this is ill translated by the preterperfect tense; the true English of it is, when they shall be about to finish their testimony: when they have prophesied in sackcloth the most of their twelve hundred and sixty years, they shall meet with ultimum conatum antichristi, the last struggle of the beast for life.

The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, that is, the beast mentioned Revelation 13:1,4, (by which the papacy is meant, whom they have plagued all the time of their prophecy, though continual sufferers from it),

shall make war against them; shall get life again, and make one push more, possibly the sharpest yet made;

and shall overcome them, and kill them; and be too hard for them, and kill them. It is a great question, whether this be to be understood of taking away their natural lives, or of a civil death relating to them as witnesses, making them as if they were naturally dead. The latter of these seemeth to me much the more probable, for these reasons:

1. Supposing the godly magistracy, or ministry, or the latter alone, to be the two witnesses, it doth not seem probable that ever the papacy shall so far prevail, as to kill all such over the face of the whole church.

2. Neither is the Holy Ghost here speaking of them as men, but as witnesses.

3. Nor would either friends or enemies suffer dead bodies to be unburied three days and a half, in the street of a great city, as Revelation 11:8,9.

4. Neither is their resurrection, mentioned Revelation 11:11, to be understood of a corporal resurrection. I take therefore the killing here mentioned, to be understood of a destroying them as witnesses, turning magistrates out of their places, and ministers out of their places; though it be not probable that such a malice and hatred as should cause this, should terminate without the blood of some of them; but that surely is not the thing principally here intended.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". 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

зверь Первое из 36 упоминаний в Откровении об этом существе, которое является не кем иным, как антихристом (см. гл. 13). Тот факт, что он поднимется из бездны, показывает, что он наделен силой сатаны.

убьет их Когда служение двух свидетелей закончится, Бог снимет с них сверхъестественную защиту. И тогда зверь сможет совершить то, что многих, пытавшихся это сделать раньше, привело к смерти.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-11.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit; Satan and his emissaries, or persecutors instigated by the evil one. See further on chap Revelation 13:1-18. The word rendered beast here, and in chap Revelation 13:1-18, is a different word in the original from that in chap Revelation 4:6. There it means living creatures; here, a wild, savage beast.

Shall overcome them, and kill them; the various conjectures concerning the slaying of the witnesses are uncertain. The time has not yet come for the clear understanding of this prophecy.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-11.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And when they will have finished their testimony the Beast that comes from the abyss will make war against them, and overcome them, and kill them.’

In Revelation there are two contrasting Beasts, the one who arises from the sea (Revelation 13:1), an earthly empire arising from the nations, and the one who arises out of the abyss (Revelation 17:8 compare Revelation 9:11), who more closely represents Satan himself, the monster (chapter 12). Yet they are all really one for Satan is the power behind them all. Here we see the Beast from the abyss (see chapter 17), representing him whom even Michael the archangel had problems dealing with (Jude 1:9). No wonder the witnesses need special powers!

But he has to stand by until they have finished their testimony. Until their work is done these witnesses are protected (possibly, but not necessarily the individuals. It could be the two witnesses in what they represent that are protected). Then, however, he ‘makes war with them’, ‘overcomes’ the overcomers, and kills them. We can reverently compare how he had to wait before he was able to attack Jesus Christ Himself until ‘His hour had come’. The word ‘overcome’ is sardonic. This is the outward appearance. But they are not really overcome, only killed. They have in fact themselves overcome in the only sense that matters at all. The divine preservation of the ‘two witnesses’ does indicate that God will keep alive the witness of His church and their leaders until their witness is complete.

Elsewhere we read that the earthly Beast makes war with the saints to overcome them (Revelation 13:7 compare Daniel 7:21), as does Satan, the ‘monster’ (Revelation 12:17 compare Revelation 11:9). So these witnesses are being paralleled with the church of Christ, who also share similar persecution through the centuries. Some will perish in that tribulation (Revelation 7:14). The two witnesses represent the element who will for a time be preserved. However, the church know that they are sealed and therefore, in the last analysis, untouchable, and some must die and some must be preserved until the end. There are different limits that God puts on what Satan is allowed to do.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "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

In verses 7-8, when the two witnesses had "finished their testimony," and the "days" of their prophesying were completed, the "beast" from abyss would "make war against them" and "overcome them" and "kill them." This agrees with the description of the "end" after the "gospel of the kingdom" had been preached "in all the world for a witness unto all nations." Neither earthly nor hadean power could prevail against them until their testimony was finished, but when this was accomplished, the beast of the abyss would overcome them. This introduces the beast which will be described in the following chapters, personified ‘in the persecuting emperor, or power, which though as yet had not appeared in the form of the beast, was symbolized in "the angel" of the abyss of chapter 9:11. The "king" leader of chapter 9:11 was "the angel of the bottomless pit," and from that the bottomless pit this beast ascended also. He was the "Destroyer," the persecutor, they were identical.

The beast should overcome and kill the two witnesses. He was where they were, and where they became representatives of the persecuted church, and the martyrs, described in the following chapters. The beast could have been no other than the Roman power, for even when the Jews by their own law demanded capital punishment, it was necessarily executed by Roman authority. The unbelieving Jews were themselves the instigators of these persecutions but the Roman emperor was the executing power, and was the beast which made war, overcame, and killed the witnesses-- the cause they represented. But it was for a time only, for the witnesses should rise up and live again.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "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

It is only when they have finished their ministry that God will permit the beast to kill the two witnesses. They will not die prematurely. This is the first of36 references to "the beast" in Revelation (cf. Daniel 7:21). He is Antichrist, as later passages will show. This verse describes him as having his origin in the abyss, the abode of Satan and his demons (cf. Revelation 9:1-3; Revelation 9:11; Luke 8:31).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "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 11:7. That the witnesses have a testimony to deliver has already appeared from the words ‘they shall prophesy’ in Revelation 11:3, and from their coming before us in Revelation 11:4 as fruit-bearing and light-giving. This work they shall accomplish: this witness they shall ‘finish’ in the spirit of Him who cried upon the cross, ‘It is finished:’ and at that moment, as in His case so in theirs, their opponents shall seem to have the victory.

The beast that cometh up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them. This ‘beast’ is without doubt that of Revelation 13:1 and Revelation 17:8, here mentioned by anticipation; and he shall act as the beast in Daniel 7:21.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-11.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

The beast, &c. God, for the greater good and glory of his servants, permits the devil by antichrist, and such like instruments, to torment them, and put them to death; and yet by dying they conquer, to the eternal confusion of their persecutors, who shall behold them going up to heaven, to be there happy with God in his kingdom for ever. (Witham) --- Antichrist, impelled by Satan, shall kill them. (Pastorini)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-11.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

The beast, which must be Satan, comes out of the abyss and kills the two witnesses. Notice, this did not happen until their message had been delivered. God does not allow Satan to stop his plan. Satan wars with God"s children by lying to them, as in Eve"s case, persecuting and killing them. He is just as happy to see a church lose its influence for good by turning it inward and causing it to cease delivering the word as he is to see the saints physically put to death.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-11.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

finished. See Revelation 10:7.

testimony. As in Revelation 1:2, &c. Their testimony ended, they are at the mercy of their enemies.

beast = wild beast, See Revelation 6:8. First mention of this terrible being, whose rise is depicted in Rev 13.

bottomless pit. See Revelation 9:1.

against. Greek. meta. App-104.

overcome. As in Rev 2and Rev 3. See App-197.

kill. The two witnesses are on earth during Rev 13, and the beast is on earth in Rev 11.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "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 when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Finished their testimony. The same verb is used of Paul's ending his ministry by a violent death (2 Timothy 4:7).

The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit - `the wild beast ... the abyss.' This beast was not mentioned before, yet is introduced as "the beast." John, viewing revelation as a whole, mentions objects to be described hereafter by himself (Revelation 17:8 : cf. Daniel 7:11): a proof of the unity that pervades Scripture.

Make war against them. So Daniel 7:21; the little horn among the ten on the fourth beast: Rev. 11:31, the willful king, answering to 'the little horn' of the third beast; Rev. 8:9,23-25 : the earth-sprung beast: Revelation 13:11, note: seeming to be the 'beast from the bottomless pit,' or abyss, which is distinct from "the sea" (Revelation 11:1; Daniel 7:3).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "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

(7) And when . . .—Better, And when they shall have finished their testimony, the wild beast that goeth up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and conquer them, and kill them. Only when their work is done has the wild beast power over them. To every one there are the symbolical twelve hours in which his life’s work must be achieved; to every one there is the time secured when he may accomplish for God what God sent him to fulfil: then, but not till then, cometh the night, when none can work. The wild beast: We shall hear much of this wild beast later on. Here we are told distinctly that the wild beast will have his hour of triumph; he rises out of the abyss, as the locust horde did (Revelation 9:1-2). There is, then, a beast-spirit which is in utter hostility to the Christ-spirit. We shall be able to study the features of this power in a future chapter (Revelation 13:1); here he is seen to be a spirit of irreconcilable antagonism to Christ. The image here is not new; Daniel made use of it (Daniel 7), though in a much more limited sense. This beast-power vanquishes the witnesses. If the witnesses are those who have taught the principles of a spiritual and social religion, the death of the witnesses following their overthrow signifies the triumph of opposing principles, the silencing of those who have withstood the growing current of evil. Men can silence, can conquer, can slay the witness for a higher, purer, nobler life. They have done so. The history of the world is often the history of the postponement of moral and social advancement for centuries through the wild outbreak of some brutal, irrational, selfish spirit. The Reformers, the best friends of the Church and of the world, have been silenced and slain, and their death has often been little more than the triumph of the ignorance and selfishness of a practical heathenism.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
when
3; Luke 13:32; John 17:4; 19:30; Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7
the beast
13:1,7,11; 17:6-8; 19:19,20; Daniel 7:21,22,25; 8:23,24; Zechariah 14:2-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:8,9
out
9:2
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 22:8 - but I hate him;  Psalm 35:19 - Let;  Isaiah 24:10 - of confusion;  Isaiah 30:10 - say;  Jeremiah 26:23 - who;  Ezekiel 24:6 - Woe;  Daniel 12:7 - and when;  Matthew 10:18 - for a;  Matthew 14:10 - and beheaded;  Matthew 23:37 - thou;  Acts 13:25 - fulfilled;  Acts 14:20 - as;  Romans 8:37 - Nay;  Revelation 1:9 - for the word;  Revelation 9:5 - they should not;  Revelation 9:21 - their murders;  Revelation 12:11 - the word;  Revelation 12:17 - to make;  Revelation 13:5 - to continue;  Revelation 17:8 - beast that thou;  Revelation 17:14 - shall make;  Revelation 18:24 - in her;  Revelation 20:4 - the witness

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-11.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE BEAST AND THE WITNESSES.

Revelation 11:7. — "And when they shall have completed their testimony, the Beast who comes up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and shall conquer them,and shall kill them." The witnesses are invincible and immortal till their mission is completed. They have prophesied in Jerusalem, the centre of prophetic and political interest during the last half of the coming week,less a little over a fortnight, during which time the Vials are poured out. But now the Beast, i.e., the revived empire of Rome, comes upon the scene. This is the firstmention of the Beast in these apocalyptic visions. He is named as one well known. In Daniel 7:2-3 and Revelation 13:1 the Beast, or Rome, rises from the sea, that is,out of the struggling masses of mankind, out of a scene of anarchy and confusion. The Antichrist rises after the historical formation of the empire, and out of a settled condition of civil and political government, spoken of as the land or earth (Revelation 13:11). But in our text the Beast is said to come "up out of the abyss." That is to say that whilst its historical rise is human, its revival is satanic. The Beast has been ravaging in Christendom, aided by his political subordinate the Antichrist (Revelation 13:1-18). Judea has especially felt the cruel and relentless hand of the persecutor (Matthew 24:15-28; Revelation 12:13-17). But nowJerusalem itself is visited. The witnesses in the city were safe, while their brethren in the faith and companions in sorrow were passing through the horrors of the Great Tribulation, a period of affliction unparalleled in the annals of history (Mark 13:19). The wickedness of earth has risen to a height in the holy city. The man of sin is there. But God interposes and publicly vindicates His servants by miraculous signs and tokens of power and judgment. The testimony in Jerusalem (v. 3) is coeval with the existence of the Beast as a persecuting power (Revelation 13:5). The continuance of the Beast is for at least seven years, but his power to persecute is limited to 1260days, or forty-two months of thirty days each. The Beast is then permitted, at the close of his active career, to enter Jerusalem and slay the witnesses; "his last political act," as one has said. The Beast has triumphed. He wars against the saints, conquers them, and kills them. Goodness and faith seem banished from the earth (Psalms 4:6;Luke 18:8). The question is asked whether they will then exist at all. But the story of the witnesses is not yet finished; God's vindication, if delayed, is most sure. The triumphing of the wicked is short, and of that we are now to read, after which God's approval of His faithful witnesses is publicly expressed. The Beast in cruelty and blasphemy exceeds every power which has ever appeared on the earth. His doom and that of his confederate is an awful one (Revelation 19:20).

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "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

Finished their testimony does not mean they quit testifying for they will not do that while the world stands. It means when their testimony has been made complete—when the New Testament is all written. When John was writing it had not all been composed yet, for the book he was writing was to be a part of that Volume. About the~time the whole Bible was composed and confirmed, which was after all the apostles had passed from life, was the time that Rome became alarmed at the influence of the Bible. Also that was near the time that the union of church and state arrived at its great height, in which it obtained such power as to control all the people under its dominions. We understand the beast to be Satan operating through the power of Rome. Shall kill them is figurative because the Bible never was actually killed, but as far as its opportunity for control over the lives of men was concerned the Book was slain. Let the reader remember that it is the two witnesses of verse3that the present verse is dealing with.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". 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 11:7

Revelation 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

In this verse and the following verses to the end of the14th verse of { Revelation 11:8-14} this chapter, Christ revealed to his servant, John, 1. That his two prophetical witnesses shall be killed2. That their dead bodies shall lie unburied in the open street of the great city, three days and an half3. That their adversaries shall rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts one to another4. That after three days and an half, the two slain witnesses shall live again; and shall ascend up to heaven5. That at the same time of the witnesses ascension, the tenth part of the great city shall fall, and seven thousand names of men shall be slain6. That the remnant will be affrighted, and give glory to God7. That then the second woe will be past; and the third woe will come quickly. { Revelation 11:14} But of these seven particulars in order.

First, touching the killing of Christ's two prophetical witnesses { Revelation 11:7} we are to observe these particulars, viz1. The time when the witnesses shall be killed;

when they shall have finished their testimony.

2. Who shall kill them;

the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit.

and3. The means by which he shall kill the witnesses;

he shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

In the exposition of this verse, and of those things, we are to observe, 1. What is the finishing testimony of the witnesses of Jesus Christ? 2. Who is the Beast that shall kill them? and3. What this war is whereby the witnesses shall be overcome and killed?

The finishing testimony of Christ's two prophetical witnesses is the gospel of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ; which must be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations { Matthew 24:14} and then shall the end be. Therefore, that is their finishing testimony. Let it be considered, That the prophetical witnesses of Jesus Christ (namely his faithful ministers) during the thousand two hundred and threescore years of their testimony, have had a three fold testimony to bear for Christ against Antichrist, viz. First for the prophetical office of Christ against the Beast and the false Prophet; which testimony of the faithful ministers of Christ have in the days of their prophesying in sackcloth, born by their sound doctrine of free grace against the false doctrine of free-will, merit, and condignity; also by their sound doctrine of justification by faith in Christ, against the false doctrine of justification by our own works, or by our own righteousness: and by their sound doctrine of evangelical repentance, against the false doctrine of Popish penance and purgatory. etc. Then for the priestly office of Christ against Antichrist, mystical Babylon, the Beast, the great Whore, and the false Prophet, which testimony the faithful ministers of Christ have born likewise in the days of their prophesying in sackcloth, touching the true and pure worship of God in the administration of his holy ordinances: against the superstitious and false worship of the Beast, the Church of Rome, her priests and Jesuits in their idolatrous worship of God by images, crucifixes, Ave Maria's, masses, etc. especially of their breaden-God, by their superstitions and blasphemous inventions of transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the very true and real body and blood of Christ, by virtue of the priest's consecration. Lastly, for the kingly office of Christ as King of Saints { Revelation 15:3} King of Zion { Psalm 149:1-2} and King of Nations { Jeremiah 10:7-10} King of kings, and Lord of lords { 1 Timothy 6:14-15} whose kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom { Daniel 7:27} and he shall reign for ever and ever. { Revelation 11:15} Now the faithful ministers of Christ have born their testimony for Christ, that he is King of Saints, and King of Zion in these thousand two hundred and threescore prophetical days, of their sackcloth-condition, their finishing testimony, viz. that the Lord Jesus Christ is King of Nations, King of kings, and all the kingdoms of this world shall be the Kingdom of Christ. { Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 11:15} And he shall be the only potentate. { 1 Timothy 6:15} This finishing testimony of the kingdom of Christ, is properly called the testimony of Jesus { Revelation 19:6-10} which is the Spirit of Prophecy. Many of Christ's witnesses have been slain for the word of God, which they preached, and for the testimony which they held. { Revelation 6:9-11; Revelation 12:17} But those witnesses of Christ, who bear their testimony for the Davidical kingdom of Christ (to wit, that all the kingdoms of this world, shall become the kingdom of Christ) were to be slain; of which kingdom we shall treat more fully in the exposition of the15th verse of this chapter. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:15

The Beast that shall kill the witnesses of Christ, is here said to ascend

out of the bottomless pit,

XXX etc. ( Revelation 9:1-2; Revelation 20:1; Revelation 20:3. and so Revelation 17:8). That is out of the sea { Revelation 13:1} called the Deep ( Luke 8:31; Romans 10:7 mentioned, Revelation 9:1-11; Revelation 20:1-3; and Revelation 13:1). I saw the Beast rise out of the sea, with ten crowned Horns, etc. The mystery of this beast Christ showed to St. John { Revelation 17:3-11} where he is described, first, by his three-fold state. { Revelation 17:8} Behold the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Secondly, by his two-fold number. { Revelation 17:8} Even he is the eighth, and is of the seven heads. Thirdly, by his rise { Revelation 13:1} his continuance { Revelation 13:5} and his ruin { Revelation 11:8; Revelation 17:15} and shall go into Perdition: And goeth into Perdition { Revelation 18:21} and shall be found no more at all. To which description of the beast, we shall (according to that measure of wisdom and understanding which God shall give) speak more largely in our exposition of the17th chapter. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 17:1[ff] In the mean time, those that will read my Apocalyptical Mysteries, published Anno Dom1669, and my Treatise of Mystical Babylon unveiled, Anno Dom1679, may understand more fully my opinion, who this beast is; and that I may not leave the reader altogether unsatisfied in this matter, I shall at present assert, that this beast (with respect of his whole complex body) is mystical Babylon; viz. the Beast of the Eighth Head { Revelation 17:8-11} with two horns like a Lamb { Revelation 13:11} that angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abaddon and Apollyon { Revelation 9:11} to wit, the Pope of Rome, that star which fell from heaven unto the earth. { Revelation 9:1-3} The great Scarlet Whore, and Mother of Harlots, etc. { Revelation 17:1-5} to wit, the Church of Rome, and all false churches, and the false Prophet { Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20} to wit, the Roman Priests, those deceivers, and all false ministers, called the Ministers of Satan. { 2 Corinthians 11:13-15}

The war which the beast shall make against Christ's prophetical witnesses, whereby he shall overcome them and kill them, is an open, visible, and public opposition, which the enemies of Christ, His churches, ministers, and saints do make against them, either by open hostility, as the Popes, and Emperors Forces did against the Protestants in Germany; or else by public edicts and laws, as the Papists did against the Protestants in England in Queen Mary's days, by a violent and bloody persecution, which hath ever been the practice of the Popes and Papists; Pope Alexander the III about the year, 1159, and the Popish powers persecuted the Waldenses, with a great and bloody persecution. Afterwards, about1464, the Waldenses, the Wicklevists, the Hussites, and their followers, were violently persecuted, even to death, under the name of Lollards.

And shall overcome them, and kill them.

Some ministers and some members of churches will be overcome by fear, others by flatteries; the mouths of some will be stopped by preferment; others will be silenced by threatening, by excommunication, and by persecution; and so far overcome, as they will cease for a time to bear their testimony against the beast, so publicly and vigorously, as they did before. But that will not appease the rage and great wrath of the beast; for he will proceed further, and will kill them that still go on boldly and constantly to bear their testimony publicly against him, his worship, and his kingdom. { Revelation 13:15-17} The killing of the two witnesses, doth not signify a corporal death only, nor principally; for such a death doth not fully agree to their lying unburied in the streets of the city, nor to their resurrection { Revelation 11:10-11} but it is rather a metaphorical expression, by which Jesus Christ meant and intended, both a civil and ecclesiastical death, or deprivation of livelihood, and deprivation of life: Some of them shall be deprived of all their civil rights, privileges, and liberties; their estates will be confiscated, proscribed, or decimated, etc, their persons confined, imprisoned or banished, etc, and in fine, all their livings and livelihood taken from them by the beast, and his instruments of cruelty. And others of them shall be deprived of all their ecclesiastical rights, privileges, and liberties: Yea, their love to Christ will decay, their zeal for the glory of God will cool, and their spiritual vigour against Antichrist, and his false doctrines, superstitious worship, and tyrannical government, will faint, and be ready to die. The darkness and blackness of the day of the death of the two witnesses will be very great, for they will be deprived of that spirit of life, which they formerly had, and manifested for Christ against the Man of Sin, and Son of Perdition that fits in the temple of God. Some of the witnesses (not all of them) will fall from their first love, lose their former zeal and become Luke -warm; some of them will fall in with the grand apostasy of these latter days; and thereby be deprived of that vigour and spirit of life which they had. And this spiritual kind of death, is called here the killing of the witnesses; for as their resurrection shall be by the spirit of life from God entering into them { Revelation 11:11} so their death will be by being deprived of the spirit of life, by resisting, quenching, and grieving the Holy Spirit.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-11.html.

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

Revelation 11:7. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the abyss shall make war with them, and shall overcome them, and shall kill them. The indifference is remarkable, with which the words, "and shall overcome them," are here uttered. But it is explained by what precedes and what follows. They shall only be overcome when they have finished their testimony, when God has no further need for their service, when their death can produce more fruit than their life. And on their overthrow and their death follows their glorification, and springs out of it. They die only to rise again and go to heaven. Their overthrow is but a concealed victory, like the corn of wheat, which dies in the earth in order to bring forth much fruit. If this were considered aright, how would it banish the fear, which makes so many in our day inclined to timid concessions, which smites the shepherds, and causes the sheep to be scattered! To escape imaginary dangers, these persons fall into real ones. For, only one danger is really to be feared, namely, that our heart be overcome, that faith, which is the innermost life of our souls, should be slain. What is said here of the witnesses of Christ, was exemplified in Christ himself. The world hated him, and yet the enemies could accomplish nothing against him, till their hour came and the power of darkness. Then only did the darkness receive power, when he had finished his testimony, and when it was good for the church that he should go away; and his death was followed by his resurrection and ascension to heaven, as is represented here in Revelation 11:11-12, in respect to the true witnesses." In all circumstances God still has his glory; and if it should appear that the evil gains the mastery over the good, the evil is still very limited; it cannot break forth sooner than its time, nor rise higher and last longer than God permits it. Begin but rightly with God, and the result shall not fail." The beast that ascends out of the abyss (comp. on ch. Revelation 9:1), is mentioned here incidentally and by anticipation. The more extended description is given us by the Seer in the fourth group: the three enemies of God's kingdom, Revelation 12-14; and in the sixth, the judgment on the three enemies, Revelation 17-20. That it should be brought into notice here plainly shews that we have not in the Revelation, as Bengel thought, a regularly progressive anticipatory history. The beast denotes the ungodly heathen state. By it here is meant the reviving of the ungodly heathen power at the close of the thousand years' reign, or, the whole of the ungodly power is here denoted by the most prominent part, which the Seer had already before him in his own day. The brutal character of the ungodly power, which he denotes by this expression, discovers itself more and more manifestly in the present age.

Bengel says, "These are two excellent instruments, and when they shall have accomplished their task so stedfastly, such is the recompense they are to receive for it from the world; they are to find tribulation, pain, mockery, and death; so that these are not bad marks." No, assuredly not, in a church whose Lord has been crucified, and who has said, "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of the household! They shall cast yon out of the synagogue. Nay, the time shall come when he that killeth you shall think that he doeth God service."

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-11.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

c. Their destruction by the beast, and resurrection triumph and avenging, Revelation 11:7-13.

7.When they—The martyr witnesses of the apostate period.

Shall’ finished—Both individually and collectively. Each individual finishes his testimony and is slain. But, collectively, the entire body represented by the two is slain when the period is completed. The individual death of the two represents or symbolizes the collective death, in series, of the whole. If two represent the whole, then their martyrdom represents the martyrdom of the whole.

The beast—Premonition of the beast of Revelation 13:11-18. And the two witnesses answer to the “killed” of Revelation 11:15. And their martyrdom is type of the collective martyrdoms of the true witnesses through the whole period.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-11.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 11:7. The influence of Hebraic idiom helps to explain (cf.Revelation 20:7-9) the translator’s “transition from futures through presents to preterites” here (Simcox). (Burton, 203) indicates no uncertainty. When their work is done, they are massacred—not till then; like their Lord (Luke 13:31 f.), they are insured by loyalty to their task. The best comment upon this and the following verses, a description coloured by the famous passage in Sap. 2:12–3, 9, is Bunyan’s description of the jury in Vanity Fair and their verdict. This beast “from the abyss” is introduced as a familiar figure—an editorial and proleptic reference to the beast “from the abyss” in Revelation 17:8 or from “the sea” (Revelation 13:1; the abyss and the sea in Romans 10:7 = Deuteronomy 30:13) which was (cf. Encycl. Rel. and Ethics, i. 53 f.) the haunt and home of daemons (Luke 8:31, etc.), unless he is identified with the supernatural fiend and foe of Revelation 9:2; Revelation 9:11. (Bruston heroically gets over the difficulty of the beast’s sudden introduction by transferring Revelation 11:1-13 to a place after Revelation 19:1-3). The beast wars with the witnesses (here, as in Revelation 9:9 and Revelation 12:17, Field, on Luke 14:31, prefers to take = , a single combat or battle, as occasionally in LXX [e.g., 3 Kings 22:34] and Lucian), and vanquishes them, yet it is the city (Revelation 11:13) and not he who is punished. The fragmentary character of the source is evident from the fact that we are not told why or how this conflict took place. John presupposed in his readers an acquaintance with the cycle of antichrist traditions according to which the witnesses of God were murdered by the false messiah who, as the abomination of desolation or man of sin, was at feud with all who opposed his worship or disputed his authority.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 11:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-11.html. 1897-1910.